Tempo tracks take on a special significance when they’re used to align sound
and musical material to the timing of video, as explained in Chapter 12.
Arrangement Markers and Reordering
Many applications have means of organizing the overall order and arrange-
ment of a piece of music. Steinberg Cubase SX, for instance, has a Play
Order track, which lets you draw different orderings into a dedicated track
to create an arrangement (Figure 10.11). When you decide on the best
ordering of sections, you can “freeze” the play order, making it permanent.
Other applications may use some kind of arrangement marker or consider
different sections subsequences, self-contained mini-sequences that are com-
bined to form the overall mix or arrangement. Just as with Cubase’s Play
Order track, you’ll define these larger sections based on the structure of
your project, so the chunks might be a “verse” and “chorus” or some other
meaningful subdivisions. Like regions, these sections define chunks of data,
but unlike regions, they apply to all tracks at once, and represent bigger
pieces of the structure. (Some programs even let you use subsequences as a
means of organizing multisong sets.)
Ableton Live takes a slightly different approach to this feature using
Arrangement Locators. You can add locators to the mix’s arrangement in
strategic positions (like the beginning of a verse or chorus), then trigger those
at any time. This will change the order in which sections of the piece are
played, but only during real-time playback; it’s not an editing tool. Alterna-
tively, you can form scenes in the Session View comprising different clips and
trigger the scenes to create your arrangement. In an onstage situation, this
could let you flexibly move through arrangements, improvising as you play.
See Chapter 13 for more on creating live arrangements for performance.
Figure 10.11 Cubase’s Play
Order track lets you experi-
ment with song arrangements
by drawing and dragging dif-
ferent sections. Like the
tempo track, it’s a separate
track that controls the play-
back of the arrangement.
Jump sections
with Arrangement
By mapping
Lives Arrangement Loca-
tors to MIDI or keyboard
keys, you can easily jump
to specific sections for
editing, or jump through
the song structure dur-
ing playback (from a
verse to a chorus, for

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