Here’s some music I recorded for a German female producer. It’s in her court to add vocals for this and send it back to me. You’re hearing two slightly detuned Yamaha CS5 lines. Both are going through D16 Devator’s. You also hear white noise from the CS5 modulated through Ableton’s Auto-Pan. Assorted booms are my own recordings and swing is up.
That’s the reason Ableton Live is the best production tool: different modes. I can use Live in Arrangement View and work like I did years back in Cubase and Pro-Tools. I can use Live in Session View and have a play/scratch area to let ideas explode or just build the parts Im going to use in Arrangement View. I can use Live when I’m on stage triggering video and controllers. I’ve almost never had Live crash in the studio and never once on stage. Yep this is an advert except I didn’t get paid for it. Just saying thanks for something I use a lot. We tend to worship the tools that make us sound good (and make us money!). To people who aren’t convinced there is a fully functioning free trial of Live (no saving).
“Ableton Live is about making music; for composition, songwriting, recording, production, remixing and live performance. Live’s nonlinear, intuitive flow, alongside powerful real-time editing and flexible performance options, make it a unique studio tool and a favorite with live performers. If you’d rather be “making music” than just “using music software,” Ableton Live is for you.” – ableton.com
Here’s a clip of a remix I just finished for Millimetric. I played it live in Stuttgart and it past the club test so it’s in his inbox. From a production standpoint your hearing Vermona DRM-1 drums through Izotope Trash, white noise crashes from a Yamaha CS5, the 90’s T99 or 80’s Vomito Negro sample is in an Ableton Simpler going through various Sugar Bytes Effectrix presets. My vocals are through a Shure KSM32 and Wavearts plug-ins.
“I’m a ELECTRONIC. ELECTROCHARGED. RUN RUN RUN RUN!!!!” – The Horrorist
Here’s a quick beginner tip that may save you from loosing a sound. If your using hardware and you want to remember what patch you are using label your Ableton clip with the same patch number! Some hardware will respond to a MIDI Program change. In Ableton double click a MIDI clip to enter Clip View and in the Notes section you will see Bank, Sub-Bank and Program. That’s where you can pick and save the corresponding hardware’s patch number.
When I used DR. T’s KCS and a Roland Juno-106 I would create a sound then slightly change it, save it over 16 patch locations and then have DR. T’s cycle through each patch using Program Change messages. With different filter settings saved in each Patch the Juno sounded like a more expensive synth. Imagine old school Depeche Mode arpeggio patterns with filters opening and closing. It was a pain to set up but worth it in the end.
It’s interesting to peak into someone’s left brain meets right brain work flow. You can pick up a few Ableton tips and tricks in this video and see how pushing pixels turns into sound.
“So in this tutorial i have used Ableton’s Simpler, Arpeggiator and utility to create some complex beats out of simple ones. The idea here is you don’t have to program everything by hand if your more into the idea of chance music or your just lazy or want to control things in a different way!” – Bill Day
I never knew that dragging a audio selection onto a MIDI track would automatically create a Simpler with the audio set up. Did you learn anything new?
I like these type of online music tech shows so I hope The DSP Project gains many episodes. I use this reverse reverb effect quite often. Sometimes I add a distortion unit after the reverb to really make the effect scream. Definitely check out my post: The Kick Boom, Thunderverb song writing element.
“In this episode I will show you how to create the reverse reverb effect in Ableton live (but technique can be used in any DAW) and put it into context by using it in a real project.” – Rupert Brown
Take Ableton’s Session View and mirror it inside Serato’s digital turntable interface and you have what the two companies call “The Bridge”. Every month or so I power up Traktor and make a mix for the car/gym. Considering my Ableton Live addiction I think I’m going to have to give this a shot.
“Huston from Ableton and Nick from Serato go through The Bridge – a new technology allowing communication between Ableton Live 8 and Serato Scratch Live” – SeratoHQ
My all time top tip for getting a nice sound from Ableton Live (or any DAW) is to keep your channel faders low and the Master at 0db. I explain my reasoning in an older post from January 2008. You can read it and the great comments by: clicking here. A safety net or let’s say helper in keeping your Master at 0db is a Limiter. Luckily (finally!) they added a native Limiter to Ableton Live 8. I recommend saving your startup Template with the Limiter in place. How much headroom below 0db you should leave is questionable but mostly I just leave it at it’s default setting of -0.30 dB. I’m guessing Ableton set it there for a reason. Of course you can use Limiters to shape and pump your sound and for something like that I turn to other plug-ins like Wavearts FinalPlug ($199) or a hardware unit such as a Universal Audio 1176.
“The Limiter effect is a mastering-quality dynamic range processor that ensures that the output does not exceed a specied level. Limiter is ideal for use in the Master track, to prevent clipping. A limiter is essentially a compressor with an innite ratio. To ensure that your nal output will never clip, place Limiter as the last device in the Master track’s device chain and keep your Master fader below 0 dB.” – Ableton Live 8 User Manual