What they are: An Ableton Live rack (one each for effects in audio tracks, effects in return tracks, midi effects, and midi instruments) used to temporarily disable devices without deleting them, thereby freeing up some ever-precious CPU.
Features: Frees up CPU of contained racks. Click-free realtime operation (feel free to enable/disable while audio is routing through). Input Trim & Output Gains.
How to use:
1. Drop your device or devices which use lots of processing into an instance of the appropriate type of The Enabler [into the “Drop Here” area].
2. When you want to stop processing by the contents, twist down the “Enable” macro. Now they are disabled. In the case of “The Track FX Enabler” and “The Midi FX Enabler”, clean signal will continue through unprocessed. The other two Enabler devices, “The Return FX Enabler” and “The Instrument Enabler”, completely halt all signal passing through them when disabled.
Q: Why is this better than just using the on/off buttons to turn off a rack or a group of racks?
A: During real-time audio processing, it avoids ugly clicks and other artifacts from possibly occurring when enabling or disabling an effect rack all of a sudden during playback, due to the way the chain mapping shifts prior to the devices themselves being powered off. (You may have noticed that sometimes turning an effect on or off while playback is happening can cause some not-fun weirdness). In the case of “The Return Enabler”, it also mutes the signal flowing through it (normally if you disable say a reverb plugin in a return track, the dry signal will then be running through it unabashed), which is more convenient than simply powering off fx in return tracks individually, as then return tracks are not routing an unwanted doubled clean signal.
Q: Will The Enablerz provide me with free booze money?
A: Unfortunately not (still… sorry). That is a planned feature to be implemented in a future update.
Bonus tip: Also use “The Return FX Enabler” for multichain fx racks and return fx inside drum racks, when those effects are adding “supplemental” signal.
Grab .rar file of “The Enablerz” (for free!) by clicking
Backstory (what led me to make it):
So i was making a new “default” Ableton Live set (the set that opens automatically whenever you open live), trying to get the ultimate template set up to maximize my workflow efficiency in the studio.
In the setup are various return tracks set up with basic effect types that work well as sends (reverb, delay, etc), including a custom multiband harmonic excitation rack for boosting the lows and the highs separately…. problem being, that effect rack by itself just running jumped my cpu by about 15%… ouch!
I want to have the harmonic excitation rack there to use in any mixdown during the final sculpting… but i don’t really need it enabled all the time. I COULD just turn off the Device Activator for that effect rack. But the problem is, when you do that, the dry audio goes through. Which i don’t want, for a return track, in this case. I would have to disable all track sends feeding the return… no fun.
So instead… i made the first version of “The Enabler”. Now my default tempalte set opens with all those effects in there — but not initially using processing power, just lying in wait, in hibernation, one might imagine it as, easy to immediately enable right when i want to.
Note on Saving:
It is recommended to save “The Enabler” devices into a folder or folders in your user library entitled “Special” to get them to show up in the “Categories” section of your main browser (as per this guide: https://performodule.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/how-to-organize-user-plugin-presets-like-a-boss-in-ableton-9-using-the-hidden-architecture/). Note that the “Midi FX Enabler” will still show up in the “Other” folder even if you do this due to Midi fx only having 2 categories.
*Note – if you downloaded “The Enabler” previously:
Please replace the original “The Enabler” with “The Return FX Enabler” as this is the more evolved version – not requiring any mapping like the old version did.