The PerforModule Audio Effects Pack for Ableton Live, One Knob Wonders, has been given a long-overdue update.
Containing some of my oldest-crafted devices which i used a lot when actively DJing from around 2010 to 2014, it’s well past time to freshen up the pack. I have edited them to have more stable gain unity at various settings and implemented the prevention of occasional obscene overs with various methods of limiting, clipping, et cetera (as appropriate by taste for each device).
Live 11 Version Available
There are now versions of the pack for both Live 10 and Live 11.
Audio- and control-wise, all the racks are identical; however, the Live 11 version makes use of the new capability to have any number of macros shown, so the racks now satisfyingly only show a single macro. Ah, nice. If you have Live 10 Suite now but plan to upgrade to Live 11 later, you can upgrade your pack install at that point too, no prob.
Additionally, i’ve crafted six brand new Audio Effect Racks to spruce up the collection, bringing the total up to 70. They include:
•okw DownFilter Shift One-Knob performance filter which starts dry high and sweeps downward, coupled with pitch, formant, and frequency-shifting.
•okw UpFilter Shift One-Knob performance filter which starts dry low and sweeps upward, coupled with pitch, formant, and frequency-shifting.
•okw Grain Comber Deliberate implementation of comb filtering for characteristic effect.
•okw Splat Swats your audio like a fly, crushing the poor thing and smearing the remains.
•okw Cave Drip Echo Venture into creepy caverns!
•okw Dumbper Get that “Fake Four on the Floor Sidechain Pump” thing goin’ on.
You can get One Knob Wonders at Isotonik Studios HERE for £31.66 (approx $50 USD). Your support is highly appreciated!!
While we all know that there is no such thing as a perfect or ideal FX chain order for all situations because it totally depends on context, i have eventually developed some general preferences for the order of effects in a signal chain. Recently updating all my templates for Live 11 has further honed my thoughts on the situation.
We can of course swap around the sequential ordering of effect devices, either for a specific intended result or as a matter of experimentation just to see if an alternate routing happens to sound better on given audio.
As usual when sharing my ideas, it is recommended that you not simply adopt the structure as presented, but rather that you test it out in practice and modify things over time to suit your particular style, keeping notes and updating your own templates as you go. Maybe you think the way i place transient shapers before compressors is idiotic. That’s totally fine!
I’ll share below my go-to effects order, and (most importantly)… WHY. While some of the choices are probably pretty unorthodox, none of them are arbitrary; they all have reasons. Are they bad reasons? Good reasons? Who knows. But i like to think they are built on logical rationale.
Keep in mind you’re seldom if ever going to need all these types of effects on any single track, but for times when you are using even two different processor types, some guidance as to their ordering might prove useful. Resist the urge to add more effects to a chain just because you can. The fewer processors required to get a sound how you want, usually the better.
Here’s a bunch of Reverb IRs for you, sampled from the unobtainable TC M30 Plugin. I believe that plugin was one of the very first VSTs i ever grabbed after i started getting into Ableton Live. I remember it being some sort of time-limited temporary free offer. After years of not thinking about it, i recently realized i still had a working 32-bit copy of the plugin, and so took some IR snapshots of it, because why not.
It’s always been more of my mentality to try to figure out how to make optimal use of what i have on hand — even when flawed — than to try to find immediate replacements… from using a TI-83 calculator to code as a teenager (since that’s what i had access to), to learning how to mic two small guitar amps to sound amazing rather than try to buy bigger amps which i didn’t have space to store. Whether or not this is the optimal way to be, it’s been pretty ingrained in me over a lifetime of dealing with less-than-ideal equipment and environs, figuring out how to increase functionality past apparent limitations, and squeezing every drop of valuable usage i could garner out of existing gear.
This BCR-2000 MIDI Controller i have happens to have a top row of encoder knobs which act all wonky, sending out their values all slow and choppy and making them pretty much unusable as MIDI controls. However, each knob does have a set of LED lights, and it is possible to send messages to those lights to make them move.
By using a couple of MaxForLive devices in Ableton, i have it set up so that the 8 knobs each provide a VU-meter type experience in reaction to whatever’s playing in Ableton Live. Now they aren’t useless! Yay!
OK, so you know when you right-click on something to open up a context menu?
And then you move the mouse cursor to the item you want, and then you left-click the option you want?
Well, there is a way to do it a tiny bit faster. Maybe you already do it.
I found myself picking up the habit due to right-clicking to change macro colours so often. By saving a tiny little bit of time multiplied by a whole bunch of iterations, one can end up saving a substantial amount of time. Anything that streamlines workflow is useful, right?
So here’s the tip: Right Click and Release
Instead of doing this: right-click -> move mouse -> left click
Do this: right-click (hold it down) -> move mouse -> release right-click
Doing this implements the menu option (in Ableton Live at least — not in all programs) with a single mouse click instead of with two mouse clicks, thereby saving you a precious minuscule quantity of milliseconds. For example, if you had to select a hundred boring context menu options, you’d be performing one hundred clicks, instead of two hundred. Brilliant!
This trick does not work in all programs, but it does in Ableton Live, at least.
NOTE: if following this methodology, make sure that your index finger gets some extra exercise to compensate for its less active role going forward. I recommend angry pointing.
Often, plugins will cause an effect they don’t tell you about, and you may not realize is occurring.
Knowing exactly what is happening to audio is valuable, because otherwise if we set up chains of effects we may think that we are resulting in a more transparent sound than we really are. Subtle changes to sound can stack up and add to quite audible differences—which if we don’t know the sources of may be difficult to diagnose and address.
Here’s an overview of some of the things some of Ableton Live’s stock effects do to sound passing through them, which you may not realize at first. Some of these quirks many of you will have gotten to know by ear already just by using the effects, in which case seeing the analysis graphs can provide some “aha” moments.
~`~ Consistency in parameters assigned to racks is useful, for always being able to grab a certain knob for a certain result. For example, on the 8-knob racks of Live 10 and earlier, for dynamics devices like compressors or gates, i tend to place Attack and Release on Macros 5 and 6.
16 Knobs! Yay! …but also, Uh Oh!
~`~ Live 11 now has the ability to allow up to sixteen macros on a rack, which expands our abilities — but also makes things easier to become sporadic and messy by just mapping whatever, wherever. More knobs means more searching text with eyeballs. So therefore it seems helpful if certain controls are always (or almost always) in the same places.
Hi. Reporting that the new pack of Reverb Impulse Responses for any DAW, DankVerb, is now available.
It includes 150 dank, lush, and dystopian Impulse Responses suitable for post-apocalyptic sound design, recorded at 192kHz. They were crafted by carefully combining multiple reverbs together, mad scientist style.
Place elements in mysterious and foreboding physical spaces suitable for fantasy, science fiction, or horror settings.
DankVerb is a perfect companion to Ableton Live 11’s new Hybrid Reverb device. Drop in DankVerbIRs to augment Hybrid Reverb’s built-in algorithmic section. If you’re still on Live 9 or 10, on the other hand, they work great with the Max for Live Convolution Reverb device. Don’t even use Ableton Live? Need a Convolution Engine plugin? No problem. This article by Bedroom Producers Blog has got you covered with some sweet free options.
Bolster your library with the full collection of one hundred and fifty fresh and steaming IRs! Read more details about and acquire the full version of DankVerb at Isotonik Studios: DANKVERB.
That’s all for today. Don’t be jerks to each other, ok?
One of the most popular PerforModule articles to date is How to Organize User Plugin Presets Like a Boss in Ableton Using the Hidden Architecture and it’s understandable — it’s very helpful to be able to integrate one’s own presets into the browser’s organization structure. And it’s pretty simple to accomplish. Read that article for an in-depth rundown on the topic in which is also explored further customization options for the truly OCD, if you have the desire. Or just read on for a briefer summary…
•Basically, if you place your User Library presets into folders with the same specific names as the built-in categories, those presets will now also appear in their respective category folders in the browser.
Live 11 Has updated the default categories, adding a handful of new ones which is good news to me, since i’ll be able to integrate more stuff with the built-in system. Some of the choices are a bit odd… but hey, whatever.
Click here to download the blank category folders, and/or copy the following lists for reference.