All About Ableton’s Gate—A Pragmatic Guide

I found some old notes i had taken (for my own reference) about the parameters of Ableton’s Gate audio effect plugin and figured others could use the info as well, so i’ve polished ’em up, expanded on them a bunch, and dropped them here for you.

I’ve found that getting to know exactly how each parameter works with gate plugins leads to attaining desired results exponentially easier, and in particular learning how the more exotic parameters such as lookahead and hysteresis work facilitates sophisticated gate optimization.

Continue reading

New Pack: “Subterrestrial”

Hi!
PerforModule has got a new Ableton Live pack available.

What makes this one special? Well, it’s the first in a proposed series of “Binaural Textures” instrument packs, which include the unique feature of built-in binaural surround panning.

Binaural Surround Panning? What the heck is that!?

(listen to the video below on headphones to hear for yourself)

Subterrestrial by PerforModule Continue reading

Go-To Q Values

There are not many controls for digital plugins where i prefer stepped options as opposed to continuous values, but the Q factor of EQ slopes is one of those that generally i do. Not really sure why i prefer them that way; i suppose there are a few reasons.

Regardless, i made myself (and you!) up a nifty spreadsheet of “Go-To Q Values”, based on logarithmic steps between the basic Q value (0.70607) and the minimum or maximum ranges. These Q values are optimized for Ableton Live’s EQ Eight, but can be applied to most any parametric EQ, when you want no-brainer go-to Q values to fall back on.

Continue reading

Faster Freezing + Less CPU Usage: Avoid Processing Silence

This workflow enhancer is really simple.

Just disable VST plugins during times in tracks when they are not being used.

Activation Automation

Automate the nifty device activator (aka “on/off switch) of a device (or a rack of devices) to shut off during times of silence. Set the automation to switch on a little bit before audio starts, and to turn back off a bit after the audio is completely silent again.

Continue reading

Set Up a Shuffle Playlist in Ableton Live Using “Follow”

Have you ever wanted to use Ableton live just to drop a bunch of tracks into session view and have them play randomly like a shuffle playlist in a media player?

Natively, you could always use follow actions for each clip to trigger random other clips after a set number of bars. However, this only works with warped clips. What if we want the next clip to trigger once the one currently playing ends, regardless of how long it is?

A nice solution (assuming you have MaxForLive) is to use the Follow CLIP device from Isotonik Studios. Simply place your group of adjacent clips together on a track in Session View, drop Follow onto the track, select the options shown below, and hit play on the first track you want to launch. As soon as the track ends, it randomly selects and starts playing another one in the batch. Woohoo!

Follow CLIP Settings for a Shuffle Playlist
Continue reading

Gain…Level…Trim… FaderWhat?

There’s some ambiguity between the terms gain, level, and trim. In general, they are used interchangeably. But sometimes they are different; for example, guitar amps often have both gain and level controls.

I won’t attempt to provide the ultimate absolute definitive official definitions of those terms.
I’ll just tell you how i tend to use them. Continue reading

Handy DAW Tip: Cascading Plugin GUIs

So this one is super simple, but definitely helpful as a workflow enhancer. Applies to any VST-capable DAW.

It’s always annoying when bringing one plugin GUI into focus obscures another GUI and then you have to shuffle things about.

This tip applies when you have too many plugins open to fit them all onscreen without overlapping or when you’re not sure how many more plugins you might need to add in a project; it’s not needed when you have few plugins and enough screen space to comfortably them fit all.

Continue reading