Ableton Live 11 Key Map Guide & Template by PerforModule

The PerforModule Key Map Template for Ableton Live 11: mapping computer keyboard keys to as many potentially helpful functions as practical.

The Template

There are three parts to the template:
•a Live Set pre-loaded with the recommended key mappings,
•a Diagram showing color-coded key functions, and
•a Spreadsheet listing custom-mapped and built-in key mappings, also explaining some quirks.

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Mosey on over to this dropbox folder to download the Key Map Template Live Set, Key Map Plan Diagram, and Spreadsheet Guide. Read on for nauseatingly meticulous details below.

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Free Loudness Meter VSTs

“WTF are Loudness Units?” you may ask. Well, they are simply a measure of loudness, just like decibels.
One LU actually is equivalent to one dB. However, an important difference is that Loudness Units are “shaped” according to the human ear’s proclivity to hear certain frequencies more easily than others. Effectively, LUs tend to feel more consistent to our brains than dB will when measuring varying frequency content, and therefore LU meters are preferable to use (compared to, say, RMS meters) for assessing the overall loudness of music.

Below are shown six free LU (aka Loudness Unit) meters, listing features of each. The most important value when matching the loudness of songs is IL (Integrated Loudness), which is the average loudness over the entire course of given time (with very quiet material gated out).

These devices are available as VST effect plugins for any capable VST host (such as Ableton Live, for example).

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HOFA 4U Meter, Fader & MS-Pan
In addition to showing you LU readings, this one also acts as a really nice all-purpose utility for general stereo and level adjustments on any audio track. Its “wider than stereo” panning knobs are super cool!

Stuff It Shows Us
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•L-R Peak or L-R ISP (True Peak).
•LRA (Loudness Range).

Nifty Functions
•Gain controls for Left & Right (or Mid & Side) channels, and for the combined output.
•360 degree Left & Right channel panning controls!
•Left and right channel phase inversion buttons.

_______find HOFA 4U Meter, Fader & MS-Pan here.

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Youlean Loudness Meter
The thing I like a lot about this one is the “loudness over time” display (aka histogram), which allows you to easily visualize which sections of time are louder than others, and by how much. It’s up to 5.1 channels and also has some presets for various media targets, though not as many as the TB plugins do. It has both a free and a paid version. I went ahead and got the paid version after using the free one for a couple of years.

Stuff It Shows Us
•SL (Short-Term Loudness).
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•LRA (Loudness Range).
•Momentary Loudness Max.
•Short-Term Loudness Max.
•ISP (True Peak Max).

_______find Youlean Loudness Meter here.

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MLoudnessAnalyzer
I like how you can customize the display of this one to show you exactly what you want, and nothing else. I use it during audio finalization to precisely monitor loudness as well as L-R peak levels for final output.

Stuff It Shows Us
•L-R Peak.
•L-R ISP (True Peak).
•ML Momentary Loudness.
•SL (Short-Term Loudness).
•Short Term Loudness Max.
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•LRA (Loudness Range).
•PLR (Peak-to-Loudness Ratio).
•Crest.

_______find MLoudnessAnalyzer here.

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TB EBU Loudness
This one has tons of presets for various loudness targets for worldwide media delivery. That and its surround sound channel capability might make it a respectable choice for someone working on audio for film.

Stuff It Shows Us
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•IL Gate State.
•LRA (Loudness Range).
•ISP (True Peak).
•PLR (Peak-to-Loudness Ratio).
•Integration Time (free, or synced to playback).
•VU, VU+Peak Hold, or SL (Short Term Loudness) 30 seconds to 60 minutes.
_______find TB EBU Loudness here (scroll down to unfold the legacy v3 plugins link).

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dpMeter5
This one is a bit customizable. It’s made by ToneBoosters and like TB EBU Loudness can run up to 5.1 channels and has various target presets, but with more types of readings, such as RMS and Dialog.

Stuff It Shows Us
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•SL (Short-Term Loudness).
•Short-Term Loudness Max.
•ML (Momentary Loudness).
•Momentary Loudness Max.
•ISP (True Peak Max).
•LRA (Loudness Range).
•ISP (True Peak).
•RMS Integrated.
•RMS Momentary.
•RMS Momentary Max.
•Peak Max.
•Crest.
•ILD (Integrated Loudness Dialog).
•LRA (Loudness Range Dialog).
•Dialog Percentage.

_______find dpMeter here.

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Audiocation AC-R128
This one is pretty darn basic and straightforward.

Stuff It Shows Us
•IL (Integrated Loudness).
•SL (Short-Term Loudness).
•ML (Momentary Loudness).
•Momentary Loudness Max.
•Integration Time.

_______find Audiocation AC-R128 here.

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Two *not free* plugins that I own which show LU readings are the HOFA IQ Analyzer (probably the one plugin I use more than any other, for its before-after spectral energy analysis capability) and the SPL Hawkeye (which I don’t actually use very much).

That’s all for today. Peace!

Dither Presets for Metal

(intro)

It’s a set of free presets for Dither, optimized for the Metal genre.

They were made for the mastering of the upcoming metal album, Lust & Insecurity by Animus Invidious.

Noise-shaping dither algorithms are theoretically optimized to “bury” the noise in the frequencies you hear least, while avoiding so much in the preeminent tonalities (in this case, distorted electric guitars focused around 2.5kHz).

Download

You can DOWNLOAD HERE and open the .fxp presets using your DAW of choice. If you happen to use Ableton Live 11, you can additionally access the .adg Racks which allow for more easy snapping-to or fine-tuning of the intensity value.

⚠️ You are also going to need to grab the free TB_Dither_v3 VST2 plugin if you don’t have it already, which has been graciously set free amongst a slew of other awesome legacy TB plugins.

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Holiday Freebie 2021 for Live 10+: “ParallAux”

Which Effects Work Best In Parallel?

So one day i got it in my head to figure out which of Ableton Live’s Effects are the best to use in parallel.

What is the criteria for this? Simply, which processes alter the phase of audio passing through them, either to the least degree, or in a nicely summable way.

Why does this matter? Because phase offsets, when summed in parallel with the original signal, will inevitably cause changes to the frequency contour. Sometimes slight amounts of this phase offset can add a nice creamy touch to the sound of things (and pretty much all analog gear causes it to some degree), but when being surgically technical like during the finalizing stages of a track, they are generally just not helpful.

An example of not altering phase at all is Live’s Compressor effect which is phase-neutral; it can be used safely in parallel with no unwanted frequency coloration whatsoever.

An example of altering the phase in a “nicely summable” way is Live’s Reverb. Technically, it’s altering the phase a whole bunch, but it’s doing so in a time-smeared fashion which results in far less likelihood of perfectly-lined-up frequency cancellations, and so, when at 100% wet, reverbs can be just fine to use in parallel, and are often preferred this way.

After carefully checking the phase response of all of Ableton Live Ten’s native Audio Effects, i came up with five distinct racks providing combinations of the most parallel-friendly native effects, optimized for specific purposes with maximal versatility of application.

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>DOWNLOAD PARALLAUX<

FREE! Requires Ableton Live 10 Suite +

>Download ParallAux PDF Manual<

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PerforModule Recommends: Effects Order

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.

Scroll to the bottom for a handy cheat-sheet!

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Organize your User Library Like a Boss ~ Live 11 Style

 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…

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 •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.

 •Further, you can yourself customize the system, adding your own bespoke categories. Read about that in part two.

 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.

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Instrument Rack (Sounds) Categories:

Ambient & Evolving
Bass
Booms
Brass

Cinematic
Effects
Exotic
Experimental
Guitar & Plucked
Mallets

MPE Sounds
Orchestral
Pad
Percussive
Piano & Keys
Strings
Synth Keys
Synth Lead
Synth Misc
Synth Rhythmic
Templates
Vintage
Voices
Winds

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Instrument Categories:

For presets of Live instruments that have not been racked.

The same as Sounds categories but with the addition of…

Components

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Audio Effect Categories:

Ambient Spaces
Amp Simulation
Clean Delay
Distortion
Drums
Filter
Formant
Hall
Instrument
Mixing & Mastering
Modulated Delay
Modulation & Rhythmic
Performance & DJ
Room
Space
Special
Vintage Delay
Vocal

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Drum Hit Categories:

Bell
Bongo
Clap
Conga
Cymbal
FX Hit

Hihat
Kick
Misc Percussion
Ride
Rim
Shaker
Snare
Snare Articulation
Tambourine
Timbales
Tom
Wood

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Midi FX Categories:

Drums
Experimental
Monophonic
Polyphonic
Rhythmic

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 That’s it for today. Check here for a nifty list of all my audio production tips & tricks thusfar. More on the way!

New PerforModule Pack: “Empathy”

EMPATHY is a pack for Ableton Live 10+ Suite containing a handful of high-end effect racks designed to consistently improve a wide possible range of audio sources passing through them. Each rack is suited to a particular purpose, with easy-to-dial-in controls. Together they provide a robust toolkit for general mixing and mastering.

Contains:

Ultimatum: “The ultimate” audio effect rack designed by PerforModule, it’s a 10-step algorithm to magically improve both the tone and dynamics of any audio source in realtime.

The One’: One-stop shop for suave, go-to tonal adjustment of tracks in a mix, with low & high cut focus, “light shine” focus, surgical slice, l-r twist, and M vs S intensity.

Auditory Miximizer: The PerforModule twist on the infamous sonic maximizer, with tastefully optimized frequency contours and dynamic reactivity. Comes in 3 versions: stereo, L-R, and M-S.

Dilation Warder: Combination gate and expander for when you want to increase the dynamic range, tighten things up, emphasize punch, and add more of a percussive staccato feel.

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Skip to the bottom of this post to check out a video overview of the Empathy by Brian Funk, or read on for a more detailed overview of each the included devices and what makes them special.

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How to Warp Songs (in 3 Simple Steps)

So what exactly is Warping?
In Ableton Live, you can warp clips, so that they will always play in-tempo along with the grid. For most general composition and mixing tasks, you don’t want to do this, as it degrades audio quality, but for live performance it’s super amazing, since you can basically combine together any audio clips you want like legos. It’s also useful for transitioning between songs in more typical “dual deck” DJ-style setups, wherein the outro of one song can seamlessly blend with the intro of the next one, with a tempo ramp between them happening along the process.

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Social Isolation Freebie: “Secret Weapon” Racks.


***Note: “Sweetie Pies” has been updated for Live 11 Suite! Grab the new version here.

(For the original version, continue below.)



While we’re going through some crazy times right now, it has been heartwarming to experience how humans have upped their compassion game in response to shared crisis. I’ve seen more freebies and crazy deals going on this past week than any other time i remember, which seems because people want to help each other, share and be nice (well, not so much a certain political faction in the usa who seems to prefer that regular people suffer as much as possible. But that’s another topic). With graciousness and care for their fellows is how humans should act, rather than trying to take advantage of each other sleazily—which happens all too much.

In this spirit, i am offering up my super secret stash of “Sweetie Pies”—a small collection of effect racks for Ableton Live Suite 10, each crafted to address a specific need in a sweet manner. These are highly practical yet fun racks with the primary purpose of “getting stuff done”.

i WAS planning on releasing this pack eventually anyways once it grew a bit more, but to expedite the process of getting you the goodies, i’ve decided to simply omit the not-quite-finished devices, give everything a good once-over, and release the pack for free as it is now.




SO WHAT ARE THESE GOODIES OF WHICH YOU SPEAK?

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