Sometimes the simplest things are the most useful… introducing the free “Utilification” Ableton Live Pack

Here’s a {free} ableton live pack of effects that are made for simple yet extremely useful purposes, including fading, stereo panning, m/s encoding and decoding,.

It is highly recommended to grab these and implement them into your Ableton Live library.



Audio FX

“-inf to +0 Fader” — just like it says, this is a simple fader from negative infinity to zero decibels. When you want a quick and easy volume knob that goes all the way to silence and maxes out with no boost (unlike the “utility” device), use this.

“LR to MS Controller” — this will switch a Left-Right Stereo file to transmit its left channel as the sides and its right channel as the center, or you can swap those results so the right is the sides and the left becomes the center.
You can then tilt the center and sides channels, mute them, and alter their levels.

“MS to LR Controller” — this will switch a Mid-Side Stereo file to transmit its sides channel as the left and its center channel as the right, or you can swap those results so the center is the left and the sides becomes the right.
You can then tilt the left and right channels, mute them, and alter their levels.

[an example of using these controllers would be to make an MS recording into LR to be able to apply a stereo effect to it, then to return it back to MS again]

“Instant Muter” — Mutes the audio, plain and simple, the moment the knob is moved above its minimum value. Use this to be able to easily interrupt the audio flow wherever you want within a chain.

“Stereo Panner” — Allows for “stereo panning”. Using clever routing, this allows non-exclusive panning of audio wherein the content from the opposite side is moved over rather than being faded out (while maintaining overall level). This allows for more natural-sounding panning of stereo sources without losing material.
[For example, let’s say you have a stereo track with a guitar panned hard to the left side and a piano panned hard to the right. Normally if you use a pan knob to move right, the guitar sound would be lost. With this, panning right will gradually move the guitar over to the right along with the piano, rather than removing it.]

“Phase Adjust” — Select among 4 phase-flip options with one knob, and implement micro-delay to align waveforms more carefully, either between the source and the mix or between the left and right halves of the source.

“Utilify” — “Swiss army knife” which includes most of the above devices in one rack.  Use this as a more robust replacement for Ableton’s built-in Utility effect.

—>>> Download “Utilification” for Ableton Live 9+ <<<—

Free Ableton Live Pack: Midi Dynamics

Midi Dynamics BrowserPresenting Midi Dynamics, the latest PerforModule free pack.

It includes 4 simple yet useful devices specifically for controlling midi dynamics, and one silly device with various fun-ctions. Click image to grab!

Midi Dynamics

Included Devices:

Midi Compressor
Smooth out too-loud midi instrumentation.
Use this like you would an audio compressor, to attenuate midi notes which exceed a certain velocity. All notes exceeding the threshold will be attenuated. The further past the threshold it is and the higher the amount is set, the more a note will be attenuated. Notes below the threshold velocity will not be affected at all.
Example usage: Playing a synth instrument melody in which notes above a certain velocity become too harsh-sounding due to a filter resonance tied to the velocity. Use the midi compressor to soften only those too-harsh notes. 

Midi Expander
Smooth out too-quiet midi instrumention.
Use this like you would an audio expander, to boost midi notes which are below a certain velocity. All notes under the threshold will be boosted. The further below the threshold it is and the higher the amount is set, the more a note will be boosted. Notes above the threshold velocity will not be affected at all.
Example Usage: Trying out a melody with a different synth instrument, and the quietest notes are now much quieter than they were previously due to the new instrument’s velocity mappings. Changing the mappings or note velocities would take too much time so you just use the midi expander to lift up the quietest notes.  

[Midi Compressor and Expander Special Notes: You can use Live’s “Velocity” device by itself to attenuate or boost overall note velocity; however these devices are useful for more precise and careful dynamics control, by using the threshold to set a cutoff point. Notes nearby other notes do not affect each other’s response the way an audio compressor’s transients do, so imagine them as if they have perfectly fast & noiseless attack and release.]

Set the velocity to a specific value.
Use this when you want rigid control of the velocity of an instrument, to be able to use a knob or automation to set the level at any moment to an exact setting. This overrides input velocity and all velocity effects prior to it in the chain.

Velocity RNG
Add in a bit of random fluctuation to an instrument’s velocity.
At small amounts, this will add in a bit of “humanization” and make the playback of instruments less robotic sounding. At higher settings it will vary more sporadically, until at maximum, a note of any input velocity may result in an output of any possible velocity. Tip: record a midi track with little or no dynamic variation into another midi track, routed through this device at a low setting. The new midi track will now have random difference applied to each note.

This is a rack with various tools to quickly alter a midi instrument’s input. Macros include:
Mutant DNA: adds in a random chance that played notes will instead “improvise” and play a different note. The higher the control is set, the more chance of a mutant note, and the further away from its original value it might stray.
Force Scale? Key Major … Minor?: optionally implement a scale selector to force all notes to conform to a chosen major or minor key. Niftily see the choices in the macro control’s numerical box.
High Octave+ … Low Octave+: Blend in added octave notes (Make sure the instrument you are using has enough voices enabled to cover the added notes).
Random Velocity: adds in velocity flux just like the “Velocity RNG” device.
Dynamics: the default position for this is in the middle (63.5). Turn this up to drive overall note velocity; turn it down to soften overall note velocity.

CLICK HERE to grab the stuff!

Handy Tip: Custom Metronome Sounds in Ableton

Sick of the default Ableton metronome sound?

Since it is already described more eloquently than i could, i recommend Sonic Bloom’s nifty guide:

Do that thing.

Here’s what my current metronome sounds like.


Handy Ableton Tip – Change a Macro Name After It’s Been Mapped.

You may have noticed that after you map a macro knob to another macro, you can then no longer rename it either by clicking on it and pressing [CMD-R (mac) / CTRL-R (windows)] or by right-clicking it and selecting “rename” — the context menu option disappears for that macro =(
As long as you have at least one unmapped macro in the rack, click on an unmapped macro. Then press “Tab” until the macro whose name you want to change is highlighted.
You are free to rename it as you like now…sweet!
If the macro it is nested to is currently unnamed, its name will reflect the new change as well.


I went a long time working in Ableton before realizing you can do this, so maybe it slipped under some other radars as well, so i figured i’d pass it along as a quick tip. If you make your own Racks all the time like me being able to rename a macro after it has been mapped if desired is quite useful.

That’s all for today… more heady packs in development.


Updated set of free special racks to economize cpu: “The Enablerz”

“The Enablerz”

The Enablerz browser image
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.The Enablerz - Track

Continue reading

Handy Ableton Tip – Macro Default Positions

You already know that you can hit the “delete” key on any parameter in a device to return it to its default position (or, in Live 10, double-click it).

But did you know that if you save a preset as a rack and then tweak a macro (after re-opening the version you saved), you can hit “delete” to return to whatever YOU set as the default position for it?

When you hit “Delete” on a macro of a plugin (Ableton Core or VST/AU), it returns to that plugin’s default position, which cannot be changed (set per plugin device).

So like if you drop Ableton’s “Chorus” effect on a track and mess with parameters and hit “Delete” on them, they will return to the Chorus Device’s default positions for those parameters. But sometimes you may not like having those pre-chosen values as the defaults to snap back to. The solution is to use Racks!

For saved rack presets in your library, the “Delete” key on one of the 8 macro knobs will return the value of a given macro knob to the position it was set at when it was saved (the “default position”).

[Note this does NOT work with the chain selector or chain volumes. Hitting “Delete” on the chain selector returns it to 0 and hitting “Delete” on any chain volumes returns them to 0db.]

So let’s say i make a preset for a VST EQ Audio Effect and set the “Mids” to +0 Gain as default at the exact half range (63.5). Then if i tweak the mids macro up or down and want to return to 0, instead of typing “63.5” in the macro or try to line it up with the mouse, just hit “Delete”! Way easier.

1) Saved Preset
Default Macro Positions 1

2) Tweaked Macro

Default Macro Positions 2




3)”Delete” key snaps it back to default!

Default Macro Positions 3




(the display rounds to nearest whole #… in this case 63.5 reads as 63)


How to Organize User & Plugin Presets Like a Boss in Ableton 9 Using the Hidden Architecture

Problem: Hot-swapping… have to navigate to all these different folders. Wah! So annoying. End up neglecting certain folders of presets due to their unfortunate locations. Presets get sad and lonely, and begin to wither.

Ableton 9 has a built-in secret “Folder Architecture”. Fiddling around with how things appear in the browser i discovered that if you make a folder with the same name as one of the built-in categories (for instance: “Amp Simulation”) in your User Library Presets folders, any presets in that folder will appear in the respective folder of the same name in the “Categories” pane of the browser (instrument, drum, audio effect, or midi effect racks). Customizing this way provides more unified access to all factory and user-created content in the same location, which makes my life easier. If i want an amp coloration effect preset, for instance, i have one single folder i can open up where i see all user AND factory presets (and even vst and max for live presets) all in one nice list together, easy to hot-swap and preview amongst. How to do this? Simply save files in your user library, organized however you like, but in folders with specific names. That’s all! The text has to be verbatim. There are only certain folder names you can use, which i figured out with experimentation.  Continue reading