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What a musician hears when they record has a big impact on the success of the performance. In this video, we'll learn how to set up a headphone cue in Ableton Live. So, headphone cues can be set up a couple of different ways. The first method, we'll go to the master track, and we'll use the cue method that's available there. And you'll notice that I have a Solo button. Now, if I click that, it turns into the Cue button. At the same time you notice that these Solo buttons over here turned into little headphones, or cues. So anything that I now turn on with those will be fed into the headphone cue, and you can enable multiple tracks from the headphone cue by Command+Clicking on them.
I'm also going to include the reverb here by Command+Clicking on this return track. Now what I need to do is I need to go up and I need to set the Cue Output chooser to a different pair of outputs than I'm sending the master output to. I'm able to do that because I have a multi-output interface. Let's take a look at Preferences. And go Command+Comma to open that up-- that would be Ctrl+Comma on a PC--and I go to the Audio Output Device. And if I click the Config button, we'll notice that my interface has four outputs enabled right now.
So three and four are going to be my cue output. Now if you have an interface that only has two outputs, you actually won't be able to that. You have to have a multi-output interface. So I'll close that. I've got those three tracks enabled for the cue, and I've got the cue set to the out. That's good. And now I can control the total amount of signal by dialing in on this knob here. And the in first time you check this, you might want to make sure that you turn it down, so it's not too loud. So I'll go ahead and hit play.
(Music playing.) Okay, we see that we've got signal happening there for the cue. Now in this particular example, or this method of setting up a headphone cue, the levels that are set in are the identical levels that are on the tracks--or I should say the mix is identical to what's being heard in the control room. Another way to do that is to not use this built-in cuing. So I've gone back. I am going to put those on solo, so that we are back to Normal mode. And I've got an additional return track here, A return.
I've also set that to outputs three and four. Now I can get signal onto this track by going ahead and turning on the send. If I want more drums than bass, I'll turn that up and turn the bass down a little bit. I'm also going to add a little bit here on the return track, going on to that same send. I'm also going to set the send to be pre-fader. The reason I'm going to do that is because as I copy the signal onto the send, it's not going to be affected by the position of the faders on the tracks; therefore if I am working in the control room, and I make a volume change on a track, it won't affect what's been set into the headphone cue.
The fastest way to get a musician to stop playing is to actually change a level on a track during playback, so that they can hear it in their headphones. So now with the pre-fader send, I can do that, but since I'm picking off the signal on the send before the fader, that won't be heard in the headphone cue. Okay. So I've got that send A set to go over to this return track, which I've set to the additional outputs three and four. I've got those set pre-send, and now I can control the total amount total amount of signal that's been copied onto that, and sent to the headphone cue by using this fader on this track over here.
So if I go ahead and click to play we should see signal on this track. (Music playing.) Okay. So setting up a cue for recording is a crucial but often overlooked part of making a recording. Now you know two ways to create a cue in Live and should be able to make the crankiest of musicians comfortable in your next live recording session.
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