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Using Impulse as a multi-output instrument

From: Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

Video: Using Impulse as a multi-output instrument

The output from drum loops and some software instruments results in a single stereo signal. Which does not allow the independent signal processing that's almost always required to dial in a good drum sound. Let's take a look at how you can set up Impulse as a multi-output device and add signal processing to the members of the drum set. So I've got an impulse preset loaded on this first track, and to set up multiple outputs, I need to create several audio tracks. So I'm going to use the key command Cmd+T, that would be Ctrl+T on a PC, and I'm going to select those tracks that I just created by shift-selecting their names.

Using Impulse as a multi-output instrument

The output from drum loops and some software instruments results in a single stereo signal. Which does not allow the independent signal processing that's almost always required to dial in a good drum sound. Let's take a look at how you can set up Impulse as a multi-output device and add signal processing to the members of the drum set. So I've got an impulse preset loaded on this first track, and to set up multiple outputs, I need to create several audio tracks. So I'm going to use the key command Cmd+T, that would be Ctrl+T on a PC, and I'm going to select those tracks that I just created by shift-selecting their names.

And I'm going to go down to the audio from chooser, and I'm going to click on that. And I'm going to set the input to come from the impulse track. Then I'm going to go to the individual chooser, the second one. And I'm going to set that to the individual instruments. So, I'll set the first one to kick, and then snare. And as I did that, I was making a mistake. I still have the track name selected. So you'll see that they're all set to snare. So I need to deselect that. So I've only got one track.

And now I can go back to do this correctly. So let's go kick snare there already. And I'll make that one Clap and then Tom, then that Clock noise, and that Synth section, and so I can see a few more of these tracks. I'm going to hover my cursor in the right edge of one of these tracks, then hold down my Option key and then I'll drag to the right, and that will change the track width of all these tracks on this side here.

So let me set the next one to Synth section and then I need two more tracks, so again, I'll use the key command, Cmd+T, or Ctrl+T on PC to add those last two tracks. Again, I'll set that to impulse and then I'll hit closed Impulse and high hat open. Now in order to hear these tracks, I need to set them all to input monitoring because there isn't any audio on the clip slots on these tracks.

I need to monitor the audio that's flowing out of impulse through the tracks. I'll put that in and now as I press the keys on my key board. I should be able to hear that and let me just make sure that this, first track is Record Enabled to do that. Here we go. (music playing) So you see the individual elements coming on to their separate tracks. Now, to keep organized here, I'm going to go up on that first track and I'm going to rename that using the key Command, Cmd+R, that'll be Ctrl+R on a PC.

And we'll call this first one kick and now I'm going to hit my Tab key that then moves to the next one. And I'll call this Snare, Claps, Tom, Clock, Synth, closed high hat, and open high hat. Hit my return key to finish there. And again, I'm going to make those track widths, just a little bit narrower. So I'm going to grab that, pull that over. That makes it a little bit easier to look at.

What are some of the additional benefits that we get here? I'll just start off with instead of having to go down onto the software instrument and set the pan and volume for each slot there, I can now actually do it on the individual tracks. So, let's just say that the kick is a little bit too loud, the snare, that's just fine. Claps are okay. This one term I want to pan that to the left so I click in there and then drag down and the high hats, I want to pan those over onto the right side. These two sounds are little bit loud so I will pull those back so I can make individual settings.

Also, I can use independent signal processing. So, I'm going to go into my audio effects area and let me get rid of that search that was up there. So I can see my different devices and I'll go into the compressor section. And let me pull down, I think there is a kick compress. There is, so let me drag and drop that on the kick track. And on the snare track I can grab this snare preset for compression, and then let me go to the EQ. So there's EQ 8, and I'm going to drop a EQ on the kick track and I'm going to move that over before the compressor. And often times, I'll suck a little bit out right around about 2-, 225 Hz, 250, somewhere in that range.

Tighten the cue just a little bit, pull that down, and maybe pull up, just to get a little bit of snap, around 2K, and again I'll tighten the cue just a little bit. So I've got signal processing set independently for the kick and the snare. And I can work on each one of these individually. Now as a group, I can add reverb so on this return track A. I'm going to go down and go into the reverb category.

And there's a sub folder there for room sounds. And I just happen to know that there is a drum reverb preset. And I'll drag and drop that onto the first return track. So now I can add independent reverb. So, if I don't want any on the kick, I just won't add any, if I want more on the snare. I'll pull up the synd a little bit, collapse I'm going to want maybe the same thing, and maybe just a little bit to warm up the high hats, and maybe these sounds need just a little bit. So now as I play this clip that I have here on this first track, we should hear all of this with a little bit of signal processing and reverb. Let's check it out.

(music playing) And you can hear reverb especially on the snare and claps. And we can see that I had some return signal on the track because of the signal that I had copied from this first scene. Now one of the trick that I often like to do is to use parallel compression on another return track. So I'm going to go back into the compressor area and I'm going to drop a default compressor on to the return track B and lets hold the threshold down on that often times. I'll really step on that one.

Let me put that around nine or ten to one. And I'll often also EQ this. So let me grab an EQ 8. And I'll drop that on a track before the compressor. And I'm going to change this bottom onto this active here into a low shelving filter. So that as I add a little gain on that, flatten the queue out, move the frequency over, and I'll do the opposite over here on the other side, turn that into a high shelving filter. And let me add a little gain, and again flatten the queue there. So I'm just going to boost the lows and the highs a little bit. So in the end, the sound that I'm going to create over here is going to be very compressed, and the low and the high end are going to be hyped. But I can use the fader to just mix that back in subtly. So, I'm going to pull this back a little bit, and then I'm going to add just a little bit of everything here.

And then so that I can hear what we've got here without having to listen to the rest of the tracks. I'm going to go ahead and set this up as a pre fader send then I can mute this first track and I should just hear what's coming through the return track. Let's check it out. (music playing) And now I can put the whole thing together. (music playing) And as I pulled that down, you could hear that it was not as dramatic a drum sound and as I lifted up you could hear that the low end and the kick was emphasized.

Over here on the master fader, we did see that there was a little bit of red showing, so I'd have to either be careful of my levels on the individual tracks. Or pull back the parallel compression that I've set up here on this last return track or you might want to drop a limiter onto your master track. The last thing you might do just to keep organized would be to select all of these tracks and group them. So, let me go ahead and shift-click there and then right-click on any one of these and choose group tracks from the Contextual menu. And now, I get this drum group which I'll rename Drums, so that, as I get too many tracks out here, I can just click the fold buttton. And when I don't need to work with the individual drums, I've got this overall drum track to work with.

So, setting up impulse, as a multi output device, is not hard to do and it offers a great deal of flexibilty and control on how the signals are routed and the effects that can be used.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 9 Essential Training
Ableton Live 9 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 11577 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
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  1. 2m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Using the exercise files
      43s
    3. What you need to know
      47s
  2. 7m 44s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      3m 31s
  3. 11m 8s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      4m 0s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      2m 44s
    3. Optimizing performance
      4m 24s
  4. 38m 55s
    1. Nonlinear sequencing with Session view
      3m 42s
    2. Understanding the Session view window
      5m 8s
    3. Exploring the Live browser
      5m 49s
    4. Loading and playing clips
      4m 35s
    5. Moving and copying clips
      2m 55s
    6. Working with clip properties
      8m 17s
    7. Working with scenes
      8m 29s
  5. 24m 15s
    1. Using the browser
      4m 56s
    2. Searching for and auditioning clips and devices
      4m 19s
    3. Working with Live sets and projects
      4m 16s
    4. Managing files in Live
      3m 12s
    5. Exporting clips and devices
      7m 32s
  6. 33m 0s
    1. What is a software instrument?
      6m 29s
    2. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 0s
    3. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 47s
    4. Using a computer keyboard to enter MIDI
      5m 26s
    5. Utilizing the pencil to enter MIDI notes
      5m 45s
    6. Taking advantage of third-party and multi-output MIDI devices
      5m 33s
  7. 33m 22s
    1. Navigating and zooming in the MIDI Editor
      5m 29s
    2. Configuring the MIDI Editor grid
      5m 2s
    3. Selecting and quantizing MIDI
      5m 3s
    4. Quantizing with grooves
      7m 23s
    5. Editing pitch and note duration
      6m 1s
    6. Editing MIDI velocities
      4m 24s
  8. 10m 10s
    1. Preparing to record audio
      5m 43s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 27s
  9. 34m 22s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      4m 10s
    2. Zooming in and out and playing in Arrangement view
      4m 46s
    3. Recording in Arrangement view
      4m 4s
    4. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 22s
    5. Adding and using locators
      3m 32s
    6. Copying, duplicating, and editing clips in Arrangement view
      5m 53s
    7. Reworking clips
      6m 35s
  10. 25m 35s
    1. Understanding the mixer
      7m 36s
    2. Using sends and returns
      6m 52s
    3. Building headphone cues
      4m 58s
    4. Grouping tracks
      6m 9s
  11. 41m 7s
    1. Working with effect devices
      5m 59s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 30s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      6m 26s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      7m 20s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 5s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      5m 47s
  12. 11m 15s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      6m 3s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      5m 12s
  13. 11m 44s
    1. Mapping keys with Keymap mode
      4m 12s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      3m 16s
    3. Using the instant mapping feature
      4m 16s
  14. 31m 51s
    1. Recording real-time automation
      6m 24s
    2. Drawing automation manually
      7m 48s
    3. Automating clips in Session view
      8m 36s
    4. Editing existing automation information
      4m 57s
    5. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 6s
  15. 20m 59s
    1. Understanding the basics of warping
      8m 43s
    2. Creating clips that loop smoothly
      6m 37s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 39s
  16. 10m 12s
    1. Exporting audio from Live
      6m 29s
    2. Freezing tracks
      3m 43s
  17. 42m 22s
    1. Exploring Impulse
      5m 5s
    2. Using Impulse as a multi-output instrument
      9m 15s
    3. Getting the most out of Impulse instrument parameters
      6m 23s
    4. Exploring Simpler
      7m 50s
    5. Smoothing sample start and end points in Simpler
      6m 32s
    6. Tweaking the parameters of Simpler
      7m 17s
  18. 36m 55s
    1. Unlocking the power of FX racks
      10m 48s
    2. Utilizing instrument racks
      10m 13s
    3. Creating drum racks
      9m 50s
    4. Working with rack macros
      6m 4s
  19. 10m 22s
    1. Introducing Max for Live
      4m 52s
    2. Exploring the Mono Sequencer in Max for Live
      5m 30s
  20. 5m 54s
    1. Working with video files
      5m 54s

    1. Next steps
      24s

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