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Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks

Editing audio can often result in unwanted pops and clicks at the start and end points of audio clips. Let's take a look at how you use fades in Ableton Live to mask or mute those problems. So in Live, fades are created using automation envelopes. So if we take a look at the bass audio track I have here in the Arrangement window, I will click on the automation device chooser, and I will see that in addition to the mixer, I also have the choice of making fades. Now in this case, I have kind of set this so there aren't any fades at all in this session, and we'll talk about that as we move forward.

Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks

Editing audio can often result in unwanted pops and clicks at the start and end points of audio clips. Let's take a look at how you use fades in Ableton Live to mask or mute those problems. So in Live, fades are created using automation envelopes. So if we take a look at the bass audio track I have here in the Arrangement window, I will click on the automation device chooser, and I will see that in addition to the mixer, I also have the choice of making fades. Now in this case, I have kind of set this so there aren't any fades at all in this session, and we'll talk about that as we move forward.

But I can add a fade at the end of a phrase or the beginning of a clip to mask any of those unwanted pops or clicks. And by the way, those occur because of imprecise audio editing. And down below here in the Clip Overview window, I have actually zoomed in a little bit. And I just want to show you that the waveform that we see when we are really zoomed in centers around this line that goes through the middle, and that's called the zero line. And that represents no amplitude. When you make a cut to an audio file, you will always want to do that right at a zero crossing-- and a zero crossings is where the actual waveform crosses the zero line-- because at that point there's no amplitude.

If you don't do that, that's when we end up with these clicks or pops. And when you're editing in a hurry, that's often the result. But as we said, we can get rid of that in Live by using fades. So I am going to click up here at the end of this particular clip. I am going to use my Plus button to zoom in a little bit. That's Plus over on the num pad. And now to add a fade to the end of this clip, all I need to do is drag across the end of the clip. Please notice that I have actually temporarily disabled the grid. And that's Command+4 on a Mac or Ctrl+4 on a PC to do that.

So I'll make a selection across there. And then I'm going to add a fade using the command Option+Command+F on a Mac or Alt+Ctrl+F on a PC. And that adds the shape to the automation envelope here. At the top, we have the main handle that allows us to select that fade, and then we have a second handle down here that allows us to change the slope of that fade. So if I want the volume to fade down more quickly, I can change that. I can also change the length of the fade by grabbing the upper handle and dragging them more into the file or towards the end of the clip.

Let me zoom back out. Let's find a place where two clips come together. So I will zoom in there. Same thing, Plus button. Now if make a selection across where two clips join and use the same command-- Option+Command+F on a Mac or Alt+Ctrl+ F on a PC--I have added a crossfade. And again, we have now two handles to adjust the lengths of those and the slopes. So it's a smart tool, in effect, that if I make that selection across the beginning of a clip, I will get a fade- in, and if I make that selection across or two clips join a crossfade and again across the end of the clip, a fade-out.

Now most of the time, you will actually come into your audio, and you'll have fades automatically added. And that's through your preference selections. So I am going to open my preferences, going Command+Comma on a Mac--that would be Ctrl+Comma on a PC. And you will notice that we have an option here on the Record Warp Launch tab that says Create Fades on Clip Edges. So if I turn that on, that will automatically add fades on any clips that are on your tracks. And by the way, those are audio clips only.

Don't need fades on your MIDI clips. Now if you want to delete a clip, we actually need to turn that preference off. So I am going to go back in there temporarily, and I will disable that preference. Let me zoom back out for a second. I am going to go end of that region. Let me zoom back in. Now to delete a fade, all I need to do is select that upper handle and hit my Delete key, and it's gone. In some cases, reduced audio quality is a desired effect. But with today's audio editing tools, pops and clicks that are a result from poor or hurried audio editing are inexcusable.

So don't forget to add fades to your audio clips.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Ableton Live 8 Essential Training
Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

69 video lessons · 16901 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 30s
    1. Welcome
      49s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 8m 43s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      4m 13s
    2. Choosing the right gear and setting up a system
      4m 30s
  3. 12m 59s
    1. Setting up audio preferences
      3m 54s
    2. Setting up MIDI preferences
      3m 31s
    3. Optimizing performance
      5m 34s
  4. 35m 42s
    1. Understanding Session view
      8m 7s
    2. Working with Live browsers
      5m 3s
    3. Working with Live clips
      7m 57s
    4. Understanding clip properties
      7m 52s
    5. Working with Live scenes
      6m 43s
  5. 28m 16s
    1. Building Live Sets and projects
      4m 25s
    2. Learning Live file management
      4m 2s
    3. Exporting content from Live
      7m 32s
    4. Importing and exporting Live Packs
      3m 17s
    5. Searching for and auditioning clips
      4m 58s
    6. Setting up frequently accessed folders
      4m 2s
  6. 23m 3s
    1. Preparing to record MIDI
      5m 51s
    2. Recording and overdubbing MIDI
      4m 32s
    3. Working with alternate MIDI entry methods
      6m 49s
    4. Using multi-output virtual instruments
      5m 51s
  7. 24m 26s
    1. The MIDI Editor
      4m 49s
    2. Quantizing MIDI data
      6m 6s
    3. Advanced MIDI editing
      6m 49s
    4. Setting up groove in editing
      6m 42s
  8. 9m 18s
    1. Preparing to record
      5m 0s
    2. Recording audio
      4m 18s
  9. 22m 37s
    1. Understanding Arrangement view
      3m 41s
    2. Recording in Arrangement view
      3m 51s
    3. Recording from Session view to Arrangement view
      5m 21s
    4. Reworking clips
      9m 44s
  10. 27m 57s
    1. Understanding Live's mixer
      12m 38s
    2. Using sends and returns
      3m 47s
    3. Building headphone cues
      3m 49s
    4. Grouping tracks
      7m 43s
  11. 43m 14s
    1. Working with effect devices
      4m 56s
    2. Understanding EQ and filters
      7m 14s
    3. Using compressors and dynamic processors
      7m 28s
    4. Building interesting effects with delay effect processing
      8m 18s
    5. Using reverb effectively
      8m 22s
    6. Setting up side chain effects easily
      6m 56s
  12. 15m 37s
    1. Creating rhythmic patterns with the Arpeggiator effect
      8m 38s
    2. Building background parts with the Chord and Scale effects
      6m 59s
  13. 25m 24s
    1. Building automation patterns
      8m 44s
    2. Editing existing automation information
      5m 3s
    3. Using fades to mask audio pops and clicks
      4m 10s
    4. Understanding the power of clip envelopes
      7m 27s
  14. 20m 17s
    1. Understanding the basics of looping
      6m 54s
    2. Creating tracks that loop smoothly
      7m 50s
    3. Using warp features to quantize audio
      5m 33s
  15. 17m 47s
    1. Using the computer keyboard to control Live
      6m 39s
    2. Mapping device controls to the MIDI keyboard
      4m 36s
    3. Using Live's instant mapping feature
      6m 32s
  16. 10m 44s
    1. Exporting audio
      5m 37s
    2. Freezing tracks
      5m 7s
  17. 20m 45s
    1. Building with the Impulse virtual instrument
      11m 35s
    2. Working with the Simpler virtual instrument
      9m 10s
  18. 36m 22s
    1. Overview of Live racks
      10m 13s
    2. Combining instruments and effects into a single device
      8m 22s
    3. Adding effects with Drum Rack
      11m 28s
    4. Assigning rack parameters to macros
      6m 19s
  19. 13m 53s
    1. Setting up ReWire with Pro Tools
      7m 3s
    2. Setting up ReWire with Logic
      6m 50s
  20. 33m 43s
    1. Preparing audio clips with the Warp tool
      14m 31s
    2. Triggering clips using follow actions
      8m 9s
    3. Using Live as a sound source
      11m 3s
  21. 7m 21s
    1. Working with video files
      7m 21s
  22. 37s
    1. Further Recommendations
      37s

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