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Using multi-output virtual instruments

From: Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

Video: Using multi-output virtual instruments

It's likely that you'll find third-party effects in virtual instruments that you'll want to add to your Ableton Live projects. Some third-party virtual instruments are very sophisticated and allow you to route their audio outputs to multiple tracks. Let's take a look at how you would set this up in Ableton Live. Okay, so I've get a MIDI track here. I'm going to go ahead and load a plug-in on there. I'm now in my plug-in devices, which would be my third-party devices. I've got some audio units--Apples and Spectrasonics and so on so forth--and I'm going to grab Omnisphere and drag it onto the MIDI track. It will take just a second to load. Okay. And there we go. And I'm going to load some presets into this particular plug.

Using multi-output virtual instruments

It's likely that you'll find third-party effects in virtual instruments that you'll want to add to your Ableton Live projects. Some third-party virtual instruments are very sophisticated and allow you to route their audio outputs to multiple tracks. Let's take a look at how you would set this up in Ableton Live. Okay, so I've get a MIDI track here. I'm going to go ahead and load a plug-in on there. I'm now in my plug-in devices, which would be my third-party devices. I've got some audio units--Apples and Spectrasonics and so on so forth--and I'm going to grab Omnisphere and drag it onto the MIDI track. It will take just a second to load. Okay. And there we go. And I'm going to load some presets into this particular plug.

So I've got the first slot selected. I will click the file browser, and let's grab keyboard. Lets check out that sounds like. I'll grab that one. Then I'll click third slot, and let's get one more. Okay, now if I click on the Multi button here, I'll see that I've actually loaded these three presets into different slots. And over here on the little header at the beginning, I can see that this little setting here tells me that MIDI channel one is assigned to this one, MIDI channel two to this one, and MIDI channel three to that one.

Okay, let me close the plug for a second. So if I play on the first track that I've got created here, I should hear the sound that I load on the first slot in Omnisphere. (Music playing.) Okay, so I only hear one sound. Now, I am going to create two more MIDI tracks. Command+Shift+T on a Mac or Ctrl+Shift+T on a PC, and I've got two more MIDI tracks. What I need to do is route my output over to Omnisphere, so I'll go to the MIDI 2 chooser, select Omnisphere, and then on the separate subset MIDI channel, I'll put the second one on Channel 2 and the third one on Channel 3.

So if I put this track in record, I should hear the second one. (Bass playing.) And the third track, the third sound. (Choir singing.) So I've got all three being accessed from my MIDI tracks, but you'll notice that each time I play the audio is actually coming out the first track. So what I need to do is I need to create a couple more audio tracks that I can use as returns coming back from Omnisphere. So I'm going to go back into the plug, and to do that I'm going to click on the track. And when the Omnisphere plug-in shows up down here in Device view, I can click on this little gear to actually open the plug-in window.

Sometimes that takes a second. You have to be patient. So on each one of these presets, I've also got an output setting. And the first is currently set to A, and if you look down they are all set to A. That's why they're all are coming up that first track. So I'll set the second one to output B and then next one to output C. Then I can close the plug again. Now, I'm going to select that second MIDI track, and I'm going to create an audio track next to it, and that's can be Command+T on a Mac or Ctrl+T on a PC. And I can come down now to the Audio from, and I want to set that to get the audio from Omnisphere. So I'll choose Omnisphere as the device, and then I'll choose Omnisphere 3-4, and that's going to equal the Outputs B. Outputs A are actually coming through this first track.

Then I'll select this third MIDI track, and again, I'll create another audio return track and set its device input to Omnisphere, and then choose five and six, which is going to be the Output C coming from Omnisphere. Now, to actually hear these, I'm going to need to put these audio tracks in Input Monitoring. So if I record-enable the first track, I should hear that piano-- (Piano playing.) and I do. If I record-enable the second MIDI track, I should hear the second preset.

(Bass playing.) Good. And the third track, the third preset. (Choir singing.) So some advantages to these setup is now I can do my mixing here in Live. If I want to add reverb, just bring up my sends by clicking on the Sends button, and then I can add reverb by bringing up a little bit of level, and then I do have a reverb located over here on the return track. Additionally, if I want to EQ any one of these tracks, all I need to do is add a plug-in on its audio return.

So, for example, on this Bass track, I can go into my Device browser, come up and find a compressor, and drop that on the track. So the MIDI that I play will then be send to the plug-in that's sitting over here on his first track, and the audio that's returning from this MIDI will route through this second audio track and then through this compressor. So you can see that I've now got five tracks going for these three different presets. And that's only three of the eight that I can load in Omnisphere, so that could get rather messy.

So one of the things you might want to consider doing is actually selecting these tracks by clicking in their title bars and then right-clicking and choosing Group Tracks from the contextual menu. That way I'll have one track that controls the overall output coming from all of these presets in Omnisphere, and then when I don't need to see this I can actually fold the tracks down into the group, so I'm only looking at one track. So now that you know how to set up a multiple-output virtual instrument in Live, you can add your favorite third-party plug-ins to your next Ableton Live Project.

And thanks to Eric Persing and my friends at Spectrasonics for allowing me to use Omnisphere as part of this demonstration.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Ableton Live 8 Essential Training

69 video lessons · 16991 viewers

Rick Schmunk
Author

 
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  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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