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Ableton Live 8 Essential Training with Rick Schmunk offers a comprehensive overview of Ableton's live audio and MIDI sequencing software and the techniques required to compose, record, and edit music, in real time, on stage, or in the studio. The course includes tutorials on compiling live sets from audio and MIDI clips, loops, or samples, applying MIDI effects, warping audio, and recording and producing songs in any number of contemporary styles. Exercise files are included with the course.
So, no song is complete without adding reverb and creating a sense of space. In this video, we'll learn how to use sends and return tracks, so that multiple tracks can access a reverb or delay plug-in device. Now, effects placed on audio or MIDI tracks only affect the signal output from that track. That's great for effects like EQs and compressors, but other effects are more CPU intensive and are more effective when shared between two or more tracks. I can do that using a send. A send is a virtual wire that allows us to copy signal from a track, or tracks, and pick it up at a different location.
In this case, the send A connects over to return track A. I can copy signal then by just turning up the knob here on that track, and that will be copied onto a virtual wire--by the way we call that a bus--and then that will dump over onto this return track and run through any effects that are placed on that track. So let me go over here into my Reverb Audio Effects category. I'm going to grab one of these and drop that on the track. So we can see the reverb down here. And importantly, you want to make sure that you set the Dry/Wet percentage to 100% wet.
That means that we'll have only process signal coming out this return track. That's good because the dry signal, or unprocessed signal, will come through the tracks themselves, and then we can balance the amount of reverb we want by turning up the send and then adjusting the master return level, which is going to be the fader on the return track. I can also differentiate between how much reverb I want from one track to the next by simply sending more signal from a track that I want to get more reverb on.
So let's turn up this #4 track here that far, and we'll turn up this one about like that. When I hit Play, we should see level on this track. (Music playing.) And we do. So if I want more or less, again, I'll just turn up more or less send on that track. And then in the end, if I've got too much total reverb, I can just adjust that by pulling that down--or if I want more, pushing it up. Now delay effects are frequently used in the same manner.
So I've got a B return track over here, and I'm going to go into my effects. Again, let's go into the delays. Find Ping Pong Delay. So I'll grab one of those. I'll just grab the default and drop that on the return track. And again I need to make sure that my Dry/Wet percentage is set to 100% wet. Now, I'll use the B send for the tracks that I want to delay to. So if I want to add some on the Robo Scat track and the pad #6 track there, I'll do that.
Again, when I hit Play, we should see now a signal on the Ping Pong Track. (Music playing.) There you go. Also, note that I've set the Ping Pong Delay. I've got Sync on, which means that it's sinking to the tempo of the session. And then I'll set the delay time in this one by choosing one of these numbers between one and 16. That's in terms of 16th notes. So if I want an eighth note delay, I'll put it on two, and that will give me two 16th notes. Now if I want to use additional sends, in Ableton they are essentially glued to the return track.
So if I create a return track, I'll get its associated send. So now you'll see that I've got a return track C, and I've got an additional row now of sends on all the tracks that are labeled C. You can do that for a total of 12 return tracks. So now that you know how to set up a send and return track for use with effects, experiment with adding reverb and delay to your Live Sets.
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