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- View Offline
- Setting up plugins and projects
- Creating a drumbeat
- Converting audio to MIDI
- Recording vocals
- Warping and editing clips
- Adding effects
- Using time commands
- Working with the mixer
- Using side chain compression
- Adding reverb and delay
- Mixing dynamically with automation
- Mastering a song
Skill Level Beginner
Ableton Live comes packed with audio effects and media effects. Since they are built in, they are very CPU-efficient, so don't be afraid to experiment with a lot of effects. The CPU meter can be found on the top right-corner of Ableton Live's screen. Let's start adding some effects. In the browser let's go to Audio Effect. Let's scroll down and let's drag a phaser to our Reverse Guitar. We will see it in the Device view. Remember, we have the Clip view, which will show us what's inside the clip, and we have the Device view, where we will see all the signal chain or all the effects that we are going to add to the audio or media track.
Go ahead and change around Parameters. Don't worry if you don't know what each one of them is doing. This is your time to be creative. And if you want to know more about each parameter, you can use the Info view or you can go to Help and read the live manual. So let's start out the Reverse Guitar and play with some parameters. (music playing) Live also comes with two effects designed for guitars: Amp and Cabinet.
Let's add them to our lead guitar. First I am going to go to Amp and going to drag it to our Lead Guitar. And I am also going to drag Cabinet right afterwards. Let's solo the Lead Guitar. Let's click on the clip and hit Command+L or Ctrl+L to loop that section, and I am going to play with some parameters. Let's play it. (music playing) Thanks to Live modular concept, we can easily change the position of the effects and rearrange them and change the sound.
So let's see how the cabinet sounds when it's in front of the amp. (music playing) I am going to drag it after. (music playing) Let's change the type of amplifier we are using, maybe to Lead. (music playing) I like it after the amp. Every device in Live has a device activator located on the top-left of the device. If we click on it, it will turn off the device and it will let the audio through without affecting it.
So it's a very easy and quick way to audition different effects on the track. So let's turn off the amp and cabinet, play it. (music playing) If you make changes to any instrumental effect, you can click on the disc icon on the top-right of the device and save that device as a preset in your library.
So let's save the amp, and I am going to call it My Amp. It's going to be saved under Places > User Library. Here you will find audio presets, your saved preset. Let's also save the drum rack without drums so we can use it in other projects. Again, I am going to click the disc icon, and I am going to save my drum rack, and I am going to call it My Drum Kit. If you save a preset that contains samples, Live is also going to copy the samples into your library.
Now we can load it and use it in other projects. Let's go ahead and load a couple more effects. We will go to Audio Effects. I am going to load a Chorus to the Guitar. Live also counts with a lot of predesigned presets for you to use. Let's expand the chorus. We have all the different presets here, and let's drag one of them to the guitar. Let's solo it and listen. (music playing) Without. (music playing) With.
(music playing) Remember that most effects have a Dry/Wet knob that will adjust the amount of effect that is outputting through the device. So if you put it all the way on Dry, it won't affect at all. (music playing) And as much as we get it more Wet, it will be more affected. (music playing) We have a very big arsenal of effects to our disposal to be used in Ableton Live.
I urge you to be irresponsibly creative when it comes to using effects in Live. Experiment with a long list of chains. Don't be afraid to just add effects and see how they sound on the track. If you have a lot of effects in your signal chain, you can right-click on the Device Overview and choose the effect to jump to it. There are a lot of different effects to play with in Live. We've got spacious and time-based effects like Reverb and Delays. We have dynamic effects like Compressor and the Glue Compressor.
We have distortion effects like the Overdrive and Redux, and we have unique creative effects like the Beat Repeat and the Looper. Experimentally those effects drastically change the sound and get your own unique sound in Ableton Live.