INTELLIGENT DEVICE PRESETS THAT SAVE YOU TIME
Ableton Live is well known for having a super fast workflow, allowing producers to reduce the amount of the time wasted undertaking mundane tasks and ultimately free up more time and creativity to complete projects.
But what if you could shave off even more time?
After using Ableton for a short amount of time, you’ll probably find certain go-to device presets and custom settings that work for your genre and productions. These are the settings you’ll find yourself calling up again and again.
To save you having to do go through the process of repeatedly setting up these defaults, we have put together an Ableton Live Template which has been carefully adjusted then re-adjusted to be as efficient as possible.
Obviously we can’t do this on an individual basis, so you may need to re-adjust some settings to suit your needs but we have done some extensive polling to make this template as efficient as possible for all electronic music producers.
What This Template Can Do For Me?
This template has been kept as generalised as possible, so you can start using it quickly and seamlessly without having to learn any complicated routing or keymapping.
Once you have got to grips with this foundation default template, you can easily add to it to sculpt it into your own custom template and save multiple versions for each task or genre you work on, such as: Production, mixing, or mastering.
There are 6 main functions of this template:
• Master Channel Monitoring
•Reference Track Monitoring
• Sidechain Trigger Track
• Track Defaults
• Sample Dropping Defaults
• Audio & Midi Device Defaults
We cover each of these functions in more depth in the headings below as well as a short video explaining and demonstrating the entire project file below
Alternatively if you’d rather dive straight in, then you can learn how the project works from within ableton using the included project lessons.
Midi Device Defaults
Device defaults are the real time saver within this project file. many of these have been set in a neutral and ready-to-use state. However a few of these defaults have actually been set in a way that forces you to think about the settings you use rather than going with the standard default setting which may not be fit for the job such as compression tasks.
• Set to the play order playback style
• Set to a swing 32 groove
• Set to a minor triad chord
• Set to minor mode
• Set the correct root note for your project
Audio Device Defaults
Amp is great for adding richness and warmth in low quantities.
• output set to dual to preserve stereo signals
• volume reduced to compensate for gain
• clean amp for most subtle effect
Audio Effect Rack
Audio Effect Rack can be used to smoothly transition between dry and wet parallel chains
• Drop your audio effects into the ‘wet’ chain
• Use the ‘chain selector’ macro control to morph between chains
Auto Filter is most commonly used to remove low information and is best kept in a neutral state when first inserted into a track
• Filter type set to low cut 24dB/Oct filter
• Frequency set to 26Hz
• Filter type to PRD to emulate the Moog ladder filter
Chorus is used to add thickness and subtle stereo width to parts. Widening bass frequencies is generally avoided.
• Delay 1 HPF set to 500Hz to have more effect on midrange
• Delay 2 set to Fix. In mod mode it will widen the low end due to its lack of HPF
• Set to 50% Dry/Wet for best blend of signals
These compressor settings have been used to force you to set the compressor up correctly.
The 4:1 ratio will allow you to hear the compression whilst setting appropriate attack and release values. The response (attack and release) settings of the compressor have been set to allow you to sweep through until you find a suitable position.
The ratio and threshold can then be adjusted, finally followed by the makeup gain.
• Set to activity view for easier visualisation of gain reduction
• 4:1 Ratio so the compression can be heard whilst other settings are adjusted
• Attack set to 1s to preserve transients and force you to set it correctly
• Release set to 1ms to forcs the compressor to return to 0GR instantly
• Makeup gain turned off to reduce the issue of loudness bias
Corpus has been set to have more of a tighter tone altering effect on the sound rather than washing out the mix with a long decay
• Tube type resonant object
• Decay set to 800ms
• Sidechain unfolded
• Bandpass Filter on
• Dry/wet set to 50%
This setting is a moderate setting which will cause slight distortion irregardless of the input level, however more level will still cause more tube amp style distortion.
• Tube mode set to B
• Drive increased by 2dB
• Tone brightened
• Bias set to 7%
• Hi-Q mode enabled from right-click dropdown menu
EQ8 is setup to quickly tackle problematic and common areas such as:
removing low-mid frequencies, band-pass & high pass filtering parts, and also shelving EQs set at the standard 10Hz and 10KHz.
• Low cut filter set to 30Hz
• Band 2 set to low shelf at 100Hz
• Band 3 set to 300Hz for Eqing muddy low-mid frequencies
• Filters 4, 5 & 6 set at 500Hz, 1kHz & 2KHz respectively
• High shelf set at 10KHz
• Band 8 set to low pass filter at 18KHz and bypassed
• Eq set toto oversampling in right-click dropdown menu
The Filter Delay has been set at lower feedback and volume levels so the effect is less obvious when first inserted to a track
• Dry up to 100%
• Feedbacks set to 20%
• Volumes reduced
• Threshold set high to force user to set it correctly
• Attack & lookahead set for instant gating
• Hold value set to 30ms
• Release set to 15ms
• Slow ttackto allow transients to pass through
• Fast rel to allow the needle to reset between hits
• Mild ratio for mix glue on groups and busses
• Oversampling turned on in right-click menu
The grain delay is set up to be used as an instant pitch shifter by altering the pitch amount.
• Time set to 1ms
• Frequency set to 1Hz
Ping Pong Delay
The Ping-Pong delay is set up used additively rather than starting with a heavy preset and having to reduce the dry/wet.
• Feedback set to 30%
• Dry/wet set to zero
• Time synchronised and set to 3/16ths
• Downsampling set to soft mode to make the effect less abrasive
This is a realistic general purpose reverb setting
• Pre-delay set to 30 ms
• Early reflection spin frequency reduced
• Quality set to high
• Decay time reduced to a smaller room size
• Early reflections reduced to -3dB
• Chorus turned off
Set to give mild soft-saturation to warm the signal up without adding considerable gain.
• Drive set to 4dB
• Output set to -4dB
• DC filter enabled
• Soft Sine curve selected
• Base set to -21
• Frequency to 1.68KHz
• Depth increased to 4
• High Quality right-click dropdown turned on
Simple delay is set to either create gentle stereo width using the Haas effect or be used as a slapback style delay
• both channels unsynced and set to ms
• Dry/Wet set to 30%
• Delays set within the haas window
• Feedback set to zero
Spectrum has been set to be more responsive and have a better resolution for pinpointing frequencies easily.
• Toggle display mode on
• Block set to 16384 (highest)
• Refresh rate set to 40ms
• Graph type set to Bins
How to set this as default project
• Go to preferences/file folder
• Select ‘set current set as default’
• Navigate to user library/defaults
• Create a templates folder
• Save the template in this new folder
• Add your own custom templates here
To add/edit default presets
• Right-click any device and save as default
• Go to your user library/default folder
• From here you can save/delete your defaults
• Deleting a default will reset the device to factory settings
To set all your device defaults for this template
• save all devices on the devices track as default
• Alternatively go to user library/defaults
• Right-click and select ‘show in finder’
• Replace the defaults folder with the one in this pack