Pump by pAtches is a Max for Live sidechain device. Super simple and super effective, this will duck the volume on your desired tracks, carving more space for the kick drum. The advantage over using a sidechain compressor here is the speed and ease with which you can set this up, simply place it on your track and away you go! Curve, Offset, Length and Reduction controls are available if you wish to fine tune to shape and timing of your ducking.
Ableton comes with a series of MIDI effects, the power of these can be enhanced once you start to stack them up in a series. For example, load up the Chord Effect and follow it with an Arpeggiator, meaning the notes created by the Chord effect will be arpeggiated, this is a great source of melodic inspiration. The Scale Effect will force MIDI notes to a specific scale, clicking the dropdown will reveal a list of presets you can quickly call up, whilst the Random effect will randomize MIDI notes, allowing you to dial in the amount of randomisation applied. Try adding the Random effect before the Scale, sparking some random but controlled melodic results.
Automation Adjustments by Selection
A quick way to apply otherwise fiddly automation editing, simply highlight the area on the clip you want to edit, hover over the envelope and the line will turn blue, allowing you to pull up or pull down the automation for that section. This is incredibly useful for editing live automations you’ve recorded, which can otherwise be very difficult to apply accurate adjustments to.
Some Live devices; such as Simpler, Spectrum and EQ Eight, include an option for enlarging the plugin GUI. This allows for more detailed and fine tuned control (or analysis!). This is especially useful on the EQ Eight plugin, once maximized the frequency analyzer will display a Frequency to Pitch chart, as it does in Spectrum, great for deciphering the key of source material.
Add Lane for Each Automated Envelope
A great way to quickly call up all automation lanes in one go, without the need to keep hitting the + icon. This is especially useful for those instances when you have numerous automation lanes on a track. Hit the + icon once, then right click on the revealed automation lane and select ‘Add Lane for Each Automated Envelope’, you can then use the Arrow dropdown button to quickly show or hide all automated envelopes for the given track.