Ping Pong Delay Mix
Ableton’s Ping Pong Delay is an indispensable tool, the perfect ticket for a quick, simple and effective stereo delay. The only problem is with the Dry/Wet control, if you want to dial a much bigger effect you’ll be turning down the dry signal.
A workaround for this is to Group the Ping Pong Delay, and within the group create a second chain that has no effect. Set the Dry/Wet of the delay to 100% and then map the volume of the chain to a Macro. Now the Macro controls the level of the delay, which you can turn up as much as you like without losing any of the dry signals.
Variations With Chains
The introduction of warping to Simpler (as of Live v9.5) has expanded its sonic remit for working with loops. To create variations on a sound, Group your instance of Simpler and duplicate the chain a few times, creating different variations on each chain; shorter loops, different FX, tuning, and filtering. Then, to switch between Chains map the power of each chain to the same Macro, and use Macro mapping to map the On/Off for each chain, so your Macro control will then switch between the Chain variations as you sweep it up/down. A great technique for improvised playback you could also map the Macro control to a MIDI controller for live implementation.
In our example, we’ve set the Macro Mappings so that the Macro control turned up to 1/4 of the way round will play the first chain, then up to halfway will play the 2nd chain, halfway to 3/4 the 3rd chain, 3/4 to full the 4th chain.
Make Use of Freeze and Flatten
A useful technique to free up CPU when working on a project, simply Freezing the track will temporarily render it as audio, meaning all the effects and/or instruments on the track can’t be altered and subsequently are no longer using up power. This is also a great technique for resampling your MIDI instruments, once Frozen you can then select to Flatten the track, committing it to audio and thus allowing for a different kind of processing and editing. Maybe duplicate the track before committing to audio, just in case you need to go back and tweak anything! The Freeze track be accessed by simply right clicking on the instrument channel or by highlighting the track and selecting Freeze Track from the Edit dropdown.
Create An Autoload
Speed up your workflow by creating a handy autoload tweaked to your needs. All the stuff you do on pretty much every track you create; whether that’s setting up a mastering chain, send FX channels, instruments you always use. Set it all up you would a normal project, and then simply head to Preferences > File/Folder and select ‘Save Current Set as Default’. Now every time you load a new project, it will load with all these things set up, freeing up time for the creative process.
Changing the Default Preset
Another technique for speeding up your workflow, if you find yourself using very similar settings with certain plugins, such as Reverb or Delay, you can change the default that loads each time you load that Device. Simply make the changes you wish to and right click on the Device title bar and select ‘Save as Default Preset’. Especially useful for synths or instruments, where your initial workflow is similar each time, this takes out that first few minutes you spend when you load the Device, allowing you to dive straight into the sound design.