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Live 11 Audio & MIDI Effects

Ableton Live Tips & Techniques By Len Sasso
Published December 2021

Screen 1: The Max For Live pitch‑shifting delay audio effect, PitchLoop89.Screen 1: The Max For Live pitch‑shifting delay audio effect, PitchLoop89.

We dig deeper into the audio and MIDI effects included with Live 11.

Live 11 comes with new sound libraries, instruments, and audio and MIDI effects, all of which enhance Live’s sound‑design and processing capabilities. In this month’s column we’ll take a detailed look at the audio and MIDI effects, and you’ll find brief descriptions of the new instruments and sound libraries in the ‘Sound Packs’ box. One thing to keep in mind as you explore the new devices is that Live 11 Racks now allow as many as 16 Macro Controls as well as presets called Macro Variations. When you’re exploring one of the Rack examples, it’s a good idea to reveal the Macro Variations (camera button icon along the left edge of the Rack) and create a new variation with your initial settings. That lets you easily return to those settings after tweaking the Macro knobs (and saving a new variation if desired).

Let’s start with PitchLoop89 (Screen 1), a Max For Live device by Ableton co‑founder Robert Henke that emulates the vintage hardware pitch‑shifting delay, the Publison DHM 89. Think of its parallel pitch‑shifters as tape‑loop recorders with moving heads. With a pitch‑shifter channel’s Hold button (∞) turned on, the channel’s captured audio will loop continuously. You may want to assign a MIDI note, pedal or switch to each Hold button. To the left, the wedge pointing down links the two channel’s settings — changes in the top channel are reflected in the bottom channel, but changes in the bottom channel do not affect the top channel. The Back buttons reverse the playback direction and the Short buttons result in shorter, rhythmical delays.

The main controls for each of the delays let you set the size and position of the grabbed slices with the option to randomise or apply an LFO to the position. You can also alter the pitch of the grabbed audio and apply vibrato. The output section includes a band‑pass filter and feedback control for each channel, three output modes, and stereo and dry/wet mix settings. Check out PitchLoop89’s default lesson, presets and Ableton tutorials for all the details.

Live 11 comes with new sound libraries, instruments, and audio and MIDI effects, all of which enhance Live’s sound design and processing capabilities.

Spectral Time & Resonator

You’ll find two new spectral effects, Spectral Time and Spectral Resonator, in Live’s Core Pack. Both begin with a real‑time spectral analysis of incoming audio and let you manipulate that in different ways. Spectral Time is the more aleatory of the two, but both can produce results ranging from slight modifications to unrecognisable alterations....

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