Build a complex channel strip with dedicated controls
Let’s look at some of the basics of Live’s Audio Effect Rack for creative processing
Here’s a track featuring a wideband patch from iZotope’s Iris 2 synth. We could just start stacking effects on here, but instead we’re going to drop Ableton Live’s Audio Effect Rack device, which we’ll use as a shell to host multiple plugins.
We can load a couple of effects inside the rack to save and recall for later use. EQ and compression, for example. The rack will save the settings of the loaded effects as well. Nice and useful, but it’s nothing to write home about.
Open up the rack’s Chain Selector (three horizontal lines icon), and we see the current ‘chain’ setup. Right-click and Duplicate the chain, and we end up with two parallel copies of our compressor and EQ. Let’s deactivate one compressor, push the settings on the other, and then make use of the chains’ Gain controls to blend in some parallel compression.
Going further, we can create yet another chain by right-clicking in the blank area. Turn all the chains down to compensate for the added loudness. This third chain can act as whatever we want it to. We’ll dial in some pitchshifting with Soundtoys’ MicroShift and treat that with Oeksound’s Spiff transient shaper.
Time to use the rack’s best feature: Macros. Open the Macro editor with the top-left ‘knob icon’. Now right-click any parameter on any rack device to map it to a macro. We’ll map both EQs’ Band 3 Gain controls to one macro, and Microshift’s Mix and Delay too (accessed by expanding the plugin device in the dock).
Each of these controls is now commanded by our one macro. Turn the macro and all the controls turn with it… but it’s a bit extreme. Click Map to access the mapping editor, where we can set where each control will lie when the Macro is at its minimum and its maximum extent.