Ableton Live - Quick Tip #5
Creating Pads and Textures with the Ableton Reverb Device
The Ableton Live Reverb device tends to cop a bit of flack for sounding sub-par and metallic, and granted some of the presets probably don't do it justice, but once you start tweaking the parameters you can actually get some very nice spaces. But today I'm not interested in creating realistic room and hall sounds, instead I want to use it to create some interesting pads and textures using the fantastic FREEZE button.
The freeze button works by freezing the diffuse part of the reverberation signal, sustaining it almost indefinitely. By default the FLAT and CUT buttons will probably be active, these have the following effect;
FLAT: Disables the high and low shelf filters on the Diffusion Network. If you would like to apply filtering to the frozen reverberation, you should deactivate this button.
CUT: Prevents he input signal from adding to the frozen diffuse reverberation signal. If deactivated you can overdub and input additional signal that will add to the frozen sound.
I usually like to have both of these options deactivated. It is also worth noting that DECAY TIME, will have no effect, once FREEZE has been activated. Now the best thing to do is experiment, I like to feed all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds into the Reverb device with FREEZE activated and see what I get. The easiest way to capture the resulting texture, is to setup an additional audio track with RESAMPLING activated, or the reverb track routed directly to it.
Try it with synths, vocals, percussion and field recordings, anything you can think of. You can also get some even better results when you combine it with other effects, placed either pre or post reverb. I like bit crushers and sample reducers (REDUX), heavy saturation, frequency shifters and resonators.
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This is where I share my ideas on music making and creative process, along with tips for the getting the most out of Ableton Live . You will also find this space interspersed with off topic, but equally interesting posts about coffee, food and single malt whisky.