This tutorial explains the automation system used in Ableton Live before moving on to demonstrate how to create a reverb build to introduce tension and anticipation before a break down. The tutorial also takes a look at reverb automation as a means of adding interest to stagnant drum loops.
To create the build a track containing an instrument with a lot of presence in the mid range frequencies is selected and automation is used to slowly send the audio to a Ableton’s built in reverb unit. The send and return system allows more than one track to be sent to the reverb and this provides greater control over the intensity of the build. Complexity can be added to the sound by automating the parameters of the reverb and adding other effects to the return chain. One option is a delay unit that can be automated to added movement to the reverb tail and smooth the transition between different sections of the track.
Ableton’s built in reverb can be pushed to create a variety of interesting effects and it is worth spending some time automating the different parameters to see how it can be used. Try quickly changing the size control for a distorted bit crushed sound or setting the diffusion filter to extreme settings for interesting and unnatural reverb sounds.