This is an Ableton Live tutorial explaining how to create an instrument rack that can be used to quickly and easily audition and tweak samples from the browser.
The tutorial demonstrates how to group a Simpler device and a series of effects so that useful parameters may be mapped to the groups macro controls. Using Simpler it is possible to alter everything from start, end and loop points to the pitch and volume characteristics of a sample. In our rack Simpler is followed by an EQ 3 and EQ 8. The reason for this? EQ8 offers more precise and flexible control but EQ3 allows for extreme 48db high and low frequency cuts. Cutting everything in the sub frequencies (roughly 100hz and lower) on most instruments other than the kick and bass can have a huge impact on cleaning up a mix and defining the low end of a track. Spectrum, Ableton Live’s frequency analyser, is added as the final tool in the chain. This is useful for seeing, at a glance, the frequency content of auditioned samples and also the effects of any EQ adjustments made earlier in the chain.
The tutorial moves on to show how to map key parameters in the group to the macro controls, including multiple parameter mappings to a single macro and defining useful ranges for each control. The group macros can then be mapped to a midi controller, making it very easy to use the hot swap button in Simpler combined with the computer keyboard to navigate the browser and swap samples on the fly whilst using the midi controller to make fine adjustments to the sample. This is a very quick and effective way to audition samples and also provides a set of useful automatable controls for every sampled element in a track.