I've read quite a few good tips for recording and mixing/mastering among a few pointless posts also. Thanx for the useful posts.
The mono trick is an old one, and should always be used to see how the tracks sit in the mix after panning. Believe it or not, mono does get played a lot in strange places, cell phones, old TV's, AM radio, small boom boxes, etc. Occasionally a stereo system might only have one channel working. There's nothing worse than losing 50% or 100% of a track because you forgot to listen to the song in mono. It's also convenient to have a mono version of your song rendered just in-case.
Using a HPF on all non bass/kick drum tracks around 50-100hz keeps the bottom end clean.
Running an auxiliary track of the final mix with a LPF to convert any frequencies below 80hz to mono, while keeping everything above that specific frequency stereo using a HPF on the original, has also worked well.
Cutting anything below 30hz from the final mix is also ideal.
One nice little trick to add depth to a mono track such as vocal or even acoustic or electric and bass guitar is to use the ableton "simple delay" plugin. First, turn off the "link" button, set both channels to "time" not "sync", set one channel to 1.00 millisecond, then the other channel anywhere from 5-20 milliseconds, make sure the "feedback" is set to 0, and the "dry/wet" to 100%. It's too bad that the minimum setting is 1.00 millisecond, and not zero, but this is not really audible at all. Works wonder's on rhythm guitar tracks. The greater the difference between the left and right channels, the more depth you'll gain. But be careful, this effect conflicts with any type of mono mixing.
Another cool trick to use if you're a guitar/bass player and own a foot FX board with MIDI control and amp modeling is, to run the guitar/bass into your audio interface after maybe using a tube pre-amp (if you have one) to record a dry signal without monitoring the sound, then run the audio of the channel back out a mono D/A port from the audio interface, then into the foot FX board, then back in to the audio interface which is usually stereo after using the FX board, and then monitor the stereo feed on a new track which will do nothing but receive and monitor audio from your foot FX board. Last, you will need to run a parallel midi track next to your initial dry recording which will record and transmit MIDI data and preset changes on the fly. This way, the guitar track will always be recorded dry, and processing can always be tweaked post performance, even wah wah will still work. Some times you record a badass riff, but maybe there was too much reverb. This way you can always go back and finesse the sound. Plus, you also have the capability to instantly send any other signal through the foot FX board if it's not already being used by the guitar. I've noticed that running all my synth tracks, whether bass, lead or rhythm through an amp modeling FX board can really beef up the sound tremendously.
This technique is also very useful live, since Ableton has the capability to load dummy clips, there's no need to search for the preset you want while playing, just hit next scene in Ableton and the preset changes are automatically sent for you. I know some foot FX boards don't have amp modeling, but I currently use the VOX Tonelab and it's doing a hell of a job. Don't forget to move your midi clips along with your audio clips. A "group" function for dragging multiple clips in the arrangement view would be a very useful feature that Ableton does not yet have.
Never record with compression, unless it's only there to very seldom stop clipping or give the quiet parts a little bit of gain if you're recording in 16bit 44.1Khz, which I always use. If you're recording in 24bit, or anything higher, you have leeway with the quieter sounds since you have more slices/characters to define the sound, you don't need to have such a hot signal.
Can't think of too many other's now, I'll check this thread again later to post more. Other than that, having a few extra hard drives in your computer makes a huge difference when using ableton. One HD for the system and applications, one for recording: mics, guitars, and keeping the Ableton Live Sets audio on, and maybe a third one if intensive sampling is used by software that utilizes DFD streaming. Oh yeah, LOT'S OF RAM TOO.
One more thang, smoke good, and drink good, cuz low grade make you stupid.