Freezing Group Tracks (TIP)

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Yannic T
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Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:31 am

Freezing Group Tracks (TIP)

Post by Yannic T » Wed Mar 17, 2021 5:45 am

In ableton we don't have the option to freeze grouped tracks, which is annoying. There is a workaround though.

1) Create new midi track
2) Add Compressor
3) Open sidechain settings
4) Select Bus that you want to freeze
5) Click on the headphones that allow you to hear the sidechained signal
6) Create an empty midi clip that aligns with the section of the group audio that you want to freeze
7) Make sure the EQ on the compressor is off as not to interfere with the signal
8) Freeze the track

Now obviously you still have the the whole group bus in which you can deactivate all of the plugins and reactivate them if you need to go back to change something on the group track.

or... you could copy all of the plugins that are on the group track and then paste them on the sidechain track and then freeze it so you can quickly make the changes without having to go back and forth between tracks.

I'm not sure why this isn't less complicated, but it works.

also it doesn't have to be the compressor, any vst that lets you audition the sidechained signal will work.

Johnniedarko
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun May 22, 2022 9:42 am

Re: Freezing Group Tracks (TIP)

Post by Johnniedarko » Sun May 22, 2022 9:49 am

Absolutely genius, thanks for this lifesaver!

I am mixing an choir+orchestra with over 200 tracks playing simultaneously, with tons of plugins on groups/busses. Not being able to freeze groups meant that CPU usage was through the roof. I had a manual list of plugins which I would switch to their low quality mode for mixing, and then change back to high quality mode for rendering. Tedious work.

I tried finding workarounds, for example by sending the group to a new audio track and freeze that new audio track. But that new track then needs Monitoring to be ON to have sound, and freezing can't be done with monitoring on, so that didn't work. Your solution of (ab)using a midi track to listen to an audio sidechain is just brilliant, and it works easy.

Elevated Cartographer
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Freezing Group Tracks (TIP)

Post by Elevated Cartographer » Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:04 am

Love this technique definitely will utilize this myself under certain curcumstances. I do have another way that I generally use that works quite well. I just use an audio effect rack if I'm manipulating multiple copies of the same audio or an Instrument rack with simpler/sampler if I'm working with multiple audio tracks or VST's if I'm using softsynths. You can even throw external instruments in there and flatten them out together I believe. Just group your effects together on a track and start adding chains!!!

Elevated Cartographer
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Freezing Group Tracks (TIP)

Post by Elevated Cartographer » Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:05 am

What I do like about your technique is that if I'm not mistaken Ableton can't use multiple CPU cores on a single track so if you had a really complex layer with many vst's or intensive effects you may actually be able to get more juice by splitting everything up across multiple tracks and then routing the audio to a new device as the OP mentioned.

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