Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

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BentoSan
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 am

Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by BentoSan » Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:29 am

Click here for article: Part 1 Bento San's Live 7+ DJTT SmartMixer - contains download location and setup instructions
Click here for article: Part 2 Smart-Mixing Explained - contains instructions on use

Subscribe to this thead to be kept to up to date with any updates, you can find the subscribe button just above and to the left of this post.

Image

Image <-- click on the pic to enlarge the signal chain.

Ableton Live Native Smart-mixing -
Used to create instant room in your mixes as you mix channels together using an elaborate side-chain compressor routing setup! What i mean by creating room is that particularly when your mixing low frequencies together your mix can start to sound muddy, usually a dj gets around this by eqing out certain sounds to create room for more sounds. Smart-Cuing helps to automates this boring task of eqing out frequencies to create room for more layers of sound. This lets you spend more time doing more important things like playing with your effects, sends, ghost-clips, synths or anything else you feel is much more worthy of your time than endlessly working at creating room for other tracks.
This concept was created by Moldover and demonstrated in his Reaktor ensemble.

Smart-Cuing:
The smart-mixer instantly create the room but to get a super tight mix you need to tweak just how much room is going to be created, if any at all - this is where the smart-cue concept comes in. The smart-mixer only creates room as channels are mixed together, but to be able to pre-listen to room to what your mix is going to sound like with the room that you have created smart-cuing gives you the abilty to hear the smart-mixing before its applied to your master-mixdown. So while the track that you hear on the headphones might have its low frequencies being ducked by the channels that you havent mixed in yet, the audience doesnt hear this ducking effect.
This smart-cue concept is my own creation ontop of Moldover original smartmixing concept.

Also because the smart-mixing is using compressors and not EQ's to create room for new sounds, the smart-mixer is only going to create room when its needed so you will get a much nicer sounding mix than EQ's alone can provide. This ducking technique is often used in the mix-down stage of productions to get mix-downs sounding really tight - now you can use this same technique in your live sets!


1.
Create a quality smart-mixer that is easy for anyone to try - Quality comes first and formost though of course !
2.
Address the problems of cuing within a smart-mixing setup.
3.
Create an smart-mixer using only Ableton Live 7 native effects.
4.
Overcome the colouration caused by the band compression in Belvario's Ableton Smart-Mixer.


Many thanks goes out to Moldover for the original smart-mixing concept.

Click here for article: Part 1 Bento San's Live 7+ DJTT SmartMixer - contains download location and setup instructions
Click here for article: Part 2 Smart-Mixing Explained - contains instructions on use

Also see this post in this thead i made if you wish to reduce the amount of controls that you are using on your controller:
http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?p=919655#p919655
Last edited by BentoSan on Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:57 am, edited 5 times in total.

friend_kami
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Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 10:10 pm

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by friend_kami » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:19 pm

huhu, ive been waiting for this update for quite some time now.
its perfect for using when doing mashups and generally fking about with random sounds, and is a big part of my setup (mainly cause of my lack of hands/and/or knobs hah).

gonna give a go at the new updated one later tonight. thanks mate.

Aequitas123
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Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:58 pm

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by Aequitas123 » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:27 pm

thank you for not using Live 8 :D

BentoSan
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 am

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by BentoSan » Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:22 pm

Aequitas123 wrote:thank you for not using Live 8 :D
No problem :D This file can still be opened in Ableton Live 8 - i figured using Ableton 7 to create it would be better as more people can utilise it that way.

Cant wait to hear your guys reactions to the new smart-cue concept i have added in there ontop of moldovers original smart-mixing concept. More details on that will be released on friday but heres a quick rundown of what it enabled you do:

Your able to cue the smart-mixing before its applied to the master mix, so you can get everything sounding tasty before you start mixing chanels to go out the master output. Only when mixing signals together on the master output will the smart-mixing kick on the master channel - when the crossfader reached the middle it will sound just like you heard in your headphones. The right amount of smart-mixing is applied on the fly as the signals are mixed together so the correct amount of smart-mixing is applied no matter the position of your crossfader.This is a realy nice feature for knowing what your mix is going to sound like before its even mixed together.

S4racen
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Location: Dunstable
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Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by S4racen » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:00 pm

I run Eight tracks but sum them to the a and b of a crossfader (allows me to choose between different effects banks) this set up gives me absolute control when the layering of effects runs away with itself and limiting the mix just doesn't do it...

Mad Props!

Cheers
D

BentoSan
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 am

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by BentoSan » Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:26 am

I started on a 4 deck version today, it contains no less than 8O 24 8O sidechain compressors and does some crazy crazy things when you move the crossfader around - crazy in a good way of course !

More cool stuff comming your guys way soon :)

A Moldover 5 deck version will be availible at some stage too and ill do my absolute best to continue smart-cue support for that just as i have with the 2 deck and 4 deck versions.

I have had nothing but great feedback so far, thanks heaps guys !

friend_kami
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Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 10:10 pm

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by friend_kami » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:20 pm

BentoSan wrote:I started on a 4 deck version today, it contains no less than 8O 24 8O sidechain compressors and does some crazy crazy things when you move the crossfader around - crazy in a good way of course !

More cool stuff comming your guys way soon :)

A Moldover 5 deck version will be availible at some stage too and ill do my absolute best to continue smart-cue support for that just as i have with the 2 deck and 4 deck versions.

I have had nothing but great feedback so far, thanks heaps guys !
right. i just upgraded my computer so i havent had time to play with it, but with that said: please keep me updated on that man.

BentoSan
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 am

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by BentoSan » Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:18 am

No problem, just stay tuned to this thread and i promise ill keep coming back to fill in everyone on the latest.
My plan is to keep the the first thread in this post updated to reflect information and different smart-mixers that as they are made available. Ill also pop in and make new posts keeping everyone up to date what I'm working on regarding the smart-mixer :)

I'm currently working on the final touches of the article where i explain how the smart-mixing works, that will be posted up today (Friday) as promised :) Ill probably go though the top post later today and see if there's anything i can do to make it more clear given that a second article is soon to be posted on the matter and more details are unveiled.

The 4 deck will be made availible after everyone has had some time to digest this first smart-mixer - if your holding out to learn this properly until there are more than 2 decks i highly recommend getting a good understand of this 2 deck version before trying to swallow a 4 deck version. The 4 deck version is in effect 3x the amount of compression and is very closely based on the topology of this 2 deck smart-mixer, so learning the 2 deck version will help you learn the 4 deck version alot faster and you will be able to use the 4 deck version much more efficently.

More news later today :)

BentoSan
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 am

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by BentoSan » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:36 am

This one was posted on monday:

Click here for article: Part 1 Bento San's Live 7+ DJTT SmartMixer - contains download location and setup instructions

and now as promised here is the second part - Smartmixing explained :)

Click here for article: Part 2 Smart-Mixing Explained - contains instructions on use

If anyone is new to this topic i suggest reading both.

BentoSan
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 am

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by BentoSan » Sun Jun 07, 2009 6:39 am

I cleaned up the first post of this thread so it is much easier reading and conveys the idea more easily :)

Also included is a picture illistrating the signal chain for those of you who like signal chain porn ;)

S4racen
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Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by S4racen » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:33 am

If anyones not tried this yet, get it done... Its the easiest smart mixing template ever, you can set your levels and then only really need two buttons mapped to decide which channel has dominance on bass or highs... And as for the sound, incredible, i spent a good three hours mixing last night with stuff i hadn't enjoyed mixing before because it was so difficult to keep the mix from sounding muddy....

Cheers
D

friend_kami
Posts: 2255
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 10:10 pm

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by friend_kami » Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:18 pm

i agree. ive been playing around with it for hours now, took some time to setup properly, cause i wanted to use one button only, but now ive got it setup so if i push the button once, it sets deck A to dominate the bass, and deck b to dominate the highs, and pressing it again will switch. since i only had one button available, i made a stupid vst plugin with two switching that tells me what is what, incase you want instant visual feedback on what the hell youre doing (as you sometimes would like eh). but yeah, its so easy to get stuck in a loop playing with this thing, you can basicly have two tracks running and never get tired of them just by twiddling the knobs and the eq settings hah.

thanks for wasting my day, bentosan :p

BentoSan
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 am

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by BentoSan » Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:21 am

friend_kami wrote:thanks for wasting my day, bentosan :p
:lol: Anytime ! 8)

I hope your using smart-cuing though because if your not your realy missing out!

So i might as well talk a little bit about reducing the amount of controllers needed to use this smart-mixer - you will lose a bit of functionality along the way but im sure there are some comprimises that people are perfectly happy with if it means less controls taken up. So lets start out with what controls there are originally

1x High-Band swap button
1x High-Band smart-mix amount knob
1x Low-Band swap button
1x Low-Band smart-mix amount knob
1x Frequency splitter knob
1x Cue deck A button
1x Cue deck B button
1x Deck A volume fader
1x Deck B volume fader
1x Crossfader
____________________
Total - 10 controls




To those who want as few knobs\buttons used up as possible and still have a really formidable smart-mixer with smart-cueing i would personally delete the sidechain compressors on the high band of the 4 channels with smart-mixing racks. If thats beyond your skill than just leave the high-amount knobs at 0 (no compression applied - completely colourless signal) and dont map the high band-swap button or the high-amount knob. Smart-mixing the highs isnt nearly as important as smart-mixing the lows but it is still useful.

Replace:
1x High-Band swap button
1x High-Band smart-mix amount knob

With:
Nothing


Total: 2 less controls




Another alternative to reduce the amount of buttons is to map the Cue-A and Cue-B buttons to the same button so they both cue at the same time when you turn on\off that - i personally like this one.

Replace:
1x Cue deck A button
1x Cue deck B button

With:
1x Cue deck A\B at the same time button


Total: 1 less control




If your really hard up for a knob then you can not map the frequency splitter knob - just make sure all the frequency splitter knobs all are set at the same position. Finding the position that is suitable for you will depend on your personal taste and the style of music that your playing. Like the article suggests it comes default at the 12 oclock position (v1.0) but you will want to tweak this downwards to taste.

Replace:
1x Freqeuncy splitter knob

With:
Nothing


Total: 1 less control




If you dont want to smart-cue at all then you can delete the channels named CueA and CueB then dont bother about mapping any of the cue buttons.

Replace:
1x Cue deck A button
1x Cue deck B button

With:
Nothing


Total: 2 less controls




If dont want a cross-fader then you need to map 1 button to turn off channel SCA and one button to turn off SCB - this way you can still smart-cue without using a crossfader. Turn off the decks side-chain channel you wish to cue (called SCA or SCB) so that no audio goes out the master-output when you are turning up the channel fader. That way the decks audio is only going though the cue side-chain compression channels. If you dont want a crossfader and your not smart-cueing dont worry about mapping deck A and B mute bottons as they are only needed whe smart-cuing.

With Smart-cuing -

Replace:
1x Crossfader

With:
1x Deck A Mute button
1x Deck B Mute button


Total: 1 extra control


Without smart-cuing

Replace:
1x Crossfader

With:
Nothing

Total: 1 less control



So as you can see the setup is quite flexible in that you dont have to map everything everything as described in the tutorial if you want to reduce the amount of controls in the setup. Combinations of the above aproaches will work with ane another so you can tweak the setup if it doesnt fit onto your controller or there is certain functionality you dont think you personally want.

Effectivly by stripping everything apart until your left with just the very very bare essentials:

1x Low-Band swap button
1x Low-Band smart-mix amount knob
1x Deck A volume fader
1x Deck B volume fader
____________________
Total - only 4 controls


I would recommend playing around with the full version and getting to know it well, using all the features before you begin to decide what you can and what you cannot live without using.

Hope this helps some peeps :)

ChillyP
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:07 am

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by ChillyP » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:04 pm

Good stuff Bent0.

BentoSan
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:48 am

Re: Ableton Live Smart-Mixing Using Only Native Plugins

Post by BentoSan » Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:34 am

ChillyP wrote:Good stuff Bent0.
Thanky Chilly :)



I been getting a fair few questions about mapping the device and in particular how to get the side-chain band swap buttons working.

Nothing special at all is required to get these band-swap buttons working properly, as long as you map the button to the 4 macros labled Low On/Off or Low Off/On in the 4 smart-mixing racks you will be totally find. No tricky midi mapping tricks are needed what so ever ! The trickery that does the swap is coded into the racks leaving the mapping really really really simple for users.

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