Week 3 – Creative Mixing

  1. Review Audio FX chaining:

2. Audio Effect Racks in Live contain chains of Effects. A good way to start thinking about chains is to check out Audio Effect Rack Presets (which contain chains made by Ableton) to see other people’s ideas. Choose Audio Effect Rack presets from your Browser, drag into your Project, and look at the chains. Think about why the effects are in this order and turn each effect on and off to listen to the difference it makes to the sound.

3. In Live, we can put an Effect directly on the Track so it affects only the Clips in that Track. We can also put Effects on Group Tracks, or we can put them on Return Tracks and use the Track Sends:

4. Review dynamic processing:

5. Now apply dynamic processing to your Mixing Project, remembering to gain stage as you work:

  • Add the Saturation and Erosion dynamic effects to the Kick Track.
  • Now add the Saturation and Erosion effects to the Bass Track.
  • On both of the tracks, use the settings of the Effects (together with an EQ) to add stronger separation in their frequency balance.
  • On Saturation use Drive to add distortion and from the drop down menu to change the way you prefer the signal to distort.

If you wish to learn more about how to apply Saturation and create even more separation and presence to your instruments, watch this video:

6. Review Audio Signal Processing:

7. Apply Audio Signal Processing to your Mixing Project:

  • Add Chorus to the vocals to make them pop out in the mix and sound more present / processed
  • Add Chorus to the synth to make it sound more ‘electronic’
  • Add Flanger to the Synth Track
  • Try Flanger on vocals to make them sound bigger / wider / processed
  • Use the Auto Filter and the LFO to add a pulsing effect to the pad sound.

8. At this point you may wish to compare your mix to the mixed version of Breathe you received on Week 1. It’s also a good idea to listen to other tracks you like (and tracks you don’t like!) and consider how they might have been mixed. Remember to take regular breaks and listen at an uncomfortably low volume to prevent ear fatigue!


Take a deeper look at Chorus, Flangers, and Phasers in this article. It’s a great read! 🤓😄

Sometimes it is good to create presets for yourself, so you have all the chains ready when you need to mix a certain type of signal. Learn to make your own effect presets:

If you wish to learn more how to process instruments as a group, you can learn to use Glue Compressor. It is meant for especially for group tracks or for mastering:

E-mail equalizeproduction@gmail.com Hours Equalize Music Production CIC / Company Number: 13008716
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