Maxim Lany: Three Tips For Working With Ableton Live 10 Suite

The Belgian star behind “Renaissance” on Armada shares his top three tips for Ableton Live 10 Suite.

4 min
Maxim Leny feature image
Dec 4, 2019
Maxim Lany

One of the more recent features in Ableton’s development is converting audio into MIDI. It took me a while to understand what that meant for the production process. But I have to admit it helps a lot, especially when you need inspiration or if you’re not exactly the best at writing notes.

Let’s say you like a specific part of an existing track. No matter which instrument is playing, you can select that bit and then ask Ableton to convert that part into MIDI — right-click and select Convert Melody to New MIDI Track.

For the next step, you still need to stay focused as it usually takes a bit of time to select and delete the right notes to have a cool melody. Afterward, you choose an instrument or a particular plugin, which contains a specific sound that you like, and you drop it on that MIDI. This always gives you fantastic melodies and results.

It’s also possible to do the same thing, but this time by converting into a harmony. Just make sure you go step by step, as it’s already a handful to get out the maximum out of the melody. This method also works with chords, sounds, and so on. You can then mix things up and select a bass sound on that extraction and see if you can get out a cool bassline groove out of it.

Another trick I use a lot in Ableton is to work with extra Send/Return tracks for the use of effects. This way, you can easily play with reverb/delay or any other audio effect that Ableton has to offer as much as you want. It won’t affect your sound throughout the entire track as you can control it with the A, B, or C buttons as much as you want.

Use the standard Reverb plugin of Ableton as this is a powerful one. Even though I love other “cool” plugins for reverb, Ableton’s standard reverb is excellent. Just make sure you open Decay Time and Dry/Wet enough, and you’ll get a real treat on your sounds.

Last but not least, I love to use the standard EQ Three audio effect on my kicks. You can assign it easily to any key on your keyboard or MIDI controller by clicking on KEY (right above on your screen) and then clicking on the ON button of the effect. Just make sure to put the Gain-Low on -14, for example. Later you can play with the On/Off button throughout your recording process and work faster and simulate a break, for instance, with just one click.

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