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October 6, 2021

How to resample in Ableton




Ableton Resampling feature lets you quickly and easily bounce whatever is coming through the master output to a new audio track. It’s a useful capability to have because you can quickly bounce a clip, a track or a group of tracks—with effects if you want.

It’s similar in function to bounce-in-place functions in other DAWs that let you render a track with its effects and other attributes while leaving the source track in the session. In Ableton, the primary application for Resampling in Ableton is to create samples that you’ll have immediately available to load in samplers or manipulate in some way.

In the video excerpt from Start to Finish: Ill Factor - Episode 10 - Adding Adlibs & Completing The Production, ill Factor uses Ableton Resampling to create an intro using a section of Jared Evan’s chorus vocal with filtering, and other effects added.

Resample your Sound with Ableton

Ill Factor shows how easy it is to resample a track (audio or MIDI) in Ableton. He solos the lead vocal bus, creates a new audio track, puts the transport in record and plays back just the chorus section.

Highlighted is the audio track that ill Factor is resampling to in Ableton.

Those four measures get resampled in Ableton to the new track. It’s true that he could just copy that section of the track to a new one, but then it won’t have had the effects on it. He also could duplicate the vocal track, but then he’ll have to erase everything but the section he wants to use on the duplicate. And although he’ll have the same effects on the copy, it would require double the number of plugins and thus a lot more CPU. So, using Resampling with Ableton makes sense in this situation.

Although he’s working in the Arrangement View, he could just as easily resample in the Session View. Turning on Resampling is easy, no matter which view you’re in. Open the Input Type pulldown for the target audio track—which, by default, says Ext In—and select Resampling in Ableton. Now that track will record the master bus output. In the Session View, you’d resample into a Clip Slot on the target track.

Setting up an audio track for Resampling in Ableton.

After rendering the new track, he moves its Clip into the intro section. His intention isn’t to create an exact copy of the chorus vocals into the intro. He wants to give a hint of what’s coming but not give away the game entirely. He inserts Live’s Auto Filter on the resampled track in Ableton. He sets Live to Show Automation mode, which you can do by pressing the A key or selecting it in the View menu.

Tweaking Away your Mix with Ableton

Although the resampled section in Ableton  section already has reverb, ill Factor inserts Ableton Reverb plugin to add some additional ambience. Jared suggests adding a vinyl effect to it.

To accomplish that, he opens up XLN Audio RC-20 Retro Color, a multieffects plugin that lets you simultaneously apply up to six different effects. The Noise module offers vinyl rumble or crackle, and ill Factor opts for the former. He also adds some tape sounds with the Wobble and Magnetic modules. Eventually, he’ll also add effects from the other three modules, Distort, Digital (bit-crush) and Space (reverb). Composing in Ableton to enhance your sound.

Ill Factor’s setting for XLN Audio’s RC-20 Retro Color.

After listening to the track, he only uses the third and fourth measure of the resampled chorus vocal and pastes it over measures five through eight. He sets the Auto Filter plugin to Low Pass mode, which means it will roll off all frequencies except those below the cutoff frequency. He adjusts that to 325Hz to start, removing most of the audible frequencies on the resampled vocal track.

He draws in the automation to gradually raise the cutoff frequency, bringing in more and more of the frequency content until it reaches about 1.6kHz at the end of the intro. Although the Auto Filter is still cutting some of the upper frequencies, you can hear the vocal clearly by that point.

He automates a ramp-up of the Auto Filter, which smoothly opens it up, continuously allowing more frequencies to be audible.

Getting Panned

To create some motion at the end of the intro, ill Factor inserts Ableton Auto Pan effect, which he’ll use as a gate. At its default setting, it brings up and down the left and right sides based on the various parameter settings, thus giving the feeling of panning from side to side.

He turns the Amount parameter (similar to a dry/wet knob) to 100%. He also changes the Phase setting from 180 to 0 degrees, which lines up the left and right waveforms. Instead of a panning effect, it creates a stuttering effect for the vocal.

Auto Panacea in Ableton

In the following audio examples, the Resampling feature and the Auto Pan effect are used to fatten up a keyboard track.

Here’s a loop from Live’s collection without any additional processing.

It’s already got a panning effect, but it gets accentuated here with Live’s Auto Pan. For this, the phase is set at 77.1 degrees, giving it an almost tremolo-like pulsing.

The setting for the second example features the Phase at 0 degrees to accentuate the tremolo-like effect.

Now it sounds like this.

Next, it gets resampled to another track with the effect on it. Then the original track gets panned hard left and the resampled one hard right.

Finally, the original track gets another Auto Pan treatment, this time giving it a heavier pulsing effect to differentiate it more from the resampled copy. Here’s how they sound together.

The second Auto Pan effect used.

If you compare this with the original stereo track, you’ll see how much bigger it now sounds.