<![CDATA[Simteks Music - Production]]>Thu, 03 Dec 2015 23:08:03 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Frequency Splitting in Ableton Live]]>Wed, 11 Nov 2015 23:23:21 GMThttp://www.simteksmusic.com/production/frequency-splitting-in-ableton-liveOne of the most powerful features in Ableton Live is its unparalleled capacity for creative routing within each track lane. There are so many uses for this routing flexibility, and today we are going to to over a common one: Frequency Splitting. 

There are many reasons you may want to split the frequencies of a sound. Perhaps it is a bass or lead and you would like to apply separate effects to each frequency range. Maybe you are trying to extract a certain part of the sound, or tame some unruly harmonics in it. Whatever the reason, there are a few ways to go about splitting the signal. The simplest of which is to simply make three chains with three EQ8's, but this leaves a small gap and related attenuation where the crossover points are. Another way to split frequencies is by using phase relationships. The following is a step by step guide to creating a three band phase splitting rack. This is an extension of a technique that I learned from a Mr. Bill video tutorial.

Step 1: Create Audio Effect Rack with three chains.

This step is pretty self explanatory. Grab an audio effect rack, and create three chains in it. Name them Lows, Mids, and Highs.
Ableton Live - 3 Chain Setup
Low, Mid, and High Chains in Effect Rack

Step 2: Setup Low Frequency Chain

Again this is very simple. Drop an EQ8 into the Low Chain. Choose the Lowpass shape, and set it to right around 300 Hz. Highlight this EQ8 after inserting it and hit Ctrl-C (Cmd-C on Mac) to copy the EQ8. Highlight the Mids Chain and hit Ctrl (Cmd) V to paste the EQ8 to the Mids Chain. 
Ableton LIve - Low Chain EQ8
Low Chain EQ8
Step 3: Setup High Frequency Chain

Drop an EQ8 into the Highs chain, and set it to the Highpass shape. Set the frequency somewhere around 2.5 kHz, or wherever you would like to have the highs separated from the mids. Highlight this EQ8 and hit Ctrl (Cmd) C again to copy it.
Step 4: Setup Mid Frequency Chain

OK, this is where things get a bit tricky. When you open the Mids chain, you should have an EQ8 that is the same as the one on the Lows Chain. Highlight this EQ8 and hit Ctrl (Cmd) G to group it in an audio effect rack. Then create two more chains on this rack. Name the one with the Low EQ on it Lowpass. Name the middle one Highpass, and the final one Dry. Highlight the High Cut chain, then hit Ctrl (Cmd) V to paste the High EQ8 on that chain. You should now have three sub-chains in the Mids chain. One should have a Lowpass EQ8, one a Highpass EQ8, and one with nothing. Now it is time to manipulate the phase relationships of the audio to produce the frequency split.
Ableton Live - Mid Chain Details
Mids Chain = Lowpass, Dry, Highpass Chains

Step 5: Invert Phase to Produce Frequency Split

Go to the chain you have labeled Lowpass and add a Utility plugin to the end of the chain.  Click the Phz-L and Phz-R buttons to invert the phase of the signal.  Repeat this process for the Highpass chain.
Ableton Live-Lowpass EQ8 and Utility
Lowpass Chain EQ8 and Utility
Ableton Live-Lowpass Chain EQ8 and Utility
Highpass Chain EQ8 and Utility Settings
Step 6:  Setup Macro Controls

It is best to start this step by setting up the macros on the Audio Effect Rack that we placed on the Mids chain. Click the Map Mode button on this Effect rack, highlight the Low Cut chain, and map the frequency to Macro 1. Then highlight the High Cut chain and map the frequency to Macro 2. Now click the Map Mode Button in this audio effect rack again to exit Map Mode.

Highlight the main Audio Effect Rack. Click the Map Mode button. Map the two Macros you just created on the Mids chain to their respective macro on the main group. Then map the frequency of the Low chain to Macro 1 and the frequency from the High chain to Macro 2. Now you have to set the values for each macro. 

While still in Map Mode, look to the browser portion of the screen at the top left. You should see something that resembles the picture above. Choose a range of values for each macro that does not overlap, and provides enough flexibility for your planned frequency split. These values can be tweaked later as well. The settings above allow you to isolate lows below 300 Hz and highs from 500Hz to 2500Hz. Again, choose settings that you think are best. 

Congratulations, you are now the proud owner of your very own frequency splitting rack in Ableton Live. Now you will have some very flexible processing options for sound design and the like. Enjoy.
If you are having trouble with the rack, or just need a quick copy