Ping Pong Delay Ableton Download

The majority of Spectral Textures’ presets consist of two sound elements – spectral samples created with a digital additive synthesizer and field recordings – in combination with effects. Live's Ping Pong Delay and Reverb add space and dimension to the sounds. The Ping Pong Delay VST plugin was developed to generate stereo bouncing echo's, good for 'Trance' vocals or wide reverb trails on pads. DOWNLOAD Ping Pong Delay 2.0 for Windows. PongDelay is a ping pong delay effect. Smooth rate changing, pan width. Extremely low on resources. Delay play on alternate left right. Smooth transition when changing rate with no crackles, rattles or distortion. Stereo enhanced by pan delay width. Rich rates: triplet and dotted. The Video shows how to emulate a scratch-like effect in Ableton Live 8 using the new delay Modes available in the Ping Pong Delay. This is not meant to replace vinyl, nor will it produce a totally authentic sounding scratch sound, but it is a Ableton Live only solution and is a nice add on to your effects arsenal - especially for Live performance.

In this tutorial, Dubspot’s Rory PQ explores many creative sound design possibilities using Ableton Live’s various Freeze functions to create melodies, pads, risers, vocal effects, and buildups. Included is a FREE Ableton Live project download.

It’s that time of year when Mother Nature releases winter upon us and the Holidays begin. So why not kick off the chilly season with the gift of learning and a free giveaway.

In this tutorial we will explore some creative sound design possibilities using Ableton Live’s various Freeze functions. In addition, we will delve into many ‘Sample and Hold’ techniques using Live’s Reverb, Ping Pong Delay, and Beat Repeat devices. Along the way we will resample the results using the ‘Freeze and Flatten’ method to create melodies, pads, risers, vocal effects, and buildups. By the end of this tutorial we will have created a groovy Deep House sketch and covered a wide range of music making techniques aimed to help spark new ideas and creative approaches. Grab your scarf and gloves because we are about to freeze.

Deep Freeze Ableton Live Sketch

Before we get started, feel free to follow along by downloading the FREE Deep Freeze Ableton Live project below. Sampler and Analog devices required.

Understanding Live’s Reverb Freeze Function

First up on our frozen adventure takes us to Live’s Reverb audio effect. Located in the Diffusion Network section of the device interface is a Freeze button. The Freeze button allows you to freeze the reverb tail of the input sound. When activated, the reverberation will sustain indefinitely until the button is deactivated. Another term that describes what happens when you activate Freeze is ‘Sample and Hold.’ Essentially, the output signal is sampled the instant Freeze is activated during playback. The buffered audio will continue to loop until Freeze is deactivated.

The Cut and Flat buttons just below Freeze modifies how the frozen reverberation reacts when activated. Activating the Cut button will prevent the input signal from applying additional reverberation. Be cautious when deactivating this button because the reverberation can quickly build up to the point where it may bust through your speakers like the Kool-Aid Man. The Flat button is used to bypass the High and Low shelf filters when Freeze is activated. When Flat is deactivated you can control the High and Low frequency bands using the shelving filters located in the Diffusion Network.

In the example below I sampled a snare running through Live’s Reverb with Freeze activated. Listen to how the reverb tail freezes in time and sustains without decaying.

Frozen Snare Reverberation

Now that we have a sustaining reverb tail, what’s next? Well, the creative possibilities are up to you, but to help you in the right direction we will explore how to resample frozen reverberation from a sampled synth stab, and then use the results to create a melody, pad, and a gated pitch riser.

Bonus Tip: You could also use small sections of sampled reverberation to layer under different drum elements to thicken their sound. I used this technique to thicken up the claps in the Deep Freeze project for this tutorial.

Resampling Using the Freeze and Flatten Method

To get this party started we need a sound to trigger the reverberation. For this project I sampled a single note using FabFilters’s Twin2 synth, but feel free to use any sound you like. To make the sound more unique we will process the signal further by adding the following chain of audio effects.

• Saturator – Used to warm the signal going into the Reverb and thicken the sound up by creating additional harmonics.
• Reverb – Used to freeze reverberation. Feel free to place the Reverb device anywhere in the device chain that sounds best to you.
• Resonator – Great for creating additional resonant tones and stereo width.
• Chorus – Adds additional stereo width and movement.

Before we resample the frozen reverberation, it’s recommended to work in Arrangement View and activate the Freeze button with automation. This gives you more control to set the exact point when frozen reverberation will start. Note that silence will occur if the Freeze button is activated before playback begins. It’s important to allow the sound a chance to pass through the Reverb device first so it can trigger the reverberation.

Once you’re happy with the sound it’s time to resample some frozen reverberation. There are a couple different ways to do this, but for this demonstration we will use the ‘Freeze and Flatten’ method since we are all about freezing in this tutorial.

There are two steps to the ‘Freeze and Flatten’ method. First, we need to freeze the entire track we are working with. To do this we will use Live’s Freeze Track command. Freezing a track is an extremely handy feature that helps manage a projects CPU load by temporarily rendering all instruments, effects, audio or MIDI material to a new audio file. However, for are purposes we will use the Freeze Track and Flatten commands to quickly bounce the frozen reverberation to audio without having to record anything. Note that this is a destructive method meaning that all the devices and MIDI data will be overwritten and no longer available.

The steps to ‘Freeze and Flatten’ a track are simple. First freeze the track by right-clicking the Track Title Bar and choosing Freeze Track from the context menu.

Notice how the entire track and device chain now have a transparent white look. This shows that the track is temporally frozen and that further editing is unavailable until the track is unfrozen.

Once the track is frozen, we can quickly resample the audio to the existing track by right-clicking the Track Title Bar once more and choosing Flatten from the context menu. Flattening a track creates a new audio file containing the recorded source material and effects.

Notice how the track’s device chain and MIDI data have been overwritten.

Boom! We now have a sampled audio file to work with.

Frozen Synth Reverberation

Creating a Melody from Frozen Reverberation

Now that we took care of business and have some material to work with its time to get busy with the fun stuff and create the following melody.

Melody from Frozen Reverberation

• Create a new MIDI track in Arrangement View.
• Load Simpler and drop in the frozen reverberation sample we just created.
• Create a new MIDI clip by highlighting a region of time and holding CTRL [PC] / CMD [Mac] + Shift + M.
• Have some fun and record in some notes. Below is the melody pattern I came up with for this project.

• Looking at Simpler, adjust the Sample Start control to find a nice spot for the onset of the sound.
• Transpose the notes as needed. The melody for this sketch was playing to low so I transposed everything up two octaves.
• Smooth out any pops and clicks during playback with crossfades. First, we need to create a loop by activating the Loop button and then adjusting the Loop Length control to taste. Next, adjust the Loop Crossfade Amount control to apply fades on both sides of the loop. Activating the Snap button often helps as well by forcing the loop markers to zero-crossing points.
• Adjust the Volume envelopes to shape the sound further. For this melody I thought the initial attack of some notes were a bit sharp and percussive sounding. In addition the release time was a bit too long causing notes to overlap. To clean things up I increased the Attack, shortened the Release, lowered the Sustain, and adjusted the Decay until I had a desired sound.

Lastly, lets tie everything together and process the sound further. Feel free to add your favorite audio effects or third-party plugins to create a more unique sound. For this melody I added the following audio effects.

• EQ Eight – Used to cut out unwanted low frequencies with a highpass filter.
• Gate – Used to clean up and tighten the sound ever further by removing low-level noise that occurs between sounds. The device is also being used to add rhythmic gating by sidechaining it to the Kick.

• Phaser – Used to create some additional movement and richness.

• Compressor – Used to tighten the decay of each note and control wild volume peaks by setting a fast Attack and Release.
• Sidechain Compressor – Set to sidechain from the Kick to add a subtle amount of bounce.

Creating a Pad from Frozen Reverberation

Many of the techniques we covered while creating the melody can be applied to designing a pad sound. However, this time we will process the sound a bit different and then finally layer the pad with the melody to create a more unique sound that is full and rich sounding.

We could find another sound and resample the frozen reverberation tail again, but for this demonstration we will use the reverberation sample we created earlier. Repurposing the sample for both the pad and melody will help unify the sound when we layer them together.

Lets explore the freezing reverb approach further and create the following two pad sounds.

Sustaining Pad

Gated Pad

• Create a new MIDI track in Arrangement View.
• Copy the Simpler over from the Melody track because it is already loaded with the frozen reverberation sample we created earlier.
• Copy the MIDI clip over from the Melody track as well. The notes from the melody will serve as the root notes for the pad chords.
• Stretch out each note so they sustain longer. Now that we have root notes for our chords we can play around with different minor and major triad variations until each chord smoothly transitioned to next.

• Adjust the Volume envelopes to taste. For this pad I increased the Attack and Sustain controls until the pad slowly swelled and sustained for the full length of the notes.
• Transpose the notes as needed. Pads often play above the bass and below the lead. For this pad I transposed the notes down one octave.

Lastly, process the sound further by adding your favorite audio effects or third-party plugins to create a more unique sound. For these two pad sounds I added the following audio effects.

• Saturator – Used to help thicken up the sound by adding harmonic distortion.
• EQ Eight – Used to cut out unwanted low frequencies with a highpass filter.

• Auto Pan – Used as a rhythmic gating effect by setting the Phase control to ‘0.00’ and the Rate to 1/12. I discovered that inverting the phase by toggling the Invert control and setting the waveform to sawtooth down sounded better when layered with the melody. Deactivate this device if you prefer the chords to sustain rather than gate. For this sketch, I switched back and forth between the two to add some variation.
• Phaser – Used to create some additional movement and richness.

• Compressor – Used to control the difference in levels between the low and high notes. I set the mode to RMS because it’s a more relaxed type of compression that works well on pads and other sustaining sounds with less peaks. A slower Release was set for a longer duration of compression.
• Sidechain Compressor – Set to sidechain from the Kick to add a subtle amount of bounce and make room for the kick to cut through the mix better.

We reached a small milestone with the sketch and now have a pad and melody to start building a tune around. Lets check our work and hear how the pad and melody sound layered together before moving on to create some transition effects.

Layered Pad and Melody

Creating a Pitch Riser from Frozen Reverberation

Resampling frozen reverberation works great for creating various transition effects. What’s great about this technique is that you can use existing material from your tune to establish a more cohesive mix. Repurposing sounds your ear is already familiar with can often sound more pleasant than adding a completely new sound. For example, a crash cymbal used at the beginning of a breakdown would work excellent as the source material for resampling frozen reverberation to create a riser that would build anticipation at the end of the breakdown.

Lets look at how to create the following pitch riser by resampling frozen reverberation from a snare. For a more interesting effect, we will use Live’s Sampler device and take full advantage of the various LFO envelopes to modulate the sound as it rises in pitch.

Pitch Riser from Frozen Reverberation

Lets begin by running a snare sample through reverb and resampling the frozen reverberation.

• Create a new Audio track in Arrangement View.
• Drop in a sample of your choice anywhere on the timeline. For this demonstration we will use a snare sample. Note that this technique will work with MIDI as well.
• Load Live’s Reverb and any other audio effects or third party plugins to further process the sound. For this pitch riser I added Live’s Chorus effect to add some stereo width and movement.
• For best results it’s easier to activate the Freeze control with automation. Note that silence will occur if the Freeze button is activated before playback begins. It’s important to allow the sound a chance to pass through the Reverb device first so it can trigger the reverberation.

• Lastly, lets resample the frozen reverberation using the ‘Freeze and Flatten’ method we covered earlier.

Now that we have some sampled reverberation to work with its time to make a decision. We could create a pitch riser by automating the clips Pitch envelope and loading additional audio effects, or drop the sample into a sampling device and work with MIDI. For this demonstration we will work with MIDI and use Live’s Sampler device because it’s loaded with fun controls that work great for modulating sounds.

Sound Design Time!

• Create a new MIDI track in Arrangement View.
• Load Sampler and drop in the frozen reverberation sample we just created.
• Create a new MIDI clip by highlighting a region of time and holding CTRL [PC] / CMD [Mac] + Shift + M.
• Next, draw in two notes an octave apart and overlap them a bit. For this pitch riser I placed notes on F3 and F4. Later we will tune the sample so it plays in the same key as the pad and melody. We will also adjust Samplers Glide control to make the pitch slide between the overlapping notes.

Nice, lets move forward with the sound design and bring our pitch riser to life. We will start by exploring Samplers various controls that are available in each tab while shaping our pitch riser.

Sample Tab

Looking at the Sample tab lets create a loop that plays back continuously and then add crossfades to smooth out any pops or clicks when a note is held down.

• Start by dragging the loop braces around a desired portion of the sample that sounds best to you.
• Next, increase the Crossfade amount to create fades on both sides of the loop to remove any pops and clicks during playback.
• Lastly, enable the Loop Sustain Mode so that the sample will keep looping until the note is released.

Pitch/Osc Tab

The Pitch/Osc tab has some handy controls we will use to create a pitch envelope and tune the sample so it’s in key with the pad and melody.

• Enable the P.Env button to activate the pitch envelope. We will use this envelope to modulate the pitch so it ramps up by 12 semitones. Currently the pitch riser effect is 8 bars long, so we need the pitch to increase slowly 12 semitones over that length of time. To achieve this, I increased the Attack to 20 seconds and set the Pitch Amount to +12 st. I didn’t want the sound to drop in pitch when the note was released so I increased the End value to 100%.
• At this point if we played back the pitch riser effect it would play the first note and then jump up to the second note. For this pitch riser, we want the sound to slowly transition in pitch up to the next note. To accomplish this, simply choose Glide from the Glide Mode drop-down menu and adjust the Global Glide Time amount until your happy with the transition. Now the pitch riser will sound like one note rising in pitch rather than two overlapping notes.
• Lastly, let’s tune the sample so it’s in key with the pad and melody. Using Live’s Analyzer device I was able to see that the note on F3 was playing back as C3. To fix this we need to adjust the root key of the sample. This can be easily adjusted with the Global Transpose control. C3 is 5 semitones below F3, so simply increase the amount +5 semitones. You could also tune the sample using the RootKey control on the Sample tab.

Filter/Global Tab

Lets move over to the Filter/Global tab and set up some filter envelopes to create a filter sweep.

• Enable the Filter button and lower the frequency somewhere around 100 Hz. We will use the Filter envelope to slowly increase the filter frequency over 8 bars.
• Enable the F.Env button and increase the Attack to taste. The faster the Attack the faster the filter will increase in frequency. For this pitch riser I also increased the Release and End controls so that the release tail frequency sustains and doesn’t quickly swoop back down.
• Next, increase the Filter Envelope Amount to control the filters cutoff frequency. For this pitch riser I set the amount to 72, which is the max amount. I went for the max amount so that the filter opens up completely.
• Lastly, adjust the Volume envelopes to further shape the sound. For this pitch riser I increased the Attack and Release controls so that the sound slowly creeps in and then has a nice amount of release at the end. The longer release sounded much smoother and transitioned better than a shorter release for this effect.

Modulation Tab

The Modulation tab is loaded with an Auxiliary envelope and various LFO modulation controls. Here we will have some fun modulating the pitch riser to make it sound more interesting.

I thought it would be cool if the pitch riser started to pan and pump towards the end of the effect to build up more anticipation. To achieve this I used the following LFO settings to modulate various controls.

• Enable the LFO 1 button.
• Increase the Volume and Pan amount. I kept the amount somewhat subtle so it didn’t sound to crazy and out of control.
• Set the LFO Rate to Sync so that modulation occurs in-sync with the tunes tempo. Adjust the Beats to ¼ so that the pumping occurs on every quarter beat.

At this point the panning and pumping was occurring throughout the entire effect. I thought it would sound better if these two modulating controls could slowly creep in like the filter. This is where the Auxiliary envelope comes into play.

• Enable the Aux button.
• Increase the Attack to a desired amount of time. For this sound I set it to the same amount of time as the Filter and Pitch envelopes.
• We need to tell the envelope what controls to modulate. Choose the destination source from the ‘A’ and ‘B’ drop-down menus. For this sound, it is the ‘LFO 1 Amt Pan’ and ‘LFO 1 Amt Vol.’
• Next, set the amount you would like the envelope to modulate. 100 seemed to work well for this sound.
• Lastly, let’s clean up the sound by loading an EQ Eight with a highpass filter set to cut any unwanted low frequencies and a high shelf filter to tame the higher frequencies.

Sweet, that wraps it up for our frozen reverb adventure. Lets move on and look at the Freeze function for Live’s Ping Pong Delay device.

Creating a Vocal Loop Effect from Frozen Delay

Live’s Ping Pong Delay has a Freeze function as well. The Freeze button on the Ping Pong Delay is labeled ‘F.’ Activating this button during playback will buffer the audio and cause the delay to endlessly cycle, ignoring any new input until Freeze is deactivated.

This feature is great for capturing delayed audio to create a loop that can be further processed or modulated. The creative possibilities are up to you, however we will look at using this technique on a vocal sample to get your music making gears turning.

Freezing vocal samples is always fun. Using the Freeze function on Live’s Ping Pong Delay, we will capture a vocal snippet and modulate the delay times to create a more interesting vocal effect.

Lets explore this approach further and create the following delayed vocal effect.

Modulating Frozen Vocals with Ping Pong Delay

To get started create a new Audio track in Arrangement View and load a vocal sample. This technique works with MIDI as well. Next, lets load the following audio effects to process the sound further.

• Dynamic Tube – Adds a mild amount of warmth. Saturating the signal before it delays is common technique used to help the signal sound more analog.
• EQ Eight – Used to cut unwanted low frequencies and unpleasant resonant frequencies. This helps clean up the vocal a lot.

• Audio Effect rack containing a Ping Pong Delay. This allowed me to Macro map the Freeze button and Dry/Wet control to the same Macro control. Doing this makes it easier to automate the Freeze control and stop the sample from delaying when Freeze is deactivated. I Macro mapped the Beat Division controls as well to a different Macro control. This will allow us to automate the delay times.

• Compressor – Used to control sporadic volume peaks and balance levels for a more consistent sounding vocal effect.
• Gate – Used to clean up the sound ever further by removing low-level noise. Tuning the threshold by increasing the Attack and decreasing the Release helped tighten things up as well.
• Limiter – Used to boost the signal and add some power back in that was lost while EQing the sample.

Things are coming along, almost to the finish line. Now that we have our vocal sample sounding smooth, let’s have some fun. Using the Macro controls lets draw in some automaton to active the Freeze button and modulate the delay times to create a vocal buildup.

Creating a Frozen Snare Buildup with Beat Repeat

Finally, the last stop on our frozen adventure takes us to Live’s Beat Repeat audio effect. The Beat Repeat doesn’t have a Freeze button but it does have a similar function called Repeat. Activating the Repeat button will immediately capture material and play repetitions until the button is deactivated. Note that activating the Repeat button bypasses the Interval, Offset, Chance, and Gate controls.

Lets get down and dirty with Beat Repeat and use the Repeat function to capture a snare sample. While the snare is repeating we will automate the Grid control to increase the rate of the repeated snare to create the following buildup.

Frozen Snare Buildup

• Create a new Audio track in Arrangement View. This technique works with MIDI as well.
• Drag in a sample you wish to repeat. For this buildup we are using a snare sample.
• Load Beat Repeat. For this sound we will keep the default settings.
• Automate the Repeat button to activate just after the sample plays.
• Automate the Grid control as well to control the size of each slice. This sounds like the snare roll is increasing in rate. Perfect for a snare roll buildup!

This is a basic snare roll, but feel free to play around with some of the other controls to create a more unique sound.

Finally we will use the ‘Freeze and Flatten’ method to bounce the sound to audio and then run the signal through some reverb so it sits back in the mix. Again, feel free to get creative by adding your own audio effects, or take things ever further by editing the audio. For example, you could chop up the audio and rearrange different sections, stretch the audio, reverse sections, and go crazy with any other edits you can come up with.

Check out some other great Beat Repeat tricks HERE. Dubspot Contributor and Ableton Live Certified Trainer Josh Spoon shows us how to make a unique, rhythmic beat repeat rack.

That wraps up our frozen adventure. We now have some great material to work with and can start building a groovy tune. Before we add the remainder elements to complete our sketch lets hear all of our new frozen sounds playing together.

Frozen Sounds Unite

Ping Pong Delay Ableton Download

Great work! Many thanks to all you music makers who followed along and hung in there throughout the entire tutorial. Hopefully some of these techniques will spark a few new ideas you can try in your own projects. I would love to hear what you come up with, just drop a link to your tune in the comments section below.


Dub Techno Tutorial

I’m a big fan of artists like Echospace, Basic Channel, and DJ Pete. Dub production techniques in techno have seen a resurgence in the last ten years as the modern Berghain sound has boomed. For this dub techno tutorial we use sounds, instruments and effects that come with Live Suite 10 so there’s no need to download anything extra.

Here is what we’ll be making…. The track builds up to 0:30 when the chord and it’s derived bass come in together, (you might need headphones for this one!)…

How to make Dub Techno…

For dub techno the effects and processing will be very important and do the bulk of the work. You can set up just four elements: one chord hit, a 909 hi hat, clap and kick, and the process them heavily with delays, drive and reverb to keeping the chord floating and moving in the mix.

We want to reproduce analogue dub mixing techniques as much as possible – driving, filtering, delaying, and delaying some more. And then the whole track comes alive with the live mixing / tweaking of these parameters to keep the track moving and building.

We’ll go into more details below….

Dub Techno Ableton Rack

We outline how to set everything up below, but to make it even easier you can download the rack for the dub techno chord here…

Lets get started making the track…..

We set the bpm to 125bpm. Then we’ll set up some simple drums.

We’ll start with the kick drum – we want to make a good dub techno kick kick that cuts through the mix, but at the same time doesn’t need to be a big overly compressed techno kick that dominates the mix.

Create a new channel with a Simpler and select the Kick-909 sample that comes with Ableton. We change the filter setting on the Simpler to OSR (which models the old OSCar filters) and add some Drive. Then add a Saturator and EQ Eight and process it to taste as in the following image…

This plays a four to the floor pattern with a double kick at the end of the bar every 4 bars. You can copy this midi pattern if you like…

Then we use a 909 sample for the clap (Clap-909), we add to a Simpler in a new channel with this midi….

Pitch it down a bit with a Pitch unit (I love the sound of slightly pitched down drums tbh, especially for slower dub techno). Then filter it down slightly and drive it on the Simpler filter (with the OSR setting). We do this to make the clap low-passed and driven – I love the way a lot of dub sounds are filtered in the mix taking the top end off them and then saturated.

Then add over drive, delay and reverb as in the images below. Then add another Overdrive to drive that fx chain and bring out the reverb and delays. Like having a hardware fx units but then driving them at the mixer by red lining it for some nice warm saturation. I like a thin band on the last Overdrive Unit to give the sound more character in a small frequency band. It sounds good when you sweep it or automate it in the mix. Then add EQ with EQ Eight to taste

And lastly for the percussion we make a new channel for a Simpler and choose the sample ‘Hihat-909-Closed’ with this midi…

Then we low-pass the hat on the Simpler filter slightly and drive it with the OSR setting. This drives it and cuts the top end off it nicely as we did for the clap above.
Then overdrive it to taste.
Then add a delay unit, set it to ping pong and experiment with the filtering so the hat delays nicely in the high-end in a thin band so it does not overcrowd the mix. We move the left and right delays so they are ‘off’ and imperfect – one up 2% and one down 2%. This gives it some stereo width.
Then Overdrive it to taste, we use a thin band.

The a little bit of grain delay for some small, weird delays. Turn up the DryWet on the grain delay to hear what it is doing. You could automate this subtlety throughout the track if you like to keep the hats moving / floating in the delay/reverb chain.
Then reverb and EQ Eight.

That is a long signal chain for the a hi-hat! But the two delays and the reverb can be tweaked and automated to keep the hat constantly changing and moving – floating in the mix. Feel free to tweak and change the settings as much as you like.

Dub Techno Chords

Ok, now for the the most important part of this dub techno tutorial… how to make dub techno chords… and their fx chain!

Set up the midi for just one note to play at the start of the bar….

All of this is in the Rack to download (the link is higher up in this article) – so get it and add it to your track if you want to do things the easy way! Or you can follow these instructions, here is a run down of what all the units in the chain do…

Chord Unit – I like to set up a one finger chord…. so I set up a Chord unit with +3 and +7 semi-tone settings which means that by playing one note it will be like playing three notes in a minor chord. So now by playing B (the root note) it will also play a note 3 semitones up and another 7 semitones up – B ,D ,F# – a minor chord that you would play with 3 fingers on a piano. You can play any one note and get a minor chord from it.

Operator – Lets use a detuned saw tooth here, these are the most commonly use waveforms in dub techno chords. They sound great in a filtered down chord. So we set up an Operator with two saw waves (A and B) detuned against each other by turning up the fine tuning of B slightly (this is also mapped to the Macro Controls for easy automation/tweaking). Try turning up the first macro and you will hear the effect of this – you can almost turn it into rave stab by detuning it a lot if that is the sort of sound you want to go for.

Auto Filter – Then a filter unit to low pass the chord. We also use the Envelope amount and release to control how much of the chord comes through. These small filter controls at the start of the fx chain can be tweaked live and can really change the dub chord. The Frequency of this is mapped to the Macro controls of the rack, and we automate it through the audio example above.

The I added a Grain Delay unit. You can see it at the end of the first image and start of the second. This is a weird Ableton effect that I haven’t used in many tracks to be honest, but it is perfect to add here – I’ve set the pitch to ‘-12’ so aswell as adding nice delay, it is pitched down an octave and so it adds a delayed sub bass to the chord. You can hear the system-shaking bass that comes in at 30 seconds in the sound clip, as the Grain Delay DryWet is turned up when the beat comes back in. The bass is boosted later on too, but the main weight of the bass comes from the Grain Delay unit with it’s octave down delays. Play with the DryWet (also mapped to the macro, and automated in our example) and Feedback controls and you’ll hear what it is doing.

I love dub techno bass and this pitched down delay is a great way of creating a delayed bass element to the mix.

Vinyl Distortion module – A lot of older dub techno has some noise or small artefacts in the mix from the analogue signal chain, which give it so much character. So we’ve added some here with the ‘Crack’ preset slightly modified – be careful with the volume as a little goes a long way here.

Then there is an Overdrive with a thin frequency band to distort and filter the signal. The frequency of this unit is mapped to a macro control that controls BOTH Overdrive unit’s frequencies together.

Following that, a Drum Buss. I love these units – this one has a lot of Boom to bring out the bass of the chord, and the Transients are turned up – this makes the chord a bit more punchy and also picks out some of the vinyl distortion for earlier in the chain.

Echo – this is the main dub delay in the rack. It is the closest you will get to dub delay in Ableton, I like the unit a lot.. It is set up for a fairly standard delay time – with a little bit of ‘error’ on each side but make the Left channel -0.7% and the Right 1%. Play with the feedback of this for big changes in the sound (this is mapped to a Macro).

Second Drum Buss unit – this adds Drive Boom and some more transients to pick out the delays from the Echo unit too.

Delay – This is set to ping pong to have a low Dry/Wet amount and high feedback, at a high range frequency filter band. You cannot hear it much in the mix as standard, but when you lift the Dry/Wet (also mapped to a Macro) it introduces a high end tight delay to the mix. You can hear in the audio sample we bring this occasionally in the mix – also you can see in the automation section later in this article the exact amounts.

Second Overdrive – a subtle effect at 16% wet dry. It adds some light saturation to the delays before it. This is mapped to the ‘Ovrdrive freq(s)’ Macro knob which controls the filter band for both of the Overdrive unitsthis is to mimic redlining the fx chain on an analogue mixer which adds sem warmth after the effects. This is to mimic redlining the channel on an analogue mixer which adds some warmth after the effects by overdriving them.

Reverb – set to 39% Dry/Wet for a lot of reverb in the chain. This is really important for dub techno – both the Decay Time and Dry/Wet can be tweaked for great effect (and both are mapped to Macros).

Limiter to squash the mix just slightly and tweaked correctly it has a nice effect on the reverbed sound.

Compressor – sidechained to the kick so the bass frequencies of the kick and chord don’t overcrowd each other in the mix.

EQ Eight – the chain is the EQ’d to taste.

Feel free to tweak these as you like and change to the order of them to see how it affects the final sound. Have fun with it, be warned though you can loose days sat tweaking these chords!

Automation of the dub-chord….

Here’s a screenshot of the automation of the Rack Macros used in the this dub techno tutorial so you can copy them or use them as an inspiration or a starting point for your own…

From top down – Frequency. The filter frequency is opened up over time to let out the high end of the chord and build tension.

Grain Sub‘ – this is the Dry/wet of the grain delay that adds a delay chord an octave lower. It is added slightly at the start of the track and then faded out a bit. Then back in at bar 17 for the big bassline swell..

Echo Fdback – the feedback of the Echo machine – we ramp it up here as a build. But you could have it coming in and out slowly to keep the delays moving and changing.

High PingPng‘ – we bring the ping pong delay in and out to keep the mix interesting. we also use it as a build, where it ramps up at the end of the first 16 bars.

Reverb decay – used as build – fully up it can make the whole fx chain swell to a pad-like tone.

Env Modulation – (not a macro, I automated it from the filter) this is the filter Envelope Amount. It will shorten the amount of the chord let through the filter (which will obviously have more audible effect the lower the filter is).

Env Release – (not a macro, I automated it from the filter) this controls the release of the filter envelope mentioned above. These last two controls only have a subtle effect in our mix, but if you lower the filter down to just low bass frequencies and the Env Modulation would have a much bigger effect.

Arrangement and Mixer settings….

Here’s the arrangement outline for the small section we made in the audio example. It is just a few bars but it gives you an idea of how a whole track could pan out.

And here is how we mixed it down – the hats and clap are quite low in the mix with the kick and chord driving the whole track.

Macro Controls of the rack:

Here’s a run down of the rack controls (download link higher up the article). They are all mentioned earlier, in this dub techno tutorial, but here they are all in one place so you can refer to them and use the rack immediately….

Detune 2nd Osc – controls how detuned the initial chord is, by moving the frequency of the second oscillator away from the first.

Frequency – the filter frequency

Grain Sub – the grain delay wet dry amount (the delay is pitched an octave down, so this effectively adds a delayed sub bass to the chord). Turning it up adds a lot of bass!

Overdrive freq(s) – This controls the filter sweep of both overdrive units together.

Echo Fdbck – The feedback amount of the main dub delay, the Echo.

High PingPng – This adds a ping pong delay in the high frequency range.

Reverb Decay – the length of the reverb

Reverb Amount – the wet/dry mix of the main reverb unit.


Hope you enjoyed this dub techno tutorial. I really enjoyed making this. It turned out there was a lot to write about to be honest!

Again, here is what is sounds like….

Here are some more things to try…

Ping Pong Delay Ableton Download

Try other chords (non-one finger ones) and different midi. All the delay timings, wet/dry and feedback can be tweaked along side the filter frequencies for a radically different sound.

You could add the rack to a new channel playing a different note and processing it differently with different echo times maybe and make the two channels or chords compliment each other.

You can try different reverbs/delays. We made an Ableton Spring Reverb which you can try adding instead of the reverb unit. Also use an LFO tool (like the Max for Live one) to control the overdrives and filters / frequencies over time to make the whole track move organically.

I really hope you can make something great with this as a starting point, I would love to hear what you come up with.

Ping Pong Delay Ableton Download Full

You might like these other articles we wrote…. EBM Bassline Tutorial: Ableton, Dance Mania Influenced Beat and Rolling Techno Bassline Ableton

Ping Pong Delay Ableton Download

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