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How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects

by / Wednesday, 12 September 2018 / Published in Ableton Live, Music production tutorials

This tutorial shows the user How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects.

CLICK HERE to learn Ableton Live one on one with a digital  audio professional at OBEDIA. 

 

Ableton’s AMP audio effect is the stock guitar and bass amplifier emulation developed by Softube and included in Live. It lets the user switch between 7 amplifier types, shape the tone with 4 bands of equalization, control the input gain, output volume, Dry/Wet contribution and a mono/stereo switcher. CABINET is the cabinet emulation audio effect included in Live and designed to be paired after AMP; it gives the user the ability to switch between 5 speaker types, 3 microphone positions, 2 microphone types, mono/dual switcher and output control.

The combination of AMP and CABINET represent the ultimate solution for electric guitar and electric bass guitar recording in Live when the user only has the ability to record a DI track.

This tutorial will present a step-by-step guide on how to configure and use the AMP and CABINET audio effects in Live.

 

  1. Create a Live Set with at least one audio track
How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects

The picture above shows a Live Set with one audio track.

 

2. From the Browser, search for Audio Effects -> Amp.

How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects

 

3. Drag and Drop the AMP audio effect on top of the audio track labeled as “Audio 1”.

As soon as this effect has been dropped on top of the track, it is easy to see how the AMP audio effect now appears first in the device view.

How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects

 

4. From the Browser, search for Audio Effects -> Cabinet.

How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects

 

5. Drag and Drop the CABINET audio effect on top of the audio track labeled as “Audio 1”.

As soon as this effect has been dropped on top of the track, it is easy to see how the CABINET audio effect now appears second in the device view, to the right of the AMP audio effect, therefore the output of AMP feeds the input of CABINET.

How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects

 

6. Configure AMP and CABINET audio effects for the desired purposes

Now that we have added both effects to our audio track, we can explain each of the parameters included. The first effect we will be explaining is AMP. The following picture shows the graphic interface of this audio effect.

How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects

The picture above shows the graphic interface of AMP.

 

AMP has 9 parameters the user can control, these are:

  • Amp Type: This control presents several buttons to select different amplifier style emulations. The possible options are:
    • Clean: based on the “brilliant” channel of a ’60s classic amp.
    • Boost: based on the “tremolo” channel of a ’60s classic amp.
    • Blues: based on a ’70s era bright amp.
    • Rock: based on a classic 45-watt amp from the ’60s.
    • Lead: based on the “modern” channel of a high-gain amp.
    • Heavy: based on the “vintage”channel of a high-gain amp.
    • Bass: modeled after a rare PA system from the ’70s which has become popular with bass players because of its strong low-end and fuzz characteristics at high volumes.
  • Gain: This knob controls the input gain.
  • Bass: Adjusts (cut or boost) bass frequencies as part of the 3-band EQ included.
  • Middle: Adjusts (cut or boost) middle frequencies as part of the 3-band EQ included.
  • Treble: Adjusts (cut or boost) high frequencies as part of the 3-band EQ included.
  • Presence: This knob acts as another tone control for mid/high frequencies but as part of the power amp stage. It can be used to add or remove edge or crispness to the overall tone.
  • Mono/Dual switcher: This button switches the output of the amp from mono to stereo and vice versa.
  • Volume: This knob controls the overall output of the effect.
  • Dry/Wet: This knob controls the balance between the original signal and the processed signal coming out of this effect.

 

Now that we have explained the parameters of AMP, we can progress into CABINET.

How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects

The picture above shows the graphic interface of CABINET.

 

CABINET presents 5 different parameters the user can control, such as:

  • Speaker: This drop-down list lets the user select between 5 different speaker types (1×12, 2×12, 4×12, 4×10 and 4×10 for bass).
  • Microphone position: This drop-down list lets the user select between 3 different microphone positions (Near on-axis, near off-axis, far).
  • Condenser/Dynamic: This switcher lets the user toggle between a condenser microphone and a dynamic microphone.
  • Output: This switcher lets the user toggle between mono and dual (stereo) output.
  • Dry/Wet: This knob lets the user control the balance between the dry signal and the processed signal coming out of the effect.

 

For the purpose of this tutorial we will configure AMP and CABINET to get a classic distorted metal rhythm electric guitar tone.

The parameters of AMP will be set as:

  • Amp Type: Heavy.
  • Gain: 7.
  • Bass: 4.
  • Middle: 7
  • Treble: 6.
  • Presence: 5.
  • Mono/Dual switcher: Mono.
  • Volume: 9.
  • Dry/Wet: 100%.

 

The parameters of CABINET will be set as:

  • Speaker: 4×12.
  • Microphone position: Near on-axis.
  • Condenser/Dynamic: Dynamic.
  • Output: Dual.
  • Dry/Wet: 100%.

 

Our final configuration will look like the following:

How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects

Configuration of AMP and CABINET for a metal rhythm electric guitar tone.

 

We have now finished configuring our audio effects and they are ready to be used.

It is important to note that these are audio effects, therefore they can be applied to any source that outputs audio; it does not have to be necessarily applied to a DI track (like we are doing in this case). AMP and CABINET can be applied to drum machines, vocals, synthesizers, loops and realistically almost any source in order to obtain very interesting results. The possibilities are endless and it is encouraged that you try them on everything!

We hope you found this tutorial on How to use the Ableton Live AMP and CABINET audio effects useful!

CLICK HERE to learn Ableton Live one on one with a digital  audio professional at OBEDIA. 

 

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