Ableton's Saturator. A saturator is a device that applies compression and distortion. Back when recording to tape was the norm, engineers had to make sure the signal they were recording to tape wasn’t too low. If it were, the engineer would end up with a recording full of noise caused by the surface of the tape.
The latest version of Ableton Live 11 Lite is out now. Live Lite is included in the purchase of a wide range of hardware products.
Owners of any previous version of Live Lite can upgrade for free.
This new version adds new and updated devices, more sounds, a higher scene count and functionality that gives musicians a full music production palette. Some of the new features include:
MIDI Polyphonic Expression
MPE lets you add bends, slides and pressure for each individual note in a chord, add subtle expression variations, morph between chords and create evolving sonic textures more easily.
Sounds and effects
Four effects – Chorus-Ensemble, Phaser-Flanger, Limiter, Saturator – bring a much wider range of sound shaping possibilities to Live Lite. The upgrades to the Live Core Library that came with Live 11 are now available for Live Lite, new sounds, drum kits, Racks, Grooves, loops and MIDI clips.
Saturator Ableton Download Windows
You can now add up to 16 Scenes for more varied arrangements and space to experiment with ideas. And with Tempo Following, Live listens to and adjusts its tempo based on incoming audio from another musician or other gear like drum machines in real time.
To see everything new in Live 11 Lite, visit the product page.
Compression seems to be a bit of a frightening beast to many people when they first learn about it, and when they first start producing music; it certainly was for me! There are a million guides out there to tell you all about it, but at the end of the day it does one thing and one thing only… turns down the volume. Of course, the devil in the details, and just HOW it turns down that volume is where all the afore-mentioned trickery comes in.
In this video, I show a standard use of a compressor – to turn down the peaks of a drum loop. This is a very common approach when the peaks in the drum signal are a little too loud, and you’re wanting to reign them in a bit. Usually, you’d want to do this so afterwards you can turn up the overall level of the drums to make them sound a bit fuller in the mix, without those high peaks taking up all your headroom. This is the quintessential, classic, compressor one-oh-one usage.
But, this is not a video about compression. What I aim to show is that a VERY similar effect can be achieved using a Saturator instead of a Compressor! With careful use of an oscilloscope, and a bit of understanding about what these processors are doing under the hood, you can set up a saturator to perform this task brilliantly. Using a saturator to remove or reduce peaks in a signal is incredibly useful at mixdown, and a trick I use multiple times in every track I make… in my opinion it should be in every producers tool-box!
The video is made using Ableton Live, using the built in compressor and saturator, as well as an excellent oscilloscope called S(m)exoscope, which is available free for Windows and Mac.