Ableton Live 10 ~ Echo

Ableton Live 10 ~ Echo

Ableton Live 10’s Echo is a delay effect that allows us to delay an audio signal independently in the left and right channels while at the same time having the option to apply a filter, some modulation & other effects. If Simple Delay is a Prius… Echo is a Tesla… Model 3. Both are effective, but Echo is most definitely a one stop shop for creating complex delay effects.

In general, I use delay a ton in my mixes, but I tend to find myself patching together complex simple delay audio effect racks with EQs, Auto Pans & Reverb. Fortunately, Echo has simplified my workflow and allows me to capture delay effect ideas much quicker. Gotta catch that wave, bruh!

The UI is split between Echo, Modulation & Character. Let’s go ahead and explore the Echo Tab first!

Echo Tab

Echo Tunnel = Visual representation of our delay times in action

Lines = Represent the individual repeats or “echoes” from the outside in

Line Distance = Represents the duration of time in between the echoes, or Delay Time

Dots = Represent a fixed 1/8th grid for our reference

Delay Division = Adjust each channels delay times

Stereo Link = Toggle between two edit modes

// Activated = Adjust the delay settings for both channels simultaneously

// Deactivated = Adjust the delay settings for each channel independently

Delay Mode = Adjust the Delay Time between beat-synced and time-based delays

Sync Mode Chooser = Further adjust the beat-synced delay times seen above

// Choices = Notes, Triplet, Dotted & 16th

Delay Offset = Shorten or extend the Delay Time by fractional amounts

// Tip = With Stereo Link deactivated, this is useful for slight variations between channel Delay Times

Input = Adjust the amplitude of the original signal getting fed into Echo

D = Add slight distortion to the original signal

Feedback = Adjust the amplitude of the output signal that is being fed back into Echo’s input

// Higher Value = Produces more “echoes”

// Lower Value = Produces less “echoes"

Ø = Invert each channel’s output signal before making another lap around back into Echo’s input

Filter = Further shape the delayed sound with a high-pass & low-pass filter combo

Filter Frequency = Adjust the cutoff frequency for both filters

Filter Resonance = Adjust the amount of attenuation for both filters

// Tip = Click & drag the yellow dots in the display to adjust both at once

Channel Mode = Choose between three different delay modes

Stereo = Delay the sound normally, in both channels

Ping Pong = Delay the sound while the signal bounces or "ping pongs” to the Left & Right channels, swapping them back and forth

Mid/Side  = Delay the Mid portion of the sound separate from the Side portion

// Tip = Left & Right channels now read as Mid & Side instead of Left & Right

Reverb = Mix in a simple reverberated signal into our delayed sound

Reverb Location = Choose where in the signal flow the reverb gets applied

// Choices = Pre or Post the delay or Feedback which will feed the reverb back through Echo’s input

Reverb Decay = Adjust the length of the Reverb Tail

Stereo Width = Adjust the stereo image of the delayed sound

// 0% = Mono signal

// 200% = Widened stereo panorama

Output = Adjust the amount of gain applied to the delayed signal

Dry/Wet = Adjust the mixture between the original signal and the delayed signal

Modulation Tab

Modulation Oscillator = Modulate the Delay Time & Filter Frequency (essentially an LFO)

Modulation Waveform = Choose between 6 modulation waveforms

// Choices = Sine, triangle, sawtooth up, sawtooth down, square & noise

Sync = Sync the modulation with the BPM of our set

Modulation Sync Rate = Set the speed of modulation by Beat Divisions

// Choices = From 1/64 to 8 bars

Modulation Frequency = Set the speed of modulation by Hertz

// Choices = From 0.01Hz to 40 Hz

Phase = Adjust the amount of offset between the left and right channels

// Tip = Experiment with different combinations of Delay Times, Speed & Phase for maximum fun!

Delay Time Modulation = Adjust the amount of modulation applied to the Delay Time

// Tip = Helps create the illusion that the delayed sound is fading away in the distance

x4 = Scale the intensity of the Delay Time Modulation by a factor of four

// Tip = When activated, shorter delay times produce deep flanging sounds

Filter Frequency Modulation = Adjust the amount of modulation applied to the Filter Frequency

// Tip = Again, helps create the illusion that the delayed sound is fading away in the distance

Envelope Mix = Blend the signal between the Modulation Oscillator & the Envelope Follower

// 100% =  Only the envelope's modulation is heard

// 0% = Only the LFO is heard

Character Tab

Character Parameters = Add some fine tune adjustments to the sound… to give it some character!

Gate = Enable a gate at Echo’s input, muting the signal flow if it drops below the threshold

// Tip = Useful for shortening the delayed sounds sustain, creating snappier/pluckier delays

Gate Threshold = Adjust the amplitude level at which the Gate is activated

// Tip = Anything above this level will open the gate

Gate Release = Adjust the duration of time for the gate to close after the signal has dropped below the threshold

Ducking = Reduce the delayed signal amplitude when an input signal is present

// Tip = Useful for preserving the original signal’s transients

Ducking Threshold = Adjust the amplitude level at which Ducking takes place

// Tip = Anything above this level will result in Ducking

Ducking Release = Adjust the duration of time for the Ducking to stop after the signal has dropped below the threshold

Noise = Emulate the character of vintage gear by introducing various types of noise

Noise Amount = Adjust the amplitude of the noise

Noise Morph = Morph between the different types of noise Echo offers 

Wobble = Emulate tape delays by introducing irregular modulation of delay times

Wobble Amount = Adjust the amplitude of the wobble

Wobble Morph = Morph between the different types of wobble modulation

Repitch = Implements pitch variation when changing delay times, emulating hardware delay units

// Deactivated = A simple crossfade will occur between the old and new delay times instead

Video

0:29 = Overview
1:21 = Echo Tab
8:04 = Modulation Tab
10:36 = Character Tab

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