Professionals or people who work with audio files like editing and mixing needs to resample on an everyday basis. Resampling is done through audio editing software and Ableton is one of them. Are you looking for a proper tutorial on How to Resample in Ableton Live? Read this article to find out more about it.
Audio editing software can be fundamentally the same but they can be very different when it comes to usage. If you are not particularly experienced in using audio editing software, resampling might sound tough.
But it is fairly easy if you know the right steps. And in this article, we are going to specifically talk about how to resample in Ableton Live. We are going to discuss the entire process in-depth and before that, we are going to know more about resampling and distinguish it between the other functionaries of audio editing software.
What is Ableton?
Ableton Live is a digital audio workstation (DAW) software designed by Ableton. It is available for Windows and Mac platforms.
Ableton has been around since 2001 and they were particularly focused on making the best DAW. It is undoubtedly one of the best DAW out there which is highly recommended and trusted by professionals all over the world.
Ableton Live 11 is the improved version of its predecessor Ableton Live 10 with some subtle tweaks, improvements, and exciting new users. Resampling can be performed using Ableton Live 11 and this article will particularly focus on resampling using Ableton.
What is Resample?
Resample in terms of audio files means converting the sample rate of audio files. Resampling means mixing, editing or manipulating audio without losing quality.
So if you want to convert the sample rate of a digital audio file to a different sample rate, you need to resample.
Converting the base sample rate of an audio file to a higher sample rate is called upsampling. And the opposite that is to convert the base sample rate to a lower sample rate is called downsampling.
The most common sample rate of music CDs is 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz for movies. Usually, higher sample rates indicate better audio quality. So as an example, if you want to convert the sample rate from 44.1 kHz to 48 kHz, that would be upsampling.
And if you need to do the opposite, that is to convert from 48 kHz to 44.1 kHz, that would be downsampling. These are some common examples on how to resample in Ableton Live.
Different Methods of Resampling in Ableton Live
By now, you should have a general idea about resampling. Now, what you need to know is how to resample audio by using Ableton Live.
The best part is that there is more than one method of resampling using Ableton, and in the following discussion, we are going to explain all the methods in-depth and the unique benefits of each method so that you can distinguish between them and decide what you need.
Resample Using the ‘Resampling” feature
There is a feature that is called ‘Resampling’ in Ableton Live. You can use this feature from the ‘Input type’ menu of any track.
By using this, you can a new editable audio track from one or more source tracks. The new editable audio track will contain the exact same bit depth of the source audio tracks or what is set in the preference menu.
According to Ableton, it is recommended to set the internal recording to 32 bits so that you can ensure a neutral and uniform record of the plugged-in instruments (if any or any other audio signals that are to be processed through different plug-ins.
Using lower bit depth of the source audio is not recommended because recording a 16-bit sample in 32 bits won't improve the quality at all.
Before resampling with Ableton, there are some other things that you should know about as well. The resampling option will route the audio track to the master output and you will be able to control which audio signal will pass through processing and reach the master output by muting or soloing the tracks.
For example, if you want to resample any audio in a group, it will result in the audio being resampled with the other effects in the group. So if you want to solo a track or want unprocessed audio, make sure to turn off the effects.
How to Resample Using the ‘Resampling” feature
Using the resample feature is relatively easy. You just need to follow few steps and you are good to go. Also, you can bounce audio which you can view in session view and arrangement view.
To resample using the ‘Resampling’ feature in Ableton Live, at first you need to create a new audio track that is available right below the audio track you want to resample. After that, you will find an option named ‘audio form’ from the drop-down menu where you need to select ‘Resampling.
Now you have to arm the track you wish to resample by clicking ‘record’. After that, either you can ‘solo’ the tracks or group the tracks that you want to resample. Now, to start the recording, locate the ‘Arrangement record’ in the arrangement view and click it. In the session view, find the record icon which is like a little red round button.
After this, the recording will begin. You can stop the recording anytime by pressing the spacebar of your keyboard.
Pros and Cons of Using ‘Resampling”
There are some unique benefits of using the feature ‘Resampling’ of Ableton and some drawbacks as well Let's get to the pros first.
One of the best parts of using ‘resampling’ is that you can resample multiple tracks at once and turn them into a single editable track where you can monitor the output as well. Another unique benefit is that you have full control over the effects and the processing of the tracks.
The only drawback is that the process is a bit time-consuming as it is a real-time process. And there is more scope of making mistakes for people at the beginning stage.
Resample using the ‘Freeze Track’ and ‘Flatten’ Feature
This is another very useful method of resampling using Ableton. This is in fact the best method to reduce CPU usage or use it efficiently to resample audio fast. It is achieved by playing back a specified freeze file rather than processing clips in real-time.
By using the ‘Freeze track’ feature, you can freeze a track temporarily and generate a pre-fader bounce of the output signal of the tracks including all automation and devices. And if you froze a track using the ‘Freeze track’ feature and wish to unfreeze it and edit, you can use the ‘Unfreeze’ feature that is available in the same place.
One thing you should know before is that, after you have frozen a track, you won't be able to control parameters, clip settings, or automation. However, basic mixer controls are still available as it is basically a pre-fader bounce.
This option ‘Freeze track’ can be used to resample audio. After creating frozen audio, you can create a new audio track or use the frozen audio to the new track through the ‘flatten’ feature. It will render the frozen audio permanently and result in resampling. Though availing of these features removes all the preexisting clip settings, device, or automation.
This feature is quite different from using the ‘resampling’ feature that you have to keep in mind. Frozen tracks use 32-bit rendering settings by default which makes sure that they won't be lower in quality than the base audio track before freezing.
But in some special circumstances, it might result in inconsistency which must be noted. When it comes to arrangement view. Frozen audio will not cut off the materials that extend beyond the source clip but on the other hand, frozen audio in session view will cut off the materials that extend beyond the source clip right after using the freeze feature.
Another thing that you should know before freezing a track is that frozen tracks are played back using warp and beats mode by default which might result in inconsistency as well compared to the source audio.
How to Resample Using the ‘Freeze Track’ and ‘Flatten’ Feature
Using this feature is different than using the ‘Resampling” feature itself but it is also not that hard. You can do it quickly by following the instructions mentioned in the following:
First, find the source audio that you wish to edit and right-click on it. A drop-down menu will appear and you will have to select the ‘freeze track’ option and the track will be frozen. Please note that it is not possible to freeze group tracks.
After you have frozen an audio track, you can unfreeze it anytime using the ‘unfreeze’ option by right-clicking it. And if you want to proceed to resample, use the ‘flatten’ option that you can find on the edit menu and it will create a new track.
Ableton live offers you plenty of flexibility and resampling audio is more than possible. You can explore the methods on how to resample in Ableton Live mentioned above to find what suits you the most.
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