Fun with Ableton

So I’ve spent the past few days setting up a live set using Ableton and my Novation X-Station. So far it consists of 7 audio channels, most of which have a dedicated effect, with a bunch of stuff pre-mapped to the X-Station.

Here’s the channel breakdown as it stands now:

  • 1: Beat repeat, EQ3 & auto filter
  • 2: Dry
  • 3: Saturator
  • 4: Phaser
  • 5: Grain delay
  • 6: Dry
  • 7: Auto filter
  • Send A: filter delay, compressor
  • Master: compressor

Channels 1 & 2 are used for drums, and channel 3 for bass. Everything else is used for whatever.

I’ve mapped 7 of the sliders on my X-Station to the channel volumes, and the buttons above to the mutes. The rest of the knobs and buttons control various effects parameters. Here’s the template from the Novation X-Station editor so you can see what I mean:

Here’s a run-down by section:


  • SEND A: send A level (ch1)
  • REPEAT: toggles beat repeat (ch1)
  • LOW CUT: cuts the low on EQ3 (ch1)
  • S. LEVEL: saturator dry/wet (ch3)
  • S. BASE: saturator base level (ch3)
  • P. LEVEL: phaser dry/wet (ch4)
  • P. RATE: phaser rate (ch4)
  • G.D LVL: grain delay wet/dry (ch 5)

The filters section is mapped to the auto filters on channels 1 & 7 (toggled via the 1-2 button). Ideally I’d have a separate controller for each filter, but this should do for

  • F. FREQ: filter frequency
  • FLT. RES: filter resonance
  • F.E. AMT: filter envelope amount
  • F.L. AMT: filter LFO amount (filter 1 only)
  • F. TYPE: filter type


  • FLT. RTE: controls the filter rate for filter 1


  • SEND A: feeds send A back to itself
  • F.D. FRQ: filter delay filter frequency

As you can see, I still have a few more sliders I could map to an 8th and 9th channel. I’m thinking about adding one channel for MIDI clips, and one for general effects (swooshes, etc.) that I could trigger from different keys. I was also thinking about setting up some side-chain compression, say, take the low-end from channels 1 & 2 (beats) and use it to side-chain the bass channel and possibly my “swoosh” channel.

More to come on this as it evolves 🙂

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