The Ableton thread

Thought I’d start a thread to chat and share tips and tricks about learning & using Ableton!

I’ve been experimenting with recording bass via an interface but here’s the thing; I found it super easy to record in Garageband on my iPhone (haven’t tried on desktop yet) and have it sound really nice using the virtual amps and maybe the virtual pedals.

But when I record in Ableton, it sounds crap. And I’m really struggling to figure out how to make it not sound crap.

I have Ableton Live Lite which may be a bit limited (only 8 tracks and 3 band EQ instead of 8 etc.).

But I’m wondering if anybody has any tips on how to make recorded bass sound good?


I tried Ableton when I got my Zoom U-22 (Ableton Lite license was included). Because it’s the “Lite” version, tech support is not available, so you’re pretty much on your own unless you fork out a few hundred dollars for the upgrade. I messed around with it for a few days, watched every YouTube video I could find, and finally gave up.
I use Audacity now. For my simple needs, Ableton seemed to be too much and too much to learn. Audacity is simple, easy to learn, and does all the basic stuff I need.
However, I will say if you’re serious about doing some major league stuff, Ableton will suit you if you can get past the learning curve.


How are you liking the U-22? I love my U-24. The U-22 looks like a perfect little single-input DAI, great price too.


I love it. Sometimes I wish I’d spend the extra money for the U-24, but I’m happy with it.


Awesome. I’m pretty sold on Zoom products, I’ve been very happy with them.

The U-22 looks perfect if you just need a single input/output, no need to get more.


Are you using any plugins? Sounds like you might want to find something like … But more free :upside_down_face:


Good amp VSTs seem hard to find for free.


Indeed! It seems like Native might have a ‘lite’ version of their guitar rig pro. Haven’t tested it out (yet :wink:), but might be cool enough for the low low price of free. Likely to be limited enough to get you to spring for pro…


Yeah I actually got that a while back just for their Gallien-Krueger VST :slight_smile:

It’s limited but still good.

edit: oops - I didn’t get NI, I got Audified’s free demo for the G-K VST:


Wasn’t using any plugins yet, I will try out the two above. Thanks @howard @Alterationx10 !

I also need to experiment with recording from the headphone out of my amp, I have no idea how that will sound. Mic-ing the amp is certainly out because I don’t have a microphone!

And then I thought about some sort of workflow with recording into Garageband and then exporting and importing into Ableton but that doesn’t sound like fun.

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On another front I also found this open source synth which seems pretty cool:

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That looks cool. There’s quite a few good free ones. I grabbed this one earlier and it’s great:

16,000 preset patches in a separate download :slight_smile:

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What audio interface are you using to record? And what makes it sound like crap in Ableton?

This looks super promising:

scroll down to the SHB-1

Very interesting cab sim on the same site (here used in Reaper):


I did a quick demo of all of these in Reaper. This is basically:

me -> Warwick Streamer LX 5 -> moderate compression -> Slight EQ (bass and low mids at 2:00, high mids and treble at 10:00) -> DAI to Reaper

Four passes through the riff:

  • Clean bass as example
  • G-K Amp Pro 2 (everything at noon, speaker + mic sim)
  • SHB-1 (everything at noon, gain cut a bit)
  • SHB-1 + NadIR (with default speaker sims)

SHB-1 sounds great, especially with NadIR. Nice slightly overdriven tube sound. Pushing the gain makes it distort well, too.

The G-K sim sounds like mud-garbage but that’s mostly because noon is not its best settings and the demo only comes with one speaker sim that is underwhelming. Tweaking the G-K sim will make it sound good.


Hysteria in progress ! :grin: the SHB-1 sounds pretty good and the IR cab sim gives it a bit more punch. in my opinion, those VST are way enough to sit neatly in a mix.


That’s literally as fast as I can play it reliably, a long long way to go :slight_smile:

I think so too. The cab IR VST looks really flexible, look forward to playing with it. The SHB-1 sim is dead simple and just sounds good. Reminds me of Ampeg a bit, very mid-punchy and it has that overdriven tone to it.

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those IR things are interesting, I’ve seen that Mooer made a small pedal to integrate an impulse response in a pedalboard. that’s crazy cool. I feel like a dinosaur with my rackmount POD (but I kinda like it) :grin:


I use a Shure MVi.
Runs off usb power so you can plug it straight into a iPhone or iPad. I like it.

Sound is just kinda flat with way too much fingers-on-string noises etc.
All the bundled amp sims effects in Live Lite seem guitar focused and sound harsh and unsatisfying to me with bass.

I imagine it’s possible to manually filter some noises out and warm up the sound if I understood how.

I’m gonna test some of these amp sims above though!


It sounds like it might need some EQ.

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