Free Weekly Ableton Rack #21: Synth Workstation & FX Rack

Chris P Cauley Collective (L-R) Chris, Me, SuperKid, Joe and Frank

Last fall, I got a call from my friend Chris P Cauley asking if I could fill in on the bass guitar for his band, The Chris P Cauley Collective, at a gig at the Patchogue Theatre here on Long Island.  We managed to squeeze in a rehearsal and the show went well.   Later that night he asked me if I wanted to set up my computer and play some synthesizers in his band.  It definitely took me by surprise because I’ve never played synths in a band, and to this day, don’t play the keyboard well enough to ethically call myself a keyboard player!  But, I accepted the challenge and have been doing it since.  My set up has evolved like crazy, equipment has been changed and added, settings have been tweaked for weeks to only be thrown out in favor of some other crazy idea.  Even as recent as last night things have been changing.  But right now I have figured something out that works well for me and the role I am trying to fill in Chris’ music…

For this weeks Free Ableton Live Rack, I am sharing my CPC set and going through the details of how I use it.  I am always amazed at how many different ways people use Live, but I haven’t really seen too much information online about how to use Ableton simply as a synth workstation (trust me I looked!).  So, I guess this one is most appropriately handled in a video walkthrough and your own experimentation.  In the video I discuss routing inside Live, “Dummy” tracks, setting up midi controllers, building effect racks, sending multiple synths through the same effects, morphing synths, using external synths (my beloved Teenage Engineerings OP-1)… So, download the Live Set and use it to play live, load your own sounds, or the effects rack that is inside.

Let me know what you think and if you make any music with this or any of my racks, send it to my SoundCloud Drop Box and I will post it next time.  Enjoy and spread the word :)