Today’s Quick Ableton Tip comes from John ‘Disgraceland’ Stanhope
“Using the Transient Envelope slider to create space in drum loops, remove reverb tails and clean up mud.”
This is a technique that I stumbled across a few years ago that has become my ‘go-to’ trick for tidying up drum loops. I find that it is most useful when applied to drum loops, however can be used on other types too.
When slowing down drum loops, ‘Beats Mode’ (under default settings) will apply ‘Loop Back-and-Forth’ to pad out each segment of the loop between transient markers. The purpose of this, when slowing down a loop, is to effectively fill any silence that may occur in the tail of that segment.
Although this may be desirable, it can also create muddiness.
By changing the Transient Loop Mode to ‘Loop Off’ each segment of audio between transients plays once and then stops. By then dialling back the ‘Transient Envelope slider’ (default is the maximum value of 100) you can then start to shorten each of these audio segments.
Used sparingly, this can simply apply a volume fade to the end of each segment, helping to clean up mud. By dropping the value much lower you can start to, for example, remove reverb tail. You can then add your own reverb, giving you much more control.
Extreme settings allow you to isolate the initial transient attack portion of each segment which can be pretty useful (e.g. when using a loop to trigger side chain).
Finally (and you could probably automate this if you have Max for Live) you can re-sample the loop whilst manipulating the Transient Envelope slider, creating a new loop which is pretty useful for rising effects, etc.