Ableton Live Tips w/ Thavius Beck Pt 15 – Configuring 3rd Party Plug-ins – ‘Did You Know?’

Dubspot Instructor, Ableton Certified Trainer, and electronic musician Thavius Beck returns with a brand-new season of Did You Know? We launched the series back in January, and for eight consecutive Mondays, Thavius shared invaluable production advice, tips, tricks, and techniques and examined some of the less explored and slightly hidden features in Ableton Live. In this episode, Thavius offers tips and techniques for configuring third-party plug-in effects with Live, using Novation‘s Bass Station VST.

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As nice as it is to have so many instruments and effects available within Live, there are many times when you will want to use a third-party plug-in instead.  Thankfully not only are you able to use third-party effects, but you can also automate them and MIDI or key map their individual parameters to control them. There are many simple ways to do this, but in this video we will look at the Configure button that shows up when you unfold a third-party plug-in inside of Live.

For this example, I am using Novation’s Bass Station plug-in.  When I first put my Bass Station (or just about any other third-party plug-in not built into Live) onto a track, I get a pretty generic interface with a black square and circle (representing an X/Y grid) and not much else.  What I would like to see instead are the parameters that I want to either automate or potentially map to my controller without having the Bass Station interface blocking my view of the arrangement. One way to do that is to unfold the effect (hit the triangle in the upper-left corner), which will reveal the Configure button.  Once Configure is enabled, you can just click on the parameters in the effect that you want to see in Live’s generic third-party effect interface.  This will also make these parameters show up in the Arrangement View’s automation lanes.

This can also be done by simply entering the MIDI or key mapping mode and clicking on parameters of the effect (without mapping them), or by altering the parameters while recording to the arrangement view.  Using Configure is a great option when you don’t want to inadvertently alter the parameters on other sections of the track or song after the fact; you can select the parameter you want to tweak, go the exact spot in the arrangement you want to tweak and automate it without recording it live.  Just another way to give you more control over your effects. – Thavius Beck


Thavius Beck released his latest album The Most Beautiful Ugly on September 11th on pioneering Los Angeles label Plug Research. He has also released music on labels such as Mush and Big Dada and collaborated with the likes of Saul Williams, Nine Inch Nails, Nas, and Busdriver. The Most Beautiful Ugly is Thavius’ first album in three years. You can buy the album here; it’s currently available in limited colored vinyl edition, CD, and digital.


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