Ableton Live Tutorial: Creating Transition Effects for Dance Tracks w/ Dubspot LA’s James Bernard

In this Ableton Live tutorial, Dubspot LA Instructor James Bernard shows you how to use Live’s Audio Effect Rack with a combination of reverb, delay, compression, and filtering to generate a washout, a spatial effect commonly used during breakdowns and buildups of dance tracks.

One of the most common questions I am asked, is how to transition from one section of an electronic song to another section (usually during a breakdown) while keeping the energy level high. Though inserting some sweep effects, riser sound or clever sample manipulation can aid in building energy, it can be tricky to take a track that is moving at a very high energy pace and switch gears without losing the momentum.

A common technique which is used quite a lot in techno, electro house, dubstep and many other genres is to use a spatial effect that I like to call a “washout”. Basically, this effect uses a combination of reverb, delay, compression and filtering (using an EQ) to create a sort of audio “smear” across the mid to high frequency range of the song. Ideally this type of effect is one that you could control in real-time, by turning a knob on a controller.

In this video, I show you how to use the Audio Effect rack device in Ableton Live to chain together multiple effects and create a washout type effect, and how you can use macros to add the effect to a song in real-time. – James Bernard


Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

Upcoming Course Start Dates. Register today!
6/16, 7/21, 8/4 (NYC)

6/16, 6/21, 6/22, 9/22, 10/5 (LA)
6/6 (Dubspot Online, Space still available!)

The flagship of our music training, with every Ableton Live course offered at the school. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

What’s Included:

  • Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.

More start dates and information about payment plans can be found here.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.


NYC Open House: Sundays 11am & 12pm

Ask questions. Watch demos. Test drive workstations.

Anyone who comes by will have the opportunity to ask our instructors in-depth questions about our programs, curriculum and philosophy, and watch live music production and DJ demos. You can even sit down at one of our workstations and take it for a test drive. If you are still trying to decide what you are looking for, we suggest you stop by one of our Open Houses to learn more about the school, understand what the learning process at Dubspot entails and help you decide what is best for you. We can also help with scheduling details and payment options.

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