Lesson 4: Live Mixer & Signal Flow

Learning about the mixer and signal flow functions in Live is going to be an incredibly useful adventure. It can be daunting to look at all the controls within the mixer area – Volume, Pan, Track Activator, Solo, and Arm Session Recording – but when you become comfortable with how the different functions work together you’ll know how to keep your session running smoothly.

An important aspect of Live is that it doesn’t use a static busing system–audio tracks are available both as inputs and outputs for any other track with an audio output. Plus there is a Send and Return setup for routing various tracks to different outs. Not only can you adjust Master Volume, Master Pan (often unused), Preview/Cue Volume and toggle Solo/Cue mode, but you have complete control over which outputs from your audio interface are being sent out via Master or Cue out.

Clip envelopes open up a whole world of creative possibilities for music producers. Automation and Modulation allow you to make real-time changes to parameters of your clips, enabling you to produce unique sounds and effects. Grouping tracks together into one simplified interface has many advantages. Not only does it reduce the complexity of long mixes, you can also visually connect connected elements like sound FX and melodies.

In the course 4 assignment, you’ll familiarize yourself with Live’s Impulse Instrument and its expansive routing capabilities. Through this exercise, you will gain insight into how to manipulate different parameters in order to effectively route sounds for an array of compositional purposes.