How to set up a wet/dry control for anything in Ableton Live!

How to set up a wet/dry control for anything in Ableton Live!

There's nothing more annoying than having to set up your gear or your software when you're feeling creative. Here's a time saving trick that will give you complete control over your effects in Ableton so that you're ready the moment inspiration strikes!

Most effects in Ableton don't have a wet/dry control as default. Here's a clever way to add it to just about anything in Ableton.

If you'd rather not have to follow these steps, download the template which also comes with a few extra things that aren't explained below.

Step 1: Get a Blank Audio Effects Rack

In Live’s Browser, select “Audio Effects”. From there, simply grab the “Audio Effect Rack” from the top of the list and drop it on any channel. You can also double click ‘“Audio Effect Rack” to add it to the track that you currently have selected.

Step 2: Add Two Chains

Click the show / hide chain button on the left side of the rack. This looks like 3 horizontal lines. Hover your mouse inside the chain area, right click and click “Create Chain”. Repeat this step one more time so you have two chains. Rename the top chain ‘Wet’ and the bottom chain ‘Dry’.

Step 3: Chain Selector Set Up

Next click the Chain button at the top of the Rack. This will extend the window to reveal the chain selector window. Setting up the chains will take a few steps:

  1. Under the ‘0’ in the chain selector, hover your cursor over the right side of the blue line until the pointer turns into a ‘]’.
  2. Click and drag the line all the way to the right
  3. Now take the much thinner grid line, above the larger one and pull that all way to the right. This should result in a ramp like the one pictured below.
  4. Next repeat those steps from the second grid line. Although this time the ramp should go the opposite way.

Step 4: Map the Chain Selector

Above the chain lanes, there is a small light blue vertical line. This is called the Chain Selector Ruler. Right click on it and map to macro 1. Now when you turn the macro knob, you should see the selector move along the grid from left to right and back again.

The Ableton Chain Selector moving when mapped to a macro


Step 5 : Label Wet & Dry Chains

Now label the top chain as Wet and the bottom as Dry. If you did everything right when the macro knob is completely to the left, only the dry chain will be selected. As you move the knob clockwise to the right, the dry signal will gradually decrease while the wet signal will be added. Once all the way to the right, only the wet chain should be selected.

Step 6 : Saving the Device Default

You can save your hard work so that this set up is the default Audio Effect Rack. Right click the rack’s title and select save as default preset from the options. Now every time you drop an Audio Effect Rack onto a channel, the dry / wet selector will already be set up and ready to go.

Just make sure to only add effects to the wet layer!

Have any other questions about using Ableton? We'd be glad to help - just get in touch!

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