Monday, December 20, 2010

Track freezing in Ableton Live whilst streaming with WormHole

WormHole is an audio streaming over LAN plugin, very useful if you want to use your daw networked with another computer for audio tasks. This post should apply to Windows XP/7 setups as well

The purpose of this post is not to talk about wormhole but to help people who already use it how to process tracks with wormhole inserts without having to create a new audio track to record the outcome

Freezing while streaming can only be done obviously in real-time and Live has no way of knowing wormhole is a streaming plugin so we'll have to trick Live into freezing the tracks in question in real-time

For that purpose we'll use Live's "external audio effect" device in two ways, method 1 is for the case in which you use two instances of wormhole, one as the sender and the other one as the receiver and method 2 if you use only one instance of wormhole in insert loop mode. Again, you have to be already familiarized with wormhole

Method 1 (wormhole in direct mode): drag the "external audio effect" device as in the 1st screencap and assuming that you have inputs set in your audio preferences, select one, it doesn't matter which one because as no audio is passing through, the device will act as a dummy once you've selected an input

In the 2nd screencap you see the actual freezing taking place, also that I've renamed the device to "dummy", grouped the three together in an audio effect rack and named it "external insert"

Method 2 (wormhole in insert loop mode): first of all download and install Soundflower (asio4all + Virtual Audio Cable for win setups), then make an aggregate device as follows depending on your audio interface and choose it in your Live preferences

Drag the "external audio effect" device as in the 1st screencap, it doesn't matter if it is before wormhole or after, then select the output and the input accordingly. The device should now act as a loopback so the output is sent to input unaltered

Again you see freezing taking place, I've renamed the device "loopback" and grouped the pair as "external insert" audio effect rack

To recap, what I did in the end with both methods was basically trick Live in freezing in real-time the processing that takes place on the networked computer, by adding the "external audio effect" device (without actually using one) as a companion to wormhole

Thanks for reading and happy track freezing :)

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