If you missed Part 1 of this article, be sure to start there. On this page, we'll continue on detailing all the changes we've made to Live's default presets. Remember you can click the images to compare the standard default and ours.
My favorite thing about Glue Compressor is its Soft Clip option, so I want it to load in with that switch flipped. I also prefer slow Attack to preserve the snappy transients in a signal since I treat this as more of a character compressor than a precision dynamics processor. Auto Release is always there to start so I don't have to worry about it unless I have a specific release aesthetic in mind.
There are myriad sound design uses for Grain Delay, but I employ it most effectively as a pitch shifter. These settings help me achieve that effect faster (simply change the Pitch to work the effect, usually an octave up or down). I also change the XY graph to control the most modulatable parameters, which for me are Frequency for timbral adjustments and Feedback for more dramatic effects.
There aren't any ways to improve the Limiter device's default preset since the input Gain settings should be entirely dependent on the signal it processes. I like keeping the Ceiling where it's at to ensure a signal isn't reaching its theoretical maximum of 0 dB, in case this translates into sonic weirdness when it hits speakers in the analog domain. No changes are made, therefore.
Looper is an odd device, because in many ways Live is already the ultimate looper. How you choose to use it comes down to your own preferences and performance needs, but it's nice to have a classic looper detached from Live for playing around with ideas or complex layered sound design. I at least start mine without attachments to Live's tempo or transport controls.
There are lots of ways to set this up, but it takes a lot of clicks in the original default preset. You'll almost certainly need to make changes no matter what, based on your signal, but I'm able to get results a lot faster with these settings. For one thing, I almost always want Soft Knee off and Peak detection on for more precise compression. I also don't much care for the overly long Release times in the original. Furthermore, my personal preference is to have some standard Ratio's dialed in so I can quickly pull the Thresholds down and have them "work" from the jump. Most importantly, I think it's best to load this in with the "Above thresholds and ratios" view already up, since threshold is the most critical control here and the most signal dependent.
Overdrive is a pretty straightforward device. I like mine to start with a bit more focus and subtlety, with a slightly narrower bandpass, a little less Drive, and the Tone rolled back to dampen the highs. It can easily be made more aggressive from there if required.
I love Live 10's Pedal, especially on drums. Like most level and frequency dependent devices, it's not worth changing too many settings in advance. I'll generally want to blend in some of the original signal, so I set my default preset to 50% Dry/Wet.
Phaser works best with some movement. This configuration allows for some basic modulation and coloration right from the beginning by adding LFO Amount by default.
Ping Pong Delay
As you've been able to tell with most of these, I like far less dramatic starting points for these devices. Every time I load in Ping Pong Delay (which is pretty frequently), I have to turn down Dry/Wet and Feedback, so they may as well not start so high.
Redux can be great for adding the right crunch to the top end of drums and midrange of bass in particular. I like the less extreme sounds of the soft setting and have it set up accordingly. The Bit Reduction switch is kept off by default but I did change the bit depth value to a lower, more audible value. This way if I want that slightly crunchy, semi lo fi sound of old school 12 bit samplers, all I have to do is flip a switch.
My favorite use for Resonator is to add a wash of pleasing harmonic emphasis to any sound, so a major seventh chord is my go-to for this. There are lots of other uses for this device that require radically different settings, but it's better to have it do something by default than nothing.
File this in the "most improved" default preset category. Some of the starting points in the original just don't make a lot of sense for most applications - Eco Quality, Low Dry/Wet, Low bands turned off for Input Processing and Diffusion Network, etc. I've changed those in mine, along with some further personal preferences - a smaller Size for a more colored reverb, a slightly longer Decay Time, a decent Predelay to maintain a sharp dry signal in the transients, the widest Stereo setting, and a bit more motion via Chorus. I also prefer Flat and Cut turned off for the Freeze function for better testing and experimental sound design purposes, respectively.
Saturator has a lot more happening under the hood than the original default preset suggests, and its Waveshaper setting gives you the most options for modifying a sound's harmonics. Therefore, I like to start with Waveshaper selected and the device unfolded with all the settings available.
With Filter Delay and Ping Pong Delay as options for traditional delay effects (especially considering the convenience of their built-in filters), I tend to use simple delay as a more wild and creative effect. Having an unsynced delay is useful for slapbacks and reverbs, and Repitch mode is great for building transition and adding warbly dissonance if the parameters are automated.
Spectrum is very useful for many utility purposes, not least of which is analyzing the key and pitch of samples. It's much easier to read when it is large enough to pinpoint individual frequencies, so you'll definitely want to use the expanded view for true sonic microscoping.
A small and personal change, but I simply prefer the Strobe view to Target.
There aren't many cases where you wouldn't want to filter out DC offsets and have subs in stereo, so I go ahead and have those set up.
I like the sound of Vinyl Distortion's Tracing Model with a much wider bandpass, so its a no-brainer to ready it in the default preset. This saturator sounds particularly good in the lower mid ranges, so I also start the Tracing Model and Pinch frequencies lower than the default.
There are certain changes I seem to make over and over again to Vocoder, which is as good a reason as any to have them set up from the get-go. I mostly use the device to blend in white noise with my sounds. Click the link to find a more detailed description with audio examples of what these settings do.
Default presets can make a big impact on your workflow - not just in terms of speeding it up, but also by influencing the choices you make. We think our pack with the presets detailed in this article provides a good starting point, but be sure to update your own devices to the particular way you like to use them.