Even if all of your synthesizers and effect processors are software, there are a few things you want to know about Live’s External Instrument and External Audio Effect devices. First, a few words of introduction…

External Audio Effect is a handy utility that allows you to route audio out of your computer, through a hardware processor and back in to your Live set.

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The nifty part? First off, it’s delay-compensated. Routing audio in and out of the computer takes time, so external audio processing can create sync problems in your productions. Live handles this automatically (for the most part, more on this later).

Secondly, since it works like a standard Live device, it allows you to flexibly change the processing order for a track, mixing hardware with software processors. Want to put your hardware processor after the Grain Delay but before the Auto Filter? No problem, just drag it into place.

We’ll dig deeper over the next few tips to give you some ideas of what do do with this sucker even if you don’t have fancy studio gear.