While I do the majority of my live effects processing within individual tracks, I also have a few effects that I keep in the Master track. These tend to be dramatic effects used for breakdowns, building tension, etc.

There are a few different configurations that I’ve used, but the common element is that I like to keep ALL of the effects in my master track in a single rack. Here’s an example:

Picture 26

In this tip, I’m not going to get into the details of the effects – we’ll just look at why they all live in the Rack together.


If you enjoy this site, please consider giving some support.

Buy the I LOVE LIVE TIPS edition of Too Big To Fail on custom USB flashdrive, loaded with goodies.

Buy a signed copy of Ableton Live 8 Power!

How about a Hobotech T-Shirt?

If you would like to make a donation, thank you. You rock.


The reason is pretty simple. It’s revealed when you look at the MIDI map:

Picture 27

In the upper left hand corner, you’ll see that the Activator for the rack is mapped. This means that I can have a single switch (it’s GOTTA be one that lights up) that can be used to bypass all of the effects.

This is important for two reasons. First of all, since everything passes through the Master, it’s easy to create dramatic effects and sound like a genius, or to completely hang yourself and sound like an idiot. To avoid hanging myself, I want to be able to glance at a button and know that all of my Master effects are bypassed. Secondly, it’s really cool to turn knobs and create maximum effect chaos, then slam them all off simultaneously by hitting a single switch.