Special thanks to Francis Preve for suggesting this tip many months ago…if you’re not familiar with Francis, make sure to check him out. He makes great music and is a terrific educator – he’s the author of the Remixer’s Bible and countless articles for Keyboard magazine.

If you’ve ever tried to freeze a track that contains an effect with it’s sidechain activated (such as Compressor), you’ll bump up against an error like this:

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This is Ableton’s way of preventing you from having a sidechain effect become “out of sync” with the track it’s sidechained to. For example, if you freeze a bass track that’s being compressed by the kick track, you could change the kick drum part later on, but the compression on the bass would still be pumping away to the old part.

The workaround is fairly simple, but requires a few steps. First, drag the Compressor (or other sidechain device) out of the track you’re trying to freeze, and drop it into another track. It really doesn’t matter where you put it. I often drag the device into the drop area of the Arrangement view…

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… and have Live automatically create a new empty track for it.

Now, you can freeze the track as you normally would. This of course, solves one problem and creates another. How to get the compression back into the track? We’ll pick that up in the next tip…