Ableton Live - Distortion with two vocal tracks (unwanted)

Hello, I'm using Ableton Live 9 Standard (on a PC), and encountering distortion in certain places where I have two vocal tracks. Neither of the tracks distorts when it is played solo, so it's something about the blending of the tracks.

The obvious answer here is 'turn the volume of the tracks (or clips) down'. This works, but I'm hoping someone can direct me to (or provide) a more thorough discussion on how and why distortion occurs in Ableton. 

Does this have more to do with the sound drivers, or with Ableton itself?

I am in the process of 'RTFM', but have fairly limited time to finish this project, so if there is a section in the manual that deals specifically with this issue, can you please point out where?



gntsketches 4 years ago | 0 comments

2 answers

  • mcbpete
    203 answers
    233 votes received
    1 vote

    It's not an Ableton thing but a feature of audio in general. Basically you're doing this -

    The two waveforms are being summed together to create a louder waveform that's then causing it to clip. So yeah, the obvious answer it the one that you've mentioned.

    You could group the two vocal tracks together (Select both tracks CTRL/CMD+G) and then bung a compressor effect on that group to reduce the volume when the signal gets a little too hot.

    4 years ago | 0 comments
  • gntsketches
    4 answers
    4 votes received
    1 vote

    Thanks for the info! I did manage to fix them up with the clip envelope, but I will try to compression next time. 

    4 years ago | 0 comments

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