“Frequency Shifter”: that’s for, um, frequency shifting, right?

Not necessarily. As Ableton’s Dennis DeSantis shows us in our final video tutorial of this series, in addition to the usual special effects, frequency shifting can be used for subtler results, like fine-tuning percussion. He shows us how to make the Frequency Shifter into a powerful tool for sound sculpting and sound design.

I’ve always enjoyed Live’s effects and the approaches they encourage to sound, so I really welcome this example.

Got more tutorials you’d like to see? Let us know.

Subscribe to CDM TV: Our video series for music and motion is now available via Blip.tv, so you can subscribe via:

iTunes (and watch on your iPod/iPhone, too)

Miro (the fantastic, all-platform video app)


  • Excellent tutorial on the subtle use of Frequency Shifter. I've been putting it on nearly all of my kick drums since Live 8 came out, doing fine adjustments in a similar way. The results are really stunning yet subtle. This device is definitely one of the most useful in Live's already excellent arsenal of effects.

  • Pingback: Ableton Live 8 Creative Tutorial Videos: Misusing Frequency Shifter « irony islet()

  • you know, i love CDM, but these posts are really a no-go. how am i going to explain to my wife that i need one more piece of software? "yes, i know that i said that Max/MSP was the only thing i *needed*, but i *need* live 8 too."

  • @justin — Ha!

    Well, in fairness, there's absolutely no shame to applying some of these techniques elsewhere. The groove extraction feature is specific to Live in terms of this particular technique (the first video, at least), but once you start down this path with frequency shifting, you can apply it all over the place — a good thing even if you're primarily using Live.

    Alternatively, we can produce quick printable handsouts to significant others explaining purchases. 😉

  • Excellent Tutorial, something I will definitely experiment with. It has a much more organic and less processed sound using this technique. very cool.

  • Pingback: Create Digital Music » Ableton Live 8 Creative Tutorial Videos: Using and Misusing Groove Extraction()

  • Von

    Hey guys just wanted to confirm whether I could use my frequency shifter on my master track to detune or fine tune all my instruments. I really like songs that have been written on A = 444/ C = 528 and I've been nudging my frequency fine tune to +4. Am I doing the right thing as far as re-tuning all my instruments? Thanks!!