Some plug-ins seem to be made to impress. The more spectacular, the better: The Beat Repeat! The Glue Compressor! â€śOh my, I canâ€™t live without my Convolution Reverb Pro!â€ť
But sometimes, the simplest plug-ins are the ones that really mark the difference. Like Ableton Liveâ€™s Utility. Many producers donâ€™t know it yet, but Utility is the plug-in that can save your ass.
Ass-saving situation #1:
Our track features a pad with an over the top phaser, an autopan and a monstrous reverb. Sure it sounds great, but if you take a look at it through a goniometer, youâ€™ll see that thereâ€™s a problem with phase correlation. This can led us to a critical situation if we want our music to be released on vinyl, specially with low end frequencies. But do not worry: Utility can solve it. It is as easy as turning the Width adjustment down until it gets into the â€śsafety zoneâ€ť (between 0 and +1).
Ass-saving situation #2:
You have drawn several pan and/or volume automations in your track, and you want to move them. Sure, you can select the whole curve and move it. But itâ€™s far more simple and fast if you insert Utility and turn the Panorama and/or Gain adjustments.
Ass-saving situation #3:
When you are dealing with a lot of tracks, grouping them can simplify our set substantially. It is as simple as selecting the tracks you want to group (shift + click) and then cmd/ctrl + G. You can have your synths group, your drums group, your vocals groupâ€¦ But what if, when our project is almost finished, the signal is displaced in the Master meters? No need to panic: insert one Utility in any group and select Swap to, well, swap the left and right channels. Yes: Utility has done it again!
If you have any suggestions or your own tips & tricks, comment!