Ableton Tutorial: How to Freeze a Sidechained Track [non-destructively]

In this tutorial, I’m going to show my how I freeze tracks that are routed to a compressor for sidechaining, without having to resample, record, or otherwise loose the MIDI and VSTi settings.

I know that not all CPUs are made the same. I only recently bought a computer that can handle more than 2 instances of Serum. I figure I should try and help everyone that is in the same boat as I was only a couple of months ago.

I have already written the Ultimate Guide to saving CPU in Ableton Live for Ask Audio and “freezing” tracks is one of the best ways! ┬áBut, as many of you will already know, you can’t freeze a track with sidechain routing in Ableton Live. If you try you get this error message.

The track “1-Serum_x64” cannot be frozen because of the routing “1-Serum_x64 | Compressor.”


There are a few workarounds, but most have to do with recording, bouncing, resampling or otherwise finalizing the audio coming out of the VSTi. That isn’t great.

With my favorite method, you will still have the VSTi and MIDI ready to go, if you need to make any changes later on… and, it doesn’t require duplicating anything and taking up unnecessary screen reality.

Here it is…. drum roll, please!!

All you need to do is put the track(s) you want frozen into a group and place to compressor on the group instead of the track. Then you can freeze the track, but keep the sidechain, MIDI, and VSTi!

Watch the Video Tutorial

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Author: Joshua Casper

Joshua Casper is an Artist, Musician, and Blogger.

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