I am looking to reproduce some of the effects I have filtered my vocal tracks through in recordings, live, and I am wondering how to best go about achieving the effect.

What equipment would I need in order to run my mic through Ableton Live, have the effects applied to the input I am putting in live, and then go out to a PA system, with as little latency as possible?

  • What effects or filters did you use? Most DAW plugins are modeled after real life processors which are used for live. Commented May 30, 2018 at 1:49

1 Answer 1


Are you planning on running through a minefield with only your hands over your ears as protection, or do you want this with maximum resilience?
Maximum resilience needs two identical computer rigs & a method of switching on the fly when one goes down.

Note I didn't say if.

Assuming that's beyond budget, I would change direction & look at a USB interface that can do it in the box.

Line 6 make mic preamps like the Pod Studio UX 2 & UX 8 that can in real-time feed pre-programmed effects straight back out of the output with no computer latency.
Stenberg/Yamaha have just released something similar, the UR-RT series The dspMixFX chip can even be controlled from your iPhone [but I've never used it, so idk how workable that would actually be in practise]

They are both controlled by the computer, but the effects are in the external unit itself.

Neither is going to be able to do multi-band compression on the fly - but if you were to do something complex like that through the computer, you'd be looking at 100ms latency - completely unacceptable.

I think the hardware i/o might be the middle ground.

Alternatively, a dedicated hardware unit that can do it without computer control - but I couldn't name one off the top of my head for vocals.

  • One thing the question specified was "minimal latency". There are some low-latency USB interfaces, but PCI, and Thunderbolt interfaces are most often the lowest latency. Universal Audio just put out a live UAD system that processes all the sound in the UAD box, and the effects chain and settings are controlled by the connected computer. If the computer goes down or is disconnected, audio processing continues with the last settings. That is an expensive box, but cheaper than two computers and two interfaces and failover audio switchers, etc. Commented May 30, 2018 at 20:38

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