Making Use of iZotope Stutter Edit in a Live Context

Despite being a couple of years since its release, iZotope and BT's Stutter Edit is still one of the most versatile glitch tools for live EDM performance. Gary Hiebner explores how it works.  

Adding stutter and beat edits to your live performance is a great way to add interest and differentiation to the way your audience hears and tunes into the performance. iZotope's Stutter Edit is a great tool to use to incorporate these techniques. This plug-in, designed by electronic virtuoso producer BT, is at its most useful when used in a live context. Different stutter maps can be assigned to individual keys on your MIDI keyboard controller, which allows for easy switching between the stutter presets. I am going to show you how to use Stutter Edit in Ableton for live performances.

Step 1 - How to Set It Up in Ableton

In Ableton Live I usually break up my audio tracks into different stems or audio parts. In my project, I have broken up the audio into Drums, Bass, Leads, and Synths. By breaking the audio up into different groups/stems as opposed to one stereo file allows you more flexibility with your performance and Stutter Edit.

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Drag a Stutter Edit plug-in onto each audio track. Now create four MIDI tracks (Command-Shift-T). On the MIDI Tracks under "MIDI From" select "All Ins", and under Monitor select "In". Under "MIDI To" select the respective name of the audio track. I have named my MIDI tracks with the preceding SE to stand for Stutter Edit, then followed by the Audio Track name (so for example my MIDI tracks are called SE Drums, SE Bass, etc.) This will help for easy navigation in the Ableton project, so you don't get confused between the audio and MIDI tracks.

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This now allows the MIDI on the Stutter Edit MIDI Track to be routed and heard on the respective audio tracks.

Step 2 - Making Your Own Preset Bank

The next step is to build up a preset bank with your favorite presets so that you can easily jump between them via MIDI keystrokes. I am not going to go into detail on how to program presets in Stutter Edit. I recommend you to take a look at Bill Burgess's excellent video tutorial, which explains all the parameters on the plug-in:

Let's create a new Preset folder. This is how we go about doing it.

Click on the Preset Manager button to bring up the Preset window. 

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Click on the Empty preset, then click Save As New. This will create a new blank preset that you can rename. Now create a New Folder, by clicking on New Folder. You can now drag the preset we just created and renamed into this folder.

Browse through some of the other presets and see which ones you like. When you find one, right-click on it and choose Copy. 

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Navigate to an empty slot in your Preset folder and choose Paste. See how you can build up a preset bank with your favorite presets. 

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In live performances, it is best to stick to a few stutter edit presets that you really know well. It's all too easy to jump through tons of different presets, the danger is that you can determent your live performance this way. The '

Gary Hiebner is an enthusiastic South African Sound Designer and Apple Tech Head! Gary has been involved in the South African music industry for the decade, and in this time has also been involved in the sound design and music production for many advertising agencies and media houses. Gary is a devoted Logic and Ableton user, but he al... Read More


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