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Re: ableton live questions

Wow, Per.  That all sounds really exciting.  Seems like a lot of people 
here are stretching Live beyond what it's designers originally intended 
it to do.  This is a good thing.  My use for Live is a lot less 
ambitious.  I haven't even begun the process yet, but my idea for Live 
is to first, do a recording in Digital Performer 4.  Produce it as I 
feel appropriate.  Then cut up different parts of what I looped and 
turn them into loops in Live.  I'd keep all my sequenced parts in that 
form and my rig would be Laptop playing my prerecorded loops, Sequencer 
doing the sequenced bits (I can bring tracks in and out and play it 
live as I go along) and a CD player to add little scratched bits, sound 
bites and interludes between pieces where I can reconfigure Live and 
the sequencer.

I haven't purchased Live yet, as I'm not sure I totally need it.  Does 
this seem like the best tool for what I'm trying to do?  Again, this 
isn't about Live looping, but more about being able to create an 
interactive mix when bringing out the whole looping rig is not 

Mark Sottilaro

On Sunday, August 24, 2003, at 08:06  AM, Per Boysen wrote:

>> From: Doug Cox [mailto:dougcox@pdq.net]
>> limitations, but really, the biggest (vs. my EDP mindset) is
>> the inability to set tempo on the fly by recording the first
>> loop or cycle.
> Yes, and IMHO also
> - no overdub
> - no feedback
> - no midi control for real-time pitching of recorded clips
> I've spent some time with Ableton Live over the last couple of days and
> found different workarounds for all three limitations. Nothing like the
> real thing though and I have to say that my first impressions of 
> Ableton
> Live is that it is rather limited, compared to the EDP. But this is my
> point of view being a performing musician. Of course you can get almost
> any sound out of looping with Ableton, but that's not the way I
> personally prefere to make music. Talking about intuitive tools for
> musical expression, the EDP is still ruling over here.
> For the pitching limitation I tried the free VST plug-in MDA Tracker
> (pitching down one octave) and by combining it with a compressor I got 
> a
> quite nice bass sound from loops recorded by a guitar.
> The feedback and overdub limitation were partially fixed by the plug-in
> PSP42. However I could not get the PSP42 to read the midi Continuous
> Controllers I sent it from my Behringer FCB1010 floor pedal (have 
> mailed
> PSP on the matter and hoping on support). PSP42 parameters I'd like to
> manipulate from pedals while playing are Feedback, RptInf (freeze like 
> a
> sampler), DlyX2 (HalfSpeed/FullSpeed), Delay Time.
> There seems to be two major concepts for using Ableton as a live 
> looper.
> Either you (1) set up a lot of tracks with plug-ins and use a foot
> controller to jump between tracks to record clips that will then play
> back through the plug-ins, or you (2) use as few tracks as possible but
> control the plug-ins in real-time (like you can do with the PSP42).
> Personally I'd like to focus on the second concept and combine it with
> foot buttons for as many "scenes" as possible (changing "scene" is
> simply to step up one slot in all tracks).  Then you can work on the
> PSP42 and build up something nice and then record it into an Ableton
> slot (as a "clip"). It's not the plug-in output that is getting 
> recorded
> but the input/instrument signal. But if you don't change the PSP42
> parameters it will continue to sound the same (but If you keep changing
> the plug-in this clip might sound even cooler next time you get back to
> it, either by changing "scene" or simply starting/stopping the clip).
> I found a cool thing with midi controlling "scenes": If you close one
> slot in scene one and then go to scene two for a while this slot will
> still be closed when you come back to scan one. And if you step on the
> command for scan one when you already are in scene one it will have the
> effect that all stopped clips will be started and all looping clips 
> will
> be stopped (I'm running Ableton in "Launch Mode: Toggle").
> Another thing I was thinking of is how many cool software plug-ins for
> live playing there are (and will be ;-). The latency of 4 milliseconds
> was clearly recognizable but If you are a musician you are used to play
> "before" or "after" the time base and can adapt to latency. But the 
> less
> latency the better, of course! I got rid of some latency by skipping my
> red POD and lining the guitar right into the sound cards break-out box
> input. And I found a good guitar sound in using the Ohmforce Predatohm
> plug-in. Other nice plug-ins I liked playing through are the othe plugs
> from Ohmforce: Ohmboys and Hematohm. Other great fx I fell in love with
> are the PSP84 and of course the PSP42. The PSP84 did very well in one 
> of
> Abletons fx loops (with an ordinary reverb in the other fx loop).
> I also found out that I could use Ableton Live as a "fx rack pre amp". 
> I
> followed Doug's advice and signed foot buttons to the start/record clip
> function and then I also assinged, to the same foot button, a second
> midi command for "monitor enable" of the same Ableton  track. So by
> stepping between the tracks I also monitored my instrument through 
> these
> tracks - including all those lovely VST plug-ins ;-D
> I have only given this a brief check-out yet, since I'm still waiting
> for my real copy of Ableton 2.1. This test was done on a cracked 2.0
> copy and maybe that can explain some problems I had. One BIG problem 
> was
> the denormalizing but in the P4 processor. When using the MDA Tracker
> for the bass looping channel I could not leave any channel empty 
> without
> that dreadful CPU death starting. I downloaded Digital Fishphones
> normaliser plug-in but it didn't help. Maybe I can fix it by putting a
> silent audio file in all clips at scene one and then start looping from
> scene two? Don't know yet. Will not put more time into this until I 
> have
> the real program. On this 1,8 GHz machine I never used more than 27% of
> the CPU power with five tracks looping through three to four plug-ins 
> on
> each channel. I hope it will work on my 700 MHz P3 laptop.
> Best wishes
> Per Boysen
> -------------
> www.boysen.se
> www.looproom.com