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Who's using Ableton Live?
Old 22nd January 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
bentley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Who's using Ableton Live?

I checked out Ableton a few versions back (5 maybe?) and simply couldn't get my head around the workflow... couldn't be bothered to read the tutorials so that may have been part of the problem. Anyway, I recently downloaded a copy of the trial version for 7 and am really impressed with some of the things it can do so. Those of you who use it, do you feel it was a worthwhile investment? Do you use it in conjunction with another progrm (rewired or otherwise)? What do you hate about it? Anything you wish they would change or address? Are you happy with the included plugs and overall sound? Does it play well with large MIDI setups?

Feel free to chime in if you've used it, have it, love it, hate it. At this point I can't tell if I like it due to the novelty of checking out somthing new or if it's truly a great product.

In case anyone wonders what I'm using now I'm been a longtime Logic/Cubase(currently Cubase) user with quite a bit of outboard synths and processors as well as a slew of plug ins. Ableton's workflow still seems somewhat cryptic but it's nothing I feel that reading through the manual a few times won't cure. I've been getting quite a bit of remix work lately and Live appears to be really great for this.
Old 22nd January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bentley ➑️
I checked out Ableton a few versions back (5 maybe?) and simply couldn't get my head around the workflow... couldn't be bothered to read the tutorials so that may have been part of the problem. Anyway, I recently downloaded a copy of the trial version for 7 and am really impressed with some of the things it can do so. Those of you who use it, do you feel it was a worthwhile investment? Do you use it in conjunction with another progrm (rewired or otherwise)? What do you hate about it? Anything you wish they would change or address? Are you happy with the included plugs and overall sound? Does it play well with large MIDI setups?

Feel free to chime in if you've used it, have it, love it, hate it. At this point I can't tell if I like it due to the novelty of checking out somthing new or if it's truly a great product.

In case anyone wonders what I'm using now I'm been a longtime Logic/Cubase(currently Cubase) user with quite a bit of outboard synths and processors as well as a slew of plug ins. Ableton's workflow still seems somewhat cryptic but it's nothing I feel that reading through the manual a few times won't cure. I've been getting quite a bit of remix work lately and Live appears to be really great for this.

I like it for everything except midi sequencing of external synths. It still messes up CC# recording and it is unusable for the way I usually do things. For all other tasks, specially audio recording and arrangement, it's the only software I use. My only complaint was the lack of crossfades, but live 8 will bring that as well.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Nut
 
wiglad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I use it as a composition/sound design tool, and it continually blows my mind. I never warmed up to using it for mixing, so I agree with you here. It feels a bit strange for me in that regard. I don't really use the included eq/compression much, but love some of the other, stranger plugs. Beat Repeat is endless fun.

I recommend watching the tutorial videos, as they're generally well done. If you do any kind of electronic or experimental music, Live can be a truly inspiring bit of software.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
bentley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Not sure if the MIDI is a deal killer for me yet but I haven't delved into it that far. I did a tiny bit of sequencing last night but nothing complicated. It's probably just my imagination but the whole program feels a bit "tighter" in regard to timing.

Absolutely LOVE beat repeat and some of the other more esoteric plugs. I can definitely see myself getting into a bit of sound sculpting with it. I decided to transfer a remix into my trial version to see where I could take it and am starting to get a better feel for things. I did absolutely baffle myself by hitting the stop all clips button and was unable to get anything to play again back in the arrangement view. The entire layout seems a bit constrained but it could just be me. Still not jiving with the clips layout... The routing is effortless and intuitive and I was a happy camper when I found I could use external effects with delay compensation! I just really hate to sink more money into another piece of software...

Definitely interested in more opinions. Keep 'em coming and thanks!
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Live is an amazing tool. I have the Live 7 Suite. The instruments sound really good, and the ability to manipulate/delete in real time with all the plugins make being creative easy. I think of Live as an instrument. not anything like Pro Tools, which i see like a tape machine. Tracking an album is possible, but the workflow isn't really created for that. I also use it on stage with my band. I play bass and have an Akai MPK49 connected to a Powerbook running Live. I'll play synth lines, start sequences, and hit one shot samples while going back and forth from bass. My drummer will run Live as well and we can link our clocks via Ethernet cable or even wireless! Live has NEVER gone down on me on stage or messed up a song.

And i'm telling you...spend a couple weeks with the videos, manual, and tutorials, and you will start to see that the workflow is really easy and intuitive and created to be "played" like an instrument.

Check out bands like STS9, or DJ Immuzikation. I think Thom Yorke did most of his solo album, Eraser, in Live. But i may be wrong about that.

last thing...i find that making music in Live sounds really good...but digital. Which may or not be a bad thing. When i have finished ideas, I like to take the audio out of my laptop running Live and record it through some nice pre's and EQ's to thicken things up. Then i'll throw the processed samples back into Live for use on stage.

cheers.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
blaugruen7's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
and live 8 is announced with some really cool new features.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I fairly recently made a switch to using Live as a writing composition tool. This it excels at. With the announcement of 8 it got me thinking i should maybe start trying to mix in Live too (currently mix all tracks in PT), however I'm not feeling Live as a mixing platform really, which is a shame as it would make my life easier if it was good enough. No grouping (soon to be in 8), no nitty gritty editing options (you need a competant external editing software) and i've recently discovered that the Automatic Delay Compensation is dodgy to say the least, which is very frustrating. That being said, i couldn't do without Live now on the writing side of things.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Here for the gear
 
WiseBoy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Live

I've been using live for a few years now, mostly as a rewire tool. Could never get the feel for doing anything else apart from browsing for loops and then exporting them to PT. That is where the sequencing and the mixing takes place, for me at least. I also had endless fun with beat repeat!!!

A lot of well known producers are making albums with this baby, but i seriously doubt that they mix the whole thing on Live.
I know for a fact that Sasha uses it, Richie Hawtin and am sure many more do so as well...

Later
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
plaid_emu's Avatar
I've been using it for a few years now and it was a big revelation when I finally dumped Pro Tools LE and discovered how easy it is to route audio and MIDI in Live.

I think Live is probably the best DAW available for my music but I don't completely get along with it. I find the real time MIDI sequencing is kind of flaky (or maybe I'm just not using it right).

I've got an MPC500 that I use for MIDI sequencing and I use Live as a plug-in host for softsynths/effects and to mix/capture samples. So far this is a pretty effective combo.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
crufty's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
IF live offered more control over midi I'd be all over it. I'm nearly 100% outboard so its lack of nrpn/sysex/cc finesse is a bit of a killer. I'm not sure how one does patch selection, custom sysex sends etc. I dig the logic env in how I can macro up a whole bunch of stuff to a few buttons. For something like the vsynth xt, WHICH GOD KNOWS WHY ITS 100% SYSEX, that is critical. Would it kill roland to release an OS upgrade so that the 8 param knobs respond to cc? anyway.

The fact that live 8 takes care of the 128 param thing is a thought provoker though. *hmm*

One thing I like about Live is how easy it is to feed multiple midi tracks to the same synth (so for example it's really easy to switch up a kick groove for example). In logic its a bit more of a pia.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
kodomo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well, I am using Ableton Live 7 now, and have been using it since 3 years and I am really happy with it overall. I am using more than 8 external midi devices, including synthesizers and midi controllers. I am happy with the midi and how easy to set things up. It is very easy and very convenient for audio or midi routing. I have stopped using everything else since I started using Ableton Live, and it just gets better and better.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
coincidentally, I also just started evaluating Live after seeing the upcoming APC40... I am really liking the interface and workflow.

I have a few questions that hopefully some of you Live masters could clear up?

How can you record clips of only a specific size automatically? I am recording external MIDI and the beginning of a clip recording quantizes to the global quantize, but then it just keeps recording and doesn't stop until I force it to... I would need it to stop recording after a global quantized amount, say 4 bars. Having to reset the clip length after the recording, which is fiddly, is a deal breaker for me. I did seee the punch-in, punch -out method in the manual, but that is not practical for my workflow...

My other question may not have an answer yet, I saw that the APC will come with a version of Ableton, which I assume can be upgraded to full Live 8, so I think I should wait to buy a license until after the APC is available, any details released on the upgrade price from APC Live?

My goal would be to have the APC be a big Kaoss Pad for MIDI and audio loops.

Thanks for any help,
ripe
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Me, I love it. I stopped using cubase years ago.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripe ➑️
coincidentally, I also just started evaluating Live after seeing the upcoming APC40... I am really liking the interface and workflow.

I have a few questions that hopefully some of you Live masters could clear up?

How can you record clips of only a specific size automatically? I am recording external MIDI and the beginning of a clip recording quantizes to the global quantize, but then it just keeps recording and doesn't stop until I force it to... I would need it to stop recording after a global quantized amount, say 4 bars. Having to reset the clip length after the recording, which is fiddly, is a deal breaker for me. I did seee the punch-in, punch -out method in the manual, but that is not practical for my workflow...

My other question may not have an answer yet, I saw that the APC will come with a version of Ableton, which I assume can be upgraded to full Live 8, so I think I should wait to buy a license until after the APC is available, any details released on the upgrade price from APC Live?
How about creating the clips before recording?

You can trigger a clip of a set size and record on to it. With each pass you can then overdub.
Old 22nd January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alphajuno ➑️
How about creating the clips before recording?

You can trigger a clip of a set size and record on to it. With each pass you can then overdub.
awesome, that little tip helps me a lot!

cheers
ripe
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
bentley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for all the replies! I've got a few minor gripes but it looks like Live 8 might address a few of those. My biggest complaint is that the mouse wheel won't control faders or knobs!
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Eloheim's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bentley ➑️
My biggest complaint is that the mouse wheel won't control faders or knobs!
Hey there's programs like one called "Vitamin L", that are 3rd party add-on's that let you do all kinds of shortcut and mouse wheel stuff. Keep in mind you have to kinda use it at your own risk but those extras might be able to do what you're talking about.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripe ➑️
awesome, that little tip helps me a lot!

cheers
ripe
I also got a reply from Ableton support about this, the way to get it to quantize clip length to the global value when recording is to do the following:

Use the clip stop button when recording, or press the clip play button and then the clip will quantize and begin playback immediately. This is instead of using the global stop button or the spacebar...

With MIDI clips you can preselect the length as stated by Alphajuno.

cheers
ripe
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
crufty's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
how does cc / nnrpn / sysex automation work? Is it possible to setup little fake knobbies or whatever and then automate that way?

what about bank switch / patch select?
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
bentley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty ➑️
how does cc / nnrpn / sysex automation work? Is it possible to setup little fake knobbies or whatever and then automate that way?

what about bank switch / patch select?
Not sure about the others yet, but bank and program change are handled per MIDI clip. To the left of the piano roll editor and under the Orig. BPM field you have Bank, Sub-Bank, and Program. Worked well for the synths I tried it with the other day.
Old 4th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
bentley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
An update in case anyone cares.. :P

Used the Live 7 demo for a remix and decided it was too fantastic of a program to pass up. Purchased the Suite package and am now anxiously awaiting the release of Live 8. heh
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
SWAN808's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Im a logic user considering moving to Live 8 for dance music

Can anyone answer - it doesnt seem its possible to have a plugin from track 1 open at the same time as one from track 2? It seems to just scroll thru the plugins...

This seems counter productive during mixing?
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 ➑️
Im a logic user considering moving to Live 8 for dance music

Can anyone answer - it doesnt seem its possible to have a plugin from track 1 open at the same time as one from track 2? It seems to just scroll thru the plugins...

This seems counter productive during mixing?

You can change this in the preferences
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
bentley's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 ➑️
Im a logic user considering moving to Live 8 for dance music

Can anyone answer - it doesnt seem its possible to have a plugin from track 1 open at the same time as one from track 2? It seems to just scroll thru the plugins...

This seems counter productive during mixing?
If you're using the included plug ins they'll only display across the bottom per selected track as far as I know. 3rd part plugs can display as multiple windows if selected under preferences. Didn't really bother me enough to notice...
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 ➑️
Im a logic user considering moving to Live 8 for dance music

Can anyone answer - it doesnt seem its possible to have a plugin from track 1 open at the same time as one from track 2? It seems to just scroll thru the plugins...

This seems counter productive during mixing?

go to preferences Look & Feel then check multiple plugin windows

BUT

Live 7 has serious phase issues when you want to parallel compress with
different plugs
what means its ADC doesnt work correctly
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
bexarametric's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I love Live for writing. I still use Logic to mix.

At first, I found Live's interface confusing. Then I watched the videos on their support section of their site. Those are a great help.

I recommend this program. Also, get the Akai APC40 to run with it.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Addict
 
J Gabriel's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hey im actually looking to buy a copy of Live 7 from someone if they have it and are looking to sell it. (just in case) -Joseph
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bexarametric ➑️
I love Live for writing. I still use Logic to mix.

At first, I found Live's interface confusing. Then I watched the videos on their support section of their site. Those are a great help.

I recommend this program. Also, get the Akai APC40 to run with it.
What i love about the Live interface is the lack of toolbox.
Many other DAWs remind me too much of Adobe and old Macromedia software. want to playback from a certain point? pick a tool. want to draw? pick a tool. want to select? pick a tool. want to crop a region? pick a tool.

With live you just mouse over different sections of the arrangement and the mouse changes to the tool you need. This is such an elegant low level solution that it really speeds up work flow. And if you do need a pencil too, CMD+B for draw mode toggle on/off. One command versus an entire toolbox. brilliant!

I understand why alot of users get turned off when coming from years of using other DAWs, it can be an entirely new way of thinking. But once you unlearn those things you realize that Live really gets out of the way of recording and writing music.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Addict
 
CircusofMind's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJay ➑️
...
I understand why alot of users get turned off when coming from years of using other DAWs, it can be an entirely new way of thinking. But once you unlearn those things you realize that Live really gets out of the way of recording and writing music.
I hear all the praise for Live, but I have never got around to learning it. I have live 7 but am truly comfortable with logic. One you know all the shortcuts and key commands, tools and other functions can be incredibly fast. I have yet to find a convincing reason to spend time learning another DAW instead of using that time to make music. The only time I use live is to do some time stretching stuff, but I don't like how live seems to make my music too loopy.

Perhaps one day I will take the time to learn it, but its not at the top of my list of things to spend time on.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by CircusofMind ➑️
I hear all the praise for Live, but I have never got around to learning it. I have live 7 but am truly comfortable with logic. One you know all the shortcuts and key commands, tools and other functions can be incredibly fast. I have yet to find a convincing reason to spend time learning another DAW instead of using that time to make music. The only time I use live is to do some time stretching stuff, but I don't like how live seems to make my music too loopy.

Perhaps one day I will take the time to learn it, but its not at the top of my list of things to spend time on.
I understand what you are saying. If i had a 100% grasp of Logic's capabilities i wouldn't want to spend the time doing anything other than making music. I think we can all say that about any DAW.

Now that Live is more full featured than it was originally conceived as, there is quite a bit to learn. I think most of the "power" users of Live have been using it since versions 2 and 3, so their knowledge of the program developed at the same pace of the program itself. I was the same way with Vision. Now, i track directly into Live with a Metric Halo 2882 as its just so fast for me. I only use Logic when compatibility for the project demands it. I'm just thankful that technology allows us to use all these tools.
A friend of mine is writing a new book on Logic that i look forward to reading in my down time.


As far as getting away from the "loopy"
Turning off auto-warp for both long and short samples under Preferences / Warp helps.
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