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Performing live: a few questions about switching tracks, sync and other pitfalls
Old 23rd October 2016
Reptil's Avatar
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Performing live: a few questions about switching tracks, sync and other pitfalls

Playing live, I've got a few issues, and I want to ask you two, if those things are issues for you too, and how you solved that.
First off; when you're switching from one track to another, and it's tempo is different, you have to stop the master sequencer. So how do you do that?
What is your setup when going on stage? What do you take there and why?
How do you synchronize your gear. Do you have one master clock that controls everything, or do you chain sequencers (drummachines)?
How do you prepare a live set, what parts are pre-programmed, and what is improvised? Do you bounce/print parts of tracks, or use loops or midi sequences? Do you use samples of synths you don't want to take on stage? (too big too fragile perhaps)
I haven't had the pleasure of watching you play live myself yet, so some issues might not apply to your setup, but maybe you can give some insights.
Old 23rd October 2016
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martyn3024's Avatar
Getting into the thick of it now .. Here's a few things I / we do in the live sets:

TEMPO: Most of the Doms & Deykers stuff hovers between 125 and 130 so we don't have huge tempo differences in the set. Everything's stretched to the Ableton clock so we just decide where we take off (depending on what played before us, vibe of the night, time etc) and we can gradually take the tempo up or down during the set with a MIDI assigned tempo knob on the APC. So yeah we may play a 125bpm song at 128 but if it works in the set, it's fine.. In my solo sets I have some wilder tempo variations. I have a few alternate versions of my songs that fit better in a playable tempo. Like some of my old dubstep-like 140bpm things are now 130bpm songs with a 4x4 kick or a different beat etc.. I also use ambient parts to take the tempo up or down without having the music stop. if you want a song to play at a pre-programmed tempo you can also hardwire that in the ableton file so that when you scene launch that particular song you're in the right BPM straight away.

Solo setup for me is: laptop / apc40 / eventide space / EHX memory man (the blue one) or Way Huge Supa Puss or Minifooger delay.. The Doms & Deykers shows we played with: laptop / app 40 / Way Huge Supa puss / 303 / TR8 ... in both cases Ableton is the master clock.

I usually separate my songs in different parts, for example: kick, percussion, hihats, bass line, riff, pads, sounds etc (depends on the type of song of course).. Then I bounce files from logic and organize them as (large) loops in Ableton Live. Some of these loops contain only one channel, some loops may contain more. Then I reorganize and arrange the song in Ableton with scenes (say 5-10 scenes per song, to kind of mimic the basic arrangement) so that it becomes playable on the APC40. I can make variations, do edits, add bits from different songs etc (either pre-programmed or improvised during the set) .. I also have a bunch of effects on pre-programmed on the APC, as well as my outboard stuff. this way I can either play the song pretty much how it originally is, or I can freestyle for 15 mins I think how much room you leave for improvisation is dependent on how you want your live set to be, but also how many times you have played the songs.. some of my older stuff i can pretty much dream now, so i tend to improv more on it, but brand new stuff that people havent heard before I like to stick to the original arrangement a bit more.

I have done sets where i saved the baselines as midi files, and then have them played by the moog minitaur.. It takes a little practice but it does give a nice dimension to the set, you have some more tweaking options and it sounds great.. but I also did feel that my arrangements and timing on the songs was lacking a little bit as I was too happy filtering the b-lines in every tune so you have to have some practice in restraining yourself here and there..

hope this helps! Steffi is ace on the buttons too so she may have some more tips etc..
Old 24th October 2016
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destefster's Avatar
well actually that sums it up nicely :-)
Old 24th October 2016
Reptil's Avatar
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Old 24th October 2016 | Show parent
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martyn3024's Avatar
Originally Posted by destefster ➡️
well actually that sums it up nicely :-)
Old 28th October 2016
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msl's Avatar
Thanks Martyn! Great insight.
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