Show us your sets: The clips / channels layout of Live is pretty simple. But that doesn’t mean people use it the same way. So we’ve decided to do a non-scientific visual survey to find out how live laptop performance with Live is evolving. And we need your help.

Lots of people play violins. If you pick up a violin for the first time – whether it was an expensive instrument or not – it’ll sound really awful. So, given that music played on laptops is still music, it seems reasonable to assume that it’ll take practice, and that not everyone will do things the same way. There are technicalities to learn, of course – just as with a violin. But there’s also a combination of repetitive effort with originality. Your computer software may not be nearly as elegant a design as a centuries-old acoustic instrument, but some of this surely still applies.

Go out to clubs or concert halls now, and you’ll find musicians and DJs from a broad variety of genres playing live with software. Often, they’ll use Ableton Live, the one product that suggests live performance right in its name. Live is a good place to start, because its Session View is a kind of meta-view of music itself, with patterns, scenes, and interaction. Those clip slots can be played like a “sampling instrument,” and additional instruments can be added to channels. Playing the software requires a combination of performance and composition, even for DJs.

But the one elusive thing about Live is just how to deal with that Session View. There’s plenty of talk in the manual about how everything works, but not what that means musically. You can store clips in channels, but you can only play one clip per channel at once. How do you keep the number of resulting channels manageable? How do you control different musical changes? How do you avoid touching the mouse or squinting at the screen? And, at the simplest level, how do you manage the complexity of clips and channels so that you can perform a set from beginning to end and have a good time?

Bjorn Vayner is one of the world’s leading Live gurus and a master of Live tutorial writing. He’s been tackling this very problem on the Covert Operators blog. (Read parts 1, 2, 3.) It’s a good start, but it raises as many questions and answers, and by the third part he’s already reevaluating his whole approach. So while he sorts out his tutorial, I’ve been thinking.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking over people’s shoulders as they use Live, back to Live 1 when I first started using it. I’ve stood behind the much-hyped Sasha set back when he was still dragging a whole iMac around (before the Intel laptops), and I’ve also seen experimental violinists and modern dance performances. Part of what excites me about Live and what it means for music is that no one seems to use it the same way. There are tightly-organized sets of clips, particularly in DJ sets. There are DJs who drag clips in and out onstage. There are musicians who use Live more or less for backing tracks, or just as an effects hosts. There are people who can make a whole set out of one clip or one instrument rack. Some people have even grown frustrated with Session View and augmented it with an MPC or custom Reaktor patches – but then, that sort of makes all of this all the more interesting. We’ve even seen Live used for controlling visuals on our sister site, Create Digital Motion.

A Call to Action

Maybe there is no Ultimate Tutorial – or maybe, what we need before anyone can write that, is a look at the range of how people use the software in the real world, assembled in one place. In that spirit, I’d like to ask you for some help.

Live users, how do you use Live — live? Take a screenshot of one set that you feel best represents the way you work in performance or DJ sets. No need to be shy; part of the idea is to see how a range of people work in the real world, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Send it to us one of two ways:

1. Add it to our Flickr group, http://www.flickr.com/groups/cdmlivesets/ (Apply a Creative Commons license if you know how to do that, so it can be easily shared. Short videos are welcome, too, if you’re that ambitious!)

2. Email an image (JPG or PNG, please) to pictures (at) createdigitalmusic.com. (By doing so, you give us permission to reuse it.)

Most of these will be Session View, I imagine, but if you use Arrange View, send us a shot of that. If you do rely on a custom Max, Pd, Reaktor patch, etc. in conjunction with Live, go ahead and send us that, too. If you make use of Live’s new drum and instrument/effect racks, make sure you can see at least one of them in the shot. If you can, write a sentence or two describing how it works. And feel free to raise criticisms – we’re doing this independently of Ableton, so say whatever you like. Feel free to include a link back to your music site; I imagine your fellow readers would love to hear what others are doing.

You also might also take a look at the work that Puremagnetik has done, not only with their live-oriented sets but also the performance features of their drum machines and the like.

Now, I realize not everyone uses Live. I’ve recently been building sets in Kore, not only because we’re working on the Kore minisite but because, personally, I wanted to try breaking some habits I’ve acquired with Live. It lets me play without Live, but it also makes me a better Live user. Still, Live seems as good a place to start as any. (If this goes well and we survive, we’ll have to follow it up with a look at other tools.)

I’ll be very curious to see the results. Stay tuned, and we’ll do a roundup within a couple of weeks to see what you’ve shared.

  • Kyran

    I've just finished my first live Live set. I'm gonna play it tomorrow for the first time.

    I'm not really happy with it though, I've broken everything in loops and trigger it all live, but because I have to recreate projects made with other tools it doesn't always sound that good. It also still feels (and probably looks) like a DJ set, so I'm wondering if I'm not better off just dj'ing my tracks and spend full time on effects instead of doing live arranging as well.

    I guess that to make a good live set you actually have to keep the live performance in mind when you make the tracks (limit yourself to a certain amount of sets and plugins), just like a classic rockband, where there's no real difference between how they produce the track for cd and how they actually bring it live.

  • Sonictim

    When I first started DJing with Live, I found preprogramming my sets, really limited me from being able to react to crowd response. If I realize the crowd isn't into I'm playing, well, I'm sorta stuck aren't I?

    I currently have 3 different setups based on whatever Midi Controller I'm using out that night, but they all have the same basic setup. I use my session view like empty turntable decks and use the file browser as my "record box." Keeping that organized is key, so you can find anything at the tip of your fingers. Then you just drop in your next track just like a record whenever you are ready for it based on how you feel the crowd is responding.

    I don't use a lot of plugins except for a custom EQ I rigged up in Live which allows me to have different types of EQs on the same knobs on my Midi Controller. There's one of those per track. I mix a variety of styles but have found 90% of the time, a simple 3 band EQ is all I need/use. I don't see the need for lots of FX unless you are doing a live performance (or you're trying to hide the fact you can't mix). But that's a whole different animal than DJing.

  • liquidcosine

    my key to doing live 'live' is a blend of both… a road map to get the show going… but also havind several 'points of interest' along the way… 3 to 5 tracks of 'locked' grooves, followed by another 3 to 5 sets of beats and intermediate grooves to 'jam' over it, 4 core synths bass-lead-pad-pulse(or arppegiator) then 3 tracks accapellas, weirdness, movie samples etc, than an additional 2 for resamp… sticking to a low and basic setup, and trying not to slip away is key to me staying organized and imaginative

  • bliss
  • rhowaldt

    Haven't taken the time to explore Live yet. I use Reason for musicmaking, and have used it in a live-situation once. Made 3 setups for it containing some instruments that had patterns and switches which enabled me to make nice-sounding changes. I built some Combinator-patches which had one button changing multiple patterns (so you are not stuck with either mouse-clicking really fast or just changing one pattern at the time, disabling you to drop everything-but-one instrument and stuff like that). I also made a couple of samplers containing segments of interviews and stuff, which were Combined so I could tweak knobs and distort and warp everything. That always works.

    When that got old (I played for about 3 hours leisurely with a friend VJing and maybe 3 people in the room – it was a huge succes :) , I just started opening up different Reason-files while another song was playing, copying instruments from there and quite experimentally mixing and combining a lot of different stuff. To my surprise, after an hour of fiddling and not a lot, at the end it sounded really really good. I still do not know how I did that. But it worked. And it was a great loose way of doing this stuff, just on-the-fly and everything.

  • http://blog.furibond.com tokoloten

    If any of you are interested, I've just added two Live screenshots into the flickr group, with some explanations.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/furibond/2676834802/http://www.flickr.com/photos/furibond/2676834888/

  • http://www.myspace.com/elektrodouche mr. ed

    I've been playing out with a laptop for about 5 years now, started with reason 2, pretty much doing as rhowaldt, all improvised opening up files one after another and just mixing between them, taking sounds in and out, changing the loop markers around, and messing with whatever effects are available on the mixer. Its quite enjoyable and you can get a fair amount of variety going. I usually set up a longish transition part with FX at the end of each song so I can mix them easily. I also sing so a third of my time is spent not looking at the screen.

    The last year I started using live for the sets, mostly cause my machine (PBG4) couldn't cope with all the multiple files open with reason. I didn't go the whole hog, with little everything separate, just beats, bass, and everything else, so I could mute one of the three. To be honest I prefer just using reason. I just got a new MBP, and I've got a gig this weekend so I'll be going back to reason. Its very stable, in 70+ gigs it only hung once on me. That said I do want to set up a proper Live file with everything in it, but its gonna take ages! What with actually making tunes, and dealing with all the other software and plugins I use, I don't know when I'll get the chance.

    One thing that bothers me about Live though, and its more with djs using full songs rather than live acts, is that it can get really boring cause there are no surprises. Everything is perfectly beat matched, and usually they just stay at 129bpm, its too perfect, and so for me boring. I use cds if I'm djing, and I do mess up, but sometimes those mistakes are the best parts.

  • beej

    I use Live "live" in a different way. I'm not out performing with it as such, but I use it to either arrange material I have come up with in a more conventional DAW, or to create an improvised arrangement structure which I can then take back into my other DAW to add the refinements.

    To this end, I have a bunch of things setup which I can use to add arrangement interest, in addition to the normal key/midi commands set up to trigger scenes/clips etc

    I often have a cascade of beat repeaters, set up to activate while i'm holding down a MIDI pad. These will be 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 anf 1/32ths, plus a few with some randomisation thrown in for something a bit more random. I'll have these on the master bus but I also might have some on other bus, like the drum or pad buss, so I can do things to those busses together.

    I have some EQ's set up, and some filters set up, and I also have some clips remote controlling Live itself, so for instance I can trigger a scene which triggers a four-bar rising filter effect, for instance, or some gated stuff, or anything else that could be interesting. This are fun for transitions and can leave your hands free to to FX splashes and other things for dramatic effect.

    So largely for me, I'm pulling my material in, and giving myself plenty of performance potential. Then I can jam away, find things I like, and then improvise an arangement until I have a structure I'm happy with, together with builds etc.

    This takes the boredom out or arranging things in the arrange page of your DAW as you can do it by feel, rather than by bar numbers, and gives some room for some spontaneity if you have enough interesting performance controls setup.

    I have experiment with DJ-type setups, largely for fun, and I ended up with similar performance controls, but a more structured session view, including a couple of core "decks" (channels), an FX deck, a couple of looping "decks", and some other stuff like a "favourites" channel and a "used" channel, together with appropriate DJ-tools like EQ's and so on.

    Works pretty well for me, but like I say, I'm not doing this stuff in front of people, at least so far…

  • http://www.myspace.com/k1ru k1Ru

    i got myself a copy of live 6 and 7..it was during a grace period where they'd give you the upgrade for free…i have an older machine so i just kept 6 and i'm totally happy with it…

    for my electronic live sets..i use it as my vst and midi host…controlling rackmount processors from a evolution controller…(i got some behringer virtualizers and v-verbs midi chained)…

    i'll take beats that i like from reaktor patches and record them as clips on live, duplicate and basically deform them and launch them randomly via legato mode, so that there is constant variation…also i'll run dummy clips with automations for my rackmounts and effects for further deformation….i'll keep a vst synth open to jump in and throw some keys out….

    i also use it as a midi slave to trigger audio samples for my metal sets..i'll slave it to a boss dr 770…trigger some cheesy meet the feebles and hellraiser clips in sync with the drums…alls i do is play guitar and scream…

    live is seriously bomb status…

  • gbsr

    i basicly have a template with a bunch of racks and whatnots mapped up to my uc16/hercules/modified qwerty keyboard, and a bomes miditranslator preset for audio/midi resampling and navigational controls so i dont have to use my keyboard/mouse much at all. in the process of redoing everything, gonna have a map als button instead and only look at the screen when selecting/mapping tracks.

  • dptronz

    YouTube video: Live 6 & MPC-1000.

  • ernesto (costa rica)

    First of all. I gave up composing in other apps and then exporting to live, right now I'm producing it all straight into Live, whose output goes to external hardware (comp, eq). You know that there is no way to compete with the mastered tracks of fellow djs that play right before you so instead of filling the MBP with plug ins, I send a very clean audio signal to the external units.

    On top of the eq and comp I put a moog voyager RME that receives the midi out and do all the dirty job with the BLines. It does not go to the same processors that receive the computer audio and allows me to get very very deep, huuuge and clean bass lines without saturating the live output. Everything goes to a general mixer.

    Composition and playing is all done in session mode in some 6 really big files (that grow every day), depending the kind of music played. I leave a couple empty scenes between songs so I know what is what and can mix them freely. Each song has some 30 tracks and a general set has 11 or 12 songs to total some 300 traks per set. I used to share tracks for, let's say, kicks of different songs but I no longer do it so I have a clearer view of what is what and can build up every tune in a real "live" manner.

    Although the song's structure is already set, I really avoid just going down the session view, and rather activate or stop clips manually with the controller. To perform small silence breaks at the end of 8 or 16 parts I assign the beats as groups, so I can stop just kick and snare o just cymbals and then play them again really fast. As I dont use global time or quantizing at all, it has to be performed precisely.

    Everything is controlled by a humble Electribe. I've tryed many many controllers buy nothing is as compact as it (have to test the nano controllers but there are none of those here in Central America) and also sports some very soft buttons, which I really like.

    When needed I use an ancient KorgX3 love its keys and the fact that the top of it its completly flat so you can put de MPB on the top right and the comp/eq/moog on the top left.

    Finally, when doing back2backs with djs or just mixing my LiveAct with some acetates between tunes I try to give it "play" on time (just like mixing with cassettes!!!) and then play with the tempo, typing very fast a faster or slower tempo (i use live6) to "nudge" the track. I'm getting very good at beatmaching with live!!!

    You can check my last live act here, recorded from last saturday's gig. Audio kinda s*cks but you can get and idea of what is it like (3 guys, 4 technics decks with traktor scratch for mixing tracks between each lived played tune, my setup as explained above and one more PC with live6 for the other guy that plays live "live")

  • ernesto (costa rica)

    …sorry couldn't put the link properly.. so copy/paste it if you are interested on watching

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SqbfeKlFmE&eu

  • phortran

    no screenshots yet because it's still a work in progress, but i've conceptualized and started implementing a monome-centric live rig that incorporates ableton live, kore, and machinedrum into a (hopefully) intuitive live improv style rig. i've conceptualized 3 different 'pages' as i'm calling it for the monome, the first two being very machinedrum centric (a sequencer and a kit morphing tool) and the 3rd being an ableton page. i won't talk much about the machinedrum stuff here, but here's how i'm planning on implementing the ableton page:

    there's a great project out there called LiveAPI that lets you build python scripts that can basically interact with 'objects' in the live environment in real time (think clips, tracks, etc). i'm still working out all the details but basically i'm building a java app that is going to connect to the LiveAPI via telnet (they have a built in telnet server kinda thing, check out the site). the java app does all the communication between the monome and the LiveAPI/telnet client. i'm thinking of having 8×7 slots, with either samples, acapellas, or empty midi clips (probably something like 4 midi channels, each with a kore, and other misc sampled material). each button on the monome represents one clip. pushing the button starts it playing, and it'll flash as it's playing a clip. when you have an empty midi clip and hit the play button and play in some midi notes, it'll immediately start recording the notes and then loop the material when the end of the clip has been reached. so.. basically, push a monome button, it'll record enable the track and hit play on the clip (via liveapi), start playing in some midi. the clip will begin to loop. repeat for any other midi clip cell.

    the thing i like about this approach is that, if my calculations are correct, i shouldn't have to ever mess with the computer during a live performance. my goal is to get the laptop screen and the mouse and the keyboard out of the equation. i don't want to get distracted by pretty pixels on the screen and i've never been too fond of live performances that consist of a dude staring at a laptop and clicking his mouse around.

    anyways, would love to post some screenshots, but i do have an old proof of concept of the liveapi available, kind of a tutorial package for monome users. it basically creates the interface i described above for ableton, although is vastly simplified from what i'd like to finally end up with (i'm thinking of leaving the bottom row for controls, and having some kind of paging system, so i can have more than 8×7 total clips). anyways, it's pretty far off, have some of the basics going in java but i'd say about a month or so until it's ready to show off. i'll post a video or something when it's all put together.

    btw for anyone looking for an environment to develop crazy midi/OSC contraptions (like i've described above) i've tried a lot of them and pure java seems to be the way to go at this point (unless i missed something).

    links:

    LiveAPI: http://code.google.com/p/liveapi/
    AbleNome sampler (silly proof of concept of what i described above): http://www.post-digital.net/~phortran/AbleNome_Sa

  • Mr. Tunes

    i'm really curious to see if anything useful becomes of this experiment. earlier this week i was looking for articles on how people set up their ableton, and i found the 3 part series peter links to but i also found this one;
    http://www.geradorzero.com/2007/05/06/ableton-liv

    i still have yet to find anything really useful for my needs. so here's hoping to everyone posting!

    also bome's midi translator is probably very useful for creating sets that need minimal mouse fiddling as you can have one button press do many things.

    i have a bcf-2000 and a trigger finger but i'm considering getting a bcr-2000 as well.

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  • PLP

    If I'm doing a live performance set rather than a DJ set, I use live as my beat generator, live looper, and effects host – mainly playing live over the top of that with a wind controller (midi saxophone) that can send midi data to an external hard synth or to soft synths in live.

    I have foot pedals set up to switch/arm tracks, and I've just started using a Novation Nocturn to control effects and have no idea how I ever lived without it before.

    When I feel like lugging out more gear I also have Live's outputs set up all wonky so I can route sounds through an Electribe or through another digital delay pedal as well as to a master L/R, but at some point there becomes some diminishing returns in having so much shit going on at once that I lose track of which sounds are coming from/going to where….

    I agree that some Ableton DJ sets can be boring, especially when all they consist of of is crossfading, EQ tweaks, and the occasional filter. But I've heard a whole ton of boring vinyl DJ sets as well. Perhaps Ableton contributes to boring DJ sets because generally the development of beatmatching skills goes hand in hand with the development of set-composition skills, but it also makes available a tremendous amount of stuff that is simply impossible when vinyl DJing. So as usual, blame the musicians, not the software :)

  • http://evolvingmusic.wordpress.com Gavroche

    Thanks for this post. I've never actually used Abelton before, but the notion of playing a kick ass live set with it is very enticing. In general, I'm very interested in seeing how people make music, and I have prepared a survey that should get some interesting results. Please take it if you can, i'd be happy to sure the results with anybody!

    You can find it at http://tinyurl.com/5ce33d

  • http://future-tense-cpu.com cyberpatrolunit

    Here is a cool video idea of a 'lemurized' Operator:
    http://future-tense-cpu.com/2008/07/09/live-7-ope

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  • JG

    I am fairly new to Live, and am trying a few different ways of using it. One recent gig was with a drummer, who had some pre-programmed beats on a Casio RZ-1, fading in different parts of the pattern and playing acoustic kit as well. I was sending tempo to the RZ1 from Live, so I had programmed in different launch tempos for each section.

    I was using just two channels of audio, and a pad/evolving/rhythmic sample to give an identity to each section. Some rhythmic effects as well.

    Also running Reason as rewire slave, with about 5 instruments set up to be played live. Reason was running on a 32 bar loop with automation drawn in on each instrument, so as I'm playing, things like cutoff and effects sends are constantly being adjusted.

    On top of this I was playing bass lines from my MS2000, rhodes and synth stuff from a NORD Stage, and strings and DJ Shadow-esque organ from my QY70.

    It was great fun to play, but I think I could be doing a lot more with Live, I just need more time to experiment.

  • http://www.wiretotheear.com/ Oliver Chesler

    Some thoughts about using Ableton "live": I run a video in Ableton that I project behind me. I change the dam color scheme all the time… I can't pick one and stick with it. I hack the Lessons.txt and put lyrics and notes in it. Once and I while I will click on Photo Booth and dual screen myself too. :)

  • http://www.covops.org Bjorn Vayner

    Where does on start with creating a whole Live set?

    Regardless of what you use, you will always need to reevaluate the ways you create, perform and maintain a set.

    I have literally tried hundreds of methods over the past years.

    This current article about the Live Set is as much an experiment in writing as it is a musical experiment.

    There is no "How to.." when it comes to creating something personal like a Live Set.

    But on the other hand, there is not much documentation to be found on the creation process of a set.

    I realize the articles raise many questions, but I consider that to be a good thing. Because all the questions I've received so far have nothing in common. It shows that everybody has their own approach and problems to solve.

    And it actually opened up a nice dialogue.

    I will continue to document the process because it is helping me a lot too. I cant remember why I did what I did in most of my previous attempts. But regardless of how this set turns out, I will always be able to look back at these notes to get an idea of what I was thinking at the time.

    There are so many problems to be solved. And even when you think you have the solution, another problem pops up and ruins the whole thing you were building towards.

    For example, In part 3 I chose to assign songs to their own MIDI Channel (eg. song 1 is CH 1, song 2 is CH 2,..).

    This seemed easy because the BCR2000 controller is flexible enough to handle this task. Or at least I thought so…

    This whole system relies on the fact that the encoders on the BCR receive parameter feedback from Ableton Live. This works fine, but only in 1 preset. This means that all changes made to Song 2 while the BCR is set to Song 1, will not be reflected on the BCR.

    This causes parameter value jumps, just like you would encounter with normal knobs.

    I solved this by writing a custom BCR2000 driver. Its essentially a max patch that stores and sends snapshots of all the parameter values.

    But being the nutter that I am, I ended up extending this to a full blown application. And it works!

    A video of the application will be posted later today.

    - Bjorn Vayner

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  • http://www.roninaudio.net ronin

    For my solo stuff I usually work with 8 channels of pre-rendered clips (2 drums, 2 bass, 2 synths, vocals + other). My current setup involves punching the 4 sub-groups in or out of an channel loaded with fx, or a dry channel. For this I use keyboard shortcuts (I know people bang on about not being in front of the screen, but I find keyboard shortcuts to be a lot more responsive than midi pads for most things).

    I get most of the controls I desire from my excellent Novation Remote25. The fx channels is loaded with Lucifer and the Beat Lookup Reaktor patch (which also utilises the Remote’s xy pad) plus a heap of other fx which get turned on/off/modded with keyboard and the Remote.

    Both the dry and fx channel get pumped to a ‘master’ channel (not the actual master output) coz this let’s me put send fx on the master if I want to. I also have the EQ8 setup as a resonant filter (see here) on my master, dry and fx channels. I also have a basic kill switch eq on the master as well as the Tapeit plugin, if I want to record an audio file of my set when I’m out at da rave.

    Unlike the guy here who does something similar, but with send/returns, I have a load of minimised tracks off-screen which take audio from the first set of group channels and then funnel it into the fx/dry channel by switching the arm on these groups. You do however get a slight click when arming the channels. My music is noisy enough to compensate :)

    I also use pretty much the same setup for DJ sets with 4 deck channels each being armed in/out of the fx channel. I usually pepper the screen with tracks before a set, though I should get round to organising my collection sometime soon so I can drag and drop mid-set.

    See http://www.roninaudio.net

  • http://www.putsch.org.uk putsch

    For my audio-visual project Putsch (me Ronin, of above post fame) I have a mammoth Ableton setup which never seems to stop growing. The main sets of channels are for:

    pre-rendered audio (drums and synths)

    inputs for Alesis Air Synth + Air FX (run them into each other AND more fx in Ableton and they sound sweet), microphone, audio scratching + anything else

    live slicing breakbeats (2 per track)

    ++ lots of midi channels for: midi into a couple of Lucifer VSTs, midi in from a PadKontrol (which has a lovely light touch) to mash up the breakbeats, various changes set in clips when it’s the start of a new track and also a few sending out tempo sync and midi data to the video laptops, V4 vision mixer (if we use it – the thing is pretty shit really), other audio laptops blah blah.

    I did want to run all the drums and synths live and be able to modulate them with Remote25, UC33, wii etc. but I wanna be able switch patches etc for each track and it’s not very practical (I use lots of different synths for each track and Battery 3 for the drums, which doesn’t respond at all well to kit changes).

    I’ve brushed up on a zillion tricks that Live can do (especially for live sampling – with auto slicing to small clips which are pre-mapped to a Korg PadKontrol, so the loop can instantly be reordrered and effected.) For all these tricks check out the Ableton forum as they’re bloody brilliant.

    I’m next working on a decent live looping setup for both midi and audio, utilising my new Behringer FB1010 midi pedal board. It’s easy enough to set up if you aren’t triggering off scenes of clips throughout the set, but since I am it’s not so simple to integrate. Plugins like Augustus Loop could come in handy for such a thing, and Musolomo if you’re on a Mac – I’m currently using a shuttle PC for Putsch as I can’t get the power I need from my single-core PC laptop (my newer Macbook Pro gets used for the visuals).

    See http://www.putsch.org.uk

    A recent set:
    http://www.putsch.org.uk/mp3/putsch_live_at_bashout_14.0...

  • http://myspace.com/rooftopsonfire rooftopsonfire

    I canny run Live in a 'live' situation as my old G4 Powerbook is far too underpowered! Live 7 is a CPU hog, for sure.

    You guys have some excellent ideas, too.

  • http://www.pitchblack.co.nz paddy

    Hi, I hope I'm not being too forward here, I'm in a band called Pitch Black from New Zealand. We are currently touring in Europe and have organized doing a couple of workshops this week, along with our friend Tom COSM showing how we play live (and also doing a gig in the same venue later that night).

    The dates are:

    London: Thursday July 24th @Cargo

    Amsterdam: Friday July 25th @The Winston.

    Full detail here: http://www.ableton.com/pitchblack-tomcosm-worksho

    I hope if anyone is interested they can come down – we'd love to meet more of the Euro-Live community!

    cheers

    paddy

  • http://chollyhoss.com/doot/ pete

    I recently used Ableton Live exclusively to create a composition of sequenced audio which was part of the "20 Extraordinary Renditions" compilation (Track 10) http://idiotbastard.com/20xIBS.htm . I used no MIDI and no external controller. The audio was all field-recorded, some done in Germany and FTP'd to me, and I handled all of the editing and sequencing afterwards. So much of the information about Ableton is centered around dance music and live DJ/PA that I felt like I was on a bit of an island working this way. I am more about musique concrete and improvisational ensemble work, so blasting away at 120bpm with a 303 beat isn't a big help to me.

    A few things that Live did for me:

    I loaded a scene with clips and used follow actions to blast random clips all over the arrangement. They could be edited later. Most of that was deleting clips until I had the rhythm and phrasing the way I wanted it.

    The 1/2x and 2x tempo warp function really worked beautifully for me on a few clips.

    The arrangement grid is excellent, and the way it integrates with independent pitch and tempo shifting is very liberating.

    FWIW, I am still working on some live performance techniques, mostly session view stuff and beatslicing. Live is one heck of a flexible and powerful platform.

    I'll get a screengrab up on my Flickr site, and post a clip of the track, soon. I'm too spent to do it right now…. wahhhhh

  • http://chollyhoss.com/doot/ pete
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  • http://www.bunubuldum.com onor bumbum

    hello

    i created a live set which has only 1 clip

    you can check it out from

    my blog

    cheers

  • poorsod

    I'd call myself a fairly advanced user (I'm just getting into building with Reaktor but I'm very competent when it comes to building songs from scratch and I never use presets).

    My live set focuses more on remixing and mashing-up my existing songs with production quality that sounds like studio work, rather than putting songs together with live instruments.

    This means that the running order is fully prepared (within Session View), which I guess makes me a "set-freak", as I recall a commenter on a prvious post termed it. Besides that, all the levels, EQs, compression etc has already been sorted out so I all I need to do is rock up and play.

    Most of the clips consist of several instruments already mixed and bounced down to one loop (to conserve CPU/RAM), and each set of instruments occupies one track. This means I have a set of about 40 tracks in total, with minimal processing to be done in real time. I also run about five soft synths.

    This leaves me to mess around with the way it sounds. Each song, although the flow into each other, has two or three elements that I focus on tweaking live, from my BCR2000.

    I also control the speed at which I go down the scenes which means if the audience seems to be loving one track I can stay there for a little longer, and also skim over the bits that seem to be boring.

    I have one break in the middle of a set, in which I switch to another Ableton file. This is mainly in the interest of conserving CPU, and I like the way it allows me to build up a new mix with a different character.

    If I had a faster computer and a more flexible controller (I WANT A LEMUR!), I'd consider putting together a more "live" live show.

  • http://www.pitchblack.co.nz paddy

    Hi, the video of the Live workshop I mentioned above is now online and available to stream or download here:
    http://www.pitchblack.co.nz/Default.asp?s1=downlo
    It's a one hour 539Mb WMV file.

    For the first half-hour, Tom Cosm takes you through the basics of getting a track out of your Audio/Sequencer software and into Ableton Live.

    For the second half-hour, Paddy (that's me) and Mike demonstrate their no-looking-at-the-computers hardware setup, dub mixing, and MIDI-triggered visuals.

    It goes from the very basic to the quite complex, so there should be something for everyone!

    Cheers!

    Paddy, Mike and Tom

  • http://www.cuttingsounds.com Michael Greig

    Hi, this video is more or less having a bit of fun with ableton and a smart board.

    Not seen anyone else do this yet.

  • http://www.cuttingsounds.com Michael Greig

    Trust me not to leave the link, sorry guys

    http://www.cuttingsounds.com/tutorials/view_tutor

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