instrumentsthree

A different breed of analog sound library for Ableton Live

Soundware is everywhere, from endless catalogs of loops to yet another pack of sampled vintage instruments. But apart from questionable quality as the market grows crowded, the other simple question is, just how should these packs be assembled? SympleSound is what happens when a sound designer decides to treat the sound pack like an instrument unto itself – not just content, but a set of tools.

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Get Your Ableton Grids in Order, Free, with Launchsync

In live electronic music, the endless free expanse of the computer screen tends to run up against the limited ability of your brain to tell just which freakin’ track am I on, anyway? In the studio, it can be annoying. Live onstage, it can be train wreck-inducing. Ableton Live’s Session View has for years exacerbated this problem. You can limit your options to eight (or even four) tracks. But that doesn’t always work. You might need more than eight tracks for particular routings of audio or MIDI. And unless you use Device Racks and chains, you’ll also need extra tracks …

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Control, Shortcuts for Ableton Starting at $99: A Look at the New AKAI APC Line

For any tool that has “live” in the name, physical control will always be important. And so even with a broad market for controllers targeting Ableton’s flagship software, now including the slick Push hardware from Ableton themselves, AKAI’s re-vamped APC line earned intense interest when it debuted at Musikmesse this month. Let’s make sense of what the new APCs can do and how you might choose between models. I got some hands-on time at Messe, and now even in advance of a review of finished, shipping hardware, it’s worth teasing out the breakdown of the 2014 APC line. The original …

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Bitwig in Staged Beta; Video Reveals Features Up Close, Strange Song Lyrics

Live performance DAW Bitwig Studio is now moving forward with their beta, and a video demo this time provides a clearer look at what the software actually does. Ableton Live users, just be prepared for more of a sense of deja vu all over again: “Bitwig Studio has two views: the Arranger View, and the Mixer view. Both views share a powerful non-linear environment called the Clip Launcher.” Let’s talk for a moment about why that similarity has people talking. How is this any different from other DAWs that share common editing paradigms? Is Bitwig any more a “clone” of …

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cells2

Cells 2.0 Melds Renoise with Ableton Live-Style Clip Launching

Renoise’s scripting interface is something special, allowing people to build anything they imagine in a way that’s directly integrated with this production studio – no add-ons required. But whether or not you yourself want to code, that also means access to the imagination of the Renoise user base. And one of the most impressive shows so far is an ambitious process to duplicate Ableton Live’s mixer and clip launching interface inside Renoise. We first saw that effort at the end of the year, but it’s now about to reach a whole new level. Now, in fairness, part of why people …

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Bitwig Introduces New Production+Performance Studio; Looks a Lot Like Ableton Live

For years, since the launch of Ableton Live, many have waited for a worthy rival, something that combines production and live performance for music users. Live isn’t without alternatives – Renoise, for instance, has earned some fans, though it isn’t necessarily built for live performance. But few provide the same real-time workflows. Bitwig, based in Berlin as is Ableton and featuring some Abletronic veterans, today took the wraps off its own Bitwig Studio. The good news is, it’s looking as though it might shape up to be a viable tool for DJing, performing, and making music. The bad news is, …

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Ableton Live 8: Group Clips with Track Groups

If you’re using Ableton Live 8, you’ve hopefully already discovered the joys of Track Groups. Track grouping is a welcome feature in any DAW, but in Live, the mixer-centric Session View can easily get unruly with endless columns of vertical tracks. I wanted to share some discoveries about Track Groups, including what I thought was a big realization about how they worked with clips that turned out not to be as exciting as I thought. To group tracks, select multiple tracks first (click one, then shift-click the last one), right-click (ctrl-click on Mac), and choose Group Tracks. The result – …

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