strategies for a live set

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
master swing
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strategies for a live set

Post by master swing » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:29 pm

I´m pretty new to the live set. A couple of things came to my attention:

1. I rapidly reach the limits of whatever computer I´m using.

2. A live set can take ages to load and slows down the whole system.

3. A live set can make the effort worthwhile to have every device completely midi mapped, because you can expand it forever. A song will just be finished some day, and I won´t need to have everything midi mapped. Once everything is mapped, you have kind of a classic studio with the advantage of being able to save settings.

4. it pays to use sends and busses, as you can minimize the effects you´re using. Instead of 2 inserts, 1 send or bus. I even use only sends (no track is routed to master) and leave one send dry. I have a special send bus that will open up when I close the dry send. So every track goes through that special send at the turn of a knob, while closing the dry signal. this is very cool!

5. Use economy mode.

I want to know how to get the most possibilities out of few cpu resources. Any more tips? like which types of effects would you use as sends, which as inserts, which as busses? reverb is good as a send, but what about the other stuff? which effects to use on the master, or any other thoughts? what about working with groups?

Also, how do you expand your live set? working in itself, or constructing a new song outside of it and then fit it into it (because when you are in a live set, its difficult to just drop an operator somewhere, everything is already packed with instrument racks (I use only 8 tracks))?

bosonHavoc
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by bosonHavoc » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:50 pm

when ever your not tweaking an effect or playing a vsti for the entire set
convert it to audio
it takes less cpu to play a wav/aiff file then it does for a soft synth to play

master swing
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by master swing » Thu Jun 04, 2009 2:56 pm

Actually my partner and I decide while playing the set what we want to tweak, so we want to have everything ready for tweaking. Nevertheless, since we´re reaching the capacity, I should think about that.

three
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by three » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:01 pm

master swing wrote:Actually my partner and I decide while playing the set what we want to tweak, so we want to have everything ready for tweaking. Nevertheless, since we´re reaching the capacity, I should think about that.
Sure, but you still won't be able to get around using audio files long term.

If you don't tweak MIDI much live, then just think about dumping the synths to audio files, and leaving the effects on during the performance. That way you save the performance of having the synths running too.

Also, try to consolidate your effects. You can put things like reverb or other CPU-intensive effects on busses, so all of your tracks can share them.

Hope this helps,

Chris

logic_user99
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by logic_user99 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:03 pm

bosonHavoc wrote:when ever your not tweaking an effect or playing a vsti for the entire set
convert it to audio
it takes less cpu to play a wav/aiff file then it does for a soft synth to play
+1

EVERYTHING I've got in my LiveSet is converted to audio. I'll try and take raw sounds in (where I want to play with filters etc) but everything will go as audio. Saves SO much CPU.
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feyshay
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by feyshay » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:10 pm

Freeze and resampling are necessary.
Think about getting an external effects unit. (I use a Kurzweil KSP8, but Lexicon has some very good cheaper units.) That way you don't have to rely on CPU for reverb and delay (CPU killers).
Also, many sample libraries have 16bit options-- a huge savings in CPU.

master swing
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by master swing » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:14 pm

actually we do some transposing... thats really cool, wouldnt want to miss that. but... until now we´ve got like 5 synths on each track, f.i. 5 times operator, each with a different preset. It would be enough to have just one operator, but many settings would need to change. a different preset would have to be loaded, it would be cool if I could press a certain clip and a new preset is loaded automatically. how to do this?


... external effects sounds good :)

three
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by three » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:23 pm

feyshay wrote:Freeze and resampling are necessary.
Think about getting an external effects unit. (I use a Kurzweil KSP8, but Lexicon has some very good cheaper units.) That way you don't have to rely on CPU for reverb and delay (CPU killers).
Also, many sample libraries have 16bit options-- a huge savings in CPU.
IMHO, you lose some punchiness in the bass, particularly in a club setting, but YMMV
master swing wrote:actually we do some transposing... thats really cool, wouldnt want to miss that. but... until now we´ve got like 5 synths on each track, f.i. 5 times operator, each with a different preset. It would be enough to have just one operator, but many settings would need to change. a different preset would have to be loaded, it would be cool if I could press a certain clip and a new preset is loaded automatically. how to do this?
Do you have 5 operators in an instrument rack? And you want to switch between them? Or how do you have 5 ops on one track?

I do this with complex drum racks a lot, using the pitch. I just have pitch mapped to a physical pot, and turn that to switch between (for example) different hihat samples running off the same MIDI.

I would not recommend having 5 synths on a single track in a live setting, because you'll get confused and trainwreck. (Or at least I would, you may be cleverer)

If you have basically the same MIDI, just freeze and cut up the track into audio chunks and use those instead.

Does that solve your problem? If not, explain more about what you do with the 5 operators.

Chris

master swing
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by master swing » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:37 pm

theyre in an instrument rack, and I switch between them. I have a midi rack with pitch devices before each. the midi rack switches between the pitch devices, which transpose in steps of +3, +5, +7, +12 and -3, -5 etc. The chain ruler of this midi rack is mapped to the enclosing rack. so at the turn of a knob of this operator rack, the operators transpose.

the chain ruler of the operators (which one is playing) is mapped to another macro. If you get confused, you can always modulate this chain ruler macro in the clips, so you don´t need to actually switch manually from one op to another.

UKRuss
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by UKRuss » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:48 pm

All my clips are audio. Some have the effects flattened into them, the audience don't know the difference and I just use follow actions to randomise the choice of effected clip.

Then I group by instrument, drums (kick, drum kit, perc1, perc2), bass (bass1, bass 2), Synths (synth1, synth2), Samples (sample 1, sample 2), Guitars (pre rec guitar 1, pre rec guitar 2) Live guitar, live guitar midi control track.

Each send for each group sends to a different return track which in turn sends back to a three track audio effects group. Each group of effects compliement each other and have dummy clips in that are triggered live from my nano pad. This way i can set scene 1 on the pad to trigger dummy clips relating to Beat repeat and Flanger for Drums let's say, i can then have BR or Flanger or both at the same time as the BR feeds the flanger.

I build them up and test them with all clips running and if i tip the CPU i start to remove them down to a workable level.

Compromises must be made.

For example the Bass group goes straight to master as does Synth and Guitars but druims and Samples feed to returns and on to effects chains with dummy clips.

Live guitar is passed therough Guitar Rig controlled by midi clip Progarm Change message for patch change through the set.

It's a question of trial and error really to make sure i don't tip the CPU in any given set.

i.e. dont trigger a three effect sample mashing dummy clip sequence at the same time as a three effect drum chopping dummy clip ensemble.

tw1nstates
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by tw1nstates » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:57 pm

three wrote:
feyshay wrote:Freeze and resampling are necessary.
Think about getting an external effects unit. (I use a Kurzweil KSP8, but Lexicon has some very good cheaper units.) That way you don't have to rely on CPU for reverb and delay (CPU killers).
Also, many sample libraries have 16bit options-- a huge savings in CPU.
IMHO, you lose some punchiness in the bass, particularly in a club setting, but YMMV


hey up,

Do you reckon that 16 bit (as opposed to 24bit??) looses some bass frequencies?!?!? Or was that due to using external FX?
Either of which shouldn't make a difference unless your fx units are doing something mental to the sound. . .
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master swing
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by master swing » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:15 pm

thx russ, interesting. yes a good complimentation of effects is important, and flexible routing.

master swing
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by master swing » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:31 am

bump, wanna hear some more ideas :)

SubFunk
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by SubFunk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:14 pm

As much audio as possible... Plus efx cleverly set via sends... To save cpu, then the one or other instrument... For realtime manipulation... I don't think a good set needs that much of tweaking, the quality of the music itself and good arrangements should stand out and not endless knob twiddling, i think. Of course some but not all the time screwing 20 parameters at once...
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master swing
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Re: strategies for a live set

Post by master swing » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:59 pm

good point as well, about the endless tweaking...

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