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Live in the Studio...

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 4:21 am
by tjwett
After I recently traded in my laptop for a desktop I was worried that I wouldn't have the need to use Live anymore. I'm not playing any shows for a while so I can complete some studio work. Doing improv sets of bleeps and bloops in smoky bars in fun but summer is over and I think it will be a good time to lock myself inside and try to bang out a little record. Or atleast a song :wink: Anyway, I am finding lots of uses for Live as a studio tool rather than just a performance tool. I'm finding it priceless for quickly getting ideas going. It's making my whole process way more productive. Anyone using Live in the studio? How so?

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 5:01 am
by twelve
i use live exclusively as my main (only) sequencer. i don't use any other programs for sequencing - i gave up on them. i have written over a hundred songs (plus a hundred ditties) in the last five months using live and reason via rewire for drums. i record all my other instruments straight into live and create samples. sometimes i'll just work out a verse and then a chorus and piece them together - this type of song usaully becomes around 25 tarcks or so but then other times i just record from start to finish the whole bass line then the whole synth line or whatever. Like you said it is easy to get things going with live and i have found no reason to use another sequencer at this point. i would like to experiment with vstis so am on the lookout for a vsti rewire host but I have a moog and a rhodes piano so am content for now. Check out songs on my website they were all done in live playing instruments and using reason for drums.

my little studio

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 6:03 am
by Alex Reynolds
I use Reason to bang out bits and pieces, drum rhythms and melodies.

I then put them in Live to stick them together; I usally keep a few instruments open in Reason to bring in some improvisational stuff, explore ideas.

All of this gets done on an 800 MHz PowerBook G4, with 512 MB of memory.

For MIDI controllers, I use an Oxygen 8 and a Doepfer Pocket Dial.

I use a Boss VF-1 effects box and a tube box to help lessen CPU load when I want to add reverb or warmth to the final mix.

What I need next is a solid way to record to disk, so that I can easily build a CD with my music.

I've considered MD but I worry about the compression scheme mangling my music. I've looked into DAT or an HHB RecordIT to burn directly to CD, but I really just want the sound on a hard drive.

So far, I've tried a 5400 RPM Firewire hard drive and I get clicks, pops and drop outs.

I guess I'll be trying a 7200 RPM drive as soon as I can get my hands on one. I just wish they made a 7200 RPM drive with a small bus-powered enclosure...


Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 12:28 pm
by logos
i don't think live is THE tool for studio work as it is on of the difficulties at works to keep the sound quality always up.

i think if you do high end productions you always got to have FULL control about all aspects of your sources. which you don't have in live.

what do you think about it ?

I use live as a studio app all the time

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 2:37 pm
by amwintx
While I don't agree that Live can supplant programs like Cubase and Logic for the most exacting detailed arrangement and tweeking, Live is by far a better improvisational studio tool to help a group of musicians create a solid recording in a short period of time. I have been using it with up to 4 live musicians at a time, each recording directly into live with no problems at all. Its been an amazing transformation of the creative process in the studio, and the most fun I've had playing music in years. (I use a powermac 933 desktop running OSX 10.2 and 1.2 gb of ram).

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2002 11:17 pm
by SongCarver
I think LIVE does not replace Cubase, Logic etc but is a very fast way of working the way that you often use these programs.

For instance, usually drum stuff etc will be repeated, and in a song context verse and choruses will stay about the same

Logos pointed out the sound quality issue, that is, if you want to speed up/ slow down then the quality for anything melodic is gone. But ableton is currently working on this and i believe it is in the next major release.

I thought one of the points of OSX audio routings was to be able to simply re-route the input and output of applications.

I would love to be able to simply use some internal 'audio patchpay', much like the available midi patchbay, to re-route the output from live into the input from another simple recording app.

should be possible??

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2002 12:26 am
by Alex Reynolds
You need applications which are written with CoreAudio libraries to take advantage of this routing capability.

Live is a Carbon application (to work under 9 and X) and probably uses Sound Manager libraries.


Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2002 3:21 am
by tjwett
logos wrote:i don't think live is THE tool for studio work as it is on of the difficulties at works to keep the sound quality always up.

i think if you do high end productions you always got to have FULL control about all aspects of your sources. which you don't have in live.

what do you think about it ?
Here's my take. Live will never replace Logic for me. My setup is 99% virtual instruments. Bass is the only "real" thing i play. So I need a VSTi host. I'm sure you could get great pro results with Live as the main sequencer, but I think it would take a long time. All the automation and stuff is there, it's just meant to be "played". I guess that's why they call it a sequencing "instrument". Wow, I'm using a lot of quotes! Anyway, the best thing Live does for me is offer inspiration and the element of experimentation. It's just so damn fast. There is no setting up. Even with Reason, which I love, you have to create a mixer, then a synth, then route the MIDI. With Live you just open it up and go off. And the fact that it is always recording what you do means you will never lose one of those great accidents. That's something that traditional studio software doesn't quite do. However, once you have that audio it needs to be treated to fit into your production and that's where Logic comes in for me. Arrangement, editing, mixing, VSTis, effects. Things you want to be controlled. Live lets you be the mad scientist for a while and the big sequencers let you clean up the mess you've made and bring the monster to life. Back to the lab. Mwaahahahahaaaaa!

Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2002 7:32 am
by Guest
I do use live as a studio tool, and as a sequencer for certain things.These tracks often end up being groove tracks which I later import into Logic to add some of the VSTi and real instruments - if it were possible to record linear signals into live, i.e. without warpmarking, I'd probably use it even more extensively for recording as well. But automating clips and faders and rendering the results is, for me, a refreshing new way to work, and I know of several others who use it for the same purpose as well.


Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2002 7:36 am
BTW, the above post was by me... why is it that you get logged out with no apparent reason at all in this forum?


Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 12:53 am
by Rx
I use SX & Live, both with Reason. I prefer Live when I've come up with a collection of loops that work together - just playing them Live and letting my intuition run the show can lead to a finished product pretty quickly. However, on other tracks, I like being able to sequence in SX and automate tons of parameters to achieve exact results.

Maybe what I'm saying is that it depends on what I feel like doing - whether I'm flying by the seat of my pants and sequencing loops or constructing a track bit by bit.

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:07 am
by Guest
RX isn't Lives Automation Better than SX's? maybe you haven't tried it but I don't think cubase can compete.

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:21 am
by Rx
I like them both. SX is the first sequencer aside from Live where automation is as simple as picking a parameter and drawing the envelopes in. I've actually been using SX exclusively for working on tracks in the last month since I discovered that.