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 Post subject: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:58 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:12 am
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I'm interested to know if anybody's using Live to control a theatre show in a cue stack system rather then for sound design/production, and what your experiences are.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:24 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
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I have done, although not in the last year or so.
The biggest lack, was of crossfade between scenes.
So a transition from an "interior" scene to an exterior scene would be abrupt, rather than being able to manage a smooth transition. I concocted a way, but the nature of the show meant that at the transitions I was also busy resetting triggers and manually selecting presets for the triggerable samples ( the performers had foot triggers).
It was a good experience, but lacking a couple of small functions which would have made it easy.
Scene-to-scene crossfades, and simple rack "presets".

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:48 am 

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There is a neat way of solving this problem by having a midi track assigned to 'control', then sending CC messages via clip Midi ctrl though the IAC bus to handle both automation and triggering of scenes.

Did you have anything else (lighting, video) controlled via Live?


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:17 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:26 pm
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Location: Wageningen, Netherlands
For the record; I have no experience with this stuff what so ever.

Yet, having said that I am pretty sure that if you want to go beyond music and also steering external devices then M4L could be a very powerful asset here. It doesn't come with solutions out of the box, nor is some of the stuff I'm now thinking of supported "by default" but I think it can be the tool to access and control whatever external stuff you're thinking about.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:31 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2004 2:22 pm
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Z3NO wrote:
There is a neat way of solving this problem by having a midi track assigned to 'control', then sending CC messages via clip Midi ctrl though the IAC bus to handle both automation and triggering of scenes.

that's pretty much how I handle my preset changing worries.In fact you don't actually need the IAC bus or other virtual routing.

If you make a master rack to contain each 'preset' and use chain select zone/ranges then you can pick your presets using the chain select. Assign a macro which changes the chain select. That macro can be either manually turned, or automated via clip based modulation. So now you only need a clip marked "preset 2" and pressing it will turn the macro (and the chain select) to pick out the required 'rack preset'

That said : it's a pretty shitty workaround, and I would really love a simple "Live" preset manager which can be given a list of presets used in the set, and a nice big preset name display. But hell, for now most of us are stuck with this chain select nonsense.
here's a longer discussion of this method, viewtopic.php?p=1042274#p1042274

Quote:
Did you have anything else (lighting, video) controlled via Live?


No, all of the visual side was handled by a program called Isadora. It's a boxes-and-wires app created by a friend of mine specifically for performers to trigger visuals. IE: it's simple to use, but powerful, and you dont feel compelled to enroll on a 2 year night course to understand what the hell variable scoping/private variables are, like some boxes and wires apps around here *cough* *cough*.

Again - that visual side was mainly triggered by performers, with me babysitting the Isadora scenes via a midi controller.


I'm not really a theatre guy, but I have been involved in creating live performance stuff like this a few times. Compared to performing music live on stage it's pretty easy!
It's less stress than performing, you get a chair and a desk light, you can have a crib sheet, and a cup of coffee/beer. I found it all very relaxing.

The app is fully capable of doing whats required, at least - I didn't find a better system :)

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Last edited by Angstrom on Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:46 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:12 am
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M4L isn't really well suited for these purposes. And the learning curve is way too steep.
My goal is to experiment using Live as an easy but powerful alternative to already existing systems and setups and find ways to actually simplify things rather then complicate them further. Trying to program Max patches to control the technical elements of large productions like this one would be an unnecessarily large effort.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:57 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:12 am
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@ Angstrom. Thanks for your reply. I am familiar with the chain selector.

I didn't know Isadora, I'll take a closer look, but as I intend to let an external media server handle the video, I doubt It'll be much use to me, I was instead considering using Live to control an on-board lighting package like Chamsys MagicQ, which in turn would control both lighting and the external media server. Anyone has any experience with something like this?


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:36 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:36 am
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Angstrom wrote:
It was a good experience, but lacking a couple of small functions which would have made it easy.
Scene-to-scene crossfades, and simple rack "presets".


Was there no possibility of using Live's crossfader here, by assigning half the tracks to the A side and half to the B side, and fading from left to right and vice-versa at each scene change?

-Luddy

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:41 am 

Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:26 pm
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Location: Wageningen, Netherlands
Z3NO wrote:
M4L isn't really well suited for these purposes.

Thats because you're overlooking the fact that you're actually have Max within Live at your disposal, not merely something tied to Live itself. And Max in itself can easily cope with steering external stuff, just like you can use external stuff to steer Max itself. If you're trying to use Live for it then I dare say M4L is the best suited material out there.

Quote:
And the learning curve is way too steep.
My goal is to experiment using Live as an easy but powerful alternative to already existing systems and setups and find ways to actually simplify things rather then complicate them further.

I think you're underestimating yourself and overestimating the way you can do stuff with Max. But that's just my 2 cents and I'll honestly agree that I have some bias here.

Quote:
Trying to program Max patches to control the technical elements of large productions like this one would be an unnecessarily large effort.

Considering that this only shows us some effects and doesn't go into any detail as to the hardware used to achieve this stuff its impossible to comment.

At the very core Live can be used in a rewire (master/client) kind of way as well as send out midi and audio data using stuff like the "external instrument" and "external audio effect" devices.

But whether that is good enough to actually control this stuff is something I can't comment on based on the info you've given us thus far.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:30 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:12 am
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Thanks Peter, as i said i am very familiar with Max and what it can do, and as i also mentioned, it is not well suited (not said it's not possible to do) for the purposes of what i'm trying to achieve. I see Max as having to reinvent the wheel each time... just does not cut it.

maybe i've not explained myself clearly enough, all i'm trying to do, is implement Live in currently used industry standard setups to simplify a few things, namely I'm referring to programs like Qlab, which is currently pretty much an industry standard/leader (in my view undeservedly) in theatre show control/operation.

On productions like the one i posted (perhaps not the best example) that may require control of 150 moving lights, 100 generics, 10 universes of LED fixtures, 6 video projections and multichannel playback mixed with live sound, i need for someone to have written the majority of the code for me, (like the kind folks at Ableton) and not have to create it all myself from scratch (like using Max) :D

now in light of all this, has anyone come across similar setups?


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:25 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2002 3:44 pm
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I've used Live for several years in theatre productions, although only as a big sequenced sampler/plug host, and sometimes with a live input or two.
For mega productions as the forzabruta in your link, I'd forget about doing it all in Live, you'd at least need several computers.
When shopping for a lighting desk, I once saw a demo of the e:cue software, which involved led walls, moving lights, video, audio... you might use live to trigger events in the soft.

I have always kept it 'simple' and never ran into problems (hardware audio mixer, lighting desk, video mixer/matrix, live camera's, computer for prerecorded video, computer for soundscapes), even doing such shows on my own (although operating all those machines during busy scene changes was an act on its own and needed lots of practice too to feel comfortable).

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:35 am 

Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 12:15 pm
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It really depends on what kind of things you want to do....

I use live for theatre things when I got to play synths, or particular live effects. But it's true that the scenes system with no crossfades is more suitable for songs.

For soundscapes, continuous sound and heavy processing, the best remains audiomulch. I've used it with dancers and theatre and it is awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:04 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:12 am
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borg wrote:
I've used Live for several years in theatre productions, although only as a big sequenced sampler/plug host, and sometimes with a live input or two.
For mega productions as the forzabruta in your link, I'd forget about doing it all in Live, you'd at least need several computers.
When shopping for a lighting desk, I once saw a demo of the e:cue software, which involved led walls, moving lights, video, audio... you might use live to trigger events in the soft.

I have always kept it 'simple' and never ran into problems (hardware audio mixer, lighting desk, video mixer/matrix, live camera's, computer for prerecorded video, computer for soundscapes), even doing such shows on my own (although operating all those machines during busy scene changes was an act on its own and needed lots of practice too to feel comfortable).


Now we're on the same track...
I've also previously always used Live separately from lighting and video, and always mainly just to run live sound and effects. But since I've discovered the possibilities of the IAC driver, I've been wanting to experiment with implementing it as a means of full show control. Of course I would still let something else control both lighting and video. Video preferably on it's own separate media server, but operation could be centralised all within Live. I've not looked at e:cue before, looks interesting. I've used Chamsys products on large scale shows before and they've always proved very stable and incredibly resource efficient, so I'm fairly certain the software could happily run alongside Live on the same laptop. Like you point out, my main area of concern is stability, so I'm not really quite confident enough to recommend it on my next production and don't really have the time or money to invest in hiring out a rig just for testing purposes...

But I find the possibility has a lot of potential.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:06 pm 

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chapelier fou wrote:
It really depends on what kind of things you want to do....

I use live for theatre things when I got to play synths, or particular live effects. But it's true that the scenes system with no crossfades is more suitable for songs.

For soundscapes, continuous sound and heavy processing, the best remains audiomulch. I've used it with dancers and theatre and it is awesome.


I've solved the scenes crossfades issues long ago. Using the IAC bus. Works a charm.


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 Post subject: Re: Anyone using Live in theatre productions?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:26 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:56 am
Posts: 44
I saw a launchpad in a theater the other day actually, couldn't see his laptop but I think he was hitting audio and lighting queues off it.

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