Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
madhatter
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 9:34 am

Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by madhatter » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:43 pm

I mainly play live with real drummers and percussionists. The drummer is very solid and plays a midi kick drum. Can we get the kick to automatically set the tempo in Live so we can throw loops into the mix knowing they will be in time with the band.
Ideally it would be great to have a system where the tempo trigger ignores any beat with say 20% more of a tempo change, but follows any changes with less than 20% difference. This would prevent double beats doubling the tempo or a missed beat slowing it right down.
Is anyone out there getting the machines to follow the humans rather than the other way round?

!STiTCH!
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by !STiTCH! » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:03 am

i've been recently experimenting with Live and a drummer and guitarist, we have just used a metronome to get the tempo we are playing, and those nudge buttons are a great help. I suppose with some trickery you could split the signal from the MIDI kick and route it into Ableton, and from there.....I have no idea

fishmonkey
Posts: 4136
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:50 am

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by fishmonkey » Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:05 am


nowtime
Posts: 1564
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 7:24 pm
Location: Homefree

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by nowtime » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:15 am

!STiTCH! wrote:i've been recently experimenting with Live and a drummer and guitarist, we have just used a metronome to get the tempo we are playing, and those nudge buttons are a great help. I suppose with some trickery you could split the signal from the MIDI kick and route it into Ableton, and from there.....I have no idea

from there you would send the kik into Looper. This will set the tempo in Live. But then your drummer has to follow the sequencer tempo. But he could nudge the the tempo faster or slower with a footswitch.
Life is Good

madhatter
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 9:34 am

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by madhatter » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:01 am

nowtime wrote:
!STiTCH! wrote:i've been recently experimenting with Live and a drummer and guitarist, we have just used a metronome to get the tempo we are playing, and those nudge buttons are a great help. I suppose with some trickery you could split the signal from the MIDI kick and route it into Ableton, and from there.....I have no idea

from there you would send the kik into Looper. This will set the tempo in Live. But then your drummer has to follow the sequencer tempo. But he could nudge the the tempo faster or slower with a footswitch.

Looper will only set the tempo when the song is stopped and at zero. Means having to do this before putting new loops in. Need it to just follow. Looks as though Circular Logic might do it - thanks fishmonkey

3dot...
Posts: 9996
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:10 pm

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by 3dot... » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:36 pm

step 1. send a 'click' to the drummer
step 2. 'tap tempo'

done.
:mrgreen:
Image

madhatter
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 9:34 am

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by madhatter » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:41 am

3dot... wrote:step 1. send a 'click' to the drummer
step 2. 'tap tempo'

done.
:mrgreen:
But then your still stuck with the tempo you've tapped in. How to get the tempo to follow the drummer. Whos in charge here? Man or machine?

madhatter
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 9:34 am

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by madhatter » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:43 am

I've set this up but can't get Live to follow InTime. It seems to register its doing something, but isn't working. Am I missing something? (Its connected through IAC driver in OS10.5)

luddy
Posts: 791
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:36 am
Location: Beijing
Contact:

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by luddy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:28 am

I think it isn't realistic to expect Live to follow a human drummer. Might be cool, but it's not realistic. Think of what has to happen -- if the 1st beat of the 5th bar comes in late, Live has to stretch all the MIDI and warped audio until it arrives. But how can it know when to start the stretching? It can't wait until the very end of the 4th bar, because there won't be any audio data left to stretch. But if it starts early and the beat comes in early instead, it's done the wrong thing. It sounds completely infeasible to me.

I guess it could constantly adjust its tempo for the last bar that the drummer played, but it's hard to believe you'd get a tight sync; if the drummer was off in one bar and got back on in the next, Live would make the same mistake in the following bar...

-Luddy

outershpongolia
Posts: 2230
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:40 am

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by outershpongolia » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:36 am

madhatter wrote:
3dot... wrote:step 1. send a 'click' to the drummer
step 2. 'tap tempo'

done.
:mrgreen:
But then your still stuck with the tempo you've tapped in. How to get the tempo to follow the drummer. Whos in charge here? Man or machine?
You're the fucking madhatter!

Atomikat
Posts: 968
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:46 pm
Location: Elizabeth,NJ,USA and Colombia

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by Atomikat » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:16 am

If your drummer can't follow a click track, then he shouldn't play in a band, same for guitarists or anyone else. I play in a band with some backing tracks using Live and Guitar Rig and we just follow the tempo of the song,sometimes we loop a part and then improvise until we're tired of having fun... :mrgreen:

outershpongolia
Posts: 2230
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:40 am

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by outershpongolia » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:08 am

Atomikat wrote:If your drummer can't follow a click track, then he shouldn't play in a band, same for guitarists or anyone else. I play in a band with some backing tracks using Live and Guitar Rig and we just follow the tempo of the song,sometimes we loop a part and then improvise until we're tired of having fun... :mrgreen:
Some people are stubborn about these sort of things, they think it will restrict them because they have to play off of a tempo instead of being the tempo.. The fun part is when you can jam drums to a track and remain in tempo yet give it the right dynamics, build-ups and such that make it feel like a free form jam

pepezabala
Posts: 3499
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2004 4:29 pm
Location: In Berlin, finally

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by pepezabala » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:25 am

luddy wrote:I think it isn't realistic to expect Live to follow a human drummer. Might be cool, but it's not realistic. Think of what has to happen -- if the 1st beat of the 5th bar comes in late, Live has to stretch all the MIDI and warped audio until it arrives. But how can it know when to start the stretching? It can't wait until the very end of the 4th bar, because there won't be any audio data left to stretch. But if it starts early and the beat comes in early instead, it's done the wrong thing. It sounds completely infeasible to me.

I guess it could constantly adjust its tempo for the last bar that the drummer played, but it's hard to believe you'd get a tight sync; if the drummer was off in one bar and got back on in the next, Live would make the same mistake in the following bar...

-Luddy
I would expect a computer to be able to deal with fluctuating tempo (in a certain range obviously). but apparently it's not that easy.

Piplodocus
Posts: 791
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:48 pm
Location: Southampton, UK

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by Piplodocus » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:53 am

Atomikat wrote:If your drummer can't follow a click track, then he shouldn't play in a band, same for guitarists or anyone else. I play in a band with some backing tracks using Live and Guitar Rig and we just follow the tempo of the song,sometimes we loop a part and then improvise until we're tired of having fun... :mrgreen:
The point is does your drummer WANT to follow a click track? In my current project (yet to complete the lineup and play live) I purposefully don't want to play to a click. The last band I was in played with a click which was ok as it was quite electro. The band I played in before was fully live and felt so much more free. IMHO there's no better way to spoil the enjoyment of playing live than playing with a pair of headphones with an annoying click going on in your head, and the headphones attenuating all the live guitars/vocals/bass/etc. If you pay a session player to perform then fair enough, he has to suck it up, but I want everyone in the band to be enjoying the music!

In my current experiments I have some songs where I trigger sections in session view with my foot controller and play in time with the synth heavy bits, but then can play free-time in between the sections with backing. In other songs we have to stay in time with the backing all the time. This sucks as I don't want a loud "click" on stage, or be wearing headphones and have to have a really on-the-ball soundman at each venue to provide suitable monitor mixes to the back of my soundcard.

For bands like 65 days of static there seems to be enough clicky glitch stuff going on in their backing to be able to follow with just loud monitors, but the stuff I write there's often not enough clear rhythmical content in the backing on dodgy monitors. Currently I've been writing rhythmical synthy parts into places in the song they don't really need to be, to help us stay in time without loud clicks on stage or headphones! Obviously this isn't ideal writing parts for helping with time rather than to compliment themusic, so any ways to stay in time and not have to be constantly straining to hear something in the backing is a definite plus. There's no way I can afford wireless in-ear monitors either, and using wired headphones will probably mean I have to stand too still on stage (and ruin the performance aspect of playing live) and will probably involve me pulling my ears off when I get too excited!
Image
Mac OSX: 10.8.2, Live Suite: 9.0.2 (64-bit) Live user since:v5 (Above now has an APC40, 8GB RAM and a Diezel 212F Cab but currently too lazy to re-draw it all)

luddy
Posts: 791
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 3:36 am
Location: Beijing
Contact:

Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by luddy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:09 pm

Piplodocus wrote: Obviously this isn't ideal writing parts for helping with time rather than to compliment themusic, so any ways to stay in time and not have to be constantly straining to hear something in the backing is a definite plus. There's no way I can afford wireless in-ear monitors either, and using wired headphones will probably mean I have to stand too still on stage (and ruin the performance aspect of playing live) and will probably involve me pulling my ears off when I get too excited!
If you're a drummer then don't read the rest of this.

Make the drummer eat it, haha. Give him a pair of in-ear monitors, which can be wired because he shouldn't be walking around anyway. :lol: Everyone else can enjoy themselves and follow him. If you get into a part of the song with no drum part, you can either add a click to the monitor mix just for those sections, or have the drummer tap out something light and kill the drums to the PA.

-Luddy

Post Reply