Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
madhatter
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by madhatter » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:18 pm

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
depends how good the drummer is.
It works on a live recording - I use beat doctor in protools on the kick and then slave Live via rewire. The tempo by our drummer is pretty solid not varying by more than a few bpm. If there is an algorithm making an average of the last 4 beats and ignoring any beat too far out (this could be adjustable, say 10-20%) then it could ignore double hits and dropped beats and not make any radical bpm changes by mistake. Its got to be possible and will free us from the tyranny of the click track.
InTime claims to do it - I'm setting it up now, so we'll see, but it would be good to have it inside Ableton.

madhatter
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by madhatter » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:22 pm

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:
There's nothing more boring than watching bands where they are stuck to click tracks live (recording is a different thing). With a good rhythm section vibing off a live audience you can go places people stuck to a click can't. Try it!

madhatter
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by madhatter » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:29 pm

luddy wrote:
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
When playing live its great to all bounce off each other rhythmicly, not leave it up to the drummer to lead it all. Sometimes having the tempo shift down or up really adds to the song. Having it always to a set tempo kills the spirit.

ze2be
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by ze2be » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:49 pm

It looks great, but does it work?
? ? ? ? ?

Piplodocus
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by Piplodocus » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:56 pm

madhatter wrote: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?
I'm guessing it's got double kicks and varying rhythms rather than a straight 4? The tap button wouldn't work then. I read the manual and it appears you can't set limits on the tap tempo input (like in effects racks you can limit the range of what a knob does). If this was the case and the tempo was e.g. 120bpm you could limit the tap tempo between 112 to 126bpm say, then it would ignore any kicks that didn't fit within this tempo. No real way of doing this as far as I can tell though, and it could take some fiddling anyway if your drummer is playing kick on 1 & 3 only as it'd appear half time and be ignored.

So the short answer (apart from that other software mentioned) is no. Unless you want to use the nudge buttons and/or a fine control tempo knob, or assign the tap button to something other than a changing kick that's not on every beat...
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luddy
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by luddy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:05 pm

The problem is not only about the solidity of the drummer's time. There are drummers who can hammer out time like a machine. The thing is that if the software is following and misinterprets something that is happening (like a syncopated kick drum or a fill or a hard stop or a kick that is too soft to set off the trigger, whatever) then you risk having the backing tracks go bananas. It's great to play without a click, the question is how to do it with actual backing tracks, keeping everything locked up. Having the backing tracks out of time with the band is a vibe killer too :lol:

-Luddy

madhatter
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by madhatter » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:35 pm

luddy wrote:The problem is not only about the solidity of the drummer's time. There are drummers who can hammer out time like a machine. The thing is that if the software is following and misinterprets something that is happening (like a syncopated kick drum or a fill or a hard stop or a kick that is too soft to set off the trigger, whatever) then you risk having the backing tracks go bananas. It's great to play without a click, the question is how to do it with actual backing tracks, keeping everything locked up. Having the backing tracks out of time with the band is a vibe killer too :lol:

-Luddy
Well I've been playing with "InTime" downloaded from the link from Fishmonkey and it seems to work!! haven't had any mad tempo changes and you can control the tempo with a midi kick. You can put in double-notes and triplets and it seems pretty good. I'd have to try it with other musicians to see how it feels, but feels pretty good playing on your own with it. Could be what I've been looking for for years.

luddy
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by luddy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:34 pm

madhatter wrote: Well I've been playing with "InTime" downloaded from the link from Fishmonkey and it seems to work!! haven't had any mad tempo changes and you can control the tempo with a midi kick. You can put in double-notes and triplets and it seems pretty good. I'd have to try it with other musicians to see how it feels, but feels pretty good playing on your own with it. Could be what I've been looking for for years.
cool, let us know how it works out when you try it with your band!

-Luddy

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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by Piplodocus » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:58 pm

It's slightly OT, but have you guys who play band stuff with ableton running backing tracks got any tunes I can listen to? The "hear my stuff" section on the forum seems to be mostly DJs and one or 2 man electronic only outfits. There's some cool stuff there but would be good to check out what actual bands were doing with live, especially live recordings or vids.
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madhatter
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by madhatter » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:06 pm

Piplodocus wrote:It's slightly OT, but have you guys who play band stuff with ableton running backing tracks got any tunes I can listen to? The "hear my stuff" section on the forum seems to be mostly DJs and one or 2 man electronic only outfits. There's some cool stuff there but would be good to check out what actual bands were doing with live, especially live recordings or vids.
Just got it syncing today. Give us a chance and we'll post when something comes out.

H20nly
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by H20nly » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:29 pm

Piplodocus wrote:but would be good to check out what actual bands were doing with live, especially live recordings or vids.
+ a big 1 to this...
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bulo
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by bulo » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:35 pm

it would be good to have it inside Ableton.

http://www.b-keeper.org/index.html
If you have max for live;
you can also use it with max/max runtime in conjunction with Live.
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luddy
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by luddy » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:16 am

Piplodocus wrote:It's slightly OT, but have you guys who play band stuff with ableton running backing tracks got any tunes I can listen to? The "hear my stuff" section on the forum seems to be mostly DJs and one or 2 man electronic only outfits. There's some cool stuff there but would be good to check out what actual bands were doing with live, especially live recordings or vids.
I posted links to some of the music we play live in the Link Your Music section. I think that video from some of our shows are on websites over here (I live in China), if I can find some I'll post a link.

-Luddy

Trial
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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by Trial » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:14 am

You could modify a midi foot switch into the the drummer's kick drum pedal and then assign it to tap tempo. It depends on how well Live would be able to deal with a not-four-on-the-floor kick pattern tapping the tempo. And how much the drummer trusts you. :P

You could use Bome's or vvvv so the person operating the laptop could control when the midi data from the footswitch is sent to Ableton.

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Re: Can Ableton Live follow a live band?

Post by pepezabala » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:10 am

Trial wrote:You could modify a midi foot switch into the the drummer's kick drum pedal and then assign it to tap tempo. It depends on how well Live would be able to deal with a not-four-on-the-floor kick pattern tapping the tempo. And how much the drummer trusts you. :P

You could use Bome's or vvvv so the person operating the laptop could control when the midi data from the footswitch is sent to Ableton.
I found the tap tempo highly unreliable in live situations. sudden tempo-changes galore! but try yourself!

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