"I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
ze2be
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"I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by ze2be » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:58 pm

Artist quote 09.2010: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to actualize an idea quickly and accurately"


Hmmm..

Ive been thinking about this the last days. Let me begin with saying I have been addicted to Live since 2004. It started with trackers in the 80ties, and Cubase all the way through the 90ties. Then 2000 came upon us. Tracktion revolutionized my DAW world with its modern simplicity. Shortly after, Live released a new version with midi, and I was hooked. To me Tracktion and Live w/midi was a revolution in workflow. It was the DAWs of the next century. Today I have different thoughts. Another century has hit us.

Live, to me, sometimes feels tedious at present time. Sometimes, not always. (I remember when DAWs were just a few MB download.) Its like the new futures, while creating some workflow gains, also adds workflow breaks in other eras. Like racks drag and drop between projects. Great! But the rack interface.. With the deep and complex, yet tiny GUI: racks, and all the scrolling and clicking needed to navigate around there. The synths and other native plugs GUI are very small on my 24" studio screen. A lot of the new stuff is complex. Yet its still crammed into the same thin, old device section. Not floating, nor unfold-able.

Maybe its just my mood this week. I don't feel inspiration to jump into it the last weeks. Starting the program is a very slow proses. So is downloading and installing small bug updates.. Nano Studio for the iPhone on the other hand has caught my attention completely. I simply cant leave it! Making music in bed, on the bus, on the couch, in the bathroom, anywhere! It takes me less the 10 seconds from the inspiration spark hit my head, to starting Nano Studio, until its recorded. And it records the automation movement I had in my head also. After those 10 seconds, I can immediately start to record drums, while the project is playing in a loop, and record its automation too on the fly. Its a little butterfly, and Live is a jumbo jet. Still, I get to do what I want to do with it. Maybe because it is so simple. Only one synth(x4), but it sounds great and it has 4 lfos, which is just about enough for me. I use them a lot. Each synth can have 2 fx each, plus there's 2 send fx. Same goes with the drum sampler with 16 pads. The pads also have 3 fx buses, with each a filter. You can sample directly into both the synth and the sampler, from the mic, or re-sample from the project, straight to one of the pads. Or load your own samples. Its all tightly integrated, "plug & play". All these limitations, coupled with a super fast workflow, brings back the fun of creating music to me.

Im looking forward to go back to Live again, as I have invested years and countless of hours of music work and rack building into it. But right now, NS records all my inspiration, anywhere! Perhaps with the new multi touch controller software that has started to show up lately, it will make things easier again.

It feels like its gotten a ton of add ons over the years, instead of workflow and UI improvements. And it seems (for the time being) those add-ons are turning the workflow it once had away from being dynamic and fast, to become more complex and time consuming in some eras. Id imagine this direction is pretty far from where the original idea was first intended too be.


Nano Studio was released just a few weeks ago.

edit: edited for clearness and fairness
Last edited by ze2be on Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

sporkles
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by sporkles » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:33 am

I don't really agree. Yes, Live still has some shortcomings and room for improvement, but I don't feel that
it's more cumbersome to navigate (mind, I first got on board with Live 6). There's more stuff in there,
obviously, but it's usually as simple as just ignoring it. You can keep it simple if you want to (which reminds me:
I have to slim down my VST folder, and get rid of all the garbage I never use anyway). Now, all the bugs is a
different story altogether, but I think they ironed it out pretty well with 8.1.5. I don't use Live a lot
these days, true, but that's simply because other interests have claimed most of my time recently.

That said, you totally sold me on Nano Studio! I might never read a book again. 8O

Wow - I never knew how badly I miss having an X/Y pad handy. Playing the filter freq/res like that is awesome!

ze2be
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by ze2be » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:26 pm

sporkles wrote:I don't really agree. Yes, Live still has some shortcomings and room for improvement, but I don't feel that
it's more cumbersome to navigate (mind, I first got on board with Live 6). There's more stuff in there,
obviously, but it's usually as simple as just ignoring it. You can keep it simple if you want to
It depends on how we work, I guess.

Yeah, NS kicks ass! :D And were getting midi this month. Check Line 6 for the new iPhone midi interface. :wink:

delicioso
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by delicioso » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:37 pm

ze2be wrote:And not being able to record macro or other native device automation into session clips, even though we have a fantastic new controller, (APC40) that supposedly should make life with Live a lot easier to operate.
Yup. Maschine has pretty much replaced Live for me as far as most production duties, and NanoStudio for on the go composing. Live's session view is still very useful as an arranger though, especially with Maschine's drag and drop. You certainly have to put in more work to put artificial limitations in Live to work the way you want to efficiently. Maschine and NanoStudio on the other hand were designed with efficient workflow as the goal, and it makes all the difference.

sporkles
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by sporkles » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:40 am

I simply can't wait for that MIDI export/import addition! All my bedside compositions need to take the plunge into Live now!

ze2be
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by ze2be » Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:44 am

@delicioso: im feeling temtation for the Machine. Seems it will take a long time for Ableton to catch up on that workflow intergration. In a perfect world, the APC would do the exact same thing. :)
Im hoping though TouchAble for the iPad can fix this, when it gets a note sequencer. Because I have spent a lot of time creating drum racks in Live.. Either way, I cant afford any of them before cristmas.

Some of my drum racks are actually a bit advanced. I use dual notes in the clips. Basic groove + fills. And with a macro knob I can reveal the fills and jam with it. Can you do that with Machine, on individual tracks? A track with cymbals, a track with toms, a track with bongos, and so fourth?

Nano Studio has tought me to think minimal standardized setup in Live. Im considering creating a new work template, based on experience from NS.

@sporkles: me to. Checking the NS forum every day ;)

fx23
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by fx23 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:02 pm

imo they took a wrong way going too much to daw/sequencer, letting down session and instant workflow.

the automation to session is a real flaw that is clearly proven via ie Mashine or in my case usine.
In usine i just move a parameter on my vst, then my midi pot, and the automation is directly reced to my 'clip' equivalent
as well as in Mashine and some new ipad stuff. That's clearly the best possible workflow, still a pain in live.
that a 1000% workflow gain in my own case.

if they keep on ignoring it, more and more HW and software (Mashine, usine, ipad stuuf) are working on
such instant LOGICAL workflow and will probably take over some market share, at least for true live performances,
mind you they still have lot of time head them, but they could potentially be affected by some other softs.
As my own exemple, while using live in intensive way from V4, i more and more migrate to Usine that let me
bypass all those flaws. (direct autom rec, Quatize any param, store/recall anything to preset, intermodulations/lfos ect...)
i find it a bit sad really, that ;:,:;;:n wait of 'direct to clip' has last far too long now.

Complete rewrite time has come, live 8 went stability/features messy. bring that :,!:,! autom to session
with a fresh clean new baby.

humnumb
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by humnumb » Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:48 pm

fx23 wrote:bring that :,!:,! autom to session
with a fresh clean new baby.
But they won't. They want you to pay $300 for Max for Live to do that.

Fullofkittens
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by Fullofkittens » Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:49 pm

I disagree with the premise that the workflow has gotten more cumbersome. Racks (and the ease of dragging and dropping onto them) have sped up my music-making in a huge way.

fx23
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by fx23 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:19 pm

humnumb wrote:
fx23 wrote:bring that :,!:,! autom to session
with a fresh clean new baby.
But they won't. They want you to pay $300 for Max for Live to do that.

well im afraid too, but if that's really their idea, that clearly sucks.
max is certainly not the easy answer to give to all flaws.

this need to be native feature. tweak a pot BAM clip done.
i however hope they don't take customers as such sheeps.

slirak
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by slirak » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:09 pm

"I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

...make it crash. :?

No, but really, I'm having huge problems with it right now, worse than ever before.
So lately, I've been thinking a lot about switching to another DAW. I switched to Live from Cubase SX 2 a few years ago and though Cubase have evolved since, I can't imagine going back. I did try Tracktion 2 extensively before I decided on Live and then Tracktion 3 when it came out. Nice, but, no. Presonus? Not developed enough yet. Reaper? Too finicky. Sonar? I'm on a Mac. So I've spent quite some time with Logic Express lately. (We've got a volume license at work, thank you very much!) Nice, it's really come a long way since Apple bought it. Much easier to use now IMO. And some awesome features.

But. And that's a BIG but: I haven't come across anything that comes even close to Live's UI and workflow. Sure, there are things I'd like to change. Like give me the Session view mixer in Arrange view already! Arrange view needs a lot of work in many respects.

But really, my only serious gripe with Live is its instability with third party plug-ins. (Live 8 that is, Live 6 and 7 was OK, not über stable but no worse than other hosts.)

Otherwise, I do love Ableton Live, because not only doesn't it get in the way of my creativity, it boosts it.

Still haven't ruled out Logic though. Amazing value for money, especially the Express version.

leedsquietman
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by leedsquietman » Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:53 pm

FX23,

Robert Henke has previously stated that a complete rewrite of Live from the ground up would be required to make session automation possible. Max4Live is a different way to workaround the issue if you're prepared to pay for it. Many will not.

A fresh rewrite from the ground up sounds like a good idea, but it would probably take 18 months to 2 years and possibly 2-3 versions beyond the first release on the new engine to be fully workable. When Steinberg rewrote Cubase from the ground up, the first 2 releases of SX were horrible bugfests, and many features went missing from the old VST5.1, some of which took until Cubase 4 to re-emerge.

This is also a reason why Apple are scared to do a rewrite of Logic, Steinberg's rep took a big hit with SX (SX1 especially) and many left to go to Logic and other DAWS. Logic desperately needs a rebuild from the ground up, there is still legacy code in the program from 1996, to take advantage of Snow Leopard and 64 bit better etc.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

fx23
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by fx23 » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:43 pm

I can do more things in usine for free than in max. they can go .... themself with their M4L all flaws pricey weird solution.
need rewrite SX:
Yes exactly, i know that's at least 6 years im in that debate and waiting a never coming decision.
The more they will wait, the more it will be too late. The sooner they go the sooner that's done.
they'll have to anyway, that"s a fatality. im totally prepared to bypass a 9 and get a 10 reborn next year if that's the deal.

now people have plenty of room to experience on live8 with M4L bridge or whatever, they should take that time.
FU Backward, restart from scratch and make a live MKII that should have always worked like this and by the way anticipate updoming
multitouch, beziers, group stuff ect.
Ableton are one of the biggest compagny, they are full of fundz, they can do it without major risks,
there are no direct concurence YET.

that at least 8 years everybody knows, including ableton and mr Henke himself that this is a huge error/flaw that will
need a fix one day or other, 6 years start to be a fucking long wait no?
then can put whatever vocoder amp sim third party stuff, that's peanut evolution
Automation to session would simply be the ultimate evolution, all forces should be focus on that one and that one only imo
at least as long as it's not there.

ze2be
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by ze2be » Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:48 pm

its not easy to...


-record live jams like with the Machine or NanoStudio.
-store fxp vst programs from Abletons plugs.
-have them floating on the screen when you want to view 2 native plugs on different tracks.
-zap quickly through their presets with the hot swap button.
-view the mixer vu meters when in Arrange.
-edit precise automation lanes in Arrange.
-get an overview of slightly complex rack routings.
-getting band mates to use those racks.
-seeing what clip is what on the APC or the Launch pad.
-record automation in session with native plugs.
-using macros and other native plug parameters after they have been recorded once.
-midi sync 2 computers with Live.
-get an overview of large projects with many tracks and group tracks.
-re-sample into Simpler and Sampler.
-getting an overview, and good workflow with follow actions.
-convince friends to use this DAW under current circumstances.

ze2be
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Re: "I love Ableton Live because it's so easy to..."

Post by ze2be » Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:04 pm

Fullofkittens wrote:I disagree with the premise that the workflow has gotten more cumbersome. Racks (and the ease of dragging and dropping onto them) have sped up my music-making in a huge way.
To be fair, yes. The ability to swap racks and tracks between projects are simply great! The part that slows down is when you try to find your way around inside a semi complex rack with chains that you created just a few days ago.

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