Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
So-Fi
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Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by So-Fi » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:54 am

Hi

I'm a desperate newbie, trying to make decent dream pop-inspired electronica and I find that the pads and sounds in Ableton Live seem rather unsufficient and lackluster for the purpose. I want more lush, dreamy pads like.. say.. the ones M83, Washed Out, Slowdive and bands like that use.

Can anyone recommend some good VSTIs, sample-packs or the like? Or is there a way I can produce them to sound like the above bands? I'd really appreciate that, thanks.

Rave
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by Rave » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:10 am

Ableton is fine for this. You just need to learn how to manipulate sounds. :)

So-Fi
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by So-Fi » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:12 am

So what do you suggest I do to the sounds for instance?

Heiko
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by Heiko » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:46 am

play with the controllers of the instrument you like, automate them.......
put more fx
make your own fx-racks
all is there.......(though I must admit I use a lot of plugs......., but many many great sounds from Ableton)
take your own sounds, record your own sounds, put them into Simpler or Sampler, manipulate them, endless great possibilities!

Enjoy!
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Destro
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by Destro » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:01 am

If it's that shoegazey vibe you're after, Live's Reverb and Delay effects are your friend. Drop em' on separate return tracks and send just about all your instruments to them in varying degrees.

You might also want to add some dirt to your synths. This can be done by inserting an Overdrive, Saturator and/or Redux effect.

Tweak the effects to taste and you should be able to approximate that dreamy shoegaze sound - provided you've found/created the right sounds, of course.

Hope this helps.

So-Fi
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by So-Fi » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:16 am

Cheers!

Zoosh
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by Zoosh » Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:56 am

layer your instruments, copy them and pan them Left, Right and Centre(ish) etc etc, then add diff FX and delays to them, bounce them down to a single track?

just gotta be creative

otherwise just get NEXUS VSTi which has enormous, moving pads

necho
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by necho » Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:19 am

Sample some movies and stuff. Drop sections of the audio into Simpler. Isolate a tiny bit of the audio that you like by setting the loop length in Simpler - maybe a bit of strings and some noise from the soundtrack. Turn on the loop in Simpler and adjust the start and end points. Change the pitch of the sample. Play with the Simpler amp envelope (bring up the attack and release) and the filter. Modulate the filter with a slow--ish LFO and/or envelope. Add a chorus effect, some delay and some reverb if you want.

Make sure that the resulting sound is unregonizable so you don't get into trouble.
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cosmosuave
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by cosmosuave » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:36 pm

So-Fi wrote:Hi

I'm a desperate newbie,
Practice and learn how to use the program...
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Ableton_David
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by Ableton_David » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:55 pm

To echo what others have said, practice is certainly your friend here.

If you have Operator, there's a tutorial for making pad sounds that comes with it. It's a good start to getting a sound you want.

If you're looking for a more lo-fi sound like some of the artists that you mentioned, then Redux, Saturator, Overdrive, Amp, Cabinet, Reverb, Vinyl Distortion, and Erosion are all good options. Play around with those and see what you like.

Bee Dub
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by Bee Dub » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:48 pm

Rave wrote:Ableton is fine for this. You just need to learn how to manipulate sounds. :)
the truth right here

leedsquietman
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by leedsquietman » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:11 pm

If the OP doesn't have Suite, then he has more limited options (i.e. no Operator, no Sampler, no EIC2 racks etc, no Analog etc). So while you all have a point on sound manipulation, my recommendation is get Absynth 5 by Native Instruments. This is the king of pads.
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beats me
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by beats me » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:33 pm

leedsquietman wrote:So while you all have a point on sound manipulation, my recommendation is get Absynth 5 by Native Instruments. This is the king of pads.
Even against Omnisphere?

I found Absynth a little more towards the drone and background noise side of pads than epic pop pads. But I'll have to revisit it if you say it's on par or better than Omnisphere in that department.

Piplodocus
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by Piplodocus » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:41 am

Yep, Ableton tends to have quite dry presets. It's a nice change from most audio vendors who plaster everything in millions of FX to make it sound better, then you have to strip them off, and build them back as you really wanted. Makes them not sound as good as the competitors sometimes when played solo before doing what you want with them FX wise though...
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leedsquietman
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Re: Ableton Live sounds lackluster (for my purpose)

Post by leedsquietman » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:35 am

I'm not an expert on Omnisphere, but Absynth is great for pads and 1/3 the price of Omnisphere (which covers more overall sonic ground and also a good choice for pads). Absynth5 has quite a few cool features such as the Mutations feature etc as well. There are a lot of regular great pad filler sounds as well as evolving soundscapes.

I would say that if you just want pads and have basses and leads covered then Absynth is great for the money. It also doesn't require 50 gigs of HD space or whatever Omnisphere uses !
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