Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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leinad
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Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by leinad » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:08 pm

Using Wikipedia´s terms, it is not really posible to create slurs, ties and legatos in Live without major workarounds, each of the workarounds having it's own serious limitations - even though many synthesizers provide support for this, usually through what they call "legato mode".


Slurring is conventionally archieved by making notes overlap at different points in time. In the case where the pitch changes between notes, the slur continues playing the sound and only changes the pitch. Portamento can be added to the slur to make the pitch glide through time from one note's pitch to the other note's pitch. A slur between two notes of the same pitch results in what Wikipedia refers to as a Tie, which is nothing else as a replacement of the first note's remaining time by the second note's length, therefore removing the note-off message of the first note and the note-on message of the second note.


Roland's TB-303, as well as Propellerhead's Rebirth, label slurring "Slide". Seq-303, an old Windows MIDI Sequencer labels it "Glide". Kore2's Step Sequencer labels it "Tie".

Image

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Seq-303 and Kore2 most probably extend the note-off of the previous note for a very short time, so that the following note first get's triggered, so that this second note-on request is sent to the monophonic instrument while it is still playing the previous note which still has not been explicitly turned off. The instrument then knows that it's supposed to perform a slur. Should the first note not be turned off before the second one is turned off, the instrument usually slurs back to the first note.

Take a look at the music notation in the image below, remarked with "clip 1" and "clip 2". As one can see, the slur embraces both clips.

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Image

The problem is that Live, as soon as a clip or a loop arrives at the it's end, forces a note-off to whichever note wants to continue playing after the clips or loops end. This will always result in the first note of the second clip or loop iteration to issue it's note-on event _after_ the last note of the prior clip or loop has been turned off, therefore _not_ allowing an instrument to play a slur between clips or loops, even if that last note is expected to end some time after the clip or loop finished playing.

Image

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Ideally, if a note is so long that it crosses the boundry of the clip's or loop's end, the clip performs what it's supposed to do next (either play another clip or loop the same clip again), while leaving that long note still playing until it finishes to consume it's remaining time or get's replaced by a same pitched note.

In that case, should the first note in the following clip be of another pitch, then the instrument will be able to perform a slug, and if the new note get's turned off and the synth can slug back to the prior note - the one still turned on from the previous clip or loop. Else, should, in the new clip or loop iteration, appear a note of the same pitch than the extended note of the last clip or loop, then then the remaining time of the note from the last clip or loop must be replaced with the duration of the new note.


This may seem like a small issue, it may sound like a whim from a 303 fan who get's obsessed when the last note in a sequence isn't able to slide into a new one, but the problem get's a lot more serious if you want to create an atmospheric sound of a 6 minute length, with occasional melodic pitch changes now and then, a sound continuously evolving from internal modulators, where it would be a dealbreaker to interrupt or reset any internal state of the instrument. It is possible to do this now, but only with workarounds which take minutes of your time and destroy inspiration upon implementation and leave you with limitations of what can be done and what not; while it could be so easy.

Come on, please. You've got a full blown sequencer there. An amazing one, which sadly lacks a seemingly small feature which sometimes could make a world of difference.

Kind regards,
Daniel

----
Amaury wrote:We could think of an improvement: if there is a note without a note start scheduled to play in the next clip (so, without a gad in between the two clips), just don't send a note OFF from the first clip.
Uhm, no. This doesn't make any sense. Look how slugs are archived in the middle of a clip, you extend the length (delay the note-off) of the first note so that the note-off happens after the note-on from the second note.

The note-on occurs exactly on the beat quantization (let's say 1.2.1 for example), the note-off is delayed. There is no "note without a note start". Every note has to start somewhere.

Apply the mid clip behaviour to notes on a boundry: the note-off of the last note of the clip should be delayed into the following clip for as long as the remaining length of the note expects it. The remaining length is defined manually by the user by extending the length of the last note by a given amount beyond the clips end, just as in the middle of clip the user decides how long the first note will overlap the second one.

Another thing, if you don't send a note-off from the first clip, then after the first note in the second clip finishes the slug should fall back to the previous note, forever, since the note has not been turned off. But this behaviour differs from what to do when you encounter a same-pitched note in the next clip, where you must replace the remaining time to note-off by the duration of the new same-pitched note, without issuing a new note-on. It's actually impossible to play the same note twice on a piano without retriggering.

So keep in mind that there are two cases to be considered: 1) what to do when the following clip has a different-pitched note which overlaps with the extended note and 2) what to do when the following clip has a same-pitched note which overlaps with the extended note.
Amuray wrote:But, for clip looping, if the first note starts before the loop start, and the last note ends after the loop end, and they are the same pitch, you should hear a continuous note. Isn't that right?
Yes, that's right, but this is a special case. It doesn't allow for pitch change between different clips. It messes up timing if the roll-in of the clip isn't of the same length as the loop. This is basically one of those workarounds which have limitations which usually introduce more problems and anxiety than the above mentioned solution would do (if that one would introduce any problems at all).
Amuray wrote:Are you also saying that, in the above case [if the first note starts before the loop start, and the last note ends after the loop end], if the notes are not the same pitch, they should somehow glide if glide is ON?
That case above really doesn't apply, since it is an ugly workaround and the recommended solution unter point 1) solves the issue. As to how the glide is performed it's up to the instrument, the only requirement for it is that a new note is additionally requested to play while one is already playing.

As far as workarounds are concerned, here is a little thread discussing the issue:
http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=110395
Amuray wrote:So, in then end, it all boils down to play the last note "as if it were not cut by the end of the clip", be it on loop jump or when playing the next clip? Or even when no next clip is playing?
Yes, with the exeption of what to do when the next clip or loop iteration contains a note of the same pitch which would overlap with the extended note. In that case the remaining length of the extended note would be replaced by the duration of the new same-pitched note.

In case of no following clip, yes, to continue to play the remaining length of the note would be a sensible thing to do; good observation.

It shouldn't be too hard to solve this problem.

Though there is one concern, and that is that care must be taken that old sets don't break. Maybe some composers have been relying on notes beeing cut off automatically at the end of a clip, so an option should be provided where one can flag a clip as "legato-friendly", so to say, which defaults to false, or s.th. like treating all sets created with a version of Live prior to the one supporting "legato-friendly" clip differently as new ones. I believe that an additional clickbox in the clip properties to enable that mode on demand would be the better alternative.


The original thread can be found in Google's cache: http://goo.gl/KxUaK
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simpli.cissimus
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by simpli.cissimus » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:13 am

Allow overlapping midi notes !!!

Adding this as midi options should be a piece of cake.

That's it !
No! I'll never use the Push-App Live 9 !!!

leinad
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by leinad » Thu May 05, 2011 7:08 pm

Come on guys! Note length is a property of the note, not of the clip! It's starting to get really annoying, or am I getting something wrong here???
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ChrisMack99
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by ChrisMack99 » Thu May 05, 2011 7:15 pm

If I want to have notes like that, I'll usually just make the clip longer...instead of looping a 4 bar clip 4 times, I'll just make it a 16 bar clip. Simple and gets the job done.

leinad
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by leinad » Thu May 05, 2011 7:58 pm

ChrisMack99 wrote:If I want to have notes like that, I'll usually just make the clip longer...instead of looping a 4 bar clip 4 times, I'll just make it a 16 bar clip. Simple and gets the job done.
Not with me! If I make the clip longer, I have to manually repeat the pattern, and if I want to change the pattern, I need to make 4 changes instead of one (which I can do on the fly without having to hurry before the loop gets back at me again). All this just to end up with a result which still has the same problem, only diluted by a factor of 4.

I mean, I really appreciate your feedback, but I've come to the point where no workaround is going to ease my annoyance over this issue, since every workaround does have a flaw which could then only be solved by solving the original issue, in the source code.

Hand me over the source code and I'm willing to spend a month on hunting down the design flaw and implementing a solution to this problem. I'd be willing to sign NDAs...
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Synthbuilder
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by Synthbuilder » Fri May 06, 2011 7:10 am

leinad wrote:Come on guys! Note length is a property of the note, not of the clip! It's starting to get really annoying, or am I getting something wrong here???
+1

This is the number one thing that annoys me about the arrange window. No overlapping events between repeated clips.

In Cubase midi notes are/were logged as note on and note lengths - not as note on and note offs.

This should also apply to audio clips too. The audio per clip should be allowed to continue to play after the loop brace if selected to do so. What I have to do now is either use two grouped audio tracks or use Sampler to replay the clips with a long release setting.

TTOZ
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by TTOZ » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:19 am

and there in lies the midi workaround. two midi tracks with different instances of the same synth and patch.
I am bitwig, pick me, pick me, i now hAs midi export!

patrick.olson86
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by patrick.olson86 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:38 pm

This bugs me too, it would make jumping the 1 a lot easier.

ttilberg
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by ttilberg » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:00 pm

Hi, this might not be an acceptable answer for your specific project, but it is how you tie notes between clips in Ableton Live. I use this trick often, and it's also good to know for when things aren't working "how you expect them to."

When Live sees a note that does not have a note off (as you exampled above), and starts a clip that does not have a note on (related but opposite to your example above), it ties them together.

As long as the clip you are playing next has the last note from the previous clip starting before the "start" point, it will tie.

I have linked to a sample .als I built quickly to demonstrate this.

In the first clip is an example of extending that final note in the clip past the loop point, but without a leading note in the beginning of the clip -- like you had demonstrated above.

In the second set of clips, it plays you a little song with automation between the clips, all of which tie the E between clips. The E is not triggered in the beginning of the intro clip, as there is no note on message (assuming you are starting from a stopped state, otherwise the E from the above clip will still tie), however the note DOES continue to play when it loops through (as it is already playing the note from the end of the clip).

In order to start a note before the starting point of the clip, you might need to manually edit the start point of your clip to -1, draw your note, then put the start point back to 1.

Please see my .als for a demonstration, and good luck! I hope this helps you.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/75360/Clips%20with%20ties.als
Tim Tilberg - Duluth, MN | SoundCloud - Arsenal
2011 13" MBP w/8GB ram | Live 9 Suite, Reason 6.5, FXPansion DCAM/Etch/Maul, Izotope Ozone 5

ttilberg
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by ttilberg » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:17 pm

This should also apply to audio clips too. The audio per clip should be allowed to continue to play after the loop brace if selected to do so. What I have to do now is either use two grouped audio tracks or use Sampler to replay the clips with a long release setting.
I just duplicate my looped audio clip and either turn looping off on it, or have the start point where the loop would normally end, depending on what I'm doing with it. No need to have multiple channels or multiple samplers.

If you are certain that you always want it to loop a certain amount of time, you can even implement follow actions to automate this for you, or even just bounce the audio down.
Tim Tilberg - Duluth, MN | SoundCloud - Arsenal
2011 13" MBP w/8GB ram | Live 9 Suite, Reason 6.5, FXPansion DCAM/Etch/Maul, Izotope Ozone 5

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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by ttilberg » Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:23 pm

and there in lies the midi workaround. two midi tracks with different instances of the same synth and patch.
While your workaround isn't required as I describe above, I wanted to let you know a much cooler way to achieve the effect you describe with significantly less load.

Since Live's IO routings are so powerful both with Midi and Audio, you can combine multiple midi channels to trigger into one instrument.

For example, create three midi channels. Load your midi instrument and effects on the first. One the next two, open up the I/O panel, and select to send MIDI TO: Midi-1 (or whatever your channels is named)

On the first, you place your instrument and effects. If you want, you can put clips here too. One channels 2 and 3, you can put more clips, and trigger them all at the same time. The midi notes all merge together on the one single instrument.

This is an excellent way to overdub different voicings without ruining what you've already done, and provide things like "This bass line will loop forever, but I want to variate the melody" on the same synth.
Tim Tilberg - Duluth, MN | SoundCloud - Arsenal
2011 13" MBP w/8GB ram | Live 9 Suite, Reason 6.5, FXPansion DCAM/Etch/Maul, Izotope Ozone 5

mrbook
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Re: Slur, Slide, Glide, Tie; whatever it is that's wrong.

Post by mrbook » Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:03 am

This is issue with clips always forces me to do complex workarounds for something that apparently could be a simple fix. Does anyone know if there will be a fix for this issue in Live 9?

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