Ideas for octaphonics surround live setup?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Per Boysen
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Ideas for octaphonics surround live setup?

Post by Per Boysen » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:00 pm

Hi guys,

I'm about to do a concert in octaphonics, 8 trk surround speaker system, and hoping to pick up some hints about routing tricks in Live to explore.

It is a duo where both musicians play acoustic/electric instrument extended with electronics. We'll also be using some surround mixed backing tracks from our latest album. Preparing the backing tracks is not an issue, since I have all the time in the world to do that. We did one previous 8-trck surround concert but then I was using Logic, so I'm now setting up a new rig based on Live. Example of stuff I did for the previous gig is to use eight delays set to one repeat and sending to each other so any played live sound thrown into that effect chain will jump around the audience in a circle. For reverb I used one mono reverb with the output split into eight pitch-shifting non-synced flangers on the surround channels.

Maybe someone has more specific surround trick ideas or just general experiences with surround live mixing to share? We'll be mixing from stage as part of our performance so there can't be too complicated control strategies (as we also play instruments).
Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
http://www.perboysen.com

Angstrom
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Re: Ideas for octaphonics surround live setup?

Post by Angstrom » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:11 pm

My preference for surround stuff is to avoid the whizzing around the head mixing approach, which I think takes the listener out of the music and into a tech-demo.

I prefer some kind of believable utilisation. As an example - a pad sound is usually meant to be big and spacey and so might sound great with a different chorus tap sent to each speaker to simulate the audience being inside the pad. That's internally logically coherent to me.
However if a mandolin is being visibly played onstage and has a randomised pan all around the stacks, this would make less sense to me. The whole point of the mandolin's persona is undermined.

So really I'd look at each of your sounds and say - what makes this sound more itself? Achieve its own goal more effectively. How does the arrangement benefit most from the tricks at hand.
EG: if the arrangement has a hand drum pattern that gets fuller and fuller as the song goes on you could start it in the front channels and allow it to spread slowly into the rest of the stacks as the arrangement progresses. That's a very simple usage, but I prefer the power of subtlety driven by a solid concept than letting the toys take control.

that's my opinion anyway

Per Boysen
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2003 4:11 pm
Location: Sweden
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Re: Ideas for octaphonics surround live setup?

Post by Per Boysen » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:42 pm

Thanks, Angstrom, all great general strategies! We're definitely working that way in our artistic implementation - but are there more detailed, Live specific, "surround tricks" suggestions?
Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
http://www.perboysen.com

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