Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
ray619
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Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by ray619 » Tue May 15, 2012 5:24 pm

Hi,
I've been a Ableton Live user since v1, but am mainly a electronic musican. I'm going to open and set my studio up to recording bands and was wondering if anyone here has had experience using Ableton Live to record a full band? I'm not a fan of Pro Tools and wanted to hear any suggestions or comments about using Live for recording bands. Any thoughts or suggestions (even other DAWs for recording live bands) are very welcomed.

thanks!

crofter
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by crofter » Tue May 15, 2012 5:58 pm

Ableton wouldn't be my first choice but you could use it, it's when you come to editing that you'll have problems, I use Cubase for band recording, horses for courses really.
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Dragonbreath
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by Dragonbreath » Tue May 15, 2012 6:40 pm

Ive recorded live bands with ableton.

Sure Ableton is optimised for that, but I find it does a good job.
I find for tracking its quite fun.

If your doing live off the floor for the whole band you can you trigger record on scene launch so that way you can start a new take with one click

I also used markers in arragement view for punch ins, then drop the different takes in session view.

Comping different takes together is were its a bit annoying. Apart from that I find it works great

Punky921
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by Punky921 » Tue May 15, 2012 7:19 pm

I'm about to do this too, so I'm curious what you all think. I'm kind of worried that Ableton's insistence on sticking to its beat grid will make assembling the bits and pieces later a huge fucking bitch.

misa
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by misa » Tue May 15, 2012 7:38 pm

I've recorded several live band performances with Ableton Live and haven't run into too many problems for my work, although there is potential for frustrations with Live's typical insistence with the beat grid. You may want to set the tempo on Live to match what the band is playing while recording, but it can all get worked out during mixing (it'll just take more time). With the bands performing live and on essentially 1 take, I haven't had to be worried about patching together lots of different takes and samples.

It may come down to your recording technique, but I think you're correct in being worried about assembling all the pieces together. I think it can be done, but it just may take more time than with other software. Having said that, I do like Live's GUI and am comfortable using it. That may save more headaches than the band getting impatient while you figure out how to work another DAW.

Dragonbreath
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by Dragonbreath » Tue May 15, 2012 7:38 pm

Punky921 wrote:I'm about to do this too, so I'm curious what you all think. I'm kind of worried that Ableton's insistence on sticking to its beat grid will make assembling the bits and pieces later a huge fucking bitch.

It can be a little bit but it also insure that everything stays lined up properly.
You can always record with a click if your really worried about that, just set it to 1/4 so you dont need to worry about the time sig.

Punky921
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by Punky921 » Tue May 15, 2012 8:21 pm

Not a bad idea. I'll try that.

H20nly
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by H20nly » Tue May 15, 2012 9:06 pm

Dragonbreath wrote:
Punky921 wrote:I'm about to do this too, so I'm curious what you all think. I'm kind of worried that Ableton's insistence on sticking to its beat grid will make assembling the bits and pieces later a huge fucking bitch.

It can be a little bit but it also insure that everything stays lined up properly.
You can always record with a click if your really worried about that, just set it to 1/4 so you dont need to worry about the time sig.
i record instruments in and find that the grid does get to be a pain.

if you have a drummer then i suppose you don't have a problem - it really is a FULL band then (from Live's perspective). that's the trick... getting those wonderful little MIDI drum patterns to sync with a guitar/bass player that changes time can get sloppy. in that case almost you almost have to have the drums (at least) outlined before you record the other instruments if you are recording a track/instrument at a time.

if you can record everything in as played in one pass that issue evaporates, but the whole band playing perfect... that could take a few takes too.

@ OP - i guess it depends on what you mean by "recording a live band"... because if you mean that literally, then any run of the mill DAW that can host a VST should do fine.

dancing Ray
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by dancing Ray » Tue May 15, 2012 9:31 pm

No problems recording full bands here.
Live is perfectly capable of banning audio to hd.
I prefer to turn the grid off when editing.
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Punky921
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by Punky921 » Tue May 15, 2012 9:48 pm

How do you turn the grid off in arrangement mode?

Dragonbreath
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by Dragonbreath » Tue May 15, 2012 10:08 pm

command 4

ray619
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by ray619 » Thu May 17, 2012 1:46 am

Much appreciate the posts and glad to hear others are using for this purpose. If the grid mode is the biggest issue that's great cause yeah you can just turn it off.. I'll look more into using markers for punch i/o cause I've never used that before being solo.. punching i/o was actually a question that was on my mind so thanks for that too. I'd imagine working with bands that's something they'd want to do often.

If anyone can think of any other tips or pitfalls I should be aware of please let me know. Otherwise, this is good to hear! thanks again.

Jekblad
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by Jekblad » Thu May 17, 2012 1:58 am

you punch in/out with the loop brace. or you can do it manually with the record button if you wantt.... but i'd use the loop brace if you know where it's going to be.

record with the click! put it all in one set and automate the tempo. do mix automation with utility so you can still mix with your faders at the end.

be nice to people! don't stay up too late. try to give back to your community. i find these things help when recording full bands with Live.
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ray619
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by ray619 » Thu May 17, 2012 2:43 am

Jekblad wrote: be nice to people! don't stay up too late. try to give back to your community. i find these things help when recording full bands with Live.
That's the best advice! Thanks.

Just tried the Punch i/o using the loo i/o buttons and it works great.. in all this time, I've never needed to use that before.. guess never realy needed to.

btw.. about recording with a click.. not sure how many drummers would be comfortable with that but I've thought it would real nice too if they would be able to do that. That way, I could incorporate all sorts of other fun stuff in the studio and I'd imagine editing the whole band would be just that much easier as well. That's one thing I've noticed while playing around recording with the grid off, my ocd kicks in and trying to get that perfect slice/edit sometimes becomes more of a pain where as when I'm working with tracks that are wrapped etc, it's pretty brainless to edit. I was thinking of bringing that up with the band that's coming in. They're a mix of jazz/funk/R&B so it might work well for them to record to a click. Let's see..

Thanks again!

ShredGnar
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Re: Ableton Live - Recording a full band?

Post by ShredGnar » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:35 pm

Punky921 wrote:I'm about to do this too, so I'm curious what you all think. I'm kind of worried that Ableton's insistence on sticking to its beat grid will make assembling the bits and pieces later a huge fucking bitch.
dancing Ray wrote:No problems recording full bands here.
Live is perfectly capable of banning audio to hd.
I prefer to turn the grid off when editing.
I do not own a single Ableton product at this moment and am still in the researching stage. I used to use an old version of Cubase, but after trying out the new Cubase, it is the absolute furthest thing from an intuitive D.A.W. that I have ever dealt with. After trying out other DAWs I have come to the conclusion that they all pretty much suck for a lot of reasons. It's really hard to beat a mixing console and real gear. However, my hopes are currently on Live 9.

With that out of the way, I am concerned that, if using Live to record full rock projects, I will get roped into the current beat making paradigm and have to deal with stuff like Punky921 mentioned.

Do I really have to deal with forced clicks and a bunch of other shit? Doesn't Ableton just read in a .wav recording of your input signal like every other DAW on the planet? If not, why on earth wouldn't it be up to the musician to create their own time signatures or use freetime recordings, even in a triggered sample environment. Who makes the rules for what is usable and what isn't? Those decisions should be in the hands of musicians, not the software!

Maybe I'm misunderstanding how this all works. Someone who's done some rock projects should enlighten me if they have a moment.

Thanks.

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