How do you use Live with other DAWs to arrange & mix ?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Angstrom
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How do you use Live with other DAWs to arrange & mix ?

Post by Angstrom » Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:14 am

You people who arrange and mix in another DAW, how do you work the interaction without going mad? How can you create in Live and then move it across without spending hours individually nursing single track renders out and triple checking they aren't FUBARed. Because that's all that happens to me.

I know some people rewire into their other DAW, and some go the alternative route and render out individual tracks or stems from a rough Live arrangement, and import that to ProTools / logic / Studio one / (whatever).
But both approaches seem lumpy and flawed to me. There's no VST available in rewire, and when rendering out tracks from Live there are issues and awkward workflows all around.

Yet I know people write in Live and arrange and mix elsewhere. :?

How on earth do you manage it?
Last edited by Angstrom on Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

Akshara
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Re: How do you use Live with other DAWs to arrange & mix ?

Post by Akshara » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:23 am

For audio, effects and printable midi tracks, I place a short clip at the front of each track, consolidate then export each track indvidually, for the entire song length, so that they all line up easily. Though a bit more time consuming on the export side, the reason for indivdually exporting each track or send, rather than batch exporting in one swoop, is for manual file naming and organization of tracks by timestamp, which I find easier to manage when importing into other software, and can save time during the recompiling process, depending upon the host.

For raw midi, use arrangement tracks, place a blank clip on each track at the song beginning and end, and consolidate, then export midi clip and trim away the blank space in the host; or just re-input the part in the new host from scratch, which is sometimes easier.

It can be an unwieldy process. Because of this, when a complex project is going to reside in another host, I've gravitated toward using Live as a self contained instrument and sampler rewired into the other host; or as a scratch pad for getting down basic ideas and outlines quickly, and then rebuilding those ideas in the host at an early stage, when they can be transferred over fairly easily.

Btw, I consider your generative work and templates genius, Angstrom. Opened my mind and horizons. Thank you.
Last edited by Akshara on Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:34 am, edited 3 times in total.

Akshara
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Re: How do you use Live with other DAWs to arrange & mix ?

Post by Akshara » Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:43 am

Angstrom wrote:and when rendering out tracks from Live there are issues and awkward workflows all around.
Just to add, finding a workflow which minimizes the complexity is key. That's why I create arrangement tracks of any session clips first; consolidate and/or select the entire song length using an identical time region for every track and send; and manually label them with a clear naming convention, exported in the sequential order that I want them imported into the software.

miekwave
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Re: How do you use Live with other DAWs to arrange & mix ?

Post by miekwave » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:32 am

I have been using ProTools since TDM 5.

For song creation and music/midi composition, ProTools is better.

For slapping a bunch of Ideas together, Live 8 is better.

If you have Outboard, ProTools is a more stable than Ableton Live, and it supports midnam and SYSEX for your external MIDI Devices (Workstations/Synths/Rackmount/Desktop/Analogs/etc.)

I interfaced my ProTools Audio into an Analog Desk then route BUS channels into my iO4 inputs to transport streaming analog audio from PT into Ableton. I use a 4x4 MIDISPORT to transport MIDI data. I dump sample files into a USB stick for the rest of the stuff.

If you have Outboard and an Analog Console with Tubes/SS/Optical rack, I don't recommend to ReWire with Ableton and ProTools, the MIDI implementation between the two was a nightmare. Also, My pro Tools sessions are recorded at 88k 24-bit, no way I can do that with my Ableton PC. (Laptop)
Check out some of my soundtracks. Also Ableton Live Performance video.

ImageImage

southsounder
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Re: How do you use Live with other DAWs to arrange & mix ?

Post by southsounder » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:30 pm

I mix in Logic since I use tons of automation and it's just so much easier to work with in Logic. Plus I prefer some of Logic's stock effects for mixing.

I tried using rewire early on but had some funny sync and stability issues so I scrapped that idea.

Instead I simply create extra audio tracks, one per original track, route each of the originals to a corresponding empty track, arm the empty tracks, and record the entire song in one pass - just using internal routing. Basically it's the same thing as creating stems, except I'm usually "mixing" only a single track to each stem.

The results are perfectly sync'd 0-start aif files that I simply drag into Logic to mix. It takes about 30 seconds to set up + whatever the song length is to run and it works perfectly every time. What you hear in playback is what you get. And if you name the empty tracks prior to recording, the resulting files include that name as well.

I know in theory Live's render/export/freeze/etc. functions do the exact same thing, but for some reason I just have more confidence in a real time recording regardless of whether or not I'm routing through external effects.

Frankly I don't know whether my method is the proper/best way to accomplish this, but it's dead simple and has always worked well for me.

reeloy
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Re: How do you use Live with other DAWs to arrange & mix ?

Post by reeloy » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:09 pm

...same here...

rewire is a good deal if you use it to slave reason....that works.....forget about the rest...

i never arrange or mix in ableton....

but it's such a great lab to fool around....and once i did that, i render those little basic elements and snippits and take them from scratch in logic....

what's so awkward about that.....it's easy and fast.

get your foldersystem straight.....and fix your workflow politics....
and read the manual of at least one daw.....

Akshara
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Re: How do you use Live with other DAWs to arrange & mix ?

Post by Akshara » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:52 pm

southsounder wrote:Instead I simply create extra audio tracks, one per original track, route each of the originals to a corresponding empty track, arm the empty tracks, and record the entire song in one pass - just using internal routing. Basically it's the same thing as creating stems, except I'm usually "mixing" only a single track to each stem.

The results are perfectly sync'd 0-start aif files that I simply drag into Logic to mix. It takes about 30 seconds to set up + whatever the song length is to run and it works perfectly every time. What you hear in playback is what you get. And if you name the empty tracks prior to recording, the resulting files include that name as well.

I know in theory Live's render/export/freeze/etc. functions do the exact same thing, but for some reason I just have more confidence in a real time recording regardless of whether or not I'm routing through external effects.

Frankly I don't know whether my method is the proper/best way to accomplish this, but it's dead simple and has always worked well for me.
I actually really like this idea. Besides saving time and steps with file naming, it keeps an archive of the audio stems within the Live project itself. Will likely try this approach next time. Thanks for sharing! : )

su
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Re: How do you use Live with other DAWs to arrange & mix ?

Post by su » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:40 pm

file, export audio/video, under rendered track select "all tracks"

no need to left pad audio tracks

renders both midi & audio tracks

in your mixdown host, just drag and drop audio files to measure 1 and all will line up

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