Seamless mix in a live performance with Ableton Live

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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platform_zero
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:19 pm

Seamless mix in a live performance with Ableton Live

Post by platform_zero » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:46 pm

Hi all,

I'm getting to the point where I almost have enough material to do a short-ish live performance. I'm on something of a tight budget at the moment - so my set up will pretty much consist of me and my laptop, and Ableton Live 10 Intro. (Hoping to upgrade to standard edition and get a Push controller at some point, but it's not a realistic option at the moment.)

So - what I'd like to do, ideally, is perform a continuous mix as a set, with the ability to start and stop the various clips, apply effects and so forth, and then smoothly transition to my next tune.

Obviously in the Intro edition of Ableton Live I'm limited to sixteen tracks. It did occur to me that perhaps I could get away with importing the tracks from the "incoming" tune one-by-one, but I've noticed that Ableton Live will automatically start playing something if you drag it in - which isn't exactly what I want, as I'd like to be able to choose exactly when to introduce the new elements so that they don't clash.

I'm thinking that doing this with my current set up perhaps just isn't possible, but I wondered whether anybody might be able to suggest anything that I've not thought of?

(If the above isn't possible I could just do a DJ mix by loading my tracks into Traktor, which would allow me some scope for live improvisation, but that sort of feels a bit like a cop out - not too far removed from just pressing play and not doing very much else, potentially.)

Many thanks!

doghouse
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Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:30 pm

Re: Seamless mix in a live performance with Ableton Live

Post by doghouse » Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:05 pm

platform_zero wrote:I wondered whether anybody might be able to suggest anything that I've not thought of?
Use track mutes and clip stop buttons to keep the new tracks from being audible.

If you have the money for a Launchpad Mini or an APC Mini, you can do that without mousing, as well as control the mix levels, pans and sends.

Da hand
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Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 8:38 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Seamless mix in a live performance with Ableton Live

Post by Da hand » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:56 am

What is limiting you is not the 16 tracks limit - 16 tracks is plenty for a live set song setup. What is limiting you is the 8 scenes maximum limit. If you had more scenes (unlimited in standard and suite), then you could arrange more songs (and variations within those songs) within the 16 tracks available for you.

platform_zero
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:19 pm

Re: Seamless mix in a live performance with Ableton Live

Post by platform_zero » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:58 am

doghouse wrote: Use track mutes and clip stop buttons to keep the new tracks from being audible.
A-ha! As in, if I set every track to be muted in the various sets that I'm intending to use in a live performance I can drag them in without having to worry about it clashing? That sounds promising - I'll try that. Thank you so much!
doghouse wrote: If you have the money for a Launchpad Mini or an APC Mini, you can do that without mousing, as well as control the mix levels, pans and sends.
I don't have the money for very much at the moment. Any purchases like that will have to wait until I manage to get a job. Hopefully something will come up...
Last edited by platform_zero on Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

platform_zero
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:19 pm

Re: Seamless mix in a live performance with Ableton Live

Post by platform_zero » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:00 am

Da hand wrote:What is limiting you is not the 16 tracks limit - 16 tracks is plenty for a live set song setup. What is limiting you is the 8 scenes maximum limit. If you had more scenes (unlimited in standard and suite), then you could arrange more songs (and variations within those songs) within the 16 tracks available for you.
That would be true, if it weren't the case that each of my songs has a different complement of instruments, each of which will usually have been configured in a unique way. Thanks, though!

Da hand
Posts: 1590
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 8:38 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Seamless mix in a live performance with Ableton Live

Post by Da hand » Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:31 am

platform_zero wrote:
Da hand wrote:What is limiting you is not the 16 tracks limit - 16 tracks is plenty for a live set song setup. What is limiting you is the 8 scenes maximum limit. If you had more scenes (unlimited in standard and suite), then you could arrange more songs (and variations within those songs) within the 16 tracks available for you.
That would be true, if it weren't the case that each of my songs has a different complement of instruments, each of which will usually have been configured in a unique way. Thanks, though!
It doesn't matter, you should still find ways to fit all these 'different" sets of sounds into 16 tracks. Nothing stops you from having different sounds in the same track. Otherwise if you have 10 songs and you allocate 16 tracks for each song, you would end up with 160 tracks for your live set, which would be kinda silly.

For example, if you have tracks separated into:
Kick, snare, hi-hat 1, hi-hat2, perc 1, perc 2, bass, bass2, synth 1, 2, 3, vocal 1, 2, etc...

Then you can place all the different kick sounds off all your songs in the one kick track. If you have 10 songs, you don't need 10 kick tracks, just one kick track with the 10 kick sounds in it. Same for snares, h-hats, vocals, synths, etc

Think of a band playing and sending their sound to the main live mixer - the number of channels is not going to change according to how many songs they play - each musician will play through the same amount of channels even though they will just change the sounds they play (different keyboard presets, different guitar pedals, switch the guitars, etc...).

This is where you start using scenes and racks to build your songs.

platform_zero
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:19 pm

Re: Seamless mix in a live performance with Ableton Live

Post by platform_zero » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:55 am

Da hand wrote:It doesn't matter, you should still find ways to fit all these 'different" sets of sounds into 16 tracks. Nothing stops you from having different sounds in the same track. Otherwise if you have 10 songs and you allocate 16 tracks for each song, you would end up with 160 tracks for your live set, which would be kinda silly.

For example, if you have tracks separated into:
Kick, snare, hi-hat 1, hi-hat2, perc 1, perc 2, bass, bass2, synth 1, 2, 3, vocal 1, 2, etc...

Then you can place all the different kick sounds off all your songs in the one kick track. If you have 10 songs, you don't need 10 kick tracks, just one kick track with the 10 kick sounds in it. Same for snares, h-hats, vocals, synths, etc

Think of a band playing and sending their sound to the main live mixer - the number of channels is not going to change according to how many songs they play - each musician will play through the same amount of channels even though they will just change the sounds they play (different keyboard presets, different guitar pedals, switch the guitars, etc...).

This is where you start using scenes and racks to build your songs.
Ah, right - it hadn't occurred to me that I might do such a thing using racks. (Still learning, probably obviously.)

Although - I'm not sure that a set up along the lines of the one that you've suggested might become very challenging to manage in its own right. I'll have a play around, see what can be done. Thanks again!

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