Getting quality results

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Getting quality results

Post by neuronaut » Fri Feb 21, 2003 7:11 pm

So a couple of my friends wanna know how to make Live sound good. The forums they frequent have posts that compare quality of mix downs in Cubase, Live, and Acid. Live isn't favored mainly because of the tone produced in version 1 & 1.5 - the slicing of tone was unbearable to the trained ear.

What I've tried:
- Do everything at 24bit
- Fine tune each loop to sound as good as possible using 2.0's warp settings
- Mix down the tracks externally!**

** I have discovered that the best way to get serious Quality out of live is through separation of the tracks.

Test 1 – Use an external mixer: I have 8 channels of audio out of my computer rig. I tried to fit everything I compose into those 8 channels:
Chan 1&2 – Main out
Chan 3&4 – Drum & Bass
Chan 5&6 – Samples, Dub, features
Chan 7&8 – FX out. Putting the FX out on a separate channel made a huge difference.

Test 2 – REWIRE to Nuendo (or Cubase)
Each channel has it's own out. I did the initial level mixing in Live first so I would assume the right ratios in Nuendo. This works great but I had trouble with the Disk Drive access.

Test 3 – 16 channel out to Nuendo (2nd computer)
OK I lied. I have 16 outs. Only 8 were analog for test 1. In test 3 I routed the other 8 ADAT to another machine's ADAT in.

In all cases, the more separation the better. Test 1 is useful in a Live situation. Test 3 has the most amount of control of the Mix. Test 2 was a good, cheaper step.

Anyone else have techniques to add? I want to release good vinyl with thick, pure bass tone and distinctive quality. This is a challenge with Live!
The world is sound.

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I have noticed this too.

Post by amwintx » Fri Feb 21, 2003 8:54 pm

I generally agree with you. I am using live on OSX on a desktop g4 with a 10 (digital) output Delta Tdif card (8 tdif I/o + stereo SPDIF). I have been working in 24bit, and then sending 10 submixed tracks out to my Tascam DM-24 mixer for more processing (including using the analog inserts for analog compression on some tracks) and then buring the results to CD. I am positive I'm getting better sound than using the built in render to disk function, and that my sound is on par with anything being produced in other DAWs.

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Post by Mbazzy » Fri Feb 21, 2003 9:21 pm

I agree on all counts ... the 2.0.x series have improved the soundengine exponentially however I think a simple 'render all trax individually to wav " function , would make things much better also for the less equipped among us ... so that we can mix down in a [even] more dedicated multitrack environment [I'm using (the underrated) n-track ... ]

Just wonder, has anyone already mixed down entire rendered wavs in Live ? [as in ¨Play session -> record in arranger -> render each track individually 2 wav -> re-import individual trax into Live for final mixdown"] -
Mbazzy's "The dysfunctional playground, a scrapbook a bout the shape of useless things" now OUT on Retinascan -

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Post by Andrew K » Fri Feb 21, 2003 10:46 pm

Good post neuronaut,

I believe it's always best to export/render eack track indevidually or assign them to seperate rewire channels... the idea being to avoid as much summing as possible in the application. Then you can mix either externally or in your favorite sounding DAW.

my 2 cents

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better sum, please?

Post by FrankH » Sat Feb 22, 2003 1:38 pm

I wish the summing(amplifiers) in Live to get better.


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Post by neuronaut » Sun Feb 23, 2003 5:20 am

Does anyone know how to get more Rewire channels? I only have 1-16. I could've sworn I saw something about on this forum way back... Any ideas?

The world is sound.

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External FX

Post by neuronaut » Sun Feb 23, 2003 5:26 am

I just started using hardware FX on the send channels. I'm getting nice results using a tc multi fx rack! 2 mono sends allows me to mimic my usual config in Live ( reverb & delay). Of course, it's also freed up some CPU! The only problem is that I'm running out of outputs! But it's finally starting to sound good. 8)
The world is sound.

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