live techno sucks - discuss (please, this is not a troll!)

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
ciw
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live techno sucks - discuss (please, this is not a troll!)

Post by ciw » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:32 am

Ok, so what I mean by the topic is that however many scenes/follow actions you use to accurately co-ordinate things, a live techno performance is never going to sound as good as a traditionally produced track, where you can spend as long as you like perfecting the breaks, the drops and whatever else rather than having to make it manageable in real time.

I used to want to do live dance, I started with seq24, I got hold of Live and ever since have veered more towards the idea of producing my own tracks and then dj-ing with them - instead of doing a live techno mix*. But am I making the right decision?

In defence of live techno, I suppose 1. you've got more scope for responding to what people like and 2. there's something more than djing going on for your audience to relate to. In defence of djing you can throw in one or two of your own tracks without having to create your own entire set that sits in a similar enough genre to work.

anyone got comments / opinions / reasons for doing one or the other that I've missed? and for the live performers out there - do you have or play real synths or do you just go for a laptop+controller setup?

would love to know!

[*] not that I have performed anywhere yet

henry ford
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Post by henry ford » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:40 am

I saw miss kitten in barcelona (not sonar - which was a very chilled out set ) , it wasnt live techno - it was a traditional dj set using vinyl. It was the best techno gig I've been to. 5+ hour set, with every minute after the second hour sounding like she was about to finish (as in, climactic intense) ....it was absolutely class.

I'd prefer live techno if you have the capabilities to do it, ie a couple of laptops with all the sound making software, or some sequenced hardware.... really, i dont see how you assert that live techno sucks - whereas contriving techno and simply replaying it is better. isnt it much of a muchness ? Personally, i'd have more props for the individual who can do what miss kitten can do, live.

that said, miss kitten has played some diverse sets....the set in question was four to the floor filth. absolutely pounding techno

forge
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Post by forge » Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:47 am

actually I do know exactly what you mean

I've always used live as a production tool first and foremost, and I have ever since I've owned live been trying to figure out how to use it Live.

So far the conclusion I've come to has been to do it kind of DJ style and just play my own tracks in there, with a couple of midi tracks with drum machines on them (microtonic and battery) and an operator

this is mainly because I dont actually feel confident I could create a performance real time that would actually be interesting to the punters - I just think I get to caught up in details and havent really figured out a way of making an improvisational set that wouldnt be tedious because sometimes I'll get really into tweaking a sound maybe a bit long and lose the arrangement a bit not changing things when they should be......

maybe I will suss it or get good at it, but so far I havent

anyway, i like playing full produced tracks cause as you say, they are a finished track someone has put time into getting right

amo
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Post by amo » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:15 pm

Hi,

not talking about software but about performance:
If you got a chance one day, check ou Chrystal Distortion or 69db in Live, and then you got a chance to see real awsome techno performed all live ! But those guys were born performing ! They started as teenagers I think some 15 years back, and they thought of techno music as a live act from the top.

Now, I'd say it's not easy to be good at live techno... takes a lot of practice ! imo.

amo
Live 5.0.3 - IBM Thinkpad R51 1.5ghz Centrino - 1,5 Go RAM - 7200 RPM 2nd HDD intern - RME Multiface - Windows XP Pro SP2

ciw
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Post by ciw » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:54 pm

don't get me wrong - I mean I was a big fan of Orbital - but I wonder what they (and everyone else) gained from live techno apart from the showmanship (obviously it helps when you have stack loads of gear and an endless supply of torch batteries :D )

and i'm trying to figure out what to work on myself!

mr ed
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Re: live techno sucks - discuss (please, this is not a troll!)

Post by mr ed » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:55 pm

ciw wrote:Ok, so what I mean by the topic is that however many scenes/follow actions you use to accurately co-ordinate things, a live techno performance is never going to sound as good as a traditionally produced track, where you can spend as long as you like perfecting the breaks, the drops and whatever else rather than having to make it manageable in real time.

I used to want to do live dance, I started with seq24, I got hold of Live and ever since have veered more towards the idea of producing my own tracks and then dj-ing with them - instead of doing a live techno mix*. But am I making the right decision?

In defence of live techno, I suppose 1. you've got more scope for responding to what people like and 2. there's something more than djing going on for your audience to relate to. In defence of djing you can throw in one or two of your own tracks without having to create your own entire set that sits in a similar enough genre to work.

anyone got comments / opinions / reasons for doing one or the other that I've missed? and for the live performers out there - do you have or play real synths or do you just go for a laptop+controller setup?

would love to know!

[*] not that I have performed anywhere yet

are you talking 'techno' as in proper banging techno, or just using the word 'techno' when really u dont really know what techno is and are using it to basically group all electronic dance music together?

ciw
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Re: live techno sucks - discuss (please, this is not a troll!)

Post by ciw » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:11 pm

mr ed wrote:are you talking 'techno' as in proper banging techno, or just using the word 'techno' when really u dont really know what techno is and are using it to basically group all electronic dance music together?
I know what techno means, however I have yet to hear anyone talk about "live house", "live breaks", "live bastard pop" etc so yes I am using the words "live techno" in the loosest sense.

Well maybe I've heard of live d&b but that's not what I do. No disrespect to today's hard techno scene, there's good stuff out there, but techno hasn't always been banging has it.

Funkstar De Luxe
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Post by Funkstar De Luxe » Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:16 pm

Underworld's live performances are far better than studio stuff

mr-e
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Post by mr-e » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:51 pm

I've always been a fan of Jeff Mills mix of vinyl & a 909. Of course he has the luxury of being able to create 3 hour sets of nothing but classics out of his own catalog but at the rate he mixes (+-1 minute a record) with the added 909 it's quite an original experience every time . (Last time I saw him spinning was 5 or more years ago though).

dj_statikfire
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Post by dj_statikfire » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:53 pm

Live PA sets have never been that popular.

I love seeing gear on stage and watching how its used.

However, i think it will remain popular to use certain instruments as part of an integrated performance, and not haul the studio out on stage.

THX,
Jason D
www.statikfire.com
- downloads for club dee jays and internet radio stations
- forum with articles on mixing

ciw
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Post by ciw » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:53 pm

ok, so I guess I should check out Chrystal Distortion or 69db (not heard of them before) and underworld (seen the guy dj but not live).

but surely there must be some live techno makers reading this? do any of you feel that your live set is really better than your produced works? if so, how do you make it that way - why does it work for you? - any hints?

cheers

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:56 pm

when a tribe dances, there is a dance leader, a shaman, whatever - a bloke who gives permission - someone who forms the focus and liberates the crowd from their daily mundane life.
You could just play a CD if you can convincingly draw the crowd into your world of permission, you need big charisma and ball for that one though.
Lots of hypnotists use props, these dont do anything but act as 'convincers' , the certificates on the wall, the office with leather seats all say "this guy can hypnotise you, you are in his control, he can heal you".

sure look busy on stage, stab at buttons, get people dancing - the next level of performance isn't about those things though. Think of a 'tribal dance'. IMO You need big bollocks and experience to lead the dance, as weird as it sounds - perhaps a drama class is the most use.

I used to start gigs with a big metal staff with a transducer in it , when I slammed it on the floor it triggered a real low kick through a shitload of distortion and reverb. You could see the crowd going 'holy fucking shit, what's happening' , sets them up for an altered state experience, permission granted. I gave it to the weird guy with the pole and the robes over there.

SimonPHC
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Post by SimonPHC » Tue Jan 17, 2006 3:19 pm

ciw wrote:don't get me wrong - I mean I was a big fan of Orbital - but I wonder what they (and everyone else) gained from live techno apart from the showmanship (obviously it helps when you have stack loads of gear and an endless supply of torch batteries :D )

and i'm trying to figure out what to work on myself!
If you wanna do it the orbital way, strip every part of every song into loops. They did it with stacks of gear and three midi sequencers that had all the midi parts in it. you can do it with live. But remember, they were with two guys. One on the sequence and one on the mixer + fx ...

If wanna know what they gained? a really good reputation for being able to do this kinda thing so properly. If you have the Satan singles you hear that every version is kinda different, because they hit the buttons different every time... and the crowd goes, yeeeaah!

elemental
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Post by elemental » Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:20 pm

These are the threads I come here for!!

I'm currently putting together a live set of dubstep + breakstep, its much harder and more time consuming than I imagined. It takes ages to go through each track and extract the loops etc and decide which parts to mix together into loops .. I've been thinking, researching, planning, and preparing for this for over 3 years now.

Got my first proper booking Feb 24th in Bristol (uk), so been spending the last couple of months preparing for it, stripping down tracks + exporting loops, and putting them into one big live set, along with various beats, samples, fx etc
I'm setting things up so I can re-create tracks similar to how I arranged them, but with as much scope for improvisation as possible without making things too complicated.

As for the issue of it not sounding as good a properly mixed and mastered track, this may well be true, but I think the magic of being able to arrange and tweak the music as its going along, respond to the crowd etc overrides that.

I dont know of anyone else in the scene i'm involved in doing this, (apart from one guy called Atki2 who i heard does some laptop stuff) - everyone else is playing cd's and dubplates... the only peeps I ever see doing this are doing minimal techno. Which is cool, but dubstep / breakstep is more about switch-ups, breakdowns, drops etc, than letting things roll and tweaking filters and muting parts.

I'd be really interested to hear about people doing live sets like this (whatever style) - most of the time when people post on here about "live" sets they mean "dj" sets...

Moody
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Post by Moody » Tue Jan 17, 2006 4:48 pm

Maybe if you got enough Live Heads together. Had them all plug up to a huge mixer and individually add portions to a set. Something complex and interesting could happen. Thank Spiralgrooves for this idea being shared at Bruno B's benefit on Friday.
Ableton’s engineers are hard
at work developing code that will allow our software to predict the future, but we don’t
anticipate having this available until at least the next major release.

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