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 Post subject: individual tracks vs. whole song loops
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2003 5:59 pm 

Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 8:21 pm
Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco
As a long time mmt-8 user, i thought that i had struck it rich when i was first shown live. i thought that this software was so beautifully simple and operatied intuitively like an mmt-8 or other such simple sequencers.

So as i began clipping and looping my music to prepare for performance i found that there were many issues with mid sized clips [sound dropping out, cpu overload, the whole spectrum of little hassles and stability issues often posted here in this forum.] i took the logical step to using smaller and smaller loops and creating more parts to accomplish a song. often reducing the music to 1 or 2 bar sections with special fill scenes and break down/middle eight sections. This works. and it's a really fun way to perform.

Nothing is nicer than preparing final audio for live performance. the old days of recreating the studio music for playback in a sampler, and never ever being happy with the way it sounds are indeed, gone. thank god, good riddance.

However:
i came upon a song that i needed to play, but no longer have the parts for (oh no!)
i searched everywhere, and tried in vain to recreate it.

So i stuck the whole thing into live as a stereo clip.

looped the intro
looped the verse
looped the breakdown
looped the second half
and finally looped the exit beats.

my mind was blown, it totally works.

and strange as it sounds, it sounded better in performance than the multiple clip arrangements.

but somehow i felt dirty. as if i were cheating...

is this the guilty conscience of an old-school midi head?
or is this cheating?

my thinking from here on out is to apply a combination of the two ideas. some music is rich and complex and asks to be performed in sections, like an improvisational arrangement. while others are simple and work perfectly as individual tracks (and are much more fun to perform that way too.)

does this experience reflect anyone elses?

or am i kicking myself for no really good reason?

dss


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2003 8:05 pm 

Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 8:21 pm
Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco
one out of 31, i guess not...

dss


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 1:54 am 

Joined: Tue May 20, 2003 1:40 am
Posts: 17
Location: Elizabethtown, IN
dss -

Yes it can make you feel dirty, and yes, you are probably cheating ...
But that's the world we live in, I guess.
I'm having a tough time reconciling the fact that we can put stuff together as long clips, and then re-arrange, and add effects, etc. on the fly to be "creative".
My main roadblock comes from being from an even older school - even though I consider myself a "midiot" ...
If you can't play a song from beginning to end without making a mistake, then you aren't a "real professional" performer. - I guess I played in too many bands in the 70's and 80's.
Being able to replay a bunch of "little perfect takes" and stringing them together, does make me feel like I'm cheating ... because the "end product" could probably never be performed perfectly in a real venue.
Unless you were using Live to pump out the parts that you have worked and reworked to make "perfect".
It's a different world for an someone like me ... It reminds me of the days before Word Processors, when a secretary was expected to type a perfect document without using "White-Out" -


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 Post subject: Re: individual tracks vs. whole song loops
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 4:42 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2002 2:59 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Raleigh, NC, USA
Whatever works and allows you to accomplish what you need is the right way to do something. Software is just a tool to help you get there.

Do I feel a twinge of guilt when I mix down a loop with effects and then use in Live without using the raw sample and adding VST effects? Yes, until I realize I was never going to dynamically manipulate those effects in live playback. So instead I just look at it as saving myself time to create more music with.

Hexadecimal
www.freesidemusic.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 6:15 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 5:28 pm
Posts: 2097
Location: Tokyo
As far as I can tell the only 'artistic merit' or 'meaningful instance' of processing anything realtime/live as opposed to recording/bouncing/rendering is when you're doing some kind of live tweaking during a performance. Otherwise it's just needlessly adding to the risk of soft/hardware failure and jeopardizing your audience's enjoyment. The samples/loops that you're using have probably been all effected to hell and back before we even got our hands on them anyway but we don't let that worry us!

My ¥2/worth

29


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 7:11 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:52 am
Posts: 62
Location: SF Bay Area, CA, USA
My last live gig was composed of entire song loops and maybe some DJs considered it cheating but at least I'm a (small) step above being a DJ by having a bit more control over my set (except for scratching, etc). I have some more gigs coming up and I plan to use a mix of entire tracks in addition to a few loops of a realtime synth and filter to do some realtime jamming. Hopefully it all goes well. But is it always a balance. How much freedom do you really need. How much time does it take to create that freedom. Its nicer to mix down an entire song than spend 8x the amount of time mixing down invdividual tracks.

bioroid
robots making robot music


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 9:44 am 

Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 8:19 pm
Posts: 247
Location: Sweden
Hey Dss

I asked the blues-rockers the next door about their opinion. They said we are all 'damn cheaters'! 'Using computers and electronic stuff is not real music', they said. 'You just press the button and, oooops, theres the music!'

Thats us -cheaters! :D

I think there are different kinds of 'musicality'. Most of us loneperformers are songwriters, instrumentalists, producers, drummers and sometimes even singers. That is not often the case with my neighbour - the blues guitarrist.

Also we perform live in a totaly different environment. The live-factor-value is not as imortant as on the jazz jam session. You are after something else. The groove is the thing. But I guess its more fun to keep some risk in the performance. Because if you can adjust the groove, and if you can fail you need training, skill and preparation. The risk thing keeps you focused and creative.

There are some creative dynamics into this all.

Well, some thougths[/i]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 4:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:28 am
Posts: 1195
Location: santa barbara
i think we also need to keep in mind that unlike our jazz ensemble neighbors, often we don't have four or five other dudes to help us play our music. most of us go it solo, yet we still have as many if not more parts to be played than those "real" musicians. fuck em'. let them go up onstage alone and try to play all their parts at once. i think it's fine to automate stuff. there's no way you can get by without it. so long as you're doing a bit more that just pressing play and then settling back with a beer. i try to leave just as much as i can handle unautomated, and play that live with everything else going along behind me. plus, even with some stuff automated, i'm still controling it by firing scenes and whatnot. you need to pick your battles when it comes to playing live, but that's exactly why live rocks, it gives you tons of options as to what you can do and what the computer can take care of.

k


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 2:35 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2002 10:33 pm
Posts: 684
Location: NY
I heard somewhere that those people out there playing a couple of records weren't making 'real music'...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 9:36 am 

Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 11:22 am
Posts: 104
good point RX..I used to get that when I DJ'd...anyway I hardly use samples that I either have'nt built up from single hits or tones, or serious manipulated...I tend not use samples longer than about 64 bars, most being much shorter..I just find it boring to play tunes I have totally written before hand (Im saving them for records)..I find it much more interesting to gig with out to much idea of whats going to come out...so I sart with collection of wclips I have written previously, but will play them in an order influenced by audience reaction and my particluar mood I suppose..it keeps things interesting..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 1:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2002 10:33 pm
Posts: 684
Location: NY
Interesting - sounds like you're making music or something.

8O

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 Post subject: to loop or not to loop.
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 5:28 pm 
to loop or not to loop.

Just my 2 cents...why does live music espessially electronic need a chorus and verse aka ABCAB anyways? Live is also great for creating evolving tracks that keep changing and defy those music theory rules of repetition for catchy jingles.
I like to make a couple hundred fresh loops 16 bars each the night before a show and just mix and match improv style. Maybe play 30 seconds of one song and then into another. Throw in some real time reaktor machines and it's over. I write alot of new tracks this way and it's o so much fun live in live. You just never know what will happen next.


peace and phat beats
-gNome


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 6:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2002 1:28 am
Posts: 1195
Location: santa barbara
Rx wrote:
I heard somewhere that those people out there playing a couple of records weren't making 'real music'...


i'm sure i'll get hell for it, but i'd argue that most (thought not by any means all) of the people out there playing a couple of records are definately not making music, but just playing other people's. it's been my experience that most dj's just play music and don't see that next level that they can take it to where they actually create a new peice of work with a few records. they just mix in one track towards the end of another. that, i think, is where the stigma of dj's not being real musicians comes from, 'cause most aren't. props go to the dj's who are actually creating original pieces with prerecorded works.

k


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2003 6:46 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2002 10:33 pm
Posts: 684
Location: NY
I have to agree - most djs don't do shit. If they're not mixing the tracks to create something new, they're not doing anything special beyond being able to beatmatch and display a sense of taste. Case in point: some jackass like Oakenfold gets paid way to much to be able to beatmatch and just play stuff that a portion of the population wants to hear.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2002 3:44 pm
Posts: 800
Location: antwerp, be
http://www.bravenewwaves.ca/real/atrak.mov
edit warning: big file (about 39mb) sorry for those who already tried

check out this dj, and find the analogy with ableton live (although i'd really like to know what this guy is using for live looping :D )

i do solo loop based electronic stuff, play guitar, trumpet and keys in a traditional band setup (yep, the oldfashioned 'one part each, or maybe two on rare occasions) i like them both equally... and do not really care what people who don't know what electronic music making is about, think about it.
anyway... what do you do as a band when you wanna hit the stage? right, you rehearse until all is fine, then you get on stage and do exactly what you've been doing the last six months in the garden shed. rarely i have heard good rock concerts that had a decent amount of jamming/improvising in the show.

btw: saw mogwai, featured in the artist section, last week... awesome concert. one of my favourite bands at the moment. didn't see the guy touch his iBook though, not even once. :wink:

do YOU enjoy yourself? great! (if played live) did the crowd have a good time? even better...
does anyone know 'Oh no the modulator'? great underground electronics... live he theatrically pushes whatever he pushes to start the sequencer/player, backs off of his laptop and does nothing except some lunie dancing... how's that for a statement? funny, but somehow i felt a bit uncomfortable as an electronic musician


Last edited by borg on Mon Jun 09, 2003 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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