Live guitar looping?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
sidownes
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Live guitar looping?

Post by sidownes » Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:09 pm

I was lucky enough to see Robin Guthrie (ex Cocteau twins guitarist) this last week performing Lumiere live. His setup consisted of playing the guitar and live recording and looping. Not sure of the software he was using as backing, looked a bit Natrive Instruments-y.
He was probably doing the looping through a hardware delay, and I know this question has come up a number of times, but does anyone use Live to record guitar loops on the fly and play and record over them?
I've got my eye on the Behringer MIDI Foot Controller FCB1010. Anyone tell me whether this would be right for what I want?
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quandry
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Post by quandry » Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:22 pm

yes, live is a great looping tool, ckeck out this thread, and the link I posted in it:

http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic. ... highlight=

There are some caveats--sadly Live 4 and 5 have made it hard/impossible to consistently delete messed up clips on the fly with a midi footboard. I'm still stuck using ver3 for performances with Live. A midi footboard like the fcb 1010 is very helpful. Live doesn't explictly do sound-on-sound looping like hardware pedals, but you can sort of set up routing to do so, and there are some vst plugins like Angstrom's looping tool that can do. I personally live to seperate all my loops so that they can be individually panned, mixed, effected, crossfader,etc. The whole reason I started using live was that I was fed up with hardware loopers. There are a least a handful of people using Live in live performance to loop stuff and build up songs from scratch. Here's my duo--all live, no prerecorded material...

http://www.ryan-hughes.net/MixedBagFrameset.htm
Dell Studio XPS 8100 Windows 7 64-bit, 10 GB RAM. RME Multiface, Avalon U5 & M5, Distressor, Filter Factory, UC33e, BCR-2000, FCB1010, K-Station, Hr 824 & H120 sub, EZ Bus, V-Drums, DrumKat EZ, basses, guitars, pedals... http://www.ryan-hughes.net

gregorythis
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Post by gregorythis » Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:24 pm

if you go watch the kid beyond video in the download section of the ableton site you can sorta get an idea how it can be done.
a lot of midi mapping has to be done

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:29 pm

it would certainly be good if Ableton made it a little easier to do this sort of thing.

It's possible now, but not exactly the best it could be.

pepezabala
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Post by pepezabala » Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:33 pm

yeah, I would love if live would do "first recorded loop sets tempo". then you could start improvising from scratch and you would not be forced to start recording to a click or a drumloop

continuous
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Post by continuous » Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:47 pm

I really hope they get the delete clip via midi enabled for L6!

That and being able to open/close plugin windows with midi are all I'm craving. Live and the FCB are a killer loop combo.

quandry
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Post by quandry » Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:06 pm

continuous wrote:I really hope they get the delete clip via midi enabled for L6!

That and being able to open/close plugin windows with midi are all I'm craving. Live and the FCB are a killer loop combo.
They not only need to make the delete qwerty key midi mappable, but they need to fix the currently broken functionality of "midi select on launch". In Live 3, it worked every time, reguardless of anything else. In 4 it just plain didn't work, in 5 it only works if the clip grid is "focus", so it doesn't work every time, and requires great care and observation in order to not totally mess things up on stage and delete a track.
Dell Studio XPS 8100 Windows 7 64-bit, 10 GB RAM. RME Multiface, Avalon U5 & M5, Distressor, Filter Factory, UC33e, BCR-2000, FCB1010, K-Station, Hr 824 & H120 sub, EZ Bus, V-Drums, DrumKat EZ, basses, guitars, pedals... http://www.ryan-hughes.net

Meef Chaloin
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Post by Meef Chaloin » Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:11 pm

if you use mackie emulation with the FCB you can undo, come in quite handy. Firing individual clips to record in certain slots in quite handy as well.

quandry
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Post by quandry » Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:23 pm

Meef Chaloin wrote:if you use mackie emulation with the FCB you can undo, come in quite handy. Firing individual clips to record in certain slots in quite handy as well.
I've tried undo with bome's, and its an okay solution, but the problem is that if you use effects or vst's that are constantly changing parameters (of which I use many), then undo doesn't do diddly in terms of deleting a flubbed clip--it is too inconsistent. Or lets say you start recording a loop and move any knob, fader, exp pedal, etc., then undo is gonna undo that and not the effed up clip. It really needs to work perfectly every time reguardless of everything--still using Live 3 because it does work like this. If they fix midi select on launch, and throw in a midi mappable qwerty "delete" key, they can fix this problem and have it all self-contained within live (whereas I'm using midi ox and bomes to accomplish "delete").
Dell Studio XPS 8100 Windows 7 64-bit, 10 GB RAM. RME Multiface, Avalon U5 & M5, Distressor, Filter Factory, UC33e, BCR-2000, FCB1010, K-Station, Hr 824 & H120 sub, EZ Bus, V-Drums, DrumKat EZ, basses, guitars, pedals... http://www.ryan-hughes.net

YILA
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yeh

Post by YILA » Sun Jun 11, 2006 9:05 pm

yeh i do it

Use a trigger finger to launch scenes and have another controller to arm the tracks i wanna record.

I build tracks from scratch using loops live as well.

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richardl
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Post by richardl » Sun Jun 11, 2006 11:10 pm

While you can loop with Live, in my experience it is not easy.

After much frustration I've found it much easier to just use a hardware looper (a Digitech Jamman).

There are also a number of looping plugins that work well in Live and many are much easier to use for this application than Live. These PC VSTs are all free:

Angstrolooper

Elottronix XL

Mobius

Loopy Llama

There are several Mac looping plugins too.

quandry
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Post by quandry » Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:41 am

richardl wrote:While you can loop with Live, in my experience it is not easy.

After much frustration I've found it much easier to just use a hardware looper (a Digitech Jamman).
I'd have to respectfully disagree. I guess some it comes down to personal preference and what your end goal is. For me, working with boomerangs, line6 echo, and boss rc-20 led me to frustrations with their limitations and seeking a better solution--enter Live. My frustrations were many with hardware loopers: you have to perfectly nail the pedal presses in perfect time at the beginning and end of a loop to get a good loop, and you need to play a really steady tempo during the playing of said loop. This can be exceedingly hard with a drummer and band. Second, with most hardware loopers (save for the pricey echoplex and repeater), you are stuck with sound-on-sound mono loops. This means you can only really just keep stacking sounds on each other in mono. To me, this is really limiting--no panning, no control of volume after looping, no effects after the fact, no breaking it down to fewer loops--you can only add loops. Also, all loops have the same max length as your first loop with sound on sound.

Live is better for me because it answers all of these limitations. If you have a multiout soundcard and use a click in headphones/iems, then you can have a perfect tempo, and with global quantize set to "bar" you can hit a midi pedal anytime during a measure and it will start (or stop) recording perfectly on the "one" of the next measure. Then you can record any number of loops (of any length) to any number of tracks in Live. Each loop can have its own track, and thus its own pan, volume, effects, crossfader etc. Thus you can totally manipulate loops after they are recorded--from fine tuning volume, pan, and effects level to crossfading loops in and out of the mix, to crazy effects that drastically alter the sound, to scrubbing with Live. These possiblities are seeming infinite, esp. in comparison to sound-on-sound strictly additive hardware devices. I could go on and on about Live here but I'll stop.

There are a few things I find almost essential to using Live as a looping tool--a fast computer system, a good very low latency soundcard, a foot board like the 1010. I personally really enjoy the ease and precision of using a click in the headphones--it really simplifies things and gets rid of variables. If you don't want to/can't have a click in the phones, then Live is more difficult to loop with than hardware pedals unless you have ultra low (non-noticable) latency. Even with hardware loopers you almost have to slightly anticipate your precise pedal presses in order to get the loop start and stop in the right place--this is harder with the latency of software. That's why the click and global quantize set to "bar" are a godsend--perfect tempo, perfect start/stop point on loops every time. anyhow, my 2 cents...
Dell Studio XPS 8100 Windows 7 64-bit, 10 GB RAM. RME Multiface, Avalon U5 & M5, Distressor, Filter Factory, UC33e, BCR-2000, FCB1010, K-Station, Hr 824 & H120 sub, EZ Bus, V-Drums, DrumKat EZ, basses, guitars, pedals... http://www.ryan-hughes.net

charvel-floyd
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Post by charvel-floyd » Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:42 am

quandry wrote: I'd have to respectfully disagree.
Ryan...you've sold me on using Live/Guitar as a match made in heaven. Now would you be able to...pretty, pretty please, post a vid/tutorial of this method. If not Ryan, would anybody else be willing to post a vid or graphic description of how this works (a la Romper Room style). Thanks.

richardl
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Post by richardl » Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:05 am

quandry wrote: I'd have to respectfully disagree.
...anyhow, my 2 cents...
I appreciate your response and suggestions. I stand by my statement that using Live as a looper is not easy. But your music on your website is impressive. Your results speak for themselves. Very cool stuff. I'm encouraged that you have been successful using Live as a guitar looper. It leads me to believe I just need to try harder to overcome the hurdles I've run into.

charvel-floyd
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Post by charvel-floyd » Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:26 pm

bump

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