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 Post subject: Stretch Algorithm still not on par with ACID/Sonar
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 4:35 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:01 pm
Posts: 36
Location: London, UK
I had big hopes for Ableton 2's stretch algorithms.
Unfortunately ACID and Sonar are WAY better.
Try bass guitar, rhythm guitar or solo instruments with long notes and you will see the shortcomings of Live. There are so many buttons to tweak in Live and still I can't get there.
Sonar and ACID have no parameters to set for the stretch alogrithm. They just work 'out of the box'.
Even with drums there are many problems.

Why can't Ableton read Acid loops?
With Acid loops I mean the groove-markers that are set manually.
The whole Sonic Foundry Loop library has specially set markers.
IE a drum loop that has a groove. If the Kick is a bit early in the middle Live will not play it right. Because it's early the marker sits after the kick and you will almost not hear it. Live just puts an even grid over the loop. Which is fine if there are no markers available.
If you move the marker though the whole groove will change which is not what I want.

suggestions:

1. Improve stretch alogrithm
2. Ability to read ACID-Loops (markers)
3. Deal with annoying file-browser bug quickly

The program looks and feels very good, I also love the re-wire thing.
But the sound is awfull! (not the FX's which are excellent)
Sorry Ableton, but at the moment it's pretty difficult to use it in a professional studio environment for me.

all the best,

Steve
RME
London, UK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 6:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2002 9:58 pm
Posts: 65
Location: San Diego
Have you really explored the different stretching modes? I have to agree that out of the box Acid with Acidized files do sound better.

With tweaking in Live, I've been able to get files to approach Acid sound quality, and it is worth it to me because of Live's better effects implementation. But if you don't want to spend time tweaking, you're totally right, Acid is the better way to go.

Many of us also enjoy using warp markers as creative tools for manipulating the timing of beats. You can do some pretty cool stuff that would be very, very hard to do in Acid.

Explore those stretching options in Live more. A drum and bass loop with the rhythm set to 8th notes is not going to sound right, but 32nds just might do the trick.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 7:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:01 pm
Posts: 36
Location: London, UK
Sorry, I've tried everything. But you hear lots of artifacts no matter what you do.
Not good enough in a pro-recording situation.
Acid/Sonar is *way* better. Not just a bit.

Believe me, I desperately wanted Live to work, because it's the only loop-software I can use with Nuendo2 under re-wire.

Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 7:35 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 1:35 pm
Posts: 1726
Location: Gent-Belgium
Personnally i find the sound quality of Live exponentially better than Acid . I've been using both [ Acid since 2.0 and Live since 1.0 ] extensively and think I can compare. I ditched Acid for Live ...

When rendering entire compositions, Acid really sucks big time and sounds like a sticky mudpond. Live -though not ideal - handles this much better. I do would like to have the "render to individual wav" that Acid has in Live.

I've done a test recently and on one side I rendered a Live composition "as is" - from loops to a single wav and on the other side I rendered the individual trax to individual wav's and than mixed them down also in Live.

The difference between the two methods is really coming close to eachother.

The second method , I admit, was sonically better and better than results I achieved with N-Track , a dedicated multitracker. A pal of mine did similar tests with Sonar and was amazed how good Live affectively was in comparison with Sonar [ which already has a far bigger development cycle behind it ] ... though certainly not as good.


PersonnallyI don't care about the Acidized loops as I don't know of many Acidized Libraries that are worth it [ except maybe the Bill Laswell ones ] and sample most of my material myself. But I just think you have to see acidized loops as 'optimised for Acid [ ans Sonar as I think Sonar supports it as well ]" ... and thus not a fair criterium to judge Ableton algorythms/stretching

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 7:45 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:01 pm
Posts: 36
Location: London, UK
All I can say is you are wrong.

I'm not judging the mix-capabilities or 'sound' of Live. I'm talking about the stretch algorithm quality.

If you have ACID or Sonar make the following test.

Start Sonar (Acid) and then start Live as re-wire slave.

Load the same loop into Sonar and Live. Now when you hit play you can A/B them.

I switched to high quality mode in Live and played a very long time with the different stretch options. It will never sound as good as Sonar.
Only beats that are quantized are fine. You will not hear a difference.

cheers,

Steve


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 Post subject: mmm
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:24 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2002 8:13 am
Posts: 1025
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
one of the things I disliked about ACID is that as soon as you add a compressor to the signal the track is delayed.

If I compare Sonar 2.2 XL with Live I have to say that Live sounds better. You can really adjust the slicepoints to make a loop sound great. This works nicely on basssounds as well.

But if you don't like the sound of Live I think it's better for you to keep on using ACID and Sonar.

It's not about the tools, it's about the music ;-)

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http://melodiefabriek.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:36 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:01 pm
Posts: 36
Location: London, UK
Well, that's the problem. I can't use ACID or Sonar in a professional environment.

I'm using Nuendo2 as my sequencer/audio recorder. ACID and Sonar are far too limited for my purpose.

Guess I have to wait and see if ACID will be available as a re-wire slave in the next version. don't know about the new NI.

I still say there are things in Live that you can't do.
IE take an acoustic guitar loop and try to use it. It's almost impossible.
I have a nylon guitar-solo loop that sounds terrible in LIVE and absolutely fantastic within ACID/Sonar.


Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:37 pm 
...agreed that the ableton time-stretching isn't quite as accurate-sounding.

ableton does certainly impart its own "sheen" to songs, like analog tape does, like Akai does, like lo-fi digital equipment does, etc...

i try to think of it as less of a limitation and more of a personality feature of ableton. after all, the inaccuracies of analog tape,vinyl, lofi digital, etc... have become a selling point all in themselves. :)

i bet ableton v3 will sound siginificantly better; v2 sounds way better than v1 did.

rs


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:39 pm 
I'm sorry Live isn't working out for you speedbird, I can tell by your handle that you like to have what you want when you want and like you most of us here are looking foward to all the improvements coming to Live
hopefully sooner than better but I can tell you one thing for sure, if Ableton had as much money as Sony-Foundry or Cakewalk Live would kick there butts in every way imaginable. I appreciate what they stand for and what they've been able to accomplish.

peace


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:42 pm 
I meant 'sooner than later' up above. :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:49 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 10:01 pm
Posts: 36
Location: London, UK
Well I don't know a lot about the technical side of developing stretch software. I'm just surprised that even the first version of ACID that I bought 5 years ago sounded better.
How can it be so difficult for Ableton to improve that?

Don't get me wrong I like the software a lot. But it's just very limited for me at the moment to use.
My music is not dance-based and includes a lot of natural instruments as well.
Although it might be funky to mutilate sounds sometimes it's not always an option for me.

I don't thing Sonic Foundry was a very large company when they started with the first version of ACID. But I could be wrong.

all the best,

Steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 9:17 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2002 3:38 pm
Posts: 4935
Location: Second row from the expensive puddle, under ten others
It sounds to me as if you're doing this wrong. Have you tried adding warp markers and moving these around to fit with the loop? Also, for pitched sounds, you should use the 'tones' setting, not the 'beats' setting. I stretch and quantitise alot of acoustic guitars (cos my playing's naff), and I'm really pleased with the results. I rarely hear artifacts when I place the warp markers carefully, esp. if I use the little trick of adding warp markers on the beat I want to move AND on the 32nd before that, so as to stretch as little of the audio as possible...

As for the effects however, I must say I think they (except the reverb and the vinyl distortion) aren't as good as, say, MDA freeware stuff, and certainly not as lovely as the TC things. The compressor, for instance, isn't very subtle to my ears.

-Paws


Last edited by noisetonepause on Mon Aug 18, 2003 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: well
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 9:18 pm 

Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2002 8:13 am
Posts: 1025
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
speedbird, my advice: get Live, Reason and ReCycle. This in combination with Nuendo should be an endless setup.

but if you don't like the sound, maybe it will be improved some day by Ableton. Even now when ProTools users are starting to use it too.

btw Sonar 2.2 XL I don't like. I have it as well as CubaseSX. CUbase I don't like as well. I don't like the way you need to operate them and I don't like the bugs. I will recieve NUendo someday soon but I heard it's using more CPU than SX and still contains bugs. mmm...

good luck finding the right tool!

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Marco Raaphorst

Dutch music & sound creator

http://melodiefabriek.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 9:43 pm 
speedbird,

what on earth are you doing that sonar doesn't have enough features??? Also, other people are right, yous gots to try the different time stretching options (beats, tones, etc.). And as far as your "If you move the marker though the whole groove will change which is not what I want." --you need to rtfm, you have to "pin down" three warp markers to get and move the one in the middle to get the kcik in the right place. You have to pin down the markers on either side of the kick so that the rest of the clip stays put relative to the rest of the markers, then you can move the marker closest to the kick (and in between the other markers you've pinned down) to the beginning of the kick wave to get the rhythm right. Trust me, it works great--i use a drumkat live in performance to create beats, and can quickly shift markers to account for my lack of drum skills. You can zoom in and out on the clip to get to the right scale and appropriate warp markers. It also goes with out saying that a program called "Live" was intended for live performance, not some studio work that is so complicated sonar doesn't even cut it (though i realize you're using it in conjuction with nuendo--which to me is the antithesis of Live). If your not satisfied with it, and it doesn't sound like your performing with it, then i guess don't use it, cause it sounds like you've got plenty of other software you like. Trust me, plenty of us live users have had great success with time strectching by using the different modes, and the ableton approach to warp markers (and everything else) is super logical, intelligent, and second to none. The sound is not awful, it's great, and again, its a program created by performance musicians to use "live" for performances--it isn't meant to be every other DAW. I guess it can be a lot of things to a lot of people, but it is certainly the only program worth a salt for live performance. Use the other programs for your canned loops, use live to loop real instruments live in front of a live audience--it is the shizznat. and as others have said, its a young, small company, and the inventors are surely busy cooking up more tasty goods. and mbazzy is never wrong!

ryan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2003 10:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2002 1:35 pm
Posts: 1726
Location: Gent-Belgium
Further up Speedbird's post, I've been A/B 'ing a nice number of non acidized natural, accoustic samples [ guitar, sax, various flutes, .... patterns & ine shots ] on Live & Acid .... I may be biased, but -as rightfully suggested- by using the warpmarkers and tone/beat/etc ... settings , Live easily can uphold its status vs. Acid ...

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