is live live?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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is live live?

Post by zendo » Wed Aug 20, 2003 8:15 am

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Post by arar » Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:30 am

It depends what you do with it...every time Ive used Live, even with similar group of samples, the end result has been different, so its as least as live as playing records, in fact more so since I use short samples (which 90% of the time Ive constructed from single hits) that have to be swaped and mixed constantly..this provides me with plenty of adrenilin/fear factor becauses things can go wrong if Im not constantly working at it and watching the crowds response.....There are numerous threads on this and other boards around this....

actually I overheard two people talking about some metal band, and how they had "downloded the set list of what they were playing on the european tour" I would be absolutely bored stiff doing the same set night after night, Ive never played the same set twice inmy puff...

to me the whole Live or not thing is more of a continuum, Ive seen plenty of people with loads of hardware, paly one bloody baseline all night for instance, so its not about software vs hardware either....


Post by Guest » Wed Aug 20, 2003 2:29 pm

people use Live for a myriad of things. I play a number of instruments and have always played in bands, and have only in 2003 started my exciting foray into using a computer for music. Because of my background and countless performances for audiences with live bands with absolutely no pre-recorded tracks, my mindset is that a live performance should be ALL live. I play venues that have live bands and not djs, so that is also part of my mindset. Right now I do solo sets and I'm also in a dou using Live, and every single note is created live on the spot. Every song starts with me playing one thing--a bassline, a keyboard part, a guitar part, whatever--then I record that clip, have it repeat, and record another clip, repeat it, and so forth. I bring out a k-station keyboard, guitar, basses, midi drum controller (drumat), midi footcontroller (fcb 1010), my toshiba and RME multiface to gigs. So within a few minutes from the song begining with silence, I've built up 8-10 tracks:bass, keyboard chords, kick, snare, hihats and/or ride, percussion, atmospheric keys, melody/lead keys, etc. Once i get the clips i want recorded, I can start having fun with effects and the crossfader--mixing the song I've created live on the spot--breaking it down, tweaking it out. Becasue each clip is recorded fresh each night, and the tweaks are always improvised, the only thing that is exactly the same each night is the tempo of each song, everything else varies. Everyone uses Live in different ways, but clearly from the way I use it, Live can truly be all live. It is the ultimate looping and creation tool for stage and studio.


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seconding ryan

Post by nosuch » Wed Aug 20, 2003 3:25 pm

I second ryan: it depends on the mindset. similar to ryan I used live in a performance in 12/02 for the first time - before that it was "real"-instruments only. I do use samples I choose carefully before but arrange and tweak them in different ways in each performance - combining them, with live guitar and lapsteel. It all really depends what the performer doing with the application - just playing back loops or creative tweaking.
I' ve seen many instrumentalists behaving more statically, less creative and inventive than some people with a notebook and live.
IMO it's not about how much effort you put in your performance but about creativity. If the instrument is easy to play it frees your mind to be inventive.
...just trying to figure out how to make my computer sing....
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Post by » Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:55 pm

I really tried to keep my mouth shut, but I couldn't.

The guy they're interviewing - Jay Haze - used to live in Philadelphia (my home town).

His entire "Tuning Spork" crew made a living out of shitting on other people's music and musical ideas, all the while glorifying their own.

Add to that that 90% of the tracks I've heard posted on this board are better than the excuse for "tech house" that he and other Spork-ies make.

Anyway, you need to understand that this is the type of person who elevates himself by criticizing other people. The frustrating thing is that it worked in Philadelphia and appears to be working in Germany, too.

As for the actual content of his comments - he didn't say anything to suggest that Live is not live. he said it was a toy. and judging from the other music this guy has made, I'm not surprised he wasn't able to use any of Live's deeper functionality.

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What a load of rubbish

Post by siddhu » Wed Aug 20, 2003 6:18 pm

I have seen quite a few performances based around laptops/computers that absolutely smoked and the crowd was losing it!

In my mind, a boring performer is boring wether he has decks, a computer, or a keyboard.

There are a enough expresionless DJs who stand still and seem to simply be organic-human record changers that blanket statements saying "I would rather watch a DJ" are full of it.

Live is a toy right?! Tell that to Hans Zimmerman.

This Jay Haze dude is a troll!


Post by Guest » Wed Aug 20, 2003 6:25 pm

yeah, anyone that calls Live a "toy" is a tool, and clearly hasn't really used it at all, or doesn't know how to use it, or they just hate computers in general. Those of us who aren't afraid of technology realize that Live is nothing sort of a revolutionary way to create music without boundaries--it is only those with closed minds and hearts that can sit there and call it a toy, or lump all performances using a computer in the same catagory and then crap all over it. Trust me, many people are doing very innovative and exciting things with Live live--read some of the artist interviews and such on this site--there are some great musicians and producers that feel the same enthusiasm for Live as me and others, and recognize its potential as far beyond the scope of ptools and other studio based DAW's. in short, live kicks ass, is one of only a few (and clearly the best) software apps intended for real live performance, and anyone that says something to the contrary is ignorant and should be ignored..


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Post by noisetonepause » Wed Aug 20, 2003 7:01 pm

Live is my main music making toy, along with my guitartoys, keyboardtoys, samplertoy, voicetoy and drumboxtoy... I'm just playing music!



("Fuck dance, let's art!" --Coldcut)


Post by ryansupak » Wed Aug 20, 2003 7:48 pm

i struggle with this a lot (a whole lot), but i think Live is as live as you want to make it.

personally, i pre-sequence absolutely nothing.

(ha, it would be funny if live pa got levels of "purity" the same way veganism has levels. for instance, a live-set played on arranger-view with knob-tweaking and accent triggering only would be a level 2 live set, and a live-set played on session-view with no pre-sequencing would be a level 3 live set.) :)



Post by Guest » Wed Aug 20, 2003 10:13 pm

I think the important thing to remember as a musician is in all these situations is the purist wankers who are really worried about whether it's 'live enough' or 'this enough' or whatever are a bored minority, on the whole if you go out to any club in the world, people just want a great night, and that's about the vibe created - nothing more. Technical brilliance, charisma, artfulness - at the end of the day can all get to f@$£ if the vibe is good. Anyone who is even remotely creative can get live to sound different everytime they use it, that's what it's for.

I'm really getting sick of this self important pretentious generalised crap i keep hearing on music forums about 'they're not authentic if they don't...' blah blah like there's criteria for being a good musician. I'm not really having a go at anyone in particular here, just a general whinge about some of the crap i've been reading.

MUSIC IS COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE and not even remotely cut and dry, there will always be someone who loves what you do, just as there will always be someone who hates it, but at the end of the day, if you get them dancing, or even just nodding or appreciating it in any way at all, you done good.

I like the buddhist story of when buddha an his disciples found a clearing where the forest had been completely cut down except for one massive tree under which all the woodsmen were sitting having a rest, buddha asked one of the woodsman why they'd left this tree, and he said ' this tree is useless, it's smoke stings the eyes, it's too full of knots to make anything, so we left it to rest under. Buddha laughed and said to his disciples 'be like this tree, be useless, and know that you are nothing but shade for people to sit under.'

As musicians we are probably the most useless people on the planet, musics' just something nice that makes life a bit better (although must of us feel it's the only thing worth living for - but that's our problem). Ego and self importance from musicians is really completely comical. Hilarious in fact.

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Post by quandry » Thu Aug 21, 2003 2:46 am

i agree to a point, but i guess many people have different interpretations of the word "musician" and "create". i would have to say that i think a musician is someone that plays traditional instruments--drums, stringed instruments, keyboard instruments, wind and reed instruments, etc. call me a purist, a snob, an asshole, but thats my interpretation. A producer or dj might make great music using found sounds, others' creative output, and loop cds--and trust me I definitely listen to music made that way--but if someone doesn't play an instrument is more of a dj or a producer to me. obviously that line gets more blurred everyday by people combining a bunch of techniques--live instruments and found sounds--and your right, in the end its all good if it sounds good and makes people listen, appreaciate and dance. I guess I'm just old and come from the old school before all of this technology has taken music to a variety of different places. I grew up loving bands, playing in bands, and going to hundereds of live shows to hear my hero's perform--and the greats always delivered the intense goods far beyond the scope of their studio work--the energy of a show simply can't be matched. imho, when i go out to see an artist or group perform, the last thing i want to hear is the exact replica of an album sequenced by a computer with a bit of improv or knob tweaking on top. guess who doesn't go to see dj's much. i love to dance, and love dance music, but i guess the combination of not living in a very urban area, and just loving the energy of live bands has certainly influenced what i like to go out and pay hard earned bread to see. to each his own, but i enjoy watching and listening to people create every note, not just remix or dj or hit a button to run a sequence. again, i'm definitely appreachate and enjoy the MUSIC that is performed that way, but the performance itself isn't as visually exciting or interesting as seeing everything beign created live in fron of my face.

and as far as creation goes, as innovative, glitchy, and tweaked out as dj music can be, as a musician that creates music from scratch i definitely see a clear distinction between music made wholly be a person or group and music that is complied from others creative output on records and loop cds and mp3s. again, not to say that the music doesn't sound good, but as far as creativity goes, something that is wholly created by a person or group is wholly their creation, whereas dj and loop cd based music is clearly more of a remix/collabrative effort that isn't coming just from the person or group performing it. To me the difference in approach is obvious and clearly two different things. not to say one is better than the other, or that either isn't valid or musical, but it IS a difference. Compared to visual arts, its like the difference between painters that create thier work from start to finish--applying every brushstroke themselves--the work is 100% theirs, from their heart, from their mind. It is certainly influenced by and inspired by others and what has come before, but the work itself is whooly the artists' creative output. Collages are a wholly different thing--taking photos, newspaper and magazine clippings, found objects and creating a compostion from them is obviously valid, artful, and visually intruiging as well--but it IS different. Again, both forms can be great and visually stimulating, and in the wrong hands, both forms can suck. dj and found sound music is interesting to me to see what people come up with--the collages of sound they create. but as performance art, i defintely find it more intruiging and exciting to see the music I'm hearing created before my eyes--i can see how they make this sound, that sound, and appreciated it from both a listeners standpoint and from a musician/producers standpoint--i want to know what piece (or combination of pieces) of gear made what sound and see how creative and different people are. imho, this visual counterpart to the audio being created is sorely lacking in dj, sequenced, and pre-recorded music. thats just my lengthy 2 cents, coming from the old school. i guess for me, a concert is about more than sound-- i can hear that on the albums--i want to see how they make that sound, i want to see them take it beyond the album and show me their stuff. People can defintely do that with Live-one person can build complex ensembles and songs by themselves with a few instruments, a computer, and Live. It is obvioulsy different than seeing a non-computerized live band, but computer based performances can be all live with no pre-recorded material, and i can see how the sounds are being created and how the piece starts with one layer and builds to many--that is visually stimulating and intersting, and each sound has (at least while the clip is being recorded) a visual counterpoint. to me this is much more fascinating than a dude/computer playing the exact sequences from the album with some tweaks on top, or spinning someone else's records--then I often find myself struggling to find ANY sonic analog to the minimal visual/hand activity of the performer. again,not saying that either is better than the other, but as someone fortunate enough to have the gift of sight, i enjoy having it be a part of my concert experience, and enjoy having my eyes help inform me as to the artists creative process and to the sounds i'm hearing. but if i were blind......

Live IS Live!!

Post by Live IS Live!! » Thu Aug 21, 2003 6:42 am


Of course A live performance MUST be exciting and must give you a special feeling enjoying it. Something exciting must happen when musician(s) are on stage.

But, times are changing and so are instruments. The computer actually can be used as a great instrument with endless possibilities.

You are right saying that a man, only standing behind his laptop while great music is sounding, feels a little, lets say, "funny". But hey?? The scene now are the DJ's, and are they acutally doing something else? They also do nothing more then tweaking and twiddle knobs and pulling funny faces and jump about behind their turntables. So, what's the difference?? Everybody seems to like and accept it??!!

I don't like this either because it's boring but I really do love Ableton's Live, because it's really great stuff. And about only playing sequenzes?? Well, OK, it's being pre-programmed, but what is actually the difference to normal musicians?? They also jump around pulling funny faces and playing their learned by heart "sequenzes" over and over again. The Stones still perform their 30/40 years ago hits and everybody seems to enjoy it.

It's always the same story with art. Eveybody freezes and seems to be "afraid" when new developments see the light.
The whole world hated Van Gogh it his time and now they are fighting and throwing millions at each other to get one of his paintings.

Like I said, times are a changing if we like it or not??!!

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Post by Credo » Thu Aug 21, 2003 9:34 am

wow these are the longest posts I ever have seen on this forum!
I didnt read them though... :)



Post by Guest » Thu Aug 21, 2003 9:34 am

strip it back, anything that makes a rhythmic or melodic sound - a hollow log, two rocks, a computer, whatever.

the thing alot of people who haven't experienced it seem to miss about electronic/dance music is it's not about watching somebody -that's not the point- it's not about this cult worship rock idol stuff, it's a completely different thing - a personal experience, shared with the crowd and DJ - shared appreciation, rather than 'hey look at me, listen to my guitar solo'

I personally think dancing in a room full of people who are in love with the music and don't give a fuck what the dj is doing is one of the best experiences available to humanity, and it's a shame people are still worried about what the dj/PA artist does while they play


Post by Guest » Thu Aug 21, 2003 9:36 am

Anonymous wrote:strip it back, anything that makes a rhythmic or melodic sound - a hollow log, two rocks, a computer, whatever.
oopps, meant to say 'is a musical instrument'

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