live looping midi and quantizing issues

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:23 pm

you're incredible, that totally did the trick as well as give me the ability to hotkey freeze and flatten (totally unrelated to the task at hand but really nice still)

now I'll use midistroke to translate buttons on my bcr2000 into the quantize on quantize off and I'll be in heaven. thanks so much!!!!
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

mooncaine
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Using OSX's Keyboard shortcuts? Back 'em up now & then.

Post by mooncaine » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:51 pm

I think OSX still stores your keyboard shortcuts in "com.apple.universalaccess.plist", which I think you'll find somewhere in your user account's Library folder.

If you're relying on them for performance, make a copy of this file every time you change some shortcut in the Keyboard & Mouse Preferences panel. Occasionally, Mac OSX forgets some or all of my keyboard shortcuts , and I only find out about it later, when a key combo isn't working.

A good place to ask how to do it, in case I'm wrong, would be the forums at macosxhints.com, which is where I'm going now, to ask again, 'How can I back up my Mac's keyboard shortcuts?'

alyerpal
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Post by alyerpal » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:12 am

I've been struggling with this problem for a few months now, too.
see - http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=41578

I read g-buddha's tip on assigning hotkeys and was excited that this might be a solution, but it didn't work for me.

Here's what I did:
I've got one hotkey for 1/8th quant and one for no quant, as suggested.
Start with 1/8th quant selected & start recording a MIDI clip. This solves the "first notes cutoff problem".
Then, while still recording, I hit the no quant hotkey, so that the rest of the notes I play in the clip won't be quantized, but it doesn't work. When I stop recording and the loop starts playing, all the notes are quantized the 1/8th, even though the Record Quantization menu shows I've changed over to No Quantization. Seems you can't change the quantization value *during* recording, which is kinda what we'd want here to solve this problem.

Did you get it to work, Johnisfaster? What am I missing?

2 GHz G5 iMac, OS X 10.4.7, LIVE 5.2

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:57 am

I actually assumed you couldn't change quantization while recording. I knew it would be awesome if you could but I just figured it wouldn't work.

for some reason when I play my melodies and basslines I never end up hitting the first note too early, for some reason I always hit it a little after the beat, but when I go to make drum beats I always hit the first note early. really odd how my brain works that way.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

glitchrock-buddha
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Post by glitchrock-buddha » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:17 am

Johnisfaster wrote:I actually assumed you couldn't change quantization while recording. I knew it would be awesome if you could but I just figured it wouldn't work.

for some reason when I play my melodies and basslines I never end up hitting the first note too early, for some reason I always hit it a little after the beat, but when I go to make drum beats I always hit the first note early. really odd how my brain works that way.
It's not really that odd. Everyone has their own taste for music melodies and rhythm. Some may gravitate towards more swing in certain parts (delaying some hits before a downbeat for example), or pushing certain hits ahead of a beat at some notes (like a snare to excite the rythm). It's all a personal groove. We should try to maintain that always, it's part of the unique feel. I personally tend to hit melody lines early and thus cutoff the notes, like you, who cut off rhythm hits. It's just the frustration of trying to fit a human groove to a neat and tidy loop arrangment. Don't know about you, but I certainly haven't found my magic formula in a session style arrangement.

grb
Professional Shark Jumper.

alyerpal
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Post by alyerpal » Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:10 pm

I was really hoping that quantize settings could be changed during recording, as this would solve the problem. I do all my MIDI looping live and while I do my best to be dead on when playing a note or chord on the downbeat, sometimes one note of a chord will be too early & then doesn't play back. Honestly, I just don't want to have to worry about this in a live situation, like I didn't have to worry about it when I was looping Audio clips. I've just moved over to looping MIDI because the sonic possibilities of tweaking your soft synth after you loop are too excellent to pass up!

Really what we need is a "Play early MIDI notes from 1.1.0" option. Then looping MIDI would work like looping Audio, and we could leave record quantization off!

If I post this request to the Feature Wishlist forum will you guys chime in? Hmm, maybe I should wait to post, as they're in the middle of releasing v6, and it may get overlooked right now. What do you guys think?

deva
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Post by deva » Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:42 pm

Johnisfaster wrote:I've considered that, but it's kinda ruining the current work flow I have, not that I can't change the way I work but I had it all worked out in my head you know?

maybe just learn to play the first note on time?

alyerpal
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Post by alyerpal » Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:09 pm

I hear ya deva and, believe me, I'm a practicing musician and I'm working on my rhythm all the time. It's just that if you're even a millisecond early with let's say a whole note, you don't just miss hearing that millisecond, you miss hearing the entire whole note. It makes technical sense but not musical sense. When you loop Audio this doesn't happen - you hear everything from the downbeat no matter what. All we're asking is for MIDI looping to work like Audio looping works. Thanks for the suggestion (sincerely). I will continue to work on my timing in my daily practice *AND* I would like to see this as a new option.

glitchrock-buddha
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Post by glitchrock-buddha » Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:36 pm

alyerpal wrote: Really what we need is a "Play early MIDI notes from 1.1.0" option. Then looping MIDI would work like looping Audio, and we could leave record quantization off!

If I post this request to the Feature Wishlist forum will you guys chime in? Hmm, maybe I should wait to post, as they're in the middle of releasing v6, and it may get overlooked right now. What do you guys think?
I like this idea, however, I just thought of another one too. How about instead of quantizing the first downbeat, it actually moves that portion of the note(s) you played early to the end of the loop, ie. moves that little bit before the loop marker to the end so that it maintains the timing.

Now this would be great! Either of these options I would support.

Another option, in the meantime, is to have an empty midi clip playing already, and start playing when it's at the end of it's loop cycle, but this is only practical when you don't already have a clip playing in the track.

This is where our idea comes in. One clip is playing, you hit the empty one to play next, into which you will record, played a bit early, but hey, the early portion gets tacked on the end of the clip as if it was already playing within the clip! How cool would that be! But that would require Live to know that you only want to record in the second clip, not the one that was already playing. Ok, now I'm getting a headache. maybe the 1.1.0 quantize would work better here.

Deva, it's not always musically natural to hit a chord exactly on the downbeat. Pushing parts slightly ahead or behind other parts gives music it's feel. I don't think we should have to make sure we get the note after the downbeat by being slightly late. It's a tough technicality to get around though. :?

grb
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nolus
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Post by nolus » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:19 pm

if you offset the start of the rhythm relative to the start of the clip, you effectively get a count in, and when you stop it it ends on beat one instead of four, which can sound more natural. You have to do it on every clip though, and it can get a bit confusing.

eg instead of

|1234|1234|1234|etc

you have

|2341|2341|2341|etc
"That very perceptive of you Mr Stapleton, and rather unexpected... in a G Major"

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Wed Aug 23, 2006 11:58 pm

deva wrote:
Johnisfaster wrote:I've considered that, but it's kinda ruining the current work flow I have, not that I can't change the way I work but I had it all worked out in my head you know?

maybe just learn to play the first note on time?
very funny, you try playing a rhythm without hitting the first note even 1ms too early, if it's 1ms too early then it won't play when it loops back around. I'm betting even the best drummers in the world would fu** that up now and then if they tried live looping.

live looping audio is much easier than live looping midi I've found.
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

vdrum
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Post by vdrum » Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:28 am

Hey. I'm a drummer and Ive been doing live looping for 5 years with Ableton Live ver1.5-->5.2. All I can telll you is that it IS possible to do fluidly....it does take time and patience to get into the flow...you need a VERY good audio interface with low,LOW latency and the ability to start, stop and launch the loops with a midi triggering device (keyboard/footpedal/midi drum pads)that has lighting fast triggering (no midi latency).

the 2 most important things:

1) Put the quantization at 1 bar so you can start/stop/launch clip at ANY time between beat 1 and beat 4. This is KEY!!!

2) If you dont have a drummer or drum track that has started, or some other instrument that has laid down a VERY obvious pulse/tempo you must wear headphones and listen to a click to NAIL the downbeat ("1").

I started out doing this with what I thought was a decent feel for time and pulse..I had to practice my drum rudiments and ALL my playing with a click going, 100% of the time for a solid 12 months before I started nailing the "1" with 92% accuracy.

I KNOW this is alot of discipline, but I feel like I graduated from some
prestigous University for investing the time to obtain a strong metronomic sense.
It has greatly facilitated my drumming and improvisation.

One last note, my guitarist and trumper player all go about it the same way I do.

check out some of our tunes:

www.myspace.com/splates

www.broadjam.com/spinningplates

Good luck!
eDrummer: Roland Vdrum kit Live 8/ MacBookPro 2.5 mhz & 2gb. Motu Ultralite.. Homemade midi-triggering pad for LIVE's filters , clips , & record buttons. Hopelessly hooked on live looping.

Johnisfaster
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Post by Johnisfaster » Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:55 am

1) Put the quantization at 1 bar so you can start/stop/launch clip at ANY time between beat 1 and beat 4. This is KEY!!!

2) If you dont have a drummer or drum track that has started, or some other instrument that has laid down a VERY obvious pulse/tempo you must wear headphones and listen to a click to NAIL the downbeat ("1").


One last note, my guitarist and trumper player all go about it the same way I do.


Good luck![/quote]

I'm doing exactly the same thing as you, all settings and what not, very low latency. my problem is just nailing that downbeat without making it the slightest bit too early. cause if it's too early at all then it won't play at all.

"One last note, my guitarist and trumper player all go about it the same way I do."
I'm sure they are, it's ALOT easier to live loop audio stuff because the first note can be a little early and you'll still hear the tail of it every time it loops around which isn't as annoying as a silence at the beginning of each bar.

are you using any quantize at all? 16th note? or nothing?
It was as if someone shook up a 6 foot can of blood soda and suddenly popped the top.

vdrum
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Post by vdrum » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:19 am

Again, 1 bar quant.
eDrummer: Roland Vdrum kit Live 8/ MacBookPro 2.5 mhz & 2gb. Motu Ultralite.. Homemade midi-triggering pad for LIVE's filters , clips , & record buttons. Hopelessly hooked on live looping.

rbmonosylabik
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Post by rbmonosylabik » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:41 am

Johnisfaster wrote:god forbid I have to learn to play correctly hehe
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