Can LIVE be used as an effects processor for my guitar?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
CloudyJim
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Can LIVE be used as an effects processor for my guitar?

Post by CloudyJim » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:39 pm

I play lap steel in a Friends of Dean Martinez fashion, meaning with lots of experimental noise mixed in the music.

I own Live for recording with my EMU 1616m. I'm wondering what the best way to run my signal through Live for it's unique effects would be. I'm thinking Line 6 Pod XT to EMU to Live and back out to my PA.

Any suggestions? Anyone tried it?

CloudyJim
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Post by CloudyJim » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:59 pm

By the way, I am talking about real-time playing, not using any loops at all. It doesn't need to record, simply take in a signal, alter it, and output it.

Machinate
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Re: Can LIVE be used as an effects processor for my guitar?

Post by Machinate » Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:28 pm

CloudyJim wrote:I own Live for recording with my EMU 1616m. I'm wondering what the best way to run my signal through Live for it's unique effects would be. I'm thinking Line 6 Pod XT to EMU to Live and back out to my PA.
Many many many people do this - it's fun :) Go right ahead and set it up - it'll definitely give you a new sonic tool to be reckoned with.
mbp 2.66, osx 10.6.8, 8GB ram.

mbenigni
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Post by mbenigni » Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:34 pm

Live is a fantastic addition to a guitar setup. I posted to another thread about my setup the other day. I'll copy and paste below, hopefully no one will take offense at that. In any case, you can either use your PODxt or go the next step and start collecting VST amp sims. There are a few free ones if you want to just start experimenting with that approach. Here's how my setup works:

"I use a Parker MIDIFly which (obviously) can send note on/off messages but also has a MIDI knob intended as a MIDI volume control. Thanks to Live's MIDI mapping I can override this behavior and use it for more subversive things (most recently experimenting w/ Turntablist.)

Additionally I've got a volume pedal converted to MIDI CC's via a MIDI Solutions Pedal Controller (which also merges my MIDIFly signal) and this runs into the MIDI in of the "Rig Control 2" that ships with NI's Guitar Rig 2 software. One audio input on this unit accepts my guitar (audio), and the other accepts a dynamic mic for vocals w/ effects courtesy of Live. All of this fits in a little briefcase that I can just pop open, plug into a PA, and play.

It's taken me a couple of years (ouch, that's embarrassing) of tweaking and cursing, but this is a very nifty little rig.

Before I discovered Live's crossfader and put the expression pedal on MIDI, I was using it as an additional GR2 controller, and routing everything through GR splits to fade synths in and out. But with the crossfade happening in the host instead, behavior is a lot more flexible, and my GR patches are a lot simpler/ easier to manage.

Life is good. Live makes it even better."

rtopia
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Post by rtopia » Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:41 pm

what all these guys just said....

once you sequence things like filter sweeps etc you'll be hooked.

other recommendations:

- gating sends to effects (only have delays when you hit hard or soft)
- LOOPING!!! (abandon your "no recording motto")

mad props to your lap steel (I thought I was the only one)

- r

dj superflat
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Post by dj superflat » Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:44 pm

if you're not using live for looping, and just as an fx box, i might look to something like the adrenalinn instead. don't get me wrong, i love using live as a guitar fx box (i just run in through a good tube channel strip (sometimes a mesa pedal that has a tube amp in it), let live fx do the rest), but it seems like a bit much if all you want are some fx (about the only thing i would really miss by using an adrenalinn is beatrepeat/reaktror's fastfx/glitch).

dj superflat
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Post by dj superflat » Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:46 pm

i always feel like an idiot when i read a tip like "gating sends to your fx." seems so obvious and great. why am i not already doing this?

gregorythis
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Post by gregorythis » Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:46 pm

check the video section.. im pretty sure they have a video talking about using guitars with live

CloudyJim
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Post by CloudyJim » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:46 pm

Thanks everyone. I figured it could be done no problem. I just wanted to hear if there was any "can be done, but sounds like @#$%" comments.

The gate sending to effects based on attack volume sounds intriguing. Any online tutorials out there dealing with that specifically?

CloudyJim
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Post by CloudyJim » Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:06 pm

rtopia,

Fill me in on your lap steel experience with Live. Do you have any clips or a site I could visit?

rtopia
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Post by rtopia » Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:23 pm

CloudyJim wrote:rtopia,

Fill me in on your lap steel experience with Live. Do you have any clips or a site I could visit?
nothing "lap steel specific" - I just meant actually playing lap steel.

here's something I did for a a friends school movie project.
(not a style I normally do - obligatory disclaimer)

It was one pass with nothing prerecorded except the "click pattern".

I just let things roll and put down layers of loops until I was done.
I literally swapped inputs between my strat and the lap steel in the same take.
I used a knob on my oxygen to control the rate of the leslie during mixdown.

The whole thing took 30 minutes - start to finish - including the mixdown and adding the field recording of the car going by.

- r

EEkevin
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Post by EEkevin » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:34 am

Ah, I've been thinking about this too, lately. Got a version of Amplitube LE free with an interface and playing my electric, real time, through my lappy and Ableton was awesome, especially since it sounded better than anything hardware I could afford. That said, I just ordered a POD XT Live today for a simpler setup, but the computer processing is totally within reach, even with some of the great freeware effects out there that can complement Live's own. (Electric guitar+BeatRepeat=uber fun)

-Kev
"He had become his real old self again and could look you in the face."

rtopia
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Post by rtopia » Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:13 am

EEkevin wrote:... I just ordered a POD XT Live today for a simpler setup....
I would recommend some kind of pre-amp/modeling interface etc like a POD rather than running the guitar directly.

I use a Line 6 Ranchero (Flextone with faux tooled leather covering) and model a Fender Twin into a 4x12 with greenbacks.

getting a good tone before layering on effects saves a lot of time in getting something that breathes and bleeds

I also recommend dropping Live's eq4 in the channel and rolling off the bottom end a little. Once you start layering - you're also layering bottom end.

- r

vdrum
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Post by vdrum » Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:25 am

rtopia:

i REALLY liked your tune...very cinematic, dreamy and "serious". Nice, nice stuff.
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.

rtopia
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Post by rtopia » Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:29 am

vdrum wrote:rtopia:

i REALLY liked your tune...very cinematic, dreamy and "serious". Nice, nice stuff.
thanks man...

guitars wasn't something I was expecting to use in Live as much as I have - but that just goes to show what a great tool Live can be once you get your head around it.

I think one of the best demos is Kid Beyond doing it with "no instruments"

- r

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