Anyone using Live as a DAW for regular recording

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Post by Mbazzy » Sat Oct 11, 2003 7:20 pm

Epilacs, I have to disagree ... untill 2.1.2 I used it the same way as you : rendering individual trax, mixing down in n-track, mastering with Izotope Ozone in SoundForge ...

Live 3 with the "consolidate-functionality" used to render individual trax is up to it as a standalone solution ! You really should try it .

But I still use Soundforge and Izotope Ozone to master the final stereowav to mybest abilities -
Mbazzy's "The dysfunctional playground, a scrapbook a bout the shape of useless things" now OUT on Retinascan -


Post by Guest » Sun Oct 12, 2003 3:00 pm

mbazzy, i guess that we are actually in agreement....
because i am still using 2.0.3. i plan on getting 3.0 as soon
as i have some spare money to do so.
i am looking forward to trying this feature out.

good day!


Post by duncjam » Mon Oct 13, 2003 12:39 pm

Well maybe years of using sub-standard, affordable hardware recording equipment has ruined my 'ear' then, because I really can't hear the problem that I read about here from some people re the sound quality of Live's output. (Ditto some of the similar comments that get posted about Reason both here and on the P-heads forum.)

Live is without doubt the best-sounding multitrack recorder I have ever used, in addition to all its other functionality. What sonic shortcomings should I be listening for? Unfortunately I don't have a full version of Cubase or Logic to compare it with as I am reluctant to pay the price for those programs, but I have Cubasis and WaveLab Lite, which don't sound any better than Live to me. In fact, I am currently using Live to sort out the terrible EQ on a couple of tracks I thought I'd mastered as far as I could in WaveLab Lite! That app is useful for normalizing though.

I am very interested to know any further info on this topic that might 'open my ears'...



Post by Guest » Mon Oct 13, 2003 4:15 pm

Anonymous wrote:. i plan on getting 3.0 as soon
as i have some spare money to do so.


mortgage your grandmother, sell the kids! DO WHATEVER IT TAKES MAN you must get that update! there is no way in this world i could live with live 2 after using live 3. No way in hell ........ CLIP AUTOMATION?! SAMPLE OFFSET CLIP AUTOMATION? ANY GODDAMN FX PARAMETER CLIP AUTOMATION YOU LIKE????!!!!!!!!!

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Per Boysen
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Post by Per Boysen » Mon Oct 13, 2003 4:15 pm

Geraldo wrote:I think you should try doing a song from start to finish in Live and then decide for yourself if it measures up.
Well put, Geraldo!

My prefered mastering tool is Logic (OSX/G5). But I'm not sure that I would go for Logic today if I had not been using it for nine years and now being busy making money with it. The Logic AD-Limiter is a great mastering tool IMHO and for some projects also the PSP Vintage Warmer (if not used too much). The VW will soon be out for OSX btw.

I'm really trying to get away from professional audio production to focus on my own freaky music (improvised live looping) and Live is such a cool concept that stimulates creativity! And I do think you can do good mastering in Live with the PSP VW and some multiband compressor like the Waves L2.

- just my 2 cents ;-)
Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen


Post by Guest » Mon Oct 13, 2003 4:22 pm

duncjam wrote:Well maybe years of using sub-standard, affordable hardware recording equipment has ruined my 'ear' then, because I really can't hear the problem that I read about here from some people re the sound quality of Live's output. (Ditto some of the similar comments that get posted about Reason both here and on the P-heads forum.)

...I am very interested to know any further info on this topic that might 'open my ears'...

mOST of it is just elitist shite - music industry is full of elitist wankers, and the propellerheads forum seems to be their happy hunting ground - i just don't bother with their forum any more, it's full of idiots who think they have all the answers!

personally i think the most you can get out of any of these other apps like cubase or logic etc is just for mastering with high end plug-ins like waves limiters and multiband compressors - you can do quite alot by seperating some key sounds to their own track in cubase SX and whacking a wves c4 and then L1 over the mix, but other than that it's academic - live kicks ass and you can definitely do releasable stuff with it - especially considering you will most likely have anything that's going to vinyl mastered by a proper engineer!


Post by Guest » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:59 am

Yeah, sounds like elitism, and the need some people have to justify their more expensive purchase when they find there's another app that's cheaper than theirs, but can be used for everything they bought that expensive app for, and does a lot more cool stuff besides!

My project for this weekend is to produce an entire tune in Live.



Live for Audio

Post by nz » Wed Oct 15, 2003 1:50 pm

I have to say that I have been a Pro Tools elitist for the longest time. I didn't think that anything could work as easy and have such a good flow for recording and editing audio as PT. But...

After getting used to Live for loop and audio sequencing, I am having a tough time going back to PT to record audio. I love how Live works, how easy it is to use, and as cool as Rewire is, I want to work out of one application...not two.

There are a few things lacking (obviously) from Pro Tools, but Live adds a bunch of cool things that I am feeling more and more make up for it.

Please just give us "markers" in the next version...



Post by Guest » Wed Oct 15, 2003 7:45 pm

amen, studio work and punch-ins without markers is a pain in the butt, especially since the loop region moves aren't un-doable. It seems like every other time i set up a loop region to punch in, when setting the playback point I manage to move the loop region instead, and have to zoom back in and set it--markers in the arranger would make it all sooo much easier.


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Post by Geraldo » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:59 pm

epilacs wrote:i would have to disagree re: using live as a daw.
i think that live is an incredible tool for both live performance
and studio sequencing/arranging, etc...
however, i do not think that the rendering engine is at a stage
where audio mixed down and "mastered" completely in live
can stand up in terms of sound quality.

I think epilac is refering to the selection of time stretch algorithms like "beats, tones, textures," etc that are available in Live. Of course I agree that they create audio artifacts but my understanding was that I can turn off the time stretch/warp feature and just play the unadulterated audio, which I find sounds the same as Logic or Cubase. Logic would also degrade the audio if I used its time stretch feature but Logic is not as advanced as Live with regard to warping. Unless I am misunderstanding something, you cannot avoid some degradation in any DAW if you are changing audio timing. Am I wrong?


use live as slave

Post by spider » Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:45 pm

if you use live as slave in pro tool,logic or cubase you'll have all the good mastering tools such as good effects that these softwares provide.
may the force stay with you


Post by Guest » Fri Oct 17, 2003 9:23 pm

Theres nothing wrong with Lives Mix buss its the same as Cubase Logic Sonar and all the rest. But While Live has an advantage with their elastic audio approach there is also a down side to Lives sound. And that is the warp feature. Obviously when this is on (almost all the time) its understandable that the audio will have some negative attributes. In saying that Live does a tremendous job at minimising the negative effects.

further below is the best quite I have seen on any techy forum. This one in particular was in a massive thread about the virtues of mixing in and out of the box. it was completely ignored by the majority to busy arguing. I kept it because its so thoughtful and wise.

What this guys says is exactly how I feel about mixing in the box. He can say it much better than I can of course. All I remember about the guy that wrote this is that he was one of the dudes that designed the SSL G and J series consoles. Hes a very smart man me thinks. Lassly, Ableton Live is without a doubt the closest daw I have used that actually encourages me to be musical.Its obvious to me that a lot of thought went in to the user interface and I hope Ableton keep that in mind when they do further updates. I just stopped using Logic Platinum because I realised how old style that software is and how uncreative it is for me. It has very little to do with music IMHO. It took Live to make me realise that.

Oh, I do mix in the box but still prefer subbing to analog for many many reasons (mostly what the SSL chap says). And I would love to be able to use Live exclusively but Its not quite ready yet. Maybe the next update :)

SSL Said:

"...there really is kind of timeless level of facility and interface that allows maximum human intellectual fluidity for certain tasks, because it suits the way we operate as humans in those domains. Mixing a complex multichannel production is almost an entirely artistic process where we balance sounds, instuments and nuances of performance against each other with great precision using taste, emotion and creative feedback.
Changes of fractions of a dB (hopefully!) between these contributions in time, balance and timbre are what separate an average mix from a truly great hair-raising masterpiece - and we do it almost automatically without ever being quite sure exactly how - one just instinctively knows when something is right :-)
This highly advanced process, bourne from who-knows-what complex mental and creative human involvement is awfully fragile.
So much so that many of the most successful engineers I have worked with admit to having nightmares and phobias involving perceptions of impending, inexplicable and uncontrolable failure - because in logic and truth - they simply don't know how they do it - what exactly makes their work so successful - and what small overlooked detail could destroy it and their reputations in a single stroke. How many times have I hunted down non-existent technical problems and lined the monitors up yet again for the nth time that day, because the engineer just feels that 'its not happening' for some reason.
Whats not happening at these times? Involvement is the key IMVHO. Any distraction, however small or apparently insignificant to the outsider can be the cause of this loss of facility - the feeling that its not happening - everything sounds drab - there's no excitment and spark to the mix.
A slight technical anomaly that's barely perceptible, a flickering screen that demands attention, too many lights in the corner of your eye from outboard kit, or just the blasted awful decor in the studio - whatever interferes with the involvement of the engineer at the level he is working towards (often only a nebulous concept or a 'just out of reach' feeling) can throw the session. And IMLE the higher the levels of artistic work going on - the greater is its fragility.
The insecurities (and the resulting protective prima donna tendancies) are almost unavoidable - and I have sure tolerated some horrific outbursts of all these over the years. I tolerated them without (public) complaint because I felt what was going on all too well and knew they were part of a necessary personal struggle.
So my point (finally) would be that there is no 'right or wrong' from an artistic perspective. There's no automatic 'old or new' supremacy in the kit by dint of its own presence - the kit itself is not the art - its just a tool - we use whatever technology gets the results we need - it is (hopefully) not a religion or a populist crusade.
But it IS up to the designers of the tools that people MUST use to be sensitive to the processes and human emotions at work and provide stuff that conforms to the human side of the moment such that its artistic potential is actually realised naturally, in sympathy and in combination with the creative involvement of the person actually engaged in the task.
Thats what makes a great piece of kit in my opinion - the one that has 'character' you can retain, identify and engage with because it was conceived by people who understood and were sympathetic to your needs."

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Post by Lucid » Sat Oct 18, 2003 4:28 am

That's some poetic sweetness from the SSL man, sounds good to me. I agree.

As for my take on production in Live:
I use Live from input to mix, I might master in another program such as T-Racks at the end, but might not To me, it sounds good, and I had a lot of trouble with Cubase SX, so the ease is worth it. I am not into spending a crapload of time learning different computer programs. I don't know if the rendered "mixdown" sound is top-notch or whatever, I guess I'll need to judge that as I render more mixes. It sounds good to me, but I haven't A-B'ed any mixes with other programs etc.

If audio quality is a problem for you, how about this, you could mix in Live, play it back and record real-time to a DAT, and then have the DAT mastered outboard by yourself or pros. There

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Re: Live for Audio

Post by jho » Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:13 am

nz wrote: Please just give us "markers" in the next version...


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