Composing in Live - What method works for you?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Contra
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Post by Contra » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:39 pm

Adonis wrote:Lately I've been keeping it simple

one drum to one instance of simpler

kick, snares, claps, hats

all in session view

Once I effect that kind of stuff out I bounce them down to audio tracks

now I have loops

With some clever routing I make a lead line then copy paste into a bassline

some stabs later and maybe a vocal thingy I'm ready to sequence

do u make a session just for composing drum loops?

then start a new one once the drums are bounced?


can i make a track say the guitars and bass, then in impluse do many drum loops (programmed in session view), and bounce them within the same .als file(beat)
and then re import them into the track without closing it and delete the impulse i used to make the original loops?


whew questions galore.

Adonis
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Post by Adonis » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:43 pm

I usually try to do it all in the same session

You create bus tracks you record your new loops onto then delete the source material

I've had close to 15 tracks of drums bussed down to 3 tracks

then from there build your leads, bass etc

I prefer to owrk work with real audio rather then midi tracks - I feel I have more options with an audio track - you can reverse a midi file

freqn
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Post by freqn » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:44 pm

5dots wrote:When I first started using Live, I did everything in the arrangement view (even, embarassingly, live performances - it was the only thing that made sense to me at the time!). Now I generally make a bunch of loops in session, jam them out into arrangement, and then go back and finagle them into something nicer.
That's basically what I've been doing since I started using Live. Sometimes I get so many clips in session then get frustrated and tired from my own indecisiveness and shut it down before I compile anything in arrangment mode. Latley, though, I have been having some other people come over to work on material and it has helped inspire me much more than sitting here alone. I know that for myself it's like a mental block with music which I hope to destroy soon. Thanks everyone for your input. Please keep the thread going. I want to hear more.

Contra
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Post by Contra » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:48 pm

Adonis wrote:I usually try to do it all in the same session

You create bus tracks you record your new loops onto then delete the source material

I've had close to 15 tracks of drums bussed down to 3 tracks

then from there build your leads, bass etc

I prefer to owrk work with real audio rather then midi tracks - I feel I have more options with an audio track - you can reverse a midi file

by bus tracks do u mean a send?
or another audio trak with the impulse one set to resampling and the input of the audio set to "impulse-1"???

dj superflat
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Post by dj superflat » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:49 pm

just about everything in session, even recording vocals (verses or choruses at time), pretty much get the arrangement down along with the mix, lots of irreversible decisions along the way (e.g., recording synths as audio, destructive editing), then finish up in arrange. just a matter of preference, but i can't stand working linearly (despite years of doing only that), much prefer the freedom of session. also use lots of randomish follow actions to see how different things work together.

compositeone
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Post by compositeone » Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:31 am

I generally start in the session view and build up a few sounds, instruments and drums into a few loops. As I'm making them I tend to then get an idea of first arrangement and then record that live into the arrange view. I like to do it this way because of the happy accidents you get from "messing it up".

Once I have a something recorded to the arrange view I pretty much then work solely in that space. Normally tweaking the arrangement and developing the lead/bass lines etc.

electrik noize
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Post by electrik noize » Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:44 pm

I'm starting to come to terms with just how powerful the session view is for sketching out song structures. Using scenes I'm able to put together a rough idea of how the song could play out.

I wish there was some sort of playlist in arrange view. What I mean is, record the launching of clips in session view into arrange view, select a new playlist and record another version. After you have recorded a few different versions of clip launches, you could go back and flip thru the different playlist to see which version you like the most.

mbenigni
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Post by mbenigni » Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:25 pm

ikke wrote:
mbenigni wrote: the guitar has a MIDI output to trigger synths.
How do you set this up? can you do this in Live?
Not sure I understand the question... it's a matter of having the right hardware - in this case I'm using a Parker MIDIFly, which has a MIDI output on it in addition to the typical 1/4" instrument-level audio out.

If you wanted to add this capability you'd need to add a hex-pickup and MIDI converter, for example, the Roland GK-3 and GI-20. (There are alternatives, but these are the most commonly used current models.) From there, you plug the MIDI converter into the PC as you would any hardware synth. (The GI-20 will plug in directly via USB, the older GI-10 just had a MIDI out and would therefore require a MIDI-USB interface.)

I think there are some plugins out there that will convert plain-old monophonic audio to MIDI, without any additional hardware, but they don't work as well, and of course monophonic guitar gets old pretty fast.

Anubis
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Post by Anubis » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:22 pm

compositeone wrote:I generally start in the session view and build up a few sounds, instruments and drums into a few loops. As I'm making them I tend to then get an idea of first arrangement and then record that live into the arrange view. I like to do it this way because of the happy accidents you get from "messing it up".

Once I have a something recorded to the arrange view I pretty much then work solely in that space. Normally tweaking the arrangement and developing the lead/bass lines etc.
I use roughly the same method. But I rely on follow actions alot to build a more complete arrangement. I'll rehearse for a while then do a couple takes until I'm happy with what I get. Then I do the final polishing solos, etc. in Arrange view.
I've said this before here- Session view is the single most innovative feature that I have ever seen in any DAW ...when it comes to inspiration.
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ckluxen
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Post by ckluxen » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:32 pm

Hi,

I like the way Adonis described, so you get all the drums to audio loops, but I?m a bit afraid, cause you can`t change individual drum settings like comp., pan etc. later. Well, but it`s the only way I think, I read it`s not the best to get a compressor over the Hihats, so it should all be set right before recording.
I have to say, I`m not to much into compression at the moment, and I leave it almost out, first I have to understand it right, that`s my thought.
Well, it sounds already good at the moment, but I think what`s happening in some years, if I get further with my knowledge.
I did record MiDi in the arrangement, but no I get really everything to audio via send recording, it`s really brilliant, but what happens if I rerecord over 2 times. I think there must be some qualty lost, because there`s always the warp recorded. I didn`t test it, but I would guess so.
For examples I`m recording my drums 2 times, first the individual drums, then the whole loop of it. Perhaps not too dangerous for drums, but within some harmonic content perhaps,
well, thanx for your ideas....

pixelbox
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Post by pixelbox » Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:06 pm

ckluxen wrote:Hi,

I like the way Adonis described, so you get all the drums to audio loops, but I?m a bit afraid, cause you can`t change individual drum settings like comp., pan etc. later.
Well, you may not be able to do it "later" but from the various input we've received from the posters here, you can do this...

1) Have an individual track for each drum. Put whatever effects you want on that particular track
2) route those drum tracks to one or two (or more) audio tracks. Use effects again if you wish. Routing to these tracks, you can adjust the overall level, while the individual tracks can be used to mix the kit. Render the drums...maybe even as a loop.
3) Start a new project, add the drums into it. As you progress and decide you need to tweak the drums, open up the drums project, tweak, and re-render. Then re-import.

Working in this way, you can still have an editable drum track, while not having them get in the way of your other parts.
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pat the dog
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Post by pat the dog » Mon Nov 19, 2007 5:38 pm

compositeone wrote:Once I have a something recorded to the arrange view I pretty much then work solely in that space. Normally tweaking the arrangement and developing the lead/bass lines etc.
same here, i actually find it very difficult to return to the session view once i've got something into arrangement. i've tried going back to session to jam out new ideas halfway into a track, but find the "back to arrangement" (pun intended) implementation too clumsy.

i think if the there was a "back to arrangement" button per track or if the clips in arrangement were "instances" of the session view clips (as in alias clips), then i'd find myself using both views a lot more.

Moody
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Post by Moody » Mon Nov 19, 2007 6:45 pm

I use session view like it was one big sequencer.
Ableton’s engineers are hard
at work developing code that will allow our software to predict the future, but we don’t
anticipate having this available until at least the next major release.

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