HELP: Using live in bands

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
jonpaul
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:37 pm
Location: Weymouth, UK

HELP: Using live in bands

Post by jonpaul » Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:33 pm

Hi folks,

I am starting up a band similar to Groove Armada in that it will mix real instruments with electronica. However, I have been wondering how the hell you would sync everything together i.e. making sure that launched clips will be in time to a live drummer playing breaks.

The only thing I can think of is getting the drummer to wear headphones with the metronome from Live playing. Any ideas? What do you lot do?
Thoughts most welcome.

Cheers

JP
Pentium M Laptop 1.8 GHz, 1024Mb RAM, Ableton Live 5, Cubase SX, Edirol UA101 Audio Interface.

Machinate
Posts: 11646
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Post by Machinate » Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:35 pm

a click track is definitely the way to go. You'll be in all kinds of trouble without it.

Now, some drummers prefer very specific clicks, so you might want a separate impulse sequence going to the drummer.

Some like headphones, some like in-ear monitoring, and some even have a wedge monitor with the click in it for larger venues.
mbp 2.66, osx 10.6.8, 8GB ram.

hambone1
Posts: 5346
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:31 pm
Location: Abu Dhabi

Post by hambone1 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:45 pm

Or let the drummer set the tempo. That's what drummers do (the good ones, that is... the others probably need a deafening click!)

http://www.circular-logic.com/

Coupe70
Posts: 1097
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 7:25 am
Location: Mainz / Germany
Contact:

Post by Coupe70 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:10 pm

We do it like this:

Our drummer wears headphones and has a small submixer
for them. He gets a click from me (he prefers a cowbell sound)
and my sum on a seperate track. Besides that he gets his own
monitor mix (for the headphones) from the FOH. So he has a
mix where he can boost my loops when needed and a click that
he can change in volume whenever he wants.

See us here:
http://www.shambelle.de/releases/releases.html#videos
Phongemeinschaft (Live-ElectroJazz / NuJazz)
Homepage - youtube - Like! :-)
Live 9 (32Bit), HP DV7, i5 2,53GHz, 8 GB RAM, Win7 (64Bit)

Machinate
Posts: 11646
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:15 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Post by Machinate » Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:25 pm

hambone1 wrote:Or let the drummer set the tempo. That's what drummers do (the good ones, that is... the others probably need a deafening click!)

http://www.circular-logic.com/
Ahem. I work with one of the best drummers in Denmark - trust me, for many styles of music that doesn't work - the better the drummer gets, the more demanding they become about proper tempo, and wobbly tempo sucks, esp. when working with loops. I know Mikkel that I work with prefers metronomic precision. A good drummer sets the groove, not neccesarily the tempo ;)
mbp 2.66, osx 10.6.8, 8GB ram.

D K
Posts: 1544
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:21 am

Post by D K » Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:25 pm

i never feed a drummer a click, i'll use a rythmic loop instead(even if it's for their ears only). it really helps with the feel of the groove, and gives them something musical to feed off of as opposed to a cold, hard click.
.02

chris_dan
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:19 am
Location: ontario_ca

Post by chris_dan » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:07 pm

The moment a sequence is introduced in a live music scenario the drummer must have a click of some type as mentioned below. The drummer is like a conductor in that they control the tempo, the dynamics, the grove....whatever you want to call it but the moment a sequence is triggered it becomes the tempo. Unless you want to pull off the Assley Simpson feel your drummer should love the click...watch any live music performance and if you see the drummer with phones on or a monitor beside them you know that they are listening to a click of some type.



Machinate wrote:
hambone1 wrote:Or let the drummer set the tempo. That's what drummers do (the good ones, that is... the others probably need a deafening click!)

http://www.circular-logic.com/
Ahem. I work with one of the best drummers in Denmark - trust me, for many styles of music that doesn't work - the better the drummer gets, the more demanding they become about proper tempo, and wobbly tempo sucks, esp. when working with loops. I know Mikkel that I work with prefers metronomic precision. A good drummer sets the groove, not neccesarily the tempo ;)
Chris

jonpaul
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:37 pm
Location: Weymouth, UK

Post by jonpaul » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:35 pm

Excellent advice guys. cheers. But don't stop there though if you have more ;-)
Pentium M Laptop 1.8 GHz, 1024Mb RAM, Ableton Live 5, Cubase SX, Edirol UA101 Audio Interface.

vdrum
Posts: 239
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 1:13 pm
Location: Stamford, CT

Post by vdrum » Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:45 pm

Our music project wouldnt exsist if not for 2 things: 1) Ableton Live. 2) The click track that I listen to (Im the drummer).

Its been 5 years working this way. I have a small submixr (Rolls Minimix) and have a FOH feed on one channel and my click on another. The first year was pretty rough...I Didnt have a perfect, metronomic time sense, but it slowly got better and better. The problem with using a rythmic clip to state the tempo, is simple, what if you dont want a rythmic clip playing?...Or you want the guitarist or bassist to start the song. For that matter, everyone should have a click available if needed (we all use Shure IEM) after 5 years of daily drumming with a click, its almost completely transparent...I route it only to one side and keep it turned way down to simply guide my drumming. If a drummer is bitching and moaning about the %$@&*!! click-track, its probably because he's not very proficient at playing that locked in. Advanced studio drummers find playing with a click easier. I have tried that InTempo software, and if you play very polyrythmically or have odd fills and grooves , it can get tricked very easily...and THEN things really get out of control. One very last and very important point: The style of music you are playing could become greatly hindered using a click track. There is a natural ebb and flow of tempo that in some genres needs to occur...blues for instance. We playing electronic/jazz and the tightness of using a click track and midi tracks actually improves our sound.

I hope this helps.
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.

swishniak
Posts: 1132
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:25 am
Location: Berlin

Post by swishniak » Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:24 pm

ive heard many arguments for the mighty click... most of which disregard the fact the most great grooves in the history of (pop) music were recorded without click (pre-1980 something).

i agree it can be helpful thing for a drummer, especially if theres a lazy bass player or pushy singer involved. but in a perfect world (with out that bass player, singer or any backing tracks), i think it will always be better to have a functional, flexible, breathing band.

one of the cool things about ableton seems to be that one can change tempos easily and with subtlety, thus elimating the need for the perfect quantization..

or maybe this is a part of a larger argument = human looseness vs. digital precision.

anyone?..

Coupe70
Posts: 1097
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 7:25 am
Location: Mainz / Germany
Contact:

Post by Coupe70 » Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:55 pm

swishniak, i see your point,
but:
when playing in a band with loops and live musicians you will need a click. or at least the loop-player has to be tempo-boss. it is nearly impossible to keep a single track (like a vinyl) in sync with a "breathing band" - and you don´t only want to keep in sync with the band, you also want to play and work with your loops. that does not work. for me...

you can try it for yourself:
take a (unwarped) song by kool & the gang.
a groovy band, but heavily breathing ! :wink:
try to keep ableton live in sync with them.
i can´t. they are drifting forwards and backwards
and you get complete chaos after only a few bars...
so i warp them !

i tried to warp my band on stage, but they don´t like to have
warp markers all over their instruments - so i give them a click...
:lol:
Phongemeinschaft (Live-ElectroJazz / NuJazz)
Homepage - youtube - Like! :-)
Live 9 (32Bit), HP DV7, i5 2,53GHz, 8 GB RAM, Win7 (64Bit)

jonpaul
Posts: 89
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:37 pm
Location: Weymouth, UK

Post by jonpaul » Fri Mar 02, 2007 1:57 pm

Very helpful advice from you two there. I think that the issue of bass players starting first is an interesting one. Did not anticipate that.

As for style, its a breakbeat/funk/jazz/electronica affair. We would need a click track so that loops and effects are synced. I do not think you could manually change the tempo to achieve this effectively.

I remember some sort of midi clock from years ago made by Red. Just wondering whether you could mic a kick drum, put that into a midi clock device and then sync that with Live. Not sure if thats possible in a live situ.
Pentium M Laptop 1.8 GHz, 1024Mb RAM, Ableton Live 5, Cubase SX, Edirol UA101 Audio Interface.

robbmasters
Posts: 1107
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 7:37 pm
Location: London, UK.

Post by robbmasters » Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:35 pm

Just a thought... how about you record your drummer live, warp it, and then use it as a master tempo track from which the click is generated? Then any timing variations he would naturally introduce into his playing are preserved.

Only probelm is that the master tempo tracks only works in arrange, so you might need two instances of Live - unless there's some way to (manually) prepare a session clip that controls the tempo the same way...?
OS X, Live 9, Microbook II

fischer
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 9:41 am
Location: finland

Post by fischer » Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:48 pm


Patch
Posts: 2614
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 8:14 pm
Location: Bristol, UK

Post by Patch » Fri Mar 02, 2007 2:48 pm

There is a technique used by DJ's here (I've tried to find it - it's definitely in the Tips n' Tricks section) where Ableton gets synch'd to a turntable. The turntable is fed into Live, and a VST is put on the track that converts the kicks/snares into midi messages, which are then used to control the TAP tempo.

There is no reason that this technique can't be used with live drums as the feed for the mid VST. In fact - it would probably work better...

Post Reply