how to get away from the ableton sound.

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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how to get away from the ableton sound.

Post by NipplesAndBass » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:08 pm

i don't know how many of you notice this, but i really am able to tell a track that's made in ableton recently. the only way i can sort of describe it in my head is that it's to do with the mid range and it sort of sounds plasticy, in ya face, un-analog but not in a digital sense - more of a plastic feel, un-human. when ppl use the auto filter i really can notice it more than ever.

i've tried using tape disto on the master and it helps but, why is this so noticable?

does anyone else see this?

would be nice to hear your thoughts... 8)

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Post by R.J.Dubya » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:19 pm

One reason could be operator. I don't know how much you use it, but operator stands out like a sore thumb in anything I do, and I usually recognize it other people's tracks, unless it's some really simple sine type sound.

Another thing is many of the effects have a very distinctive sound, such as saturator. People love that thing, and I think it ruins 80% of the sounds it touches, but then sometimes its the right thing.

Also, the ableton sound library and presets have that same distinctive sound.

So if you don't want to sound like 'ableton', i'd say first off don't use operator or saturator much, and don't use the library presets. And third party effects help too.
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Post by kb420 » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:26 pm

I have often heard that same statement about keyboard workstations. They say that the Motif has a certain "color" to it. The Fantom X and the Triton also have different sound "color" to them. There probably is something to that, but with a vst host, that really shouldn't be a problem. I think that you could use some new plug ins. Try some new vst instruments and effects. I just picked up Ozone 3 and Vintage Warmer. Throw those on the master bus and try the presets. They'll give you a different sound for sure.
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Post by Johnisfaster » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:37 pm

several reasons this might be true.

a) beatrepeat is almost a dead give away, but not always as there are other ways to achieve this effect but often times you can hear that it's beatrepeat

b) pingpong delay, and filterdelay have very distinct sounds that you can easily pick out of a crowd

c) BAD PRODUCERS SOUND LIKE THE TOOLS THEY USE. sounds obvious of course but if you're good at what you do then you are making music not a demonstration of the tools you use. most people just make tunes that demonstrate their tools.

d) timestretching, not always a give away that they are using ableton as other programs can time stretch of course but live does have a distinct stretching sound.
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Post by leisuremuffin » Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:42 pm

have you tried using an angry badger on your genitals?


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Post by radib » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:25 pm

use another program. why shouldn´t live have its own character? every workstation does, every instrument and every effect.

"after all it wouldn´t have been possible without the impossible."

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Post by b0unce » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:28 pm

leisuremuffin wrote:have you tried using an angry badger on your genitals?


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Post by Contra » Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:32 pm

yo that shit betta hurt, if not i want my money back.

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Post by PDX » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:43 am

if the person using ableton knows what they are doing, youll never be able to tell.
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Post by pulsoc » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:33 am

My guess is the stretching. Can you give us some examples we can listen to online?

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Post by ethios4 » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:21 am

It took me a while to notice the effect auto-warp was having. I would record my MIDI parts to audio, and Live automatically turns on warp, and sets to Complex (because I have it set this way). I didn't realize for awhile that the sound quality suffers, even if the tempo has not been changed. Therefore, an entire track produced in Live would have lots of time-stretching artifacts unless the producer has Live set to not turn warp on by default, or the default warp method is Re-Pitch. To my ears, this leads to a very "plastic" kind of sound.

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Post by eskribble » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:29 am

to OP. I know exactly what you mean but I haven't a clue how to put in words...

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Post by leedsquietman » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:01 am

Stay away from the Live Presets. Especially electronic drums and the rhodes sounds !

Every time stretching capable program produces artifacts of some kind (Protools, cubase, acid etc, etc as well as Live).

Too much use of beat repeat/ *a little is fine and often desirable though !

Seriously, it's mostly the presets of Live or Operator which cause the familiarity. Ditto FL, ACID and Reason.

Live's audio engine has improved a lot, I used to always rewire or render individual tracks and import them into Cubase for mixing but I mix about 85-90% of the time in Live now for the convenience and am satisfied with the end product.

Agree with the poster who said introduce some other vsts except everybody and his dog here are using Zebra 2, so some of those sounds are becoming samey too...find some other vsts that nobody likes using which sound good, such as Arturia products (everyone hates the dongle and the interface, but the sounds are kick ass!)

Ultimately, it's all in the hands of the musician(s) and producer. Make good choices and vary your sounds and production techniques for best results.

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Post by Jeroen » Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:22 am

Can we put up a test say 5 songs, of which 2 made in Live, and 3 in other tools. (Not too many beatrepeats) and then we can discuss better.
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