Can you get a DECENT mix using just Ableton live?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
90's child
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Can you get a DECENT mix using just Ableton live?

Post by 90's child » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:45 am

Guys

There is no doubt in my mind that LIVE is the best DAW for me in terms of inspiration and working with audio. I work almost exclusively recording my real instruments into LIVE. The only VST's I use are for piano and rhodes because I can't afford a real piano or rhodes and I haven't really got the space. Also all my drums are made from sample CD loops that claim to be recorded using the best hardware, blah, blah.

So in short 80% of MY musical parts have been in the analogue domain at least once before going into LIVE via MY semi pro equipment like mixing desks, amps, guitar pedals, etc.

My question is can I get a decent mix inside Ableton LIVE? I'm struggling to get a decent mix going inside LIVE. Is there anyone on this board that mixes in LIVE and find that their tracks stand up to pro release after getting it properly mastered?

Ps - I'm no industry pro but can mix a record

sweetjesus
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Post by sweetjesus » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:58 am

do you want a short or long answer?

short answer, YESm long answer YES.

peeddrroo
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Post by peeddrroo » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:08 pm

YESm is longer than YES

90's child
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Post by 90's child » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:22 pm

"This brings us to the more
fundamental issue of audio quality.
Although Live has become the
dominant application for live computer
music of all genres, some otherwise
enthusiastic Live users still have
reservations about its overall audio
fidelity for recording, mixing and
production tasks. While more and more
producers are using Live in the studio
for quickly trying out ideas and
sketching arrangements, many still
prefer to render their tracks using
another sequencer such as Pro Tools
or Logic because of their superior
editing capabilities and perceived
superiority in audio clarity. Although the
relative audio quality of the various
sequencers is a controversial subject,
in our experience mixes made in Live
can suffer a bit in overall crispness and
clarity; this difference can be heard if
the individual audio tracks are exported
one at a time and then imported into
another sequencer for mixing. As
Ableton increasingly strives to make
Live compete as a desktop DAW, this
issue is one that the company will
certainly have to address. (We
approached Ableton on this point, and
while the company stated that it knows
of no serious issues affecting Live’s
audio quality, it would do more
research into the matter.)"


why does this reviewer for music tech magazine say this then?

full article :- http://www.musictechmag.co.uk/mtm/reviews/live-6

alien factory
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Post by alien factory » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:40 pm

Hi, 90's child.

First of all, the main aspect in making music is the idea or the song, not the mix... There were big hits in music history with a horrible mixing, even some of them had this special vibe because their mix was not perfect.

I am into professional producing music for 14 years now and just bought LIVE (coming from Logic and ProTools) because of the musical concept and the inspiring possibilities within LIVE.

In LIVE you got everything you need to complete a mix, but more important than the tool you use is your experience in mixing. The software and its features does not automatically mean you'll get a good mix, it's all up to you and your willingness to learn how to deal with sounds and tracks, with eq's, filters and compressors.

The only reference in the end is the reaction and emotion of the people that listen to your tracks, as long as you're not into pop production by order of someone, where you have to fullfill certain standards (though I doubt if this thinking supports progress), you are only bound to your own expectations, the rest is about listening (on different speakers) and learning by and by.

Another aspect in your case is that you are recording real instruments. The quality of your mix depends on the quality of your signals you record into LIVE. Don't expect to get a professional sound of real instruments with poor equipped outboard gear. The better the signal before you record it the better the mix wil be... So this does not depend on the DAW you use, but more on the outboard equippment you use for recording.

Thats why professional studios spent so much money on outboard analog signal processors and why recording is indeed a science...

If you're bound to the equipment you have as I suggest, you'll have to do some editing and signal processing after you recorded you're tracks and depending on your experience you got all basic tools for this issue in LIVE. In some cases you'll have to combine different audio effects to build the desired rack, but there are lots of good sounding racks available around here.

"Basic" means that there are of course other Plug-Ins in the market with possibilities LIVE has not implemented, but this also means spending money on some quality Plug-Ins like WAVES, SONY OXFORD, EVENTIDE, etc...

If you got any question on my post (that has become longer than it was supposed to be...sorry...) feel free to contact me.

CU

Stefan

replying to your last post that came after I wrote the section above:

Of course ProTools is the main standard for professional mixing and has more possibilities and a prooved audio engine with excellent sound, but is this really important as long as you don't own a professional studio and you're are making your own music as a personal need that comes from your heart???

You can do a decent mix in LIVE and it will sound as good as you can handle LIVE and its tools!
Macbook Pro 2.5 Ghz, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, LIVE 8.1, Novation SL37, APC40, M-Audio Firewire410, ProTools 8 LE, Reason 4, Waves Native Power Pack, Music Production Toolkit 2, Stylus RMX, NI Komplete&Kore

http://www.myspace.com/stefanhollaender

Lo-Fi Massahkah
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Post by Lo-Fi Massahkah » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:48 pm

90's child wrote:"This brings us to the more
fundamental issue of audio quality.
Although Live has become the
dominant application for live computer
music of all genres, some otherwise
enthusiastic Live users still have
reservations about its overall audio
fidelity for recording, mixing and
production tasks. While more and more
producers are using Live in the studio
for quickly trying out ideas and
sketching arrangements, many still
prefer to render their tracks using
another sequencer such as Pro Tools
or Logic because of their superior
editing capabilities and perceived
superiority in audio clarity. Although the
relative audio quality of the various
sequencers is a controversial subject,
in our experience mixes made in Live
can suffer a bit in overall crispness and
clarity; this difference can be heard if
the individual audio tracks are exported
one at a time and then imported into
another sequencer for mixing. As
Ableton increasingly strives to make
Live compete as a desktop DAW, this
issue is one that the company will
certainly have to address. (We
approached Ableton on this point, and
while the company stated that it knows
of no serious issues affecting Live’s
audio quality, it would do more
research into the matter.)"


why does this reviewer for music tech magazine say this then?

full article :- http://www.musictechmag.co.uk/mtm/reviews/live-6
Warp on/Warp off

Might be that reviewer doesn't know how to work Live's functions. Maybe.

-M

blaugruen7
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Post by blaugruen7 » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:55 pm

not directly related.
but very often different panning laws makes a difference.

in cubase you can choose between panning laws.

i just would like to know on what parameters are the panning laws fixed in live?

90's child
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Post by 90's child » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:19 pm

Great post Stephan!! Really good points you have raised here.

Yes I do have a semi pro front end with analogue inputs and an SPDIF output that goes straight into the soundcard. OK it's not a apogee but it decent enough I reckon.

I understand the importance of actual content rather than production values and I sometimes liken this to the film industry. I mean something like a Stallone movie can have the best Hollywood production values but still have no soul compared to a small independent film that was made on $500, 000. I understand this and you are absolutely right.

I know that the Bonobo (Ninja Tunes) album was mixed entirely in the computer (in logic) and it sold 10, 000 copies. But that was Logic which I know is only second to Pro Tools in terms of Audio Engine quality.

I think my problem is ripping Dzihan and Kamien tunes into my DAW and trying to use them as an A/B comparison to mix against. I understand that its impossible to mix against an already mastered track which is why I turn down the gain of the guide track down to between -6 db and -4.5 bd (because that's how much a mastering limiter adds in volume I reckon) and I know they have a studio stuffed with vintage instruments and great outboard so maybe that's the reason I always feel slightly deflated when comparing my tracks to theirs.

However, as you say there are plenty of old soul tunes (like Al Green records) where you can hardly hear the vocal but they are still amazing tracks and timeless compared to a lot of today's crap synth based music that has a shelf life of 6 months.

I think I need to listen to your advise and worry more about the actual musical content of my tunes rather than if it stands up in terms of production to world class productions like Royksopp.

I have been looking at investing in some higher quality software tools like UAD and Waves but they are so bloody expensive!!! I mean £600 for the L2 is ridiculas. A lot of magazine reviews claim that companies such as Wave Arts and Voxengo produce plugs that are equally as good but to my ears they are definitely not.

Can you recommend a decent software company that produce decent compressors, eq's etc that don't break the bank?


Cheers again for sorting my head out about all this! lol :lol:

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:53 pm

blaugruen7 wrote:not directly related.
but very often different panning laws makes a difference.

in cubase you can choose between panning laws.

i just would like to know on what parameters are the panning laws fixed in live?
http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic. ... 900#333900

Robert Henke on Live panning laws

Neo-Dyn
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Post by Neo-Dyn » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:54 pm

http://www.sonalksis.com

30day trial on all there plug's.. well worth checking out.

leedsquietman
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Post by leedsquietman » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:03 pm

I used to believe that hype too and always thought Cubase SX3 gave me a better render than Live but I had been using Cubase for 4 years so I was experienced with it and it's quirks. As I've become more familiar with Live, I tend to do most of my mixing in Live. It's sound/render is fine. Then I finalize mixes for CDs in SOundforge using various vsts just because I still find that the easiest and best way for my workflow.
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

alien factory
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Post by alien factory » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:04 pm

I like the plug-Ins from Roger Nichols

http://www.rogernicholsdigital.com/

especially the dynamizer, which can be ownloaded for testing...

he also offers a good and basic anlayze plug-in for free... good tool...
Macbook Pro 2.5 Ghz, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, LIVE 8.1, Novation SL37, APC40, M-Audio Firewire410, ProTools 8 LE, Reason 4, Waves Native Power Pack, Music Production Toolkit 2, Stylus RMX, NI Komplete&Kore

http://www.myspace.com/stefanhollaender

Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:11 pm

Oh no, not the musictech article again!!!!

Run away, run away.....

SubFunk
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Post by SubFunk » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:32 pm

Tarekith wrote:Oh no, not the musictech article again!!!!

Run away, run away.....
reviews ? how much advertising space did you bought this month ? LOL that's just part of the truth.

and the answer is YES, skills before gear.
*** Image GAFM ***

YILA
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Post by YILA » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:33 pm

i do all mine in live now, with powercores.
Scan i5 in the studio. Dual core Pc laptop, 13inch macbookpro,RME fireface 800,live 8.1,operator. drum machines Myspace Soundcloud Youtube Twitter

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