Groove Armada's Andy Cato on Ableton and Logic

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
beats me
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Post by beats me » Tue May 13, 2008 11:17 pm

three wrote:
beats me wrote:I don't want to start or bump a "which sounds better?" thread but I have noticed when I dump my Live stems into Logic the tracks are a lot brighter and have more highs. That may not be a better thing but it is different.
interesting. i assume you mean audio? i tend to run a lot hotter in terms of midi velocity in live than logic for whatever reasons. probably just get caught up in the music, and the gain starts to creep.

cheers,

chris
I was working on a track in Live until it got so distorted and glitchie with issues (re: adding too many tracks because it's just that easy) that I just got forced into saying the arrangement was done and I rendered the stems to audio. When I put them in Logic and hit play without doing anything or changing levels the sound was a lot brighter in Logic and I could tell I would have to bring down a lot of the high frequencies.

Maybe the reason Live's effects are so light on cpu usage is because they aren't as flexible and powerful as other effects plugins. I think if I started with Logic I probably wouldn't have bought so many damn third party plugs. The other side to that though is if I started in Logic I would probably be just finishing the arrangement on the first song I started 6 months ago.

three
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Post by three » Wed May 14, 2008 12:12 am

Serra wrote:Three, do you mean Drum Rack into battery as in Live's Drum Rack? What exactly are you doing here? tks
yeah, drag the samples out and dump them into battery. if there's one plugin in the world that simply has no competition, it's battery.

ableton's drum racks are the first thing that comes close, but their interface is microscopic. i feel like i should be using tweezers.

anyway, at the end of the day, a drum kit consists of:

- a pile of samples, between about 6 and 900 depending if you were using some exotic multi-sampled kit
- an envelope for each of those samples
- way more processing than the kit ever needed, because you were (or i was) tweaking it everytime the synth line or the bass line changed or whatever.

i mean ,who goes back every time they cut a synth line to check whether the drum envelope was changed to accomodate that part? exactly. but we tweak the drums all the time to fit with the rest. so, now we make the snare a bit snappier, oops, now it;s too snappy, dull it down again ... or just undo both and it probably sounds better.

so yeah, it's become sort of a ritual to move the kit from drum rack to battery. (i like drum racks cause they're fast, and you can organize them on the fly. i tend to drop big handfulls of possible hat or snare sound into my drum rack, while i'm working on a track i'll test out alternative sounds a lot, try and get the sound design to fit) so the transition to battery purges all the ballast from the drum kit and, most importantly:

it's a chance to retune the drums. by tune, i mean adjust the envelope. a/d/s/r is 99.9% of a good kit sound, and the other .1% is remembering not to over-compress it. (Protip: I have a yellow sticky note on my door that says "turn the damn compressor off" - in the early stages when a track is just coming together there's no reason to spend a lot of time tweaking level on drum sounds that might get kicked out 10 minutes later, but for a final track try to use the envelope to get your kit sounding how you want it. and THEN, you're using the compressor as a tool for sound design in places where a compressed sound is a good sound and not as a crutch to fix that overly agressive bass line or the odd too-punchy-and-yet-strangely-not-punchy-enough kick drum.

oh well, this is getting really long, so that was my extended theory on working effectively with drum sounds.

(btw: a lot of people tell me that's retarded, that they prefer to just get it right the first time, but at least for me a track changes so much in the course of production, that the original cut ends up as the "alternate take" or "remix material" or whatever only. ok, now i'm really done.)
Last edited by three on Wed May 14, 2008 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Serra
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Post by Serra » Wed May 14, 2008 1:09 am

Three, thanks for the great feedback...

I never used the Live samples in Battery, there are so many possibilities shaping battery's own library that I never really imported sounds to it. I will definitely try it out since I am used to its envelopes etc...

Also like drum racks a lot, specially because they save a lot of space in session view and make it a tidier process than using battery...which I don't think is possible to split into drum rack channels (unless you have many battery's running) I think...

tks
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three
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Post by three » Wed May 14, 2008 1:40 am

Serra wrote:Three, thanks for the great feedback...

I never used the Live samples in Battery, there are so many possibilities shaping battery's own library that I never really imported sounds to it. I will definitely try it out since I am used to its envelopes etc...

Also like drum racks a lot, specially because they save a lot of space in session view and make it a tidier process than using battery...which I don't think is possible to split into drum rack channels (unless you have many battery's running) I think...

tks
if you split your drum track up it'll be a ton of tracks in session view anyway - but they're all midi so they don't cost much performance.

as far as the sound libraries, go, i tend to mix and match. while i'm working on sound design i'll often have 30-40 different drum samples in the drum rack. (i usually only synthesize the kick, and occaisionally the hats) [edit: you can use a midi scale plugin to iterate through the drums. every time something sounds bad you kick the sample out of the rack.]

i'm just dissecting a set i was working on to show you what i mean, i'll post a screenshot shortly.

ohmpow
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Post by ohmpow » Wed May 14, 2008 2:01 am

what I do is this:

play without a metronome
finish and press stop
tap the tap tempo at the same speed I was just playing
go into the pattern I just played and select the bit where I actually got it right
use "stretch midi" to get my 8 bars to fill 8 bars
done!

Much thanks angstrom will try this..

three - More secondhand sats please!

ohmpow
AMD AthlonXP 2400 2.0GHz, Windows XP, 120 gig HD, 1 gig ram,padKontrol,
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Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Wed May 14, 2008 2:12 am

ohmpow wrote:use "stretch midi" to get my 8 bars to fill 8 bars
done!
:!: YES!!

thank you!!! I didn't even know about that feature! that looks like the ticket, many thanks, that's the first thing I've learned from this forum in a while.

8)


of course it's not in the index of the manual, page 144 of the Live 7 manual.
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Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Wed May 14, 2008 2:14 am

ohmpow wrote:what I do is this:

play without a metronome
finish and press stop
tap the tap tempo at the same speed I was just playing
go into the pattern I just played and select the bit where I actually got it right
use "stretch midi" to get my 8 bars to fill 8 bars
done!

Much thanks angstrom will try this..

three - More secondhand sats please!

ohmpow
heh, I read that and thought -
hey wait a minute that's exactly what I do !!

then I realised you messed up the quote tags off mypost :lol:

Tone Deft
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Post by Tone Deft » Wed May 14, 2008 2:16 am

Doh!!!

major mad mofo props Angstrom, glad you're on this forum!!
In my life
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At people who I'd much rather kick in the eye?
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Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Wed May 14, 2008 3:00 am

Yikes, Ultrabeat is wicked IMO. I'd kill to be able to run that in Live directly :)

Machinesworking
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Post by Machinesworking » Wed May 14, 2008 3:15 am

beats me wrote:I don't want to start or bump a "which sounds better?" thread but I have noticed when I dump my Live stems into Logic the tracks are a lot brighter and have more highs. That may not be a better thing but it is different.
from other posts on this, it seems the panning laws are different between Live and Logic, plus Logic is a little louder in general, so on the same system with the same settings, it will seem 'clearer'. A/B them same song, not rewired on your mac, you'll see.

Maybe the reason Live's effects are so light on cpu usage is because they aren't as flexible and powerful as other effects plugins.
nah, Logic's plug in collection ius just better than most DAWs out there that's all. Cubase and DP for instance don't have anything close. Live's free native collection is getting better though.

I think if I started with Logic I probably wouldn't have bought so many damn third party plugs. The other side to that though is if I started in Logic I would probably be just finishing the arrangement on the first song I started 6 months ago.
Personal taste. My feelings are that the last part of arranging a song is miles easier in Logic than Live. The initial creation of a loop is dead easy in Live though for sure.
Last edited by Machinesworking on Wed May 14, 2008 3:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

Casual Beats
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Post by Casual Beats » Wed May 14, 2008 3:16 am

Angstrom wrote:
what I do is this:
  • play without a metronome
  • finish and press stop
  • tap the tap tempo at the same speed I was just playing
  • go into the pattern I just played and select the bit where I actually got it right
  • use "stretch midi" to get my 8 bars to fill 8 bars
  • done!
that works really well, no metronome and lots of fluidity :)
I wasn't quite sure how to get away from programming my beats with the metronome. this is a great tip. thanks!

ohmpow
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Post by ohmpow » Wed May 14, 2008 4:32 am

my bad angstrum :oops:

i'm an interweb noob apparently! :?

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Olga
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Post by Olga » Wed May 14, 2008 5:34 am

Serra wrote:Sorry I don't have a link to the article, I just have the magazine which is Future Music Issue 201 2008 UK Edition, it says:

"Then it's a case of trying to find little moods and after that it's a battle as you're not dealing with sequenced music most of the time, you're dealing with live musicians so what we tend to do is edit loops up in Logic.

We didn't really use Ableton for it because it's great, but it's not quite sophisticated enough to pick up those kinds of beats. Sometime you just can't do it if there's maybe some little harmonics thing or one little string that rides up at the top so there's not really any set way of doing it so sometimes you do it in a mix - some times you just cut it up a bit". (Future Music Issue 201 UK Edition)

This last bit is a bit confusing I know but this is how it is written, maybe it has also been edited in Logic :-) joking... as I said, I very much both tools, but for editing loops I find Ableton very effective.

Is this a joke? "not quite sophisticated enough to pick up those kinds of beats" lmao.

It has to be a joke. Your standard twisted sister cover band would bury groove armada in the beat department. And what mics were used? Pre amps? Sound card, interface? Monitors? Studio? Get real. Probably had the warp setting set to tones on the recorded drum loops, get serious. What a laugh.

kenporter
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Post by kenporter » Wed May 14, 2008 6:33 am

three wrote: yeah, drag the samples out and dump them into battery. if there's one plugin in the world that simply has no competition, it's battery.
Hmm, it's the opposite with me. I used to be a huge Battery fan until Drum Racks came out. Imho there is no competition when it comes to integration to create beats, sounds, etc. Plus, Battery 3 has not been the most stable plug-in for me either. Drum Rack kicks ass, especially when you own a padKontrol!

Ken

nowtime
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Post by nowtime » Wed May 14, 2008 6:57 am

Angstrom wrote:
Tone Deft wrote: I want to:
walk up to the keyboard
hit record
bang out a beat
go back and set the start and end points and have the other beat markers line up.

I hate playing to a metronome when making beats.
what I do is this:
  • play without a metronome
  • finish and press stop
  • tap the tap tempo at the same speed I was just playing
  • go into the pattern I just played and select the bit where I actually got it right
  • use "stretch midi" to get my 8 bars to fill 8 bars
  • done!
that works really well, no metronome and lots of fluidity :)
8O Can't wait to try this.

@Three

man you are on it. wish you were in the Bay Area. I'm having a love/hate relationship with Drumracks at the moment. I love the individual effects chains for each cell or subrack for live dubbing. But the microscopic nature of the interface freaks with my workflow too.
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