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
three
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Post by three » Wed May 14, 2008 7:38 am

nowtime wrote:
@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.
Well, there are a couple of annoying parts, the fact that drum racks won't expand is the worst.Only being able to see 16 voices at a time sucks. I like to give each type of instrument an octave, so kicks start at c-2, snares/rims at c-2, hats at c and misc percussion at c1. I just always know that my main kick is c-2, secondary c#-2, etc. ...Makes life easy.

I often feel with drum racks like I'm looking in through the little window in the front of an old school slot machine - it's like trying to see what's coming. Unfortnately it's not any easier to get at the individual chains. I usually to everything by selecting the chains and scroll with the mousewheel up and down.

It will be interesting to see what happens - maybe Ableton will one day make it possible to undock parts of the window from each other. Take the effects bar wholesale and just move it over. Or (my personal dream) is to get session view an arrangement view next to each other. I have grids of 4 bar loops in session view a lot of the time, and trying to make sure that all of them are in the arrangement after merciless editing is always a huge pain.

(And, not to gloss over the other side of things, I've had an issue in Battery several times where I will somehow select the entire drum kit, but not notice it because it was still all uniform looking, just brighter. Nothing more annoying that fiddling with an envelope and realizing you just changed every envelope on every slot in the sampler! Not sure if it was me hyperactively clicking or a bug or what. It's happened to or three times now.)

Incidentally, I actually worked for a bay area startup until about a year ago, beautiful area. Worked for them from here in Europe, but flew into SFO every couple of months. Nice break from the landlocked European plains.

Chris

three
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Re: !

Post by three » Wed May 14, 2008 8:20 am

kenporter wrote:
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
At the moment, the things driving me nuts with drum racks (i suppose i should cross post this to the feature request forum) are:

- micrscopic interface. The resize handles are locked, so you can't see more than 16 samples at a time. If I could double the size I'd be perfectly happy with the rest of the interface. That was the first impression battery made and it's true today: i can see my whole kit at once and interact with it. I ususally have battery running on the smaller monitor and the one-glance aspect is unbeatable.

- limited parameters in the simpler, and sampler is overkill. I still use impulse quite a bit, What was so amazing about impulse what that it was a full featured drum machine that actually fit in that space without feeling cramped. Impulse has, what, 20 controls per slot? But amazingly, I never felt limited by it. The envelope is a bit hidden at fist, but you can roughly map a/d/s/r to start/trans/stretch/decay - I love the ability to stretch and shrink the sample length based on velocity,

having both options is the best - though I must confess that after an initial infatuation with drum racks I've been using Impulse more and more again.

Chris

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Post by three » Wed May 14, 2008 8:37 am

oops. sometimes you only notice later that two posts were in the same thread.

but it's actually quite practal, just wanted to mention something i forgot to say:

the individual effect chains are another thing that i've almost completely gotten away from. i wish there were a better way to route the audio coming out of them.

if you organize your drums into sub-racks you can then route their whole output back to return chains in the drum rack above, but i wish there were a way to do that without nesting the racks. I find the way the sends work quite irritating - if I want to split the signal into wet/dry/damp or whatever there are much better ways of doing that - like routing straight to an audio effect rack that then splits the signals. That way you don't have 11 million little individual gain settings, and send levels and whatnot to try and keep orderly. I try to avoid applying positive or negative gain along the signal path wherever possible - ideally just once at all - so I don't like having to split the signal right when it just came out of the sample.

This has, incidentally, never been a problem in Battery:

Image

@Ableton: if you happen to read this, please consider activating the the presently greyed out Audio To option on the individual chains inside the drum racks. A bit more routing freedom, and an expandable window, and they'd be perfect.

Cheers,

Chris

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Post by galo » Wed May 14, 2008 10:37 am

Like a wise man once said its not what you use its how you use it. Andy Cato got in contact with us guys (the japanese popstars) a couple of months back saying that he really liked our stuff and productions and asked us if we wanted to remix any of their tracks. We use reason nearly exclusively for production, very basic setup, anyway the result came out on Strictly Rthym a few weeks ago, as Groove Armada Vs Japanese Popstars - Get Down. Its on beatport or you can check our myspace to listen www.myspace.com/thejapanesepopstars. The capabilities of live far outstretch Reason so I dont think that its a problem

Vance
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Post by Vance » Wed May 14, 2008 10:50 am

three wrote:@Ableton: if you happen to read this, please consider activating the the presently greyed out Audio To option on the individual chains inside the drum racks. A bit more routing freedom, and an expandable window, and they'd be perfect.

Cheers,

Chris
+2^128

ciw
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Re: !

Post by ciw » Wed May 14, 2008 10:59 am

three wrote:Impulse has, what, 20 controls per slot? But amazingly, I never felt limited by it. The envelope is a bit hidden at fist, but you can roughly map a/d/s/r to start/trans/stretch/decay
the only thing with impulse is - PLEASE correct me if i'm wrong, i'd love to know! - you can't microtune the drum samples, like in redrum. there's only a course tuning option.

three
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Re: !

Post by three » Wed May 14, 2008 11:24 am

ciw wrote:
three wrote:Impulse has, what, 20 controls per slot? But amazingly, I never felt limited by it. The envelope is a bit hidden at fist, but you can roughly map a/d/s/r to start/trans/stretch/decay
the only thing with impulse is - PLEASE correct me if i'm wrong, i'd love to know! - you can't microtune the drum samples, like in redrum. there's only a course tuning option.
I'm certainly not aware of a way to do that. I usually just stretch the sample by +/- 5% if I feel like it's a little bit off.

I actually really like what those stretchers do to the sound. End up feeling very smooth to me, but if you get one far out towards the end it gets raw. I often remove the velocity modulation from the volume completely and give it to the stretcher at like 50%. Then shorten to setting on the stretcher (giving in -% to counterbalance the max 50% velocity adds) and which gives you a really night way to spice things up with small velocity adjustments.

Check this out, this is easier to show you than to talk about. Settings as you see them below, single kick drum sample modulating nothing but the length, audio is at http://edg3.org/kick-stretch.aif

Image

Sample is completely naked, no processing or anything.

Cheers,

Chris

PS: If I might be allowed two requests, Ableton, can you bring back the stretching in drum racks? Even Sampler can't do it, or at least I haven't been able to find where to tell it to.

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Post by Khazul » Wed May 14, 2008 12:13 pm

Angstrom wrote:I think they are talking about needing crossfades on the same track to tame some audio loops.
The idea being that the "little string part on the end" will get cut off unpleasantly on a raw loop, and Live has no audio tool to handle crossfades in the same channel.

So thatt makes sense, it's not the midi editing, but the audio crossfading / comping
Oh, I so wish you could overlap clips. Yes I know - you create a second track and alternate between the two. But this is where live starts to get really messy - Im forever having to create extra tracks for this and that. And this get compounded by the simple problem that you cant hide them/group them etc.
Nothing to see here - move along!

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Post by three » Wed May 14, 2008 12:24 pm

Khazul wrote:
Angstrom wrote:I think they are talking about needing crossfades on the same track to tame some audio loops.
The idea being that the "little string part on the end" will get cut off unpleasantly on a raw loop, and Live has no audio tool to handle crossfades in the same channel.

So thatt makes sense, it's not the midi editing, but the audio crossfading / comping
Oh, I so wish you could overlap clips. Yes I know - you create a second track and alternate between the two. But this is where live starts to get really messy - Im forever having to create extra tracks for this and that. And this get compounded by the simple problem that you cant hide them/group them etc.
To be fair, although this is something Logic can do without extra tracks, Logic has a whole separate window (the environment) just for defining routing and extra tracks.

Honestly, from a personal perspective, the less fancy production stuff that comes into live and the thinner the app stays the happier I am. I'd rather be able to use it like I do now with no improvment from where it is now that have it turn into Logic, ProTools, or one of the other systems where you need a second monitor just to fit the context menu when you right click somewhere.

Though I agree completely with the point that not being able to hide tracks is a real problem. Monitor space in Live is probably more valuable than in any other media program because you can't expand it. It's really annoying having boring bus tracks whose entire job is to collect midi from certain tracks and distribute it to others take up scree- these are like the corner dealers of my live sets and i want them gone ;p

grimleyj
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Post by grimleyj » Wed May 14, 2008 8:43 pm

three,
May I ask what skin you are using?
Thanks,
grimley

Serra
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Post by Serra » Wed May 14, 2008 11:24 pm

galo wrote:Like a wise man once said its not what you use its how you use it. Andy Cato got in contact with us guys (the japanese popstars) a couple of months back saying that he really liked our stuff and productions and asked us if we wanted to remix any of their tracks. We use reason nearly exclusively for production, very basic setup, anyway the result came out on Strictly Rthym a few weeks ago, as Groove Armada Vs Japanese Popstars - Get Down. Its on beatport or you can check our myspace to listen www.myspace.com/thejapanesepopstars. The capabilities of live far outstretch Reason so I dont think that its a problem
Congratulations Galo, what a honour... would love to remix one of their songs...

curiosity, did you also master the track itb? great track, very nice and clear, very round...
www.twitter.com/superstringz

Superstringz 'Revolver' on feature film, more info soon:
http://www.beatport.com/track/revolver- ... ix/2042615

bensuthers
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Post by bensuthers » Thu May 15, 2008 12:41 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

thank you so much.

three
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Post by three » Thu May 15, 2008 3:27 pm

grimleyj wrote:three,
May I ask what skin you are using?
Thanks,
grimley
yeah, i made it.

get it here: http://blog.edg3.org/

grimleyj
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Post by grimleyj » Thu May 15, 2008 5:26 pm

Thanks!

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Post by forge » Sat May 17, 2008 4:03 am

three wrote: I'd rather be able to use it like I do now with no improvment from where it is now that have it turn into Logic, ProTools, or one of the other systems where you need a second monitor just to fit the context menu when you right click somewhere.
Ableton take heed!

Live 7 is heading into dangerous territory!

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