Anyone here use JUST Live's effects and instruments?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
moreofmorris
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Anyone here use JUST Live's effects and instruments?

Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:40 am

I had one of those moments (hopefully other producers know what I mean here) where I took a second look at my screen and I had my CPU peaking at 90%, my dual screens were covered with fuck loads of third-party plugs - I had knobs, dials, faders, multi coloured this and that, graphs, fucking all sorts completely covering my screen... Basically, option overload.

...and I sat there thinking, all I want is to make some music!!

Every so often I go through my plugs and get rid of all the crap and free stuff, and just leave myself with what I consider essentials. (basically, the DubStation by Audio Damage and the Sonalksis EQ, Compressor and Gate)...

But I just wonder, does anyone else here JUST use Ableton's effects and instruments? ... ... and have you had any kinda success with your music? Or at the least, done some decent mixdowns?

I'm own Kontakt 2, but am thinking fuck it, and have get rid of it and just have Sampler. I may get rid of Absynth too... Too many options!!!

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Post by sweetjesus » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:52 am

i use Live effects for about 75% of my stuff,

and about a third of my synthesis is done with the 'Analog' synth

i end up using 3rd party stuff on my master chain and on vocals but otherwise i find Lives plugins pretty nice.

moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:54 am

Nice tunes there bruv :wink:

May I ask... What 3rd party stuff do you use? Would love a list...

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Post by ReasonliveUSER » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:08 am

its funny you say that. I been trying to scale down my set-up as well. as you see from my user name I run reason4 and live7, it's my bread, butter and water. but I have tons of outside 3rd party apps and hardware that gives me that option overload so I can relate. what helps me is I try to kept these outside pieces very situational. if I have a program/device that made its mark on one song and never have to use it again then it got its moneys worth and wouldn't mine having it collect dust for awhile until it was time to break it out again. its cool enough for me just to have the option but I'm not gonna force myself to use anything. I realize there are gonna be days where I may need things outside my reason live combo. hell reason was my first love and favorite but I catch myself more and more booting up running live without it. I buy in to the less is more philosophy in most things I do in life. less things can go wrong, you work harded bcuz sometimes a program will forces you to be innovated about trying to do something that would otherwise be easy in other programs(cough, crossfades in ableton, cough)I think its a more focused work flow when starting from scratch. I mean if you know what sound you're going for from start and require alot of resources to get it that's a different story.

other than bills my set up is the only thing I really spent money on. I 'm always trying treat myself to new tools and I was gonna get battery and pondered about kontact and said screw that for the same reason you did. however the wishlist tread here got me excited about that melodyne with new Direct note access. so I may get that and protools mpowered just to keep up with the joneses. other than in recent times I have been be focusing on getting thing like memory, hard drives, cabling( I recently went the dual display route as well)studio furniture, modifications, upgrades and expansions just to appreciate and bring out the best what I already have instead of just recklessly adding on to my huge set up. when you have so much equipment it like you don't even know where too start sometimes. I was lucky bcuz alot of my gear just feel into my lap. I envy my best friend and production partner. his production set up consist of just a macbook, audio interface, chair and headphones. meanwhile I got my whole god damn room filled with gear. the stuff is cool but the maintenance and upkeep can be a hassle sometimes
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moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:18 am

Interesting reply ReasonliveUSER... cheers for that.

It's just the other week I was messing around getting this bass sound. I weren't really sure what I was after, so I was messing around (all cool with that). But before I knew it, I had literally covered my dual screens with so many fucking knobs and dials that I had completely lost the very point of what I was trying to do.

I used to have some many ideas for music in my head, and since I've been feeding my software/gear lust for the last 3 years - trying this, trying that, downloading this demo, that demo, blah blah, I got completely lost in the technical side of it. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing!, but it's like I approached it from the wrong way round. Instead of me listening to my head and trying to recreate that sound (which I think is what a true artist is, translating their thoughts to something solid, beit a painting, a sculpture or even a mp3) I was using technology to come up with the ideas for me, in a sense. Does that make sense?

Before I know it, I've got like 40 plugins in my folder and I just don't know where to start! ... I want to move myself into a position where I'm driving home from work, I've gathering a tune in my head, I can go home, power up Live and I know exactly what tools to use to get that sound onto the computer... That's where I want to be.

I mean... I know I can't do EVERYTHING in Live... But creatively, I think I can... I then just want some high quality processors to finish it all off. (Hence me being interested in what sweetjesus was using on his vocals and master)

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Post by UKRuss » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:26 am

The only tools inside Live that I do use but don't rely on are the compressor and the reverb. I have alternatives for those as 3rd party plugs.

I always like BBE's sonic maximiser followed by VW2 on my master.

I do have an external EQ, Gate/expander and compressor/limiter which I use for drum resampling and for the vocal chain from a Rode NT1A mic.

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Post by sweetjesus » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:48 am

just sonnox and some waves stuff, nothing crazy

moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:56 am

Weren't expecting anything crazy dude!

Just interested... I wanna mainly use Ableton... There's a few things I like though... The Voxengo stuff is pretty damn sweet.... The limiter (Elephant) and the VariSaturator are wicked (and do things that the built in Ableton stuff can't).

moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:21 pm

Im interested then...

It seems (gathered from other forums too) that people like to use Ableton's built in stuff, but still use a few choice plugs to finish things off...

So... what do you use? I have things like the Pro-C compressor, the Sonalksis EQ, Compressor, Gate, some Audio Damage stuff...

But what do you use? Say to really finish off your drum bus, for example, what do u use there? and what do you use to finish off your vocals? I'm interested in what bread-and-butter hi quality stuff you use to finish certain things off, that Live just can't provide...?

opuswerk
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Post by opuswerk » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:37 pm

We only use ableton and nothing else.

Might seem limiting at first, but it forces you to think about the music imo. And it teaches you to be creative with the tools you got. Like that eq comparision thread showed, You can match any eq if you eq things right with the eq8. Plus there's really room to do some crazy cray stuff in Live.
I just wish it was more flexible with automations. Simpler filter could be a tad better too, but in the end it's all a matter of knowing how things work.

Otherwise i don't really see what can limit you with the current plugins, if you really know how to use them that is. People often rely to very clever sound engineering when they could've sorted the issues very simply in the arrangement or with a better sound source. imo imo imo ;)

We do however limit (a very little bit) our tacks using ozone, but we really try and get everything nice and loud directly in Live.
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moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:47 pm

opuswerk wrote:We only use ableton and nothing else.

Might seem limiting at first, but it forces you to think about the music imo. And it teaches you to be creative with the tools you got. Like that eq comparision thread showed, You can match any eq if you eq things right with the eq8. Plus there's really room to do some crazy cray stuff in Live.
I just wish it was more flexible with automations. Simpler filter could be a tad better too, but in the end it's all a matter of knowing how things work.

Otherwise i don't really see what can limit you with the current plugins, if you really know how to use them that is. People often rely to very clever sound engineering when they could've sorted the issues very simply in the arrangement or with a better sound source. imo imo imo ;)

We do however limit (a very little bit) our tacks using ozone, but we really try and get everything nice and loud directly in Live.
Cheers mate. Great reply... And it's that ethos that I'm trying to align myself too. I just seemed to of ran away with myself with the technology and kinda lost the ability to take stuff in my head and put it into musical form... I WANT to restrict myself, I feel I do... it'll surely be better ... cause, at the end of the day, i care more about the music, rather than what latest plugin I'm using...

I'm basically on the verge of selling Kontakt 2, Absynth 4, Powercore... And snap up Sampler and Operator. I'm getting a new laptop soon, and I'm scrapping my sample library (apart from the sounds I've gathered/made myself and select drum hits/breaks)... Just want it to be me, my laptop, my Zoom H2 microphone, and Live. This appeals to me more and more...

I suppose my original post was trying to see if Live's effects have the quality to make high quality electronic music. And from what I can make out... Spending the last two years downloading and trying pretty much every plug out there, Live's effects are of the same high quality as anything else. It's JUST knowing how to use them correctly. Constrait, at the end of the day, breeds creativity... ?

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Post by socketghost » Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:53 pm

I've got loads of third party stuff, most of which I use quite rarely, but most of which has its moment every now and again. I don't seem to have that overload problem (though totally see where you're coming from).

I do use Live's plugins probably 70 percent of the time, and will usually go there as my first port of call. Two big exceptions though - one is reverb; hardly ever use Live's (and usually use CSR - don't know if it's the best out there but it works for me).

The other is a bit more controversial. I have to admit that I've never really liked Live's synths, any of them. I'm prepared to admit I've not tried very hard with them, and I'm sure with work they can be made to shine, but something about them just doesn't really work for me. I find the GUIs a bit kind of poky, and just don't seem to get good stuff out of them. Tend to go for NI stuff in this area (though I hate the company) - Massive, Absynth and Reaktor.

moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:01 pm

socketghost wrote:I've got loads of third party stuff, most of which I use quite rarely, but most of which has its moment every now and again. I don't seem to have that overload problem (though totally see where you're coming from).

I do use Live's plugins probably 70 percent of the time, and will usually go there as my first port of call. Two big exceptions though - one is reverb; hardly ever use Live's (and usually use CSR - don't know if it's the best out there but it works for me).

The other is a bit more controversial. I have to admit that I've never really liked Live's synths, any of them. I'm prepared to admit I've not tried very hard with them, and I'm sure with work they can be made to shine, but something about them just doesn't really work for me. I find the GUIs a bit kind of poky, and just don't seem to get good stuff out of them. Tend to go for NI stuff in this area (though I hate the company) - Massive, Absynth and Reaktor.
That's interesting... I used to HATE Ableton's reverb - found it tinny and a generally a bit poo. But then I started messing around with it, having it on the Return bus and found I could be really creative with it. At the end of the day, I make electronic music, so - in a way - the reverb suits that. Ok, I'd probably wouldn't use it on real instruments, but I don't really deal with real instruments anyway... But how did I get over this tinny sound problem, put a Saturator and a EQ after the Reverb on the Return bus and bobs your uncle - a nicer, warmer, thicker reverb sound! ... (Also, if you haven't tried it yet, try the Fusion Field reverb by QuikQuak, it's really fucking cool - if you like massive never ending reverb tails!)

I was also with you on the Ableton synth front... I found them uninspiring. But then, that was based on the presets that came with em. I'm not really a preset guy, so I started digging into Operator. And YES! Wicked! ... I was thinking about how I make my music... What do I need a synth for? Well... to basically make synthesized drum hits, bass and pads. That's it. I had Absynth, I had Massive (don't get me wrong, wicked software) BUT did I need all this functionality? No... not really... And man, fuck about getting subs out of Operator - it's seriously the fattest thing I've yet to hear from a soft synth. Really low, phat subs I was getting last night... Also... Zero latency with it and it already has the familar interface... And, if Im getting this laptop, I want everything on the one screen... I couldn't care less about big, RAM intensive interfaces (ala Absynth etc.). I just want a tool to make the sounds I need, fast and easy...

Man, think I'm selling it to myself here!

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Post by opuswerk » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:02 pm

We also got lost in that latest plugin hunt, but as it appeared to us, we were spending more time trying to understand how one thing worked / browsing thru presets -samples etc instead of actually doing music.

We did even push this further by limiting ourselves to 8 tracks and 2 sends, in order to be easily able to play our tracks live afterwards. It also really pushes us to get our sounds as good as possible and prevents us from hiding badly designed sound with 800 layers. It might seem very restrictive, but it's actually very constructive for us and improved our music's quality.
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moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:08 pm

Could anyone link me to this EQ comparisons thread? And any other Live (compared to third party) threads that maybe useful?

(by the way, did search for 'eq comparison' but couldn't find anything)

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