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
opuswerk
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Post by opuswerk » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:20 pm

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Newecho
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Re: Anyone here use JUST Live's effects and instruments?

Post by Newecho » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:47 pm

littlejim84 wrote: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've definitely simplified over the last year. I only use Live as my DAW. I mostly use Live FX and only use third party where there is no Live equivalent. For example, I use the Vocoder from Image Line's Juice pack, and Slayer 2's amp modeling and guitar FX. I too am only using Sampler and I have Operator.

For the type of music I do, I really need to use some external VSTs. I am however reducing the number of instruments I use and focusing on instruments that have 1 page interfaces (Vanguard, Gladiator, Circle, Predator, Toxic Biohazard).

I wanted to go deep with one complex semi-modular synth so I'm digging heavily into Absynth 4.

I used to run two systems, and now I've dropped down to one laptop. This means less time keeping my system up to date.

I work 2 states - 1) mobile where I use the internal sound card and the laptop keyboard for everything and 2) docked. When I dock, I have access to my controllers, tablet features via a Wacom Bamboo, sound card, ref monitors, bigger monitor.

I uploaded some pics of the rig on my myspace page.


Mark
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http://www.markmoshermusic.com

Live 8 Suite;HP DV6; Novation Remote SL, Launchpad, Tenori-On White, AudioCubes, Moog Etherwave Theremin;Alchemy,Sylenth1,Absynth,ACE,Synplant,Harmles,Gladiator 2,Dimension Pro...

socketghost
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Post by socketghost » Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:47 pm

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!
Hmmm... very interesting reply. I have to say I'm not really after a natural sounding reverb (I agree, why does electronic music need such a thing?), which is actually what drew me to the CSR reverbs. I've just always found Live's too tinny, but maybe I'm not trying hard enough. Just in passing, I do use the Saturator a LOT (probably too much) - one of the best recent additions to Live in my book.

I do have a feeling I'm missing something with Operator (less convinced I am with the other synths). I think I've also been put off by the presets, which is crazy cos I'm not a preset guy either! You've inspired me to dust it off and give it another go. I'll also check out Fusion Field - massive never ending reverb tails, mmmm...

moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:00 pm

socketghost wrote:
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!
Hmmm... very interesting reply. I have to say I'm not really after a natural sounding reverb (I agree, why does electronic music need such a thing?), which is actually what drew me to the CSR reverbs. I've just always found Live's too tinny, but maybe I'm not trying hard enough. Just in passing, I do use the Saturator a LOT (probably too much) - one of the best recent additions to Live in my book.

I do have a feeling I'm missing something with Operator (less convinced I am with the other synths). I think I've also been put off by the presets, which is crazy cos I'm not a preset guy either! You've inspired me to dust it off and give it another go. I'll also check out Fusion Field - massive never ending reverb tails, mmmm...

It's a great reverb... Fun too... Again, I've only really come round to the idea that you can do alot of creative thigns with a Return track... EQing the incoming sound, before reverbing. Saturating the reverb, after the reverb etc. etc.

QuikQuak's Fusion Field: http://www.quikquak.com/Prod_Fusion_Field.html

Thing I found with Operator (and it's only from a good evening with it) was that with a little creativity I was able to get all the dubby chords, interesting textures (put the Arp with it), and damn right nice subs I wanted for my music. Yes, Absynth is insanely powerful, same with Reatkor too, and I have a friend who is amazing with it... But DO I need this? No, I don't think I do. I'd rather be concentrating on how to get my drums phat using the right combo of saturation, EQ and compression (nice, basic tools) rather than trying to find that elusive bass patch on some super new shiny synth...

Thanks for the link to the EQ comparison thread too, again, very interesting and proved a few things for me. I still think there is a place for my Sonalksis EQ, Compressor and Gate... But as for alot of the other shit I have, I'm thinking fuck it... SELL IT! (and put it towards my laptop)

kuniklo
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Post by kuniklo » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:31 pm

I've done a couple of tracks with just the Live stuff. I think you can get great results this way but it can take more work, since Live's plugs are more basic and there are fewer presets.

I could get by pretty easily with just the Live instruments but there are a couple of effects I'd have a hard time totally replacing. A modulatable delay like Fabfilter Timeless can be very handy and there's no ringmod effect at all in Live so I reach for third party plugins for those kinds of things.

One nice thing about using only the Live stuff is that it's a lot easier to archive and restore tracks. Instead of worrying about finding all the samples and plugins you used on a track three years ago you can just load it up and go.

moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:41 pm

kuniklo wrote:I've done a couple of tracks with just the Live stuff. I think you can get great results this way but it can take more work, since Live's plugs are more basic and there are fewer presets.

I could get by pretty easily with just the Live instruments but there are a couple of effects I'd have a hard time totally replacing. A modulatable delay like Fabfilter Timeless can be very handy and there's no ringmod effect at all in Live so I reach for third party plugins for those kinds of things.

One nice thing about using only the Live stuff is that it's a lot easier to archive and restore tracks. Instead of worrying about finding all the samples and plugins you used on a track three years ago you can just load it up and go.
Good point dude... And again, this is another reason why I like the idea of a streamlined production enviroment. Alot of my producer mates use Ableton, and I can pass things between them with ease because I'm using the basics...

Also, from what I can gather from reading forums (and reading things like the EQ comparison thread), it seems that ALOT of these mad third party plugins are still just basics (eq, compression, distortion) but routed in unique ways, with predetermined settings, to give them their 'sound'. And I'm perfectly happy to spend time looking into how to use EQ, compression and whatever other basics to create more complex setups (i mean, look at the Covert Operators stuff). Ultimately, I think this would make me a better producer... As EQ is EQ, that will never change. Compression is compression, that will never change... And if I can find that I can get the complex sounds I want from the basics, instead of using these mad third party GUI things, I can go from that to any other DAW and do the same thing (more or less).

But, you see my point here... I think if I strip away the shit and use Ableton more, and live with it's constraits, it will actually make me a better producer - instead of relying on these thirdparty plugs to fill the void.

kuniklo
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Post by kuniklo » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:43 pm

I'd suggest trying this - switch off vst/au plugins completely and just work in Ableton alone for a while. If you find yourself really jonesing for a particular plugin after a while then consider using it again.

moreofmorris
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Post by moreofmorris » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:49 pm

Good idea... like that.

Basically, my iMac is getting a bit blocked up full of shit... And it's still on Tiger. So I might just blast the fucker with a fresh Leopard install and start from scratch. I'm half tempted to get rid of my sample library too... (apart from my own foley sounds and efx I've created, as well some drum hits and breaks)...

I'll do that though... I'll start with nothing but Live, and see where I go from there I reckon...

Nick the Zombie
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Post by Nick the Zombie » Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:54 pm

I stick with Ableton for 100% of my music software needs. Normally I don't plug my videos in other peoples' threads, but I think I can reasonably make an exception here. The entire premise of my videos (check my sig for more) is that you really don't need anything other than the tools you have at hand. I started this project out of the same basic feeling that a lot of you have: a negative, overwhelmed reaction at having TONS of options and feeling lost in them. I'm quite convinced that most producers don't understand that you can make really great sounds out of a few seconds of audio data through clever manipulation in Sampler, Instrument racks, etc.

Anyway, sorry for the plug, but it just made sense here. I definitely sympathize with this option-overload issue.

- Nick

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