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Using Live for back up tracks, triggering scenes

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:46 am
by lrd
I am a performing professional musician and bought Ableton on the recommendation of someone at Sweetwater that it would work well to play back back up tracks and give me the freedom to move around in the song allowing me to jam, alone or with another musician. I believed that I would have the option of triggering a new scene (song section - full chorus - AABA, or bridge, etc.) with a midi controller and then have the current scene (song section) play out to the end before changing.

To my frustration, after having Live for a year now, and finally getting around to set up this 'jam' option, is the inability to get scenes to play to the end if the midi trigger for the next scene is not triggered within the one bar, four beat window (it plays out the number of bars set in Quantization and changes), or, if quantization is set to 4 bars, for example, and is triggered 3 bars before the end of the scene, will play out the full 4 bars, beyond the end of the scene, and then play silence for the extra bar, before starting the next scene (song section - chorus, outro, etc.). Tech support at Ableton told me that it won't do what I want/need, and the only partial solution they offered is to change the tempo to 1/2 or 1/4 of the original tempo making the 1 bar sound like two or 4 bars, giving me a bigger window to trigger the next scene at the end of the current scene. I've been experimenting with this and it creates other problems.

My friend who is much more familiar with various software that can do this sort of thing, finds it hard to believe, and says other software or hardware offer the option of allowing the clips/scene to play out to the end regardless of when the next scene is triggered. He says Mainstage allows this but has a glitch in the first time a clip/scene is looped. I don't understand why this option wouldn't have been a desirable option for the Ableton programmers. I wish I had known about this limitation before I bought Ableton.

Need to know soon (duo gig coming up) if there is another way around this or if I have to find another non-Ableton solution.

thanks,
Larry