LAYERS - for MIDI and AUDIO tracks - like in Photoshop?

Share your wishes for the future of Ableton Live
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plast-x
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:49 am

LAYERS - for MIDI and AUDIO tracks - like in Photoshop?

Post by plast-x » Sun Jan 01, 2006 11:35 am

Hi,

For the wish list:

I would like to have a feature for layering midi and audio... but in a different way than it is now!

I am someone who likes to SEE the samples or midi events when messing around with it.. let me say... i am an "optical musician"! People are different! Some people like numbers and use a "tracker" for creating music.

In almost every audio- or midi-sequencer on the market there are audio or midi events shown in "tracks" ... one above the other... from top to bottom of the screen.... you always have to scroll around or draw a track on top of the screen near to an other track ...if you eg. want to sync beats or something that are in different tracks!

I would like a feature for really layering tracks all within only ONE track !
Do you know e. g. Photoshop? There are layers... you can turn each layer visible from a value of 1 to 100... so you can have several pictures on the screen THE SAME TIME... and it is though still only ONE picture! ;) You don't need a big screen then ...and you can see them ALL at the same time or maybe just a few... if you turn the other layers invisible! THATS GREAT ! I would like something like that in Ableton... for midi and audio... lets call it MIDI and AUDIO-LAYERS ! :-)

At the moment it is very hard if you want to sync something with midi or audio... e. g. if you want to "sync" special beats with beats of an other track... ...you know... e.g. you want to sync a orchestral cymbal flourish happening at special time with an other track! Thats because you can only view midi or audio from ONE track on your screen now! Thats bad.

How about LAYERS ?

Let me say I have a drum rhythm... with a fixed length that I want to use... the first midi note and last note can be seen on the screen ( or the audio - if a .wav view) - With the above feature it would be possible to simply mark the first and the last note of the drum-loop with a colored marker (different color values available)... so I could mark the start point of .wav or midi) e.g. the first note red, by placing a red marker there (similar to a warp-marker) and I could mark the exact area where I want the loop to end with a green marker. Then lets say I want so sync a bass-line with this drum-loop... but it does have other tempo than the drum loop... then I also mark the start and end point of this bass-line (.wav file or midi) with a marker having the same color as the one I used in the drum track... start-note red, end-note green.
With the mentioned layers Ableton could then show both tracks at the same time on the screen via LAYERS and it could fix the start point of the drum-loop track, red color, with the start point of the bass-line track through "snapping". I take the fixed markers in the bass-line track and simply draw it onto the marker of the beneath drum track... and they snap! Then I do the same with the end marker. I can easily sync stuff then... and with set warp markers within the bassline-loop I could even fix parts in the bassline that i want to play faster! It's just setting markers and placing them on other markers... within a LAYER !
This would look like in a sequencer called "ACID" ...there you can visually stretch .wav files on the screen... but it also doesn't have LAYERS !!! WHY does no-one use LAYERS ?! Photoshop does... and it is GREAT ! :-D

Did anyone understand?
English language... I am German... I don't use it that often! ;)

Yes, and I would like Ableton to be kinda like Reaktor from Native Instruments.
Something to create your own environments... because someone else will need things that I absolutely don't!
Maybe Ableton should totally cooperate with Native-Instruments? ;) hehehe

Ableton could create a standard version or a preset of the overall workspace... and those who want can create their own workspace and save it. Ableton, like it is now is just the beginning of "Ableton", i think. *laugh*
It is kinda like Reaktor already... but like Reaktor in it's early "birth-stadium" or something *grin* ...i really do see it like that.
Ableton could get much more complex for those WHO WANT! - that's the thing to go for... if you ask me.

Ableton is mainly a sequencer - Reaktor really isn't.

greets

kent_sandvik
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2003 6:45 am

Post by kent_sandvik » Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:16 pm

I think the main screen would be very crowded and hard to understand. Note that with layers you compose a picture, so it's OK to have lots of pixels. With music production you want to quickly see details, and in a a crowded screen it would be annoying.

Now, I think you would like something like folders in Logic 7, you could group multiple tracks into one single folder, and open it up and show the entries as a separate screen set, and then collapse again and show the material as a folder.

I don't know if Emagic/Apple patented this idea, but the notion of collapsing and opening sets of tracks -- like outlines -- would be neat, would avoid scrolling up and down on the main screen, and most of us tend to add more and more tracks to Live projects. --Kent

plast-x
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:49 am

Post by plast-x » Mon Jan 02, 2006 7:52 am

yes, I understand... i dont like crowded screens too.

i would actually not need this feature in arrangement view... i just would like it as a littel feature in the session view... in this little loop window on the bottom, where you set the warp markers. it would be very easy then to set a special beat, like a cymbal crash in a loop to a special other aural event in an other loop! combined with "automatic" or "hand set warp markers" time stretching for special parts within the loop could be done much more efficient... when one is still experimenting with notes/ audio events.

I would like this feature to exactly adjust two different loops that INTERACT with eachother in some "aural matter". you cant do that now... only in arrangement view... but there you cant experiment! :D thats the problem!

try to adjust two different midi files... one melody here and one there... mixing the notes of both. thats hard. sure, i can copy notes from one melody into the other clip... but i cant really experiment then with both melodies... because if you did once copy the notes you can't tell anymore which one was from that melodie and which one was from the other! :D
therefore layers! you can show both melodies or audio events at the same time... you still could have total control of each of them, by switching (setting the active on top via a button) so you can still experiment and shift notes in loops around and you can see how they interact with each other on the screen too! :D thats what I want.
I think music always needs a bit of composing... events happening at the same time... or shifting them in time and such.
sure... you can get cool ideas from ableton by messing around in session view... but composing is not always a matter "of pure chance" only. ;)

Real experimentation in composing is a bit awkward at the moment... you can easily do live things with Ableton... yes, looping... trying different sessions and those typical modern break-beat, stotter-beat stuff...
but... if you don't want to do everything "by chance" ...

i tried to combine two midi melodies... this is almost impossible now... because you can only have one looped midi file open at a time now, in session view. I need session view when experimenting with notes and rhythm... arrangement view ist not good here... because there is the stuff that is already recorded... lets say... stuff that is "ready".. you cant really experiment with notes and beats in arrangement view!

I also dont like crowded screens! and i really hate scrolling up and down all the time... therefore LAYERS !

maybe 3 layers in one clip... that would be enough... one can use it if one wants... if not then not. and you can maybe "bounce" the layers if you like what you arranged.

there is no need for me to save all layers in the clip - dont get me wrong here.... i just would like to take let me say 3 choosen clips/loops/midi-files and put them in a special "layer window" to see them in layers all at the same time... just to do some adjusting in timing... in melody-flow... and such.

the midi stuff in Ableton is really great... in combination with Simpler !
you can also mute notes in melodies and stuff... its also great... but you cant really arrange or mix two midi- files or audio files or e. g. manually do "optical fill ups" in drum-loops... therefore I would suggest LAYERS ! you can always see the notes of both or 3 or maybe more files/tracks ...each one is though still independet in its clip... you can mute notes... do warping, set loop markers and stuff. After adjusting I personally dont need them anymore. for me there is no need to store multiple layers... becaus you still have the individual clips.. and they fit to each other... because thats what you have done before in the layer window! ;)
thats what i want ! :-)

webslave
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:07 am

Re: LAYERS - for MIDI and AUDIO tracks - like in Photoshop?

Post by webslave » Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:49 pm

plast-x wrote:Hi,

I would like a feature for really layering tracks all within only ONE track !
Do you know e. g. Photoshop? There are layers... you can turn each layer visible from a value of 1 to 100... so you can have several pictures on the screen THE SAME TIME... and it is though still only ONE picture! ;) You don't need a big screen then ...and you can see them ALL at the same time or maybe just a few... if you turn the other layers invisible! THATS GREAT ! I would like something like that in Ableton... for midi and audio... lets call it MIDI and AUDIO-LAYERS ! :-)
If done well this could be great. I have been using the arrange view quite a lot (I don't get along with session view, it's not the way I think about things).

I recently had to mix some drums, using Ableton as a mixing environment. Let's just say having used programs like photoshop there's a lot that can be done here to navigate around multiple items.

It would be great to be able group and move effects easily as well.

Multipe items in one 'layer' some tranparency going on - ability to group channels into folders and add effects to a group of tracks without having to resort back to the outdated notion of busses (let's move on from that).

I think that would be very good. (Scroll wheel support and scrubbing would be very useful as well).

Stew Dean

kid_sputnik
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:27 pm

Post by kid_sputnik » Mon Jan 02, 2006 4:48 pm

for stuff like that, i think using max/msp or Reaktor is really the only way to go. sure, itll take a year or 2 to really get anywhere, but once you do, you can start totally customizing your setup, and intergrate it into ableton's more "traditional" workflow (for anyone on the Reaktor forum as well, i am the same kid_sputnik who posts way to much!).

of course, this is just my 2-cents.

Machinate
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Location: Denmark
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Post by Machinate » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:00 pm

kid_sputnik wrote:for stuff like that, i think using max/msp or Reaktor is really the only way to go. sure, itll take a year or 2 to really get anywhere, but once you do, you can start totally customizing your setup, and intergrate it into ableton's more "traditional" workflow (for anyone on the Reaktor forum as well, i am the same kid_sputnik who posts way to much!).

of course, this is just my 2-cents.
hey sputnik! good to see ya over here!

I would have to agree that incorporating third party software is the best way to go about this. I recently started using Live running Energy XT with Reaktor loaded inside it. Sounds terribly convoluted, but it's basically just a fancy way of doing layers and elaborate presets within Live :-)
mbp 2.66, osx 10.6.8, 8GB ram.

plast-x
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 10:49 am

Post by plast-x » Mon Jan 02, 2006 5:41 pm

@kid_sputnik

well, i think Ableton is just at the beginning... they won't stop integrating additional features... because too many people have too many wishes! ;)

those layers could be important for the workflow... I mean... Ableton is mainly a sequencer... and this could help many people here in this forum. I read that some would like to see more clips at the same time in session view.
others want more envelopes... or any other additional windows.... why not put all this into selectable layers?
Layers could help here... you dont need a big screen then... or thousands of "tracks" with scrolling up and down.... because you could work with maybe 3 clips the same time, without messing up the whole screen! this is VERY important to some people.... especially those who want 3 different envelopes in a clip or something...

You just chose the clips and Ableton could put them in a single window.... maybe the one that everyone uses now for adjusting warp markers... layers could be integrated there... and if they want one could use them also in arrangement view.
layers dont change the whole screen... every track looks still the same than it is now... the environment actually stays the same.... but layers don't mess up the hole screen like thousands of small windows for single tracks/clips do! :D

and I think the future version of Ableton will be something like a mix of Reaktor+Ableton, yes.
Ableton does not have to include stuff Reaktor does much better - I agree with you there - but Reaktor actually is absolutely not a sequencer for composing!

you cant do any real "visual" arrangement there with those step sequencers and snapshots and stuff.

Ableton is also used by musicians that are not into "technics"... even guitarists use it for jamming... and they don't want all that "techno-stuff" ...like break-beats... and 5 osc synths and stuff... ;-) So why should Ableton integrate ALL those things "techno-freaks" want? That does not make sense. I am a techno freak too - and i like to do some stuff that e. g. Aphex Twin does... i can do that with Reaktor, its easy to do there... but it is already boring me, cause soon everyone does this break-beat, or scatterd stuff.
I also want to compose... not just messing and screwing around with Reaktor... and therefore I want a good sequencer... with LAYERS, because composing means an interaction of different instruments and melodies or sounds.
It's okay if Ableton would include a step squenzer... cause this is similar to an arpeggiator... tools for COMPOSING ...or stuff like more envelopes for midi.... it is also important for composing. If I use Ableton I want to do all with it... composing and mastering. such "matrix-envelopes" are a good way... combining everything with everything... because everyone can create what he/she really needs... in thousand different ways. thats great... and you don't need too much "technics" knowledge. It is important to keep it SIMPLE for the standard user... and complex for the power user! ;)

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