Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

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Blue4Ice
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Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by Blue4Ice » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:07 pm

I play in a band with a guitarist, drummer, bassist and singer and would like to use more of Live's features at our gigs such as triggering loops etc. However how do I keep loops in time with the rest of the band?

What do you all do?

kristiandupont
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by kristiandupont » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:17 pm

I haven't done this in a live situation, but that is what the tap button (in the upper left corner) is for, I guess.
So if you map that to something you can easily hit while playing, you can synchronize the Live tempo to your tempo real time.
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ollyb303
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by ollyb303 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:26 pm

Or you could run a click track out of Live to your drummer's headphones on a separate output and keep the rest of the band in time with Live...
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friend_kami
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by friend_kami » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:17 pm

the tap button is quite useless for this if you want something running already because when you hit tap it raises the tempo after the second hit, which means that if you , say, have your clip set to repitch it will repitch before setting in the right tempo again.

Blue4Ice
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by Blue4Ice » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:39 pm

yeah I have experimented with the tap and the tempo changes as per the post above :(

I know click track is an option but was hoping there would be something easier/better. Maybe its time to have a word with the drummer lol

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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by ollyb303 » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:35 pm

Much easier IMHO for a human to keep time with a machine than the other way around!
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hzd
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by hzd » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:05 pm

You could check out a program called In Time: http://www.circular-logic.com/

I haven't tried it out in a real situation, but using a trigger on the kick and snare can send midi messages to this program, that in turn sends a midi clock to ableton. I have tried altering the tempo in ableton using a mic just for testing. Don't know for sure, how it works with a drummer.
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mooncaine
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Good question. I've thought about how to get my jam buddy in

Post by mooncaine » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:34 pm

A buddy of mine who plays drums, and has really different interests than mine*, will be jamming with me soon. I've been thinking about how I can use Ableton Live while still staying in sync with him.

I know I can pipe a click track to headphones, but I can't imagine putting up with that harsh, eardrum-piercing click while also having your ears hammered with drums and the rest of the band's sound.

I've also thought about buying a momentary footswitch, hooking it up to my MIDI rig, and assigning it a MIDI CC. Then, in Live, I'd assign the same MIDI CC to the tap tempo button. Maybe with some practice, he and I could learn to use that tapper.

If he feels my loops are drifting out of sync, he'd have to tap that footswitch. That's a drawback.

I'm not sure how many taps he'd have to give it, but there's another drawback that I'm not happy with: if Ableton Live isn't playing, his fourth tap will start it. I hate that.

I was thinking, if the footswitch actually worked for us -- i.e., we could successfully keep synced enough to bother with it -- then it'd be worth my thinking about a pad he could whack with the stick. Not being a drummer, I'd just imagining I'd rather free up a hand than take my feet away from the hi-hat and kick.

Ideas on that?

--moonie

*I think it's great that he and I listen to very different kinds of music

lapieuvre
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by lapieuvre » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:07 am

In Time seems like an interesting solution... On my side I always used the good old click sent to the drummer. It has made its proofs over time. The best is when everyone has the click in their monitors. (as long as you're in-ear!) Especially if you use loops, you don't want the time to move!

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Jarvisimon
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by Jarvisimon » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:53 pm

always get players to sync to the click rather than the other way round.

click syncs work on an average basis, the more bars you average over the smoother the tempo, therefore, smaller averages bring greater fluctuations. It may be fine for a while until your songs need a tempo/time signature change.

Of course this takes away some of the human feel but this isn't always a bad thing, drummers are prone to speeding up when they have to play a busy fill/roll or something similarly different to a steady beat.

I would say that 99% of the music we hear on the radio is tempo sync'd.

electropoet
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by electropoet » Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:50 pm

You dont just have to sync to a click. Often I'll sync to a very simple beat and send that to headphones...or maybe a simple pattern with snare on the 2 and 4 and quarter note hats syncopated and quantized to taste...that way the pattern the drummer plays to can swing depending on the music...i also sometimes double that up with the click...lots of things you can do...have worked with circular logic...its fucks up in a hurry and real bad...didn't feel good about spending a lot of time trying to get used to a product that probably wouldn't work very well live.

JAMM
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by JAMM » Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:37 pm

When i play live with "real" musicians i often am the tempo-captain and
so i give the drummer a headphone with a clicktrack (on a seperate output)
The rest off the band sinqs with the drummer and so everybody is in perfect sinq.

When this is not possible or the drummer don,t like the clicktrack i sinc up with the tap button and then finetune that with the "Tempo Nudge Up" buttons which i have connected with a midi controller.

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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by garyboozy » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:18 am

click track here too. not the metronome peep, though. i use impulse on a seperate output with simple hihat/rimshot patterns, with rides and crashes for different cues in the song. the drummer also gets a backing track mix at half the volume of the click track. works really well.

legofsalmon
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by legofsalmon » Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:17 am

This is where MaxforLive will come in handy. To make solutions to a wide range of problems easily.

Using a sensor/mic to pick up beats from the kit, and convert to MIDI data to send to ableton would work in theory, though it would depend on the drum style. Example, if you wanted to attach your mic to the snare/kick then live is expecting a straight 4/4 tap. If there are any doubles [like there could be in a roll or fill] then it might screw it up a bit. Likewise, you couldn't use the toms for the triggers as they may not be used for a large part of the song, and the cymbals would be hard to get clear readings off since they have such a high release.

Max could smooth this out, acting as a buffer so that only solid beats go to live, straining and filtering unwanted MIDI data.

I've used a MIDI footswitch to tap tempo into Live, though I recommend using the tempo nudge mapped to some controller too. With both you can deal with any tempo irregularities efficently.

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mooncaine
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Re: Using Ableton Live with a band playing live

Post by mooncaine » Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:22 pm

Perhaps, but I'm interested in using Ableton Live to do this, esp. the version I have right now. Thanks, though.
:)

I appreciate the suggestions, folks!

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