A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

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Machinesworking
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A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by Machinesworking » Fri May 26, 2017 12:53 am

This is an odd post, don't know how it will be viewed, if it's even viewed really?

For years I've complained about Live not being like Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase, etc.
No SysEx, polyphonic aftertouch, NRPN is not there really, other DAWs have hundreds of keyboard shortcuts, at least a handful of automation types, and even drawing modes of automation,
even simple things like not having scroll wheel support, MIDI transforming tools etc etc etc.

AND

I recognize it's me not them.


There's a pattern here.


I think of it this way:

Digital Performer, Logic, Cubase etc. are recording workstation studios ala Pro Tools 2" tape etc.
You can use them for electronic music, sequence with them etc. but they also include a lot of studio tools, hundreds of features for arcane things you might want to do to audio or MIDI.
They require a huge amount of time to get the most out of them.

Live, ReNoise, Bitwig etc. are sampling sequencers you can use as a workstation.
You can use them as a recording studio for sure, but their lineage is more MPC, Fairlight CMI, DSX, turntables etc.
It's more about an immediate tactile approach than orchestrating a complex studio of tools.

Everything in Ableton's advertising points to this. You don't see recording studios, you see homes with a corner devoted to a laptop running Live and a turntable, MIDI controller and that's it.
I have wanted studio features in my performance sequencer, and Ableton will give some, but if I want an old school DAW, I'm always going to be disappointed. DP etc. will get VCA faders, MPE, and maybe even web collaboration features before Live does, and even if Live gets those things it will never catch up to the older workstation DAWs. It's not being developed to.

I'm 100% going to ask for features I want, not saying that, but it's obvious to me that Ableton have a vision that's carved out a huge niche for themselves, and if I'm to enjoy using Live, it's more about what it can do right now, not what it can do compared to Logic etc. Live will never be as complex as Logic etc., (even with M4L) it's not in the DNA. It's not a bad thing, the UI in the studio style DAWs is a huge cumbersome mountain to overcome before you fly around when using it, Live gets you up and running quick.

Angstrom
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by Angstrom » Fri May 26, 2017 2:12 am

It's my assumption that Gerhard really liked what Apple did in a seemingly overcrowded computer market rescuing a failing tech company with the iMac then the iPod then the iPhone (and the app store).
In short ... Apple sold a mass market product into a crowded market at a nice premium, and then locked the consumers into an ecosystem of add-on products and although the products are very capable, they are never meant to be niche. Apple sold into the middle of the market, and made billions.

some made-up numbers

Potential market of People who understand and require complex "industry" features like comping, scoring to picture, etc. and are prepared to abandon their current DAW to buy Live and a bunch of add-ons : 3 million people ?

Potential market of people who "like to DJ a bit", and like to make the occasional beat and have no real clue about how it all works but have a bit of spare cash from the dayjob to buy Live and a bunch of add-ons : 100 million people ?

Now, they could sell into the "pro" niche, but they'd have to really push it and put in features which might just possibly drag a ProTools user in, or a Nuendo user, or perhaps a Logic user, or ... but we know that people who use tools have entrenched workflows, and established interoperability between peers. It's very tough to get a working person to throw all their legacy knowledge away and keep being productive. Especially in an industry when the end product of "music" no longer has monetary value. What brings cash is brand affiliations, licensing, not songs. Studios are closing, and those with jobs are not tempted to try to score a blockbuster in a new DAW. Why jeopardise the production?

Or, we have the 100 million amateurs, the dabblers with half an hour to spend, or the person who wants to start a band and sound as good as their favourite track on day 1. The person who wants to have near instant beats when they get home from work, perhaps they do a "live" session at Xmas. There are a lot more amateurs with a grand to spare and if it doesn't work out .. well, the gym equipment cost a lot more and that's upside down in the garage, no problem.


meanwhile
Somewhere on a yacht made out of platinum[/b] Gerhard Behles is drinking cold beer out of his favourite diamond tankard, he extends his arms to embrace his global empire of livingroom beatmakers, he thinks of them all sampling vinyl into loops just like his promotional videos told them to do .. and that's OK because none of them will ever need to clear a sample anyway, that sample is never leaving their house. The music industry is no longer about digging for gold records it is about selling shovels now. Vendor locked shovels.
Livepacks are pre-made musical components for his customers to re-assemble as an audio jigsaw. Gerhard wonders if selling the jigsaw pieces on vinyl will further bolster the self image of the participants in their post-modernist re-assembly. The images of Old & cool technology in the branding recalls that different era, the before times. Now the valve compressor is no longer a tool but a status signifier giving a veneer of cool to an essentially hollow craft project.

Laughing at the absurdity of late stage consumerist life Gerhard allows himself to fall backwards into the pool which is filled with baby oil and warm gold coins.

Tarekith
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by Tarekith » Fri May 26, 2017 2:53 am

:lol:

I blame the orange dot of yore.

Machinesworking
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by Machinesworking » Fri May 26, 2017 7:10 am

Angstrom FTW! :x

I'm not trying to say Live is a toy, try using Logic or any other old school linear DAW like an MPC or sampler, it's cumbersome.
Live does a great job of being immediate, getting ideas out, but I would never want to do orchestral or film composing in it. You can, but I'm always wondering what the hell people are thinking using it for that? No sheet tablature, high CPU use etc. Things get out of hand quick unless you're printing to audio a lot. Writing an electronic song though is going to be so much easier in a DAW with a quickly understandable UI.

Tarekith wrote::lol:

I blame the orange dot of yore.
:x :x :x :x :x

Stromkraft
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by Stromkraft » Fri May 26, 2017 10:49 am

To me the promise is in the name: Live. The abilities for live performances are what Ableton have let slip trough their fingers and increasingly hitting their user's ability to create great music in performances.

For a DAW that promises to be a great performance tool, lack of expressive parts of MIDI (Polyphonic Aftertouch, MPE) and kinda high CPU use, incompatibilities with plug-in multi-core support are great wounds that are letting the life pour out of a potentially great DAW.

Yes, packs are typically overrated and have glaring issues when carefully studied. But packs can be ignored and not installed and Live still works great, especially with great plug-ins.

Live is not a toy. Also the other music software makers will have to broaden their markets also to hobbyists. That doesn't mean you have to stop serving the people that happen to get paid for what they do.
Make some music!

antic604
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by antic604 » Fri May 26, 2017 11:42 am

@Angstrom, great post! :)

I'm falling into the category of users you described - music making is just a hobby for me and I chose Live because in the past I worked in trackers (more recently in Renoise) and the session view and device panel really speak to me.

Having said that, I still find it irritating that Ableton refuses to fix things bothering even the most casual users: high-DPI screens support on PC, cumbersome zooming in Arrangement, support for 32/64bit plugins, lack of native LFO, the fiddly integration with M4L, etc. Those are not 'pro' features. They're basics and seem to be quite easy to fix, but they just don't want to.

Or maybe I'm not casual enough for Ableton to care, because if I read some of the questions here or on FB; people REALLY have no idea what they're doing...

Stefan Jantschek
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by Stefan Jantschek » Fri May 26, 2017 11:43 am

Come on, guys!
Yet another thread with lots of hot air about:

-nothing!

There´s a fundamental question.
Just decide what you believe:

A)
Abletons are heavily working on Live 10 with the knowledge that the base of the app is done in "unusual ways".
So every little thing they add leads to a big amount of trouble.
But they try and working on it - of course - in silence.

B)
They believe that Apple is the measure of all things, the work is successfully done and our hopes and patience got abused for obsolescence and marketing.

There´s not even a secret hint for this answer...

8)

antic604
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by antic604 » Fri May 26, 2017 11:47 am

@Stefan, I pray for A), while being afraid it's actually B)

Angstrom
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by Angstrom » Fri May 26, 2017 11:56 am

Stromkraft wrote:To me the promise is in the name: Live. The abilities for live performances are what Ableton have let slip trough their fingers and increasingly hitting their user's ability to create great music in performances.
I agree that a good niche was "live performance", it wasn't covered well at the time and still isn't. But it's still a very niche niche.
Lets imagine a parallel world where Ableton Live remained focused entirely on Live performance. So that means there's no arrangement view, nothing to do with song creation at all, nothing to do with making mixdowns with CPU intensive plugins, and probably nothing like Max4Live.

Imagine an alternative world where Live had just a very tightly focused Live Performance feature set which was based on clips, library management, preset loading and stacking, robust plugin support and hardware integration. Probably not much midi editing, and not much in the way of automation. That version of Live would be like a cross between Live 4, and Mainstage.

Now how does that business plan play out? What is the potential market capitalisation.
To dominate the market the way Abeton have done they successfully covered a good portion of the music creation process, there are many more people having a go at making beats than there are people getting up on a stage. In fact, If we did a survey of current Live users I'd suspect that only 20% have ever performed music on an actual stage, and I suspect that only 5% of Live users have performed on stage several times. How many current Live users have done 100 gigs? 0.01% ?

So, the market for a Live-Live would be considerably less engaged than the current universe.

Now, with the version of Ableton Live we have, how many users have made 100 beats?
70% ? That's quite a good product engagement. Comparatively speaking.

My own hope is that Ableton open the doors of the walled garden even more, in the way they have with Link.
If they can't offer a certain niche feature then perhaps they should allow closer integration with other applications which can.
If ableton don't want to spend time on getting a good arrangement interface then why not let PreSonus do it, open the API doors , send audio streams between the apps, and make a connection. PreSonus and Melodyne integrate well, and that kind of feature-sharing is cost-effective.

Machinesworking
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by Machinesworking » Sat May 27, 2017 1:24 am

What I meant by the title and subsequent post was that Ableton already have a vision of how the live and composing recording experience works, it's already in place.
Nothing's broken or not up to par in Live, it's just not exactly the way I would do it. With a turntable, some synth or guitar drum etc. hardware and Live with clips and Push 2, maybe some Max patches or your own design, and you have a live experience. It's not Mainstage, Live's internal plug ins and VSTi's are not how Ableton really expect you to perform live, that's been obvious forever.
Push 2 is there for some VSTi work, and why would Ableton support MPE when Push 2 doesn't have MPE support? They of course want you to use their approach. There's enough in the Arrangement to mix and master a whole album as well.

Now compare what Live offers to Mainstage, or it's recording and mastering facilities to other DAWs etc. and you can think DAW X or Mainstage etc. do "it" better. But none of them quite do what Live does. Ableton obviously have a vision, it just might not be your vision. The case I was making wasn't to be disappointed or to call Live a half baked product in any way shape or form, it was to point out that thinking as grounded in a game of "comparative DAW 101", a 'grass is greener' logic. I still use Digital Performer and am about to purchase LogicX to data mine some Logic 8 songs I did, nothing wrong with using another DAW when you want something Ableton aren't developing in Live; anyone who is frustrated by Ableton's development is by no means tied to only using Live. Even Tarekith occasionally uses Studio One... I just think with no malice intended that it's ironic that most will dismiss my approach because of the inherent complexity while bemoaning Live's simplicity. It's a "I want it fast and cheap and of the highest quality" mentality, it's destined to disappoint.

It's more complex, but if you're on OSX you can wire in Mainstage, you can set up things to work the way you want, that Ableton have a different vision of performance or what features are important for Live shouldn't be a shock, that's all I'm saying.

stringtapper
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by stringtapper » Tue May 30, 2017 5:17 pm

I recently started a weekly gig on keyboard where I need to have a bunch of different "modern" synth and piano sounds for each tune.

I tried using Live for the first couple of weeks and then eventually relented and redesigned my rig from the ground up using Mainstage. There's no way I'd go back to Live for this kind of work now.

Live + M4L will always be my experimental playground of choice though.
Unsound Designer

Angstrom
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by Angstrom » Tue May 30, 2017 5:51 pm

It always surprises me that Ableton lamely surrendered such a huge part of their market. Mainstage came out in 2007, the same time as Live 7.
Live still has nothing even slightly close to it. Not even a basic way to manage presets on a stage. No built in way to load up a preset bank for a song and play it, then flip to the next one.

I don't have access to Mainstage - but what I've seen of it, the drag and drop interface building, the ability to easily build and edit a live rig, is exactly what I would hope Ableton would do. Intuitive, flexible, powerful, simple to use.
But ... nope.

stringtapper
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by stringtapper » Tue May 30, 2017 6:32 pm

The flexibility of routing and transforming MIDI messages in Mainstage is pretty nuts.

My rig is just a Korg SV-1, a Roland FC-300*, and a MOTU 838x. Mainstage can not only change patches within itself but also change patches on the SV-1 as well. There's just no way to do stuff like that easily in Live.


*I can't believe I used the FCB1010 for so long and didn't just buy the Roland. The build quality of the expression pedals alone is worth the extra $300, but the ease of changing the messages for each pedal being just a couple of button presses and knob turns away is where it really buries the Behringer.
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BoddAH
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by BoddAH » Wed May 31, 2017 2:58 pm

Machinesworking wrote:This is an odd post, don't know how it will be viewed, if it's even viewed really?

For years I've complained about Live not being like Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase, etc.
No SysEx, polyphonic aftertouch, NRPN is not there really, other DAWs have hundreds of keyboard shortcuts, at least a handful of automation types, and even drawing modes of automation,
even simple things like not having scroll wheel support, MIDI transforming tools etc etc etc.

AND

I recognize it's me not them.


There's a pattern here.


I think of it this way:

Digital Performer, Logic, Cubase etc. are recording workstation studios ala Pro Tools 2" tape etc.
You can use them for electronic music, sequence with them etc. but they also include a lot of studio tools, hundreds of features for arcane things you might want to do to audio or MIDI.
They require a huge amount of time to get the most out of them.

Live, ReNoise, Bitwig etc. are sampling sequencers you can use as a workstation.
You can use them as a recording studio for sure, but their lineage is more MPC, Fairlight CMI, DSX, turntables etc.
It's more about an immediate tactile approach than orchestrating a complex studio of tools.

Everything in Ableton's advertising points to this. You don't see recording studios, you see homes with a corner devoted to a laptop running Live and a turntable, MIDI controller and that's it.
I have wanted studio features in my performance sequencer, and Ableton will give some, but if I want an old school DAW, I'm always going to be disappointed. DP etc. will get VCA faders, MPE, and maybe even web collaboration features before Live does, and even if Live gets those things it will never catch up to the older workstation DAWs. It's not being developed to.

I'm 100% going to ask for features I want, not saying that, but it's obvious to me that Ableton have a vision that's carved out a huge niche for themselves, and if I'm to enjoy using Live, it's more about what it can do right now, not what it can do compared to Logic etc. Live will never be as complex as Logic etc., (even with M4L) it's not in the DNA. It's not a bad thing, the UI in the studio style DAWs is a huge cumbersome mountain to overcome before you fly around when using it, Live gets you up and running quick.
Image

antic604
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Re: A case for acknowledging Ableton's roadmap.

Post by antic604 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:23 pm

Great interview with Gerhard Behles on Ableton & Live, with some hints on improvements to Live GUI coming "soon" in last 2 minutes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M07PETr ... e=youtu.be

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