How I manage many live sets on stage

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patrickstinson
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How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by patrickstinson » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:27 pm

This is a follow-up post to this: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=195685 and this: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=195714&p=1539079#p1539079.

Like a lot of people, I write each new song in a new live set and use a lot of crazy VSTs and ableton devices with live effects like side-chaining, etc. I've always had a hard time figuring out how to perform these on stage when switching sets, CPU usage other stage considerations (live musicians, normalize tracks to house sound check), etc come into play. This is how I do it:

Goals:

- Keep CPU managable.
- Switching songs had to be a no-brainer, and use Push's session view.
- Normalize levels to match house sound check.
- Retain ability to record loops and play songs live just like in song's original Live set.

The hardest part was figuring out how to consolidate all my song's stuff into a single track schema using at most 8 tracks, which requires some thought with pen and paper unique to your personal needs. In my case, some songs have 2 audio tracks and 4 midi tracks, some have 1 midi track and 4 audio tracks, etc. So I had to find the lowest common denominator between all of them:

- A dummy MIDI channel that I will get to later. This part is RAD.
- 3 audio tracks for either my live instruments or the occasional audio clip.
- 3 MIDI tracks for either live MIDI instruments or the occasional audio clip simulated using a MIDI drum rack.

HOW IT LOOKS WHEN I PERFORM:

Image

TRACK CONFIG

- Create a parent instrument or audio effect rack in each audio or midi track.
- Create a chain in each parent rack for each of your songs. Copy your instruments/effects for the song there.
- Name the first macro in the parent rack "Song"
- Map the parent rack's chain ruler to the "Song" macro and map each one to the index you want to use for that song.
- Map "Device On" for each child instrument or audio effect rack in the chain to only be enabled for the appropriate index (min=2,max=2 for song #2). This ensures that only the current song's devices are executing to save CPU.
- Set the chain's gain to match the mixer value in the song's original live set. I still need to figure out a way to raise or lower all chains in a single song at once.
- I didn't have enough audio tracks for all my audio clips, so I put them on one of the MIDI tracks using a drum rack and a simpler with square envelope (0ms release), 0db level, Vel 0.0%. TIP: ctrl-click (on mac) a one of simpler's settings and select "Copy value to siblings" to copy that value to the other simplers on the drum rack.

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MIDI LOOPBACK (TOTALLY RAD PART)

The real trick here is how to change the parent's Song Macro all of the tracks at once. Mapping each macro to a hardware MIDI knob would do it, but for a few reasons it would be better to have one message go out with the exact value, and have this automated with setting the tempo on the scene so I don't have to think about it. The solution is to use a MIDI Loopback device to send the song as a CC value from the dummy MIDI clip in the first scene for each song. My example uses the IAC Bus on mac, but I've heard you can also do this using MIDIYoke on Windows.

Once you set this up, you'll realize that you could instantly configure anything in your entire set from that one MIDI clip. Holy crap.

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ON-STAGE FLOW

Then when on stage, you have all of your tracks in a nice unified format, Your CPU is down to a single song's load, and all you have to do to start a new song is navigate there on Push's session view, trigger the first scene, arm your first track, and start playing. Here's how it all works:

Image

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Tagor
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by Tagor » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:10 am

know what ? thats amazing!

BUT! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::: @Ableton

THIS HAS TO BE DONE EASIER !

please make Live use one of the cores to preload the next set/track
or split live into 2 seperate moduls - a performance modul would be nice
where 2 tracks can be loaded like 2 players - thats what we need!

hudsonk
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by hudsonk » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:47 am

Hey there-I moved over here from our original thread.

That's a pretty genius solution. I feel like there is a way to get this process to work for my set up as it's similar to yours. I have only 2 tracks that host my Parent Instrument Rack with all it's little baby instrument racks. I use a dummy midi clip to trigger the chain selector via the Clip envelope editor. THis works flawlessly for me on stage and allows transitions between songs to be pretty brainless.

However, I can't figure out how to get from here to where you are-i.e. i can't seem to figure out how to actually map the macros.

I've never attached images so this might fail....

Here is where I am:

I use 8 tracks. The first 2 are fed from parent instrument racks that have baby racks inside them.

Image

The baby racks are triggered by these dummy MIDI clips.

Image

I set the chain selector using the envelope editor in each dummy MIDI clip.

Image


I also use dummy MIDI clips to trigger FX automation for all of our vocals.

patrickstinson
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by patrickstinson » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:27 am

I'm having trouble understanding your question. What is it about mapping the macros that you don't understand? Or do you not understand that a "Macro" is one of the knobs on the instrument rack, which I labeled "Song"?
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hudsonk
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by hudsonk » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:38 pm

I understand what a macro is. I will go through the steps again and see if I can be more specific. I know i was rather vague...I'm having a hard time articulating where I am getting hung up in this process.

As far as what you see in my set-up-will your solution work for me based on how I have things set up?

I think the answer is yes but I just want to make sure before pursuing the steps.

thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. I do believe one day this will be easier to achieve!

patrickstinson
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by patrickstinson » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:47 pm

I imagine it will probably work for you but I'm also having trouble following your setup based on what you added. Maybe give it a little more thought and description and I can check it out again?
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hudsonk
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by hudsonk » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:07 pm

I just had a breakthrough. I'm half way there.

hudsonk
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by hudsonk » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:39 pm

OK-

I have successfully mapped the Parent Instrument Rack Macros to control the chain selector and thus all the baby racks.

I followed your steps to use the IAC loopback function and ran into a problem in that step.

How do you map the Parent Rack Macro to channel 16 and CC1? I just can't figure out that part-i think if I get that mapped it will work correctly!

hudsonk
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by hudsonk » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:05 am

I have done everything exactly how you did it. The macro "Song" is controlling the chain selector.

Image

The dummy Midi clip is set to trigger chain "0" using CC1 (modulation):

Image

I am missing a step i think.

On your tutorial step 3 it says to map the macro "Song" to MIDI channel 16/CC1. I am not sure how to do this. In my macro mappings menu I am missing that line of command that you have.
The line that looks like this:

Macro Path Name Min Max
Song Dovel instrument Rack Song 0 127

I'm thinking that is the line I am missing? I don't know how to map it! It's probably simple but my brain can't figure it out.

patrickstinson
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by patrickstinson » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:51 am

I'm glad you asked that question. The best way to map the IAC value to a midi channel is to get a piece of software that sends it. I am on mac and used MIDI Simulator: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/35645/midisimulator. Or I'm sure there are others. Otherwise you have to set the dummy clip to loop and try to time going into midi map mode just right, which is a pain.
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Alberto877
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by Alberto877 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:35 am

@patrickstinson Thanks so much for all the information !!

I follow all the steps, and still have problems mapping the "Song" macro, I downloaded the MIDI Simulator, but I'm missing something....

When I tried to map the macro Song to my midi controller works perfect, the problem is recording the automation and send it to all the tracks.

I think my problem is "mapping the IAC value to a midi channel" I MIDI Simulator but can't figure out what to do with it.

What am I missing?

Thanks so much !!!

patrickkidd
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by patrickkidd » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:37 am

Alberto: the MIDISimulator app will send a midi message you specify to any midi out port on your machine, including the IAC bus. You have to configure the midi simulator to use that bus, and then give it a CC number and value in the two number boxes, and then click the button to send the midi message. When you do that you should see the midi input in Live light up. So, if you send that message with midi map mode enabled in Live and the Song knob selected, it will map that CC to that knob. In my example I used channel 16 for the IAC stuff just to keep it away from any controllers I was using. Let me know if you still have problems.


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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by H20nly » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:47 am

8)


*bookmark*

Tarekith
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Re: How I manage many live sets on stage

Post by Tarekith » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:35 am

Very interesting way of doing live sets, thanks for sharing such a detailed explanation of how you work. I love reading stuff like this, so totally different from mine but works just as well.

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