live techno sucks - discuss (please, this is not a troll!)

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
kennerb
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Post by kennerb » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:11 am

onyxashanti wrote:performers today put too much empahsis on the tools and not enough on the performer. if you didnt have ableton live, and had a guitar would you be any more or less interesting to watch or listen to? why? the only way to know, is to go out and do your live techno, house, DnB, RnB...whatever, in front of whoever. and keep doing it over and over again until you learn how to push your crowds collective buton.

onyx
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beatnick
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Post by beatnick » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:42 am

Pitch Black wrote:Hi, apologies to those who've read this before: (Re-post)

This is the setup for my 2-man band. Its pretty complicated because we wanted to have 16 separate outputs from Live into an analog mixing desk so we can do extensive dub mixing on stage, trigger video clips, and have a crash-proof setup.

We run Live on two Tibook 500's, each feeding 8 individual audio outputs via two RME Multifaces. The Tibooks are both chasing MIDI clock from my controller keyboard, a Roland A-37. The A-37 and a ReMote25 are used to trigger Scenes and Clips in Live and use MIDI CCs to control plugins/effects/levels etc.

One Tibook handles the rhythm section: mono kick, snare, bass, hats, stereo perc, stereo drums. The other Tibook handles the "instruments" as 4 stereo pairs. The "Instruments" machine also has a MIDI track sending MIDI sequences to a 17"Alubook that does video (using Modul8 software) Every scene has its own video sequence plus there are "overrides" under the keys on our MIDI controllers so that I can hit say, a huge reverb dub snare and there appears on the screen a shot of a seed pod exploding.

Once the Macs are loaded at the start of the gig they do not have to be touched at all until they are shut down at the end of the gig. All the control of Live is done from the MIDI keyboards. In fact the Macs are off to the side of the stage and we do not need to look at the computer screens at any time. No accusations of email-checking here, we'd much rather jump up and down!

One Live Set is used on each machine for the whole gig. Our Sets are about 110 tracks wide and about 250 Scenes deep. There is a trick of combining lots of songs accross the Session View left to right top to bottom. You just keep adding new tracks and new scenes so all your songs end up diagonally and top-to-bottom accross the page.

The clips and Scenes for each individual song are set to receive on a different MIDI channel. Song 1 on channel 1, song 2 on channel 2 etc. The MIDI controller keyboards are set up with one patch per song, each patch transmitting a different MIDI channel. Between songs I push the patch increment button on the A-37 controller and the ReMote 25 changes patch, the Akai sampler changes patch, the hardware FX change, and the next song in Live is instantly available under the keys.

As a safety measure, each Live set has a track (which is normally muted) playing a stereo rough mix of what the other Tibook is doing in any given scene. If one Tibook crashes, we can unmute this track and "fly on one engine" while we re-boot the other Mac. The MIDI is routed so that if one powerbook dies it doesn't take the other out. In the last 3 years, we've only ever had two crashes on stage - probably due to going too nuts and HAMMERING the midi - but this backup strategy worked sweetly each time without the audience knowing a thing.

The 16 individual audio outs from Live go into a Behringer 24 ch desk on stage. We have 4 hardware FX sends on this for our dub mixing. (Two Boss SE-50s, one doing 2 delays, the other doing 2 reverbs). I play the keyboards and Mike-the-other-half does the dub and also manipulates the video from a second ReMote25.

We are still using OS9 (gasp) on stage because our Tibooks are so elderly (one Gb of RAM max) and the sets so big OSX just doesn't wanna know! But we have OSX.4.2 partitions with Live 5 and Logic etc that we use in the studio.

There is some video of us playing live and a whole bunch of mp3s over at www.pitchblack.co.nz

cheers,
Paddy

Live rig specs:
Tibook 500 x 2
OS9.2.2
1Gb Ram
5400 rpm internal HD
RME Cardbus/Multiface
Live 4.0.2

Alubook 17"
OSX.3
Modul8 video software

Roland A-37
ReMote25 x 2

Akai S3200 sampler
Boss SE-50 multiFX x 2
Behringer 24ch desk
And it sounds.... AMAZING!

Pitch Black
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Post by Pitch Black » Wed Jan 18, 2006 12:50 am

onyxashanti wrote:performers today put too much empahsis on the tools and not enough on the performer. if you didnt have ableton live, and had a guitar would you be any more or less interesting to watch or listen to? why? the only way to know, is to go out and do your live techno, house, DnB, RnB...whatever, in front of whoever. and keep doing it over and over again until you learn how to push your crowds collective buton.

onyx
As they say: one gig is worth three rehearsals :!:

henry ford
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Post by henry ford » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:07 am

anyone from the USA been to a miss kitten show ? has she played over there ? maybe detroit ?


whilst living in amsterdam, I went to alot of electronic (multi genre) gigs...I'd go to pretty much anything, even if I wasnt impressed when I seen them before. Sometimes Id be just chillin on the balcony blazin the chalwa and checkin out the techniques. Unfortunately, theres some lazy sons of bitches out there, most memorably Chris Clarke. He hunches behind his laptop with his hand hovering over the touchpad - but not actually touching it ever - and on every big break, he kind of whips his arm in the air like a cowboy on a bucking bronko or something - as if he's just tweaked something to cause the break. Was pathetic. and I seen him a few times, I like his production tho. Shame that some of the artists on the warp label are just milking it, in terms of performance. (not even mixing , just standing)

pbajzek
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Post by pbajzek » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:07 am

Angstrom wrote:I used to start gigs with a big metal staff with a transducer in it , when I slammed it on the floor it triggered a real low kick through a shitload of distortion and reverb. You could see the crowd going 'holy fucking shit, what's happening' , sets them up for an altered state experience, permission granted. I gave it to the weird guy with the pole and the robes over there.
That is awesome. I wish I could have seen one of your sets, just for that brilliant piece of showmanship.

(I am not a DJ) Anyway, while I've been composing and recording for years, I'm still learning how to arrange stuff for live performance, but I have had a few great experiences playing electronic music live (with or without Live). I used to worry that my recordings (very complex, polyrhythmic, odd-metered compositions) would not translate well in a gig, at least with a one- or two-man band. I often have several layers of guitars (which I refuse to prerecord) and other drastic changes happening simultaneously, and I'd feel I was cheating the audience if I were to pre-sequence parts that I should be playing.

But I've found that if I let go of my rigid notions of how the piece "should sound" and strip everything down to the bare-bones essence, I can create completely different takes on my songs, omiting some elements, emphasizing others. So what I play live may be totally different from my recordings, but I realized hey, that's a good thing. Why would I want to play something note-for-note when I could just pop on the CD? I think it's good to let the music live 2 lives this way.

A few weeks ago I did a 2-man gig playing for a big dance party on short notice, and we each basically queued up some rhythmic structures and drum loops (me in Live, the other guy on a Repeater) and sketched out what kind of sonic and harmonic qualities we wanted each "piece" to have. When the time came to play, we had a roadmap and improvised (both of us on guitars and synths), building big droning soundscapes then kicking in the loops, etc. It was totally organic as we were able to interact with the crowd intimately, vary our set to fit the moment and call up our structures at will. It went over very well and I would definitely use this approach in the future.

Sorry for rambling. Thanks for all the great posts- I love reading everyone's interesting and varied ideas.

tomperson
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Post by tomperson » Wed Jan 18, 2006 2:56 pm

pbajzek wrote:
But I've found that if I let go of my rigid notions of how the piece "should sound" and strip everything down to the bare-bones essence, I can create completely different takes on my songs, omiting some elements, emphasizing others. So what I play live may be totally different from my recordings, but I realized hey, that's a good thing.
Totally agree, I have experienced the same feeling with my own tracks, and have rediscovered them in some way...
pbajzek wrote:
A few weeks ago I did a 2-man gig playing for a big dance party on short notice, and we each basically queued up some rhythmic structures and drum loops (me in Live, the other guy on a Repeater) and sketched out what kind of sonic and harmonic qualities we wanted each "piece" to have. When the time came to play, we had a roadmap and improvised (both of us on guitars and synths), building big droning soundscapes then kicking in the loops, etc. It was totally organic as we were able to interact with the crowd intimately, vary our set to fit the moment and call up our structures at will. It went over very well and I would definitely use this approach in the future.
This is something I'm up to too, making sound collages, I have done that at home alone or with friends, but I need to spend some months preparing a decent amount of good material before doing it in front of people. I think that kind of performance suits perfectly for a two man show, where each of the involved can push the other part towards new directions, creating a really interactive and (as said) organic piece. But you have to be careful, otherwise you might end up tweaking a filter for 5 minutes and having an orgasm while doing so but the audience may not be that..."interested"...

As for a standard live set of your tracks, it's true, it gets *a lot* of work involved in transforming your studio tracks in "live tracks", I think the most common strategy is to keep it simple. Divide the song into 4 or 5 groups of instruments (bass, drums, keyboards/pads, voice, etc) and then loop the most important parts of the track for each of these groups. You will probably want to simplify a bit the structure of the song, looping every single different beat will drive you crazy and will probably not make such a big difference. Another thing I learned: subtle effects aren't even heard in club PA's, so nevermind if you lost that tiny FX tweak in the process.

My 2 cents.-[/quote]
Turn up the radio. Turn up the tape machine. Look into the sunset up ahead. Roll the windows down for a better taste of the cool desert wind. Ah yes. This is what it's all about. Total control now.

Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:19 pm

check out some of MY live techno that truly sucks here. :wink:

http://www.youtube.com/w/TimeShard---Ar ... 6_3OZNmJt4

the quality out of that youTube clip is terrible, I think I haven't got the hang of what format they like yet.

djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:56 pm

Pitch Black wrote:Hi, apologies to those who've read this before: (Re-post)

This is the setup for my 2-man band. Its pretty complicated because we wanted to have 16 separate outputs from Live into an analog mixing desk so we can do extensive dub mixing on stage, trigger video clips, and have a crash-proof setup.

We run Live on two Tibook 500's, each feeding 8 individual audio outputs via two RME Multifaces. The Tibooks are both chasing MIDI clock from my controller keyboard, a Roland A-37. The A-37 and a ReMote25 are used to trigger Scenes and Clips in Live and use MIDI CCs to control plugins/effects/levels etc.

One Tibook handles the rhythm section: mono kick, snare, bass, hats, stereo perc, stereo drums. The other Tibook handles the "instruments" as 4 stereo pairs. The "Instruments" machine also has a MIDI track sending MIDI sequences to a 17"Alubook that does video (using Modul8 software) Every scene has its own video sequence plus there are "overrides" under the keys on our MIDI controllers so that I can hit say, a huge reverb dub snare and there appears on the screen a shot of a seed pod exploding.

Once the Macs are loaded at the start of the gig they do not have to be touched at all until they are shut down at the end of the gig. All the control of Live is done from the MIDI keyboards. In fact the Macs are off to the side of the stage and we do not need to look at the computer screens at any time. No accusations of email-checking here, we'd much rather jump up and down!

One Live Set is used on each machine for the whole gig. Our Sets are about 110 tracks wide and about 250 Scenes deep. There is a trick of combining lots of songs accross the Session View left to right top to bottom. You just keep adding new tracks and new scenes so all your songs end up diagonally and top-to-bottom accross the page.

The clips and Scenes for each individual song are set to receive on a different MIDI channel. Song 1 on channel 1, song 2 on channel 2 etc. The MIDI controller keyboards are set up with one patch per song, each patch transmitting a different MIDI channel. Between songs I push the patch increment button on the A-37 controller and the ReMote 25 changes patch, the Akai sampler changes patch, the hardware FX change, and the next song in Live is instantly available under the keys.

As a safety measure, each Live set has a track (which is normally muted) playing a stereo rough mix of what the other Tibook is doing in any given scene. If one Tibook crashes, we can unmute this track and "fly on one engine" while we re-boot the other Mac. The MIDI is routed so that if one powerbook dies it doesn't take the other out. In the last 3 years, we've only ever had two crashes on stage - probably due to going too nuts and HAMMERING the midi - but this backup strategy worked sweetly each time without the audience knowing a thing.

The 16 individual audio outs from Live go into a Behringer 24 ch desk on stage. We have 4 hardware FX sends on this for our dub mixing. (Two Boss SE-50s, one doing 2 delays, the other doing 2 reverbs). I play the keyboards and Mike-the-other-half does the dub and also manipulates the video from a second ReMote25.

We are still using OS9 (gasp) on stage because our Tibooks are so elderly (one Gb of RAM max) and the sets so big OSX just doesn't wanna know! But we have OSX.4.2 partitions with Live 5 and Logic etc that we use in the studio.

There is some video of us playing live and a whole bunch of mp3s over at www.pitchblack.co.nz

cheers,
Paddy

Live rig specs:
Tibook 500 x 2
OS9.2.2
1Gb Ram
5400 rpm internal HD
RME Cardbus/Multiface
Live 4.0.2

Alubook 17"
OSX.3
Modul8 video software

Roland A-37
ReMote25 x 2

Akai S3200 sampler
Boss SE-50 multiFX x 2
Behringer 24ch desk

Ah yes - these cats put ona proper show - seen them up front and live (even got a backstage tour :))

Good stuff - banging the real the deal!

Props


Adonis
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KU
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Giving it up

Post by KU » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:57 pm

Angstrom wrote:perhaps a drama class is the most use.

I used to start gigs with a big metal staff with a transducer in it , I gave it to the weird guy with the pole and the robes over there.
I very much agree with this. People come to a club to dance and give it up. As musicians, perhaps sometimes we expect folks to take us simply for our musical offering. This is just not my experience, unless your reputation precedes you.

DJ's just don't do it for some people, they need to feel that a performance is happening... that something unique is happening that takes skill.
Last edited by KU on Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pbajzek
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Post by pbajzek » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:00 pm

Angstrom wrote:check out some of MY live techno that truly sucks here. :wink:

http://www.youtube.com/w/TimeShard---Ar ... 6_3OZNmJt4

the quality out of that youTube clip is terrible, I think I haven't got the hang of what format they like yet.
Sucks? No way, that was great stuff! Uh... the music was great. Your video kind of gave me a seizure... anyway, the point is I enjoyed it quite a bit.

markaugust
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Post by markaugust » Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:07 pm

I am pretty amazed that nobody mentions Mathew Jonson or Anthony Rother as far as live gigs go.
I've seen em both a few times, and these guys push the envelope. and then Anthony in particular. He runs cubase, (or at least he did last time) but plays 3 different keyboards, a jomox,and a virus rack partially live, while he is singing into the vocoder!
so he is on the border of making mistakes, but you see him work himself into sweat...
and that makes it perfectly bearable if a beat goes on for 30 seconds more then planned, cauz he has to find this one preset...
He got better through the years though, but I gotta say, the first time with the most mistakes was allready bangin!
Mathew Jonson not as much as Anthony, but still on the border; has live running with a controller and a machinedrum, but all going into this big 24 channel deck, while programming his beats on the fly with the MD and using all the 24 channels via mutes and sends on the mixer, makes it look like he is working his ass off!
and that looks good, I think; it get's a vibe and the specialness of electronic music live...
I could go jamie lidell talk here also (amazing!!!), but we were talking techno,
right?

this all in contrast with a guy like sleeparchive, who I saw a few months ago.
4 tracks in live, beer in one hand, one finger on the trigger next scene button, and that was it....
the most boring live-experience I have ever encountered...

cubbie
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Post by cubbie » Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:54 pm

Live techno is great!!!!

I've seem GREAT live PA's that left my head spinning.

Speedy J!!
Adam Beyer and Cari Lekebusch
Riche Hawtin (he can blow you away with just a 909..I've heard its the same thing with Jeff Mills)

Probably the coolest live set I ever saw..was a house set...Together..feat. DJ falcon, Cassius, and Thomas Bangalter from Daft Punk.

They had vinyl, 2 laptops running LIVE, drum machines, hardware..everything..sometimes it was completely live and raw, sometimes it was more a live "remix" of existing tracks. They really worked everybody over. Amazing.

Yes studio production always sounds better..but LIVE has started the evolution of "something else" live "in the moment tweaks" and changeups..

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Post by forge » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:25 am

I'm really appreciating this thread - it's inspired me to carry on rendering all the seperate loops from my tracks and give it another go!

djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:34 am

Image
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Angstrom
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Post by Angstrom » Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:07 am

Sorry, that last video was just too mangled -
Live Techno of some kind from me and my hairy group.

Image

"Daily Motion" streaming service seems best, better bandwidth and a hillariously unintentional turdy name.

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