Make it a better DAW for folks who never loop stuff.

Share your wishes for the future of Ableton Live
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Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2005 7:07 am

Make it a better DAW for folks who never loop stuff.

Post by webslave » Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:02 pm

Ableton is great for quickly sketching out ideas. It can record my bands music easily (folders now makes comping possible although not perfect) and I can quickly put some effects on the channels and now can group the drums. I've moved to Logic twice from Live but, for putting together music, keep returning back to Live. I know it does lots of stuff I only do once in a while, like electronica and dance and can be used live for djing and live playback of sets in a djing kind of way. I've nothing against all that but that's not what I'm doing. I'm doing, ironically, a lot of stuff with live instruments.


What about folks like me who play an instrument with other folks who also play an instrument? I use Live alot and for me the session view = mixer (I'm not looping anything in 90% of what I'm doing) but do spend my music life doing fairly normal stuff like edit tracks for timing etc and the kind of stuff sane people would probably do in Pro Tools or possibly Reaper (I don't want to change my tools again).

To make Ableton a viable DAW only requires a few alterations and tweaks, many of which have been mentioned before but I just want to get down as I'm having a break from editing some drums.

1. Proper comping. Here's how it can work.
- Looping when recording adds a track below the first track in a folder alongside the first track with all the settings / effects from the first track moved to the folder. May require multiple levels of folders if you are recording in a group! Or maybe there is special comping folder for this.
- option to use single or multiple channels in a folder. In single mode you make up the comp track from a bit of anytrack but only one bit. Much like (but more usable) Logic.

2. More group level functions.
- Ability to see folders in the explore view please. I had 4 channels called 'snare' as I duplicated the folder when recording and then recorded different drum takes into those folders. I then needed to move an earlier take into a later version of the project.
- Edit time of group via folder line. Again useful for drums or comping. If you need to adjust time it takes a lot of time to slice across 5 tracks all the time and there's room for mistakes. All the tracks need to stay in synch as you move them around.
- Warp a group. Hey automatic timing correction for something with multiple mics - good for drums / guitars etc.
- Freeze a group. Disk access is a pain on some machines - freezing a drum track or orchestral bit or multi voice backing track would help a lot.

3. Session view navigation.
The current way for zooming and navigation if funky but really irritates after a while. So..
- Mouse zoom (horizontal and vertical)
- Zoom in and out of all tracks - resizing tracks is time consuming.
- Make the underscore also zoom out. - and + make sense but as you have to hold down shift for + on a mac but not the minus, well you get the idea.

4. Ghost parts.
Is it possible to do these as with Cubase? If so it's not obvious. If I want the same midi bit in more than one place but not in a loop why can't you just have ghosted part? I feel I might be missing something on this one but I'm never quite sure.

5. Mixer and session view together.
Not a biggie but would help. As would support for multiple screens (the other is currently my plugin screen, oh yeah - a way to keep plugins up even when the track is not selected would be nice ).

6. Drum replacement.
Big thing for production folks these days. Some producers use an pre-engineering dude or dudess to go through and fix timings and also add in an alternative kick and/or snare in time with the existing tracks. Drumagog does this very well and Ableton live can do something close with it's slice to midi but that's more for getting those aphex twin cut up effects etc. So what's needed is a simple monophonic trigger to midi with sensitivity control and obvious routing options. Maybe there's a hack there somewhere already.

7. Improve the core plugins.
- Reverb. It's back as a sound thanks to better sounding reverb plugins available. Convolver?
- Tuner (give it a midi out for some creative fun)
- Better metronome (it's pain having to make up tracks if the blip blip blip is sending the drummer crazy).
- EQ baked into mixer as an option. It's right up there with pan as something you tweak when mixing.

8. Favourites in plugins.
I should get into racks I know but if you want to slap a limiter on a track quickly....

9. Soundflower style routing natively. Virtual outputs and inputs for linking in other programs available in the OS. Using soundflower I use the instruments from Logic / Garageband in live with effects etc.

10. Also how about the transport controls on the mac keyboard working for Live? Anyone know how to do that?

If I've missed ways to do any of the above quickly that are in Live already it'll be good to know. It's a few steps away from being a much broader production tool.

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