Building a live set

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:52 pm

Building a live set

Post by suhler » Mon Jan 11, 2016 12:36 pm

Hi everyone,

I`m building my first live set and and I`m wondering how I should approach it. I use push 2 and produce deep tech.

What I have up until now:
- First 8 tracks: 3 drum racks, 1 audio track for sub bass, 1 audio track for bass, 1 audio track for drones, 1 audio track for leads, 1 midi track with a dubby instrument that I can tweak
- Next 8 tracks: the same (the reason why I make additional drum racks on the next page is because I don`t have time to permanently swap between the pages while playing)

My goal:
I don`t want to use the same instrument over and over, so the only way I see it is spreading my live set over a lot of tracks or using audio tracks (like I do now). The problem with audio tracks is that I can`t tweak the synth settings on the fly, which is a bummer.

My questions:
- What does take up more resources in terms of ram and cpu power: adding more tracks with synthesisers (also using demanding synths like amazing noises` dark synth or outputs` signal) or using audio tracks with long audio clips on it. I fear that if I use 24 or more tracks it will bring my computer to its` knees.
- Do synthesisers that are not being used (i.e. the midi clip isn`t launched) take up computing power?

Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:52 pm

Re: Building a live set

Post by suhler » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:56 pm


Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:16 am

Re: Building a live set

Post by Arthur_Frain » Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:19 am

I'm where you are my friend, just starting out, but I'd suggest you use the CPU usage meter in the upper right hand corner (right next to the "KEY" and "MIDI" buttons to do a little experimenting on your way. Put in an audio track, and keep an eye on the usage, then put in one of your midi instrument synth tracks, and see which one hogs more CPU.

Just an idea. Good luck, I hope you're not feeling as overwhelmed as I am.

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Location: London, UK

Re: Building a live set

Post by zeropoint » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:03 pm

Generally speaking synth plug ins, third party ones especially, will eat more cpu. (depends partly on the complexity of the patch). Audio clips that are being warped and/ or transposed will consume more than those that are not. Complex Pro is the most CPU hungry warp algorithim.

Look into building instruments racks for the synths you wish to tweak live, and mapping chain selectors. See Clyph X below for selecting which device is active at which point in your set. Automate the device switches of your synths and effects so that only the active ones are switched on at any time.

Disable any FX, LFOs envelopes etc in your synths that you are not using.

You can build your drum kits for your whole set using a single drumrack with nested samplers - look into 128s.

Look into Clyph X, specifically snap action or X clips - again for complete automation and recall of the above.

See this:


Disable your external inputs (they use CPU) unless you are using external audio FX or are sampling live etc

Set Live's buffer at the maximum possible that still gives you a workable amount of latency. 256 should be fine. The lower you go the more hit your CPU will take.

Check this out. Several years old now but a stack of good info from Tom Cosm.
MacBook Pro 17" 2.93Ghz 8G Ram, Live 9.6, OSX 10.11.3,Faderfoxes, Monome........

Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:52 pm

Re: Building a live set

Post by suhler » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:31 am

Thank you very much, this helps a lot. Everything is smoother now :)

Sonic Revolutions
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:55 am

Re: Building a live set

Post by Sonic Revolutions » Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:26 pm

Indeed try ClyphX.

We do shows with multiple macbooks and mine alone has almost 100 channels.
With ClyphX I manage to keep my 2011 MBP under 40% utilization.

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