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Ableton Live 5 = WOW!

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by MKS, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. I've just loaded up Ableton Live 5 and I must say I'm really impressed. This has taken the already pretty sweet Live 4 and added more than a few bells and whistles to make creating tracks and remixing them really inspiring. I can see occasions when I'll still use Sonar to record more "conventional" 4-8+ track stuff, but for creating tracks I think Live is going to be my main workhorse from here on.

    Selected new stuff:
    - A few new effects including Flanger, Phaser, Chorus, Distortion. All of these are very flexible and go beyond the "normal" parameters you'd expect. Suffice to say you can some pretty extreme noises out of them.
    - A new glitch-oriented beat resampler which grabs beat-matched (e.g. 4/16th's worth) of your loop and mangles it using pitch-shifting, retriggering etc. to give really cool stuttering effects. Very cool for glitching up loops. You can set the randomness of what it does as well.
    - New navigation and browsing tools so that you can grab your clip and by dragging it to the browser automatically save out the clip and all effects applied to it. Great if you've got neat ideas you want to save for later without having to save the whole Live set.
    - You can now save groups of effects with their settings so that if you have a particular chain of FX you like, it's easy to store this for later.
    - You can audition patches for the soft-synths and FX simply by double clicking. Very cool.
    - You can now import MP3 files, clips or loops. It converts these to WAV behind the scenes and lets you choose the warp settings as before.
    - New warp settings allowing better warping of certain WAVs.
    - The start and end points of the loop are now decoupled from the start and end point of the WAV so that you can trigger the WAV and then enter into a loop point later. VERY useful.

    As ever all this can be controlled by MIDI etc. So using a suitable floorboard you can record loops, switch on and off FX etc.

    All in all a very cool piece of kit. I'm certainly digging it. Expect new tracks soon!

    <Mike> :hyper: :bassist:
  2. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    Thanks for the Post Mike!
    Ive been hearing alot about this on various recording forums!
    Im really glad your enjoying it! I still havent got my head around what seperates ableton from other sequencers. This product is geared more around using in a Live situation no? (hence the name :) )

    edit: just read up on it abit and andwered my own question! so yea, its basically a live tool...

  3. My own feeling is that Live is a fully functional sequencer but aimed at the real-time creation of music. viz: You start with a loop or two, set these going (beat-matched) then as you chuck more loops into the mix, trigger them, apply effects all the behind-the-scenes beatmatching and looping stuff is taken care of. You can record vocals, guitars, bass etc. then easily and quickly loop these up to go alongside the initial loops without too much extra effort. You can alternatively pull in many loops, hits, riffs, samples etc. and trigger these as the mood takes you and record the "performance" for later tidying up and editing.

    I've seen pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole do a storming live set with a guy triggering loops and effects from Live. The computer operator's job was to trigger loops, apply effects, mix etc. and BJ specified when to go from verse to bridge to chorus. But it still left the operator with lots of flexibility in his performance. At the same gig Steve Lawson joined in for an improv track - the guy running Live had synced his laptop to Steve's Echoplex (or vice-versa) and they did a storming looping improv using Live as a percussion and beat-loop base.

    The other very cool thing about Live is the ability to route the audio all over the place. It even resamples its own audio output for recording the mix as you go.

    [DISCLAIMER: I'm not affiliated to Ableton in any way - just a very happy user!]
  4. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland

    Man, that sounds like a BUNCH of fun! :).
    Im glad your enjoying it.. Im always sitting infront of the computer doing my recording so i guess i dont need anything like that. But damn, for a live set that thing sounds like a lotta fun, or for a little jam session...
    Do you use it primarily, for percussion or to loop your bass up for solo work?
    And do the Drum loops come in a loop library, or did you have to purchase the drum libraries yourself?
    Are the drums midi based, or are they audio loops?

    Sorry all these questions, but it really seems like a cool peace of software, i might have to download the demo and try it out sometime!

    Thanks Mike!
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    mmmm beat resampler... droool.

    I make all my glitch music by hand :(
  6. To be completely honest I've never ventured out further than my music room with this, I too am sitting in front of the computer, but the strength of Live is in making music "as you go" and kind of spontaneous composition rather than spending lots of time fiddling with stuff. Although as you say, for little jam sessions it would be great. You wouldn't need a drummer, keyboard player or horn section!! Even the guitarist should be afraid!!! ;)

    I have been recording my bass directly and looping that, but will be experimenting with adding beat loops (not necessarily drums per se, but more abstract rhythmic loops). I do program some drums, and have bought one or two sample CD's, but mostly I cull drum and beat loops from the cover CD of Computer Music. They give out 2000-3000 samples with each edition... BARGAIN. You need to sift through the rubbish sometimes, but occasionally you get a good 'un.

    Most of my beat loops are audio based, but Live has a couple of dedicated virtual samplers that are great for quickly knocking together loops.

    Yeah - the beat resampler is going to be ace for glitching up loops and "remixing" on the fly.
  7. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    Thanks alot Mike!!

    I think im experiencing S.A.S (Software Aquirement Syndrome)