Why Did I Buy Abelton Live?

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shapshankly
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Post by shapshankly » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:13 am

Ableton is worth every penny imho. But I would seriously discourage people from using it as their main DAW for production.

It's great for ideas and the workflow is very good for sketching, but in terms of manageability of mixes and features that you really do need to get the very best out of your music it just doesn't cut it for me.

don't get me wrong, there are a lot of very powerful features in there and some absolutely incredible routing options, but i find the interface clunky and difficult to manage once i get over 10 tracks.

I'm using it live to do a live set of my own material, but not just playing back full tunes, breaking down those tunes into smaller loops and triggering on the fly to create new music out of the original song.

it's a bit slow to get off the ground, but i'm getting there!
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Post by h0ffman » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:41 pm

Ableton shmableton..

Personaly I don't like it.

If you wanna write tunes, get reason, or cubase.

If you wanna dj MP3's, stear well clear, Ableton timestreches everything it plays, so makes your tunes sound shit. Use tracktor instead, that rocks!

If you wanna live loop antics, then maybe ableton is the one.
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Post by Splashmash » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:01 pm

h0ffman wrote: If you wanna dj MP3's, stear well clear, Ableton timestreches everything it plays, so makes your tunes sound shit. Use tracktor instead, that rocks!
Only if you tell it to!

Set your clip to "repitch" and it'll work in exactly the same way as Traktor et al.

Re. Don't use it to produce on: Guess it's personal preference but I've used Cubase since 1992 and abandoned it completely about a year ago. Now I'm using solely live (and embarking on a journey into max/msp hehe) and my tunes have never sounded better.
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Post by SubtleGestures » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:02 pm

jesus christ


Go play with your fuckin stupid ass $1000+ Logic bullshit Breaka and leave a badass product like Live alone since you're obviously a cuntbag..... or better yet shithead - go use pro tools


And to whoever said, that Live "isn't all that good for cutting up breaks"


WTF........ what are you smoking dude



Live is the EASIEST freaking sequencer in EXISTENCE


hoffman - "If you wanna dj MP3's, stear well clear, Ableton timestreches everything it plays, so makes your tunes sound shit. Use tracktor instead, that rocks!"

You moron - don't go giving incorrect info to people - it only timestretches something if you use any algorithm other than Pitch. Use Pitch stupid ass if you don't want it to timestretch your song.

Get your facts straight before you go badmouthing one of the dopest sequencers of all time.



(badmouthing Live)
not on my watch
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Post by nectarios » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:08 pm

SubtleGestures wrote:jesus christ


Go play with your fuckin stupid ass $1000+ Logic bullshit Breaka and leave a badass product like Live alone since you're obviously a cuntbag..... or better yet shithead - go use pro tools
:lol:
What the hell are you doing posting in the production forum since you don't make any tunes anyway?
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Post by Splashmash » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:10 pm

Haha. SubtleG's reply was nearly exactly the same as mine... except shoutier :lol: Maybe I'm too restrained.
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Post by sick rick » Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:28 pm

SubtleGestures wrote:You moron
:lol:

i forgot how much i love that word - cussing for the bourgeoisie
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Post by shapshankly » Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:38 pm

splash, i used live 4/5 solely for production for about a year and i got very frustrated with it. went back to cubase because it just made more sense and worked better for actually producing.

perhaps you've just got better at producing anyway (irrespective of DAW)?

either way, don't know about you hoff, but after my ears have been blasted at for a while i can't really tell if something has been compressed/bit reduced whatever.

bo.
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Post by Splashmash » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:03 pm

shapshankly wrote:splash, i used live 4/5 solely for production for about a year and i got very frustrated with it. went back to cubase because it just made more sense and worked better for actually producing.

perhaps you've just got better at producing anyway (irrespective of DAW)?

.
There are definitely some slightly annoying issues with live (e.g. the slow copy and paste) but for me the non-linear paradigm is SOOO much more in tune with the way I like to work that the pros far outweigh the cons. I just like to jam and lay down bit and bobs live. Whilst with Cubase everything has to be much more contrived and considered.

I've had to go back to Cubase a couple of times to pull out old projects etc and everytime hated the really slow convoluted way it made me do things. Things just seem to take a million time longer (and not being able to undo mixer and routing settings is a huge pain in the ass!). Out of curiosity - what were the things that frustrated you in live?

Yeah, you're right, Live is unlikely to have made me a better producer, but I think it definitely helps me get there quicker.
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Post by shapshankly » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:54 pm

not having folder tracks in live, the fact that when you get upwards of 20 tracks (which i practically always do)it's really hard to navigate around the arrangement page.

the mixing arrangements in live are appaling as well, the meters might as well be left out of the program and the fact you can't hide channels that you don't need to touch is very annoying.

i use a lot of multiple output instruments, like battery and kontact, and the fact that you have to have these outputs permanently on the screen is just wasted space.

the way channel stips work in cubase help me get a much tighter mix, the nly thing that i wish it had from live in this respect is the re-orderable effects. cubase is really let down by not having this feature.

also, the routing in cubase is bloody good, as is live, and i think in this respect the way that i work is all about ideas in my head rather than happy mistakes (which do happen as well!)

expandable automation tracks (i.e. being able to see more than 1 automation envelope at once).

live is better for assigning midi controllers and the keyboard assignments are really good too, cubase would benefit from adopting an idea like this.

the way you navigate around the arrangement in live is terrible. absolutely useless.

Lack of support for surround sound (though you can get around this by sending to custom made channels, but more hassle than needed).

in 5 the audio render doesn't work properly so you have to re-sample in realtime when you want to convert to audio, utter gashness!!

and the way you edit midi is just unbearable. really inconvenient and fiddly. no where near the midi control that cubase has. the routing is great, the actual way you edit midi is crap.

possibly the worst thing for me, the lack of ability to just draw in a clip that you can then edit. in cubase, just draw an event then open it and edit the midi in it. in live, you just can't do this. a little thing but it got on my tits.



obviously these aren't massive problems, but i find that there are enough that make my workflow slower. I've also found that my mixes are better since going back to cubase, probably because i've come from mixing to ADAT so am more used to the "mixer/buss" paradigm that cubase uses.


NOTE: My mixes don't sound better because I think the audio engine is better, but merely because the way that the sequencer works allows me to mix my music better.


fuck that's a long post
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Post by Splashmash » Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:03 pm

Shapshankly:

All very good points and I don't disagree with any of them. Interestingly, I also came down the ADAT route.

Sounds like your biggest bugbear is the fact that all those tracks which you can't fold away are wasting space.

All those things you mention would be nice to see in Live. I guess I've just let myself change my workflow to suit live. When things get a bit complex I just bounce stuff. I quite like this limitation as it helps me move on rather than toil for ages over the same old things. I like the fact that it makes me work in a more "live" kind of way - making some noises, deciding I like them and then keeping them. Too many options for me slows me down horribly as I'm a perfectionist and if the option's there I will keep going back and tweak something forever.

Indeed, the metering's not great but I try to use my ears as much as I can.

Multiple envelolpes at once would be great but again not a HUGE prob for me as a quite like to tweak live and record a take.


I'm interested in what you say about surround sound. Do you do any surround stuff? Have you got a surround studio setup? I'd love one but £££

All good points though
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Post by sick rick » Wed Dec 14, 2005 7:05 pm

i don't know fuck all about live but didn't richie hawtin mix his new cd in surround sound on it? surely that suggests there must be a way
mine and my mates' still-sparkly record label - http://www.residentadvisor.net/record-l ... px?id=4742
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and the latest podcast representing... you guessed it - http://www.takerecords.co.uk/podcasts/TAKEcast5.0.mp3
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Post by shapshankly » Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:26 pm

dudley, you can do it, i never said you couldn't, it's just a lot more fiddly! if you want to do a lot.

@splash, i can definately see the advantages of the way of working, but each to their own i guess! i don't do much in surround, occasional bits of dvd work and things, but albeit limited.


i'll refine down what i was saying, basically cubase suits my approach 100%, live didn't. i get better results because of this!


(at this point i feel it's worth mentioning that the first two tracks that i've released were written and mixed using live 4, oh well, goes to show that it's all bollocks anyway!)
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Post by mjoogoo » Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:30 am

DandyP wrote: a scratch pad for ideas.
I absolutely agree... Is fast .. easy to rearrange samples.. It inherited all my instruments installed for logic.. The only problem is the quality of sound.. that i is not so good.. if you rewire it in logic.. is ok.. but a bit unstable.. I'll try to rewire on nuendo..
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Post by Bin Jesus » Thu Dec 15, 2005 3:01 am

i dont know about any of the lower versions, but i just installed cubase SX3 and it listed ableton 5 (which i already had installed) under Devices.
it doesnt work like reason where you can control the midi through cubase so you still have to sequence everything in ableton. it just means you can use the ableton features to improve a song in cubase, or play an ableton composition through cubase and add to it that way.
like i said, not sure if this works on anything below SX3, but its worth looking into...
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Post by Splashmash » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:30 am

mjoogoo wrote: The only problem is the quality of sound.. that i is not so good..
So many people with vivid imaginations... ;)

A particular wav rendered through one DAW with no effect will be exactly the same as that rendered through another. Now if you dislike the sound of the fx that's another matter
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Re: Why Did I Buy Abelton Live?

Post by nectarios » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:39 am

Breaka wrote: See I bought it thinking it'd be great for cutting breaks, but it just play fuckin loops. Grrreat!? I mean I've already got Logic Pro 7, Reason, Reaktor 5 and Phatmatik. What good is having Live?
Considering what you already have, no good. If you wanted to cut breaks, you should have simply bought Recycle 2.

On the subject of changing sequencers all the time. I don't understand people that do that. Most modern sequencers are more than enough to make belters on. Its money (that you could spend on a synth) and time (to learn the new enviroment) wasted.
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Re: Why Did I Buy Abelton Live?

Post by shapshankly » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:27 am

nec wrote: Considering what you already have, no good. If you wanted to cut breaks, you should have simply bought Recycle 2.

On the subject of changing sequencers all the time. I don't understand people that do that. Most modern sequencers are more than enough to make belters on. Its money (that you could spend on a synth) and time (to learn the new enviroment) wasted.
i agree about changing all the time, it isn't worth it.

unfortunately i do have to learn lots of different bits of software because i teach kids in a-level. i used cubase myself, ableton for live work, sound forge for edits (not so much recently) and reason, rebirth and recycle.

then i have to know how to use Acid loops, Sonar and Sibelius because that's what the school uses to teach.

Bit of an arse, but generally all sequencers work in similar ways, you just got to learn to translate the terminology.
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Post by Deft » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:38 am

Splashmash wrote:
mjoogoo wrote: The only problem is the quality of sound.. that i is not so good..
So many people with vivid imaginations... ;)

A particular wav rendered through one DAW with no effect will be exactly the same as that rendered through another. Now if you dislike the sound of the fx that's another matter
It does kind of depend on the digital summing / floating point calculations that are done though? Not saying I have any direct experience of these differences between sequencers, but it makes sense that there could be differences in summing and rendering.
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Post by Splashmash » Thu Dec 15, 2005 11:54 am

Yeah I've heard these arguments before and have read lengthy threads on them on several forums. However, having read statements by software engineers at Ableton and Steinberg et al. it seems that the following is true.

Digital summing: 1 + 1 = 2

It appears to be that simple.

There is, however, the following caveat (quoting Robert Henke, part of the Live team and producer Monolake):

"adding two or more sources in a digital system can result in slight differences if the system uses floating point or integers. most software use floats and i personally do not believe that anyone can actually hear the difference. Lives busses sound like any buss which does not contain EQ or compression. "


He also states the following:

"playing back an unwarped 44.1 kHz at 44.1 Hz with no transpositition and no gain change and no FX will result in an unchainged signal passed to the soundcard. this will sound 100% the same in each audio application."

If you're playing back samples at sampling rates other than their actual rate you need to make sure the "High Quality" button in Live is pressed so that the best interpolation algorithm is used. I guess the quality of interpolation algorithms is one area where sequencers could differ. This is, however, irrelevant if you're working at the original sample rate of the audio.
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