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  • #16
    Thanks for doing this Craig, i've been anticipating and looking forward to this Pro Review for a while. Thanks also to David for being here to contribute!

    I've recently started using Live 6, i'm still a little wet behind the ears so to speak but i'm enjoying it hugely!

    I don't find a huge amount to criticise really, although the automation/envelope drawing leaves a little to be desired, without the ability to draw smooth curves with a Bezier style curve drawing tool. Ever tried drawing a smooth curved line with a mouse or track pad?...exactly... Its not such a big deal with fairly subtle envelope effects but for more dramatic effects it can be a problem.
    Good deals with: woolyh, kaz2550, fruvai, english_bob, daysofspeed, gambit, matchpoint (twice), SilenceSketches.

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    • #17
      It may seem strange to put this early in the review, ahead of more "music-only" features like the instrument racks, Sampler, and the Essential Instrument Collection, but bear with me. Besides, I'm really into video, and I'm writing the review, so...

      The reason why video can be so important with Live is twofold. First of all, it's crucial with video projects to be able to "fudge" the audio tempos a bit so that musical hits correspond with visual cues. It makes a huge difference in the overall experience when the video correlates tightly to the beat.

      There have been several solutions to this, the most notable being Acid's inclusion of a video window, and Vegas 7's ability to use acidized loops. But Live's "warping" option is uniquely suited to working with video, because you can simply "grab" a place in the audio you want to match up to video, and drag it over to the appropriate place in the video. Now that's really, really cool. Add that to looping that follows tempo changes, and you have something that’s a great match for video operation.

      [COLOR="DimGray"](As an aside, I was told by someone from Ableton that there were pitched philosophical battles in the Ableton offices about how to handle a video window. After all, Live has always been a "one window" program (okay, two if you count Session and Arrangement views as separate): If you want to work with MIDI, or an instrument, or a browser, you don't open up another window; worse case is you "show" something instead of "hide" it. Some people really wanted to be able to hew to that philosophy with video, but in the end, it was decided that video would be a separate, resizeable window - and I think that was the right decision, especially with more people using dual monitor setups where putting video in the second screen makes perfect sense.)
      Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

      Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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      • #18
        Rule #1: MOV files only, no AVI or MP4...bummer. Okay, there are plenty of ways to convert video formats, but Live should recognize it's not just a QuickTime world. I hope that support for AVI, MP4, and even WMV will be added at some point in the future.

        Rule #2: You need to work with videos in the Arrangement view. This of course makes perfect sense, as video is linear, and so is the Arrangement view. (You can bring video into Session view, but it will be treated as an audio clip -- the video stream will be ignored.)

        This also points out the beauty of Live's "duality": You can come up with some great theme in Session view without paying too much attention to the video, then punch record and bring it into the arrangement view, then warp it to picture.

        You import video the way you do any other track: Drag it from the browser into a track in the Arrangement view. Check out the first picture; the video clip (called "CA Live" has been dragged into Track 1, and after setting the video track as the master, other loops have been brought in to reinforce the existing audio. Note that the video track looks like an audio track except for the "sprocket" graphic strip on top of the video's audio stream.

        The second picture shows the video's original audio. Note that it has been put in Warp mode, with Master enabled, so it can serve as the master tempo to which the other loops will sync.

        The audio here is probably not the best example of audio for video, because the tempo is constant; as the loops sync up naturally, nothing has to be sped up or slowed down to match hit points.
        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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        • #19
          Hi Craig,

          As a nooby Live user, I have a couple issues I wonder if you might address:

          1) For video, the manual says it can do 30 FPS, and does not mention anything about 29.97 FPS. Is that correct? Do they really mean 29.97 even though they say 30, or is it really 30? This is a deal breaker for me since all film and TV projects I work on are 29.97, not 30.

          2) I use it on a Mac and also on a PC. I don't know why, but it opens ridiculously fast on the Mac (about 6 or 7 seconds from launch to fully open), but takes more than twice that time on my PC even though my PC uses a faster disk and has faster processors. Has this been your experience as well?
          In any case, Live opens much faster than anything else like it, and I think that is one of its major benefits. Because it opens and also runs so fast, I am really considering using it as a general container for software instruments and effects. Since I'm still new to Live, I don't have a good understanding of the effects "racks" yet, but that is clearly the method I'll use once I understand it. I am looking forward to that part of your review.
          Edit: I discoverd by RTFM that Live can only receive MIDI and output Audio when it is a rewire slave. In general, the Live manual is very thin regarding rewire mode, so I'm not 100% sure of this. However, it appears my dream of being able to send audio to Live from my host app and then process it in Live and send back to the host app is apparently not possible. If somebody from Ableton would like to comment on this, I'd really appreciate it.

          3) Have you used it much as a rewire slave? I'm thinking of using Live as a rewire slave, but I'm concerned that it may not follow meter changes. I'm hoping Live is like Reason in this aspect: That is, even though its own sequencer can't understand meter changes, it will still correctly follow a host application that implements meter changes. This should be easy for me to test as well, but I just haven't gotten that far with Live yet.

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          • #20
            Hi, all,

            I use Live as my main performance/practice tool, and think it is extraordinary (I feel the same way about S6PE and Fruity Loops for different things.)

            In any case, I find that the Amplitube 2 VST crashes in Live 6 (GR2 works fine). As long as Live isn't looping, I can play thru effects just fine, but if I try to loop or bring it up (after it has been minimized the first time); the program either freezes with a tone (cpu goes from 24% to 40 + and sometimes 100+ after the freeze) in the first case. In the second, I get either an "incompatible VST" from Live, or a run error ("Live has made an error and program must close, or the process stops - program disappears from Task Manager and the desktop).

            I think this is an AT2 issue (ver. 2.1), since I have no problems with any other plug-in, but thought I'd throw this out to see if there are any others with this experience. AT2 is relatively recent, but so is my Live update (6.0.5) Also using Audio Kontrol 1 for an interface (but my UX1 did the same thing)...

            (BTW, AT2 seems to work ok as a VST in Fruity Loops and Sonar 6, but I haven't tested them anywhere near as extensively as Live....)
            "Flamenco Chuck" Keyser
            http://www.flamencochuck.com

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            • #21
              However, my question to Ableton is "what is the long-range vision for Live?" Earlier versions of Live had a minimal but refined set of tools. There was a clear focus on being a sleek, "live" performance instrument. However, now that Live pricing and features have moved it ever closer to DAW territory, it seems like a good time to ask "what are they trying to do here?" If they are going to add DAW-ish features, then they are inviting comparisons. I can't see blaming the people who just point out that Live is starting to look like a DAW.

              The impression I get from the developers is that a general long-term vision exists, but it's quite blurry.

              Naturally, there was some intent behind Live's beginnings as a performance tool, it's development into a performance + sound design tool, and it's current maturation into a performance + sound design + music creation tool.

              But this is a generalization, and it leaves the impression that the development path is rigid. Actually, imagined features have appeared earlier than expected, later than expected, or been dropped altogether. These changes have everything to do with our users, and their response to the software.

              We try to please as many people and accommodate as many uses as possible with each release. These various desires certainly affect the development path (and we believe it does it for the better). I'm not saying that MIDI support would never have happened without our users, but there's no doubt that the people clamoring for it on our forums had an affect on it's implementation in Live 4. Additional warp algorithms and mp3 support is a similar story: if the developers lived in a bubble, there's a chance it would've come about - but it's existence was certainly hastened and partially conceived out of the wishes of our users. Stuff like this happens all the time with Live: video support, crossfader curves, improved effects, better navigation, etc etc - these features are all collaborative efforts.

              So, what I'm trying to say in too many words is that the future development of Live is hazy because it's not 100% in our hands. It's shared with our users, because they're the ones we're serving by building the software.

              It's like taking a cross-country road trip: we may be driving the car, and we may have a good idea of which road to take, but if you see something cool, or need to take a pit stop, we're happy to stretch our legs and take in the sights you guide us towards
              David Cross
              Public Media Coordinator
              Ableton Inc.

              cross@ableton.com

              Comment


              • #22
                ...although the automation/envelope drawing leaves a little to be desired, without the ability to draw smooth curves with a Bezier style curve drawing tool. Ever tried drawing a smooth curved line with a mouse or track pad?...exactly... Its not such a big deal with fairly subtle envelope effects but for more dramatic effects it can be a problem.

                Yep, I've seen this wish many times in our forums and in talking with users. I believe that this and similar requests in arrangement (ie: easy crossfades) rank quite high on our internal wishlist for future versions of Live. I can't make any promises that the feature will be in version X of Live, but "it's high on the wishlist" is usually a good indicator that it's a big glaring dot on our radar.
                David Cross
                Public Media Coordinator
                Ableton Inc.

                cross@ableton.com

                Comment


                • #23
                  Rule #1: MOV files only, no AVI or MP4...bummer. Okay, there are plenty of ways to convert video formats, but Live should recognize it's not just a QuickTime world. I hope that support for AVI, MP4, and even WMV will be added at some point in the future.

                  Again, better video support (along with video export) is pretty high on the wishlist. This was one of those things where we decided to respond directly to the wish for a video window for scoring, only to find that it opened an exciting new can of worms, replete with even more ambitious wishes.
                  David Cross
                  Public Media Coordinator
                  Ableton Inc.

                  cross@ableton.com

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    So, what I'm trying to say in too many words is that the future development of Live is hazy because it's not 100% in our hands. It's shared with our users, because they're the ones we're serving by building the software.


                    Come to think of it...you do public betas, correct? Does that ever influence features and such, or is it purely an exercise in squashing bugs of a pretty much frozen program? Just curious...
                    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                    • #25
                      Hi, all,
                      In any case, I find that the Amplitube 2 VST crashes in Live 6 (GR2 works fine). As long as Live isn't looping, I can play thru effects just fine, but if I try to loop or bring it up (after it has been minimized the first time); the program either freezes with a tone (cpu goes from 24% to 40 + and sometimes 100+ after the freeze) in the first case. In the second, I get either an "incompatible VST" from Live, or a run error ("Live has made an error and program must close, or the process stops - program disappears from Task Manager and the desktop).

                      I think this is an AT2 issue (ver. 2.1), since I have no problems with any other plug-in, but thought I'd throw this out to see if there are any others with this experience. AT2 is relatively recent, but so is my Live update (6.0.5) Also using Audio Kontrol 1 for an interface (but my UX1 did the same thing)...

                      (BTW, AT2 seems to work ok as a VST in Fruity Loops and Sonar 6, but I haven't tested them anywhere near as extensively as Live....)


                      I attempted to recreate your issue with Amplitube 2, but on my PC it works great in Live 6.0.5. I minimized and looped, etc., but didn't get any abnormal behavior. On my PC, I am using a MOTU 828 MKII for Live.
                      Since you tried with multiple hardware units, is it possible your latency settting in Live is too low?

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I tried all latency settings, with the same results.....

                        FWIW, the standalone version of AT2.1 runs fine (with the absolute minimum latency), concurrently with Live; I just can't use the VST. I also tried single processor mode, which didn't help ether....

                        I attempted to recreate your issue with Amplitube 2, but on my PC it works great in Live 6.0.5. I minimized and looped, etc., but didn't get any abnormal behavior. On my PC, I am using a MOTU 828 MKII for Live.
                        Since you tried with multiple hardware units, is it possible your latency settting in Live is too low?
                        "Flamenco Chuck" Keyser
                        http://www.flamencochuck.com

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I inserted AmpliTube 2 into some tracks, looped, minimized, maximized, dragged into effects slot while looping...it all works up to spec on a dual core Athlon and E-Mu 1820 interface.
                          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                          Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                          • #28
                            Thanks for testing it for me. I've already re-installed AT2.1. I'll try to re-install Live 6.0.5 (is that what you were using? Come to think of it, it might have worked OK in a previous version, as I remember), and if not, I'll go to Plan B...C....D...E.....(sigh)....
                            "Flamenco Chuck" Keyser
                            http://www.flamencochuck.com

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Thanks for testing it for me. I've already re-installed AT2.1. I'll try to re-install Live 6.0.5 (is that what you were using? Come to think of it, it might have worked OK in a previous version, as I remember), and if not, I'll go to Plan B...C....D...E.....(sigh)....


                              My succesful test was on Live 6.0.5 with a Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 on an ASUS P5B motherboard with 2 Gigabytes of RAM and Win XP Pro SP2.

                              Amplitube is version 2.1.0 build 6K16.
                              Under Amplitube Preferences, I am running Pre Oversampling and High Resolution, but not Stomps Oversampling or Amp Oversampling.

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                              • #30
                                Thanks for testing it for me. I've already re-installed AT2.1. I'll try to re-install Live 6.0.5 (is that what you were using? Come to think of it, it might have worked OK in a previous version, as I remember), and if not, I'll go to Plan B...C....D...E.....(sigh)....


                                As an aside, I also run Amplitube 2 on my Mac as well. Usually, I do this as a plug-in running in MOTU Digital Performer 5.11. In this scenario, there is 2 plugins available, one that is just mono, and another that is mono to stereo (i.e., it receives a mono input and converts its output to stereo).
                                Running the mono to stereo version of AT2 crashes DP. IK tech support has confirmed this is an issue with AT2 in DP. So, until IK fixes it, I can't use any stereo capabilities of AT2 in DP.
                                The reason I mention this is because I wanted to know if you've contacted IK about your issue in Live on a PC. If so, how did they respond?

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