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  • #46
    Hi Craig...
    I've been learning Live 5 since I got it about 3 weeks ago. I'm new to the program, and I have been hacking my way through it without the manual or tutorials, which is the way I learn best.

    I'm running into some stumbling blocks though, about saving clips or loops. There does'nt seem to be any clear menu command regarding this. It would make it much simpler if there were a save command both for audio and midi clips, and if it would point a dialoug box to ask where you want to save it.

    As it is, Live appears to want to save everything in the Application Support file under Ableton Clips.

    Saving clips was a little bit of a boggle and there is no clear reference to it in the manual. Its a bit cryptic.

    Anyway I love live as a speedy composition tool.

    The post by Mighty Coonga where he asks about a more extensive drum instrument. I can recommend FXpansions "GURU". I use it in Pro Tools and it opens in Live as well, and gives you 8 drum engines with 16 voices in each for 128 voice polyphony, not that you'd ever need that much. It has tons of tweekability and on board FX. GURU also opens as a separate app. within live. So you can create patterns, then resample and loop them as audio clips. Its a speedy process. And fun...

    Yes... Ok, it adds about $150.00 to the cost of Live, and it sounds like the Mighty Coonga is extremely fiscally consious, but its a great combo if you find Impulse too limiting.

    Sunsinger

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by therabbit


      This is more what I am looking for. I mainly want a midi sequencer (audio would be nice though) that I can make up the arrangement as I go. Live5 can do this? Could I use a midi pedal to choose song sections?


      Totally. Try out the demo, use session view, and learn about scenes. The demo has tutorials on using session view and scences, or there are even tutorial videos you can watch without the demo to see what its all about. Very intuitive and easy to use. A buddy of mine plays sax in Bruce Hornsby's band, and he, Bruce, the drummer, and the other keyboardist all have laptops (both pc and macs) running Live onstage. They're one laptop up on Sound Tribe Sector 9, who have 3 (or sometimes 4) G4 laptops running Live. It is a great, stable, application err... instrument.

      Ryan

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by rdh3t
        Totally. Try out the demo, use session view, and learn about scenes. The demo has tutorials on using session view and scences, or there are even tutorial videos you can watch without the demo to see what its all about. Very intuitive and easy to use. A buddy of mine plays sax in Bruce Hornsby's band, and he, Bruce, the drummer, and the other keyboardist all have laptops (both pc and macs) running Live onstage. They're one laptop up on Sound Tribe Sector 9, who have 3 (or sometimes 4) G4 laptops running Live. It is a great, stable, application err... instrument.

        Ryan


        Cool! I'll download the demo!

        One question though. Live5 can be used as a midi sequencer triggering sounds on my Motif rack in addition to the internal sounds?

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by rdh3t
          Totally. Try out the demo, use session view, and learn about scenes. The demo has tutorials on using session view and scences, or there are even tutorial videos you can watch without the demo to see what its all about. Very intuitive and easy to use. A buddy of mine plays sax in Bruce Hornsby's band, and he, Bruce, the drummer, and the other keyboardist all have laptops (both pc and macs) running Live onstage. They're one laptop up on Sound Tribe Sector 9, who have 3 (or sometimes 4) G4 laptops running Live. It is a great, stable, application err... instrument.

          Ryan


          Oh Yeah. I want to do the same thing, play guitar and control loops and fully sequenced songs.

          Comment


          • #50
            I agree with most of the sentiments expressed here about Live. In the years I have used this program I have found it to be a great sketchpad, very stable, light on CPU usage, and a great laptop application that is a lot of fun use.

            Having said that, I must add that I'm not sure I'm willing to say "Live is not meant to be used as a DAW" so don't draw comparisons. Ableton (a great company by the way) already did it when they added VST hosting and MIDI sequencing. I have watched the feature and price creep with this application as it has moved closer in price and feature set to the big boy DAWs.

            In some ways this is great. DAW software has gotten a little sloppy and bloated in recent years. (Tracktion is another piece that I enjoy for its CPU economy.)

            However, I'm not sure it's such a good idea to let people implement some feature and then, when asked to polish a bit, state "but it's not meant to do that really."

            What would the general public say if a word processor suddenly sprouted a spreadsheet function that the maker advertisied as a feature. Can that maker then turn around and say "our program is not meant to be a spreadsheet" when people ask for improvement in that function?

            Just a question,
            Wayne

            Comment


            • #51
              yes, a wordprocessor should be a wordprocessor and not become something like a spreadsheet program.

              again, why is Reason not ReBirth 4?

              to make users happy, don't change the workflow all the time. focus on main features and only add small extra features. for Live 5 a lot has changed, not all is good imo, but a great new feature is adding mp3, ogg and flac support. but still, it's just a bunch of codecs, not a totally different experience when you operate the program.
              Regards,

              Marco Raaphorst
              http://melodiefabriek.nl

              Comment


              • #52
                Craig,
                Thanks for the info on selecting "ram" in an audio clip. I had the same problem and couldn't figure out why it was super crackly yet no apparent CPU issues. My question here is, what is the other way, other than putting all of your samples/loops on your hard drive (as you mentioned)? My hard drive is 7200 and gets bogged down. Is there a solution? Only use those samples/loops that are needed on one drive (I have multiple drives)?

                The other part of this is the fact that I purchased an m-audio trigger finger which is great with live. The thing is, I don't know if the $249 (or $279 - do you get all of the extra sounds with the $249 downloadable only version?) is worth it. It seems that it is b/c of the added audio and midi channels - if you get all of the added sounds/tutorials.

                Finally, would it be better to purchase a multiple pedal midi foot controller or something like the Tech21 MM1 midi mouse for exclusive use with live? Seems like everyone has these huge pedal controllers but most hardware loopers are a simple two-three button operation?

                Thanks for the great review,

                PHAT-B

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by sunsinger
                  Hi Craig...
                  I've been learning Live 5 since I got it about 3 weeks ago. I'm new to the program, and I have been hacking my way through it without the manual or tutorials, which is the way I learn best.

                  I'm running into some stumbling blocks though, about saving clips or loops. There does'nt seem to be any clear menu command regarding this. It would make it much simpler if there were a save command both for audio and midi clips, and if it would point a dialoug box to ask where you want to save it.

                  As it is, Live appears to want to save everything in the Application Support file under Ableton Clips.

                  Saving clips was a little bit of a boggle and there is no clear reference to it in the manual. Its a bit cryptic.

                  Anyway I love live as a speedy composition tool.

                  The post by Mighty Coonga where he asks about a more extensive drum instrument. I can recommend FXpansions "GURU". I use it in Pro Tools and it opens in Live as well, and gives you 8 drum engines with 16 voices in each for 128 voice polyphony, not that you'd ever need that much. It has tons of tweekability and on board FX. GURU also opens as a separate app. within live. So you can create patterns, then resample and loop them as audio clips. Its a speedy process. And fun...

                  Yes... Ok, it adds about $150.00 to the cost of Live, and it sounds like the Mighty Coonga is extremely fiscally consious, but its a great combo if you find Impulse too limiting.

                  Sunsinger


                  Impulse isn't bad for quickly sketching out a drum track, an I do have Reason 2.5, I could conceivably develop a nice drum set using one of those samplers, or the REdrum. The main thing is having the midi notes locked down and not alterable (there is probably some work around). In the end though it would be cool to have a integrated multi sample drum sampler built in.


                  On saving clips, I'm not sure how 5 handles it, but 4 requires you to render a triggered clips or scene, or a section of an arrangement. Really need a "save clip", and "save all clips in scene" kinda thing. It gets tricky working with long recordings, and wanting to save a few bars out here and there, productivity goes downhill from key & mouse fatigue.

                  Almost forgot... I think when comparing upgrade pricing you can't just compare dollar amounts and conclude that $100=$100, you need to also consider the percentage of the retail pricing. Looking at it that way $200 is just 20%, where $150 is 30%. I still think they should give loyal customers a break on upgrades. And to be fair they did offer a upgrade/Operator bundle for a short time.
                  Visit my site ModGuitar.com

                  "While my plywood guitar, gently weeps."

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Anderton
                    Point is, if I want a balls-to-the-wall DAW, I have Sonar.


                    Great review, so far.

                    At the outset you posed the question of whether or not Live was ready to replace our other 'hosts' (like Sonar). Also the new box, which advertises Live as a "Complete Music Solution", suggests that Live is trying to be, well, a complete music solution, i.e., compete directly with Sonar, Logic or Cubase, not just as a supplemental live tool.

                    From some of your later remarks (including the quoted, above), it seems that you still feel that Live is a bit of a specialty product, rather than a mainstream DAW. Do you think this is a case? Hopefully you can examine this question in more detail as the review continues.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      I think the way Live handles midi program change on external hardware synths could be improved. Live presently has an elegant way to change presets for their internal synths and au/vst plugins using the browser window. Why not handle program change for hardware synths the same way for consistency? It would also be nice to create one track that could handle midi from Live to a hardware synth and audio from the hardware synth to Live. Logic does this with what they call an external object. It works nice and keeps your screen uncluttered.

                      The external object could appear in the browser just like impulse or simpler and handle program change in the same way. Another nice feature would be adding the ability to input program names for the external synths by reading a text file.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Hi Craig.

                        Thank you for the excellent info. You must be the busiest guy in the recording biz.


                        I just want to ask you, since you have already made a number of comparisons between Live v5 and that of high-end DAWs, how does it compare to Cakewalk's Project 5v2? I would think this is a more equal comparison. Do you have any thoughts in this respect? I apologize if you have already made mention of the two.

                        Again, thanks for all the work you do for us. I look forward to your reviews every month.

                        Take care,


                        Michael

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by PHAT-B
                          Thanks for the info on selecting "ram" in an audio clip. I had the same problem and couldn't figure out why it was super crackly yet no apparent CPU issues. My question here is, what is the other way, other than putting all of your samples/loops on your hard drive (as you mentioned)? My hard drive is 7200 and gets bogged down. Is there a solution? Only use those samples/loops that are needed on one drive (I have multiple drives)?

                          Finally, would it be better to purchase a multiple pedal midi foot controller or something like the Tech21 MM1 midi mouse for exclusive use with live? Seems like everyone has these huge pedal controllers but most hardware loopers are a simple two-three button operation?

                          PHAT-B


                          You should have Live installed on your C drive with your other applications, and should ideally stream audio from the fastest drive you can get in terms of RPM, cache size, and means of data transfer pci being the fastest, then firewire, then usb if you have no choice. Using seperate drives for apps and audio files makes a BIG difference, especially on laptops where internal drives are 4,800-5,400 RPM, and most external FW drives are 7,200. It makes a significant difference in terms of track counts both for recording a bunch of tracks at once, and for playback. For instance, I can only record 7-8 tracks of 24/48 audio at once into Live with 128 sample latency on my RME multiface and my 4,800 internal drive. By just switching to the external 7,200, I get 16+ tracks at the same settings! Also, your soundcard, OS, system tweaks,and RAM effect your track counts.

                          EDIT: You can also "save set as self-contained" in the "file" menu in Live. What this does is put all of the samples in the SAME folder on you harddrive (this folder is set in the prefs. menu, and if possible should be a seperate harddrive from the one you apps. like Live are on). With all of the clips in one folder in one spot on the harddrive, the disk can access these files without bouncing all around the physical drive, or worse, bouncing around between multiple drives. If you have the disk space, save your sets as self-contained if you are still having audio hiccup problems.

                          I use the "huge" FCB 1010 for my midi foot controller while doing live looping with Live 3 (see my post for why 4 and 5 aren't good at live looping). Comparing looping with Live and using a hardware pedal (Line 6, Rc-20, boomerang, echoplex...) isn't even a contest, and the paradigm is totally different. Hardware loopers (with the exception of the $1000 echoplex) only have one or two mono tracks, and layers are simply overdubs directly on top of the previous recording. Live allows full midi control of most anything, and for loopers it allows us to record loops to seperate tracks for individual pan, volume, crossfading, effects, etc... So most loopers using Live have 3-7 tracks dedicated to looping instruments, and 3-7 buttons on their midi foot pedal corresponding to these tracks. Then you need a delete patch and workaround (see my earlier post), and other patches for arming tracks, navigating scenes, or whatever you want. Simply put, you want as much control and flexibility at your feet at once for live looping with Live, one or two buttons won't cut it. If you're not looping but just triggering scenes, figure out how few buttons you need and get the appropriate controller. For $150, its hard to beat the 1010, big or not. Mine's been great over 3 years of giggin with multiple bands.

                          Ryan

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            My question here is, what is the other way, other than putting all of your samples/loops on your hard drive (as you mentioned)? My hard drive is 7200 and gets bogged down. Is there a solution? Only use those samples/loops that are needed on one drive (I have multiple drives)?


                            If I understand your question correctly, you can put the loops pretty much anywhere. When you click on the RAM option, it loads the loop into RAM, and from that point on, there's no need to access it from the hard drive any more.

                            I might add that if you have half a GB or more of RAM, you can stuff a lot of loops into RAM. A lot of short loops are only 1 or 2 MB. For most of my work with Live, I put ALL my loops into RAM except for really long samples that stream from disk. Even when I was using it on a G3 Powerbook running OS 9, no hiccups.

                            And if I didn't understand your question correctly, Ryan sure hit the target! Great advice.
                            CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                            • #59
                              From some of your later remarks (including the quoted, above), it seems that you still feel that Live is a bit of a specialty product, rather than a mainstream DAW. Do you think this is a case? Hopefully you can examine this question in more detail as the review continues.


                              Might as well address that now. The bottom line about how well-suited Live is as a DAW depends totally on what kind of music you make.

                              There is no question that Live started out as a niche program. However, as it has evolved, it has become better suited to more mainstream applications. If I walked into a studio, was asked to record a rock band, and all they had was Live, I wouldn't have any problem. So, why did I reference Sonar?

                              It's because of the work I do. Here are some Sonar features that are crucial to me, but not covered by Live.

                              * Video window. I often need to do an arrangement against existing video (when I'm creating a video, I use Vegas).
                              * Surround. I hardly ever do surround projects, but have done a couple.
                              * Loop recording. Live can do it, but the way Sonar (or Cubase, for that matter) creates separate "lanes" is more convenient than stringing everything into one long sample (the same approach used by Acid, FYI). Also, Sonar's "mute" tool is great for making quick work of choosing the right takes.
                              * Metering. I like to know exactly how many dB a track went over or under. "Hot" masters are a fact of life, but I don't like to overcompress. So it's important to me to see if any tracks are contributing major peaks that I can reduce, in order to get a higher average level. (Incidentally, Sonar 5 flags "overs" and peaks so you know exactly where the signal levels are "bunching up.")
                              * Acidization editing. I use Sonar as a tool for developing Acid-compatible libraries. For acidized loop creation, it's the only option (along with Acid, of course). And, the ability to customize marker positions can sometimes yield better sonic results with "beats" than Live's beats mode.
                              * The Prosoniq MPX time-stretching algorithm. It's exceptionally good for offline, destructive stretching...it sounds great.
                              * Pow-R dithering. I often need this to bring a 24-bit file down to 16 bits.
                              * Track folders. Actually I find this more essential with Acid than with Sonar, but it's still very handy to be able to put lots of sounds on their own tracks, then stuff them into a folder when you want to reduce screen clutter.
                              * Multiple controller support. Sonar has plug-ins for several controllers I use. What is particularly helpful is GNX4 compatibility, so I can do hands-free recording...this saves hours when developing a sample library. This isn't just "play-stop-record," there's a degree of intelligence built-in with respect to creating new tracks, undoing, etc.
                              * Multiple view options. On really complex projects, Sonar is very customizable for how you view the project, what tracks you show/hide, and so on.
                              * OMF import/export. It's a Pro Tools world, and this lets me bridge Sonar to PT (as well as to Digital Performer, the main Mac program I use).

                              These are the biggies for me. Guitar tab, and the guitar neck view (which I use as a "pseudo-MIDI guitar) are nice but not essential. I also find the tempo editing to be more fluid, and although Live can do multiple undo/redo, Sonar's undo history is helpful. But these aren't deal-breakers.

                              So you can see that's a fairly specialized list that doesn't apply to everyone by any means. I mean, how many people create Acid-compatible sample libraries and do audio-for-video? And if you're not heavy into loop recording, Live does just fine; it's just more awkward than, say, Sonar or Cubase.

                              BUT I would NEVER use Sonar live. Live has completely taken over that space for me. The unstoppable audio engine, the session view, the ability to record performances, the easy tying of parameters to shortcuts and general-purpose MIDI controllers, the simplicity of doing on-the-fly MIDI editing, etc. etc. all make Live one of my favorite programs. I also really like the clean interface (also essential when playing live to minimize pilot error); Live has a great workflow to access what it does (although to be fair, Sonar has a great workflow for its type of program).

                              It all boils down to use the right tool for the right job. Live can certainly fulfill the basics of what people want from a DAW, and it's possible to use Sonar live. But if you are into specialized DAW applications, I still feel you need a specialized DAW.[color]

                              Does that help or just confuse things further?
                              CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                              • #60
                                how does it compare to Cakewalk's Project 5v2? I would think this is a more equal comparison.


                                Yes, it is definitely a more equal comparison. I am still logging hours on P5 V2 and Live 5, so don't feel I'm an expert yet. However, just as Sonar broke the monopoly on acidization, P5 V2 broke the monopoly on the Session View way of working.

                                I think that because both programs do have many similarities, the workflow and "style" of the program will be a huge factor in which you think is better. I see P5 V2 as tending more toward the "Reason" way of thinking, and Live as tending more toward the "DAW" way of thinking. So that will filter some users right there.

                                P5 V2 comes with more instruments than Live (hence the Reason comparison); the Dimension synth is particularly good. But Live 5 is more agile in terms of handling audio (hence the DAW comparison).

                                I'm sorry I can't give a more definitive answer, but the programs are sufficiently similar -- and sufficiently different -- that your personal preferences will be the ultimate deciding factor. As I log more hours with both programs, I'll have a better idea which is better suited for my needs.

                                Then again, thanks to ReWire, I don't really have to make an either/or decision if I don't want to
                                CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                                Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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