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Anderton

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Everything posted by Anderton

  1. This page is the simplest of the three parameter editing pages, as it has only two parameters: Body type (choose from 28 possibilities) and Volume, which is helpful for balancing levels among patches. I generally start the editing process by choosing the body type, then move along to the other editing pages. Click on the Attachment to see the Body Type page, with a “Rick 360” type body being selected. Well, that’s as far as the review is going today. I’ve just started playing with the Pickups and Control pages, and I must say, they’re really happening…to me they’re the reason (along with the alternate tunings) why some Variax owners will flip over this package. More tomorrow…
  2. The Workbench software is actually pretty deep, as there are four main pages. The first page, and the Variax Workbench command center, is the “Tone Locker” page. In the real world, this would be called a “Librarian.” This is where you open up bundles of programs, transfer programs to a “scratch pad” where you can make edits without disturbing what’s in your Variax, move edited files into a Variax bundle, open the editor for advanced tweaking, “sync” what’s in the Tone Locker to what’s in the Variax, and more. This is a more utilitarian part of the program; it’s not exactly exciting, but it makes it easy to manage sounds and create libraries. Click on the Attachment to see the Tone Locker page. The original factory presets are listed in the right window; modified patches are shown on the left. It’s easy to transfer patches from one window to the other. (The center window gives information about the patch.)
  3. I thought I’d check out the help options, and I was pretty impressed – the Help screens are dense and informative. But the first “really cool discovery” was the String Volume window. Yes, one of the main complaints about the Variax – string to string variations – is a thing of the past. Once you have this optimized, you can save the settings to flash memory and this will affect all guitar models. And it’s a lot easier than adjusting pole pieces. Click on the attachment to see the String Volume window. Note the easy to adjust sliders, and notes about what the adjustments mean. Frankly, the string-to-string variations never bothered me that much; but being able to fine-tune the string levels is indeed a significant enhancement.
  4. Well, it turned out there was more to getting things up and running than installation. I booted up the program, whereupon a screen said “Looks Like You Need to Get Set Up.” Apparently it could tell that a Variax was not connected, and there was a clear diagram showing how to hook everything up. Click on the attachment to see the diagram. Okay, cool. But that’s when I ran into my first big problem: You need an internet connection to set up and do any updates. But my music computer doesn’t have an internet connection, and there was no information on how to pull off the update using a different computer. What to do? Well, I just got DSL, and the DSL modem has USB, and my computer has USB, so… I hooked up USB, ran the DSL installer so my computer would recognize the DSL modem, clicked on “Run Line 6 Monkey,” and wow – the computer connected to the net (albeit without a firewall or virus checker, ooops). I set up a Line 6 user account, and shortly thereafter, downloaded the Monkey updater and ran it, then downloaded the Variax Workbench update itself and did the update. This again required connecting to the internet; given that all the updates ended up being over 30MB, I think broadband is pretty much essential. Finally…ready to go! Or…not. I set up everything as specified, loaded Variax Workbench, and was given a warning that the firmware wasn’t up to date. Hmmm…thought I just did that. Anyway, time for another trip to the web and another firmware update. This time it “took,” but the Workbench software itself didn’t appear to be updated. So I downloaded and installed one more time. All in all, getting up and running was both a drag and a piece of cake. A drag because I had to do a lot of updating and do a little headscratching, but also a piece of cake because you really are guided along every step of the somewhat circuitous way. Eventually the Flash Memory upgrade was complete (it takes a while), the stars were in alignment, the Monkey said everything was good to go, and as it turned out – it was indeed. I was now ready to check out the totally up-to-date Workbench. For the record, that meant 3.05 Firmware and Variax Workbench V1.1.
  5. This is packaged as your basic impulse item – a blister pack with bright graphics that contains:  A program CD  Mysterious-looking Variax-to-USB adapter in a small, cool-looking translucent plastic box  Variax cable for plugging into the adapter  USB cable to connect the adapter to the computer In short, everything you need. The package is compatible with all electric guitar Variax models (but not with the acoustic or bass models) and lists for $139.99. The program’s minimum system requirements are Mac G4 running OS X 10.3, or 500Mhz PIII with Windows XP or 2K. However, also note that the USB box draws power from the USB port, so if you’re using a hub, it needs to have its own power supply. I decided to load the program into my dual Athlon computer designed by Pete Leoni, running Windows XP. Upon inserting the computer, a big “BEFORE CONNECTING YOUR HARDWARE” showed up on the screen (click on the Attachment to see this). This sure beats having a ReadMe stuck somewhere on the CD-ROM. So I followed the directions, and started installation. The installed files take up about 20MB on your hard drive, and include the Workbench program itself, Java Runtime Environment, and a flash firmware updater (the Line 6 “Monkey”). I do suggest that Line 6 fire whoever wrote the installer immediately. Why? Because it’s the clearest installer I’ve used in some time, and the person/people who wrote it should immediately become freelancers and write installers for other companies in this industry. ’Nuff said. Most of the time with installers, there’s some part that’s unclear, a restart or other weirdness that’s not explained, or some other issue. Not so this time around. So far, so good. All right, let's start messing with the Variax and see what happens.
  6. Variax Workbench – Prologue Yeah, I’m a Variax fan. I know some people don’t like the concept (“Okay, it may sound like a Tele, but y'know, it doesn’t feel like a Tele”). But for me, it fills a huge space in my guitar collection – namely, everything I don’t have! Drop a Variax model in on a track, and few (if any) people can tell the difference between the Variax and “the real thing.” And I also love the fact that you can sit right in front of a monitor and power amp, with dimmers on, and nothing comes through the pickups. But this isn’t about the Variax, it’s about an accessory that lets you customize the sound and save presets of customized guitars. Want to move the pickups, create alternate tunings, swap out body styles, and more? Well, this is your “virtual soldering iron” and workbench. And it also brings home a telling point about the Variax concept: The guitar is real, but what makes the sound is virtual, and therefore highly malleable. This review is intended to answer two questions: 1. If I have a Variax, is this a worthwhile accessory? 2. How well does Variax Workbench deliver on its promise? So, let’s rip open the packaging and get started. To go to the Line 6 web site for specs, features, movies, etc., click here To jump to a photo gallery of shots of the unit and screen shots, click here
  7. Yes. Set up the "loop braces" around the section you want to delete (e.g., measures 17-21), then go Edit > Cut Time (or type Ctrl-Shift-X). The start of measure 21 will now occur where measure 17 started, and measures 17-21 will be gone. > Au contraire! This is what the review thread is about, talking about the product but also, asking questions about it. For someone reading this, being able to do what you want to do might be very important, and finding out it's possible may make them more interested in seeing what Live is about.
  8. Hi Dave, it's always an honor to have you stop by (low bow)! Quick question. I'm working on a song right now in ProTools, using Live through Rewire. I need to make a few edits for radio and I was wondering if there is a simple way to duplicate the edits that I do in the ProTools session, to the Live session? You can't have one program "mirror" the other (i.e., if you make a change in Pro Tools the file acquires the same change in Live), but I don't think you really need to. I have not tested Live's rewire capaabilities with Pro Tools, but with Sonar, you can just make whatever edits you want in a Sonar track, then drag the edited version over to Live's arrangement view OR into a clip in the session view. From there you can of course loop, stretch, bend, fold, staple, or mutilate. Does this do what you want? BTW isn't rewire great? More props to the prop-heads.
  9. HOW COOL IS ABLETON??? What would be even cooler if they did that just because they read your comments and wanted to make you happy! Now that's what I would call customer service... Hey I have an idea...let's ask them to put an anti-gravity module in the next rev. Maybe they can figure out how to do it.
  10. > Well, at least you can import SMFs into Live, so if you really need to do intensive MIDI editing you can do so in another program and import it. Or just Rewire it...not that I disagree the MIDI implementation could use some beefing up. I just think that Live has come up with a way of handling MIDI that fits into the "Live way of life," and also, that the MIDI effects make up for some of the implementation's limitations. > Pro Tools and Samplitude come to mind. I'm pretty sure all they could do was import MIDI files and play them back, no significant editing. Ditto Cool Edit (now Audition, and still without a significant MIDI implementation). Same too with Acid and Vegas when it was an audio-only program, although neither was around 10 years ago. This isn't to say that the MIDI implementation can hold a candle to Logic, Cubase, Performer, Sonar, etc. But they all started as MIDI sequencers, whereas Pro Tools, Samplitude, Live, etc. did not. BTW Samplitude 8's MIDI implementation is pretty good these days! Much improved over V7.
  11. There are still a few things we haven’t touched on: Preset buttons in each device to make it easy to browse and load presets, instrument presets that now recall any associated effects (although this works only with Live instruments, not others you bring in), a new sound library with lots of presets and Live Clips, and – this is neat – the ability to “unfold” Live sets to see what they comprise, and drag over or audition elements within the Live set. Bottom line: Workflow and ergonomics are better, and they weren’t shabby to begin with. Okay, we’ve pretty much covered the details…so let’s zoom out and get some perspective. Software revisions are, in some ways, like remodeling a house. Hopefully the process isn’t too difficult, you end up with something better than before, and don’t crack open a gas main accidentally. Also, the remodeling should keep the house’s aesthetics and flow. In previous updates, Live added the equivalent of more rooms. Live 5 is more like an update that replaces the existing TV with a big-screen model, adds dimmers to the lights, replaces the old bathtub with a jacuzzi, knocks a new window in the kitchen to let in more light, and attends to numerous details that make the “house” a better place to live. None of the improvements represent dramatic, mind-bending changes – although being able to load entire device chains, do more sophisticated on-the-fly arranging with the launchable locators, and have auto-warp deal with complex files are all welcome and extremely useful. But when you add in features like the improved browser, well-implemented nudge, new effects (Beat Repeat in particular), plug-in delay compensation, and all the other changes, the whole becomes far greater than the sum of its parts. I also feel that Live has not lost its laser-sharp focus on what makes it great in the first place: A live performance, groove-oriented tool with no real equivalent (although Cakewalk’s latest rev of Project5 comes closer than anything else so far). The clean, efficient interface has not suffered from the additional features, even though functionality has increased significantly. The big remaining question for some users is “Okay, is Live a real DAW now?” I don’t really understand why this is so important to these people, but the answer is yes…and no. For many, if not most, applications, Live can do all the functions you expect a DAW to do. But if you want to do video or surround, forget it. And there are other, smaller limitations as well, such as fairly basic metering. MIDI is not as well developed as on the “cubeperfonargic” type of DAWs (although Live offers a valid approach), and the “Beats” stretching option – while excellent at making files useable – doesn’t offer the same editing flexibility as acidized or REX-format files. However, Live offers multiple stretch algorithms, which in most cases will more than compensate. But how much of this really matters? After all, there’s a little thing called “ReWire” that means you can add Live’s capabilities to your DAW of choice if that’s what spins your crank. And if you’re really hung up on this DAW thing, bear in mind that Live’s current functionality handily beats that of most DAWs of only a few years back. Now to get back to the original question: Is it worth the bucks to upgrade? I’d say a definite yes. All the improvements add up to a smoother workflow and enhanced user experience. That’s important to me – far more important than, say, adding video support (which I presume most Live users don’t find all that vital anyway). If you know your way around Live 4 and you’re totally happy with it, I suppose you can always wait until Live 6 comes along. But if you’re a Live aficionado, it’s hard to imagine not being able to appreciate the plethora of talents that Live 5 brings to the table. This concludes the main part of the review, but any further questions, comments, or discussion are most definitely welcome. Thank you very much for your participation!
  12. Live is good about not adding “me-too” effects, and the ones in 5 are no exception. The Flanger includes an envelope follower, and a tempo-synched multi-waveform LFO, including sample-and-hold effects. There are two modulatable delay lines, and you can adjust the phase between them, as well as “detune” the speed so that the two LFOs are not frequency-locked. The only bummer: You can’t get through-zero flanging, even if you add the Mono Utility afterward (although increasing width can sound really cool). This flanger is a useful addition that’s not all that much like other flangers. The Phaser has a complement of controls that’s similar to the Flanger, although you can choose the number of poles (1 - 8). The sound is useful, although at least to my ears, it doesn’t nail the “vintage” flanger sound. But you can always use a multi-stage parametric for that sort of thing. The Auto Pan surprised me: It’s very, very cool. This is because you can change the phase between the two waveforms controlling amplitude in each channel, as well as the offset (where along the waveform the pan begins). Now, if these were static settings that would still be pretty useful. But when it gets really wonderful (and actually, this applies to most of the Live effects) is when you start controlling parameters with MIDI controllers and varying them in real time. Another “they’ve done it again” effect, the Saturator, is not your basic distortion yet it’s very easy to obtain great results. You have a choice of clipping options along with drive (as expected), but what makes this thing rock is the set of “color” controls, which allow radical changes to the sound – anything from thin crunches, to booming fuzzes. Good stuff. But I’ve saved the best until last: Beat Repeat is totally twisted. It captures, then repeats, portions of a signal. How often it captures the signal, the duration, and where it comes from in the file are all adjustable, as are several other parameters. Repeated material can be inserted in place of the signal, gated, or mixed in with the straight sound. I don’t know if this is an effect you master, or whether you just twist the dials and see what happens…but this is like nothing you’ve heard or seen before, with the possible exception of some of Pluggo’s outer fringes. Want to see what the effects look like? Click on the Attachment to see the Saturator, Flanger, Auto Pan, and Beat Repeat modules. The Simpler has also sprouted a few new parameters: Separate envelopes for pitch, filter, and amplitude, an attack delay control for the LFO, and glide.
  13. This feature is definitely one of my favorite features in the update, so it gets its own post. Launching with Locators lets you set locate points at any time in the Arrange view, and freely go to any locate point whenever you like – with the usual quantization option where the switch to the next locator occurs on the next measure boundary, next beat, etc. But you can also trigger these from keyboard or QWERTY keys (or by double-clicking on a locator), which is a blast: instant rearrangement. This is sort of a “playlist on acid,” and I don’t mean the program by Sony…with enough good bits in a tune and enough locators, you could probably keep people entertained for hours. Click on the Attachment to see the Set Locator button, Prev/Next button, and the locators themselves. Well, after we cover the new effects and a few more of the more important features, we’ll wrap this up with some conclusions.
  14. As you might expect there are lots of little update features, some despite being more utilitarian than anything else are very helpful to have. Such as… MP3 compatibility. Bring MP3 files into Live – a Good Thing for DJs who have converted a lot of their collection into MP3 format. Live also handles Ogg Vorbis, Ogg FLAC, and FLAC files. However, it has to decompress these files (a mercifully short process, thankfully), write them to disk, and read them from there. The Live manual gives the impression that these files have to stay on disk, but that’s not true: You can pull them from disk into RAM. Of course, this means using up your RAM, but as mentioned earlier, this makes life a lot easier when dealing with laptops that have slow internal drives. Multi-clip editing. Yup, you can control-click on Clips and adjust the same parameter in all selected Clips (of course, this applies only to common parameters). Most of the time, if parameter values differ, they move together (e.g., if one clip is set to transpose by +0, another one by +3, and you boost them up by +1, the clips will transpose by +1 and +4 respectively). However, once a value reaches its limit, it won’t move any further although other ones will until they hit their limit. From that point on, the values move together. This is a good way to set a bunch of parameters to the same value and edit it for all clips at once: Slam the value all the way in one direction, then set to the desired value. Another cool application is to convert a bunch of Clips into RAM clips, all at the same time. Clip deactivate. Just as you can de-activate individual notes in the MIDI Note Editor, you can de-activate clips to they don’t launch in Session view, or play back in an Arrangement. A big deal? Not really, but this comes in handy when you want to alter the arrangement without actually deleting Clips. “Detach” Clip loop markers from the file beginning and end. This may not sound like a big deal, but it allows you to start at the beginning of a Clip, play through to the end of the loop, then jump back to the beginning of the loop (not the start of the file). Before, when you set a loop start point, this also established where playback would begin.
  15. They say timing is everything. Live 5 has added some interesting tweaks that compensate for timing problems, and allow for custom timing changes. Plug-in Delay Compensation. Okay, pretty much everyone has it these days, as they should: Being able to compensate for timing differences among plug-ins is a prerequisite for working with audio in today’s digital environment. Note that Live doesn’t “cheat” and apply compensation only to tracks, but to the bus returns as well. “Feel factor” track timing advance/delay control. This is not the same as delay compensation (an automatic process) as you can manually advance or delay a track, in one millisecond increments up to +/- 1 second. This lets you tune out timing differences manually, or “slip” tracks to alter the “feel” of a part (delay to drag, advance to rush). Thankfully, you can type in the delay value if you’re not a fan of dragging on numericals. Click on the Attachment to see the Track Delay parameter (outlined in red). Nudging and scrubbing. This is a lot of fun, although I must confess, I haven’t always been able to obtain predictable results when nudging with an external MIDI controller. Basically, you nudge Clip playback (MIDI or audio) in increments based on global quantization. I file this under the category of “Tools to make repetitive loops more interesting” as you can add rhythmically intricate syncopations. A small orange dot indicates the playback offset point, while a Revert option places the start point at the beginning of the clip, and a Keep function makes the offset permanent (well, as permanent as anything is in Live – meaning, until you change your mind). Click on the Attachment to see the Nudge section and the little orange dot (both outlined in yellow).
  16. If you were expecting Live 5 to become a MIDI powerhouse, you’ll be disappointed. If you were expecting MIDI to be expanded to the point of getting complex and fussy, you’ll be happy. There are only a few new MIDI features. MIDI Note Deactivation: You can selectively “turn off’ a note (or group of notes) without deleting it/htem. It’s not a huge deal - until you create a short loop with a cymbal crash at the beginning, and wish you could bring the crash in every now and then instead of all the time. Perfect: De-activate and activate at will. It also lends a lot more flexibility when using the MIDI Note Editor live: Select, for example, all the closed hi-hats, then deactivate during a more cooled out part, and bring them back in when you want more rhythm. MIDI Editor Preview: This really should have been there when Live first added MIDI, but better late than never. With preview on, when you click to add a note, or click on the virtual keyboard, you hear the note. Clicking further to the right of a keyboard key gives higher velocities. The preview function is particularly useful with drum sets, as you don’t have a “drum map” MIDI view, and sometimes you can’t always be sure which key that weird percussion sound corresponds to… Better yet, this can be enabled individually for each track. Better MIDI Quantizing: Now you can do quantize strength, which is the most important MIDI quantizing feature to me – it’s a great way to tighten up timing, without getting robotic. You can also quantize the note start and end. And for MIDI effects, there’s – tra-la – an arpeggiator. Yeah, it’s cool. So, what about MIDI, anyway? It’s kind of a controversial aspect of Live. Those who were raised on Logic, Digital Performer, etc. see what’s missing: No event list, no notation, limited editing options, etc. But if you’re willing to keep an open mind, Ableton has come up with a new, and valid, approach to dealing with MIDI. Whether it fulfills all your needs is something only you can decide, but you can get a hint of where they’re going with the MIDI effects – I could definitely see these growing in the future. That way, you need only drag in the plug-ins you want, rather than be faced with all editing options, all the time. Given the approach, about my only wish list item is to be able to see more than one envelope at a time in the MIDI Clip Display. I’m a big fan of using controllers to add expressiveness, and often, I want to relate one controller’s settings to another. I don’t know how many other people are into controllers so much that this would be a limitation, but it makes a difference to me. I had hoped to get a little further along in the review tonight, but made the “mistake” of deciding to install review copies of Steinberg’s Groove Agent 2, Virtual Bassist, and Virtual Guitarist, and try them out with Live (I was hoping that maybe Live could record Groove Agent 2’s MIDI patterns, like Cubase SX does, but it doesn’t). Well, I got pretty hung up in checking them out, and they made great “test cases” to check out Live’s MIDI functions. Guilty pleasures, anyone? If there’s interest, I’ll do a quick review of these as well when the Live review is finished.
  17. I really like hands-on control, and Live has always made it easy to tie parameters to external control devices through a simple “learn” process. But it also takes this one step further by making it easy to assign QWERTY keyboard keys to particular functions, so you can use your keyboard as a control surface to trigger clips and such. Live 5 has excellent support for the Mackie Control and Mackie Control XT – but only the Mackie Control. This makes sense, because it’s an extremely popular control surface, and also, many other control surfaces have a Mackie emulation mode. I was somewhat surprised that there wasn’t support for the Evolution series of control surfaces, given that M-Audio distributes Live and acquired the Evolution line. However, it seems that perhaps Live is using a plug-in architecture for control surface support, because you specify it under Preferences, and there’s a drop-down menu that looks like it’s just waiting to be populated. Anyway, although I don’t have a Mackie Control so I couldn’t test the implementation, on paper it looks great: It takes advantage of the motorized faders, you can expand with the XT, there are bank select options when you’re using a single Mackie control and need to control more than 8 tracks, transport options, mute, solo, send, pan, etc. I’ve always felt that operating Live without some kind of control surface was like going to a movie with a blindfold on – you’d get only half the experience. I like the Mackie Control, and can see its support as a real useful add-on to Live. Now, if they’d just support my Radikal Technologies SAC-2k…well, I can still use the “ learn” mode, which works just fine. Oh, and one other thing: I find myself using the "Computer MIDI Keyboard" a lot to trigger notes into the MIDI sequencer when I don't want to deal with going over to the main keyboard. It's also great when you have a laptop on a plane!
  18. Live Clips are a simple idea, but they save time and effort. Basically, a Live Clip loads not only digital audio or a MIDI pattern, but also any devices that are part of the Clip’s “chain.” For example, if you have some groovy MIDI drum pattern that drives the Simpler but also goes through Beat Repeat and Reverb, you can save the whole thing as a Live Clip for later recall. This is really handy for those times when the signal processing is a necessary, important element of the sound; you don’t have to save each processor’s preset then recall them all to get the same sound – just load the Live Clip. One other small, but important, point is what happens if you drag a Live Clip into a track that already contains devices and/or clips. The existing devices are not replaced, but the clip settings are updated. For example, suppose you have a Live Clip with a good synth patch setup and a riff in a major key. You also have a matching riff in a minor key, but you came up with it early in the song, and have it saved as a Live Clip driving a different instrument. You can load this Clip into the track with the Clip that has the synth patch, and drive its sound instead. Click on Attachment to see what happens when you load the “Warm Strings” Live Clip. It loads the Simpler instrument, Reverb processor, all Clip settings, and a MIDI pattern into the track.
  19. Complex Mode is a new stretching algorithm that’s designed to work with complex material. Well, time-stretching is a difficult enough task without trying to apply it to program material, which may include a mix of percussive sounds, sustained tones, unpitched components, and more. It’s a major task to deal with analyzing and stretching all this. Yet I must say Complex Mode gave a very good account of itself – I was able to take a tune recorded at 125 BPM and do about plus/minus 5% time stretching without the sound becoming “funny.” No, it’s not perfect; if you have a beautiful, audiophile quality recording, it won’t exit the stretching process unscathed. And if you need to transpose, all bets are off. Still, Complex Mode is a valuable addition to the stretch options and really does make using program material viable. Click on Attachment to download a ZIP file that contains an MP3 example of Complex Mode in action. This has the tune referenced in the previous section about Auto-Warp (a cover of “When I Dream”), along with the one or two added drum loops, sped up by 5%. Unfortunately, to fit the space requirement for attachments, this example is rendered as a mono MP3 at 64kbps. Although this doesn’t do justice to the stretching, if you’re at all familiar with what an MP3 recorded at 64kbps sounds like, you’ll appreciate that the sound quality is really quite good.
  20. Auto-Warp is a gem of a function and quite frankly, verges on the magical. To give you some background, prior to Version 5 you could use the “elastic audio” feature to painstakingly pin an existing tune’s rhythm to beats. For example, I took a song from the 80s that was recorded on analog tape with a somewhat iffy tempo, and thanks to elastic audio, was able to put loops on top of it to “modernize” the tune. It was so cool to be able to do that, I didn’t mind spending a considerable amount of time moving warp markers around. Live 5 does pretty much the same thing, but automatically. To insure that the tempo fluctuated a bit, I tested this function with a fairly long song recorded on analog tape (a cover version of Julian Cope’s “When I Dream”). After bringing it into Live, the program needed a few seconds to analyze the tune (presumably it was looking for transients, downbeats, etc.), but then the file showed up in the Clip Display, warp markers and all. Well okay, but were those accurate guesses? I switched over to Arrangement view, and started dragging over loops into the arrangement from Sony’s “The Electro Set” loop library. The results were perfect. Not “pretty good,” or “surprisingly good given the complex nature of the task,” but perfect. Granted, the tempo was regular, but it was subject to analog drift and certainly lacked the metronomic precision of today’s tunes. Yes, in some cases you will need to tweak the warp markers, but the Auto-Warp function will save you a ton of time by putting you “in the ballpark.” Well actually, not just in the ballpark, but in front row seats on the third base line. Click on the Attachment to see a screen shot of the original file and the added loops. Notice the long, continuous waveform at the top (the original song) and below it, the various loops I laid in. At the bottom, in the Clip Display, is the Auto-Warped song file. I didn’t have to move one marker…now that’s pretty cool. And Live did not guess based on overall length, because there’s a fade at the end, and the song doesn’t end on a measure boundary – let alone a beat. Impressive? Very much so.
  21. Yes it does, thanks Dave. I'm used to freeze in other hosts freezing all tracks involved in a multi-timbral device, so I just assumed But yeah, it's different to freeze multiple tracks feeding one device as opposed to one device feeding multiple tracks! I'm sure glad I don't have to code this stuff, just use it
  22. > Agreed, I've noted the ease of controlling parameters in Live. My live act couldn't exist without it! BUT the template thing provides functionality that goes beyond simple MIDI commands, like my example with the GNX4, or non-Mackie devices with moving faders where there needs to be a feedback path, not just one-way control. Remember, this was in the context of "So why would I use a DAW when Live is so cool?", and it's one of those really dweeby DAW features that I find extremely useful. > Agreed. But some DAWs offer a lot more, e.g., tabbed views etc. Again, this is not really all that important to many users, but in some situations it really comes in handy. I really do use a lot of different programs, as each excels in certain applications and I deal with a lot of different applications For example, even though Live and Acid would be considered similar by many people, there are situations where I prefer to use Acid, and others where I prefer to use Live. Version 5 for both programs has really added a lot of useful features.
  23. There are PLENTY of things I haven't covered yet. Honestly, this took off faster and better than I ever anticipated, so I've ended up answering questions and getting involved in discussions more than posting new Live discoveries. For the next pro review, I think I'll have more of the review "in the can" before starting. What this means is that I have not yet hit some of the parts of Live that are blowing my mind! But that's why I expected these reviews to go on for four weeks or so. There's so much to be said about products, so we're taking advantage of The Bandwidth Luxury here Next -- Dave, your presence is proving to me that inviting manufacturers to participate is a good thing. Your comments are all helpful, and I have a feeling this thread is a focus group/market research dream come true, so hopefully there are advantages both ways. I don't want to take up too much of your time, but then again, you're reaching a LOT of people here...
  24. Before proceeding -- I just wanted to say thanks for the excellent opinions and insights. Your contributions are what makes the whole "Pro Review" concept work. I also look forward to more comments from Ableton's Dave Hill once he gets over his jet lag I just had to say thanks for making this happen. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.
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