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What is Ableton Live? #2972250 01/28/19 09:25 PM
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paulkondig Online Content OP
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Can someone please explain what Ableton Live is? Because i am struggling to figure it out?

Last edited by paulkondig; 01/28/19 09:50 PM.

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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: paulkondig] #2972254 01/28/19 09:34 PM
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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: paulkondig] #2972255 01/28/19 09:48 PM
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Great question!
It is a nonlinear DAW, although you can use it also in the linear piano roll way.
There are two ways to make your tracks, not mutually exclusive.
1) You can record (using MIDI or audio) shorter (or longer) loops into "clips" in the "session view" and as the name implies, this is useful for live sessions/DJ improvised performances. You can have multiple clips running sync'ed in time and/or matched in key. You trigger them (using either a dedicated controller or the computer keys) when you choose and combine them in real time how you choose. They are displayed on a grid and can be launched individually or in groups (a row).
2) You can do piano roll DAW music in the "arrangement view" which is a more traditional way of working. Or you can switch views and combine the two methods, I.e. record some clips and then assemble them later into a finished track.

Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Dave Bryce] #2972258 01/28/19 09:50 PM
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Thank you Dave!


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Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: Ockeghem] #2972261 01/28/19 09:51 PM
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Thank you!


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Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: paulkondig] #2972268 01/28/19 10:33 PM
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I have posted on here before, but Kawehi is an artist I really like who uses it much like a looper where she builds the parts by singing, beat boxing, and playing parts. Check out her YouTube channel:

I Am Kawehi

Last edited by J. Dan; 01/28/19 10:34 PM.

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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Ockeghem] #2972272 01/28/19 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ockeghem
1) You can record (using MIDI or audio) shorter (or longer) loops into "clips" in the "session view" and as the name implies, this is useful for live sessions/DJ improvised performances. You can have multiple clips running sync'ed in time and/or matched in key. You trigger them (using either a dedicated controller or the computer keys) when you choose and combine them in real time how you choose.

Thank for the explanation. Your description reminds me of my first computer midi sequencer, DR T's "KCS" for the Atari ST. You had multiple independent midi sequences that could be triggered from the computer keyboard. A sequence could contain typical midi events but also events to start, stop & repeat other sequences and you could nest things pretty deep. There were also events to randomize the triggering of different sequences (choose from a list), transpose keys, velocities, etc. Sounds like Ableton is doing this with audio. Emile Tobenfeld, the developer, started KCS on a Commodore 64!

Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Reezekeys] #2972279 01/28/19 11:47 PM
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I used to have the Windows version of Dr. T's sequencer, which I liked a lot.
Another program that works well with audio loops and such, which has been around for awhile, is Acid. I think that Ableton is similar in some respects, but gives you more options.

Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Ockeghem] #2972305 01/29/19 06:09 AM
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Its very creative and flexible, you have two modes, session and arranger view, arranger being standard DAW layout horizontal recording.

Session view is essentially a grid where you can place audio/midi into clips that make up the grid and can be triggered separately or with others simultaneously. I have a kind of hybrid setup where I use hardware for looping and beats, but use Ableton to handle acapellas for live remixing via midi sync. I basically pull the acapellas (which may or may not have originally been recorded to a click) on beat and once thats done itll sit nicely with whatever new bpm you want to use it with.


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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Gary75] #2972313 01/29/19 07:19 AM
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If you are considering ableton
Make sure you also look at Bitwig before deciding..

Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: KorgyPorky] #2972314 01/29/19 07:37 AM
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Yes, Bitwig Studio also has a loop-launching mode like Ableton Live does. And Acoustica Mixcraft has a loop-launching mode, too. smile

As far as using Ableton Live, I got Live Lite with an M-Audio MIDI keyboard controller but felt too intimidated by it to try to learn it (just because it looked too confusing and overwhelming to my poor brain). But then I took a free "Introduction to Ableton Live" course online at Coursera.org, taught by Berklee College of Music (the course isn't free if you want credit for taking it, but you can audit it for free). In no time at all the course demystified Live for me and I was making my own loops. Berklee offers the course at Coursera.org every so often, and if you're interested in Live then I recommend it-- although it's just an introduction, as its title indicates.

EDIT - And apparently the next course session starts today (01/29).

https://www.coursera.org/learn/ableton-live?

Last edited by SeaGtGruff; 01/29/19 07:40 AM.

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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: SeaGtGruff] #2972360 01/29/19 01:24 PM
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All DAWs and sequencers I've ever tried--going back to Opcode's vision and DOS sequencers like Voyetra--are confusing an overwhelming at first IMO. Having youtube and other tutorials available as a resource now is amazing, I sure could have used it over the years!

Live's "thing" interface-wise is that they don't hide things in nested small menus that are hard to find. Instead, it's tiny little icons that you may not notice! grin DAWs, like video editing software, are just an interface designer's nightmare due to the incredible amount of functionality they try to pack into one main screen.

Live started out as more of a DJ tool iirc, but it works very well as a more traditional sequencer. I haven't used it for several versions though, I am using Logic Pro (which like all the others, has managed to confuse me more than once...just part of the experience!)

Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Reezekeys] #2972362 01/29/19 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Your description reminds me of my first computer midi sequencer, DR T's "KCS" for the Atari ST.

My first one as well...

dB

Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Dave Bryce] #2972367 01/29/19 01:42 PM
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The hardware dinosaur that I am wants to cop an MPC Live.

The progressive side of my brain suggests that I load Ableton Live on my laptop and be done with it. grin cool


PD

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Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: paulkondig] #2972370 01/29/19 02:10 PM
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Well this helps.

Manny moons ago, I had a copy of Cakewalk Master Tracks Pro. No longer in existence. When, a music teacher sold me his DX-7IIFD. Never really used either one.


I have nothing to say, and I am saying it, and that is poetry as I need it!
John Cage
Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Gary75] #2972379 01/29/19 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted By: Gary75
I have a kind of hybrid setup where I use hardware for looping and beats, but use Ableton to handle acapellas for live remixing via midi sync. I basically pull the acapellas (which may or may not have originally been recorded to a click) on beat and once thats done itll sit nicely with whatever new bpm you want to use it with.




Yeah it really excels at manipulating existing audio - and why it's a favorite tool for DJs who are doing anything beyond just basic track playback. Did it ever bother you that the bass player and drummer couldn't agree on the tempo for "Runnin' With The Devil"? Well you can fix things like that.


Live Intro is a great way to get your feet wet with Ableton Live, and is often sold at a discount. I think I paid $79 for mine.

Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Dave Bryce] #2972420 01/29/19 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Your description reminds me of my first computer midi sequencer, DR T's "KCS" for the Atari ST.

My first one as well...

dB


+1

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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Sam Mullins] #2972444 01/29/19 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sam Mullins
Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Your description reminds me of my first computer midi sequencer, DR T's "KCS" for the Atari ST.

My first one as well...

dB


+1



We are all showing our age smile



I have nothing to add here, as I was 14 when the Atari ST was introduced, in 1985.

Last edited by paulkondig; 01/29/19 05:56 PM. Reason: Moved reply

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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: paulkondig] #2972455 01/29/19 06:24 PM
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Ableton Live is a software version of the Emu Command Station.

Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: paulkondig] #2972473 01/29/19 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted By: paulkondig
Well this helps.

Manny moons ago, I had a copy of Cakewalk Master Tracks Pro. No longer in existence. When, a music teacher sold me his DX-7IIFD. Never really used either one.


I think you meant Passport, not Cakewalk. I owned that one too. Master Tracks Pro was the easiest to use sequencer ever.

I also had an Atari ST.


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Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: humannoyed] #2972479 01/29/19 07:42 PM
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I also started out with Dr. T's KCS on Atari ST. Still have it. Maybe I'll fire up the old ST one of these days and see if it still works.

JC

Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: humannoyed] #2972481 01/29/19 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted By: humannoyed
Originally Posted By: paulkondig
Well this helps.

Manny moons ago, I had a copy of Cakewalk Master Tracks Pro. No longer in existence. When, a music teacher sold me his DX-7IIFD. Never really used either one.


I think you meant Passport, not Cakewalk. I owned that one too. Master Tracks Pro was the easiest to use sequencer ever.

I also had an Atari ST.


Right Passport. Where the heck did I get Cakewalk?


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John Cage
Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: RABid] #2972488 01/29/19 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted By: RABid
Ableton Live is a software version of the Emu Command Station.


Is it though? Is there a way to launch independent sequences at the same time? Or trigger them remotely. If so, please let me know how.

I have an PX7 Command Station and the craziest thing it can do is string sequences together into a song.

I'm not really being critical. I do not have Live and I would LOVE to be able to use the Command Station in that sort of way.

Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: Franz Schiller] #2972526 01/29/19 10:50 PM
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I remember the first time I saw someone who really knew how to use Live work with it (verion 4 I think), and my first thought was "This is an Ensoniq sequencer on steroids". Really powerful DAW, particulalry for non-linear work.


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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Sam Mullins] #2972664 01/30/19 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sam Mullins
Originally Posted By: Dave Bryce
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Your description reminds me of my first computer midi sequencer, DR T's "KCS" for the Atari ST.

My first one as well...

dB


+1

We are all showing our age smile


My first one was on a Commodore 64. I think it was called Sonic. Then I moved on to the Commodore Amiga and Music-X, which I still use today, via Amiga Forever emulator.

And I never age.


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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Synthaholic] #2972668 01/30/19 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted By: Synthaholic

My first one was on a Commodore 64. I think it was called Sonic. Then I moved on to the Commodore Amiga and Music-X, which I still use today, via Amiga Forever emulator.

And I never age.


When I had the Atari ST/KCS, my brother was using Amiga/Music-X. It was pretty damn sexy and innovative at the time.


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Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: Franz Schiller] #2972672 01/30/19 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: Franz Schiller
Originally Posted By: RABid
Ableton Live is a software version of the Emu Command Station.


Is it though? Is there a way to launch independent sequences at the same time? Or trigger them remotely. If so, please let me know how.

I have an PX7 Command Station and the craziest thing it can do is string sequences together into a song.

I'm not really being critical. I do not have Live and I would LOVE to be able to use the Command Station in that sort of way.


I've never tried triggering remotely because the Command Station panel is so good I cannot imagine trying to operate it with something else, but you can have 16 internal and 16 external sequence loops that you can independently turn on and off, adjust pan, volume and other parameters from the panel. And like Live you can change pattern groups and work your way through a song. Yes, it is very much a hardware precursor to Live.

Re: What is Ableton Live? [Re: RABid] #2972676 01/30/19 04:48 PM
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Re: What is Ableton Live/ [Re: Sam Mullins] #2974805 02/09/19 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted By: Sam Mullins
Originally Posted By: Synthaholic

My first one was on a Commodore 64. I think it was called Sonic. Then I moved on to the Commodore Amiga and Music-X, which I still use today, via Amiga Forever emulator.

And I never age.


When I had the Atari ST/KCS, my brother was using Amiga/Music-X. It was pretty damn sexy and innovative at the time.


I would argue (successfully, I think) that Music-X still has the best piano roll editor you can find. Even 30 years later.


The fact there's a Highway To Hell and only a Stairway To Heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers

People only say "It's a free country" when they're doing something shitty-Demetri Martin

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