Playing 'Live'

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Playing 'Live'

Post by jackbrazzo » Sun May 09, 2010 1:22 pm

I've decided to change my direction a little bit and instead of playing gigs, I want to play live, make my own music and do stuff on the fly.

I dont really want to copy a certain sound but i do want to be creative as much as I can. Whether this translates into gigging (my ultimate goal) I would be too unhappy if I just was confined into my bedroom as long as I was getting somewhere and enjoying myself!

So what gear? I'd prefer hardware rather than VST, but i wouldnt be averse to a combo.

I've looked at the ESX electribe for drum machine, presumably I'd need a 2nd hand synth (was thinking Roland SH 101, some monitors (have these) a mixer (have this) Maybe a EMX as well?

I'd have to spend 1K i guess, (already have a laptop) any clues and pointers appreciated guys.


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Post by oblioblioblio » Mon May 10, 2010 3:13 am

it's hard to give advice. it's a very personal subject. the best way is to play around with some machines in person. not always so easy.

i will say that playing live is a really special exprience and is definitely worth finding out whther it's for you or not. dj sets have their time and place but live is deifnitely worth investigation.

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Post by nrjizer » Mon May 10, 2010 5:02 am

If you get an SH-101, be aware that it doesn't have MIDI, but rather CV. You're going to need a good MIDI to CV converter in order to use the 101 live. Trying to program/trigger the arpeggiator seems like too much of a a pain in the ass in a live situation to be practical.

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Post by Minimal Samples » Mon May 10, 2010 10:45 am

If I were you ID seriously consider Native Instruments Maschine as your drum/percussion base, its a great piece of kit for live playing and jamming with. - Submit 20 original minimal loops & samples and get the entire archive for free.

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Post by Daemonix » Mon May 10, 2010 11:03 am

Minimal Samples wrote:If I were you ID seriously consider Native Instruments Maschine as your drum/percussion base, its a great piece of kit for live playing and jamming with.

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Post by simonb » Mon May 10, 2010 12:06 pm

You'll probably want the choice of a few synths if you're going the hardware route i.e. if you've got a bassline, lead and some bleepy bits that's a few different synth parts already. I guess that's why as much as I'm getting more into hardware, I still like software with its ability to have multiple instances of the same synth and at no additional cost.

If you care, my current setup is a Machinedrum (great not only for drum sounds but for live tweaking of sounds whether in the MD itself or elsewhere in the setup, the more I play with it the more I see it as an instrument that I can improve at "playing!), a Novation x-station I've had for a while and Ableton Live with a couple of softsynths. I'm moving more towards live jamming, at least as a basis for tracks, and I feel it would definitely be a useable setup for live performance. A desk full of synths, FX and a big mixing desk would be nice but not financially feasible, so hard/soft combo it is...

The Machinedrum might or might not be your thing, you might prefer something like Maschine or an MPC if that's more your style (bashing out drum patterns as opposed to step sequencing), whatever works for you...

Someone else can take over from me on this but I think the Korg EMX and the Elektron Monomachine offer several discrete voices in the one box? I'd be intersted to hear about this anyway, I'm finding myself more and more attracted to the hardware route.

I think a drum machine + several synths + some sort of sampler would be the minimum necessary... even better if you have more than one of these in the same box.

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Post by MagpieIndustries » Mon May 10, 2010 4:40 pm

I own an esx and an emx. They are really great for jamming with. I've played some live dubby techno sets with these, a re20 space echo and a turntable for scratches, fx and bits of samples. Works ok but there's a couple of things to think about.
The electribes are pretty limited, sound and feature-wise. You can't tweak the sounds or fx very much, they sound a bit naff and there's not much you can do about it. Everything starts to sound a bit the same after a while. On the other hand, they are absolutely brilliant for live work, whether its just you, or even better, if you got a friend with some other kind of hardware to compliment them. It's possible to churn out banging techno sets in realtime with this kind of a setup, and it's super fun too, so if that's your goal then they are certainly worth a look.

If you are composing some music with them in realtime, due to the fact that it's difficult to select/audition sounds before you put them out on the master output, you'll occasionally get goofs and blasts of ugly sound coming out at high volume, which limit the electribes use for more professional gigs, but for parties or jamming and rocking out with some mates then it's not too bad.

I've also had a machinedrum for a couple of months, and I thought that the interface was superb, absolutely fantastic, I loved sequencing with it. It's smooth and polished and can handle minimal techno very well. See wesens threads about doing live sets on one. But IMHO the sound seemed a bit narrow and weedy, and I thought it hard to do a full set (with the tones and sounds I had in mind) using just a machinedrum.

Adding a laptop will cover up the deficiencies in the gear, if you want a laptop in your setup (i dont)

In summary: electribes rule if you wanna jam and dance and compose live and fck around with a few friends. machinedrum (and a laptop) if you want a bit more structure and a carefully planned live set

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Post by coldfuture » Tue May 11, 2010 6:45 pm

I use a machinedrum and a monomachine now for my live sets. Most capable machines I have ever used.

I am seriously blown away by them. I have been using them in the studio for a few years now and finally feel comfortable just running them live.

I look forward to adding a korg ESX for sampling duties for a while until I can afford the Octatrack when it comes out.

I highly recommend any of these machines.
"Why does this process have to be SO complex" -- Ritardo Montalban

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