Live Setup for Ableton - Best Practices?

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tommimrc
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Live Setup for Ableton - Best Practices?

Post by tommimrc »

Hello guys, hope this is the correct place to post this!

I'm new to the forum. Been reading and following for quite a while now, and finally I decided to ask to join the community :).
I'm Thomas, and I have been producing music with Ableton + different rotating hardware in my studio for the past 7/8 years now. Have studied percussion and come from 6 years of drumming.

I am starting to gather all my abl projects from the past 2 years into one, big, live project, that I would love to twiddle and tweak while playing over it with my TR8.
I have a few concerns tho; I would love to play my sets with Abl+APC40+TR8 (and soundcard obviously) to start off. I am looking to setup my live similar to Ion Ludwig or SIT live setups, so drums playing over loops and synths recorded in Ableton.

Q.1: Is there a best way to play over the music with my TR8? Do you suggest to have midi notes sent from my DAW to the TR8 and maybe leave a couple of free instruments (kick, snare) that I can dial in live, or is it best to just improvise the whole drum part in live? I really can't get my head around Ion Ludwigs/SIT's routings for live setups. They can go on for hours but I'm sure they must have at least some sort of rythm "roadmap" they follow. (PS How the hell does Ion setup his stuff? Anyone ever had a chance to be in a booth with him playing?)

Q.2: Obviously my audio is not mastered. I do have EQ Compression and levels set up properly as I would for a clean mixed track. Is this the standard or do any of you live performers have bounced & "mastered" clips playing?

Thanks guys, looking forward to hear some interesting insights!
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tommimrc
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Re: Live Setup for Ableton - Best Practices?

Post by tommimrc »

Hey guys, any insights on this?
:D
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mar
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Re: Live Setup for Ableton - Best Practices?

Post by mar »

Hello mate, 2 years late to this.

I'll start by listing his gear in a live show from CDV in 2018 and go from there:

XONE 92
ANALOG RYTM MK I
TR8
RME SOUNDCARD
APC40 MK II

Have also seen him with an OP-1 and an Analog Heat.

I'm pretty sure the majority of his stuff has been made at home in the studio. Here's a picture of him in his den with a fck off modular synth, DS Tempest, Vermonas, Octatrack etc. https://imgur.com/oP4tUC7

So it wouldn't surprise me if a lot of his live setup is produced / mastered at home and then taken out to be performed live.

He uses the 4 channels on the 92 - one for kick, one for bass, two for whatever else and mixes elements as necessary. I guess each channel on the 92 is assignable in Ableton. There is also a lot of send/return for reverb & delay going on from the APC40 too.

But apart from that, I'm as clueless as you are. I don't see him messing around with the parameters on the Rytm, but I have see him use it for mutes. Perhaps drum samples are loaded into the Rytm purely for playback. Perhaps the Rytm is controlling the TR8 via MIDI. Perhaps the TR8 does hats and the Rtym does Kick / Snares. Perhaps he is using Overbridge (but I doubt it.) Who knows?

What's important to remember though is that a LOT of this material - including all the incredible sound design stuff is done at home on some amazing equipment. Then played back and messed around with in Ableton. It would make sense to have an Ableton set full of raw, completed audio for playback, as playing synths & vsts would be terrible for CPU during a long show.

So if you are looking to get the 'ion' sound, that's the long grind in just being awesome at producing music. I think he's been making grooves for over 17 years now! Good luck mate
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tommimrc
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Re: Live Setup for Ableton - Best Practices?

Post by tommimrc »

Hey man!

Better late than never I guess :D
Great you actually took time to come back on this thread..

Now two years have passed and I have been producing and analyzing much of his and other people's work in the live domain. The things that still amaze me are the quality of sound that most of their sets (him, SIT, DeWalta, Topper, Melchior etc.) have.

It seems always they manage to have clean bass, everything ducked when the kick comes in, good eq's and all that. It's almost as if their stuff sounds mastered, levelled and carefully balanced even though it's all being managed on-the-go.

Of course much of the stuff is being prepared in the studio, and they rarely go about actually sound-designing stuff during the live itself.. but it's still very fascinating to hear and understand what the he'll goes on there..
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Re: Live Setup for Ableton - Best Practices?

Post by John Clees »

Q.1: Is there a best way to play over the music with my TR8
Sync with an outboard midi-master via USB to the computer, this will give the external sync control.
Do you suggest to have midi notes sent from my DAW to the TR8 and maybe leave a couple of free instruments (kick, snare) that I can dial in live, or is it best to just improvise the whole drum part in live?
Have multiple Midi outputs, one for the TR8/master.
Have a 2nd midi out put for the "live triggers'.
Q.2: Obviously my audio is not mastered. I do have EQ Compression and levels set up properly as I would for a clean mixed track. Is this the standard or do any of you live performers have bounced & "mastered" clips playing?
Just set a limiter on the master to prevent clipping, setting a bar not to exceed at 0.

Just thinking out loud:
Sounds like you need a perhaps a $120 mini 4 input mixer, for some live gear, for live keys, etc., live triggers on a few outboard things, a separate midi for the "live trigger", and sync your tr8 with a midi master out board gear. $150-$225.

Think like an engineer, you want to have the most control with the least amount of effort.
The more relax you are, the more fun you can have, the more specific your energy/mind can express.

Hope this may help.
Best wishes!

:-flower
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