Struggle for live!
Many of you already know I’m very busy working on my next live set. The fundaments are real basic. I imported kicks, basses, and drums from several tracks I’ve made in the past year, and I did the same for the synths.
To recall most of the parameters during the set I will be using Kapture by Liine. I tried using Clyphx (a free script plugin for Ableton Live if you do not own Max4Live) but the coding in the midi clips gave me a headache.
Here’s a short preview btw…
Kapture (All about renaming)
Drop a Kapture device on a new midi track and rename the midi track to Kapture.
By default I always make a snapshot of all parameters and levels set to their normal values. I rename the Snapshot 1 to “normal”.
You can add a midi clip by double clicking on an empty space. Rename this midi clip to the same name as your snapshot. eg. normal.
Add more snapshots and rename them whatever you like. Then add midi clips and rename them with the same title.
UPDATE: KAPTURE IS GONE! NOT WORTH DOWNLOADING BECAUSE OF THE LATENCY PROBLEMS. IT’S WORTH SHARING ANYWAY…
Peaks and volumes
Right now I’m still deciding how much effects and return tracks I will be using during the performance. More parameters makes the set complex and the chance of mistakes rises fast.That’s the main reason I’m using Kapture. This M4L device can capture snapshots of all parameters and levels of any track in the Live set.
Let me talk a bit about the layout I’m using. I use 12 tracks filled with audio clips from my tracks. The last channel is filled with effects and one shots.
The kicks on channel 1 are all set to -5 / -6 db peak, the bass sounds peaks at -12 / -13 db and the drum group peaks at a max of -10db.
The synth group variates a bit more in peak levels.
The group channels also have a bit of EQ isolation on them to prevent heavy clipping parts on interfering frequencies.
Mixed in Key!
I’m also a big an of “in key mixing”. This is why I grouped all clips and samples in Key for ableton live.
All scene launch buttons have their own color depending on the scale (Key). This was easily done by renaming and ordering the launch buttons.
To get fingers on the parameters I’m using an APC40 from Akai (Controlling kicks, drums, percussion and bass) and Touchable 2 on Ipad (Synths, atmosphere and effects)
Because I named much of my synth and effect sounds I thought it would be useful to see these names on my controller (Touchable 2). In this way it became a lot harder to miss a sound.
All effect parameters including those from the synths and atmosphere sounds will be mapped to the APC40.
I mostly use the Touchable app to trigger synths and effects at the moment. Maybe I will add an automated X-Y axis to it.
You can accomplish much with follow actions set to audio or midi clips. These options will tell the clip what to do next. There are several options available and also the timing can be set to the corresponding clip length.
A couple synths in my live set are programmed to work as a break. I divided the main part and the break part into 2 different clips.
On the last (break) clip I added a follow action that tells the clip to go back to the original synth after 4 beats.
Double click on the break clip and set the action to your synths or drum (fills).
Dummy Clips made easy
Recently I added a bunch of dummy clips on most of the receiving audio channels. (Percussion, Synths, Main)
I wanted to add automation on the master effects also. I transfered all the nessasary effect plugins from the master bus to a new audio track. Next I routed this new audio track to the main master bus.
Here’s a little example of the layout.
After every block I have setup Build-up dummy clips with lots of crazy automations on the parameters. I used a follow actions to go back to the first clip (DRY)
In the next video you’ll get more information on how you can build these dummies for your own sets.
Nothing special here.
I’m using a glue compressor on the master bus together with a Limiter set to -0,2db peak. in front of these effects I’m using another EQ and a Stereo enhancer by PSP.
To use this layout as a reference tool you can simply print it out on A4 or A3 paper.
To start with the programming I always begin with a layout on a paper. In a list I write down all the possible effects I will use and next I’ll write those effects down on my layout I got from the internet.
This is very useful to me because by the time changes will be made. In this way you have a great reference tool.
Choose your effects
I can name a couple effects you can add to your set immediately, but consider making new effects of your own.
You can always group several plugins together to get new inspiring sounds and effects.
I also found a very useful effect rack from Aurex online. He delivers a rack that will help you to make build-ups on the fly, etc.
Also a couple nice granular things and delays are added. Be sure to check it out!
A couple other effects will be delay returns on the synths and drums, ping-pong style delay on synths, Beat repeat on the snare, fade to grey, etc.
Thats it for now folks! My Ableton live set tips, tricks and facts. If you have any questions then post a comment below. All tips are welcome btw. I’m still building this up!
A preview will follow very soon!