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Re: Ableton Live

On Dec 8, 2005, at 3:13, Jason W Alder wrote:

> Hello all,
> New to this list. Anyway, I'm trying to start using Ableton for  
> live looping. I've been using the program for a couple years with  
> loops I've pre-made, so I know my way around it pretty well, but  
> now want to try using it for live playing. I'm able to record an  
> initial loop fine, but I'm having problems with then recording a  
> second one on another track and getting it to sync right. Are there  
> ideal quantization settings I should use? I'm guessing the problem  
> is that it's nearly impossible to record 2 loops exactly the same  
> length live, so eventually they're getting out of sync. Is there a  
> setting that will make them start the same time each time? And if  
> so, what about loops of different lengths, say a 4 beat loop and an  
> 8 beat? Or an uneven measure length like a 4 beat and 6 beat? I've  
> been messing with different quantizing settings, but haven't been  
> able to get things to do what I want yet. Is it a problem that I'm  
> not using a master clock source? Ableton has a tempo setting, but  
> since I'm not using any other loops other than what I record on the  
> spot, I may not be synced with it. Or should I be? Should I tap in  
> a tempo first to get things going?
> All I'm trying to do is be able to play something live, have it  
> record and begin looping immediately (which I have already  
> accomplished), and then repeat the process on different tracks with  
> different parts (which is where things start getting ugly). I know  
> of someone doing this same sort of thing (successfully) with Max/ 
> MSP, which I'm going to experiment with, but since I already have  
> some familiarity with Ableton, I'd like to try it with that, first.
> Thanks,
> Jason

If you want to quantize actions (like "start recording", "stop  
recording", "toggle loop/clip" etc) you need synchronize your playing  
to Live's tempo or vice versa. It's just like two musicians, they  
have to play in the same tempo to play together. Regarding your  
question if there is any "ideal quantization setting to use" the only  
one that can answer is yourself. I mean, it completely depends on  
what you play! If you never create loops of different length that  
whole bars you may as well use one bar as the quantize value. But if  
you want to cut loops of different length you may use shorter  
quantize values. You can not yet change quantize value from external  
MIDI so you have to use the mouse or press cmnd and some upper number  
key (9 for one bar and 0 for no quantize) to jump between different  
quantize values while playing and looping. Cmnd is on a Mac, I think  
it's ctrl on a PC.

If you should tap in tempo first? Yes, definitely! Live has no way to  
analyze the length of your recorded first loop and calculate the  
general tempo in relation to set quantize value (like the Echoplex,  
SooperLooper or Möbius does). If you do not want to tap the tempo you  
can start with creating a non-rhythmic loop and use some of Lives'  
eminent effects to give you the tempo (autofilter, tremolo).

If you have Live 5 you may also try to loop with the effect Ping Pong  
delay. It has a little "F" that stands for "Freeze". Map that  
function to a midi pedal and freeze the loop. Maximal loop length  
with the Ping Pong delay is two bars but then you can change the  
length of the loop, both when freezed and when overdubbing, to  
achieve some funny rhythmic effects. If you want to do traditional  
tape delay looping by overdubbing audio into layers while  
manipulating the delay feedback, then a couple of PingPongs on a  
bunch of tracks will serve you much better then recording audio clips  
(which only gives you static loops that keep on looping until you  
turn them off).

Greetings from Sweden

Per Boysen
www.looproom.com (international)
www.boysen.se (Swedish)
--->  iTunes Music Store (digital)