Daft Punk's use of ableton and synths
aquafreak
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#1
6th November 2007
Old 6th November 2007
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Daft Punk's use of ableton and synths

this is probably a stupid question if you're experienced with ableton, laptop performance, etc. but i have reason and no hardware synths. i've also spent way too much time at work trying to find an answer myself. anyway, if you are into daft punk, you probably saw those pictures of the gear in their pyramid from this summer's tour (i've tried to put one underneath here).

what's been killing me is trying to wrap my mind around how those 4 moog voyagers are getting used in conjunction with ableton during the show, as well . it seems like DP are mainly using midi controllers up there, while I know earlier in the year they told mixmag that they have 'supercomputers' and whole racks of other analog synths off the stage. so are they creating melodies somehow and using ableton to do it? anyone understand better than I do? all i've been able to understand is the show centers around ableton, but how does all that hardware come into the picture if there are no actual keyboards involved?

Lee


Last edited by aquafreak; 6th November 2007 at 02:29 AM.. Reason: thought i'd add the picture
#2
6th November 2007
Old 6th November 2007
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i would love to help but with daft punk you never seem to find out the answers. it definately sounds like they use ableton(you can hear the beat repeat) there is a lenghty discussion on the ableton forum about these very photos:

http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtop...daft+punk+live

no answers for sure but people have some theories about how they use that setup.

i am pretty sure they have some extra stuff there for backup in case something breaks down.
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6th November 2007
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There is no reason the voyagers can't be triggered from within Live. They may be sequencing all sorts of gear from Live. What part are you confused about?
aquafreak
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6th November 2007
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thanks for the responses. ok - so i have a sneaking suspicion that i'm taking this pic too literally, as in i was a little baffled by the absence of laptops....

i take it the beat repeat is a hallmark of the type of manipulation you can do in ableton. i feel like you hear that a lot in live dp stuff.

jazzpunk - i guess i was pretty confused about their live setup based on the photo and having heard the unique variations among their live sets. during their live shows (esp. at around 5:36 in this YouTube - Daft Punk Alive Brooklyn August 2007) it has seemed like sometimes they've set up scenes in ableton on the fly, but sometimes it seems preprogrammed.

so it sounds like they could easily have a dozen synths like a virus, a nord, etc. all in a rack offstage and they could be running it through there. it was just the voyagers they seemed all about being sure to keep near to them for tweaking.

unfortunately, i'm running vista on a new pc, so i'm counting the days until they release live 7.
#5
6th November 2007
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most of live shows are already sequenced. all the notes are there as well as the arrangements. then they tweak the filters and everything else. all in live.


what makes you think there is audio coming out of those moogs? they could be just midi controllers for the softsynth
#6
6th November 2007
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those moogs could well be used for both sound and/or filtering some of the audio..
#7
7th November 2007
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I read in an article they were using 2 G5's for their live show. Maybe all the Voyagers etc are just props!

#8
7th November 2007
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either way they are still blatantly ripping off other music.

and somehow I still love them
HJK
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7th November 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordanh View Post
either way they are still blatantly ripping off other music.

and somehow I still love them
How are they ripping of music and why do people always think that?

The original artists have been paid, etc

One definition of being creative: is to take two familiar things and mix them together to something new......

They have that very special talent that people like Prince,Timbaland, Photek, Burial, Mills have......

Look at Stardust- Music Sounds Better with You, so simple, yet so advanced....
#10
8th November 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineChemical View Post
Besides, most people that fake their live shows like to use Viruses.
Why is that?
aquafreak
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8th November 2007
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i can see how the post-homework era stuff could be disappointing to some. i have to say that i got discovery just because i always loved daft punk's smart approach to techno, their sense of style and arrangement, and of course wanted to have everything by them. i had gotten way into uk hard house and missed out on discovery's debut anyway - so i hadn't given it a lot of thought. but it was only until i spent a full week watching every single youtube video of this year's tour (which i missed) that i concluded that as a live act, these guys have an organic grasp of this music similar to hendrix's mastery of his instrument. just my opinion. i attended a lot of raves and saw a lot of live electronic artists perform - if daft's making that stuff happen in real time (and i'm convinced they are), it's just ridonculous what these 2 are capable of. even if they are stealing from barry manilow.

i guess i'm wondering if anyone's ever seen the lemur in real life. i've read a lot about it the past year. there's one place in town that is supposedly a dealer but they don't have them. do you think the show could actually be centered around the lemurs and multiple scenes controlling a computer running ableton offstage? it seems like the lemurs are used both as pad triggers as well as all purpose controllers (which would make sense).
#12
8th November 2007
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I dont think you should look in to what they use for live gigs to much. Live is great for that and probably an obvious choice but I have a very strong feeling they dont use it in the studio as their main daw. well in fact I know their best stuff was never done with live.
Dont look in to beat repeat as some wonderful thing. There is no way that plugin is a big part of DP sound. They have their own sound and you wont get that from live or any other software plug.
Its like DJ shadow started using Pro tools and then his sound and his soul vanished. (sorry shadow, but ive been there and can hear it). he should get back to what he knows best. A few mpcs and a mixer. he did some amazing stuff with those. The point im making is that although I hear a change in DP music I still dont think they have switched to live for studio stuff as theres still some of the old magic there. I could be wrong its just a hunch.
As people move toward live im moving away from it interesting huh
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12th February 2009
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They played pretty much the exact same set at every gig, I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't even touch half of the gear in that pyramid during shows. Didn't Justice just get busted playing with their MIDI controllers not even plugged in?

Edit: That's not to say they don't put on a hell of a show, and it is fairly dynamic. Really I'm just talking out of my ass. Need to go get some coffee.

Edit: Wow, just noticed I had resurrected a two year old thread. My bad!
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12th February 2009
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Having to admit that most of your material is samples from 70s funk songs that you run through a macbook isnt nearly as funny as telling an industry mag that you have super computers.

As for them using ableton in a studio type setting, its completely possible. Before john balance died coil was using it for everything.
#15
12th February 2009
Old 12th February 2009
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speculation

I really like Daft Punk...

From a tour standpoint/mega production, they are a huge act/tour with lots of resources behind them:

"Live" show very well could be entirely pre-programmed... everything is very well synced to the lights..

and so...

ever wonder if they "sub-out" other people into the robot suits?

From a "tour" perspective, it makes a lot of sense...

Many acts have had to cancel shows due to artist illness etc... Daft Punk does not have to.

Maybe they let their friends "play" a night in the suits... hmm... I should write them a letter...

Keep it light hearted... cooperation is the best way of life... not competition...
#16
12th February 2009
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Bill Leeb and MF Doom got caught doing exactly that. MF Doom wasnt even trying to hide it and began booking shows on different coasts for the same night.
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13th February 2009
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Knowing the DP back catalogue pretty well, and knowing my way around a moog voyager - and having listened to their excellent live show recording whilst having in mind they had these voyagers - I cannot imagine how or if at all they are using them...I certainly didnt hear it.....

To me it sounds like they just took multi parts of their previous songs and mashed them up (to great affect) in Ableton Live. I heard nothing new or improvised. No significant filter sweeps either (that could be the audio thru a Voyager...)...

Interested if anyone else thinks this...

Seems like a bit of a mystery they would go to the bother of setting these RMEs up...apart from for show and create a buzz...why we are talking right now after all...although it all seems a bit 'conspiracy theory'.....who knows with the French
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14th February 2009
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There is a big difference between 'the musician as a performer' and 'the musician as an artist'. Anybody playing, mixing, filtering and rearranging prerecorded sequences on stage is an artist, not a performer. In modern electronic dance music 'live' means 'no records, dat tapes or cd's', nothing else. And even that explanation of the word is losing it's relevance since some (trance-) dj's call their act a 'concert'... But either way, imo it's all artistry and not musicianship.
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15th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choice_of_meat View Post
I really like Daft Punk...
ever wonder if they "sub-out" other people into the robot suits?
Did someone say Milli Vanilli? haha.
I would assume that any show which has music synced so well to the visual is all prearranged and not "live". I could be wrong.
#20
23rd August 2009
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I know this is an old thread but having toured with Daft Punk, I'd like to shed some light on what they were doing with Alive 07.

Basically the show ran from Ableton - the same 90 min show every night.
As with any track one might be working on for an extended period, parts, delivery and sounds were changed from night to night (sometimes at the last minute). Running order however, was not.

The voyagers were simply midi sound modules (triggered from ableton) that they tweaked as the show ran. The reason they had 4 was that some sections featured 3 note chords and a lead-line on top.
Thomas would calibrate all of them himself before the venue opened each night.

The show could run without DP (soundcheck) but totally flat and without embellishment.. and of course Robots. That's were they and the behringer/mutant/voyager set-up came into play.

As this is Gearslutz - their first intention for alive 07 was to have an enormous rack of all the original synths, drum-machines, etc off stage and trigger them from ableton. Unfortunately, it turned out to be completely unfeasible.
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#21
24th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Dubka View Post
I know this is an old thread but having toured with Daft Punk, I'd like to shed some light on what they were doing with Alive 07.

Basically the show ran from Ableton - the same 90 min show every night.
As with any track one might be working on for an extended period, parts, delivery and sounds were changed from night to night (sometimes at the last minute). Running order however, was not.

The voyagers were simply midi sound modules (triggered from ableton) that they tweaked as the show ran. The reason they had 4 was that some sections featured 3 note chords and a lead-line on top.
Thomas would calibrate all of them himself before the venue opened each night.

The show could run without DP (soundcheck) but totally flat and without embellishment.. and of course Robots. That's were they and the behringer/mutant/voyager set-up came into play.

As this is Gearslutz - their first intention for alive 07 was to have an enormous rack of all the original synths, drum-machines, etc off stage and trigger them from ableton. Unfortunately, it turned out to be completely unfeasible.
Thanks for that info. So, rather than using the session view, they would be using the arrangement view and NOT triggering scenes / clips ?
#22
4th December 2010
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daft punk

this is just a half ass idea, but the guy who manages daft punk also manages that other band that has all the dummy half stacks on stage, right? ...and then those helmets... it might just be props/simple midi. makes sense = it got your attention.

again just an idea.
#23
4th December 2010
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They press spacebar in Ableton - that is all.

The rest of the gear is only for show. And I can't blame them either. When you tour as much as these two guys, it would be an absolute logistical nightmare to haul and connect all that vintage gear around the world day after day.
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4th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekara View Post
They press spacebar in Ableton - that is all.

The rest of the gear is only for show. And I can't blame them either. When you tour as much as these two guys, it would be an absolute logistical nightmare to haul and connect all that vintage gear around the world day after day.
+1

a way to increase gig fee ... asking so much stuff on stage.

try to be different from mass.

anyway they are ok. well done DP.
#25
4th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tekara View Post
They press spacebar in Ableton - that is all.

The rest of the gear is only for show. And I can't blame them either. When you tour as much as these two guys, it would be an absolute logistical nightmare to haul and connect all that vintage gear around the world day after day.
you would pay someone else to do that for you
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4th December 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattyc View Post
you would pay someone else to do that for you
Pitchfork: Have you ever toyed with the idea of sending someone else up on stage in costume?

TB: Of course not. Who would want to trade such a spot?

i know i wouldn't
#27
30th November 2011
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I think many people over think this live setup. It's pretty simple: All of the controllers can be used as MIDI controllers which mean that they trigger clips or loops from Ableton Live. Anyone who has experience with Ableton will most likely agree. Among the controllers, there are options in which DP is capable of improvising live (filtering, distorting, shuffling, etc.)
#28
30th November 2011
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I'm pretty sure all that gear is fake... i read somewhere it's all edible and that they demand it for every gig because that's the only food they will eat...

looks to me like that's a lemon-based lemur with sour candy behringer BCR-2000's and Chocolate Moogs.. all the cables are just different colored strands of licorice...

the pyramid itself is just made of pixie-stix which they snort every time they transition from one song to another...
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#29
30th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrok Rolles View Post
I'm pretty sure all that gear is fake... i read somewhere it's all edible and that they demand it for every gig because that's the only food they will eat...

looks to me like that's a lemon-based lemur with sour candy behringer BCR-2000's and Chocolate Moogs.. all the cables are just different colored strands of licorice...

the pyramid itself is just made of pixie-stix which they snort every time they transition from one song to another...
fcuk them stars and their crazy riders
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30th November 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrok Rolles View Post
I'm pretty sure all that gear is fake... i read somewhere it's all edible and that they demand it for every gig because that's the only food they will eat...

looks to me like that's a lemon-based lemur with sour candy behringer BCR-2000's and Chocolate Moogs.. all the cables are just different colored strands of licorice...

the pyramid itself is just made of pixie-stix which they snort every time they transition from one song to another...
robot food
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