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who's doing live electronic music WITHOUT computers (on stage)?
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#61
2nd March 2009
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Is the problem with laptops the vertical barrier those screens provide?

I was thinking about that. Babies get very bored by pictures of a face. But a real person's face is endless enjoyment.

So is the issue really computers, or just laptops perched above the line of sight and blocking the audiences view?
#62
2nd March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
Is the problem with laptops the vertical barrier those screens provide?

I was thinking about that. Babies get very bored by pictures of a face. But a real person's face is endless enjoyment.

So is the issue really computers, or just laptops perched above the line of sight and blocking the audiences view?
As Susceptor put it earlier, "I don't think the use of a computer per se is bad, but merely the way you show it to the public"

I recently went to a show in Austin, TX where three well known electronic bands were playing, all with laptops. Love the bands, the music, but the performances sucked. Second band, during a song: The band's only keyboardist left the stage to go yack during a song, was gone for a few minutes. Did they skip a beat? No. Was it stupid seeing an electronic band up there with a drummer, singer and no keyboardist while the music was still playing full blast? YES. I still stayed the whole show, bought CDs, caught the bands for pictures with them, had fun anyhow. I was just really bored watching the bands!

lowkey said earlier: " lot of electronic music is not live." True. A lot of electronic music cannot be pulled off live, it is just impossible, especially with trance music. My question is, why don't electronic musicians try to do more on stage instead of bobbing their head to a laptop triggering phrases with a controller? It would be so cool to watch someone pull off some amazing dance/techno sh*t with a synth on stage with a camera zoomed in on the keys on an overhead projector!
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#63
2nd March 2009
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true dat.



Add some strippers on poles and that is a show that works for any format.
#64
2nd March 2009
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#65
2nd March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
true dat.



Add some strippers on poles and that is a show that works for any format.
Who is this in the picture crufty? Looks way cool...
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2nd March 2009
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#67
2nd March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popbott View Post
True. A lot of electronic music cannot be pulled off live, it is just impossible, especially with trance music. My question is, why don't electronic musicians try to do more on stage instead of bobbing their head to a laptop triggering phrases with a controller? It would be so cool to watch someone pull off some amazing dance/techno sh*t with a synth on stage with a camera zoomed in on the keys on an overhead projector!
You're right.
It can be done.
I saw Meat Beat Manifesto live opening for NIN in a tiny club in Washington DC (9:30 club).
They were playing 2 octapads triggering samples while sequencers did the bulk of the music and (if I remember striaght) with a drummer. They had dancers dressed up in a spikey, almost dino-eqsue suit dancing fully sycronized with the music. It was amazing!
It can be done. These guys were doing it in 1990. today it can be done.
(on a side note, they blew NIN away that night!)

from WIKI: The band's live show was conceived as an intense audio-visual experience, with dancers, led by choreographer Marcus Adams, in costumes designed by artist Craig Morrison[1] and video clips accompanying live instruments, sequenced electronic instruments, and live DJing. In the United States, they opened for Nine Inch Nails on their debut national tour in 1990.
#68
3rd March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowkey View Post
imho electronic music isnt rock and roll and it doesnt require a star up on stage to be adored. its about the music. alot of electronic music is never ever live, even when it is being made, so to expect it to be backwards engineered just so it can be performed differently is totally the wrong way to think about it.
I second that.
#69
3rd March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
Is the problem with laptops the vertical barrier those screens provide?

I was thinking about that. Babies get very bored by pictures of a face. But a real person's face is endless enjoyment.

So is the issue really computers, or just laptops perched above the line of sight and blocking the audiences view?

I saw Underworld play recently and their setup was pretty interesting.The guy who operates the computers and hardware was set up with all the computer screen facing towards the crowd. Then he stood infront of them with his back to the crowd. So while you couldnt see his face, you could see stuff on the computer screens

it worked because the mixing guy was then setup at 90 degrees to the crowd and they have avocalist/crazy guy that people can focus their attention on.
#70
3rd March 2009
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My live setup has absolutely no PC's, but I do have an MPC, Blofeld, Axiom controller, and a Numark HDX for scratching. Obviously with this setup there is a lot of shit going on at once that can be difficult for the crowd to see.

In my last show it was all on the floor, it was cool because people were leaning in and looking at everything. When I was scratching they could see it all, people really got into it. The problem with being on the floor is people and their drinks, dancing loaded girls bumping into the table, shit like that.

What I want to try soon is to have a video camera on a large tripod pointing down at my setup, then projected on to a screen or displayed on a monitor facing the crowd. That way they could see everything you are doing.
#71
4th March 2009
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I guess one could invest in a hardware seq, but would it be practical/worth it?

I for example compose everything using soft seq because it's way more easy (at least from my point of view) to record my ideas, to edit and to modify, so to me, a hardware seq would be of use only for gigs.
Or maybe I am wrong?
#72
4th March 2009
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Me!

I use for my liveset:

Drums:TR-606 and TR-909

Synths: SH-101, Juno-60 and a TB-303

Mixing: Boss KM-60

FX: Ibanez AD202 and the UE400 and microfoon.


I trigger the J60 and 101 with my 606 on the fly.
I don't even use MIDI, only SYNC24 and analog Triggers
Sometimes i bring some more pedals for reverb or chorus.
But this is the basis.

PS. I'M NOT WILLING TO PAY MONEY TO LOOK AT SOMEONE WHO IS HANDLING A LAPTOP ON STAGE!!!
#73
4th March 2009
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It's me :D

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#74
4th March 2009
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the last few gigs i've just taken my Virus, a midi controller and my electric violin.

i run the fiddle through the Virus, with an expression pedal to modulate filter cutoff etc.
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4th March 2009
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well, i have a 10+ hour computer job, so the most important thing for me with making sounds is not to have any computer arround.
#76
4th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christosm View Post
that reminds me of Terra 9 with his sweet violin tunes
great sounds you got aeon, keep it going
aw, thanks man!

i haven't heard Terra 9's stuff, will definitely check it out! there are a few violinists in electronic music, Son Kite (progressive psy) also do some live violin work.
#77
4th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitfinder View Post
lol

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
#78
4th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeonsound View Post
the last few gigs i've just taken my Virus, a midi controller and my electric violin.

i run the fiddle through the Virus, with an expression pedal to modulate filter cutoff etc.
Sounds like a cool setup.
#79
5th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wax808 View Post
The problem with being on the floor is people and their drinks, dancing loaded girls bumping into the table, shit like that.
A couple gigs ago I was using my ARP 2600 live with my band, and a person dropped their beer dangerously close to it (about a foot from it). I don't know about you guys, but I would gladly shell out the money for a new laptop that gets damaged during a gig, but I would never want to have to replace an old/vintage synth that someone f***s up.

That is the main reason why I use a laptop for gigs, although I change it up some. I keep the laptop lower than the keyboard and try to look at the screen as little as possible (except when I have to change patches or whatever). This is easy to accomplish by just assigning all of the important filters and effects parameters to the synth/midi controller.

I refuse to believe that you can't have an engaging/inspiring show if you use a laptop. You just have to keep it interesting and fun to watch and listen to. Instead of me just sitting alone with my synths, computer and controllers, I put together a band. I got one of my guitar playing friends to adapt some of the lead synth parts into a guitar part. I also get someone to play bass, and bring along a drummer. I only use loops for all the crazy drumbreaks and synth lines that would be too hard to play. My music went from being just electronic music to awesome metal/electronic fusion type stuff.

There are several benefits to this approach. First, people have more to look at, and will likely not notice/care that you're using a computer. Second, playing with real musicians seems more organic to me than "rocking" Ableton Live with a midi controller (although it's still fun and a valid way to do things if you can keep it interesting).

Lastly, it's always fun to hear your music played a little differently and with different instruments. I always enjoy when my guitar player starts really getting into one of the lead parts and turns it into something really epic. The audience does too.
#80
5th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitfinder View Post

PS. I'M NOT WILLING TO PAY MONEY TO LOOK AT SOMEONE WHO IS HANDLING A LAPTOP ON STAGE!!!

then dont look...just listen
#81
5th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowkey View Post
then dont look...just listen
In that case, i rather stay home if there is nothing to see and only to listen (CD)
#82
5th March 2009
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Our livesetup is:

Roland MV8000 (sometimes Fostex D160)
SU-700
Korg MS-10
Juno 106
Roland JX8p
Coron DS-8
+ somethig whatever is needed from the studio.

So no laptops here, the setup has been rock solid (so far )

I am going to get a 01v as a new live mixer, going to get a mLan card to it so I can connect my laptop to it in case needed (I'm carrying all our projects in my laptop)

-Tomi / villa nah on MySpace Music - Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos
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#83
8th March 2009
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My group is a 4 piece with bass guitar/basstation, pedal steel guitar, a live drummer, and me. My setup revolves around looping guitar, vocals, and mainly violin. I also use a Korg electribe ,a Juno 106 (sequenced by the electribe, Maschine, and a korg monopoly (awesome synth). I have a laptop on stage for Maschine and for my lyrics. Everything I loop or sequence is live and thought of on the fly. I like the limitations this setup gives me. If I went to an Ableton only setup I think my head would explode, but I don't think my performance would be any less live.

If you are playing with backing tracks you are playing with backing tracks. If you are using a mini disc player and dogging tracks on laptops or vice versa, you are the blind leading the blind.

These are our tools and the sky is the limit whatever you use.
#84
8th March 2009
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The computer is only for the visuals ...
#85
8th March 2009
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NIce pic- I love the blue electribe!
#86
9th March 2009
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This was very interesting for me to read. I loving hearing how artists feel about their own sets and the way they present themselves live. I'm currently producing lots of electronic music and trying to decide which way to go with it next. I've played bass and guitar in several rock bands, and I've only picked up electronic production in the past couple of years. With that said, I'm not the best live keyboardist, and I can't imagine myself trying to play synths live. My love for the music is more in the sequencing, writing, and engineering.

I think the key to the whole thing is being transparent and make it clear to your fans/potential fans what you're all about. Are you DJing your music? Cool. Playing as a band? Great, as long as the music is good and there's something interesting about it and a connection with the crowd.

When I go to a show I just want to know what the computer's doing on stage. Is it a synth? A sequencer? It could be anything. To keep everyone from wondering, why not just tell them? I think that's a huge opportunity for any artist to connect with the public. Think about how much interest you could generate by blogging about your setup and how you make everything happen on stage. Maybe you'd even get some constructive feedback? Are we scared that someone is going to use our ideas? If you're embarrassed about some elements of your performance as you're writing them, maybe those are the things you should change in the way you perform.

While laptops on stage can be a negative thing, so can a million pieces of hardware intended for "wow" factor. Watching someone set up their whole studio at a show and then only playing a few notes on each piece is a bit annoying, right?
#87
9th March 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DISCERN View Post
Saying that a lot of artists sound the same because they use ableton is misleading.
If you're using Live strictly for MIDI then disregard.
But for audio, I have to say "not quite".

Ableton's mix engine is widely regarded as being inferior to a most of the other DAWs. Stereo width, dynamic range and mix resolution are on a similar level to Reason; which is to say it produces a 'same-y' sound whatever gets mixed in it. Sounds less 'open' in the highs and sounds are more 'boxed-in' compared to a 64bit mix in, say, Sonar or Reaper.

On a large PA system the difference is even more obvious compared to analog hardware, in particular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susceptor View Post
There's no difference in concept if you have 16 synths connected to an MPC or 16 synths connected to Live or whatever.


oh, yes there is. HUGE difference.

it's called Real-Time OS vs. a PC's hardware scheme.
This makes a difference in MIDI timing, sync, jitter, and a myriad of other variables.
The MPC isn't constantly cycling through monitoring I/O for a USB network, 10/100 ethernet, rendering HD graphics, keyboard, VSTs, mouse and Firewire ...all while attempting to run a sequencer and spit out audio - all in rock-solid perfect sync.
Your laptop is.

Something to ponder, eh?
#88
9th March 2009
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Quote:
Ableton's mix engine is widely regarded as being inferior to a most of the other DAWs. Stereo width, dynamic range and mix resolution are on a similar level to Reason; which is to say it produces a 'same-y' sound whatever gets mixed in it. Sounds less 'open' in the highs and sounds are more 'boxed-in' compared to a 64bit mix in, say, Sonar or Reaper.
Not saying you're wrong but please can you point me in the direction of some evidence for this?
I use Live as a simple "tape recorder" and mix down tracks on it, they sound good to me.

cheers
#89
10th March 2009
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I don't quite get the whole "mix engine".

Mixing digital signals = adding numbers; you add each sample in a set, bit by bit and then proceed to the next set of samples.
If something differs than it's intended to modify (i.e. give color) the way sounds are mixed in digital.

The following is taken from musicdsp.com:

Quote:
In short, Mixn = An + Bn + Cn and so on. You just add corresponding digital samples together. See below for more details

Mixing n sounds together is one of the simplest operations in audio signal processing. It means adding the signals together, sample by sample. The operation is neat because this is also how different sounds usually combine in air. In practice mixing is slightly more complicated because we have to worry about the finite dynamic range of digital arithmetic.
If you don't worry about the finite dynamic range and just add the numbers you get... clipping. The same thing happens in analog (ok, it's saturation because it isn't instant distortion, but this is beside the point)


Anyway , sorry for the offtopic, hope this cleared things.
#90
10th March 2009
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personally,

I find the interface i use heavily influences the 'music' i write (or scribble scrabble as the case may be). hw vs logic vs albeton, pianroll vs score, I get really different moods.

I think part of the comment is the live fx have a 'sound' to them. I do not know. I have noticed that fx do sound better or worse, also depending on the sampling rate (amazingly enough) as well as programming.
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