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Live Set Up - Live 8 system or Octatrack System
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rainineden
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#1
14th July 2013
Old 14th July 2013
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Live Set Up - Live 8 system or Octatrack System

Hello,

I would like to ask everyone's advice about our live set up proposals. And please feel free to offer up alternatives too.

note: Three member project. 1 live acoustic string instrument player. 1. Synth/programming person. 1. Percussionist for live misc. percussion and sometimes extra string instruments.

Our equipment so far for live.
Waldorf Blofeld
Access Virus TI Desktop and Navation Remote SL 49 controller
Macbook Pro 2009 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor 4 GB memory
Apogee Duet interface.
16 channel mixer


Option 1: Ableton Live 8
- Use Ableton to run midi to the Virus and Blofeld multi-timberal channels.
- Run backing track audio from Ableton with the Apogee as the sound source.
- Use both Blofeld and Virus for live play as well.
- I don't think we will do much for loops on stage, but would be nice to shift tempo if the crowd connects with a track and repeat parts.

Option 2: Elektron Octatrack
- Use the Octatrack to play backing midi and audio.
- Use the Octatrack to program beats and would likely use the more interactive live functions if we make this investment.
- Same as above for Virus and Blofeld (Multi-timberal on midi and live play)
- Leave the laptop and Apogee at home.

Here is my question.

Which option is more stable and less risky for crashes and problems?
Which option is better to extend a piece if we want to on the fly?
Which option sounds better?
Is there a better way to do this? One that is less expensive than the Octatrack?
#2
14th July 2013
Old 14th July 2013
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Ableton Live is the ultimate sampling workstation for Live performance. The octotrack is great, but it pales in comparison to Live. If you really want the best, Live is the only choice for performance.

However, your computer is pretty weak. 2 cores and 4gb of ram - you're going to run into trouble with any significant amount of proccessing going on. I would say use the money from the octotrack to upgrade your computer and use Live as your performance engine.
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14th July 2013
Old 14th July 2013
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Little of everything: Novation Remote SL > Waldorf Blofeld
Octatrak > Virus
Live on Laptop
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14th July 2013
Old 14th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tribeofenki View Post
Little of everything: Novation Remote SL > Waldorf Blofeld
Octatrak > Virus
Live on Laptop
Octatrack > Virus ?

No way.
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#5
14th July 2013
Old 14th July 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainineden View Post

Which option is more stable and less risky for crashes and problems?
Which option is better to extend a piece if we want to on the fly?
Which option sounds better?
Is there a better way to do this? One that is less expensive than the Octatrack?
1. Unless you get a faster computer, the Octatrack will be more reliable. With slower computers Ableton tends to get bogged down pretty quickly.

2. Both are great for this! You just have to develop your workflow and compositions to have "jam" spots that you can extend if you and the audience are feeling it. I'd suggest the APC-40 if you go the Ableton route.

3. I've recorded loops in both and have exported them to one another for comparison. If you are working with 16-bit/44kHz audio, there shouldn't be any difference. BUT, the Octatrack step sequencer seems to make everything alot more punchy to me.

4. A used MPC would be cheaper and would work for your uses. People are seeming be become disenchanted with seeing laptops on stage. Also, the Octatrack is one of the few instruments to come out in the last couple years that actually feels like a 21st century instrument, like we are moving forward instead of rehashing the past.

All opinions though...
#6
1st August 2013
Old 1st August 2013
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The problem about playing live with computers is that the audience can't intuitively grasp the connection between the musician and the music - the software could be doing anything...

I find that if you can keep the musicians from looking at monitors the crowd will feel more connection with them..

If you really need the features of Ableton consider hiding the laptop and controlling it with Ableton Push.
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#7
1st August 2013
Old 1st August 2013
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Please do your part to remove laptops from live music. It's beyond boring to watch someone use one live, couple that with the fact that your audience may just assume that your whole set is already programmed and all you do is hit play. How can you prove them wrong if all they see is the lid of your Macbook?
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1st August 2013
Old 1st August 2013
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Stop paying attention to whatever aluminum box someone's hunched over, start dancing.

How do you know an MPC or OT is doing anything and there is no iPod hidden somewhere playing backing tracks? Unless you get to look backstage - you don't.
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#9
5th September 2013
Old 5th September 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer View Post
Stop paying attention to whatever aluminum box someone's hunched over, start dancing.

How do you know an MPC or OT is doing anything and there is no iPod hidden somewhere playing backing tracks? Unless you get to look backstage - you don't.
One of the best live sets I ever saw was aphex twin at reading. He stayed seated behind his laptop and danced my arse off to some of the craziest beats I have and will ever hear. The versions of the songs were very different to the album versions and they flowed and it felt organic and moving and was just mind blowingly awesome. All from a laptop and not much else....
#10
5th September 2013
Old 5th September 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nedavine View Post
One of the best live sets I ever saw was aphex twin at reading. He stayed seated behind his laptop and danced my arse off to some of the craziest beats I have and will ever hear. The versions of the songs were very different to the album versions and they flowed and it felt organic and moving and was just mind blowingly awesome. All from a laptop and not much else....
How do you know he wasn't hiding a huge modular system under the desk?
I heard he is quite adept at patching with his feet.
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5th September 2013
Old 5th September 2013
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I've danced my ass off to many laptop artists. But just because it works doesn't always mean it is the best idea. I do like having something to watch when at a show. The Crystal Method for example works ITB for the most part. However when they perform live, they work out what can be played live and create a live setup that is interesting to watch. It really comes down to how the artists wants to present themselves and if the audience type they perform for even cares. Artists being the key word here too. How are you expressing yourself? Just the composition you are playing back? The fact that you are playing live? Do you have some sort of gimmick you work with on stage? Video art during the performance? etc.... Nothing is really right or wrong. Know your audience and figure out how you want to work with them. Simply being tucked away in a DJ booth while everyone dances can easily be enough.

Personally I'm going full OTB. I like the gear (slutting it up), I like how it can look on stage, I personally don't care for Apple. Even when using Windows or Linux no matter how stable I can tune a computer I still just don't trust that they won't freeze mid performance. And for me I find OTB to be more fun. A mouse and keyboard were not designed for music performance. Most controllers are cheap crap and I like the variety of different interfaces rather than one or two controllers. It reminds me of back when computers had a lot more diverse options for architecture and OS's, each company has their own spin on how to do things which keeps it interesting.
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