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Ableton Live 9 Beta Users : Impressions & Discussion
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11th December 2012
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Ableton Live 9 Beta Users : Impressions & Discussion

Okay, I've spent about 5 days with the Live 9 Beta, and I would like to bring some of my impressions to the table for discussion amongst members who have and don't have the Beta available to them... So far... basically -->

1. Audio to Midi is the most amazing new feature. Seriously. I think it will be a standard for all daws in the future. Yeah yeah I know, you can use melodyne or autotune to do the same thing, but not like this. First off, it only takes about 5 seconds to work it's magic, and it works on EVERYTHING. I have taken quirky sound design pieces, full on orcehstras, vocals, crazy drums, and everytime I wind up with absolutely stunning result (after a minimal amount of tweaking, mind you, it's not perfect). It will be an incredible source of inspiration for years to come for producers of all kinds, gauranteed.

2. The new browser is a disaster. At least for right now. No parallel searches. Searches run through ALL OF YOUR FOLDERS, no matter what. Samples are all dumped into a "Samples" bin for you to dig through. Trying to search in a"place" yields folder-sorted results (so frustrating!). Can't assign personal samples to the "Sounds" area. Can only have 1 instance of each "place". Can't load a sample into simpler without it resetting your folder location. It's boggy, and doesn't respond very well to rapid mouse action. Searching clears your old searches. It is very heavily geared towards factory ableton sounds, and not user content (A big Oh Crap this sucks for many of us with massive libraries). It is without question the most important feature that has a long way to go left in developement before live can be released.

3. New skin color controls (Brightness, Contrast, Color) is really cool.

4. New midi functions (dup loop, leg, inv) are amazing, and drawing midi notes is way more friendly... (although the color of highlighting has been changed to a very ugly orange which I really, really don't like).

5. EQ and Compressors sound great. The sound has changed significantly for the positive because of it.

6. Automation curves, while only one simple shape offered, are pretty awesome. If they implement multiple shapes and maybe even a curve builder, it could blow the competition out of the water.

6. It isn't as efficient as Live 8. Bigtime Bummer. CPU angry. Hopefully this will improve.

7. Session automation, Friekin awesome!

8. Can't hide the automation for group lanes, so there is a big eyesore of a fat automation lane anytime you work in groups.

9. All the new factory content packs do sound really, really good.

10. It needs a lot of work. Again, mainly the browser, which in my mind makes Live 9 unreleasable at this point. There have also been lots of reported memory and CPU usage problems which will need to be worked out. Stability is reliable enough, but it's a Beta - there are problems.

Overall I think they are on track to release something really amazing. Unfortunately the new browser kills the whole thing. If they can work out the browser issues, and make the program more stable and effecient, they're going to hit a home run. Unfortunately, right now I could not suggest the upgrade to anyone because of the shittiness of the browser, which is so important in workflow management.

So, to others who are in the Beta, and to others who are not, what do you think so far?
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11th December 2012
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audio to midi has been in several DAWs for a long long time. not implemented as what appears to be a very direct way as in Live 9 but it's been there none-the-less
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addixion View Post
6. It isn't as efficient as Live 8. Bigtime Bummer. CPU angry. Hopefully this will improve.
what sort of performance are you seeing and what specs are you running?

I've got a 2.4gHz Intel Core 2 Duo w/ 4GB and I'm already feeling a bit squeezed.. I was hoping to put off the computer upgrade until this time next year.
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That all dont sounds too promissing.. i actually start to regret that i ordered the update..

Questions.

1)Are there any sound quality improvements when you mix without plug ins?

2)Are multiple instances supported? can you copy/paste a clip from a running L8 to L9 ? and in the other direction?

Can you copy paste from an earlier L9 beta to a newer one?

3) and the r et ard test.. is L9 now able to find its own projekt files in its own projecrt folder? copy a project folder you made in L9 witrh its own exclusive samples and recordings, to an external hard drive. put it there in an folder.. and than launch live and load that project from the external disk.. Is it finding all project samples?

4)correct placement of midi events..? Is L9 able to place midi in audio well correlated and precisly along the timeline?.

use a thru box after the mid out of a keyboard.. connect one midi out of that thru splitter to an audio input of your audio interface.. conect another one to a midi input of your daw..

build a group with 3 recs.. record the midi input on one.. record the midi output into audio on the other.. and the audio out of the synth to the third track.. start recording simultaniously by arrange recording and group master track launches

play a short percussive sound with fastest attack on your keyboard and do multiple recordings..

Analyze the recordings..

Q1)
is the midi event placement corelated to the audio events ort do youz have the 20ms ableton "i do my own music" jitter?

Q2) is it possible with the various offset settings of live to create a situation where the gate starts of the events appear on the same moment on the timeline? As tehy was played in the same moment you might like to have them appearing on the same positions. in the graphical editor..


Test 2 play the time alligned recordings back and have the midi track play the same synth with rtghe same sound again and record that output to a 4th track..

IS the latency compensation working now and the recording appearing correctly on the timeline?

if not..

IS it possible to find a setting with abletons prefferences that allow to overdubs without timing shifts?

As this all wasnt working in L8 we would have a big improvement of L9 towards a professional daw when you could achieve catching of a musical performance as it was played and not only something similar but worse than handplayed..


And last question.. are ther any betatesters that put the program to tests like this or are they all just play with the audio to midi ?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _seph View Post
what sort of performance are you seeing and what specs are you running?

I've got a 2.4gHz Intel Core 2 Duo w/ 4GB and I'm already feeling a bit squeezed.. I was hoping to put off the computer upgrade until this time next year.

2011 2.3ghz i7 Quad 17" MBP, 16gb 1333 mhz ram, 256 ggb SSD + 8TB TB Raid 0 OSX 10.6.8

Don't get me wrong, I'm still getting great performance, but certain functions just take a little longer - like duplicating 8 bar loops of large track numbers. It's not enough to annoy the workflow speed too much, I was just hoping for an upgrade in speed. The "Search" function in the Browser actually gives back results at real time which is really nice, no more waiting around for a few seconds to load search results. Unfortunately there are too many problems with the way the file browser works (see problems mentioned above) to make it meaningful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post

1)Are there any sound quality improvements when you mix without plug ins?

Sounds the same with nothing on it, but the Comp and EQ have really been improved. Particularly, sidechaining with the comp seems to have a nicer, more precise pump to it. Also, who mixes without plugs?

2)Are multiple instances supported? can you copy/paste a clip from a running L8 to L9 ? and in the other direction?

Can you copy paste from an earlier L9 beta to a newer one?

3) and the r et ard test.. is L9 now able to find its own projekt files in its own projecrt folder? copy a project folder you made in L9 witrh its own exclusive samples and recordings, to an external hard drive. put it there in an folder.. and than launch live and load that project from the external disk.. Is it finding all project samples?

Yes, do you have this problem with Live 8? I've never experienced this, but yeah it can do it just fine.

4)correct placement of midi events..? Is L9 able to place midi in audio well correlated and precisly along the timeline?.

Well, I don't know about too large of multitracking sessions, because I only record my 4 synths and 3-4 midi controllers, but I haven't really experienced the problems you were discussing in the situation you wanted me to test. I just have to set the delay time below the track to different settings for my particular synths so that it all records in time. It's fairly painless. And yes, the midi and audio arrangement on the grid is much tighter. Midi input on the piano roll also gives you more intervals between grid options to choose from, and the notes won't lock to the grid until they are close to the grid, so it's even easier to make some great syncopated rythms and melodies.

And last question.. are ther any betatesters that put the program to tests like this or are they all just play with the audio to midi ?

Yes, I'm sure they have professional beta tester, I believe they are called employees. I am part of the public beta, just reporting as a consumer and avid user of the program. I'm sure there are people who would want to spend their time testing the program technically instead of making music, but I'm not one of them. I just test it by making music, and seeing what new obstacles or features I encounter along the way.
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11th December 2012
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I've got a 2.4gHz Intel Core 2 Duo w/ 4GB and I'm already feeling a bit squeezed.. I was hoping to put off the computer upgrade until this time next year.
exact same thing, but I upgraded to a 7200rpm HD. actually on a laptop...lolz.
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exact same thing, but I upgraded to a 7200rpm HD. actually on a laptop...lolz.
That's basically what I had before the machine I have now. I wish I could tell you how much a good machine can really change your productions (I'm sure you know). If you have the spare goods to get rid of, or an upcoming chance to get updated, it's the best upgrade you can make.
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how do you get on the beta testing?
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Yes, I'm sure they have professional beta tester, I believe they are called employees. I am part of the public beta, just reporting as a consumer and avid user of the program.

But thats the problem with ableton..- their employes dont adress issues beyond the point that goes thru with the users un noticed.

And certain shortcomings of the program go unnoticed by a big part of the userbase that is just not into capturing handplayed music.. or has external midi hardware.. Most of the userbase is used to play keyboard with over 10 ms latencies.. they are happy when the quantisation works.

Is the groove quantize a quantize now, or still just an event moover?

in L8 multiple applied groove quantises wont result in the quantisation template.... the events are mooved with any quantisation even when they have reached the target position already.. In the normal software industry such behaviour would be considered a bug.- Is this bug gone?

Thing is . the userbase never called that a bug.. the public betatesters never called that a bug..

i would´nt be surprised when its still in L9

What would happen when public betatesters would call such behaviour bugs?

Wouldnt that force the development team to look into that instead leaving that for another upgrade round until some beta testers see a problem in that?

Its not a big problem.. but just as example.

Issues regarding midi timing and clock syncing should be part of what the users test.. because when you leave that for the inhouse betatesters the things will only be handled when there are real malfunctions..slight things like.. now the thing has 5ms midi jitter more, would fall under the table until the user base demands tp hold the "quality" of the old version or better.

The least ableton can do than is to handle that as "feature requests" but because theese reach directly the developers responsible for the code, some stuff that qualifies at least as a problem a might be adressed in a personal inititaive of the involved developers.
They at least have in their memory that there waits a little issue to solve.

As long nobody calls problems they always will have way more urgent things to do..

fixing the new file browser for example.. announced as a keyfeature that will have priority..

but how important is the new browser when it anyway focusses on preset browsing and not project management? As your report seemed to suggest..

To tell you the truth.. since years i dont use that thing to find files on my hard drives.. my priority would be good timing, even when i see the need to update the browser...
But timing under load? way more important on stage and in the studio. at least for all not 100% ITB people..and this group seems to get bigger any day..

Its important to secure that the basic operation quality of the live program dont falls behind the one of older versions. Thats part of beta testing to compare the performance

live as midi clockslave became for example worse since earlier versions of live and got only better in late L8 again.. and still not as good as for example reaktor that behaves in stand alone pretty good as clockslave.. actually at least on a mac one of the best midiclock syncable softwares i ever tried.. so for me thats the reference.. its not like that a reaktor is a simple program..

tight syncing is possible when the developers want it to be tight and put some brain into the problem.. Just.. they have a priority list to work on and cant target all aspects at once.. It´s on the users to change that priority list.
And the public beta testers are in the ideal position to search for issues at a early point..

The browser thing seems to be such an issue.. seems that the demands of the users are higher than the original conception of the browser assumed ( parallel searches you mention). When ableton is really about to change this after the user betatesters demand, it´s prooven that user testers can have an impact on the development quality of the program. But do they use that impact on the right points ?
The first rounds of user testers gives the development team on the most urgent problems in the eyes of the userbase.

For me personal i am already fine when the project is able to find its files alone without the need of myself for each of 100 files..

that has pissed me of often when loading older projects that have changed 3 times the drive since i ve stored them.

So i want a program that is able to find the files in its own project folder or at least trys to use the ones in that folder that have the correct name.
That is not too much asked for..

I dont know how much that interacts with the browser functionality, but i would think they share at least some routines with the project management.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohmicide View Post
how do you get on the beta testing?
https://www.ableton.com/en/beta-signup/

Under the last section, where it says the beta is closed... If the beta is open, that section will have a blue "register for the beta" link. You just have to be signed in with a purchased version Live 8 registered to your account.



@ Audio Consult

I agree with you on every front pretty much, and you'll have to test those things yourself. I don't find a problem with the quantization input myself, but then I might just be more forgiving. I usually just play a scratch progression or melody and fine tune it by hand, so I'm used to doing it on my own anyways. And there is hell being raised on the Live 9 beta forum about a lot of different topics, but there is also a lot of praise going around for some of the new features, which are nice. Unfortunately, they're going to have to figure out how to make the performance of Live 9 equal or surpass Live 8, and right now Live 8 smokes Live 9. For instance, I've been using Live 9 for the last 5 or 6 days, and today I went back to make a song in Live 8. I felt a huge sense of speed come back into my workflow and song making. Things weren't lagging. I could duplicate multitracks instantly. Searching could be saved in multiple locations. It felt Great. I'll probably just use the Live 9 beta for the Audio --> Midi function which is awesome, but stay in Live 8 for now. It feels more like an 8.5 upgrade than a 9 to be honest. Still no damn multi-monitor support!
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@ Audio Consult

I agree with you on every front pretty much, and you'll have to test those things yourself. I don't find a problem with the quantization input myself, but then I might just be more forgiving. I usually just play a scratch progression or melody and fine tune it by hand, so I'm used to doing it on my own anyways. And there is hell being raised on the Live 9 beta forum about a lot of different topics, but there is also a lot of praise going around for some of the new features, which are nice. Unfortunately, they're going to have to figure out how to make the performance of Live 9 equal or surpass Live 8, and right now Live 8 smokes Live 9. For instance, I've been using Live 9 for the last 5 or 6 days, and today I went back to make a song in Live 8. I felt a huge sense of speed come back into my workflow and song making. Things weren't lagging. I could duplicate multitracks instantly. Searching could be saved in multiple locations. It felt Great. I'll probably just use the Live 9 beta for the Audio --> Midi function which is awesome, but stay in Live 8 for now. It feels more like an 8.5 upgrade than a 9 to be honest. Still no damn multi-monitor support!
you only can test what you are willing and able to test.. Just wanted to mention that especially the first rounds of public betatesters have a higher responsibility to look a bit under the surface.. in case they can spare the time..

But why have they wasted early betatest slots when they just want to play?
Its much more fun to play with later versions in the public betatest as early versions might be sour wine..

How is the general stability? has it a crash tendency? or is it just slower but stable?
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11th December 2012
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Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
That all dont sounds too promissing.. i actually start to regret that i ordered the update..
<deleted by moderator - NO ad hominem attacks please>

I really don`t get it... Did you forget what you`ve said about Ableton? That it`s the preset-kiddy-company which is at fault for destroying the real techno vibe? I am curious why you are supporting all this with your money?

Anyway, I never ever experienced your problems with Live. Yes, I am handplaying stuff, I am playing live, I am recording Midi and Audio with it (simultaneously or overdubs), I am using outboard gear and whatelse, everything works fine.
I am excited about the new features, didn`t know about Audio2Midi. But yes, other DAWs are capable of Audio2Midi since a long time, that`s nothing new.
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as a responsible user i fear comments that show that the guys at ableton are still not at top of their game.. beside of that you dont change a daw from one day to the other just because she has turned into a fat lobotomised bitch.

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Yes, I am handplaying stuff, I am playing live, I am recording Midi and Audio with it (simultaneously or overdubs), I am using outboard gear and whatelse, everything works fine.

just the "everything works fine"disqualifies you..because thats obviously not true for L8..
Is it true for L9? thats hopefully the case. But when there are issues they will be probably not realized by there public testers. As usual

Besides it s not about you handplaying stuff.. that can be quantised or randownmized..i really dont care..

But when i ve a great keyboard player in the studio ..and He/She just plays gorgeously.. and you play that midi file back and its a bad joke.. I do care.

Would be nice to capture a midi performance with trustworthy accuracy and stability.
With L8 that still had issues at least up to this year.. havent used it anymore for many month now.. i dont think they ever get L8 fixed.. therfore.. L9.. the best chance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
just the "everything works fine"disqualifies you..because thats obviously not true for L8..
Is it true for L9? thats hopefully the case. But when there are issues they will be probably not realized by there public testers. As usual

Besides it s not about you handplaying stuff.. that can be quantised or randownmized..i really dont care..

But when i ve a great keyboard player in the studio ..and He/She just plays gorgeously.. and you play that midi file back and its a bad joke.. I do care.

Would be nice to capture a midi performance with trustworthy accuracy and stability.
With L8 that still had issues at least up to this year.. havent used it anymore for many month now.. i dont think they ever get L8 fixed.. therfore.. L9.. the best chance
You are telling me that I am disqualified because recording Midi works fine here? I really don`t get most of your problems. I hardly quantize my played Midi stuff and I never found any problems. I turn grid/quantization off and it just works. Maybe my Midi Setup is working better than yours, I don`t know. When I play back what I`ve recorded it sounds the way i played it - That`s how it should be, or do you have any objections?

And don`t tell me that that`s not true. Do you think that nobody on planet earth has ever recorded a proper piano, wheter it be audio or meedee, with Ableton Live?

I know that things are setup depending. My setup apparently and luckily seems to be fine...
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You are telling me that I am disqualified because recording Midi works fine here?.
i call you disqualified because you seem to assume that when you dont experience problems that they cant be exsisting or might need solving.

Thats ignorant and short sighted because you maybe just have not run into the situation yet and would benefit from improvements too, even without knowing that yet.
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. When I play back what I`ve recorded it sounds the way i played it - That`s how it should be, or do you have any objections?
dont know how good your playing and listening is developed.. might be..

L8 had shown a strong tendency to behave differnt on different setups.. Tahts also one thing they should have got rid with L9.

regarding midi audio i ve decend equipment.. RME and MOTU interfaces on quiete actual apple computers.. so nothing esoteric or sub standard.
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i call you disqualified because you seem to assume that when you dont experience problems that they cant be exsist or might need solving.

Thats ignorant and short sighted because you maybe just have not run into the situation yet and would benefit from improvements too, even without knowing that yet.
Sorry, I should have said that everything works well in my setup. This inherents that in MY setup your problems don`t exist.

Of course I appreciate improvements and I know that nothing is perfect. But that has nothing to do with the fact that I can work with Live without having problems. For instance drawing automations or editing audio in Pro Tools is much better than in Live but I don`t pee myself, I just workaround and keep on doing musix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
dont know how good your playing and listening is developed.. might be..

L8 had shown a strong tendency to behave differnt on different setups.. Tahts also one thing they should have got rid with L9.

regarding midi audio i ve decend equipment.. RME and MOTU interfaces on quiete actual apple computers.. so nothing esoteric or sub standard.
Me too, RME Babyface and Motu 24I/O with the cheapest Midi Keyboard available at Thomann, don`t even know its name. Working on a Macbook Pro and a Hackintosh system which works well too.

And yes, things can behave different on different setups. Not just Ableton Live.
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audioconsult: with your typing paste you could fill your own forum....
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Sorry, I should have said that everything works well in my setup. This inherents that in MY setup your problems don`t exist.
that only inherents that you dont recognize any problems,,

what was the purpose of your posts except attacking me? Let the world know that evrything is fine for you on L8? good to know..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
that only inherents that you dont recognize any problems,,
Come on, don`t be THAT prepotent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioconsult View Post
what was the purpose of your posts except attacking me? Let the world know that evrything is fine for you on L8? good to know..
The reason was that I am curious why you are supporting Ableton although you believe that it`s shit. That can be read in my first post. Thank`s for telling your analogy with the fat lobotomized bitch, now I know.

And sorry if you feel attacked by me, I just quoted your own words. That`s the internet, dude, when you write "Ableton is kacke" then I can write weeks later "he said that Ableton is kacke".
I am not the guy who denies the abilities and experiences of a person I even don`t know, that`s what you are doing.



Sorry also for hijacking this thread...
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11th December 2012
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is there a built in 32>64 bit bridge for vst and au native?
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not considering midi functions, what are the improvements in the piano roll if any?
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was hoping so much for improved midi clock syncing, seems to be just as wonky though

it's nice that they included the glue compressor and automation curves

ummm i totally forgot about audio to midi haha, i need to try that and sing/hum a melody into the mic, i know it's not a groundbreaking feature and others have done it before but it is kind of cool with it built in at no additional cost if it works fairly well

i basically use ableton as just a multitrack recorder for my little hardware boxes due to the midi clock syncing issues, i will run a few fx but no instruments or anything like that, i am using a 2ghz i7 w/8gb ram and 256gb ssd (macbook air) and i record at 96k, i can easily do 8 channels at once without any issues whatsoever, so aside from the recording i doubt my plugin use comes anywhere near what a lot of guys are doing here, but i got to wonder if the slowness is due to plugins or is it just ableton by itself, 2.4ghz w/4gb ram seems just fine at first glance
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#25
11th December 2012
Old 11th December 2012
  #25
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Originally Posted by natefrogg View Post
was hoping so much for improved midi clock syncing, seems to be just as wonky though

it's nice that they included the glue compressor and automation curves
are you beta testing? just act stuborn and file bad clock behavior as a bug..leave it to ableton how they handle it..but when every third public betatester would mention that "bug", the issue would start to rank high on the priority list. L9 is still in development.. details can change up to the release next year... optimize clock behavior is no record science..self locked looped.. al little arteficial inteligent algo..not the 3 lines primitive algo version we enjoy now.

acting like that is not "unthankfull" behaviour.. its pushing them in the right direction for their own good. they are a bit snowblinded by success and dont see that the future is bandwork and not ego preset production.. just because the ego shooters are the biggest part of their actual customer base.. just..that is the type that gives up on the hobby way earlier as dedicated musicans that want to sync to others
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#26
11th December 2012
Old 11th December 2012
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you know, you are right, i should file a bug report to them

i've gone over this with them on 7 and 8 and after back and forth so many times it just feels so futile, however i do feel you are right and i need to take some time to document my own testing and then submit the bug to them, argh i just have zero time to mess with music and do not want to spend it documenting bugs (i've done software qa before, it just feels like work, darnit you are right though....)
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#27
11th December 2012
Old 11th December 2012
  #27
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Look another ableton topic hijacked by audioconsult!!

I dislike the new browser, it sucks.

I also hate there is no mouse wheellsupport for zoom on arrengement or parameter control.
#28
11th December 2012
Old 11th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natefrogg View Post
you know, you are right, i should file a bug report to them

i've gone over this with them on 7 and 8 and after back and forth so many times it just feels so futile, however i do feel you are right and i need to take some time to document my own testing and then submit the bug to them, argh i just have zero time to mess with music and do not want to spend it documenting bugs (i've done software qa before, it just feels like work, darnit you are right though....)
that l8 is allready better in this regard as 7 is because i went on the barricades on theire forum.. as i got confirmed by an ableton employe that likes to have this better aswell..just.. he is not writing the priority list.. that is written by the design team according to that what they think is most beneficial for the product.. no users asking for it = not really important.. as easy as bad.. making that an issue on theire forum had allready freed some extra coding hours for that dpartment..can happen again.. from alone nothing will happen as the last years have shown..
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#29
11th December 2012
Old 11th December 2012
  #29
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I think ill save my update money as nothing in L9 really deals with the issues i have with Live, midi timing for hardware and multi monitor...
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#30
11th December 2012
Old 11th December 2012
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im going otb apart from a bit of editing and mixing (after i'm done tracking).
think cubase/reaper will be better for this purpose anyway so i'll probably be ditching live altogether unless there's something properly amazing in that department in live9.
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