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Live PA advice - Virus TI, SE1x, MPC... (how would you use some of these?) Desktop Synthesizers
Old 16th December 2010
Gear Head

Live PA advice - Virus TI, SE1x, MPC... (how would you use some of these?)

I have an array of different hardware that I've aquired over the past 5 years or so. I'm curious as to how some of you would incorporate the pieces LIVE PERFORMING I have narrowed down to use together in a set for DnB and maybe some dubstep. I do just fine making downtempo and less hard-structure material w/ my gear (Boards of Canadaish)

I'm basically looking for production techniques. I know how to run these things via midi Controller AKAI MPK25 etc, but, I'm curious to get what i want out of these playing them live, how can I avoid having to "resample, re-edit, layer sounds (outside of playing 2 synths at once) " basically how far can I get to producing the polished sounds of the studio produced stuff, playing live? etc etc...

Right now I use some loopmaster stuff and modify it for the core DnB dubstep type beats, and even some stuff on the mpc but you guys seemed like a good knowledge base..

My chosen arsenal:
Virus TI

Studio Electronics SE1x Angel Dust

(maybe) MPC 1k
(Although honestly it's been collecting dust due to running loops in Ableton and the TI)

Ableton 8 on MacBP

My list of what i have total to choose from:

Waldorf XT (May incorporate this as well for some nice pads)

Quasimidi Polymorph

SE1X Angel Dust

Korg EMX

Oberheim Matrix 1k (x2)

MPC 1k


MidiNes (W/o NES atm)

And an electro-harmonix Cathedral stereo reverb and an Aphex Aural exciter 204.

The 3 items I want to use are ran through a MOTU Ultralite mk3, which I'd like to upgrade later to an RME fireface 800 later. The SPDIF on the MOTU just doesn't want to work right with the TI. No big deal atm, I'm still trying to learn the programming of the Virus.

My studio is 2 Dynaudio BM5A's and a Tannoy TS10 sub... but that's for the house...

I appreciate any and all advice/criticism to this thread.

My apologies if some of this is vague!!!!!
Old 16th December 2010
Lives for gear
gremlin moon's Avatar

Just some thoughts.

A "polished" sound live has a lot to do about the room, the pa/soundsystem, and the sound person or crew running the night.

If you want your set to be seamless you can put each percussive element in its own clip so they can be built up and down and mixed and matched. Like 20 kick loops, 30 snare, 20 percussion, etc. . . you can then have effect chains (beat repeat, delays, granular) that you can bring on and off with a couple button clicks and knob tweaks.

You could then set up midi clips to drive the Virus. You can create layered sounds based on the routing in Virus Control. All of the patches that you would use would be in a favorites or set folder. Also, having the three mod knobs set up for each patch you could do a lot.

AN APC 40/Launchpad type device would make it a lot easier.

The MPC can be a back up and used for one-hits. Of course playing it live, at least for a little bit, gives you major props. You can play it quantitized into Live, mangle it with an effects chain (with like feedbacked dub delay) and move on with your set.

Play the SE live and un-quantitized. I would really exhibit the worminess of that machine over some dubstep beats with the clap -- dre chronic style.

Oh, just saw the 808. Tough call.
Old 16th December 2010
Gear Addict
modularjack's Avatar

Well it seems like you have a lot of options at your disposal so that is awesome. In terms of bringing the fully polished and carefully editted final product of studio work to a live set well you can do it if you're willing to have everything pre-sequenced and totally set up in ableton and your machines but really if you are doing that there's not much of a live element to it. I used to go heavy into having everything full on sequenced and pretty much just hit play and mix between finished tracks, but now I go for a more organic live type of approach. Personally not a fan of laptops on stage although a lot of people are using them.. Its kind of lame to look up at someone on stage though and they are staring at a computer screen and using the mouse all the time... not very interactive with your audience.

If I were you I'd use the MPC and Electribe along with one or two of your synths and play it that way. If you really rely on ableton (sounds like you are a bit lacking in FX otherwise) you could incorporate the laptop too but I'd try to set it up such that you don't need to look at the screen too much.. Maybe just use it for some FX buses or for storing long samples and whatnot. Of course a lot of people will just have everything totally sequenced out and they're just changing scenes in Ableton.. Fine if that's what you want to do but again what is live about that? Not a whole lot. I just go to the show with lots of patterns in my MC909 and mix and match it as I go, playing most of the bass or lead lines live (not sequenced) on a Juno 6. I do love having a non-midi synth on stage as midi can get stuck notes and whatnot, so no matter what I always have a synth sitting there I can just start playing notes if something goes wrong and my sequencer lags or crashes or something.
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