MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Hardware looping vs using Abelton (live jams/drums).
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author Hardware looping vs using Abelton (live jams/drums).
Rex Coil 7
I am at a cross roads. I love those videos of people using hardware loopers (Boss RC-505 et al). The real time live jam aspect is highly appealing to me. I really want to be able to do that. But would it be at least as good (or better) to go with a solid computer, audio interface, MIDI controller, and Abelton?

Gear List On Hand:

** Modular synth with MIDI/CV converters (Kenton).
** (3) E-MU digital rack synths, all Proteus 2000 family.
** Synthesizers.Com MIDI keyboards - these have no MIDI controls other than the keys themselves. No knobs, sliders, pads.
** (3) Audio desk mixers.
** Amps, passive speakers, powered speakers.
** Non-MIDI instruments = Guitar, bass guitar, 1962 Hammond C3.
** computer with an ancient DAW (SONAR 6.3).
** (3) M-Audio Audiophile USB audio interfaces.
** Great heaps of hardware FX .. digital, analog, stomp, desktop, modular, rack.

There's pretty much everything.

IT'S UPGRADE TIME: I'm spec'ing out a new computer. I have LIVE 9, which has barely been used since I registered with Abelton a couple of years ago, but I own LIVE, that is the important thing to know.

THE CROSS ROADS: Here is where I'm stuck in the muck....

** Go with a hardware phrase looper (eg; Boss RC-505).
** Use the drums in my rack synths, triggered by the MIDI keyboards?
** Use Squarp Pyramid as the MIDI sequencer/drum sequencer?
** Use the computer for "track recording" for making songs?

.... OR ....


** Sell the Pyramid.
** Keep all of my digital rack synths?
** Use Live as the MIDI sequencer?
** Use Live as a real time live jam looper?
** Use Live as the track recorder and post-production for song building?
** Buy a MIDI keyboard controller (the Arturia Keylab MkII is a sweet one, my wife has the 49 key).
** Use the MIDI kybd controller pads for drums?


BASICALLY, GO COMPUTER/SOFTWARE ---OR--- STICK WITH MOSTLY HARDWARE?

I've been reading about all of these tricked out controllers (Novation Launch Control ... Push ... etc) and there seems to be complaints about timing/feel problems (hit a pad, and the latency annoys you). Also, a fair amount of mousing, along with somewhat complex procedures to do this or that.

In my mind, I see a computer running Live, a MIDI keyboard controller with pads, and everything working exactly like "hardware" ... hit a pad, drum goes ~boom~ (no latency), push ~record~ and loop recording begins without hangups. Track management with a fader (mixing of loops "works" without mousing).

Am I asking too much of a computer based live jam ~slash~ recording system? Are these MIDI controllers (kybds and desktop type like Push) as fast as using hardware stuff? Do I just stick with hardware loopers and hardware MIDI sequencer?

I'm at that precise juncture right now. I'm either going to buy a MIDI controller kybd, and spec the new computer to deal with MIDI sequencing and real time looping. Or, buy the hardware looper(s) and stick with my Dot Com kybds and the Squarp Pyramid MIDI sequencer.

I think I've made my point. I can't recall ever being so indecisive about anything. I need answers, please.

Thank you!

pbear :(
Rex Coil 7
I'm going to spend the evening learning about how to use Live like a drum machine. I think that's pretty much step 1. I've much to learn before spending money.

Sorry to have posted something that's probably been asked ten thousand times.

meh
Rex Coil 7
I'm really starting to understand all of this. I've spent most of the night watching "Ableton Courses".

Looking at using a Push 1, and building my own spec'd computer this time. SS drives for streaming, quad core, may go fluid cooled.

lol There's going to be a Squarp Pyramid and a few rack synths for sale soon! lol

I'm into it ... this is going to be fun!

cookie?!? Never maintain cash savings again
thetechnobear
its an interesting area...

Ive got Live10+Push2 , and also a pyramid...
(I had a push1 before trading it for the P2, and some point considered a 505 smile )

honestly, these are all very different workflows.

first do you want to do midi or audio looping?
they are quite different. midi is more flexible, but I quite like the fact that audio once recorded is 'done', you don't feel the urge to tweak it smile

(this is where something like the 505 appealed or a 4 track, once recorded, that's it.... move on, or re-record, simple choices smile )


the 'looper' on Ableon, is not someting i enjoyed using/got on with,
and is not at all integrated with push - so Ableton is not that similar to the 505 - what I really dont like about looper in ableton, is its not at all integrated with clips etc.

however, i do like the clip record flow of ableton, and that is done very well on the push, so that's what I use.

if you spend time setting up the right template, Ableton + push can feel quite hardware like - and I have the Push away from the computer, next to the synths/eurorack, which helps me reinforce this.
(a pedal into the push really helps start/stop record if your playing keyboards, as it does on the pyramid)

BUT....one of the issues i had with the Push, was that the feedback for midi clips , you couldn't see notes recorded properly, however that has changed for the push2 on Live 10.

I'll admit for some reason, I find the pyramid much more immediate. perhaps its the limitations, or the way its dedicated to the task, but I tend to enjoy it a bit more.... though the midi looper is not perfect.



Ableton have done a remarkable job with the Push2 and Live integration, its really improved so much - almost everything is now available without resorting to the computer.
I wonder if thats why it sometimes feels a bit much?!


but to be clear, any of these solution works, we are lucky to live in a time when we have so many great options available... and our main complaint is about "how to choose" smile



------------------------------------------------
p.s. i know the Push2 is MUCH more expensive, but really if you want to go this route - I think it really is worth it.
the push 1 is great, and ableton are great at continuing to support it, but the graphical display on the Push2 opens so many more doors (seeing waveforms, display piano roll)


------------------------------------------------
note: i use a desktop mac, i do sometimes wonder if i switched it out for a laptop, if the barrier between computer and hardware might be reduced a bit.
Rex Coil 7
thetechnobear wrote:
..first do you want to do midi or audio looping?
Both. MIDI for creating sequences and drum/rhythm backing tracks. Looping for capturing guitar/bass guitar/Hammond (essentially all non-MIDI instruments) and for capturing live performances and replaying them (MIDI, CV, and non-MIDI instruments) ... y'know, pretty much the way most people use phrase loopers.

thetechnobear wrote:
the 'looper' on Ableon, is not someting i enjoyed using/got on with, and is not at all integrated with push - so Ableton is not that similar to the 505 - what I really dont like about looper in ableton, is its not at all integrated with clips etc.

however, i do like the clip record flow of ableton, and that is done very well on the push, so that's what I use.
I need to learn about that, best way I know of to do that is through experience. Once I get the computer built I can get busy stacking hours on using Live.

thetechnobear wrote:
if you spend time setting up the right template, Ableton + push can feel quite hardware like - and I have the Push away from the computer, next to the synths/eurorack, which helps me reinforce this. (a pedal into the push really helps start/stop record if your playing keyboards, as it does on the pyramid)
I'll have any/all controllers right there near the computer's monitor.

thetechnobear wrote:
...one of the issues i had with the Push, was that the feedback for midi clips , you couldn't see notes recorded properly, however that has changed for the push2 on Live 10.
Again, I'll have visual contact with the computer's monitor. Push will not become a sortof ~remote computer~ in my situation.

thetechnobear wrote:
I'll admit for some reason, I find the pyramid much more immediate. perhaps its the limitations, or the way its dedicated to the task, but I tend to enjoy it a bit more.... though the midi looper is not perfect.
The plan (for the moment .. subject to change, of course) is to use Live not just for audio looping, but for MIDI captures ("MIDI looping") as well. I can't see why Live cannot be used precisely as the Pyramid is used, and Live has a MUCH larger "display" (the computer monitor). Using Live for both MIDI looping and audio looping means I don't have to ~learn~ two sequencers, I just need to learn Live. This makes a lot of sense to me.

thetechnobear wrote:
... we are lucky to live in a time when we have so many great options available... and our main complaint is about "how to choose" smile
... That's a fact, Jack! So many younger folks take ~today's world~ for granted. We're FAR safer, we're FAR more healthy, we're FAR less likely to be killed or injured by crime or accident, life in general is FAR more convenient, and back to topic ... this is THE most utterly gear-flooded time since I've been alive (1960). It's pretty much a time in the musical gear world of "if you want it, most likely it exists". And for cheap!! Really REALLY cheap! And custom/one-off/DIY manufacturing these days is simply insane. Never before has the DIYer been blessed with so many options. And just look at the services of today! Think of how easy it is to design your own circuit boards, or front panels, and have them delivered to your front door within a week. That's just crazy-ass-cool!

thetechnobear wrote:
p.s. i know the Push2 is MUCH more expensive, but really if you want to go this route - I think it really is worth it. the push 1 is great, and ableton are great at continuing to support it, but the graphical display on the Push2 opens so many more doors (seeing waveforms, display piano roll)
Relevant only if you're not in eyeshot of your computer's monitor. I mean, I may not even really need Push. It comes down to needing a controller (or controllers) that reduce mousing to minimums in my case. Akai, Novation, and several others offer controllers in addition to the Ableton Push units. There's those "options" showing up again!

thetechnobear wrote:
...note: i use a desktop mac, i do sometimes wonder if i switched it out for a laptop, if the barrier between computer and hardware might be reduced a bit.
I don't see how ... all you need on the desk is the monitor and a mousing device (I use trackballs, far superior pointing devices from where I stand). With a laptop you've got a smaller monitor, and the computer's body/keyboard are eating up desk space. I prefer "modular" gear ... the laptop is a "unitized construction" device. However, as is with pretty much all things ... "everyone has their own ideas of ~good~".

I have been a "PC" user since about 1988. I'm deeply enthused with the idea of putting together my own computer again this time around. This is my idea of a useful "modular" computer for music purposes (except not wall mounted, imagine these same design-types but as "desktop" configurations, placed underneath the actual work surface and out of the way ... perhaps on a shelf beneath the music gear and controllers).... y'know ... modular. I don't need all of the fancy lights and most likely no need for a liquid cooled CPU either. But that's the subject of another thread I have going regarding spec'ing out a new computer that I'll end up building into something along these lines (images below) ...

LINK TO THREAD = https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=208414&postdays=0&po storder=asc&start=0





thetechnobear
cool, I think your trying a very different direction to me,
which is cool, we all have different ideas/directions...
Id love to hear more, and how it works out.

from your post, these phrases stick out to me...
Rex Coil 7 wrote:

I'll have any/all controllers right there near the computer's monitor.
….

Again, I'll have visual contact with the computer's monitor. Push will not become a sortof ~remote computer~ in my situation.
….
Relevant only if you're not in eyeshot of your computer's monitor.
...
It comes down to needing a controller (or controllers) that reduce mousing to minimums in my case.
….
all you need on the desk is the monitor and a mousing device (I use trackballs, far superior pointing devices from where I stand).


from these, id say your intention is to have a computer front and centre...
sounds like your going whole hog from hardware to computer.

I am personally am heading in a different direction (not better, just different)

like you I completely embrace the power of the computer, but, I have a big interest in the interface, and making this feel musical (to me)
personally, Ive found that the screen/mouse/keyboard is great for editing , its not that good when you just want to play

at that point, I like to be focused on the musical instruments (be it , a hardware synth or modular) , and scooting back to the computer keyboard/mouse/screen to see whats going on breaks that flow/focus.

thats where push comes in, enough control away from the computer, to allow me to carry on, to focus BUT its all captured in live, so i can come back later to edit (where the mouse/screen/keyboard are king!)

but this is just how I break it up, and its honestly its 'nit picky', today with midi learn, controllers etc, and the general design of daws, its no huge hardship doing things without dedicated controllers smile

look forward to hearing more about how you arrange things, sounds like its going to be a fun journey.
Rex Coil 7
thetechnobear wrote:
...from these, id say your intention is to have a computer front and centre...
sounds like your going whole hog from hardware to computer.
Not "going whole hog from hardware to computer" ... but rather "whole hog integrating hardware with computer". Integrating them together as a hybrid system ... a single multi-instrument that requires 10 feet by 8 feet of space!

thetechnobear wrote:
...like you I completely embrace the power of the computer, but, I have a big interest in the interface, and making this feel musical
Exactly as I do. The Push is no different than a hardware drum machine or Euro-skiff full of Euro modules. The Push (or any MIDI controller) is just another piece of hardware used to manipulate the electronics used to make music with.

thetechnobear wrote:
.. personally, Ive found that the screen/mouse/keyboard is great for editing , its not that good when you just want to play
Why not? For instance, the computer's monitor is just another "display" used by another piece of hardware that my eyes require access to. And it's FAR easier to look at than a 2 inch by 3 inch LCD display! The keyboard I use is a Dot Com QKB61 (2 of them, actually) ... a 5 octave MIDI keyboard housed in solid walnut and steel framed .. a full blown FATAR TP-9S keybed as well. I'll be using that to play my 5U modular synth, my MIDI/digital rack synths, or Live. I see no difference between any of those, they're just other sound sources controlled by the same EXCELLENT keybed. The Push will sit somewhere near the keybed, and the "display" (computer's monitor) will sit at the rear of the table. Mousing reduced to minimums once the pre-prepared tracks/clips are loaded up. Beyond that, the Push will be used to start any MIDI loops or audio loops.

I see all of this is merely an extension of what I've been doing since I was 17 (1977) ... using knobs, buttons, gadgets to make music.

I think you may be misunderstanding how I intend on using the computer and Live. Things like Push and other hardware MIDI controllers may be used to minimize mousing to nearly zero once the music begins. I don't care if the Push display provides limited amounts of information, since the computer's monitor is literally right in front of me.

thetechnobear wrote:
... I like to be focused on the musical instruments (be it , a hardware synth or modular) , and scooting back to the computer keyboard/mouse/screen to see whats going on breaks that flow/focus.
I stand when I play. There is no scooting. Here, look at how one of my keyboard "stands" is set up. It's all right in front of me. Nevermind the mess and disarray (I was mocking up the gear placements to start working out how to build various stands and things) ... note that the computer's monitor is located on the upper right (that black square sitting on top of the 8 space rack). Things were being rearranged when this image was taken (about a month or so ago). So all that will be in front of me is the keyboard, Push, those two rack cabinets, and the computer monitor sitting on top of the 8 space rack.

It's all within arm's reach, all within easy eyeshot, all "right there!".





My rig is set up as a square-shaped "U". In this picture (pardon the mess again) the Hammond is on the left, in the middle is where my 5U modular lives (when pic was snapped the modular was on my workbench and not on it's shelf), and on the right is the "MIDI Synth" table.



I played live for years, so my studio is essentially just set up in the same "square U" that I used when playing live in bands. If I need to spend a lot of time on the computer or programming one of the synths, I have a swiveling office chair that adjusts high enough so that I may sit while working on something for longer periods. I can also play while sitting since all of my keyboards (Hammond, modular synth, digital synths) are within reach if I sit in that office chair. I can just spin to face something at my side or behind me if needed.

thetechnobear wrote:
... thats where push comes in, enough control away from the computer, to allow me to carry on, to focus..
Precisely, but I place the computer monitor in such a way that I can easily refer to it just by looking upward. "It's all right there".

thetechnobear wrote:
look forward to hearing more about how you arrange things, sounds like its going to be a fun journey.
Thank you! I may stick a link to this thread in my signature with the other two "project threads" I have going on. I've not decided where this "story" would be best nested (perhaps within one of the other two threads?). Not settled on what I'm doing in that regard.

Movin' on! Bananallama!
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Page 1 of 1
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group