Not having fun fighting with Ableton right now.
August 23, 2010 at 8:47 pm #22515
So I’m trying the Live demo and everything seems really promising. Cool sounds, easy to find arpeggiators and other cool effects, basically all the neat melodic stuff I liked about Reason 4 is in easy reach. Then I started trying to program drums.
Basically everything that could possibly happen to annoy me and slow me down HAS happened. It’s all user interface stuff. I’ll watch a tutorial and see somebody just click on each drum sample and it instantly previews it. For me, it does not work at all, and I have to hot-swap each sound in or load it on a brand new instrument track just to preview every sound I want. This is aggravatingly tedious when trying to find one kick drum out of dozens.
I’ll see someone on a tutorial put together a drum kit using impulse. They just reach up, grab a drum sound, and drop it right into the slot on the impulse drum rack. Okay… I try to do that and it only shows a fat cancel sign, no matter what I do, no matter what sample, I can’t put *anything* into impulse.
So I give up and watch a tutorial of someone using Simpler drum rack and they just drag and drop a sample in. I try to do the same thing and it only replaces the instrument entirely. My roadblocks so far aren’t with the music I’m trying to write, it’s wrestling with the software. My least favorite thing ever.
Any Live users have advice for me? I’m doing stuff exactly like they show in tutorials and it’s simply not giving the same results. I am on Live suite 30 day demo. Am I missing something? Is the demo just neutered to not let you write drums in impulse or simpler? The Ableton site suggests the demo has full functionality. Basically, I have no idea what is going on and every time I try to do something that seems simple I end up needing to take a break so as not to get really upset. Nothing seems to work the way it’s supposed to.
Ultimately I just had to use the “Drum Rack” thing itself and map drums to each spot on the digital pad. I had not seen anyone do this on a tut, I just flailed around in the interface until I finally got something where my drums could be written together (rather than having to write them “blind” from each other each on it’s own instrument lane which would be horrible). After playing with the levels I realized I needed to make a new drum rack to edit the levels for separate drum parts, each needing it’s own rack. Okay, no problem, makes sense. I make a new drum rack and now the original one does not play when I hit the keys to trigger sounds. No matter what I do, even after deleting the 2nd drum rack just to try again.
I KNOW this program is not supposed to be this hard to use. Right? Can anyone help?
I know this post is full of whine-fail but I am seriously hating this struggle with the interface right now, if anyone has insights I would realllly appreciate it.August 24, 2010 at 8:40 pm #35223
Got impulse to work today by clicking hotswap from it which brings up a search function for limited drums (as in, not all of them are usable by impulse = / ). This also allowed click-preview. Happy that I have it working, but it’s still not the same as they showed it in the tuts so I’m like “mnrrrrraaaarggghhhh.”
Oh well, onward and upwardAugust 24, 2010 at 9:29 pm #35224
me not having fun on cubase right now!!!August 25, 2010 at 4:27 am #35225
You and I can start a computer-smash-rage-party club.August 25, 2010 at 5:20 am #35226
Oh snaps!!!August 25, 2010 at 9:59 pm #35227
But actually, my big update is that I’ve been able to work out a lot of the problems I had before and am starting to get excited with the software again. Still some gripes but no longer anything major as a lot of it has been figured out, so I am thankful for that!August 26, 2010 at 5:22 am #35228
Cool. I figure out most of my cubase 5 problems and updated to 5.51
I also just bought the fabfilter pro bundle, and I get to give them a run tonight!!!August 26, 2010 at 6:23 pm #35229
I have been producing with Live for more than five years. It is a great platform for production, live mixing, etc. It can be very touchy sometimes when it comes to where exactly you are placing things in the rack layout. To me, this is an advantage, because you can decide exactly how you route things, where effects are placed in the chain, etc.
When it comes to some aspects of live, an inexperienced user can have a problem and not even know what the heck is going on. When you preview a clip in the browser, there is a little waveform representation of the sample just below the browser. to the very left of that waveform, there is a little headphone icon. if it is grey, it means preview is off. click it, and it should light up. now you will be able to preview samples before you put them into simpler/drum racks/sampler/etc.
As far as your drag-drop problem goes, I don’t know what to tell you. If I saw you performing the action, I would know exactly what was going on, but it’s hard to say without actually seeing it. An example of quirky user interface functions is when you want to setup an instrument rack with multiple patches all in one, you must first drag the instrument rack into the channel, and then drag the rest of your instruments into it. If you double click on an instrument, it will replace the whole rack. This can be frustrating, but Ableton’s team has designed the program to be less arbitrary and more functional, responding to similar commands in different ways.
I hope this helps!August 26, 2010 at 7:02 pm #35230
Thanks man, that does really help! Headphone toggle just like the same little headphone icon for previewing key sounds in the piano roll. Got it!
A lot of my issues initially were from the fact that I was trying to “arrange” stuff from the session view. Now that I’m spending most of my time in arrange mode and have more of a grasp on it, much of my problems are resolved. In hindsight that is a major “duh” moment. =P
But I still do have one big problem that rears it’s ugly head every once in a while. Maybe you can help, but I know it’s hard for you to diagnose via text. This issue kept me from getting any new work done this morning.
I’ll be working along, trying out new synths… I take a break and come back to trying to play them, but now I cannot get ANY sound out of any instruments from my MIDI keyboard. It’s not a volume issue, I can see that the meters aren’t even jumping up or down to acknowledge sound input. Ableton itself still makes sound because I can play what I’ve already written, or preview keys via mouse on the piano roller- I just can’t play from my MIDI keyboard anymore, on anything. When I switch to another sound program, it acknowledges the MIDI key input just fine, so the keyboard is noted to be working. Even reloading Live doesn’t fix this. This is kind of the last big frustration for me right now, and when it crops up, I have no idea how to fix it. I usually turn off Live and come back later, but today that didn’t seem to work either. No matter what instrument I click on or select, whether in session view or arrange, I can’t get any sound.
Oh, and I just remembered this problem normally starts by being able to play only ONE instrument and not being able to select any others. Like if I’m playing a synth bass with my keyboard and it is working, even if I try to select a piano from session or arrange it only plays the synth bass. Inevitably I delete the synth bass thinking that I’ll outsmart the software and that it HAS to let me play something new now, but then I just can’t play anything at all.
Thanks for the help again, Live is pretty sick imo, I just need to get more experience wivvit.August 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm #35231
Do you have the tracks muted or soloed? are your sound outputs still going to your master output? Do your tracks need to be record armed or input monitored to get sound?August 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm #35232
Do you have the tracks muted or soloed? are your sound outputs still going to your master output? Do your tracks need to be record armed or input monitored to get sound?
Not mute or solo problem, I did toggle those on and off to see if it fixed it. I can confirm the mute/solo functionality is working properly by the recorded playback. I haven’t changed any output settings or record arm settings *that I know of* so I will have to check on that. I know where the record-arm button thingy is.August 26, 2010 at 9:36 pm #35233
Just got off the phone with a guy at the local Apple store, he said they do have machines with Logic Pro 8 loaded so I can come try it out. I figure I will spend a couple sessions on it for a few different days, right around the time they open so I can try it out while the store is slow (w/ headphones of course). I’m realizing after starting the Matt Schwarz FM production vid that the Logic shell I ganked just doesn’t have any of the cool stuff so I won’t get a real accurate idea of the program unless I go try it out for reals. He played one of the synth presets on Logic’s massive and it was so good I wanted to crawl inside of the sound and live there forever. That’s what I NEED in my music.
Of course I say this while trying an ableton live suit 1.6 gig demo install as opposed to boxed suite is like 46 gigs worth of sounds or something. Definitely worth looking into to see if I can fiddle with a full version of that somewheres…
Really looking forward to it, should be fun!August 26, 2010 at 11:08 pm #35234
You need to arm the track for recording in order to let Live know what you want to play. its the button below the solo button on each channel, it lights up red when it is selected. In the preferences panel you can change a setting to allow live to arm multiple tracks at a time. I think its called “exclusive arm” or something to that nature. also, just to make sure Live is actually recieving MIDI data, there is a little square in the top right corner that lights up every time Live recieves MIDI data.
A lot of people get confused about the layout, i.e. the session/arrangement views. It is really a duh moment for a lot of people. I think I actually struggled with that myself.
I hope this helps too!! I should make some Live tutorials. I love teaching it, and I have taught a couple people here how to use it more effectively.August 27, 2010 at 12:00 am #35235
Awesome, I’ll try that when I get home. Super good to know about the midi input notification.
Also, thumbs up for Live tutorials!August 27, 2010 at 5:39 am #35236
just to let you know, Massive is a Native Instruments plugin. it is third party, and I think that all the other sounds on his track using VSTi’s are third party. Sorry bro…
But that is cool, so if you decide you want electro sounds you can crawl into you can get this with whatever DAW you decide to choose. He also was using Audio Realism Bassline 2.
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