ableton

Discuss your workplace, instruments, amps, and any other gear.

Moderators: MattKingUSA, khz

Shmoker
Established Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:31 am

ableton

Post by Shmoker »

Hi people!
Suddenly, I realized that i can't live without playing a musical instrument. I was playing guitar for 5 years, but i don't like it very much. My parents made me attend guitar classes, so guitar is good, but still not an instrument of whole my life. I've been wanting to play ableton for a while. The problem is that i don't savvy at them at all. For me, all abletons are similar, because the only experience i have with them is watching youtube, and dreaming i'll play like they one day. What ableton do you use? Realy need your help!

User avatar
sysrqer
Established Member
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: ableton

Post by sysrqer »

There is only one Ableton Live, I'm not sure what you mean. Ableton is not native on linux either.

User avatar
milk
Established Member
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:08 am
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: ableton

Post by milk »

According to some, there are DAWs and there are Live-like environments. The only Live-like environment for Linux currently is Bitwig, and that is closed source and costs. Zrythm is aiming to be something like that eventually (though possibly more for production than performance (though I don't think that's a constraint of Live-like environments in general though, clue being in the name, plus I've watched a friend perform breakcore at a night recently using a Bitwig on Arch Linux and a MIDI controller)).

Alternatively, you can try out the "inverted DAW" nature of using JACK, where you can patch audio, MIDI and CV between JACK apps (and LV2 plugins). This approach provides both big advantages and disadvantages. You can easily use multiple apps together, script routing, things are more modular, but some use cases / forms of expression there just isn't yet support, ways to connect/script things that would just be first-class possibilities in Bitwig or Live. Saying that, many things are possible.

For session management and plugin host, check out Carla. For MIDI style scenes/clip launching, check out sequencer64. For audio style clips, check Loopp.
Last edited by milk on Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
they/them ta / wiki.thingsandstuff.org/Audio and related pages - a collection of mostly Linux and free links / Linux Digital Audio and Music Workstation Comparison Matrix - collaborative Google Sheet (slightly broken, no time/cpu power to fix here)

User avatar
sysrqer
Established Member
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: ableton

Post by sysrqer »

Ah I see. In that case there is also Giada.

User avatar
hellocatfood
Established Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:54 pm
Contact:

Re: ableton

Post by hellocatfood »

Unfa did a livestream showing a live performance workflow using Sequencer64 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crVzPjiA8qE. It obviously won't reproduce Abelton Live but it's a solution at least.

Shmoker
Established Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:31 am

Re: ableton

Post by Shmoker »

Thank you all for your replies!
sysrqer wrote:There is only one Ableton Live, I'm not sure what you mean. Ableton is not native on linux either.
What level of performance has ableton live? I need a software-analog of Akai Professional. Is there something like this? Or i'm looking for an un-existing thing?
milk wrote:According to some, there are DAWs and there are Live-like environments. The only Live-like environment for Linux currently is Bitwig, and that is closed source and costs. Zrythm is aiming to be something like that eventually (though possibly more for production than performance (though I don't think that's a constraint of Live-like environments in general though, clue being in the name, plus I've watched a friend perform breakcore at a night recently using a Bitwig on Arch Linux and a MIDI controller)).

Alternatively, you can try out the "inverted DAW" nature of using JACK, where you can patch audio, MIDI and CV between JACK apps (and LV2 plugins). This approach provides both big advantages and disadvantages. You can easily use multiple apps together, script routing, things are more modular, but some use cases / forms of expression there just isn't yet support, ways to connect/script things that would just be first-class possibilities in Bitwig or Live. Saying that, many things are possible.

For session management and plugin host, check out Carla. For MIDI style scenes/clip launching, check out sequencer64. For audio style clips, check Loopp.
Thank you for the detailed reply. I'll keep in mind your feedback, but some things that you said are not clear for me now, because I'm only getting started. What is MIDI? I googled this question and got some info, but still don't understand, especially about patching. I'll be grateful if you clarify this.

User avatar
ufug
Established Member
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:28 am
Location: East Bay

Re: ableton

Post by ufug »

It's hard to understand exactly what you want (this kind of music is sort of alien to me) but Bitwig has an area to the left of the track editor with which can play "scenes" or clips or loops or whatever you call them. You can play Bitwig with a touch interface if you have one.
Image

Bitwig is $$ but there is a free 8 track version out there somewhere.

User avatar
sysrqer
Established Member
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: ableton

Post by sysrqer »

ufug wrote: Bitwig is $$ but there is a free 8 track version out there somewhere.
I got very excited and downloaded it but doesn't let me activate it, presumably because I don't have a serial. I think this is (at least now) like Live Lite that you get free when you buy a midi keyboard or soundcard.
Bitwig Studio 8-Track is available exclusively through bundles with selected partners.

User avatar
sysrqer
Established Member
Posts: 1858
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: ableton

Post by sysrqer »

Shmoker wrote: What level of performance has ableton live? I need a software-analog of Akai Professional. Is there something like this? Or i'm looking for an un-existing thing?
You have linked to a midi controller. This can be used like any other midi controller to do what you want. Ableton Live has control scripts (the blue hand) both internally and 3rd party, and built in assignments to make certain midi controllers work in a particular way. However, the controller is still a midi controller that can be freely assigned to anything BUT the functionality you might have seen in videos with this particular controller, or the launchpad, or APC40 etc, is not always built in to other daws. If you plug a launchpad in to Pro Tools how would it work? Linux is like this, a midi controller will work but the predefined functionality can be lacking. Having said that, Renoise has something similar, at least.
Shmoker wrote: Thank you for the detailed reply. I'll keep in mind your feedback, but some things that you said are not clear for me now, because I'm only getting started. What is MIDI? I googled this question and got some info, but still don't understand, especially about patching. I'll be grateful if you clarify this.
Go to youtube and search for 'midi for beginners' or something like that. In the context of Milk's post it meant a distinction between an audio file and one containing notes you have played on a keyboard or drawn in with a mouse.

User avatar
milk
Established Member
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:08 am
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: ableton

Post by milk »

What level of performance has ableton live?
Classic DAWs have a linear arrangement of audio and MIDI (MIDI essentially being a notation language to trigger hardware and software instruments and effects, discrete messages to turn a note on, turn a note off, change parameters, etc) data. The difference Ableton brought in around 15 years ago was to also have a "non-linear" arrangement of said audio/MIDI data. Instead of a focus on arranging music in individual tracks from song start to song end, each segment of audio/notation could be activated separately. This allows more ways to make music (more expressivity), especially live. Then 5 years ago Bitwig came along and copied this theme, and, imo, like broadband in South Korea had less legacy infrastructure than western countries, they managed to take the experience people of had of that mode and they managed to do it better.

Now days both Ableton Live and BitWig also have internal scripting (Max For Live, which is Max/MSP, which is the program the creator of Pure Data made/started before making Pure Data. Not sure about how Bitwig does it).

Bitwig now also has an in-built modular synth like system, where you can generate signals to modulate parameters in any part of the DAW. You can also use those signals to drive a hardware modular synth (Eurorack, etc). Linux has had this for a while but it has only more recently started to take off. Not sure what Ableton has in this way.
especially about patching
Before software, you could use a patch panel to connect together equipment in a recording studio. Say you had a 32 channel mixing desk. Each channel might have a "send" or two. These are points in the channel path where the engineer can choose to have the signal, instead of travel straight down through the channel on the desk, go to the patch bay where it could be connected usnig a patch cable to an "outboard" fx unit, like a reverb unit or whatever. The input and output of the reverb were already connected to the back of the patch panel, so a temporary patch is made to send that channels send to the reverb input, and from the reverb output on the front of the patch bay to the "return" related to the send point it came from. (Technically behind the scenes the signal always got sent to the patch panel, but there were "normalisation" mechanisms to always pass the output of that send on the patch panel to the input of the return, even without a patch cable).

Long possible ramble there, but anyway; in this day and age, you can do this all digitally, like so, and without requiring hardware boxes to split or merge the signal.
a software-analog of Akai Professional
There is a certain sense of "death of the author" about what a controller is intended for and what people can and do use it for, so this is both a vague and specific personal response:

Regarding figuring out how to utilise the MIDI signals sent by a hardware controller; this subject is a key element to unlocking creative potential in digital music these days. Sure you can map the buttons, faders, pots, etc on the Akai Professional to actions and controls in software, but at what point are you going to hit a brick wall in what is possible? Depends on what you want to do. In my perspective, the wall, in relation to a "clip launching" form of performance (something that also works in the studio, given ultimately it's a false dichotomy; some acts record their music jams then produce tracks/albums from the best parts/ideas of those recordings), is in marrying complex states of software to what a hardware controller can represent or affect. Like, there is no way yet to notify the world outside of sequencer64 as to what Set (essentially "page") sequencer64 is on, nor to notify the world outside of sequencer64 that the set has changed. So if I want to use sequencer64 to control what Carla is doing, there's no way to script something (using, say, mididings) that translates what the user is doing in sequencer64 to something that can change what Carla understands (and sequencer64 has much more MIDI control than Giada or Luppp/Loopp so far..)
Last edited by milk on Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
they/them ta / wiki.thingsandstuff.org/Audio and related pages - a collection of mostly Linux and free links / Linux Digital Audio and Music Workstation Comparison Matrix - collaborative Google Sheet (slightly broken, no time/cpu power to fix here)

Shmoker
Established Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:31 am

Re: ableton

Post by Shmoker »

milk,
Thank you SO much. The most detailed answer i've ever seen in my life. Thank you again, you're awesome!

User avatar
lyth
Established Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:58 pm
Location: Italy

Re: ableton

Post by lyth »

sysrqer wrote:
ufug wrote: Bitwig is $$ but there is a free 8 track version out there somewhere.
I got very excited and downloaded it but doesn't let me activate it, presumably because I don't have a serial. I think this is (at least now) like Live Lite that you get free when you buy a midi keyboard or soundcard.
Bitwig Studio 8-Track is available exclusively through bundles with selected partners.
you can get a bitwig 8-track license here but it's not worth it. it is limited to only 3 plugin, it doesn't support lv2, it requires exclusive access to the midi controller (even if there is a workaround), etc

User avatar
milk
Established Member
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:08 am
Location: Edinburgh
Contact:

Re: ableton

Post by milk »

lyth wrote:it doesn't support lv2, it requires exclusive access to the midi controller (even if there is a workaround), etc
I guess one could load LV2 plugins in Carla-as-a-VST. (I wonder about a future possibility of passing "CV" in/out Carla from/to the Bitwig environment).

It would be great to see Bitwig support LV2 and JACK MIDI, I guess a rational could be said that they have had a core product to perfect. Maybe more interoperability with other apps could be on the horizon? Building a graph between first-class JACK MIDI apps is so handy and opens up great potential, and the port metadata features (like MIDNAM, or CV in the audio domain) are neat. LV2 support would be amazing, the core concepts and libraries seem sound.

Maybe even Bitwig could release their own (*cough*Arch/Manjaro-derived*cough*) Linux distro with the free demo working with other pro-audio and lv2-plugins packages, system tunings, etc., which would serve both as great practical value, engender a bigger community, and act as advertising and a gateway to new customers including those who wish to make the jump from Windows or Mac..

Edit:

Bitwig | FAQ - "Will the Linux version of Bitwig Studio support: JACK, ALSA, PulseAudio? We support all three, but recommend JACK or ALSA. LV2? We will consider to offer LV2 support in the future, however not in version 1.0."
they/them ta / wiki.thingsandstuff.org/Audio and related pages - a collection of mostly Linux and free links / Linux Digital Audio and Music Workstation Comparison Matrix - collaborative Google Sheet (slightly broken, no time/cpu power to fix here)

User avatar
lyth
Established Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:58 pm
Location: Italy

Re: ableton

Post by lyth »

milk wrote: [LV2? We will consider to offer LV2 support in the future, however not in version 1.0."
Yeah, they are releasing version 3.1 and still nothing ahah
Maybe even Bitwig could release their own (*cough*Arch/Manjaro-derived*cough*) Linux distro with the free demo working with other pro-audio and lv2-plugins packages, system tunings, etc., which would serve both as great practical value, engender a bigger community, and act as advertising and a gateway to new customers including those who wish to make the jump from Windows or Mac..
That would be indeed interesting but I don't think I would ever use a linux distro made for a closed source program. :lol:

Anyway I too hope that they will seriously integrate Bitwig with Jack.

channelite
Established Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:39 am

Re: ableton

Post by channelite »

Bitwig got me into Linux. Version 2.3.5 runs great on AMD phenom 2 Linux Lite PC which is 10 years old. I got Bitwig in 2014 for $199 and bought one upgrade. It’s actually much better then Live. I haven’t bought the next upgrade for $129 since there are more exciting Linux apps that are free! Bitwig 2.3.5 is still really good so I’ll wait for a better upgrade if I ever do upgrade again.

Post Reply