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TOPIC: How do you use your external synth in a live set?

How do you use your external synth in a live set? 3 years 8 months ago #19739

  • samwhich
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Share your tips, methodologies and experiences on how you use external synth(s) with Live!

*Note* Specifically interested in understanding methods of how you change between patches on your hardware synths throughout your live set as well as the above info :)
Last Edit: 3 years 8 months ago by samwhich. Reason: Added more specific note.
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How do you use your external synth in a live set? 3 years 8 months ago #19741

  • Bl4cksun
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ive got an access virus TI and a Radical Technologies Spectralis I, the work flow for both is completely different.

The virus comes with a plugin so it behaves pretty much like a multi-timberal vst. I run it configured with 3 audio channels out (USB) and don't use the real audio out ports at all. You can only have one instance of the au/vst loaded and have to route all your midi channels to the track with the plug in on it. I create 2 additional audio tracks which get their input from the different virtual (usb) audio outs on the track with the plug in loaded.
Within the plug in/synth you can tell each of the 16 instruments which of the 3 outputs you want to group the sound to. It is possible use the additional real audio outs but I think that lowers the number of usb outputs and then you have to deal with differing latencies etc.
You can set the synth up so the knobs supply cc info to live and the plug in makes it easy to map automation from live lanes to the controls. The plugin exposes a number of controls specific to each patch via a common screen, normally filter cutoff, resonance, sends and 3 knobs that can be set per patch.
It does respond to patch changes so it is possible with a bit of messing to set up clips that change the patch when then play although I tend not to use that.

The Spectralis I is completely different. It is designed as a standalone groove box with an amazing sound and multiple sequencers. It doesn't play nicely with Live, you cant change patches via midi, it only responds to mod wheel and a few other midi cc control messages. So with this synth I tend to create a sound, and then record the output into live as audio. For that reason it doesn't get so much use despite its superior sound. There is a new firmware for the Spectralis II which makes it more DAW friendly but sadly that still hasn't been retro fitted to the I.

Feel free to msg me with any other questions about my setup.
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How do you use your external synth in a live set? 3 years 8 months ago #19744

  • RiverGoblin
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Bugbrand Weevil= audio to soundcard. It doesnt have any midi or usb so this synth is audio only.
Moog Sub Phatty= audio again because the VST editor doesnt work with live , Moog tell me they are working on it. Im still waiting....
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How do you use your external synth in a live set? 3 years 8 months ago #19750

  • lucky one
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@Bl4cksun: Very interesting post, thanks. I often consider integrating my Moog in my live-set, but I don't know how to deal with the latency issue.

I'm working with midi controllers (launchpad + knobs), so I need a very small latency to have these controllers very responsive. If I add an external synth in the loop, I need to add a big latency on the ableton external instrument plugin (between 50ms and 100 ms) to have everything play together, and this completely f*** up my midi controllers use.

Any tip?

Thanks,

Luc
soundcloud.com/lucky-one
lucky one - AtmosphericElectroRock - Facebook - SoundCloud - Spotify
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How do you use your external synth in a live set? 3 years 8 months ago #19753

  • samwhich
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lucky one wrote:
@Bl4cksun: Very interesting post, thanks. I often consider integrating my Moog in my live-set, but I don't know how to deal with the latency issue.

I'm working with midi controllers (launchpad + knobs), so I need a very small latency to have these controllers very responsive. If I add an external synth in the loop, I need to add a big latency on the ableton external instrument plugin (between 50ms and 100 ms) to have everything play together, and this completely f*** up my midi controllers use.

I think I understand what your saying here... Is this an instance where you could create a midi track for the Moog in Live and in the midi track editor (see attached image) add in the desired Moog preset bank data, and have at least a 1 bar (silent) section at the start of your midi clip to allow time for the Moog to get in sync with your project?

This is something I read as a recommendation for the Virus Ti. I am still quite new to using ext. hardware so please correct me if I am wrong.
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How do you use your external synth in a live set? 3 years 8 months ago #19800

  • delicious killer
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Hello, new to this forum and relatively new to electronic music although ive played keys live for many years. My set up is quite strange and still in progress. I wish to avoid using only computer, or computer plus midi controller, so I have novation 64 sl mk2 to comp to control abelton, maschine to interface, korg kronos to interface, alesis 88 wieghted to interface, koassilator to interface, and comp to interface. The alesis is used soley to control maschine sounds, the korg is sent clock signal from maschine and runs stand alone and I save my projects on abelton to match tempo to maschine project of same name. The koassilator is optional and must be setup while controlling or playing but its so fun its worth it especially using modals (aeolian, phrygian...etc.)...so until I learn more of how to control my new daw (abelton) it is mainly used to host/control 4 or 5 softsynths while the main rythyms projects come from maschine. I cant express how stoked I am about abelton though...it is so differentand makes creating music like painting a picture with the session view. Just now playing with the clips and samples for the first time in my life and could kick myself for not trying it sooner. Also wanted to add that I have no latency issues this way...if I remember correctly I could not send my korg kronos directly to abelton without a doubling effect...but I am so ignorant to so many aspects of this program that for now it is a way to play live without dealing with any problems, but you must have impeccaple timing or at least close as possible in order for the arps to work for you. I absolutely love alchemy the camel audio softsynth and could not ever so going without it in live settings. I must say I am a huge supporter of keeping the keyboard as part of the electronic music...I would get bored without it and its just fun....
Last Edit: 3 years 8 months ago by delicious killer. Reason: addendum
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