MBP Live setup Mainstage vs. Logic vs. Ableton

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Medic, May 31, 2008.

  1. Medic macrumors member


    May 31, 2008
    London, UK
    Hello chaps

    I use a MBP with 4GB ram and using a firewire MOTU soundcard for multiple outputs. I basically need to be able to:

    1. play a pre-recorded bass line and drum loop samples

    2. play the piano/keys live with MIDI controller

    3. sing as well with FXs being controlled via MIDI controller

    I am having trouble doing all three things at once with the MBP. It means a high (too high!) dependency on the MBP not being overloaded. My question is as follows: does anyone out there have a similar requirement / setup, and what is the best program to use. Mainstage is good for just playing instruments and voice live, however cannot play pre-recorded AIFFs for example. Logic can do it, but not made for this so I cannot control parameters live during perfermance through MIDI. I don't know about Ableton. Can it do the 3 tasks at once?

    Thanks in advance for all help!

  2. headfuzz macrumors 6502


    Apr 13, 2007
    Brighton, UK
    Hi Medic,

    This is *exactly* what Ableton Live was originally designed for (the clue being in the title ;)).

    You could have several channels of pre-recorded audio clips (1 for basslines, 1 for drum loops/fills and 1 for vox hooks/samples etc) available for triggering via MIDI, more channels set to pass incoming live MIDI data to VST/AU synths, another channel for your vocals and more channels still for incoming audio from any hardware synths you may have (and if you've run out of hands by this point, channels full of MIDI clips to send to those hardware synths! ;)); along with individual channel effects and send busses. All the above clips and sends etc can be triggered using MIDI controllers.

    Ableton Live 7 is available as a fully functional, 2 week demo. You can get it here:


    It also includes all their instruments, which aren't necessarily part of Ableton Live, but Ableton Suite (think Logic Pro / Logic Studio), so do make sure you're aware that if you opt to buy Live you'll be paying more for certain instruments (unless you buy Ableton Suite, of course which includes the lot).

    Also, if you can wait for a few weeks before committing to buy, Ableton will probably (I'm told it's pretty much a given every year) be anouncing Live 8 around Summer NAMM in a couple of weeks, and once they've announced the release date for Live 8 you can purchase Live 7 and get a free upgrade to 8 when it's released.

    It's definitely worth downloading the demo and then having a look on Youtube for demos of how people are using it; there's some really good ones there.

    Also, if you do choose to go the Ableton route, it's worth signing up to the forums at www.abletonlivedj.com - we're a friendly bunch ;)

    Hth :)
  3. bov macrumors 6502

    Aug 21, 2007
    San Francisco
    I'm so lost! i havent even figured out how to map my Axiom 49 yet. I just started to mess with Ableton Live Lite 6 because it came with the Axiom 49 and it seems confusing. Im also wiring Reason through it.

    So i guess my question is: how can i use my midi controller for playing piano, and also using FXs for vocals via the MIDI controller with Live Lite 6?
  4. headfuzz macrumors 6502


    Apr 13, 2007
    Brighton, UK
    Command + , to enter preferences -> MIDI Sync tab -> Select Axiom 49 61 Classic form the pull down menu under Controller -> ensure the Track Sync and remote buttons are all on for your Axiom's MIDI ports, and close the preferences window.

    If you want to make an assignment to a key / fader / trigger pad / knob then hit Command + m to enter MIDI Map Mode, click on the item you want to map to (all available will be highlighted in blue) and then press / push or turn the control on the Axiom you wish to operate the selected item.

    To play a virtual instrument you'll need to drag on from Live's browser (either on of Live's instruments or a VST / Audio Unit) to a MIDI track, click the I-O button beneath the right hand scroll bar to view the input/output options for each channel and ensure MIDI From for the channel you've dragged your instrument onto is selected to either All Ins or whatever it lists your Axiom as.

    Make sure you select In under Monitor to hear your playing while you're playing, and Auto for when you're playing back recorded pieces.


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