Kara-Moon Forum
July 23, 2019, 06:44:42 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: You can go back to the main site here: Kara-Moon site
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Ableton & Cubase -- Electronic Music workflow...?  (Read 8986 times)
SLD Music
Full Member
***
Posts: 182


WWW
« on: November 14, 2011, 10:23:31 PM »

Okay,

So I'll try to keep this short.  My first introduction to computer based music production was through Ableton Live Lite, which was a free add-on to my first midi controller keyboard, and my audio interface.  It was very crippled, but it was pretty cool and I learned with it.  I then downloaded the free trial for the Ableton Live Suite, which I messed with for the month and enjoyed.  I felt however, that because of certain things about it (no multi-monitor support, and the way it handles VSTi's) I would look carefully at other solutions to be my "permanent" DAW.

Long story, short, I finally decided on Cubase 6 to be my DAW of choice.  I don't regret that decision.  It's powerful.  It's pretty, and it's well integrated with the VSTi's and hardware that I enjoy using (Halion, and the Yamaha VST integration with my Motif).  It's also particularly great for more traditional ABA style music, and is great for audio recording, which I found a bit ehhh... awkward in Ableton.  So that said, with my normal way of working and genres, Cubase is great, and I'm still learning it of course.

That said, I'm really interested in electronic music genres, and Ableton (for various reasons--not the least of which is its powerful instrument racks, effects chains, session views and built in synths) seems to be the DAW of choice for people who work primarily in this genre.  I get it.  I really do.  I ALSO get that DAWs are... what you make them.  And I'm ... mostly convinced that Cubase can be made to do what I would like it to do--but I need your help.

I've seen numorous very cool tutorials watching some pretty talented electronic musicians do their work in Ableton, and it's... really impressive in terms of workflow and how effects are handled.

I guess what I'm asking is... are any of you familiar with both of these DAWs?  Perhaps use one for one purpose and one for another?  Or are you finding a workflow in Cubase / Reaper / Presonus that rivals some of the stuff that Ableton seems to do easily?  I'm not one of those guys who just wants to buy the new thing thinking that my music will improve because of some piece of gear, but I am genuinely curious to hear people's suggestions about this.

To summarize, I find Cubase to be GREAT for audio recording, and more traditional forms of music that don't require processor after processor and effects chain after effects chain to manipulate the sound to within an inch of it's life.  But when I try to work on those genres that do tend to require this (experimenting with dubstep for example), I'm completely lost in Cubase and it's... somewhat limited selection of effects compared to what Ableton seems to offer.  Smiley Anyone out there doing electronic music and working in Cubase or... similar DAWs have any thoughts?

And I already know the obvious answer ("LEARN YOUR DAW!")  I'm working on that, but further and more detailed thoughts would be appreciated.  Smiley
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 10:26:54 PM by SLD Music » Logged
Marc JX8P
Kara-Moon-Collective
Kara-Moon Master
**
Posts: 1087



WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 10:46:10 PM »

Well, you already know I use Cubase as my main daw. I've already posted some stuff on my workflow. I also use Ableton Live but strictly for live performances. Basically, I use it as a host for VSTi's and for playing back audio and midi loops. Switching between these by using Scenes allows me to use loops without being tied to a fixed song length or progression.

Generally, I create one Live song per song and each will contain about five different scenes. I use the left most black keys on my keyboard to trigger these as I find that this makes it the easiest to reach while playing. In more complex songs I will also use some keys as a way to quickly switch sounds. I use a Novation MkII 61 to do the main controlling; the faders also allow me to quickly change volume while the transport controls mean that I can do a quick stop of all the running loops. Another master keyboard (or my synth) will be playing back other parts and where necessary I have tied specific controls of the Novation to some VSTi's parameters.

I'm only using Live Intro but that is enough for what I'm doing (which is not very spectacular judging by what I see some others do with it). Live is very good for live performances - but it does have its limitations for me. I certainly prefer Cubase to work on new stuff but as always, it comes down to what your style of working is,
Logged

Also known as Marc JXP
SLD Music
Full Member
***
Posts: 182


WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 04:27:22 PM »

Thanks for the thoughts, Marc. 

There's just... man there's not enough time in the day to learn what I want to learn, do what I want to do, be as productive as I want to be, all that.

Just fired up Native Instruments' Massive yesterday for the first time in any kind of serious way.  It's so easy to get lost in VSTi's like that and all of a sudden, you've lost three hours and it's time to go to bed.  ::sigh::

The list just seems to get longer, not shorter.  Smiley

Could be worse I guess.  I could have no list at all.  Smiley
Logged
Marc JX8P
Kara-Moon-Collective
Kara-Moon Master
**
Posts: 1087



WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 05:24:42 PM »

Then do what I do: start from what you want to do, not from what you can do. I only learned to use Live when I needed a very specific functionality that Cubase couldn't bring me. There's tons of stuff to learn and it's always cool to play around with a VSTi or other software but its always easier to do so when you've got a certain goal in mind (even if you decide halfway to veer off that target and research other sounds and what nots).
Logged

Also known as Marc JXP
elwoodblues1969
Kara-Moon Master
****
Posts: 4478


Studiophile,Audiophile & Synthophile.


« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 02:52:16 AM »

Scott,

On the subject of DAWS that are popular with the electronic genre,Reason is very well suited in this area of music...now more than ever,via the full integration with Reason's audio recording program.I know you're not all that hot on the idea of Reason in general and although I've always loved the midi end of things with my Reason 4(as it were),I was never hot on the idea of Reason 5.

With Reason 6 however,I couldn't wait to include Reason Record into what I already had with Reason 4,so I purchased the upgrade to version 6 and I was utterly shocked to discover all that I've gained for $169!
Of course,even with version 6,there's still no universal VST support....so if this is really important to you to have,you may not like Reason all that much.There is however,plenty of included content to keep one busy for years to come and there is also Reason Refills,as well as a phalanx of 3rd party sounds made specifically for Reason.

Becoming intimate with Reason 6 and unleashing all of it's potential is a huge commitment,as although I've had Reason 4 for about 3 years now,the inclusion of  version 6's features is going to have me occupied for several months,before I can really navigate my way through everything prolifically.

The most incredible aspect about Reason,is that despite it being wonderfully simple & seamless to set up,it has the potential to grow as complex & as deep as you care to facilitate it.Out of all of the DAWS I've explored and researched,Reason seems to have the most vast & infinite array of combinations imaginable,in terms of infusing multiple sounds & effects...while also managing to be amazingly CPU-efficient.

As much as I really like Sonar based on what I've researched,I decided to discard the inclusion of Sonar into my studio,in favor of my Reason 6...as there is just entirely too much to learn & utilize and I think adding Sonar into my arsenal would be overkill,big time.



-Thom
Logged

SLD Music
Full Member
***
Posts: 182


WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 01:11:57 PM »

Thom,

Thanks for the thoughts.  I'll give Reason 6 a look when I have some time.  I'm sure they'll have a trial at some point, if they don't already.  VST integration isn't super critical for me since Reason does have Re-Wire and I can make use of that in Cubase.
  
I just find what I'm trying to do with electronic music totally bewildering so far.  It's odd.  There's some genre's I'm good at (vocal-centric stuff with piano or other accompaniment especially)--almost second nature to me--and I know what to do within that construct to make it sound okay and balance it all and to make the sound I want.  Electronic music genres are another story, and although I'm working on it... I'm still having trouble knowing what to do to bring the sounds in my head out into reality.  That has nothing to do with what DAW I use, I understand... but I think there's merit in exploration when it comes to adopting a workflow that's ideal for me.

Thanks for the feedback.  Smiley
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 01:18:49 PM by SLD Music » Logged
Oren
Moderator
Kara-Moon Master
*****
Posts: 5444


...just looking for clues...


« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 05:39:26 AM »

Scott,

I work in Linux. So my choice of audio tools are of little interest to Mac or Windows users.

If Marc recommends some audio software for Windows, listen up. Likewise with Thom. These guys do things with synthetic and sample-based sounds that boggle the mind.

You may someday want to delve into Jeskola Buzz for your synthetic audio creation. It is limitless, huge. And free...
http://www.buzzmachines.com/
Some of the most impressive synthetic audio I've ever heard comes from those "Buzzers" - a true grassroots audio phenomenon.  Cool
Logged

Marc JX8P
Kara-Moon-Collective
Kara-Moon Master
**
Posts: 1087



WWW
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 02:17:04 PM »

Some new stuff re. Ableton Live: I'm planning to use the CMC-PD pad controller from Steinberg in my new Live sets, more in a sense of visual feedback than as a controller. I love the Launchpad, but I'm really looking for something more compact so the PD is ideal as it features a 4x4 set of pads which can be lit in three colours each. My current plan - although this will probably change as I get experience in playing the new sets - is this:

Bottom row of 4 pads: visual metronome. This is easily done by putting a midi clip with four notes in Live that is sent to the PD. Changing the velocity changes the pad colour.

Second row from bottom: pattern indicator (some patterns are 4 or 8 bars long, in this case it's nice to use the pads in this row to show where you are).

Top row: scenes available (so I can see how many available scenes this Live set has) and active set (indicated by the pad in question having another colour).

This leaves a row free, which I'll probably use for situations that have more than 4 scenes or sets which have switches that change sounds/effects.

The visual metronome is especially useful since most of my sets are set to change scenes at the end of a bar and this lets me time the switch more easily. It also means that you can time your music in moments where there are no beats or other rhythmic elements to speak of. Also, the pattern-counter is perfect for knowing where the chord changes are should you forget where you are.
Logged

Also known as Marc JXP
SLD Music
Full Member
***
Posts: 182


WWW
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 03:32:59 PM »

I would love to see a video of how this works when you've got it all worked out... Smiley
Logged
Marc JX8P
Kara-Moon-Collective
Kara-Moon Master
**
Posts: 1087



WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 03:36:40 PM »

That's actually a good idea - I've got a new camera so I might try and record something the next time I'm working on it!
Logged

Also known as Marc JXP
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.049 seconds with 20 queries.