Suggestions as to how to play live

  • Hey everyone,

    I currently play shows using mlrv2, and I prepare my sets by cutting up stems from each of my tracks into loops that I can then re-edit live. It's fun, and, since I get bored super easily, I really love playing this way. People seem to really love my sets when I play, but I don't feel like they stand up to the typical 'DJ set' in terms of energy.

    I mean, I've got more raw energy on stage than a typical DJ, but at the same time, I dont have all the buildups and breakdowns of a DJ set - and I'd love to incorporate other people's tracks into my sets. I'd also like to mention that my sets are just not as loud as other people's - because they've got one thing I definitely don't have - properly mastered tracks. I've thought about using a hardware compressor to make my sets as loud as the next guy's...

    So what I'm thinking I would like to be able to do is: Play my own tracks with mlr-like ability, and also be able to layer other people's tracks over my live performances.

    Would seven-up for live be my best bet? I was thinking that if I used that I could at least throw a compressor/limiter on the master out to make things nice and loud...

    Or would some combination of mlrv2, pages, and some other application be a better fit for me? I'm curious - I have max/msp but I'm nowhere near the point where I'd be writing my own apps yet. Just curious if anyone has any thoughts about this. I'd like to steer away from just making a set list in mlrv also - as it takes away from the improvisational element that I think is so integral to my sets.

    thanks for any feedback in advance!

  • my work is quiet compared to most contemporary releases i hear.

    this is not necessarily a bad thing...

    most performed music i experience is too loud, either too heavy or too light on low end, and has a high end that is detrimental to the audiences hearing.

    dynamic, dynamic, dynamics.

    everything is so compressed today, it is bleh. often when i watch the level meter while listening to a new release, i find it stays consistently at 1 point with level fluctuations that are 1/20th of the total level, across the duration of the entire composition. the "dynamics" that are appearing, are OFF and ON. the music fully stops, sound breaks , and then it comes back. dynamics regarding amplitude modulation (relative to the sum of the composition) are minimal.


    LEVELS change from writing and producing to performance... i recognize this, but am not an expert in acoustics and do not understand the extent of this.

    with that being said here is what i seek for the performance end.

    (theorizing here, please chime in if you have some know how) instead of matching the RMS of my work to another's, i want the same PEAK potential (meaning I want the potential for my tracks to be as loud as the peak loudness of others work in a live situation, but I want to define my own RMS, or average, in a manner that results in dynamic amplitude modulation....

    edit*: i'm out of time, but we will talk!

  • I definitely agree with you that dynamics are very important, and that performances are too loud these days, but the fact remains that when I'm playing a show, and there's a reasonable drop in volume between the guy before me, and my set, it's noticeable.

    I'm a big proponent of maintaining dynamics even in properly mixed tracks, sadly, the average club-goer doesn't seem to agree with me :P

  • i would concentrate on making your own music as best you can and choose venues that appreciate that.

    i have played some top London locations with various results. our brand of ambient bass heavy folk did not go down well in the traditional punk or metal venues. they loved it in the cocktail lounge art bars we have played though.


    technically, i drop a classic master vst on my master track. its a free plugin. che
    ck it out

  • Is it that you want to play MLR over full songs? Like you play a daft punk song and you have loops that you want to chop over it?

    One way would be to select a set list of songs based on they're BPM, then make sure you keep MLR set to the same BPM. The thing is that if you keep the energy live then you would be able to not let a loop repeat more than two times or so, because it will eventually drift. But if you keep your playing lively you could plan out some cool finger sequences.

    What you may run into with MLR as your set continues is that as the BPM of your setlist changes you will want presets designed to match within MLR. Because when you adjust tempo within MLR the samples change pitch as they speed up or slow down. I'm not sure but Live Clip Chopper for Max 4 Live might allow you to adjust tempo without effecting pitch, which I think would be ideal for a flexible setup. I haven't used it yet but that might be a good app to check out for your setup. It works within live so you could trigger your songs to play along to within Live.

    Using follow actions within live you can emulate MLR style. '

    http://post.monome.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=11731&page=1#Item_0

    Either way I think has it's pros and cons.

    I've never performed live by the way.

    OH, check out Looopy too. Much more capacity for samples within one preset. Yes check out Looopy.

    Oh shoot. I don't think Bongo has released Looopy yet. Unless I'm wrong, I don't see it.

    Here's the thread:
    http://post.monome.org/comments.php?DiscussionID=12924&page=1


    email Bongo for a beta tester - I'm sure he'll be happy to have you test it out

    bongo at cosmiccasbah dot com


    Here's a demo I did of the PD version.
    http://vimeo.com/14619168

    Lots of capacity for samples and one shot functionality so you could have a row devoted to full songs and 6 other rows devoted to short loops and samples.

  • If you master your stems or use a mastering type compression on your master or individual busses you can get your tracks as loud as other tracks.

  • If you master your stems or use a mastering type compression on your master or individual busses you can get your tracks as loud as other tracks.

    Also, Ableton live is great for live performance and you can sync MLRV to the Ableton tempo.

  • oh god! I actually hit bongo up about loopy a while ago, and I'm on the beta list already! awesome video egon - I'm gonna give loopy a try!

    Thanks everyone else for the suggestions too!