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Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:28 am
by Soul_Processor
well since the OP brought it up: I saw Jon Hopkins live this year and it was one h**l of a show. the guy uses 3 kaoss pads and works them in ways you cannot imagine. just because he also uses a computer doesn't mean, he isn't playing live....

anyway, an electronic live act will always be different to a band playing instruments. especially when it is a one man show, you have to prepare your material and sequences. sequencing everything live might be possible for drone and ambient stuff, but when it comes to working with more complex drums/percussion grooves, you have to prepare.

I also agree that many a liveact is just pressing play on a completely finished set in ableton live, so in my opinion playing live requires actual tweaking and playing of the sounds in front of the audience.

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:59 pm
by tomorrowstops
Oh you guys.... who wants to see electronic music performed 'live' anyways? Most rooms suck, and most people going to shows suck.

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:06 pm
by pflosi
Nice, it's the backing tracks thread again!

I'm still looking for someone who will do my vibrato action manually on stage so I can get rid of those "non-live" LFOs :D

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:24 pm
by meatballfulton
tomorrowstops wrote:Oh you guys.... who wants to see electronic music performed 'live' anyways?
That's my feeling.

The EM acts I like are in the improvisational vein, but even then it's mostly an auditory experience. I saw Robert Fripp do a show with two refrigerators full of rack gear controlled from his guitar, a bank of expression pedals and footswitches. Sounded great, but there really wasn't anything to see. He sat on a stool and his hands moved while weird sounds came out of the PA.

I had my eyes closed for most of the show :?

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:56 pm
by ColorForm2113
chewy what is the difference if sequencers are playing a bunch of hardware or if your triggering clips in ableton? Same concept really, prerecorded musical parts being played back in a live environment.

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:08 am
by Miles Powerhouse
meatballfulton wrote:
tomorrowstops wrote:Oh you guys.... who wants to see electronic music performed 'live' anyways?
That's my feeling.

The EM acts I like are in the improvisational vein, but even then it's mostly an auditory experience. I saw Robert Fripp do a show with two refrigerators full of rack gear controlled from his guitar, a bank of expression pedals and footswitches. Sounded great, but there really wasn't anything to see. He sat on a stool and his hands moved while weird sounds came out of the PA.

I had my eyes closed for most of the show :?

Hence why many big EDM acts use huge light shows. There are the rare shows a la Daft Punk and Boards of Canada in which the artist uses visuals to give a true audio-visual experience which is appropriate for a live electronic show, but most of the light shows are just there to look bigger than it really is.

I'd love to go live and just use smoke machines, some interesting laser lights, and three screens for visuals. Find a way to route controllers, synths, computers, etc. to the lighting rig to sync with the show. For example: when a certain pattern is triggered, then a visual cue is brought up and certain modulations (filters, fx, muting, etc) modulate the visuals accordingly.


I'm sure something like that's been done before, though.

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:23 am
by ejlif
I don't think it's a problem to have the laptop on stage but when they are literally up there doing nothing and acting like every time a bleep or sweep happens they are making happen is bullcrap. I watched Kiasmos do a live set and they were up really close on them with a camera. They had a Minibrute and some chaos pads and they weren't doing c**p. They were pretending to turn knobs with every movement of the music just like lip synching. They didn't even have a cord plugged to the output of the mini brute and never even played a note. Now I know you can't totally play this stuff live but they should be playing the main parts if possible and actually be controlling and changing the sound the audience is hearing. Standing on stage and launching clips is not live music. There should definitely be a sense of if the performer walked right off the stage in the middle of the set the music would stop happening, they are needed to make what the audience is hearing happen. Some guys like Flying Lotus and 4 Tet are up there with their laptops but you can really tell they are totally tweaking the sound as it's happening. I still think it's way more boring to watch than a band playing the music but I guess they just can't afford a band or don't have the talent to make it happen. That's just me but when I see a group play I want to hear it live not pretended. Personally I think the fake knob turning is just as bad as what Milli Vanilli were doing.

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:59 am
by Chewy
ColorForm2113 wrote: chewy what is the difference if sequencers are playing a bunch of hardware or if your triggering clips in ableton? Same concept really, prerecorded musical parts being played back in a live environment.
Sequencing - sending MIDI or CV for notes while the synths actually produce the sound in real time, the sound is not pre-recorded. And you can tweak the values of parameters on said synths to provide dynamic sounds

Using Ableton in the way you described - having static, truly pre-recorded songs or pieces of songs, or maybe samples running on a laptop while the person just stands there, or occasionally presses a button on a controller to trigger other static sounds. These sounds are most likely straight from a file of the "album version" (if they have it on an album) of the song. It's very much like lip-syncing, except not hiding it. As others have said, you might as well just be listening to it on a CD or streaming it.

Also, in my all hardware example from my previous post, it's not just sequencing, but also playing some synths by hand, as well. You can indeed do this utilizing some software, but that is completely different from just running pre-recorded audio files like you were talking about.

Also in my other post, you will notice I said I don't mind it being referred to as "live" if people are doing things like using software to sequence their hardware, or using software for some sounds while playing hardware for others. So I am not suggesting that everything has to be hardware in order for it to be "live."
What I do mind is people pressing play on their laptop and letting it do everything - that is definitely not live. Saying it is is like saying someone pressing play on their phone to listen to music is doing a "live performance."

Again, no hostility to anyone, I just don't consider song playback from a laptop to be live

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:04 am
by ColorForm2113
Ok that's fair. I was playing sort of playing devils advocate. I agree with what you said, I just wanted a little more clarification

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:07 am
by Stab Frenzy
ColorForm2113 wrote: chewy what is the difference if sequencers are playing a bunch of hardware or if your triggering clips in ableton? Same concept really, prerecorded musical parts being played back in a live environment.
And what's the difference between that and using sheet music to sequence a bunch of musicians who just play back a prewritten song?

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 12:43 pm
by ColorForm2113
Stab Frenzy wrote:
ColorForm2113 wrote: chewy what is the difference if sequencers are playing a bunch of hardware or if your triggering clips in ableton? Same concept really, prerecorded musical parts being played back in a live environment.
And what's the difference between that and using sheet music to sequence a bunch of musicians who just play back a prewritten song?
Haha touché

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:30 pm
by Broadwave
I've got nothing against using a laptop on stage. Why not include the Motif, Kronos etc... they're more than capable of playing audio back, "Live" sequencing, sample triggering etc.

No different than using a laptop.

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:34 pm
by madtheory
The worst thing about laptop musos is the hunched over posture. Stand up straight dodammit!

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:47 pm
by KBD_TRACKER
Take as another example an outfit I quite like: dOP for their music, the "groove" brought on by the MC, and their deportment with gear, people, etc.



NOW, what the f**ck is the bandanna guy doing with his macbook at 6:34 and onward ??? was it needed ? was it a major aspect of their sound ? was the whole show depending on it ? or was he just checking his emails ? :shock: Of course most of the crowd being thoroughly used to this, does not perceive this as a problem, I do not either (their music imo is alright) EXCEPT when the act is presented or purported or advertised or marketed as "live"....

Re: Saying it's live with a laptop next ....

Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:39 pm
by madtheory
Sure you've the right time mark? Looks like he's watching the DAW for his next move on the Midas. That's OK isn't it? Good to see a keyboard player worse than me tho ;)