Using Ableton as a keyboard sampler for live performance

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Using Ableton as a keyboard sampler for live performance

Postby jmars11 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:44 pm

Just wondering what people's suggestions and tips are for using Ableton's sampler as a keyboard module for playing on stage? The Ableton sampler seems to be the best option for my band's needs (that I know of). It allows me to multi-sample all the patches I need from my analog synths and not worry about how much memory I have left. With a few envelope tweaks it sounds very close to the original synth.

The problem I'm running into is that there doesn't seem to be an easy way to quickly switch between sampler patches. I don't want to have a computer on stage that's visible to the audience and I don't want to run off stage after each song to change the patch. I want this to feel just like a synth in that I can just hit a button on my controller and go to the next patch. I'm sure there a plenty of people out there in bands that use ableton in this way. How do you do it? Or is there another program that's better suited for triggering keyboard samples in the live realm?
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Re: Using Ableton as a keyboard sampler for live performance

Postby meatballfulton » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:20 am

Unlike many VSTs, Live's native plugs do not recognize MIDI program change msgs.

There are a few ways to get around this, using racks is one, putting each Sampler instance on a different track then switching tracks (or MIDI channels) is another. There's probably more things you can do but those were the first that came to mind.

What's more important is what controller you would be using and what sort of controls you can map into Live.
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Re: Using Ableton as a keyboard sampler for live performance

Postby Stab Frenzy » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:53 am

Yeah I'd do it by putting each track on a separate midi channel and just changing channels on the controller for the different songs.

Other tips for using Live live are get a solid state drive and just use the laptop for music stuff, nothing else; max out the RAM and put all samples into RAM so it's not reading anything from the HD.
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Re: Using Ableton as a keyboard sampler for live performance

Postby jmars11 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:21 am

I'm using a novation remote sl 49. I'm still pretty new to ableton but it seems like I should be able to change midi channels with the novation. Not sure if it will be super easy though. Any other software based samplers that do a better job then ableton for live performances?
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Re: Using Ableton as a keyboard sampler for live performance

Postby meatballfulton » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:44 pm

Kontakt and SampleTank (and it's numerous variants like SonikSynth, SampleMoog, etc.) can be run standalone which is good for live playing...no DAW to deal with.

SampleTank is not great for adding your own samples, but it's really cheap.

If you're on Mac, Mainstage for $30 gives you the EXS24 sampler, a pile of softsynths and FX and is designed for live performance.
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Re: Using Ableton as a keyboard sampler for live performance

Postby Stab Frenzy » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:41 am

Just use Live, you've already got it.

It should be fairly easy to change the midi channel on the Novation, it is on my Ultranova. Another option you could do is assign the buttons on the SL to the record arm buttons in Live and then you'd just need to arm the track of the samples you wanted to use for each song, that's probably the simplest way of doing it possible.
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Re: Using Ableton as a keyboard sampler for live performance

Postby jmars11 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:49 pm

Thanks Frenzy, that makes the most sense to me too.
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Re: Using Ableton as a keyboard sampler for live performance

Postby bluntedcircuit » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:41 am

ive got a remote 25sl, you might find it useful for performance what you can do with the template editor.
if you divide up your instruments with midi channels, you can program 16 different templates on 16 different channels and assign 16 buttons to change to those templates. best way to do it is just make one template, program those template buttons, copy the template 16 times, and then set the channels.

if youre willing to spend some money what i would really recommend is buying a maschine. theres still plenty of mk1's available for 350 last i checked. the browser is great, programming is great... you might be under the assumption its only for making beats but combined with your keyboard you might find that its the perfect solution for browsing, editting and selecting patches with the computer completely out of sight
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