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What's a good PC DAW that allows instruments to be layered for live play?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Breeze
KVRAF
 
1751 posts since 13 Oct, 2002

Postby Breeze; Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:55 am

One thing: AFAIK of all the Live Performance oriented apps (and I'm not sure the Reaper live addon does this either, though it could in theory), Mainstage (Apple OS X only) is the only one that will out of the box hold on to the notes you're currently playing with the previous patch when you switch patches and then play any new notes with the new patch. I think Forte is supposed to be able to do this, but I've never managed to do it.

It works transparently in Mainstage and allows for tricks like holding on to a pad while introducing a new sound. This is really useful in live performance but is also higher on CPU resources because it requires temporarily running two concurrent softsynth setups. But it works quite transparently on Mainstage and AFAIK no one else has done this so elegantly.
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Kaboom75
KVRAF
 
1588 posts since 4 Sep, 2011, from England

Postby Kaboom75; Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:14 am

I use Ableton Live 8 64bit and I like to play my midi controller like a one man band guitar, piano, bass guitar, synth all at the same time. I can set up each track so that the bass guitar only gets notes from the left hand and so on. Arpeggiator on the bass and velocity control so that it sounds right.

Ableton Live was designed from the start as a DAW for layered keyboard live play, plugging hardware instruments in as well as DJing ,mixing and mastering.
Seth [Cakewalk]
KVRist
 
36 posts since 1 Sep, 2012, from Los Angeles, CA

Postby Seth [Cakewalk]; Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:46 pm

Hey All,

Haven't had time to read through the entire thread but thought I'd chime in and point out that SONAR can be used as an instrument host for live (or studio) use.

SONAR's Synth Rack can be floated and maximized to fullscreen so all you see is it. From there all you have to do to play a particular synth is click on it in the Synth Rack.

A selected synth in the Synth Rack also selects its associated tracks in the Track View and will show its Inspector with ProChannel, FX Bin, etc. (if the Inspector is open). This means you can seamlessly mix in the Synth Rack without having to flip to the Track or Console View.

The Synth Rack can also show controls from the various synths itself so if you want to tweak the synth without opening its GUI you can do that, too.

And you can use the MIDI Event List and Velocity plugins to key and velocity layer multiple synths. From there, Track Templates of multiple, layered synths can be saved for instant recall whenever you want.

Here's a link to the SONAR X2 Trial if you want to give it a spin and see if it fits your workflow in this case ...

http://www.cakewalk.com/Products/SONAR/Web-Trial.aspx

Hope that helps.

SP
Seth [Cakewalk]
KVRist
 
36 posts since 1 Sep, 2012, from Los Angeles, CA

Postby Seth [Cakewalk]; Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:40 pm

Forgot to mention earlier but we did a video on SONAR's Browser which goes into the Synth Rack starting at 9:35 ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgCQYe0qyPs

SP
VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
 
3944 posts since 16 Dec, 2002, from over there

Postby VariKusBrainZ; Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:58 am

Ableton Live.

Really easy to layer and split multiple VSTi and / or hardware, together even :D
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