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Share your experience on software based live performances

Anything about MUSIC but doesn't fit into the forums above.

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Diego_C
KVRist
 
259 posts since 29 Dec, 2011, from Europe

Postby Diego_C; Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:13 am Share your experience on software based live performances

Hi guys,
though this is a forum mostly based on people working/spending time in a professional/home studio,
would you like to share, if you had or are still having, your experiences about gigs, concerts, installations, any kind of live performance in which you are/were using only a pc/mac, laptop, tablet/ipad?

Not using anykind of hardware outboards as eq/compression/limiters or other effects, neither hardware synths.
Virtual set up only.

Something like:
software + amplification or software + midi controller + amplification.

How did you find yourself? How you're doing it, what's the best solution that fits your needs? Host, virtual synths and fx, set up? Which kind of issues you had if any? And so on...
Any voice is welcome.

Thanks.
Greetings
D.
DSmolken
KVRist
 
375 posts since 20 Sep, 2013, from Poland

Postby DSmolken; Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:15 am Re: Share your experience on software based live performances

I've done the "stand behind a tablet and move some parameters around live" thing once, backing up a rapper and a singer. I had everything programmed, I just moved some synth parameters (mostly filter cutoffs and distortion) and effect parameters (wet/dry or loop slicer presets). Of course I could have just automated all that, but it's fun to do it manually and makes things sound more organic.

It was FL Studio 11 running on a tablet PC though I did use the mouse more than the touch screen. Tablet -> interface -> RCA cables -> powered mixer -> PA speakers. The vocal mics were plugged into the same mixer, too.

Here's an example with me on bass and vocals with another guy standing behind a laptop. He was still on FL Studio 10 back then, I think, and had a drum loop, piano loop and synth trumpet loop. Live he's mostly controlling which loops play when, and also tweaking the mix. This actually evolved gradually over three years out of an acoustic project that started out doing Damien Rice songs and stuff... ha.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UmhJWhsvIU

Again it's laptop -> interface -> mixer -> PA and no monitors or amps on stage. The PA in this club was set up for DJing, not live music, but that worked just fine. On some songs the singer also played guitar also plugged into the interface with effects and amp sims running on the laptop. Sould have uploaded Iio's "Rapture" to yt, we had guitar running through the most basic trance gate ever and it's funny how everyone was impressed by that. Vocal mics and bass were also plugged into the same mixer as the interface.

There's an ipad on the stage, too, but that's just for lyrics. We did two songs without electronics, where the guy behind the laptop played cajon instead - Sade's "Smooth Operator" which was just cajon/bass and Ivy Queen's "Dime si recuerdas" where I played guitar. Our little "yeah, yeah, we can still play music the old-fashioned way" moments.

We're working on a more elaborate version of this project with another singer now (though equally tall) with more layers of sequences, making use of the performance mode in FL Studio 11, and will probably start running the bass through the computer too, so we can sidechain it to the kick on more EDMish tracks and do other effects on it. Rehearsing that tonight.

I wrote on another forum not long ago that I love live performance and interacting with audiences, but it doesn't make much difference to me whether I'm interacting by rapping, playing notes on a bass or sweeping a filter.
User avatar
Diego_C
KVRist
 
259 posts since 29 Dec, 2011, from Europe

Postby Diego_C; Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:14 pm Re: Share your experience on software based live performances

Well, thank you, many infos!
I was thinking anyway about something more close to electronic music setup but not dj set, similar let say to Kangding Ray or Aphex Twins or Atom tm or Monolake.
I recently saw a streaming of KR (so not a live setup strctly speaking) and beside NI Machine and mixers it seems to me he was using no outboard as compressors or limiters or similar, so I was wnodering if many are going this way: pc and interface stright to the PA without any "sound pressure safeguard" just using internal pc software and effects.
I dunno...some setups as ambient soundscapes live act/jam or even extreme minimal tecno or glitch stuff or audio visual electronic, only computer based.

Thanks again for your post.
D.
DSmolken
KVRist
 
375 posts since 20 Sep, 2013, from Poland

Postby DSmolken; Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:39 pm Re: Share your experience on software based live performances

Well, we did rehearse, soundcheck, and didn't have too much improvisation. In some ways those things are additional safeguards. If you're doing more jamming and improvisation and don't have everything rehearsed then more safeguards might be needed.
User avatar
Diego_C
KVRist
 
259 posts since 29 Dec, 2011, from Europe

Postby Diego_C; Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:07 am Re: Share your experience on software based live performances

Considering how quckly loud may go some Reaktor ensambles, if playing them live for example, I guess a limiter is welcome to avoid some improper PA damage :)
though my curiosity about if it's enough to work all inside the pc/laptop/ipad adding eventually compressor-eq-limiter only virtually is a usual thing among people performing live in that kind of situation or anyway they relate on hardware limiters too.

@DSmolken By the way, I saw you're from Poland, I lived there until some months ago, for 2 years (speaking only English), now I'm no more there anyway.

Greets
DSmolken
KVRist
 
375 posts since 20 Sep, 2013, from Poland

Postby DSmolken; Fri Apr 04, 2014 10:14 am Re: Share your experience on software based live performances

Yeah, we only use software limiters. Not sure what people on a professional level who play through much more expensive PAs do. And I did live in Italy for 10 months in the mid-80s!

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