Alias / Linked / Shared / Pooled Clips - are you using them?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion

Are you using alias / linked / shared / pooled clips?

Yes, all the time
21
35%
Yes, occasionally
8
13%
No, although my (main) DAW has it
17
28%
No, my (main) DAW does not have it
10
17%
I had no idea there's such a feature
4
7%
 
Total votes: 60

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KVRAF
10277 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:46 pm

The concept of alias / linked / shared / pooled clips is that when you make duplicate(s) of a clip and change content of one of them, then all of them will update. So for instance if you have a drum part that's playing in different segments of your song, you can use that feature to have all the instances linked, which makes adding a hi-hat or changing a velocity on snare super easy. Obviously, whenever you want to make a variation you can easily remove certain clip(s) from the pool, so that they're edited individually.

In some DAWs this is the default behaviour (FL Studio), for others it's an optional feature requiring a modifier key when making duplicates (Studio One, Cubase), yet in others it's built-in in other feature that's more or less useful (blocks mode in Reason).

Some DAWs - Live & Bitwig, primarily - don't have them at all and I'm not counting in clip looping, because it only works for continuous segments (yes, I'm aware of rather clumsy M4L device). And this is basically the reason I'm asking this, because I see very little demand and support of Live & Bitwig users for implementing it. I seem to be in a very small minority that thinks it's an important & useful.

Is it a feature that plays significant role in your workflow?
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KVRAF
3358 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:33 am

yepp, but I'm using Nora in most cases btw. S1 can convert instrument parts to patterns from 4.6 https://pcaudiolabs.com/studio-one-4-6- ... o-pattern/ and Cubase also has tools: Step and Beat Designer for this, Groove Agent can work with those patterns nicely)

has FL like piano rolll, chords > clips > patterns > tracks and and works in every DAW (except Ableton Live which drops MIDI channel data in its inner routings...)
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User avatar
KVRAF
4228 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:38 am

This is main feature that I miss in Live.

It becomes a problem when you make a long arrangement and then start splitting and cutting clips - they're no longer one entity, and must be adjusted separately every time. Which is often just a waste of time.

Suprisingly, that's also the main feature I seek in other editors - IDE, image editors, video editors. It's such a common feature to be able to link all the objects of certain kind and edit them all at once :help:
http://djwarmonger.wordpress.com/
Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

User avatar
KVRAF

Topic Starter

10277 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:04 am

DJ Warmonger wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:38 am
Suprisingly, that's also the main feature I seek in other editors - IDE, image editors, video editors. It's such a common feature to be able to link all the objects of certain kind and edit them all at once :help:
It's not really surprising, it's just convenient and helps speed up workflow. Obviously some people will say features like that lead to repetitive music, but it's like saying every person holding a knife is a murderer... It's a tool.

Anyway, I wonder why Live & Bitwig have never added it? I recall videos from both devs priding themselves about the fact that session & arrangement clips are independent and I was like :dog: Sure, make them independent by default, but let me link them if I want :cry:
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KVRAF
3358 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:21 am

^^^ yepp, "mother" of them Cakewalk Project 5 v2 was heavily pattern-based one so the question is good, https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/ca ... oject-5-v2 loops, patterns everywhere

Image
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KVRist
310 posts since 24 Aug, 2014

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:09 am

Yes, I use them all the time in Reaper. I think it just makes sense. It's the only way the clips (patterns) behave in FL Studio. I'm not sure why, if you have say 10 duplicated clips of the same thing, you'd want to manually change a note in all 10 individually when you decide to add, change or delete a note?

I was telling a colleague at college 8 years ago, it would make a cool feature in Reason (explaining that it would be great if you changed something in one clip and it automatically changed in all duplicated clips), not realising other daw's already did it at the time. It's one of my top 5 most wanted features for Reason along with linked automation, midi chase, track folders and time markers.

Another feature that blew me away when I discovered it (about 4 years ago) was Dump To Midi in FL Studio (Retrospective Recording in Cubase and Capture Last Recording in Logic) where it will allow you to paste midi or audio into the sequencer / arranger / playlist that you did not record (only played). After I was messing about on FL Studio and played something in by fluke (as I'm not a keyboard / piano player) and played something great and subsequently was told that that was retrievable, I was like, "you must be kidding?", thought the guy was messing with me lol!

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

10277 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:50 am

Eclectrophonic wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:09 am
It's the only way the clips (patterns) behave in FL Studio.
It's not the only way in FL - you can "make unique" and remove the clip from pool

Eclectrophonic wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:09 am
I was telling a colleague at college 8 years ago, it would make a cool feature in Reason (explaining that it would be great if you changed something in one clip and it automatically changed in all duplicated clips), not realising other daw's already did it at the time. It's one of my top 5 most wanted features for Reason along with linked automation, midi chase, track folders and time markers.
Blocks mode already does that (for a vertical slice, mind) and it was introduced 10 years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6UFCdD4Lyk
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KVRian
1302 posts since 7 Dec, 2013 from Earth

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 7:37 am

I can't vote in this poll because it's missing the option "I hate linked clips" and I also don't have a main DAW :hihi:

User avatar
KVRAF
20062 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:24 am

I use two DAW's and one has linked clips and the other doesn't.

Even in the DAW that has them I don't use them that much because I don't make exactly repeating clips that often. If I have a clip play a bunch of times, I add some differences so they are not exact copies.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

10277 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:29 am

pdxindy wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:24 am
Even in the DAW that has them I don't use them that much because I don't make exactly repeating clips that often. If I have a clip play a bunch of times, I add some differences so they are not exact copies.
Now the thread is complete :tu: :hug:
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KVRian
595 posts since 25 Jan, 2014

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:53 am

Antic604, when is the last time you put enough clip on a timeline so it could be handy ? :P

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

10277 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:58 am

Jolaff wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:53 am
Antic604, when is the last time you put enough clip on a timeline so it could be handy ? :P
It's already handy with single clip :P
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KVRAF
3358 posts since 3 Oct, 2013 from Budapest

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:10 am

btw. this why the different sequencers have been developed, if you need patterns ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWJUsf1TQYg
or am I wrong? (hello Bitwig :cry: ) if you need additional variance (controlled randomization): https://www.ableton.com/en/packs/probability-pack/ etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjI5MUp57Xw
or Hexo which can be used as Nora if you need a pattern-based chord chopper in AL
"Where we're workarounding, we don't NEED features." - powermat

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KVRAF
1755 posts since 17 Jun, 2005

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:20 am

xbitz wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:21 am
^^^ yepp, "mother" of them Cakewalk Project 5 v2 was heavily pattern-based
Live is older than Project 5, and was hitting version 5 the same year ^ P5 v2 came out. Just in case the "mother" bit implied P5 was the original innovation or somesuch :). Even in that article from 2005 it says "The final major addition in P5 v2 is Cakewalk's Groove Matrix, which might seem familiar to users of Ableton Live."

KVRist
43 posts since 23 Dec, 2007

Post Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:55 pm

It is a huge feature for me. I love Live, but switched to Studio One for some time for the Shared Duplicates. I'm glad you feel so strongly about this antic, because I DO TOO. It is seriously something I think about often, even when not making music.

You linked to AliasClips for Ableton which helps, but you're right it's not "right". Part of this is the tool itself but a lot of it is a limitation in the Live 10 API - Arrangement Clips don't have unique IDs until they are viewed in the editor - this leads to really strange behavior when copying/pasting multiple clips.

BUT GOOD NEWS! Live 11's Max API allows you to enumerate all Arrangement Clips (as well as Session clips which were already there).

I built a replacement to Alias Clips that does the same thing, but its simply based on Clip names, with a handy floating window for autonaming. The basics are:

1. Append "#" in front of a Clip Name (or hit the a button in the UI) and this clip is now a "Parent". Any place you copy and paste this clip, any changes to a duplicated will reflect in all others. Example clip name: "# Drums" or "#1"

2. Append "=" in front of a Clip Name and this clip will always follow its parent - changes you make to this clip will get replaced by the parent. So if you have a parent "# Drums" and a child "= Drums", anytime you change "# Drums", then "= Drums" will get updated, anywhere in the project.

That's pretty much it -the floating window has a couple of buttons to set the current clip to a Parent/Child or Make Unique. It's a very small window that tucks into the arrangement toolbar.

Anyway, I built this tool and it worked *fine* in Ableton 10, with the exception of the same problems Alias Clips has - you can't copy and paste a bunch of clips to Arrangement - it doesn't have an internal id. I shelved the project because of this.

BUT - I've been updating my project for Live 11 and so far it looks like it will work much better and be more stable. I'm very excited and would love to share it with any beta testers that are interested.

The only big downside remaining - the Ableton APi doesn't have access to a Clips envelops - so this only captures changes to the Notes (including all of the new probability stuff in 11), but not any changes to envelopes...
Screen Shot 2021-02-11 at 10.55.15 PM.png
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