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Old 07-01-2014, 09:08 AM
Andy Shef Andy Shef is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Default Numerology + Logic to emulate Live's Session View

Hi guys,

I'm trying to get to a workflow in my head, that until now I've just not found completely possible! This may go on a bit, so bear with me, but hopefully might be useful to others if they are looking for the same thing.

I do most of my music (house & techno) in Logic 9, controlled with a Novation SL37 and started playing around with Numerology 3.2 + launchpad a while ago, predominantly for step sequencing, but the modulation options are also very interesting. I previously used Live 8, and sometimes consider switching back.

My ideal scenario would basically be Logic, with Session View and a tightly integrated controller!

Ideally I want to use a number of 3rd party plugins (rarely use built in DAW instruments) and external midi synths / drum machines hosted in my DAW (Logic or Ableton). Then I have a centralised controller for step sequencing or playing the sounds together, to control drums, bass, synth stabs etc. As well as step sequencing, I'd also like to be able to play instruments live either with keys or pads, to suit longer note patterns, chords etc. Once the initial groove and variations are established, I'd then like to be able to trigger these loops in a live situation and modulate filters, reverb sends, note decays etc. on the fly to come up with an arrangement.

I suspect this could be done with Ableton Push, Maschine or a Numerology based approach. Logic X and Live 9 have also changed the picture somewhat. As for whether to use Abelton or Logic, here's what I like / dislike about each:

Logic 9:
- Like split mixer and arrangement on different screens
- Easy to place / record vocals off grid (e.g. when a vocal comes in just before start of new 8bar sequence)
- Like that VU meters have dB levels
- Like the way it stacks plugins
- Good midi control of external synths
- I'm more comfortable with buses / routing
- Like bouncing in real time, great to ensure no surprises in your final track
- Dislike, No AU midi out
- Dislike, Rewire with Numerology gives large midi delay and jitter
- Dislike, Can't find a way to multi-record midi tracks from Num RW to Logic
- Dislike, linear arrangement method

Abelton Live 8:
- Love Session View - awesome for jamming and creating arrangements, just so much better than Logic in this aspect
- Like VST support
- Like Midi routing
- Dislike, final sound is sometimes not amazing, probably a feature of warping
- Dislike, I find it hard placing vocals etc. off grid
- Dislike, plugins on master channel sometimes don't work
- Dislike, freezing instead of bounce in place can be a pain

I think ultimately I'd prefer a solution based around Logic, mainly as I'm just more familiar with it than Live, but right now, I hate arranging when it involves copying and pasting midi clips along a timeline and then repeatedly listening back to see if I like it. I really want to do this live, as I can get much more into the groove and flow of the track.

So this desire led me to setup Numerology 3 rewired into Logic and a custom enviroment to send midi from 8 stacks via IAC to 8 tracks in Logic, where instruments are hosted. It's amazing for getting the initial ideas down quick, BUT the midi delay / jitter are a nightmare, and I can't record more than one track at once, so this ultimately fails at the moment!

So I've been thinking about other options:

1 - I was originally thinking that I should move over to Ableton Live and get a Push, but I don't know if that will solve all my issues and would mean relearning how to use Live. It's also an expensive option! Since I have the Launchpad and SL, I do have plenty of options for control, so sticking with these may be cheaper.

2 - It appears that Logic X and Numerology 4 may have changed the game slightly. Firstly I've been reading about using Num as an AU Midi FX. Can you use one instance of this to control multiple instrument tracks in Logic? Also could I jam an arrangement in Num 4 and then record or print this midi over to Logic?

3 - Or should I go back to Live and use Numerology in RW mode? Can I record multiple midi tracks at the same time from Num to Live? Or is VST mode better?

4 - Some other setup I haven't thought of!

Any help would be much appreciated on this, would love to hear about other people's workflows too. Currently I just seem to find limitations in whatever route I take that lead me back to looking for alternatives!

Sorry for dragging on!

Cheers
Andy
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arrangement, live, logic, rewire, session

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