Ableton Live Lives! Comments

Well, I finally got around to plunking money down on something I’ve been wanting to buy a while now: Ableton Live. I hadn’t even played with it really, but from recommendations from Senator Adam of The New Law and numerous publications, as well as simply having become a fan of simplicity and ease of use in design, (I’m on a Mac, did I mention?) I figured it’d rock.

And it does. I’ve barely read a lick of manual (really just a couple of the included interactive tutorials which are tres cool in their own right) and am already kicking out loops that are easily on par with my Cubase/Bhajis business.

Soon as I get the hang of arrangement vs. scenes and get used to all the new keyboard shortcuts, I think I’m gonna be in heaven. It already starts/runs/quits so much more gracefully/quickly than Cubase did. And while it seems a little lacking in audio/MIDI editing compared to the latter, I don’t necessarily need complexity, not yet. Maybe when it comes time to record vocals if it’s no fun I’ll have to use Audacity or something. Boo hoo.

Anyhow, I’m considering trading in my MPC1000 (with JJOS!) for an MPC500, simply for the size/battery poweredness…

I know the 1k is worth about twice as much (more, considering the JJOS and internal HDD) but I honestly need to get real and make some music instead of just being a power user all the time and bullshitting like I ever even work on stuff anymore. So a 500 would give me the MPC style sequencing I’m used to, allow me to step away from the computer for a minute, work on things in places I might not feel comfortable opening a 17″ laptop, and allow me to control a single piece of MIDI gear vs the whole shebang. In all honesty I very rarely connect more than one external unit anyhow. And I also more often than not simply record individual stereo sets (drums, bass, percussion, melody) vs individual outs. (kick, snare, etc) If I need to tweak further I tend to mashup and slice and dice in Cubase (now Live) which I find faster than reworking in the MPC itself.

Anyone have any experience with an MPC500 (who isn’t terribly biased) who’d like to share? What’s battery life like? How well’s it sample from vinyl/mic/line out on battery power vs wall current? How useful is the Q-link on it? I’m assuming chop shop is gone… I should really read the Akai page, huh.

So let’s hope I stick to making music this time!

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