Ableton Live- I cannot believe how bad the Arranger is !!

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Ableton Live- I cannot believe how bad the Arranger is !!

Post by Panason » Mon Oct 07, 2019 1:55 pm

I have been pulling my hair out trying to work in Live's Arrange page... I know I have posted about how much Live sucks before, but this is on another level!


Just let this sink in for a minute:
While the sequencer is running, if you press stop, and then play, the playhead jumps back to 1.1.1.1 !!!!!!

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I thought I must be mssing something so I checked the manual, but no- this is how the oh-so clever developers have decided it should be.

You have to press Shift + Space to resume from where you stopped... If you're using a hardware contoller for transport controls, tough shit!

I have a fairly long list of other massive UI fails (such as the full screen behaviour on Mac OS with a dual display setup, automation that keeps getting disabled, automation chooser menu trying to second guess you etc etc :ripbanana:) but this really tops it....

Un-fuckin-believable. I have massively regretted starting this project with Ableton ( before I realised what I was getting into) and now facing the tedious task of recreating the project in Studio One if i want to finish it without losing more hair.... How the hell this garbage has become some kind of industry standard is beyond me.

Any tips on migrating a Live project to another DAW are welcome!

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Post by CursedFrogurt » Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:50 pm

lol, never saw this coming

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Post by merchant » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:11 pm


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Post by Panason » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:33 am

Ah yes, of course - how naive to think someone might be commenting to suggest a fix to this!
Last edited by Panason on Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by dubonaire » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:41 am

I cannot believe you purchased the software without knowing its functionality, given you seem to know everything that is wrong with the hardware you don't own.

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Post by Panason » Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:28 am

Don't be mad, I never paid a penny for this junk. Have been using it in Session view so far and only started using Arrange recently.

I don't think there is another DAW ever made with a linear mode that has this insane behaviour. I would so love to know the thought process behind this design choice!

As for hardware I criticise: I own 2 elektron machines and had a 3rd one in the past, do you need photo evidence?

I've been playing around with music tech on and off since 1994. I used Cubase , Reason, and very briefly Logic. Also, some After Effects for work. All this software features linear editing on a timeline and behaves like a tape machine as one would expect. You press stop to make a quick edit, then press play and it resumes from where you stopped. Only nerds with tunnel vision would make such a design blunder on such a basic UI functionality.

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Post by dubonaire » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:32 am

Panason wrote:Don't be mad, I never paid a penny for this junk. Have been using it in Session view so far and only started using Arrange recently.

I don't think there is another DAW ever made with a linear mode that has this insane behaviour. I would so love to know the thought process behind this design choice!

As for hardware I criticise: I own 2 elektron machines and had a 3rd one in the past, do you need photo evidence?

I've been playing around with music tech on and off since 1994. I used Cubase , Reason, and very briefly Logic. Also, some After Effects for work. All this software features linear editing on a timeline and behaves like a tape machine as one would expect. You press stop to make a quick edit, then press play and it resumes from where you stopped. Only nerds with tunnel vision would make such a design blunder on such a basic UI functionality.
I'm not mad at you Panason, I feel sorry for you. You seem to have such an unhappy time with production tools most people are happy with. I don't doubt your experience. I'm somewhat confused because everything is way easier now than it was 24 years ago.

Ableton Live started life as a live looper, hence its name. It's built around that paradigm. But many professional music producers, including some of the most successful musicians of our era, use it successfully in the studio. If it doesn't suit your workflow it's not a problem with the software, it's just a mismatch. Just use Cubase, Nuendo, Logic or Pro Tools etc. Given you are using either Lite or a pirated copy you are not losing a cent.

As for transferring your project to another DAW, either print stems or tracks, or raw and load similar plugs. Not sure why you ask such a basic question with your self-professed experience... well it was probably rhetorical.

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Post by flo » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:09 am

Panason wrote:Ah yes, of course - how naive to think someone might be commenting to suggest a fix to this!
A quick research brought up this old fix via MAX: https://maxforlive.com/library/device.php?id=846

I never tried it since I'm not bothered by the behaviour...
Panason wrote:I would so love to know the thought process behind this design choice!
It always starts from where the editing cursor is. That means you can set a start point and continually start from there. There are many instances when you might want to start over and over again from the same point (without setting a loop), e.g. for mixdown automations.

I do agree though that a dedicated continue transport control would be useful so that it can be mapped to MIDI.

Cheers :guinness:

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Post by francoprussian » Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:59 am

Panason you aren't wrong, Ableton is infuriating. I have pretty much given up on it. It's really a drag and drop environment designed for single tempo beatsync, grid heavy music, and technobeard bros who love coffee and live in berlin cos they are 'artists'. It's only popular because there are a shitload of cracks available online and any one-handed gibbon with a walnut brain can plonk a few clips in the session and feel like a genius.

Try using the arrangement to do precise edits on audio, you'll soon want to strangle a passing granny. It's insane. The clips get fucked up so quickly, and you end up with tiny remnant shards of audio all over the place if not careful.

MIDI controller mapping is not channelised! Crackers. What nit thought that was a good idea? It's something to do with the reason they can't implement MPE also, they fucked the MIDI backend too much to change the code base.

There are so many inconsistencies, and the poorly implemented dual window thing was such a damp squib i have never used it once since it was first introduced - i found it was hopeless to work with.

The only thing i think it got right is the loop recording where the last recorded loop is left active, which no other program quite matches. In every other prog except Studio One you can either loop record midi or audio but not both in the same way. But recording in session view is buggered if you play too early, and freezing a clip in session loses the tail of any time based effects, rubbish!

I could go on. Them and Cycling 74 deserve each other, a load of namby happy clappers who don't make organised extensible future-proof products.

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Post by rowsbywoof » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:54 am

When I first sat down to learn Live, it was... daunting. So many choices were made seemingly on a whim, and I fought with it for a long-long-while. After four years suffering through Live, though, I feel pretty comfortable getting around, have no trouble getting work done quickly, and everything else I've tried was such a departure that it sort of brought me back to Live in the end. I have a love/hate relationship with it, for sure... and I went through a period of auditioning other DAW-Lovers to see if we could work together, but... Sigh... Ableton is where I ended up again, time after time.

It's far from perfect... FAR from perfect, but I do think once you get comfy with it (like any DAW) it gets a lot easier to just get your shit done. I've sort of just learned to live with the quirks, and after my flings, realized there really isn't going to be a perfect DAW relationship for me, so if I'm not with the one I love, I love the one that I'm with sort of thing...

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Post by Panason » Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:28 pm

Thanks for the replies.
@ francoprussian: "a load of namby happy clappers who don't make organised extensible future-proof products." LOL, spot on!
There is no way I am going to start editing audio tracks on this!

I edited my first reply to remove an un-necessary response.

What added insult to injury is when i realised that the scrub wheel on my controller does not do what it should be doing-it doesn't move the playhead around unless the sequencer is running. When it's stopped , it moves that nearly invisible blue editing cursor instead, and the display does not scroll to to follow it. :doh: At first I thought there is something wrong with my controller....

It's one setback after another with this software and it has delayed me for so long as these issues tend to make me lose the vibe. I end up wasting my time just finetuning drum sounds instead of doing the needed but painful macro-editing on the arrangement.

I probaby should take this as a not-so-subtle hint to commit to audio and take it out of there and move on.

I think Live is more useful as an uber drum machine / sampler and Rewired into a proper linear DAW..

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Post by dkcg » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:20 pm

Panason wrote:Don't be mad, I never paid a penny for this junk. Have been using it in Session view so far and only started using Arrange recently.
you're complaining about software you pirated??

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Re: Ableton Live- I cannot believe how bad the Arranger is !

Post by seeasound » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:27 am

Panason wrote: You have to press Shift + Space to resume from where you stopped...]
Dayumm....thx for that.

Ya live really sux for the way I work...which is hours of no BPM multitrack synth recordings which I then tediously edit down to digestible size. But Im stuck for now as I have loads of recordings on there and can use it pretty quick....im still on live 9 and the biggest annoyance is always accidentally clicking the dumbass automation lines which are always there. I think live 10 fixed that tho I really should switch to pro tools for what I am doing. If they just add gain adjustment on the clip itself I will be satisfied.

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Post by Dougdi » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:51 am

Pro Tools has had clip gain since 2011.

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Post by seeasound » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:30 am

sorry i meant for ableton

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Re: Ableton Live- I cannot believe how bad the Arranger is !

Post by pottering » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:43 pm

seeasound wrote: If they just add gain adjustment on the clip itself I will be satisfied.
Maybe this helps you:

If you MIDI assign a knob to the Clip Gain slider in one Clip, it actually works for any selected Clip.

Also with multitracks in Arrangement you may want to use the Loop Brace (plus ctrl+E) to slice Clips. If you double-click it, it selects all tracks.

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Post by flo » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:09 am

seeasound wrote:sorry i meant for ableton
You mean like that gain fader in the audio clip settings? :roll:

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Post by dubonaire » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:00 am

flo wrote:
seeasound wrote:sorry i meant for ableton
You mean like that gain fader in the audio clip settings? :roll:

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I was wondering the same thing. I thought it couldn't be that because that has been there since the beginning.

The other thing that can be used is the Utility Device.

The basic sample controls are so simple and effective, and then anything else use Simpler or Sampler. Ableton shines in this area.

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Post by Panason » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:43 am

dkcg wrote:
Panason wrote:Don't be mad, I never paid a penny for this junk. Have been using it in Session view so far and only started using Arrange recently.
you're complaining about software you pirated??
More that this thing has become some kind of industry standard and is taught at university level courses. And just regretting that I invested so much time in it.

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Post by francoprussian » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:05 am

It seems i was wrong about MIDI mappings being unchannelised. Don't know why i thought that, but it's not the case.

I'm sure i was having trouble with using multiple controllers at one point. Most likely ineptitude on my part.

Anyway, always like having a moan about Ableton because they make wet fart software for bum-heads.

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Post by francoprussian » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:08 am

One thing that DOES happen which is really stupid is that you can't map the tiny incy wincy wittle clip panel activation buttons to a key shortcut! (Envelope/Note view/Launch Options etc). They are so teeny weeny it's a pain having to go all the way down there with a mouse and trying to click on the right one.

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Post by francoprussian » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:13 am

And i take it as a personal affront that i cannot loop an audio clip unless it has warping turned on. It's like it's a second-class bit of audio that doesn't get all the privileges of its betters in the toffee nosed warped class. Just because my audio went to a state school doesn't mean it's not as good as your public school moneyed warpy audio club old boys, rah rah!

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Post by dubonaire » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:54 am

francoprussian wrote:And i take it as a personal affront that i cannot loop an audio clip unless it has warping turned on. It's like it's a second-class bit of audio that doesn't get all the privileges of its betters in the toffee nosed warped class. Just because my audio went to a state school doesn't mean it's not as good as your public school moneyed warpy audio club old boys, rah rah!
Yes but you need to learn the different warp modes.

Honestly no one is stopping you using a different DAW.

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Re: Ableton Live- I cannot believe how bad the Arranger is !

Post by babybrown » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:09 pm

You have to press Shift + Space to resume from where you stopped...

I have been using Live for a while and I honestly never knew that..! So thanks. Also, have been havin mad trouble with internal latency from vsti's

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Post by naos » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:33 pm

agreed!
they intentionaly forced this "shift space" / "alt space" fuckery with version 8, I think.
it's especially infuriating when trying to write inside a MIDI clip (it will always start at the beginning of the clip while it didn't in previous versions). countless times I've tried to change the shortcut on the mac, with no success.

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