help for live, one man band suggestions, Ableton Live?


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I posted this in the general keyboard forum but it may fit better here. Just read the post here about the unreliability of laptops (even Mac). Anybody else have experience with this?

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I'm looking for suggestions from anybody who's been doing the one man band thing (for live performance) and have considered the pros and cons of sequencers, arranger keyboards, etc. I sing, play keyboard, and sometimes acoustic guitar. I have been looking into arrangers but have balked at some of the limitations, mostly based on input from a keyboard tech adviser from one of the major national music stores. He suggested sequencing software like Ableton Live (with a laptop, controller keyboard, and foot pedals assigned to song sections) is a better way to go because of versatility and ability to update that most arrangers don't have when you're working from a laptop instead of a keyboard, which he said will become obsolete before long, necessitating buying a new one. Anybody using Ableton Live? All I can find on Youtube is DJ's demos. I have the latest version of Band In A Box. Has anybody used that live, or for sequencing. I'd like to have the option of being able to jam (repeat solo sequences), not just play a pre-sequenced song (set number of bars), and play along with other musicians (sax, etc). I play a lot of jazz but most other genres as well. The arrangers are convenient with some great pre made styles, intros, fills, endings, etc. Are there the equivalent out there for something like Ableton (various styles of popular songs, jazz, latin, etc.)? Create from Band in a Box? Right now I have a Yamaha S90ES. It has some great sounds but is not really very usable for live performance with the drum arpeggios. Any experience would be welcome. Thanks

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I'm also wondering about creating backup tracks with things like horn arrangements that the keyboard arrangers provide. With the software option or built in sequencer I'm assuming I would have to play the parts myself to create things like horn tracks, which could get tedious and time consuming, and not sound as good as those created for arrangers, especially if I wanted to have a big band sound.

With the keyboard controller/software option to get a great piano sound (for live and recording) software (like Steinway) was suggested to get a great realistic acoustic grand sound.

Also, if I get another keyboard, weighted keys (at least 76, preferably 88) is needed, at least very desirable.

Simplicity of use is needed as well.


 
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Abelton is defiantly your best bet if you wanna change the song on the fly. however i find that 90% of the time people play the song the same way so having it set it may be easier to use protools or logic, (both of which i find much easier than abelton) you can also get a free trial of abelton off their website so you can try it out and just not save anything.

and if you didnt want to input the horn tracks you could always find a loop.
 
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Since this posting I've gotten Ableton to do what I wanted (no help from tech support, they tried but I had to figure it out myself). There is a looping function in Ableton that can be be triggered by midi (from a midi controller, standalone or keyboard), assigned to turn on and off the looping function (I assign it to a rotary knob) which will allow it to play through the current section and either repeat/loop, or when turned off, play through to the end of the song.

Hope this helps someone else.​
 

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