Which DAW for Live use? Audio Backing Tracks, Midi Control Tracks, Setlist...

  • Hi!

    We want to use a DAW live for audio backingtracks as well as Midi Tracks to control Kempers and Lightshow.

    I spent the last few days to work this out with Ableton. The more I try, the more I think there must be something more fitting.

    Abletons Session view with events seems great for that at first, but there are things i don't like. Midiclips in one event can only send one Program Change. And for live, I'd like to have only one event line per song, and not one for every single part of each song. Also its sad, that I cannot just flip to Arrangement view to edit something while rehearsal.

    Saw a Video about Cubases arrangement track. Seems fitting, but I don't know wether you could set it the way that it stops after each song.

    "Camelot Pro" Also looks nice.

    How Do others do sonething like that?

  • I use Logic for exactly same thing on Mac. Ableton Session view could work but you'd have to do some kung-fu using follow actions, and also a clip can trigger only one PC message, so you'd have to either create many dummy clips and chain them or do everything using CC (might not be possible with your light controller). Doing everything in Logic is pretty straigforward.

  • I suggest Cantabile - it's not a DAW per se, but rather a piece of software optimized for live use. Mainly, it is a VST host, so you can play VST instruments live (I also use it to play guitar amp sims), but it also is really good for running backing tracks or controlling light in a live situation.

    You have individual song files that can contain media players for audio and MIDI files; these would contain your backing tracks and MIDI files to control Kemper and lights. You can then create set lists out of these song files that you can easily step through in sequence. Also, you can use all kinds of MIDI controllers (pedals, buttons) to step through this, start and stop playback etc. without having to deal with a computer screen.

    I've been using Cantabile live for the last 5 years - it's been rock solid and a joy to use! If you need help configuring it, there's a great user community at the Cantabile users forum.



  • Used Cubase for this in rehearsal yesterday. Worked great. Arranger Track does what I need to create and sort a setlist and stop after each song.

    At the moment, i'd prefer a full DAW that I would use also for recording instead an additional software that I would only use for the live case.

    Annyone knows if ProTools got something that takes the job from Arranger Track in Cubase?

  • Had two rehearsals with Cubase yet. Worked great. Used the Arranger Editor.

    One Thing:

    When one Song ends, and Cubase stops (as I want it), it would be great if it would send the first Midi Commands from the next song.

    So I would already have the right Performance/Sound and (as I have one Performance per Song) I would see the name of the next Song on the Remote. As far as I see, I could only do this with some Workarounds that are not that great.

    Something like that possible with one of the othe mentioned Software (or any other)?

  • Something like that possible with one of the othe mentioned Software (or any other)?

    Yup, Cantabile allows you to send MIDI strings with variables like "SongTitle" and "NextSong" (in the set list), and you can program it to do that at the start or end of playback of a media file. Pretty easy to do - but there's definitely a learning curve when starting out with Cantabile - it's not a DAW, so you'll need to think differently...