Topic: music composition flow

I am not 100% satisfied with how I currently work with my studio when creating music and as I personally know very little people who are into making music with hardware synths at home, I'm using this post to learn how others work in their studios.

The way I currently work I record some midi notes, send them to my synths and add percussion sequenced directly from the drum computer over it. When I then want to start adding automations, I'm a bit stuck. Ableton does not properly integrate with midi synths as I strongly dislike the "record cc to clips" functionality. So, what I do is start multitracking and record automated audio layers to ableton. That of course leads to all the "fun" of multitracking on computer and it removes a lot of the flexibility you have working just with midi.

How do you work? Does anyone know a decent solution to the ableton midi automation issue? (didn't find much on the internet) I'm considering ditching ableton all together and using something else instead but maybe there are other options.

Just record it already!

Re: music composition flow

good question, i guess everyone has his different workflow which keep on changing
Usually I use hardware, sequencing synths with Yamaha RM1x and some other hardware sequencers.
record live for 8-16 tracks, then edit and mix on ableton. lately, i'm not 100% satisfied with ableton but this is what i have at the moment, and it does the job.

i do use ableton some times to sequence, and the cc clips is not big fun.

Logic used to be strong for midi and as far as i remember you could control automation easily, but i haven't used it for sometime and logic 10's design (the app / toy / new apple design) annoyed me.

Re: music composition flow

I use Cubase to control all of my hardware via midi and only record the audio tracks when I'm happy with the composition of the track.  Cubase has drop down channels beneath each sequence of midi notes where you can record automation, I don't know the maximum limit as I only tend to use 1 or 2 levels of midi automation.  I've tried several times to use Ableton but I just can't get into it.  Perhaps it's because I'm an old git whose first computerised sequencer was Cubase on an Atari and I feel comfortable with it.

Re: music composition flow

:-) @Koova, I don't think you're an old git, Ableton is just not well equipped to automate midi cc's. What you describe in Cubase is exactly what I miss in ableton.

I've tried starting with Logic but it felt... complex so I'd need to make a deep dive into it.

Hardware sequencers are unknown territory for me but I always wondered how these work with midi gear. You usually have one midi in and one out on the sequencer so you can send to 16 devices but only receive from 1? do you then program a control surface to work with every synth in your rig to control them?

I understand midi quite well theoretically but in terms of it's use I'm quite baisc (note on off messages :-)) so I'm interested to learn how you do things.

Just record it already!

Re: music composition flow

there are many ways to use and connect your gear. i'm using RM1x as main sequencer, midi out goes to other devices, some receive midi notes, some just start/stop commands (synth or drums that have their own sequencers such 808, xox etc).
usually i tweak knobs live, and not program midi cc, but i guess that's possible.

as for ableton, are you sure it's not possible to send midi cc's from midi tracks?
i have a feeling i did it in the past but not sure