Abelton live

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Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:24 pm

So I want to write choons and am leaning towards Abelton Live as a first program... poss get some other programs to dick about on as I improve. Will be running on Macbook pro. What is the Macbook soundcard like and will I need to upgrade? Also, any suggestions for good midi keyboards? Which brand? Where do other Mac people go to get software and peripherals?

Churrs!

:D
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Re: Abelton live

Post by nic » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:28 pm

the crack for abelton runs out after 6 months on a mac in case you were thinking of getting a cracked version.
not that you would.

i recommend you speciaize in indie house refixes, the worst music of the past rerubbed with a banging house beat and sampled hook from southern crunk, then instead of mixing it down at all, limit it hard. you will need Waves L2.
done.
start a blog as well.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:39 pm

nic wrote:the crack for abelton runs out after 6 months on a mac in case you were thinking of getting a cracked version.
not that you would.

i recommend you speciaize in indie house refixes, the worst music of the past rerubbed with a banging house beat and sampled hook from southern crunk, then instead of mixing it down at all, limit it hard. you will need Waves L2.
done.
start a blog as well.


LOLz. Compress the fuck out of Throwing Muses or cranberries tracks and add a driving wet crunchy beat.

Will be My First Software Purchase, but never fear, plan to upload quotes and samples from Tom Baker-era Dr Who, keeping it litigious and Real (tm)

Will blog too under assumption that everyone actually gives a shit about me because I am a misunderstood Gen Xer with Gen Y tendencies stay chooned for update on the sculpture I am fashioning out of 'ironic' moustache hair collected from hipsters that have passed out in Flinders Lane after snorting too much K.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by youthful_implants » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:41 pm

:lol:

as long as its breaks you're making, am sure you'll remain globally anonymous and under-rated.

anything else and you're sure to hit the big time after a couple of months. :D
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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:49 pm

youthful_implants wrote::lol:

as long as its breaks you're making, am sure you'll remain globally anonymous and under-rated.

anything else and you're sure to hit the big time after a couple of months. :D


:lol:

Thanks Master. As your padawan, I aim to emulate your global anonymity with similarly under-rated releases :P
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Re: Abelton live

Post by youthful_implants » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:50 pm

C.I.A. wrote:
youthful_implants wrote::lol:

as long as its breaks you're making, am sure you'll remain globally anonymous and under-rated.

anything else and you're sure to hit the big time after a couple of months. :D


:lol:

Thanks Master. As your padawan, I aim to emulate your global anonymity with similarly under-rated releases :P


that wont be hard at all then!! :lol:

little to learn do you young jedi.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by unsoundbwoy » Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:24 pm

soundcard in mbpro is usable for an inbuilt soundcard, as long as you don't want to record anything it's adequate to start on.
that said they are noisey and when not in use they go into standby and everything hums a bit.
but as a start it'll do the job.

as for what to buy later on...
m-audio stuff is good if you want to leave the possibility of using pro-tools open
apogee duet has fucking awesome converters for the price
presonus firebox was good to me until it stopped working, got about 2 1/2 years out of it with very frequent use.

midi keyboard...
i have a novation remote SL which has nice keys, good response and has faders, rotaries, drum pads and buttons and is reliable as
m-audio one's play pretty nice, but i cant really vouch for them
evolution have a pretty cool small one which has really shallow keys, which is good for drumming and good enough for a little bit of keys

most things are good enough, just dont go too cheap or it will all break and you'll have to replace it.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by a1studmuffin » Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:34 pm

Mac soundcard quality - Probably not that good (like most laptops)... I imagine you'll want to get a Firewire/USB2 soundcard with all the IO bells + whistles for production... I haven't been keeping up, but a year ago when I was looking around the Focusrite Saffire LE was a great budget option that got great reviews and wasn't going to break the bank:

Image

I've got a MOTU Ultralite for my studio which I'm really happy with:

Image

I'm assuming you don't want 5.1 output... but main thing is to make sure it's got enough inputs/outputs for you (for both MIDI, digital and analog audio), has a physical master volume knob, and has at least two stereo outputs (really useful for flicking between monitors + headphones frequently, or for going out/in from analog gear).

MIDI keyboards - Is this primarily for use in the studio or live performance? Do you just want a keyboard, or do you also want extra MIDI controllers like pads, sliders, knobs etc? Is it for a big or small space (ie 25 keys, or a full size kbd)? Do you care about weighted keys etc?

Where to go - Factory Sound in South Melbourne are usually the cheapest if you want a store you can actually go to and play with stuff, otherwise if you shop around online you'll probably get the best price.

One more question - what monitors will you be using? They're probably the most important part of the whole setup! :)

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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:53 pm

I want to go and have a bit of a listen to a range of monitors before I fork over ca$hmunny. Will have a bit of a play with the Yamaha 80Ws, KRKs and even some Genelecs (kaCHING).

My loft is carpeted and should be the perfect space for a studio.... is quite small, but the acousitcs are muuuch better than the rest of my apartment (reverb central).

MIDI keyboards - Is this primarily for use in the studio... Yis

Do you just want a keyboard, or do you also want extra MIDI controllers like pads, sliders, knobs etc... Would like to get some knobs to twiddle

Is it for a big or small space (ie 25 keys, or a full size kbd)... I HATE HATE HATE small keyboards. Full size or stfu lolz.

Do you care about weighted keys etc... only if I'm playing live, which I have no intention of doing, and if I did I'd borrow my brother's Roland for some awesome Hammond/Fender Rhodes goodness.

Oh dear. This is going to be an expensive few months.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:54 pm

And yes, have already sourced a soundcard :)
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Re: Abelton live

Post by spiral » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:56 pm

a1studmuffin wrote:
Image

I've got a MOTU Ultralite for my studio which I'm really happy with:

Image



ditto on this..

i use a bitstream 3.x for midi knobbage

a novation zero is good for knobs n sliders

i dont use midi keyboard so cant comment on that

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Re: Abelton live

Post by a1studmuffin » Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:17 pm

I use an M-Audio Axiom 25 (also available in larger flavours):

Image

It's pretty sturdy, but the endless knobs and lack of automap piss me off a bit. Keys + pads feel nice though (very much like an MPC). In this day and age I reckon you can find better though, I'd probably lean towards the Novation range (if you can afford it)... but to be honest ever since I moved away from hardware sequencing to software sequencing, I don't find myself using my MIDI keyboard for anything apart from playing notes so I'm probably not the best person to ask...

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Re: Abelton live

Post by youthful_implants » Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:32 pm

I reckon that having a fast enough computer is probably the most important thing in your setup so you're not running into CPU sized brickwalls.

As for my gear I've got A Focusrite Saffire soundcard, its pro-audio gear and I love it.. The mic preamps are warm, and wonderfully balanced. Its also got 16 inputs and outputs which is more than I ever use but its nice to know I could run a whole band through it should I want to.

Image

This is the midi controller I'm using which is fine, like Mike said its really just for playing notes although I do use it to record some automation live.

Image

And my speakers are KRK VXT4s which I prefer over a bigger speaker for the room I'm in. I reckon for the space you're intending to work in, having big speakers would be a bit of a waste and will create more problems than they will solve in that space (am thinking the low ceiling could potentially create a bit of an acoustic nightmare in so far as the sound is going to reverberate like hell if its too loud). A lot of people seem to think that bigger is better with monitor speakers but the opposite is the case depending on the room.

Image

Having decent headphones is crucial too, but I know youve got Sennheiser's which are good for monitoring.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:28 am

A1 and YI, what do you guys think of the Tascam vla-5 monitors?

(would be getting them for mate's rates courtesy of Stray). Also, can I have a whirl on yr midi keyboard on Friday Alex? Agree that it is just for twiddling about and putting down simple melodies, but I'm all over that as a way of composing hooks and melodies... so much easier than fiddling around with the tiny keyboard on the side of Abelton FA1L.

Soundcard is being installed tomorrow :)

Don't really think I need 16 inputs/outputs (but I have got a shitload of analog gear including 8 pedals and several old-skool keyboards... am planning to warm up some of the digital outputs by looping through some analog stuff).

Also, roof isn't low, you are too tall.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by a1studmuffin » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:39 pm

Those Tascams will be fine for starter monitors, although you'll probably find it a struggle to get mixdowns spot on. It's an unfortunate truth with monitors that you get what you pay for. You really will hear a big difference between a set of $500-1000 monitors vs a pair for $2000+. But you could always sell them later for a similar price if you decide to upgrade - monitors don't seem to lose too much value over time.

I'm going to be controversial and disagree with Alex on the whole different monitors for different rooms thing, I think the bigger monitors you can get (in terms of cone size), the better, as it will be able to reproduce the lower end of the frequency range better. Or smaller speakers + a sub will also work (but make sure the sub is designed to be used with the nearfield monitors). The reason is that you're after as much accuracy as possible over the whole frequency spectrum and bigger cones (or a sub) will be able to reproduce the lower frequency range with more accuracy than smaller nearfields. Remember that huge monitors doesn't necessarily mean huge volume levels - an 8" pair of monitors (or 5"/6" with a 10" sub) will generally sound a lot more accurate than a 5"/6" pair of monitors on their own, from the same brand at the same volume level.

The only thing to consider then is if you have neighbours, but it's easy enough to chuck a gentle low-shelf filter on your master bus to cut out the really subby frequencies that will travel while working late at night (or just switch to headphones).

The other thing to consider with sound frequency interference patterns from a room is that they're always proportionate to the volume level you've chosen, so it doesn't matter if you're listening at whisper quiet levels or full volume, the amount of interference from the room will naturally be scaled up/down to match... that's why it's important to get as accurate monitors as possible + treat the room with acoustic foam + bass traps, or on a budget just pack plenty of dense + assymetrical stuff in the room like couches, bookshelves, heavy curtains, thick rug etc.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Direkt » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:11 pm

Tascam VLA5's are great for their price, but purchase the accompanying sub if you're doing anything remotely bass orientated - it will still work out relatively cheap. If your room is small, as you say, you probably shouldn't get anything bigger than a 5" cone.

Keyboard, I've got the Axiom 61 - nice action, nice keyboard. A bit more pricey, but a better build is the Akai MPK range, with authentic MPC style pads.

Soundcards, much of a muchness for the entry level gear. Focusrite Saffire range is good for that extra step up without forking out the huge dollars. A good point was made earlier with M-Audio's ProTools compatability... but if you don't plan on using Tools... then this isn't an issue.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by youthful_implants » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:49 pm

:donk:
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Re: Abelton live

Post by youthful_implants » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:57 pm

:nic:
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Re: Abelton live

Post by a1studmuffin » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:03 pm

EDIT: Oh alex, you removed your post about bass reflex. :( This post now makes no sense. Oh well. Let's get on with it.

...

Yeah quite possibly - I'm just going on my own experiences with smaller nearfields (5") vs larger nearfields (8"). I never got a mixdown I was happy with on the 5" monitors, but as soon as I switched up to 8" I started nailing mixes the first or second time through. (Although it should be pointed out that I also added some acoustic treatment + got a better studio space at the same time I switched to 8", plus my 5" probably didn't have the latest bass reflex technology.) I guess the golden rule is go listen for yourself with some music you know + trust and see what reveals the most about the sound. Try not to listen for what sounds "best" to your ears like you would with a hifi system, but instead try to listen to the flaws in each track that the monitors reveal. eg. If you have 5 tracks that you think all sound pretty well mastered and similar on your hifi system, you might find that some monitors really highlight the differences between them, eg. some of the tracks might sound surprisingly dull or bright, some lack bass, some have too much bass etc. These are the monitors you should go for as they'll let you really see your sound for what it is.
Last edited by a1studmuffin on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Direkt » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:05 pm

For sure.

Out of interest what makes and models were the 5" and 8" you then switched to?

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Re: Abelton live

Post by a1studmuffin » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:07 pm

I went from Alesis M1 520s to Mackie HR824 MKIs. Quite a jump in price - about 3-4x as expensive, but the difference was like night and day. I still reckon I'd get better mixdowns if I got the 10" sub that goes with the Mackies... can't really justify the extra $$$ at the moment though. :)

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Direkt » Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:14 pm

Got ya.

So it wasn't just the size of monitor difference... but the quality as well yeah?

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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:44 am

:D

Awesome! Thanks guys!

Slow and steady wins the race, but FAAARK I want to get this set up now!!!! So many ideas and so much crap on tv that keeps me turning it off and doing something more productive like writing or reading. Prolly take a few years of sounding like a cicada in a matchbox until I can get the ideas in my head out and into some sort of semi-listenable state, and when I drag you to my place to listen to my latest and greatest, don't hold back with the criticisms... I know you all know what you are doing :)

Also, keep me in mind when y'all upgrade. Hand-me-downs ftw.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by a1studmuffin » Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:31 pm

@Direkt: Yeah the accuracy of the monitors just seemed way, way better over the whole frequency range... as soon as I played some of my older stuff on there alongside some well produced tracks, mine sounded dull, lifeless + flat. I could hear straight away that I didn't have enough top-end, there was too much going on in the mids, and the bass wasn't extending low enough. On my old monitors they sounded fine compared to other tracks. Like I say though there's probably a number of other factors involved, not just the monitors, but I think the monitor upgrade would have constituted a large part of that.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by youthful_implants » Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:35 pm

a1studmuffin wrote:EDIT: Oh alex, you removed your post about bass reflex. :( This post now makes no sense. Oh well. Let's get on with it.


sorry I gave up. :lol:
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Re: Abelton live

Post by Stray » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:17 pm

Direkt wrote:Tascam VLA5's are great for their price, but purchase the accompanying sub if you're doing anything remotely bass orientated - it will still work out relatively cheap. If your room is small, as you say, you probably shouldn't get anything bigger than a 5" cone.


Great price, made even greater. She is scoring them from me for $400.
Her room is tiny.. I can't even stand up in it!

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Direkt » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:28 pm

Sweet deal!

Are they your old ones, or do you work in a store Mr. Stray?

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Stray » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:35 pm

Never been used. I won them in a raffle!

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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:39 pm

Lolz... I think he won them or summat. Price includes drop-off and set-up. I am throwing in some crust pizza, drinks and a venue for BSG final and 1st series of Cylon spinoff Caprica FLAYVIN.

WIN
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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:39 pm

Ahhh doing it wrong once again.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by Stray » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:45 pm

You can delete double posts you know ;)

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Direkt » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:46 pm

Nice prize!

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Re: Abelton live

Post by youthful_implants » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:57 pm

sharing the love, nice to see. =)
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Re: Abelton live

Post by deviant » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:14 pm

Stray wrote:Never been used. I won them in a raffle!


all proceeds go to charity right wayne?

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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:21 pm

Who is Charity, and has Jodi been informed?
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Re: Abelton live

Post by Stray » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:51 pm

deviant wrote:
Stray wrote:Never been used. I won them in a raffle!


all proceeds go to charity right wayne?


Sure! Just like your stimulus payment :D

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Re: Abelton live

Post by youthful_implants » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:34 pm

C.I.A. wrote:Who is Charity, and has Jodi been informed?


I dont know but she's fucking loaded.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:24 am

:D

Big Ups Beatnick for hooking a girl up.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by a1studmuffin » Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:38 pm

C.I.A. wrote:Big Ups Beatnick for hooking a girl up.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Robot Rod » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:00 am

a1studmuffin wrote:I use an M-Audio Axiom 25 (also available in larger flavours):

Image

It's pretty sturdy, but the endless knobs and lack of automap piss me off a bit. Keys + pads feel nice though (very much like an MPC). In this day and age I reckon you can find better though, I'd probably lean towards the Novation range (if you can afford it)... but to be honest ever since I moved away from hardware sequencing to software sequencing, I don't find myself using my MIDI keyboard for anything apart from playing notes so I'm probably not the best person to ask...


I have the same keyboard which came with ABLETON LIVE LITE 6, is that worth using as im a Reason user, i think lite only lets you use 8 tracks but i could bounce shit. And its cheaper to upgrade i thinkl !!

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Lephrenic » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:05 pm

Yeah, I started with Live Lite 6. Upgrades are quite reasonable.

If I recall correctly, Lite lets you use four audio and four midi tracks. All the functionality is still there though.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Direkt » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:28 pm

Sounds about right.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by a1studmuffin » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:26 pm

I thought it was only two audio + two midi tracks... could be wrong though.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Direkt » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:26 pm

Pretty sure it's 4.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by a1studmuffin » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:15 pm

Righto... I think I was using a really old version, may have been 2 back then.

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Re: Abelton live

Post by Lephrenic » Sat May 02, 2009 2:09 am

Oh my. Live 8 is great!! The transient detection makes warping tracks SO much easier. Absolute godsend.

And the Elastique Pro algorithm is a big improvement on the old Complex mode.

Frequency Shifter is cool. Haven't delved much into the other new fx yet, though I'm sure I'll be having fun with the Looper and Vocoder before long.

Still a little buggy so far, but it shouldn't take long for them to fix up. 8 really is worth the upgrade IMO.

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unsoundbwoy
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Re: Abelton live

Post by unsoundbwoy » Sun May 03, 2009 9:06 pm

fully agree
took a moment to be up and running with the new warping but now its quicker and tighter.
complex pro is markedly better
limiter is handy and gives a bit before distortion
be nice if a bug fix comes out before gigs


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C.I.A.
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Re: Abelton live

Post by C.I.A. » Mon May 04, 2009 5:49 pm

Wordeth to thine mother, Lephrenic.

Is MAD. Tutorials for n00b d00fus types like me are A1. My brother (who is an awesome jazz musician and practices for 5 hours a day) has recorded some squarepusher-style beats for me to use. Pity I can't make them sound as fat as they need to be. Methinks that the recording has a bit to do with this, but 90% is my inability to nail compression.
I wanted to be a hero. I wanted to be the center of attention. I wanted the glory, I wanted the fame. I wanted the pretty girls to come up and say, "Hi, I see that you're good at Centipede."

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Hardy
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Re: Abelton live

Post by Hardy » Mon May 04, 2009 6:10 pm

LOL CIA, girls can't make music!

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