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How does Liam play live?

Started by Slacky, November 29, 2001, 12:10:30 PM

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How does Liam play out live, I understand he modifys his tracks (preprogrammed) to give a live feel. How does he go about doing this?

WHat equipment does he use to control his synths?


The songs themselfes are splitted into tracks (for example Firestarter, there's the Breeders-sample lying on one track,  the synthiesounds each have a single track or else are coming live from the synth's, drummachines are pre-recorded onto outboard-samplers (not W 30) and so on). Those are sequencer controlled (W 30).

To keep the setup easy & Liam visible behind all his gear, most 'small' things like fills are sampled and triggered either by the sequencer or Liam himself, instead of having all synthies with him on stage.
A well known answer in an interview some time ago was "I always have a safety-drumroll beside me, so if my finger slips off the keyboard -which happens all the time- I can just roll it in" or something like that.
That says a lot about how he works and sets up his stuff life.
If you went to a gig and heard him preparing all the samples while hiding behind that black kerchief, you might have noticed that all samples are just triggered very shortly and mostly aren't played out till the end.
So if he fires a sample, he can't be playing all his W 30's all the time.
Dunno how much W 30's he has on stage, I think it were four or five. Some ore for samples and at least one is for the live-synthies.

What do you mean by modifying / Preprogramming?
He's got it all sequenced. Just like recording in the studio, but with playing some elements in himself.

If you look at it this way, Prodge live is a boring thing (at least from the technical and musical side).
That might be the reason why Liam started with the congas and later added the drums and stuff. He must have bored himself to death up there...

Tradition IS a tradition


I'm still not convinced about his live capabilities. Between the tracks he uses live loops but they always sound like shit but when he starts the next track everything sounds clean again.

I might be wrong cos I never worked with a roland w30.
I work with 2 rolands mc-505 to sequence my tracks and I build my tracks live with muting and unmuting parts, I guess Liam does the same.

Are ya sure that his beats are in his akai samplers? He uses a tr909 onstage, don't know if it's connected to his w30


What do you mean by 'live-loops'?

Loops are loops, so they aren't live, but I guess you mean that he triggers them manually from the kb?
Yes, you're right, see, you said that the stuff in between the tracks sounds like shit (- at the four gigs they played this year, you were able to get pure, unmixed, liamish synthie-sound. Maybe you remember the bubbly sounding LFO-stuff he did? Just a simple analogue standart thing, every beginner could turn the LFO knob up & down and would get a similar result.
Sounded good? Nope, I thought he was bugged off or too lazy to use edited, better sounding samples (eq'ued and so on). -)

The normal tracks (and links) were pre-recorded, so also pre-mixed and of course mastered, that's why they sound like from CD and not as shitty as the manual unedited bridges he played.

But he did it a lot better some time ago, remember the Poison-live-version from the Breathe-single? There he played in some cool noises from the JD990 which were fitting just great.
There wasn't a difference in sound-quality, it was like made for each other.
I don't understand why Liam got so lazy. Maybe he thought no one would notice that it sounded crappy. But at least we two did. Or he had other reasons letting it slide this way.

Na, the W30 is much less than the MC505, only the sequencer might be a tad better, but I don't know, haven't used a W30 either.
No, Liam isn't just muting & unmuting, he's playing LIVE (but mostly synth-lines and stuff, no drumstuff as I noticed),
you can easily watch him do that on the epunks-video.
Like I mentioned above, the songs are splitted and some lines are played by him, some are sequenced.

I haven't said he's got his beats in the akai, but I'd bet he's got them on the drummachines (SP1200, BD and Snare, sureshot...), and the drumloops on some sampler or the W30 itself (although I don't think so, the W30's only got a few seconds sample-ram with 12bit resolution, so he can't have long loops on it).

Afaic he uses the Tr909 unsequenced as well (as also seen on the epunks-vid).

Tradition IS a tradition


Hello from Greece.
I have seen Liam playing live 3 times and I  believe that plays his tracks from dat. Then he plays samples and sounds to fill the gaps.
Im playing with synths and samplers almost 11 years so I can understand when sth is not live.


liams just gets a cd player to play jilted and fotl while he puts in a couple of bass drum beats here and there. :P  

at least thats what its sounded like for the past year.


liams just gets a cd player to play jilted and fotl while he puts in a couple of bass drum beats here and there. :P
Tradition IS a tradition


hey dudes,
I think that Liam makes it easy for himself up on stage because of one reason. Safety. Like everyone sais, "safety first", think if Liam had to do most of the stuff with his fingers, he could make mistakes real fast. I mean, his music is not slow at all. It depends on the song.

If he was playing OUT OF SPACE, or other older songs mostly himself and he would do somethin wrong, then that would be a disaster. You know, he would maybe press a wrong button or use the wrong voice...whatever. Anything can happen.

When I play at home, it happens to me so often, I always do somethin wrong, I hate it. And I hate my keyboard. Its a Korg Karma. I should have never bought it. I swear dudes, it sux.

p.s. ekko Im going to write you an e mail about synthesisers...


Hi mate, received your mail, will be responding to it tomorrow.

About live:
I found an old article, were he said the background stuff comes from DAT, drumtracks are thrown out and replaced with the live drummer (or both at once eg. SMBU), keyboard-playable-lines are played in live. and in another interview way before that (jilted-era) he said, he always had a safety-drumroll on one track, so he can ... urrr, moment, I think I wrote about that a long time ago, that should be found above or somewhere else here around.

Tradition IS a tradition


did u send me a mail yet, hope i didnt delete, I usually get junk mail

Liam Live, wow, that rocks


Yep, it's out.
I'll send it again.
Tradition IS a tradition


I cant reach you. Check off topic

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