Look familiar? There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you fire up a month-old project, hit play and hear all your VST synths banging away while your system shrugs its shoulders, lights up a blunt and says “drums wha??”
Okay, the hand has been forced a little bit. I’ve learned more about file handling in Live than I ever wanted to know and here are some choice takeaways:
If you store and organize your samples in samplers (and you should–this guy explains why) then you have to keep the samples in the Library. Or, you don’t have to (my feet are not on the couch) but you kind of have to for a simple reason that wasn’t apparent to me until pretty recently. When you work this way, you’re using a lot of samples in every project. For every dumb blippy little hi-hat sound that you’re using, you’ve loaded 128 samples into your project. This is cool; they’re just sitting there and not really eating up resources and the tradeoff (auditioning sounds in context, through your mix bus) is totally worth it. But let’s say you do a lot of remix work or dragging clips from iTunes or whatever, and you’re dragging files into your Live sets a lot. You’re going to want to Collect All and Save so that all these files are copied into the project folder. This gets shitty when you start to do this for lots of files and every single sample variation for every single drum sound you’re using is also copied into the project folder. Disk space is cheap, but it’s not that cheap. Fortunately, Live gives you the option to skip collecting all referenced files that are contained in the Library. Nice. Now, the Library is just another big, bloated system-crashing Live Project, right? So, if I want to save all my 128s, samples, presets etc in my own Live Project called BOUNCE CASTLE that I keep in a dark, secret place on my hard drive, that should be pretty much the same thing as storing them in the Library, right? Kind of. Yes, it then has a cool icon and when you drag devices there (assuming you have Collect On Export turned on) it will collect all your samples to that project and nothing will ever get lost, which is cool. But when you’re doing a Collect All on a set you’re working on, there’s no “Exclude Files from BOUNCE CASTLE” option, meaning you’re going to be making a shitload of duplicates. This is why you have to use the Library, even though it might kind of suck and there are a ton of reasons why you might want to separate your church and state. For example: I do Ableton/Pro Tools stuff for my day job. I compose music and do sound design for videos and TV spots and stuff. I have all my Library crap on a big thumb drive so that I can access it on the work machine, but it’s a bunch of my own stuff, from my own studio, and I don’t necessarily want to leave it all hanging out on the work computer–it’s my stuff, it’s part of my own workflow and I use it at work but I don’t want them claiming ownership of every sound I’ve ever made if things one day go sour. It would be like them trying to confiscate your neck-pillow and gel wristpad and family size bottle of Dayquil (brought from home yeah) when you quit, but I’ve seen it happen so I watch my ass. Also, I like to keep all the copies of my library pretty much in sync and keeping the number of copies to a minimum helps with this. Now, I don’t need to be carrying around every single grand piano and timbale sample from the factory Live Library, do I? I have Suite at my studio, they have Suite at the work studio, I’m a Lebowski…all those sounds are shared between systems anyway and it seems lame and redundant. I’d like to just bring my BOUNCE CASTLE in my bag with me but I don’t think I can have all these different types of cake and eat them all too. So I drag this albatross of a library around with me, pony up for the big thumb drive and it’s not that big a deal. More to come on this subject. Fascinating, huh?
Speaking of Silent Library, check out this awesome episode featuring CRAZY NICK where he gets shot with a rice cannon and tazed by a midget.