A hybrid workflow tale

Turns out trying to use a Nord Lead 3 as a master controller comes with its tradeoffs.

Firstly, there’s a bug Clavia never fixed where if you play live while there’s incoming MIDI, you get bad voice stealing. And I mean hilariously bad. Solution: Local Off. One of the most despised ideas in all of music production by me. So now some of my performances will produce no sound when the NL3 isn’t connected to the setup, hooray.

So the Pyramid had to be set up for Multichannel. It has a feature where you can have all channels except one be echoed back. That channel becomes a master controller channel for the active track. This makes some sense.

I record a finished song into Ableton. So far so good … hmm, we have voice doubling. Aha, I routed it through the MIDI interface so everything is getting sent to the Pyramid through the DIN input. Select the Pyramid instead… sounds good. Oh but the bass is gone.

The bass is on Channel 9, my Multichannel master channel, therefore it’s not being echoed. I have to give up one of my NL3 parts. Come on!! It only has 4 parts!!! So I have to choose between being able to improvise while a song is playing and an entire part? Errggh…

So back to square one? I have an MPK249 that is currently on the storage shelf. Do I want to use it as my master controller? Not particularly. First off I don’t have a ton of space, my 2-tier stand is occupied, the NL3 is on the desk with the Pyramid and a PadKontrol. And secondly I give up live recording of knob tweaks on the NL3. Something admittedly I haven’t tried yet but was planning to.

Well, I’m glad I typed all that out because I realized what to do. The “master control” part on NL3 can’t be sequenced, but it can be performed live. Since my whole spiel is playing keys over techno beats, my workflow will be to set up a sound on that part that I am likely to use in live performance.

Hope you all enjoyed that little ride. I think it’s good to document the crap we go through…

1 Like