Ideas down quick

Hi,i produce dance music,i read in interviews from people who use ableton live.
Always say"just great for gettin ideas down quickly" etc,as if it takes an age to get an idea down in other daws.
am i missing something,or is it not easy to get an idea down just as quickly in cubase?

It depends a lot on what kind of music you make. Once you master Cubase, you can compose with MIDI about as fast as you are able to think and your fingers can move. If your music is basically modulated noise and laser sounds, Live can be slightly faster. Live’s MIDI editing is pretty bad.

I think it is what you are used to. Me Cubase and other daws feel strange and slow. But I was fluent in Live cubase would be difficult I guess…

To be able to write ideas down quickly IMO it’s very important you have the right ‘basic’ templates. If you rush to your studio to record the greatest idea you ever had you don’t want to go brows for the right sounds or plugins before you can actually start to record. So invest in setting up as much different templates you think you will ever need to cover the type of music you make. It won’t get any faster to than that.

I miss the cassette recorder - jolly useful for this sort of thing.

I sometimes keep a feed running to a two track digital recorder if I’m having an unstructured go at creating ideas - sometimes helps capture fleeting (and in my case rare) moments of brilliance you get while improvising around an idea, but aren’t ready to start track laying. It avoids cluttering the project with unwanted files but keeps a record of ideas. You don’t get the notes back but you can listen though the session and see if the idea is as good as you thought it was. And MIdi retrospective record also brilliant for getting doodles down quickly if your not recording at the time. Lifesaver.

Set up some templates. Have drums and synths with basic Bass, Lead, Pad sounds. A sampler track…a Mic input and External FX routed.

Can’t see Ableton et al being any faster for getting ideas down.

That’s what I do. A template if I’m doing traditional 4/5 piece band. 1 for External drum machine and external synths plus MIDI obviously for the more electronic stuff. I’ve got templates for vinyl and tape restoration work…Acoustic guitar and vox etc etc.

As nearly all the music I’ve created has been improvised and then embellished… it’s how I roll and Cubase has been my ‘tape recorder’ since the 90s.

I keep meaning to try out Ableton as like the OP said lots of people say it’s good for laying stuff down but TBH time isn’t something I’m willing to spend esp when it takes me ages to learn new features.

I’ve always thought that the Steinberg hub could offer a single big record button! Clicking that would record everything coming in be it midi or audio. Then it would discard the unused inputs and present you with a neat project of what you just recorded. You’d then save it as a new project somewhere and hey presto you have captured your sketch/doodle/idea/improvisation.


If your use the templates that is a good way to start building the songs Billy Joel actually keeps a mini recorder next to his bed so if he has an idea while he’s sleeping he could record it right into the recorder before he forgets it