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Praful: Using Live in a Jazz Setting

With a fresh combination of jazz improvisation, electronica, and Indian and Brazilian influences, Praful's music takes many exotic, technology assisted turns. The German-born, Amsterdam-based performer on saxophone, flute, and bansuri (an Indian end-blown flute) tours around the world using Live to accompany his ensemble. We talked with Praful about his use of computers on stage and how Live's flexibility complements a jazz performer.

To download a video showing Praful's Live setup, click here.


"I want my music to evolve, not only musically, but also sonically, and Live gives me that opportunity. I have songs prepared in scenes. Some things are fixed, where I prepare clips in a certain length. Other parts are more open, where I can play the parts as long as I want. This way, I can build up solos by zapping through scenes that make a dynamic buildup or by bringing in and out channels, to which I have assigned mute buttons. There are different possibilities, with room for spontaneous action while playing with a band."

Praful finds using the Behringer FCB1010 foot controller gives him hands-free control of Live: "I can zap through scenes with one switch, I can stop and play, and I can change the tempo. Some songs I start up while the band is already playing, and then it's very important that I can tap the tempo...I can have any sort of tempo I want."

In addition to triggering samples and scenes, Praful uses Live as a loop recorder and effects processor for his sax: "I also use Ableton Live for saxophone input. I go in from my wireless receiver straight into the input of my [MOTU Traveler] audio interface, into the computer, back out into the interface with low latency. It allows me to use plug-ins on my instrument, which is a really cool thing."

Most importantly, Live lets Praful use triggering technology, without losing jazz's spontaneity: "Live gives me the opportunity to create different sounds onstage and still have the freedom of a jazz musician." In Live, Praful has found the perfect technology to complement his creativity.

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