ALK2 not there yet - sorry

I thought I drop a note to development before I walk away.

In the past month I did a lot of ALK2 testing to see whether we could use ALK2 as our live work horse, yet the verdict is that it is not ready for prime time. This is a shame because it is exactly what I was looking for …

Here are the biggest gripes (and if development is serious to go after these issues, they will find detailed info in my other posts):

(1) Save/restore not reliable: A project that works now could be corrupted after the next edit or clip import. It’s unpredictable and unreliable - especially as ALK2 rewrites e.g. MID files even if you just open the project! Not seen that in any other software!!

(2) Handling extremely cumbersome: MIDI message can only be implemented via using pre-prepared clips but every import of a clip adds 2 additional tracks which have to be deleted manually afterwards. Hence, setting up a song takes ages if you require some MIDI triggers for external gear … and soon afterwards it is corrupted (see point 1 above).

(3) Everything is loaded into RAM, which (a) limits how many WAV can be used in a song and (b) much worse, leads to very long loading times. Even a short 4 min song using 3 WAV files already needs about 20 seconds to load from new SSD drives (!!!), other DAW software like Ableton (which is not the fastest either) loads the same song setup in 6 seconds because they stream from disk!

20+ seconds is not usable for live shows, even if you ever get around to implement a playlist (which I did in BOME, so no need for it anymore, that’s done and working)

BTW, the ALK2 did not run at all on the powerful i7 Live Laptop (50% CPU without song loading, every mouse click taking 10+ seconds), when loading the new beta at least this issue was gone …

I will keep an eyes on ALK2 to see if development does come out with regular improvements, but until then it’s Ableton. Stability and reliability comes first in live environments, haven’t found that here. Sorry!

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I can understand you and feel very similar to you. I really want to use ALK as my Main DAW (yes, it´s possible, IF… the system is stable, reliable and fast). And that´s not the case yet. The company is very kind in person of Robin but feels like a hobbyist project. I also look for alternatives (but I love ALKs interface and simplicity), but cannot use all of my plugins and have crashes etc. in ALK)

It´s a shame… If the next update (when does it come “very soon”?) will not iron out the bugs i will be gone…

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(2) is very annoying and it should not be hard to change this behavior. Please adress this!!!
(3) is very problematic. Right now, I have a project that takes forever to load (or save or to add a new instrument). I’m running the beta version.

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Thanks for your feedback everyone. Most of these issues we are aware of.

We have a huge backlog of fixes and adjustments to work on at the moment. Once this crucial fix for Windows users is dealt with we’ll be swiftly moving onto issues like these.


How is your post dated May 21? I really hope you can make progress with these issues. Your software has so much potential with so many people wanting it to work, but so far I feel that I wasted my money. It has proven to be so unusable and unreliable. Empty promises do not get good business. Please do something about it or at leat let the community know when all of these issues that you are aware of (and have been for several years) will be fixed.

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HI SoundRehab,

I appreciate your analysis. Have similar issues, but stay confident. Here a copy of my post in another topic:
“ Hi guys, I am working at my multi-instrumental one-man-seven-real-instrument-show for December. I work on Mac and I have, indeed, experienced some bugs programming, especially with newer laptops and Catalina. BUT I did not loose faith in the program. IT IS THE BEST OF ITS KIND and I renew my confidence and trust in the team and the program.

To make things totally clear, I have spent A LOT of money investing in real instruments, PA system, mixer etc. as well as sound engineer to make this work, without mentioning the hundreds of hours in composing and arranging.

So now, even if should decide to drop the program, I saved the latest version 2.2.5 and I will use it on older macs and IOS as long as I can. This is the best looping program I have ever come across and there is no way I wil stop using it.

I take this further: @heycoffeeeyes if the problem is financing, I would support a yearly subscription and if others would follow me in this, maybe you get over the problem and can continue developing the program

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I would not build an entire show on a software tool that is no longer supported, I would jump ship right away (or wait to Cyber Monday to buy something else for half price) otherwise you will redo your entire show setup again a little while down the road (I have had that happen to me with other products that no longer delivered updates and fixes)…

HI Sound-Rehab,

Yes, I totally agree with you. Could you give me a good advice? In my case, having learned Zen-audio and programmed a few songs that work (complicated stuff, I play 10+ instruments in one song…) I could in fact learn another software and re-program.

But there is no other soft out there. I mean, a software specifically designed to do SCRIPTED LIVE LOOPING with no pedals.
I know, there is Ableton with looper plug-in, Reaper with Nabla looper plug-in, but having purchased both, I was totally discouraged by the complexity of these softwares. I ONLY play audio instruments (no midi, no imported loops) and I need a software that is easy to use, because my thing is play and sing… not be an audio technician.

So, yes, I agree with you. Can you give me a few scripted software names I could use instead of Alk2? I did not find any, but I would VERY HAPPY to find one :slight_smile: Thank you in advance for your help. Enrico

Hi Enrico,

We use Ableton Live (Standard Version, not the Suite) and loop an entire band (piano, synths, bass, trumpet, vocals … and soon also drum samples) in a scripted manner. So far it works perfectly i.e. no crashes, no noticable latency plus full control/automation of FX and lights/video via MIDI tracks.

If you already own Ableton I recommend to give it another try. The initial setup looks tedious because instead of defining record and playback regions by drawing rectangles as in ALK you need to draw these regions in the looper automation lane … however, once you have a working template for a song, it’s easy for the other tracks …

BTW: We also only do live “audio” instruments which we loop (no MIDI looping), MIDI is for additional features …

Hey Rob,
Since you’re not using your license for ALK2 would you consider selling yours to me? I was going to purchase but the site wasn’t SSL encrypted then. After the SSL was back, they stopped selling it.

I’m using it for MIDI entirely and seems to be functional enough for my use. I’m going to use the Ableton method you posted about as well. But i’d like to have ALK2 in my back pocket also. No worries, if you’re not into it.


Sorry, I never bought ALK2. All my assessments were done during the 30 day trial period, which convinced me not to buy …

Ah ok, no worries. Thanks for the reply

Hi, this is Enrico, I thank you a lot for your reply. I believe what you say is right and I should give it another try. But learning something new, especially if nobody gives lessons about the particular thing you are trying to learn is very time consuming… I have a proposal for you: could you give me a few lessons per Skype? I am more than happy to pay for it. I have a friend that uses Ableton Live a lot and I showed him what I do on Alk2… he told me he doesn’t have the faintest idea how to do this on Ableton… So he can’t help me. Please let me know

Hi Enrico,

What got me started in Ableton was really just this video here: Products similar to zenaudio?

The setup is not complicated. First create an Ableton song setup for whatever you intend to play live, then add looper FX to the every track where you want to loop some part and use the automation lanes to switch between record and playback of looped sections (I don’t use overdub but that’s there as well).

It’s not as elegant as in ALK2 but it’s essentially the same: Drawing regions in ALK = dragging the looper automation lanes number up or down.

I don’t think a generic Skype “lecture” would get you very far at this point. Give it a try first and when stuck ask for help :wink: Specific answers for specific questions are far more efficient.