Ableton setup for DJ use
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru Bunford's Avatar
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    Default Ableton setup for DJ use

    I'm planning to use Ableton as my DJ tool fron soon onwards after deciding to shift over from Traktor Pro. My main readon behind this is due to Ableton allowing me to create and perform at the same time in a live scenario.

    I plan to use 3 controllers. A VCI-100 for basic DJ controls like crossfader, volume, EQ, looping, master channel effects etc. Then, I am going to use a Novation Launchpad to launch clips and pretty much out of the box layout. Then, I'm going to use a LPD8 as a specific effects controller for each track and make use of the knobs on it.

    Or, that's the plan anyway. I have a couple f questions on this though.

    a) How complex would it be to map the above and have the 3 controllers in constant use with Ableton?

    b) What's the best/most logical way to set up Ableton for DJing? Is it, having channels set up as Deck A, Deck B, Deck C etc with tracks cued up in them and have effects hooked up to the decks, or to have each column as it's own separate track with that specific track's cue points etc and hook up the effects that work with them songs? (I hope you get what I mean on this one as I have no idea how to explain it!)

    The only way I can kind of explain point B, if you don't understand, is:

    Deck A Deck B Deck C
    Track 1 Track 2 Track 3
    Track 4 Track 5 Track 6
    Track 7 Track 8 Track 9

    or:

    TRACK 1 TRACK 2 TRACK 3 TRACK 4 TRACK 5
    Cue 1 Cue 1 Cue 1 Cue 1 Cue 1
    Cue 2 Cue 2 Cue 2 Cue 2 Cue 2
    Cue 3 Cue 3 Cue 3 Cue 3
    Cue 4 Cue 4 Cue 4
    Cue 5 Cue 5
    Cue 6

    etc etc.
    Ableton 9.7.5, Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate 11, MOTU 828 Mk2, Nektar Impact LX61+, Ableton Push, Native Instruments Kore 2, and a random selection of soft synths and sample libraries.
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  2. #2
    Tech Guru grazz16's Avatar
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    Default

    The way I do it is making each column its own "deck" with its own EQ and whatever effects you want assigned to it, I only have Lite so for me its just EQ and delay. Then split up your songs to match cue points, or significant parts of the song (intro, main, breakdown etc.) and use follow actions to keep the regular flow of the song going.

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor djsakebomb's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunford View Post
    a) How complex would it be to map the above and have the 3 controllers in constant use with Ableton?
    Honestly, you'll probably have a hard time finding parameters to map to all the controllers. In particular, all the buttons on the VCI-100.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunford View Post
    b) What's the best/most logical way to set up Ableton for DJing?
    ...
    TRACK 1 TRACK 2 TRACK 3 TRACK 4 TRACK 5
    Cue 1 Cue 1 Cue 1 Cue 1 Cue 1
    Cue 2 Cue 2 Cue 2 Cue 2 Cue 2
    Cue 3 Cue 3 Cue 3 Cue 3
    Cue 4 Cue 4 Cue 4
    Cue 5 Cue 5
    Cue 6
    This way would work the best. I would set it up so that you have Deck A, Deck B, Deck C and Deck D, where Deck D is your cueing deck. Set it up to have the output of Deck D go straight to your headphones. Then you can just drag a track to that deck to figure out when to bring it in, levels, etc.

    Then, follow grazz16's advice on how to split each song to make pseudo-cue points. Save each song and it's corresponding cue points as it's own .als file. Create a folder to save all those .als files in, then you can use the Ableton browser and just drag in the song you want to play. This'll greatly reduce the amount of memory Ableton uses.
    The enemy's gate is DOWN.

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