At a personal crossroads.
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  1. #1
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    Default At a personal crossroads.

    About 10 months ago I decided to go with a "best of all worlds" solution to get back into DJing, grabbing a Kontrol S2. My intentions for it was to get back into the hip-hop & r&b scene (at that time in the DC area) and hit up some clubs and what not. This was not the most ideal choice, since I grew up playng on SL1200s.

    Since that time I moved back to NY state (work in the city for a big media conglomerate of all places) and I have spent less and less time practicing. Also as a new home owner my weekend time is further diminished. At the rate I am going I don't think I will realize my dream of hitting a club before the end of the year.

    I enjoy using TP2 (although 2.5 brought on some CPU issues) but I have not been as happy with my production sets. I have published a few mix tapes http://www.mixcloud.com/ParisCreative/ and a scratch sample http://http://soundcloud.com/pariscreative that I am only basically satisfied with. Maybe it was perception but I always though that at my prime (late 80s to mid 90s) my sets were much tighter, but since I have few tapes from that time it's hard to judge.

    At this point I am wondering if I would find more pleasure with something like Ableton. While I could keep my S2 and do some scratching, juggling, etc. to layer in, I am finding my mixes to be kinda flat with my current use. Maybe I am just being over critical, but I have thrown so many mixes out because of a big error, and I had sworn not to "splice" mixes together. Now I am thinking of going a full 180 and doing something like Ableton.

    Has anyone been in a similar position as I am? Any thoughts, critiques, criticisms you would like to share?
    ParisCreative: Rane 62 | Denon SC3900s | MBP 13" | My MixCloud | Like me on Facebook

  2. #2
    Tech Guru MyUsername's Avatar
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    Do you personally feel more practice would change anything at all ?

    And if I get it right, you scratch on the S2's jogs now ?
    And juggling like turntablism or controllerism ?

  3. #3
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    Honestly, it's a really tough call. I don't think Ableton is going to be the solution you want, though it is really damned interesting. I see Ableton as an able bodied DAW, and then it really shines when you are playing your own productions out. Some people use it otherwise for their sets, but that's my opinion on it.

    Really, in the Hip-Hop/R&B scene... turntables are still king. And I feel if you got a pair of those, and the DVS to go along side it, you'd have more fun. It's a totally different feel.
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  4. #4
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    I would probably sharpen up my skills a little more, but I think a big issue is I have become ultra-critical of what I do. It's a bit different when you are doing it live (from what I remember), I felt more in a zone then. Now since all I can really do at this point is mix tapes, I become more demanding.

    I do believe my song selection, and deep knowledge in the roots of the samples that are used, still is a great asset. I still amaze my wife that I have a pretty idyllic memory of song, being able to pick a song out in the first 1-2 beats, and usually know the year, and still sometimes the track number of a song.

    As for turntabilism on a controller that is what I am trying to do. The feel is quite a bit different from what I remember, although it's not a terrible feel, just different. It's hard to argue with the footprint of a controller like the S2 versus two turntables, and the cost was much lower ($600) to jump right back in.

    Baseline Brine might be right, my desires might be only solved by a DVS and turntables. However the cost of entry is pretty high.
    ParisCreative: Rane 62 | Denon SC3900s | MBP 13" | My MixCloud | Like me on Facebook

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Studio mixes are GREAT, and can be pulled together pretty easily in Ableton. For me, a studio mix is the only way to get the ideas in my head out! Doing it all live/on the fly is just not possible.

    Your comment on samples/original tracks rings true with me - I sometimes create an edit of a track with elements of the original thrown in there somewhere. I love it when I hear the 3rd and 4th bar of a sample that I've only heard the 1st and 2nd bar of in the past!

    For YEARS I wanted to be able to get the ideas out of my head, and into a LIVE (one take) DJ set - but it is just so complex, that I settled for a mid-point: produce remixes/mash-ups in Live, and DJ with them in DJ Decks DVS.

    It works for me...
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  6. #6
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    Patch, that is what I am trying right now. I decided to go a new direction for my next mix, a fully flushed out remix/mash-up of a song (80s r&b/hip-hop/pop theme for this next mix) and then mixing them up. I tried to do my mash-up live, but the one thing I am lacking is some of the layers I want to add.

    I've uploaded an example of what I am doing, in this case Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation mixed over Walk This Way and Funky President. This was done live with my S2.



    It's not bad, with manual beatmashing it gave me some good and then so-so results at the break points. But after playing with Ableton for a hour or so yesterday I was able to isolate out the original track some more, and I could see a lot of places to add some new depth and originality to the song. Things like that, short of a F1 and impeccable timing, it would be hard to accomplish. I haven't completed that track mastered in Ableton yet but it will be an interesting compare.
    ParisCreative: Rane 62 | Denon SC3900s | MBP 13" | My MixCloud | Like me on Facebook

  7. #7
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    Well I found this interesting. So I remade the mix in Ableton to see if I could isolate the voice some more, and do a little more to the mix. While I tidied up the loop, it sounds nearly identical. I am very surprised that they match so closely.



    Playing with Ableton today it's nice to get such precise control, but it did feel I was losing the "fun" aspect of it, even from the controller v. Ableton perspective. So I don't think I could ever use it exclusively. However making a remix enables a lot of control, even if the sounds are similar to live.
    Last edited by ParisCreative; 07-31-2012 at 07:21 PM.
    ParisCreative: Rane 62 | Denon SC3900s | MBP 13" | My MixCloud | Like me on Facebook

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