live drummer looking to DJ and improv with a focus on drum beats
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014

    Default live drummer looking to DJ and improv with a focus on drum beats

    Hi all,

    I'm new here and new to DJing.

    Essentially, what I want to do is mix tracks (obviously). Also, coming from a background in live drumming, I want to be able to produce and interweave my own beats on the fly, live.

    I know that you need a standard controller for the first and a drum machine for the second. I don't know how they work, what an ideal setup would be, what products to buy and how to put the whole thing together.

    Do I need software like Ableton or Traktor? Do I need to get a Mac or does this work on Windows? Would I even need a laptop at all for the drum machine?

    There's a lot of info out there and I'm not really sure what to search for, so if anyone could condense some info or answer my Qs it would truly be much appreciated.


  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    do you want a drum machine with finger pads or do you want a pad you can hook up on your drum kit to play electronic drums on your kit?

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor
    Join Date
    Dec 2013


    Some background information: There are a lot of different solutions. There are hardware drum maschines (no computer required) like the "real" MPCs or drum synthesizers with step sequenzers built in. Pros here are the indepentance and hands-on-experience.

    Today controllers are much more common due to them being much more affordable and beeing much more limited by software than hardware, which is an advantage because again software is much cheaper than hardware. The best example is the NativeInstruments Maschine or the new MPC controllers. These controllers usually come with a big ass software, which gives a lot of freedom in creativity. Therefore they leak the ease of use aspact every here and there. For example the software extands what the small displays of those controllers can show by far. This means you have to understand a lot of buttons and workflows to really feel comfortable just jamming live on an advanced level. Controllers work just as fine on PCs as on MACs!

    When it comes to software DJing and live beats there are three very popular solutions:

    1) DJing with the Traktor software and syncing it to the Maschine software. Here is a video of Ean Golden (DJTT) giving some advice on this setup:

    2) DJing with Ableton and either syncing it to Maschine or using Ableton Push, which is a dedicated controller for Ableton. This is in the gap between the old school DJing and music production. You should do some research on DJing with Ableton. Here is another DJTT video about DJing with Ableton:
    This is the Ableton Push controller I was talking about and some glimpse at how you can use it live (jump to 6:00):

    3) There is a DJTT midi controller called MIDI fighter twister with a build in sequenzer that offers tight integration into the Traktor Remix Decks feature. Check it out here:

    There are even more options, but I think this could get you started. Traktor and Ableton offer free demos so you can easily check them out without any risk.
    Last edited by tilldrop; 09-01-2014 at 04:28 AM.

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