Ableton DJ..?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
ryst
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Post by ryst » Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:13 pm

But DJ's don't work like that, crowds don't work like that, so it's not a very good solution.[
I'm not sure I totally agree with this. One of the dj's I met at the Namm show did something very interesting that I never thought about. He took all his samples he was going to use for the show put them in the session veiw. That way he did not have to worry about sifting through his hard drive to find a track, drag and drop in into the session view, cue it up and play. The dj's I talked to considered planning for a show as an equivelent to a band practicing a show before they play out. I believe that preparation is a must. Not weeks and weeks of practicing but with these examples the DJ's are playing great shows and still being completely spontaneous. Especially when everything has already been warp-marked. I don't think we need to have a program adjust to what we do always. If so we would all be software programmers. But that's just my opinion. I do think the points and ideas raised in this thread are very good! Let's keep talking!

rEalm
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Post by rEalm » Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:20 pm

Don't get me wrong, I believe in preparing for a show too, be it DJing or performing my own tracks. But even then, things change when you actually get on the "decks" as it were and see how the crowd is reacting. The DJ before you can have an enormous impact on what direction your set takes, as the crowd will already be in a certain groove and it could take me awhile to get them on the wavelength I had initially planned.

Also, I don't think prepping for a NAMM show and prepping for a 3 hour nightclub gig are close to equivalent to be honest.

Anyway, I can't believe there's such apprehension to wanting something simple like multiple loops per Clip. Even before I thought of using Live to DJ with, that was one feature I wanted (along with "play to" and "play after" loop options)!

ryst wrote:
But DJ's don't work like that, crowds don't work like that, so it's not a very good solution.[
I'm not sure I totally agree with this. One of the dj's I met at the Namm show did something very interesting that I never thought about. He took all his samples he was going to use for the show put them in the session veiw. That way he did not have to worry about sifting through his hard drive to find a track, drag and drop in into the session view, cue it up and play. The dj's I talked to considered planning for a show as an equivelent to a band practicing a show before they play out. I believe that preparation is a must.

StompyJ
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Post by StompyJ » Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:27 pm

rEALM,

I don't think anyone is extremely against it, we're just discusssing :)

I'm just apprehensive to the idea because it seems to break the clip/scene model that Live is really founded upon.

Doing so might make it a better DJaying app, but would certainly make it a much less effective sequencing app. Unless you were suggesting being able to do both, which may get confusing and lead to feature redundancy.

Again, like I said, I'm not familiar with how to DJ yet, so this is just me trying to understand the multiple loops in a clip concept, and how its actually that different than how things are done currently.
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StompyJ
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Post by StompyJ » Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:32 pm

Just a question to all the guys in this thread..

I assume you all rip your tracks to wav and play them that way?

Also, are there any non-ableton websites you know of dedicate to live and in particular its dj/live performance aspect?
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anti-banausic
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Post by anti-banausic » Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:38 pm

Yeah, I have to say that I would love to have a functionality that you are proposing (it would make life a lot easier), and I don't believe that it would be that confusing either (however, how to code it within the context of live might be more daunting). So don't get us wrong, as StompyJ said, we are just collectively thinking about different ways/approaches to this issue.

In fact, I have one place in my set right now where I wish I had an extra hand as I need to be crossfading, hitting the EQ3 for my bass to kick in, and hitting the key on my midi keyboard to cue the next sample (the whole track) to play. I think LIVE4 might take care of this with the "follow" function (but I haven't really explored that "functionality" yet. Though perhaps this would be very useful! You could have a clip looping for an intro, then if you assign a key to toggle the follow action, it may give some time before the next scene (which could be the full track) to play? I think I need to explore this, but I just haven't had enough time with LIVE4, and with the little I have had, I have been exploring the MIDI side and writing tracks.....

Oh well, another long post.
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ryansupak

Post by ryansupak » Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:45 pm

Right now I take every track and break it up into several soundfiles: one for each drumbreak, one for each verse, etc...

Each set of files goes into a folder with the track name. each "track name" folder goes into a genre folder.

I call up a certain song by navigating to, say, d:\HiphopVocal\UCantTouchThis, grabbing every file in the folder (usually about 7), and dropping them all into session view.

Keeping a live-set for all songs with several clips all based on one sound-file would not be a workable solution...

but, having to split each song into multiple soundfiles can "paint you into a corner".

if you decide you want to loop the last measure of a break and the first measure of a verse, for instance -- but the section is split across two soundfiles -- it's tough to do. (in software like reaktor, however, quickly looping whatever part of the soung you're on is easy.)

$0.02,
rs

ryst
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Post by ryst » Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:49 pm

Also, I don't think prepping for a NAMM show and prepping for a 3 hour nightclub gig are close to equivalent to be honest.
I disagree. It's not like I just watched the demos and thought to myself...."this must be how they do it live". No. Besides, the M-Audio guys I talked to use LIVE "live" and they all gave tips on how to prepare for a live show and demoed examples. I was in many discussions with the people there about using the program live. I and many others (DJ's and engineers) asked many questions. We talked about future enhancements, what people like, what they don't like, how people use the program differently (Dj's and studio engineers). You weren't there (I wish you could have been) and I am not going to write a long thread as to what was shown and discussed between everyone in the three days I was there. But's it's not a big deal. I really wish everyone could have discussed and seen the things I got to see and discuss. It was quite a learning experience.
Anyway, I can't believe there's such apprehension to wanting something simple like multiple loops per Clip. Even before I thought of using Live to DJ with, that was one feature I wanted (along with "play to" and "play after" loop options)!

I don't believe I ever said I was against it. I said the ideas in this thread are great and let's keep it going. I really hope this stays a discussion and not an argument. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing and discussing things.

Damonv
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Post by Damonv » Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:00 pm

Gerhard

I have asked previously for looping on the fly like Traktor does but one of your colleagues said that Live was unable to do this. He said it would be considered for the future, I think this would get around the multiple clip issue and allow total freedom of playing long files in particular.

Damon

Gerhard
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Post by Gerhard » Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:13 pm

Thanks for these insights! Let me try to summarize and correct me where I go wrong. We have been talking about three wishes that are technically indpendent:

1) On the fly looping. Rather than dragging the loop marker, you want to hit a key to loop the part just being played.

2) Multiple cue / loop settings stored with the sample. You want to drag the sample into an empty set and then have an easy way switch among the cue / loop settings that were stored with the sample; much like dragging in an effect and switching presets.

3) Browsing by keyword / tag. You want refined browsing options for finding the right piece by artist, label, name, etc..

I have observed that some users use the Session View as their "record collection". During their performance, they don't access samples from the browser but from Session View slots. They really use the Session View to browse, using colors and empty slots for visual orientation. They will keep adding new tracks to their "record collection" as time goes by and of course come up with very big Live Sets. Has anyone of you tried this way of working? What are your thoughts on this? Why would you want / not want to work this way? Thanks for filling me in!
Gerhard Behles
behles@ableton.com

ryansupak

Post by ryansupak » Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:18 pm

Certainly on-the-fly looping would be good, but I guess what I'm searching for, in a larger context, is just easier ways to transport around an audio clip in general.

I'd like to see ideas (1) and (2) incorporated into a larger thrust of easier sub-file navigation.

Something like "bookmarks" within a track, and/or MIDI control of current loop position, would go a long way towards addressing (1) and (2), as well as a host of corollary problems...

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StompyJ
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Post by StompyJ » Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:31 pm

In regards to #2.

How is this way more efficient than seeing all 5 clips in session view? Is there really a workflow/ergonomic reason this is better? Or is it simply 'this is how i learned how to do it, so I want it this way' request?

The downsides to this method would be (imo):

a) How would you handle copying and pasting new new cue / loop settings in the sample?

Currently, you just have to crtl-c, ctrl-v the the new clip in, change whatever settings you like and you're done.

I assume with this new method you'd have to choose a 'new setting' then make your changes and click 'save' to store the new cue/loop point?

b) breaking the 'key' and 'midi' map features

One of the nice features of keymapping is that the key is mapped to the slot, not the sample, in this case, how could I use the keyboard, or midi keys to choose a particular cue/loop inside the sample?

c) Kinda screwing up the idea of Follow Actions

I can see a number of cases where I'd want to have different loops from the same track setup in a follow action, and if it was like a bookmark or a drop down kinda deal, it would complicate being able to do this.




Again, I'm not saying which way is right or wrong, and I think that this feature might help someone who wants to use an app purely for DJaying, but it seems that its not ideal for someone who wants to remix and create new clips as they go along. Which is what I find so endearing about Live :)

I totally agree with points #1 and #3 however. ESPECIALLY #3 :D
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anti-banausic
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Post by anti-banausic » Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:41 pm

ryansupak,
I like that idea it would make things a lot easier, do you use an editor to "Break up" the track, or do you just copy the track several times and loop various parts of the track using the whole wav file.

I think one concern of the original poster was that making several copies of the whole wav/aiff file and then looping certain parts will eat up HD space...
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ryst
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Post by ryst » Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:00 pm

I have observed that some users use the Session View as their "record collection". During their performance, they don't access samples from the browser but from Session View slots. They really use the Session View to browse, using colors and empty slots for visual orientation. They will keep adding new tracks to their "record collection" as time goes by and of course come up with very big Live Sets. Has anyone of you tried this way of working? What are your thoughts on this? Why would you want / not want to work this way?
I think this is a good way to work. Chad from M-Audio was the first person to mention this idea to me. It makes a lot of sense and the remix of that Busta-Rymes track was crazy! I think if there is a way to assign keys or midi notes for multiple loop points without messing with the follow actions then that would be cool. The follow actions are a great way to automate some crazyness in LIVE. I think the bottom line is to be able to add features to LIVE if you can without changing whats already there. Personally, I am really happy with the way LIVE 4 is laid out. If you can add to it without changing anything or very little then that would be ideal. On the loop markers themselves you could have the current loop in "bold" and the other multiple loops within the clip show up "transparent" (with a small display of the assigned key or midi note) until they are launched.

just my 11 cents.

ryansupak

Post by ryansupak » Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:10 pm

anti-banausic said:

"do you use an editor to "Break up" the track, or do you just copy the track several times and loop various parts of the track using the whole wav file?"

I break up the track into its components in Ableton, then Render each part individually into its own sound file.

smutek
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Post by smutek » Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:56 pm

In my opinion Traktor is a better tool for DJing. For example, looping. At any point in a track you can decide to loop a section by hitting a key, use another set of keys to cycle through, set, and change the loop length, and another set to move the loop forward and backward through a song.
All in a spontaneous improvisational manner.

With Live, as stated earlier, it pretty much has to be planned out ahead of time.

Also, Traktors browser is great. If I say, hmmmmm, I think I will drop that Akufen track next instead of the one I have loaded I just type akufen in the browser and all of the Akufen tracks on my hd are there.

And finally, Traktors mp3 support. If I were to convert all of my mp3's to aif files I would quickly run out of space on my hd.

Those are some of the reasons I feel Traktor is a superior tool for djing. But that is just my opinion.

Live is by far my favorite and most utilized piece of software, but when I dj I use traktor. Live is a different type of performance tool.

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