Ableton DJ..?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Post by Guest » Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:10 pm

@Stompyj

"I"m not a CD DJ so bear with me, but I have played with Traktor alot, and I can't remember seeing things it could do that Live couldn't. "

Sorry mate but if you have used Traktor alot then you would have noticed the big loop button and the cue marker/cue move panel..? Abelton can't do either without setting up clips, ie can't do it on the fly..?

Cues are useful BUT more important [to me] is the ability to set loops and their parameters on the fly, while playing and jump between loop markers in a track, also while playing [stored loop markers]. At present this requires either setting up the clips before performing or adjusting a second clip while the main song is playing [not very spontaneous?]

Its NOT a software mindset thing, its a live performance issue. Loop on, loop off, loop position, loop length can all be assigned keys allowing the user to PLAY A LOOP LIKE AN INSTRUMENT [like a piano] anytime during the song. Beat scramble loops in REALTIME like only recycle, dr. rex and intack can do in studio..?

Example: A 2 bar melody, when the play head comes onto the first beat hit loop on, quickly set the length to 2 bars. When the loop starts again quickly change the loop length to 2 beats, let this repeat the first stab of the melody three times then change the loop length to 4 beats. Repeat this loop, then move the entire loop 4 beats forward, play twice, then forward again and finally back to the original start position. All on the fly in realtime.

Sorry Stompyj getting worked up. So far [for me] the best solution is while playing the song clip, copy another and adjust the loop points for an exit. Then load the clip for the next song, copy this and adjust it for an intro loop. This could be all be done with TWO mouse clicks, set the playing clip to loop, set the new song to loop on its first loop markers, then mix..?

The alternatives:
1: Using one audio file, place different clips in session view, with different loop points. Needs to be planned, have to save as a Live Set to store the multiple clip parameters..?
2: Split the song into say three audio files. Again preplanned, takes up hard drive space [which is an issue if you have 500 tracks plus] and can be hard to navigate..? Plus time consuming for those 500 records...?

SOLUTIONS?
-You could store loop markers in a clip, the one highlighted is the one that will play when loaded into the session view. Everything else functions in the same manner.
-A loop panel, similar to play, start, stop buttons, does not effect the data within the clips, effects the play head position of that clip. Just like the way you would add an VST effect to a track, add a loop VST effect..? It can also read any loop/cue data within the clip..?

Sorry for all the CAPITALS...

2kilo
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Post by 2kilo » Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:17 pm

forgot to log in, the long winded message above was mine [2kilo]...

Guest

Post by Guest » Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:13 am

Gerhard wrote: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!
#2 is on top of my wishlist for new session view features... There's only so many places in 1 record that you'd realistically want to loop anyway, and saving them as a different clip "preset" would be easier to use than anything else...

Imagine dropping a clip into session view, make 2 copies and choose the loop presets you'd wanna use in all 3 clips according to how you wanna mix in/out of the record and... easy!!

#1 would be also be a solution for DJs like me who prefer not to prepare too much and like to improvise on the spot when playing out... i would imagine hitting a button to establish the loop point (quantised to the master quantise setting of course) and then having ctrl+1, ctrl+2 etc as changing the length of the loop (1/4, 1/2, bar, 2 bars, 4 bars, 8 bars etc)

i'll stop dreaming but it would be so wicked to have these things implemented

ryst
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Post by ryst » Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:25 am

I think these ideas are good. As long as they can be implemented without taking away any current Live 4 feature and without taking any current feature more difficult to use. I'm all for it! Live 4 is almost perfect. Not completely but it's getting there quickly!

StompyJ
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Post by StompyJ » Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:43 am

2Kilo, point well taken, I tried doing this in live, and it was very clumsy/awkward. I can see the reason for what you're trying to do.

<Long post warning>
Yes, I have seen the cue stuff in Traktor, but the layout of those features in Traktor and other related digital dj equipement seems poorly laid out and very unintuitive to me. Its like software trying to emulate hardware, which imo rarely works well. This is where my Live bias jumps in, as its actually trying for a new workflow, and a more natural way of doing things.

That said, I can see how a more responsive / real time version of the 'sample' menu would greatly benefit beat juggling of individual clips, but I think Ableton could come up with a much more intelligent/smooth way of implementing without cutting into what seems to be a fundamental concept of Live. (ie, it shouldn't cause follow action complications or mess up cut and paste workflow)

Again, I hope everyone understands I'm not trying to be an a**hole about this, its just that I'm very excited about the possibilties of Live. In a way I hope the people who just want to DJ keep using Traktor, and those who want to write tunes in a studio keep using Logic, and those who really want to try and create something new and are willing to experiment gravitate towards Live.

Live has given us a new way to look at things, and I just hope that people, before instantly wanting things to be done how they used to do them in <Generic app inserted here> sit back and try and figure out if there is a better way to do it then how they originally learned it.

BTW, I'm not insinuating that people in this post are guilty of this, but I thought what you wanted to do could be accomplished by using the 'sample' box, and you just were looking for 'the way I'm used to doing it'.

cheers, and sorry for the loooong post
</Long post warning>
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StompyJ
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Post by StompyJ » Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:55 am

Anonymous wrote:
Imagine dropping a clip into session view, make 2 copies and choose the loop presets you'd wanna use in all 3 clips according to how you wanna mix in/out of the record and... easy!!

#1 would be also be a solution for DJs like me who prefer not to prepare too much and like to improvise on the spot when playing out... i would imagine hitting a button to establish the loop point (quantised to the master quantise setting of course) and then having ctrl+1, ctrl+2 etc as changing the length of the loop (1/4, 1/2, bar, 2 bars, 4 bars, 8 bars etc)

i'll stop dreaming but it would be so wicked to have these things implemented
In fact, both of these ideas would be pretty close to how to implement what you're looking for w/o breaking existing stuff.

The idea people had before of being able to save out .asd files (or whatever) which would contain what sample, and what settings are on the sample would solve the issue. You wouldn't have the need for sample within sample selection, but you could easily import all 3 variations of the clip from a browser and have them laid out in session view as normal.

Again tho, this would be if you want to replicate older ways of doing this. It seems that loading all your clips and variations per track and leaving them in one huge live set (as discussed earlier) seems pretty logical from a Live standpoint. This way as you DJ, if you create new loops/ideas on the fly you can just add them to your existing ones and save out your set and you're all good :).
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Winterpark
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Post by Winterpark » Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:56 am

just to add a 'red herring' in here....

would having the ability to have 2 live sets open at the same time help or hinder DJ's?

If you could have 2 sets open, you could set up each song in your set with it's own markers, cut up bits, etc... and then drop in clips from each of the sets.... do your transition between songs, close the one you don't need, think about what your next track is, open that up.... and so on.

Sorry to be a little off topic, but I'm just think out loud laterally.

-am

robbmasters
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Post by robbmasters » Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:31 am

Gerhard wrote:Gentlemen, please help me understand.

You are asking for the ability to store multiple cue points within one clip. You are certainly aware of the ability to have multiple clips referencing the same sample file.
But the big problem is that you can't save each of those multiple clips independently - you can only save them as part of an entire set.

Anyone using Ableton Live to DJ with (or anyone else who uses it in a live context and wants to be able to use different clips referencing the same file, and who can't simply create a Live set in advance which contains all the clips that they *might* want to use - because of the vast RAM requirements this approach would require) *needs* this feature.
OS X, Live 9, Microbook II

2kilo
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Post by 2kilo » Wed Jul 28, 2004 8:55 am

Quote

"It seems that loading all your clips and variations per track and leaving them in one huge live set (as discussed earlier) seems pretty logical from a Live standpoint. This way as you DJ, if you create new loops/ideas on the fly you can just add them to your existing ones and save out your set and you're all good"

500 tracks, then x3 for intro and exit loops!!!
I suggest it would be a little difficult to navigate..?
And unnecessary if there was just one tiny, little, loop button..?


Quote:
"and those who really want to try and create something new and are willing to experiment gravitate towards Live."

As I understand it Live is a "performance instrument" which allows creative experimentation? Therefore that the lack of these loop/cue functions etc actually hinder Lives performance and creative possiblities..? And that including them would allow for more spontaneous performances with less pre-planning...?

Quote:
"I'm not trying to be an a**hole about this"

Nah man, I understand your worries about changing Live, but these functions are small, they can easily exist within Live and not effect its use in other areas? Its not rocket science, does not require a complete rebuild..?

Been thinking that a "Loop Effect VST" maybe a good solution..?
ie just effects the play head position of the audio in that track, has instant loop on/off, loop length/move, and cue jump buttons. Then then all you need is a few extra markers in the clip?

rEalm
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Post by rEalm » Wed Jul 28, 2004 11:56 am

I think the biggest problem with this (for me), is that the Clip names are so short in session view. It's be really hard to try and see which track was which, where as in the browser you can see the whole name of the song you're looking for. I understand that Ableton is going to be working on a making track widths resizeable in the future, and this may solve that problem.

I'll add one more wishlist to the "DJ features" we have going, the ability to move the master channel to the middle of session view. That way, your crossfader and main out meters are right there in the middle, and it would be easier to organize your clips according to crossfader position. It's nto a biggy, but I think it would be nice.

Definitely not looking to make this an argument, I was just surprised that other users didn't see the need/desire for more than one loop in a clip. I guess what seems obvious to one, may not be obvious for everyone! Great discussion all, let's keep it up....

----------
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![/quote]

rEalm
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Post by rEalm » Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:06 pm

StompyJ wrote: That said, I can see how a more responsive / real time version of the 'sample' menu would greatly benefit beat juggling of individual clips, but I think Ableton could come up with a much more intelligent/smooth way of implementing without cutting into what seems to be a fundamental concept of Live. (ie, it shouldn't cause follow action complications or mess up cut and paste workflow)

>>>My idea would be to put 4 "radio buttons" (similar to the ones that turn on and off the envelop and sample panels) in the Clip's Sample view, there's room at the bottom of the Warp column. Each one would activate a seperate loop. So button 1 would have one loop, buton 2 another loop, etc. So if you don't need this feature, no a biggy, just keep button 1 lit all the time and ignore the other three. This way, all the different loop settings are stored in the clip. Hopefully these will be "relatively" key assignable too, and not tied to a specific clip.<<<

In a way I hope the people who just want to DJ keep using Traktor, and those who want to write tunes in a studio keep using Logic, and those who really want to try and create something new and are willing to experiment gravitate towards Live.

>>>I'm trying to blur the line between all three in a live setting :) Oh yeah, here's my latest live set in case people are curious what I use Live for currently:

http://www.mixtapehost.com/~realm/rEalm ... 92kbps.mp3<<<


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Post by Damonv » Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:19 pm

I write virtually all my tracks on Live. I then want to "DJ" them in session view but what I don't want to do is cut the full length tracks into a hundreds of different loops. To be able to have a button or key assignment where with a variable quantisation but say of 1 bar, when pressed it will loop the track for 1 beat or 2 beats or 1 or 2 bars etc at the beginning of the next bar. That is totally off the cuff remixing/looping on the fly and doesn't require loads of the same full length (5 minute) clip having to be prepared.

Damon

pulse
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Post by pulse » Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:05 pm

Gerhard wrote :
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!

I work that way since 3.0 and believe me or not I love that way of working ... I use colors for style and columns (tracks) for tempo range
...
Each time I want a song I drag it to the track 1 or 2 and then I hit the midi key and it launches the clip ...

I have like 200 songs now in one file and it works great !
It takes like 20 or 30 seconds to load but then I can play all night !

I have been doing several gigs with this system and it definitly works !

So that I racked all my system with the notebook .. will post soon a link with my brand new rack system !

Really can live without it ;-)

bye
Pulse

A DJ
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Post by A DJ » Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:11 pm

Damonv wrote:I write virtually all my tracks on Live. I then want to "DJ" them in session view but what I don't want to do is cut the full length tracks into a hundreds of different loops. To be able to have a button or key assignment where with a variable quantisation but say of 1 bar, when pressed it will loop the track for 1 beat or 2 beats or 1 or 2 bars etc at the beginning of the next bar. That is totally off the cuff remixing/looping on the fly and doesn't require loads of the same full length (5 minute) clip having to be prepared.

Damon
i would like this function....but if its not implemented i will do it with cutting up loops

StompyJ
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Post by StompyJ » Wed Jul 28, 2004 1:47 pm

The more this gets talked about, the warmer I'm getting to the idea of these advanced dj functions. It seems they wouldn't break live like I thought they would.
As I understand it Live is a "performance instrument" which allows creative experimentation? Therefore that the lack of these loop/cue functions etc actually hinder Lives performance and creative possiblities..? And that including them would allow for more spontaneous performances with less pre-planning...?


Agreed :)

I think the biggest problem with this (for me), is that the Clip names are so short in session view. It's be really hard to try and see which track was which, where as in the browser you can see the whole name of the song you're looking for.


Agreed, For more DJ - less performance based scenarios I can see where adding new tracks on the fly would be needed, and a better way of seeing clips could really help this.

If you did implement the drop-down box in a clip, maybe you could even map a modifier to 'copy current loop/cue settings to a new slot'.

This might also solve both problems. At this point, thats my only issue with drop-down clips in clips, I just REALLY want to still be able to lay them out in the session view, so I can do whatever else I want to do to them.

My idea would be to put 4 "radio buttons" (similar to the ones that turn on and off the envelop and sample panels) in the Clip's Sample view, there's room at the bottom of the Warp column. Each one would activate a seperate loop. ...


Yeah! this makes alot of sense, either stuff it in there, or maybe add a new 'loop' panel that looks like sample view, but lets you set <x> number of loops.

I'm trying to blur the line between all three in a live setting


Exactly :) I'm trying to make some really conscious decisions about how to use Live in new and unusual ways.

-Running his decks thru my laptopped live, and me essentially using Live as a effects/synth rack on whatever he's doing.
-Replicating his set in live and having he and I trade off tracks.

If both sides have live and decks, theres an unreal number of possibilities as to what could happen!

Also, the stuff the guys from laptopbattle.org are doing is pretty cool/interesting as well!

This is an awesome thread, lets keep it going!

PS grabbing your set rEalm :)
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