Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
damuel
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Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by damuel » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:23 am

Ok so I'm trying to learn to Dj. I kind of know the basics as a lot of my friends are dj's I have Suite Ableton and and got an APC40 for Christmas because I wanted to learn to DJ with it. I am kind of starting to get the hang of it however it is still pretty difficult. I was thinking of spending a couple hundred dollars and getting a used Traktor S2. Will Djing be easier to learn with the S2 than learning to DJ with my APC40 in Ableton? I can either spend like $200 on an audio interface since I can't dj without that in ableton, or put that 200 towards an S2. So basically, would I be better off getting the S2 and learning how to Dj in Trakor and then once I get that down then move onto the APC in Ableton? Or should I just keep trekking on in Ableton? Trying to teach myself and it's kind of difficult. Thanks.

bastien
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by bastien » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:40 am

Traktor is easier if you want to just throw something in. Even something you've never heard before - it gets the beat grid right 95% of the time and it's really easy to jump around inside a track on the fly.

OTOH, Ableton needs a lot of preparation but you can use as many loops and bits and pieces as you like. So Traktor is like a DJ tool, and Ableton is like a remix tool. But there's a lot of crossover with what you can do with either.

vitalispopoff
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by vitalispopoff » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:40 am

yup. definitely Traktor is a lot more intuitive platform dedicated to those who are into an oldschool method of mixing: You've got Your decks, few simple effects, and well designed library view. If You want to make a mix on the fly, then just start it drag files on the fly and mix.

On the other hand - Live isn't that great for that - it's too complicated. The tracks have to be synchronized, warped and loaded in order to be played the proper way. But if You're into the Live's features and possibilities, and want to do more things, than just mix one track with another, then Live is the ultimate answer.
Cutting, loop groups with conditional playing autos, a great library of internal effects, will give You an ability to cut the tracks into pieces, crush the sounds, blend them and bake something completely different , all You need is a well done homework, and some ideas.

For that look for the Richie Hawtin's early minimal sets ("Closer To The Edit") and story behind it.
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noirnoirnoir
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by noirnoirnoir » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:09 am

You'll spend a lot of time warping tracks for your sets but once you've built up a collection of ready warped tracks it's fine. Traktor is much more immediate and better if you want a more hands approach to dj-ing. Personally Ableton is great for doing re-edits on the fly and dropping in fx and samples etc but if i was mixing House/techno straight up then i'd rather use Traktor with CDJ2000s as the controller.

bastien
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by bastien » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:54 am

vitalispopoff wrote:For that look for the Richie Hawtin's early minimal sets ("Closer To The Edit") and story behind it.
Or try following the track list on a Surgeon mix... Amazing work.

Evengy
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by Evengy » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:22 pm

im starting to djing at the moment and i try it with live only. i wanna use one piece of software which i love and use it´s possibilities. im not interested in improvising a dj set with songs i don´t know so i have to prepare it in every case. if you wanna buy a dj controller i would take serato to use the bridge with ableton live :)

102455
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by 102455 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:01 pm

Evengy wrote:if you wanna buy a dj controller i would take serato to use the bridge with ableton live
No, forget about that. The Bridge is to all intents and purposes dead and buried.

First of all, the primary function of The Bridge is now achievable directly in Traktor with the Remix Decks. It's not exactly the same but near enough for most. You don't need to run two programs, and you're not confined to using one specific audio interface.

Second, Serato were supposed to make The Bridge available for Itch too, so that anyone with an Itch controller could make use of the Mixtape functionality. It never happened, and likely never will as Itch is dead.

Evengy
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by Evengy » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:51 pm

102455 wrote:
Evengy wrote:if you wanna buy a dj controller i would take serato to use the bridge with ableton live
No, forget about that. The Bridge is to all intents and purposes dead and buried.

First of all, the primary function of The Bridge is now achievable directly in Traktor with the Remix Decks. It's not exactly the same but near enough for most. You don't need to run two programs, and you're not confined to using one specific audio interface.

Second, Serato were supposed to make The Bridge available for Itch too, so that anyone with an Itch controller could make use of the Mixtape functionality. It never happened, and likely never will as Itch is dead.
thanks, didn´t know that! so the best case for me is live only :-)

Tarekith
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by Tarekith » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:32 pm

Check over on Abletonlivedj.com too, lots of friendly and helpful people there.

halblaine
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by halblaine » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:20 pm

Is The Bridge really dead?

Is it unlikely that the 2 companies will work on improving and evolving it? And is it being used actively by DJs?

I don't use Serato (yet) but this collaboration always seemed a bit half-assed to me, I was hoping it was just the beginning... :(

102455
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by 102455 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:49 pm

Well it's been three years now since they announced it, and very little (if anything at all) has changed in that time.

From the start it was limited by the fact it was an expensive investment in software and/or hardware if you didn't have both already, and it only worked with the FULL versions. You were locked in to using Rane hardware (audio interface or mixer) due to it being Serato, so if you already used Ableton Live with another audio interface, that was no good.

Then Scratch Live only works with a very small subset of DJ players (two Denon units, newer CDJs). If you have another unit you can't use it. Even if you do have one of the supported units with onboard sound, you still need the damn Rane audio box.

They said it would work with Itch (which has - or rather had) a range of seven controllers. Better, plus you could make use of the Mixtape function - but Itch support never came. Now Itch has been replaced by Serato DJ.......which doesn't even support the Itch controllers yet.

It was (and is) a mess.




I don't think Ableton have ever been that interested in the DJing side of things. They could have done something without involving Serato if they'd wanted to.

Live supports pretty much any USB MIDI controller, so no issues there. Same with sound cards.

It would've been cool to see Ableton Live DJ Version with ability to scratch, a more DJ friendly browser, indvidual pitch/tempo contol per deck etc. but here we are almost at Live 9 and no dice. Meanwhile other companies are getting closer and closer to what The Bridge does/did anyway.

drchoc
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by drchoc » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:57 pm

Learning to DJ in Live will teach you a lot about constructing a live set of your own material as its the same, except you are playing other peoples tunes. Traktor is quicker and easier and the way to go if you have a large library of songs.


RE - the bridge

I thought the coolest part was that you could edit a performance, you cannot do this in traktor.

JuanSOLO
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by JuanSOLO » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:11 pm

Traktor was made for DJing.
Ableton Live was not.

granted people use Live to "DJ," but it's kind of like eating soup with a fork.

The APC40 is much easier to customize with Traktor as well.
In Live, you cant really "customize" the APC40 at all unless you have M4L, or a third party app like Bomes MT.
Both of which have a steep learning curve and cost money.
Well if your a python code whiz, I guess you can customize the APC40 easily for Live, but yeah :roll:

Traktor doesn't cost much these days either.
And having Ableton Live is a great way to prep tracks for Traktor.

halblaine
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by halblaine » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:08 am

Huh, I guess maybe I should try Traktor. I just remember being initially put off by it when I did my research on it. I figured it was best to do DJing with Ableton since having one software for everything would make it easier to master it, and I thought the skills would spill over between DJing and production...

I like the potential of remixing on the fly in Ableton. I also like being able to split up tracks into small chunks, but I guess you can do that in Traktor too. It IS kind of a hassle having to warp all the tracks in Ableton, that's for sure.

Is the general consensus that Traktor is a better program to DJ creatively with? (Say, a form of radical, performance-oriented DJing) Even from people who are efficient at Ableton?

102455
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Re: Learning to DJ in Ableton vs Traktor

Post by 102455 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:54 am

Just take a look at all the new DJ controllers coming out of NAMM at the moment, that have MPC style drum pads on them...

"Performance DJing" (adding loops and samples from pads etc.) is flavour of the month right now.

Hopefully some of the DJ software will catch up and become more "Live-like" in its sampling and looping abilities because of that.


DJing on software that's been specifically designed for DJs and DJing will be closer to the traditional (pre computer) methods: Having two decks with independent controls, selecting a song on the spur of the moment based on the dance floor, and mixing it in manually.

OTOH using Live to "DJ" is the complete opposite of that. It's closer to arranging a song in a sequencer - because that's pretty much what you are doing.

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