Cueing in Ableton

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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delayed_flight
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Cueing in Ableton

Post by delayed_flight » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:15 pm

I just got my NI Komplete Audio 6 and want to learn DJing live in Ableton. My concern however is that I don't seem to set up the cueing mode correctly. I mean i found some very good vid in which the guys explains that for mixnig live you have to create a separate audio channel, set it to constant "Cue" and always pre-listen your track in this channel before moving this track to another channel and mix it. I find this way of mixing a bit inconvenient since it requires a lot of mouse using obviously?
What optimal way of cueing tracks would you recommend?

Thanks.

Stromkraft
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by Stromkraft » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:34 pm

delayed_flight wrote: What optimal way of cueing tracks would you recommend?
You seem to have been able to activate cueing, so the normal "DJ" way to prelisten would be to either have the fader down or use the crossfader set to only one track that's playing trough the main speakers. The cueing allow for prelistening in headphones or local monitors just by activating the cue button. I don't see the need to have constant cueing on all the time, but maybe that video had special reasons for this? You can leave it on, but then you don't hear the transition as it's going out in the main mixer.

I don't use Live for DJing. I use Traktor. I can imagine using Live for real time remixing, but I find it lacking as a DJ application. I started with vinyl, still like to mix also with vinyl and have used Traktor since 2000. Maybe that's why.
Make some music!

delayed_flight
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by delayed_flight » Sat Feb 25, 2017 5:23 pm

Stromkraft wrote:
delayed_flight wrote: What optimal way of cueing tracks would you recommend?
You seem to have been able to activate cueing, so the normal "DJ" way to prelisten would be to either have the fader down or use the crossfader set to only one track that's playing trough the main speakers. The cueing allow for prelistening in headphones or local monitors just by activating the cue button. I don't see the need to have constant cueing on all the time, but maybe that video had special reasons for this? You can leave it on, but then you don't hear the transition as it's going out in the main mixer.

I don't use Live for DJing. I use Traktor. I can imagine using Live for real time remixing, but I find it lacking as a DJ application. I started with vinyl, still like to mix also with vinyl and have used Traktor since 2000. Maybe that's why.
OK so let me explain how I think it should ideally be. So let's say I have a track playing on Channel 1. The track is heard by the audience. Now I press Cue on Channel 2 to mix in the next track and push a 3/4 output button on my interface. I can now hear the audio from Ch 2 coming only in my headphones but I cannot hear the whole mix in my headphones right? So in order to mix I can only refer to the sound coming from speakers for audience and based on that I preview a track on Ch 2 in my headphones. But given all that background noise in the room (it's a club right), will I be able to mix into the next track as precise as possible if I don't hear the master channel in my headphones?

Another question would be - let's say I'm not really familiar with the track I am playing on Ch 1. But still I need to know how it ends and how smoothly the next track on Ch 2 will mix in . How can I preview the track on Ch1 in advance? I cannot just jog through the track because the audience is listening to it. Should I open a separate Cue Channel, load this track into this channel and quickly browse through the track in order to know its outro?

I tried to be as clear as possible, hope you can advise something.

Stromkraft
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by Stromkraft » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:21 pm

delayed_flight wrote:I cannot hear the whole mix in my headphones right?
Well, you buss it either in the audio interface itself with its own balance, or with a Live track that takes its input from the master and sends not to the master, but to the head phones. It would be nice with a cross fader for cue vs master balancing in the head phones, but you might want that on the house mix balance instead.

Or, even better, send both tracks before the master to a main buss track and solo that as needed.

There's a reason why I'm not viewing Live as a good tool for DJ mixing. On the other hand problems are there to be solved.
Make some music!

markwphoto
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by markwphoto » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:16 am

By all means I'm no DJ but I enjoy dabbling with DJ'ing. Here's how I setup my DJ template to hear the main mix and cue.

1. Create two audio tracks named Deck 1 and Deck 2 (or whatever you prefer them to be named)
2. Set the Deck 1 crossfader assignment to "A" and Set the second Deck 2 crossfader assignment to "B"
3. On the Master Channel Set the Cue Out to your output 3/4 and the Master Out to output 1/2
4. Create two more audio tracks and name them "Audio from Deck 1" and "Audio from Deck 2"
5. In the I/O section, on the track you named Audio from Deck 1 set the "Audio From" drop down to "Deck 1"
6. In the I/O section, on the track you named Audio from Deck 2 set the "Audio From" drop down to "Deck 2"
7. In the I/O section, on the track you named Audio from Deck 1 set the "Audio To" drop down to "EXT Out" and "outputs 3/4"
8. In the I/O section, on the track you named Audio from Deck 2 set the "Audio To" drop down to "EXT Out" and "outputs 3/4"
9. Set the monitor to "In" on both the Audio from Deck 1 and Deck 2 tracks
10. Set the Audio from Deck 1 track crossfader assignment to "A" and set the Audio from Deck 2 track crossfader assignment to "B"

Now you're about ready to Jam

Drop a song in Deck 1 and Deck 2
Set your crossfader to the left and Play the clip/song on Deck 1. Make sure your headphones are set to hear outputs 3/4. The audio should be playing on your main speaker output and also be routed on the bus you created called Audio from Deck 1.

Start playing the clip/song on Deck 2. Initially you won't here it until you turn on the Cue button on Deck 2. The creative part will be where you want to start the clip and then start using the crossfader to change to Deck 2. Be sure to turn off the Cue before you completely crossfade to Deck 2 or you'll start to get audio doubling which may overload/clip what you're hearing track 2. You can mute the "Audio from Deck 2" Track to avoid the audio doubling. I use a Novation Launch Control to turn on and off the Cue for the various decks and to mute the busses to avoid the double audio issue.

You can take it one step further by adding a Deck 3 and Deck 4 on crossfader assignment A and B. Add two more bus audio track with Audio from Deck 3 and Deck 4. Now you have a 4 Deck DJ setup that works the same way as above.

This isn't the perfect setup but it works. I've been wanted to create a device to automatically mute the bus tracks when the cue is on but just haven't got around to figuring that out yet.

HTH and any other questions I'll try to help as best as I can.

delayed_flight
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by delayed_flight » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:14 pm

markwphoto wrote:By all means I'm no DJ but I enjoy dabbling with DJ'ing. Here's how I setup my DJ template to hear the main mix and cue.

1. Create two audio tracks named Deck 1 and Deck 2 (or whatever you prefer them to be named)
2. Set the Deck 1 crossfader assignment to "A" and Set the second Deck 2 crossfader assignment to "B"
3. On the Master Channel Set the Cue Out to your output 3/4 and the Master Out to output 1/2
4. Create two more audio tracks and name them "Audio from Deck 1" and "Audio from Deck 2"
5. In the I/O section, on the track you named Audio from Deck 1 set the "Audio From" drop down to "Deck 1"
6. In the I/O section, on the track you named Audio from Deck 2 set the "Audio From" drop down to "Deck 2"
7. In the I/O section, on the track you named Audio from Deck 1 set the "Audio To" drop down to "EXT Out" and "outputs 3/4"
8. In the I/O section, on the track you named Audio from Deck 2 set the "Audio To" drop down to "EXT Out" and "outputs 3/4"
9. Set the monitor to "In" on both the Audio from Deck 1 and Deck 2 tracks
10. Set the Audio from Deck 1 track crossfader assignment to "A" and set the Audio from Deck 2 track crossfader assignment to "B"

Now you're about ready to Jam

Drop a song in Deck 1 and Deck 2
Set your crossfader to the left and Play the clip/song on Deck 1. Make sure your headphones are set to hear outputs 3/4. The audio should be playing on your main speaker output and also be routed on the bus you created called Audio from Deck 1.

Start playing the clip/song on Deck 2. Initially you won't here it until you turn on the Cue button on Deck 2. The creative part will be where you want to start the clip and then start using the crossfader to change to Deck 2. Be sure to turn off the Cue before you completely crossfade to Deck 2 or you'll start to get audio doubling which may overload/clip what you're hearing track 2. You can mute the "Audio from Deck 2" Track to avoid the audio doubling. I use a Novation Launch Control to turn on and off the Cue for the various decks and to mute the busses to avoid the double audio issue.

You can take it one step further by adding a Deck 3 and Deck 4 on crossfader assignment A and B. Add two more bus audio track with Audio from Deck 3 and Deck 4. Now you have a 4 Deck DJ setup that works the same way as above.

This isn't the perfect setup but it works. I've been wanted to create a device to automatically mute the bus tracks when the cue is on but just haven't got around to figuring that out yet.

HTH and any other questions I'll try to help as best as I can.
Well OK I tried your method. First thing I noticed is that I used my mouse so much that I could't really call it DJing. Is it because I am fairly new to learn this technique? Do you manage to make it work smoothly and just with controllers?
Also, how can I avoid using a crossfader in this case (possible to do it with Channel faders?)

delayed_flight
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by delayed_flight » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:18 pm

And I can't really figure out - do DJs have master audio playing in their headphones too? Or do they like have master in left channel and cued track in right channel? Cause when I played both audio and cued tracks in stereo, I could barely hear the cued track

102455
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by 102455 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:38 pm

If you don't want to use a mouse - buy a DJ controller!

Buy the right sort of hardware and you can cue using the hardware rather than the software.

DJ equipment usually allows the master signal to be blended with the cue signal. Often there's a mix knob that controls the amount of each (a bit like balance control between cue & master).

Some DJs prefer a split cue - master in one ear, cue in the other. Some DJ hardware offers split cue, some doesn't.

markwphoto
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by markwphoto » Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:49 pm

delayed_flight wrote:
Well OK I tried your method. First thing I noticed is that I used my mouse so much that I could't really call it DJing. Is it because I am fairly new to learn this technique? Do you manage to make it work smoothly and just with controllers?
Also, how can I avoid using a crossfader in this case (possible to do it with Channel faders?)
I use Push 2 and a Novation Launch Control and can do a DJ set without ever having to touch the computer...Not even to load new songs! I've been wanting to do a Youtube video on how I do it but just have had the time to put it all together yet. Having a controller(s) will definitely help tremendously. I couldn't imagine using my laptop/Surface Pro 4 for everything. A good alternative to Push 2 would be an APC40 and a lot of the Novation Launch products would work too. Do your research to find which controller might work best for you within your budget constraints. Never be in a rush to buy anything on the fly. I've learn this hard lesson and wasted a lot of money and time in the past!

You don't have to use the crossfader, you can certainly use the channel faders to bring in a mix as well. It's really a personal preference.
delayed_flight wrote: And I can't really figure out - do DJs have master audio playing in their headphones too? Or do they like have master in left channel and cued track in right channel? Cause when I played both audio and cued tracks in stereo, I could barely hear the cued track
Again this is a preference. I've seen it both ways. Personally I prefer the stereo mix in my cans. You can turn up the Cue Volume (knob on the master channel with the headphone icon) if needed. You can also drop the volume on the bus channels so you main mix isn't as loud as the cue. I would recommend really taking some time to get to know and understand how the mixer, bus channels, pan/crossfader etc, setup works before diving too deep. The best way to learn any of this stuff is one thing at a time! There's no right or wrong way to do anything and there are many different ways to the same thing.

When I first used Ableton I was overwhelmed so much that I closed it and didn't open it again for many years. Once I took the time to learn it, one step at a time, I fell in love with it! Live is capable of a lot of thing and you can make it as simple or as complex as you want.

delayed_flight
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by delayed_flight » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:02 pm

Thanks! Well after reading so much forums about Ableton and other DJ software, I have developed an impression that Able to is not really a DJ friendly software, unlike Traktor for example. That's where my concern is. I mean if things are easier to work in Traktor, why make my life more complicated with Ableton?
Anyway, I'm thinking to buy specific hardware according to the DAW I will finally choose. So can you recommend please - if I go with Ableton, Novation Launch control XL and Novation launchpad would be enough and if I go with Traktor, my choice would be Numark Mixtrack 3 and Traktor Control Z1? Is such setup any good for starting out?

jestermgee
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by jestermgee » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:21 am

I'd personally class Live not as "DJ" software (something that emulates the same kind of experience you would get from your standard turntable/cdj + mixer) but as live performance software.

I do both DJ and Production work and have 2 completely different setups... in fact not a single piece of gear in my studio setup leaves with me.

Serato is my software of choice with a Numark NS7III. I like this because i'm schooled in DJing since a time before computers so am very much use to this kind of setup. This simply has a channel per "deck" with the ability to automatically send the channel that is not playing to the cue mix with split mixing as well. If I was ever going to try and DJ within Live i'd personally use an external analogue mixer anc have "A" tracks go to outputs 1/2 and "B" tracks go to channels 3/4 then use the mixer to do cue . Would work the same way as most setups and Live is plenty capable, but I would say it's more designed for the performer who will have a "setlist" of tracks and samples they would mix.

Thatboysubz
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by Thatboysubz » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:27 am

Ok,1st thing I do when I prepare a DJ set is head to my IO options on my master channel,ch-1-2 is you main output,then set your Cue out to 3-4 which will be routed to your headphones,then you solo button below master channel is lit up n turns blue,click on it n it switches to cue n it turns all your solo buttons to headphone badges,blawww we have a complete offline listening session via your current external soundcard,I use a NI Kore model,then drag n drop all your preffered songs into clips,I do modest sets of like 8 audio channels n delete any midi channels I get,I use an Ableton Push to do my shit,after loadin up my 8 channels I fill em up with all my songs,8 tracks minimum per channel,then switch my Push to session mode n all my buttons light up n correspond with my clips,then disable all warp modes on all my songs one by one and set my cue points to my 1st kick on all my tracks,then set quantisation menu to none,if it has bars on it disable so your cueing will be manual like on a CDJ,then test out by cueing your 1st track n turn its volume up n it comes out you speakers n cue it till you hear how precise n on time your song is on its button,then proceed to load up an EQ-3 on each channel you got songs on to have your own personal EQ on all channels,the we good to go,from here on fuck the mouse,manage your set,collect all songs into your set,name it and save n it will collect everything into your current set n name it up n save it,ull thank me later,then in device mode on the push ull get your EQ settings mess with frequencies,cutoff low ends etc n all that,then on clip mode in the Push ull get detune which is your jog wheel and transpose which is your pitch controll,whatever track you are cueing will show its values n all in clip mode at the current time n do manual beat matching like CDJ users do,warp is for pussies lol,detune is your best friend here,tweak that shit while continually cueing till your track matches what's comin out the speakers then when they are matched,press volume mode on the Push n fade it in,any more more questions,holla @ur boy on theblogkid@cellc.blackberry.com
I use
An Ableton Push 1
Intel I3 Quadcore HP laptop
4 gigs of ram
Ableton Live 9.7(64 bit)
Windows 10 Enterprize(64 bit)
NI Kore Soundcard

pretentious_punks
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by pretentious_punks » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:14 am

markwphoto wrote: I use Push 2 and a Novation Launch Control and can do a DJ set without ever having to touch the computer...
Quick question - why the Novation Launch Control in addition to the Push 2? Can you not just use the Push 2's Session mode to launch the clips?

I don't question critically, moreso out of curiosity, as I'm starting to build sets on Ableton with Push 2 and have just been using Session mode to trigger clips/tracks while using Device and Mix modes to mix the tracks, with the occasional transition to Note layout to change up beats etc..

Is it simply for convenience to use Novation Launch Control to launch clips?

markwphoto
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by markwphoto » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:03 am

pretentious_punks wrote:
markwphoto wrote: I use Push 2 and a Novation Launch Control and can do a DJ set without ever having to touch the computer...
Quick question - why the Novation Launch Control in addition to the Push 2? Can you not just use the Push 2's Session mode to launch the clips?

I don't question critically, moreso out of curiosity, as I'm starting to build sets on Ableton with Push 2 and have just been using Session mode to trigger clips/tracks while using Device and Mix modes to mix the tracks, with the occasional transition to Note layout to change up beats etc..

Is it simply for convenience to use Novation Launch Control to launch clips?

I use the Launch Control to have dedicated effects controls. While I could do it all directly from Push 2, it just makes it easier when you can have a dedicated knob that you can grab at anytime without have to change pages, tracks, etc.

I did end up make a video series on how I DJ with Push 2 and my Launch Control. You can take a look at it them the following links:

Performance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H7yr5K0HjM

Template Setup
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6f63Vt9Tlk

Performance Walkthrough
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17OStpYeDCo

pretentious_punks
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Re: Cueing in Ableton

Post by pretentious_punks » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:18 pm

markwphoto wrote: I use the Launch Control to have dedicated effects controls. While I could do it all directly from Push 2, it just makes it easier when you can have a dedicated knob that you can grab at anytime without have to change pages, tracks, etc.

I did end up make a video series on how I DJ with Push 2 and my Launch Control. You can take a look at it them the following links:

Performance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H7yr5K0HjM

Template Setup
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6f63Vt9Tlk

Performance Walkthrough
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17OStpYeDCo
Amazing! Thanks. I'll definitely check them out. Appreciate it!

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