best dj software for mp3s + midi controller?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
phantom
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Post by phantom » Sat May 10, 2008 12:49 pm

I think it's just more another way of thinking and mixing with Ableton...not everything is the same as you are used to, and that's the reason why traditional DJs don't like (aka understand) digital mixing with Ableton. If you want to do the same as with cd's, but on a laptop (with Traktor for example)...that's not so earth-shocking.

After seeing Surkin with his controller, I changed ALL of my midi controls instantly. Putting loop starts/stops on sliders, etc.

So controllerism isn't DJing...but listen to my mixset above, and tell me it is not vivid, and full of creativity. Unless you know how to scratch like a pro,traditional mixing seems rather boring.

8O
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Post by 8O » Mon May 12, 2008 11:58 am

Just another tip as I'm still learning to use Traktor: out of the box lots of stuff is left-click & right-click mouse dependent. Which is a pain if you're on a single-button trackpad. But I'm pretty sure you can configure almost everything to use hot-keys for mouse-less/trackpad-less operation.

On the weekend, I did a 5.5 hour DJ set using Traktor with precisely zero time spent in track preparation beforehand. Like I said, might be the product for you, definitely worth giving a whirl...
Image

Patch
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Post by Patch » Mon May 12, 2008 12:18 pm

ciw wrote:to the smartasses who suggest live, please tell me

1. how to map a midi controller to the pitch of each channel. not the currently selected clip, the channel.
2. how to map a midi controller to start/stop/cue/loop each channel. again, not the currently selected clip, the channel!
3. how to browse and load mp3s without using the mouse
This can all be done VERY easily in Live. VERY VERY EASILY.

1) You will not need to adjust pitch on different channels individually. All channels are beatmatched to the master tempo once you have warped and saved your tracks. Master tempo can be assigned easily to a midi controller.(I'm assuming you are refering to Pitch as in Tempo/Pitch (like on a turntable), and not Pitch/Tone. If you are talking about Pitch/tone, you can stick a pitch vst (Madshifta (it's FREE), for example) on the track and map a controller to that.

2)There are dedicated Start/Stop buttons on each track - they only show up when you enter midi map mode. They relate to the highlighted clip. Use arrow keys to highlight a clip (these can be combined to be used for navigation and track selection with Bomes). If you assign midi buttons to loop end/loopstart on a clip on track 1, whichever track is playing on track 1 will have those buttons assigned to it too.

3)Mouseless navigation is EASY using Bomes. I have a template where I have 5 drum pads mapped to keystrokes that allow me to navigate the session view, open the browser, select a track, and drop it into the pre-selected slot in Session View. Easy.

Know this. There is not a mixtape in the world that was made in any other piece of software that cannot be made in Live. Live ABSOLUTELY PISSES on ALL OTHER PERFORMANCE software/hardware. There are very few people using Live to it's full capability. DJ's Like A. Skills & Krafty Kuts are dabbling with Live, but not really pushing it.

No other piece of software can duplicate what Live can do.

Lives flexibility is ridiculous. My mind absolutely boggles with the possibilities for DJ'ing. My biggest problem at the moment is creating a Liveset with the correct balance of simplicity and flexibility. The more I learn, the more possibilities I see.

If you want to express yourself and impress people, use Live.
If you want to sound like every "Funky House" Dj in bars in your town, use something else.

Put in some effort - it'll pay dividends.

ciw
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Post by ciw » Mon May 12, 2008 1:55 pm

Hi Patch, thanks for the extended reply...

I should look up Bomes for this mouseless navigation I guess!

While there are start/stop buttons per track, there still aren't cue/loop and crucially transport buttons. Yes, you could pre-make clips of all your tracks that start at key points (I have done this to some extent) but it's nicer to be able to jump back and forward at will.

I was talking about pitch as in key, not tempo. I'll have to try Madshifta, I have a couple of free vst pitch shifters but I don't like their sound nearly as much as live's beats or complex warping.

So I'll still give traktor a whirl. My main creative project remains in Live, have no fear[*], but we're just talking about a little run-of-the-mill djing here :-)

[*] feeling your issue with the correct balance of simplicity and flexibility!

Patch
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Post by Patch » Mon May 12, 2008 3:22 pm

phantom wrote:Putting loop starts/stops on sliders, etc.
Eh? Can you explain how that works?

phantom
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Post by phantom » Mon May 12, 2008 3:39 pm

Patch wrote:
phantom wrote:Putting loop starts/stops on sliders, etc.
Eh? Can you explain how that works?
It ain't that difficult. The buttons on the ec33e are rather hard to push, so I've just activated 3 sliders for all looping on the fly. (because i only mix with 3 channels at the time, and therefore have a few sliders left over), and have 33 rotaries for effects, etc.

1 slider for start point of the loop
2nd slider for end of the loop
3rd slider to activate/deactivate looping (release the loop)

A slider will give a signal once it goes over the middle (it's basically an on/off function)...so slide over 50% (and back) to activate. Try it...its easy, and it's something totally different.

Patch
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Post by Patch » Mon May 12, 2008 4:31 pm

You need to look into Bomes, mate. This can all be done with a single slider!

Move it 1/3 up to set start point
Move 2/3 up to set end point
Move all the way up to end/or back to the start the loop and continue playing

phantom
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Post by phantom » Mon May 12, 2008 5:43 pm

@ Patch

Is there a Mac alternative you can recommend? Bomes seems to be PC only? Or am I missing something?

Patch
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Post by Patch » Mon May 12, 2008 8:26 pm

I think the mac alternative is controlaid. Check The Phat Conductors posts in the tips n' tricks forum. He uses controlaid in his templates.

phantom
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Post by phantom » Mon May 12, 2008 9:02 pm

just downed it, thanks for the advice!

Tuur
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Post by Tuur » Tue May 13, 2008 10:51 am

ciw wrote:I should look up Bomes for this mouseless navigation I guess!!
Yup. Can't live without it. :P

sroom3000
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Post by sroom3000 » Tue May 13, 2008 6:16 pm

another vote for Traktor 3 + Vestax VCI 100
add a Echo AudioFire 2 and you've got a sweet dj setup that fits in a backpack.
i'm lovin mine

three
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Post by three » Tue May 13, 2008 10:13 pm

if you're dj'ing with a midi control surface - don't look any farther than the faderfox dj2. purpose built for traktor, and works perfectly. don't even look at those dj controllers with big spinny wheels to cue tracks. Who fucking cues tracks on a laptop, right? In traktor, you just start them synced. (That's probably the hardest thing to get used to is you come from old school decks is that you can cut perfectly 101 times out of 100 with traktor)

.c

djadonis206
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Post by djadonis206 » Tue May 13, 2008 11:52 pm

Does traktor sound any good when beat matching? Like, do the beats match up perfectly and you get some nice punchy mixes?

I know Torq is very sloppy when trying to beat match using just the computer - not external vinyl or cd-js

I noticed Carl Cox is using Traktor now as well

curious -
Ableton | Elektron

Music

three
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Post by three » Wed May 14, 2008 12:24 am

djadonis206 wrote:Does traktor sound any good when beat matching? Like, do the beats match up perfectly and you get some nice punchy mixes?

I know Torq is very sloppy when trying to beat match using just the computer - not external vinyl or cd-js

I noticed Carl Cox is using Traktor now as well

curious -
traktor is not perfect, but if you're good you can play it perfectly. it's quite close, and if you have a good ear (like, for example, if you're a dj) making it run perfectly is no problem.

running traktor with the faderfox really opens up entirely new sounds. using cue markers, and with tracks where i know i have them placed right, you can literally hit the crossfader and play (on a deck that was cued but paused) with one hand and it matches.

it will run tracks synchronously eternally as well. i'll have to dig it up, i have a set around here somewhere where i put 4 different tracks underneath an 8 minute EK remix of girl which i extended to about 10 minutes - with cue points all mapped out beforehand you can just quickly give it another chorus with no drop in the sound flow. that kind of stuff is nearly impossible on decks.

(w.r.t. to ableton as dj software, i just don't like the way it sounds when it warps whole tracks. i use it for production only. have been working on a set in live with the intention of being able to play that live, but IMHO it's just the wrong app to put whole tracks into behind the mixer at a club)

hope this helps,

chris

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