Dj'ing with Ableton....

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
tomf
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Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by tomf » Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:59 am

Ok, So i'm thinking of changing my DJ set up, currently i'm using Traktor Pro and 2 X1 Controllers and my NI Audio8 Soundcard.
However, i'm thinking about switching it up to Ableton, the only reason being is that i just get this feeling you can be a bit more creative with ableton, e.g firing off all sorts of clips whenever you want, remixing tracks live and obviously the use of fx is great (e.g there beat repeat and all the other plugins, not to mention 3rd party ones).

I have heard some people say that abletons sound can be a bit of a let down when used for DJ'ing, is this true? Also, what's it like for being stable/crashing during a gig? I know from studio use it's pretty damn reliable until you really push it hard, so i imagine it's quite reliable for live use.

Any thoughts/advice/help would really be appreciated, i want to gather as much info as i can before i start looking at buying a dedicated ableton controller etc.
What do you guys use, whats your experiences etc....?

Many thanks,

Tom

S4racen
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by S4racen » Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:10 am

The sound quality i've never found to be an issue, it's subjective but i find Wavs to give a better sound overall and i try and use repitch as the warp method wherever possible.... For some tracks i use complex because i've really messed with the original phrasing of the clip eg. acapellas and want to avoid the chipmunk effect....

And having played out saturday with a set of 16 tracks and a whole host of max4live devices i'd say it's pretty stable, i know others may disagree but ultimately i'm just playing back audio rather than having instruments within the set producing their own sounds...

The thing you'll probably miss is the track browser from Traktor, there are a number of workarounds but abletons browser just doesn't really cut it versus a true dvs....

Cheers
D

102455
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by 102455 » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:25 am

You do realise that using Ableton Live to DJ is very different to using 99%
of other DJ software out there?

You don't get two decks, each with a pitch control, cue and start buttons.

The tempo is set by Live, not by the track you're playing.

There's no track browser or instant track search that reads ID3 tags.

Using Live, you're more restricted to constructing things up front (like building
a track in the studio) rather than the 'normal' DJing method of doing everything on the fly.

It really depends on what sort of DJing you're doing.

tomf
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by tomf » Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:34 am

Yes i have thought a lot about that 102455, i am really thinking hard about what it is i want to achieve, i play House/Tech House, so i must admit i don't think i really want to be doing mad looping effects live remixing of tracks so much. My vision is kind of to be able to loop certain parts of other songs, but essentially to play a track as a track, not to take it apart and deconstruct it live on stage. I obviously want to throw some looping and effects in there, but i don't really vision me doing crazy stuff, if you see what i mean.

I am starting to think i would be better staying with Traktor, its absolutely nothing against ableton, i think it's an amazing program (i use it a lot rewired with logic for my own tracks). It's just i think i might be changing for the sake of changing, you know?

Obviously i don;t want to be dj'ing and just letting tracktor sync the 2 tracks and me just standing there blending them in, i want to push the technologiy, incorporate loops, effects, and be creative, but as i said, i think its important to get the body of a song across the way the producer of the song intended it to be heard.

Thanks for all the help and advice, keep it coming!

silveriofunk
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by silveriofunk » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:02 pm

i started using ableton for djing, because the possibilities are almost endless, specially if you produce your own stuff... however i must say that it is do different, that sometimes it ends up being lots of work and not as easy or fun as traktor.

if you get 4 decks with traktor you can add all the samples you want, noise, etc, etc, etc... you can have lots of fun with it

mostly i play my own stuff now so i only use ableton for that, however for straight dj sets 70% of the time i'd use traktor.

it really depends on what you want to do...

Sage
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by Sage » Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:35 pm

102455 wrote:You do realise that using Ableton Live to DJ is very different to using 99%
of other DJ software out there?

You don't get two decks, each with a pitch control, cue and start buttons.

The tempo is set by Live, not by the track you're playing.

There's no track browser or instant track search that reads ID3 tags.

Using Live, you're more restricted to constructing things up front (like building
a track in the studio) rather than the 'normal' DJing method of doing everything on the fly.

It really depends on what sort of DJing you're doing.
To be honest, the only thing you really need to do up front is warp a number of songs, from there, you can do pretty much anything on the fly (And if you're DJ'ing modern electronic stuff, warping could also be done on fly most of the time).

Also, if you turn off warping, you can use the detune control to speed up & slow down the song, so you can almost use it like decks.

Seadweller
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by Seadweller » Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:21 pm

I have used both for djing for my blog http://deep-techno.blogspot.com
Live gave me opportunities like live remixing-editing, mixing interludes with kickdrum/hihat loops dropped on etc...
However... for DJing, i returned to Traktor. Imho, it is more fun and straightforward than Live. I love Live, but not for DJing as i love Traktor...



Bear in mind that much important role is played by the MIDI controller that you are going to use. APC-40 is not the most easy to use for DJing with live for example...

Tarekith
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by Tarekith » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:14 pm

Try asking on abletonlivedj.com, we have about 14k members there using Live to DJ with, many of whom also use Traktor regularly and give you a good comparison.

tomf
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by tomf » Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:22 pm

Thanks, i'll have to give it a look.

stonee
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by stonee » Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:18 pm

after learning to dj on live, i decided to start messing around with virtual decks cdj's and even some vinyl. none of them really caught on with me. not that I'm lazy and don't like beatmatching, but djing with ableton gives you a certain level of customization and control over you're mixing you cant really get in any other program. also, you can get into some pretty neat looping and layering stuff. also, the modular style of the effects let you really build up an environment that works for you, and give's you options for effects you can't really achive easily in other programs/hardware.



the only thing i find frustrating is tracks you need to let play out and having to stand there not doing much... but now i'll have time to add video to my performance!

JuanSOLO
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by JuanSOLO » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:13 pm

I would agree that using Live to DJ, sounds more appealing if I were doing VERY custom stuff, or playing a lot of my own stuff broken down into small loops, building my own songs etc... Live can be like a black hole where you can tweak ideas for months and not produce as much music. However this process can be very rewarding too.

BUT, when DJing with Live there are some things I miss about Traktor A LOT! A browser meant for DJing would be number one. Looping and dropping cue points on the fly would be the other 2 greatly missed things in Live.

Granted these things can be achieved, but for someone just crossing over into Live there is going to be quite a learning curve. Live was originally contsructed to use a Laptop to turn a "Sampler" into an instrument for performing. To me it seems it's been adopted by DJ's for DJing. And many do it very well. But Ableton is not designed to be DJ software as well as dedicated DJ software is.

I agree with those above that the simplicity of Traktor and it's dedicated design to DJing, make it more fun. It's less of a process to throw in some new music, drop some cues and a beat grip and start mixing.

For me Live has become a killer tool for prepping tracks and creating tracks to DJ with in Traktor or any other DVS. When I perform with my band or do something similar, I strictly use Ableton.

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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by 3phase » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:25 pm

In berlin it actually damages tje reputation of a dj when heshe is doing it with ablton live..

either its seen as a fake live set or as being to lame to even try to beatmatch or having a spontanius selection..

i lately tried to covince a dj to do it with live so we could enyoy the wobbely sync of ableton between our laptops.. but no way.. :?
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

JuanSOLO
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by JuanSOLO » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:38 pm

3phase wrote:
either its seen as a fake live set or as being to lame to even try to beatmatch or having a spontanius selection..
?
I understand the beatmatching gripe, at least I understand you dont "beatmatch" in Live, as for spontaneously selecting stuff, that sounds like it comes from a limited vision of how things can work in Live.

Granted you could make a "Live" set that was automated and required the user to only push play, but you can also use "Live" and be absolutely spontaneous. Shit you can make 20 different tracks out of a few clips.

3phase
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by 3phase » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:45 pm

JuanSOLO wrote:
3phase wrote:
either its seen as a fake live set or as being to lame to even try to beatmatch or having a spontanius selection..
?
I understand the beatmatching gripe, at least I understand you dont "beatmatch" in Live, as for spontaneously selecting stuff, that sounds like it comes from a limited vision of how things can work in Live.

Granted you could make a "Live" set that was automated and required the user to only push play, but you can also use "Live" and be absolutely spontaneous. Shit you can make 20 different tracks out of a few clips.

you dont have to convince me.. try to convince my dj friends.. for a collaboration or mixed dj/live sets being all on ableton live would be ideal ( in case they ever come up with a propper sync algorythm )..
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

Sage
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Re: Dj'ing with Ableton....

Post by Sage » Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:09 pm

3phase wrote:In berlin it actually damages tje reputation of a dj when heshe is doing it with ablton live..
Only to other DJs.

If a DJ thinks beatmatching or software/medium is more important than song selection and when to go from one song to another, then they aren't the ones to book for your next party!

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