• David

    To you all Live lovers and recognize urself as a DJ.

    Deadmau5 is not a DJ. he is producer.
    same goes to Daft Punk.

    Ableton Live is for the producer in concert.

    Ableton Live can’t full fill clubbing crowds unless you are famous DJ or Producer this means crowds came to club to see you, then you can use Live. because they will love whatever you play.

    if crowds dont know you then basically people in the club don’t want to hear your created or produced music more than mainstream musics.

    DJ should fullfill what crowds need in the club.

    For those who make playlist home and bring it to the club.
    Ableton Live may works once of many tries in the club.
    You may make the club night successful but chances are low.

    You gotta learn how to lead the mood instantly. your spending alot of hours at home set just can’t do this.

    If you are producer, and want to do some live instrument playing with Ableton then go Ableton Live. but you gotta have alot of fans if not, you will fail big time. but you won’t still know ur bad. because some would scream for you even though ur not good. also remember this, crowds basically won’t come up to you and say YOU SUCK!

    If you don’t make beats and trying to use Ableton in the club with Top40, EDM w/e
    and spending many hours at home and bring it to the club.
    You are not a DJ. anyone can do it with WAV editor and burn it on a CD.

    if you want to become a real DJ,

    For example, Armin Van Buuren I call him DJ. He uses CDJ even though he is producer, He plays 2-3 songs in the beginning and check how the crowds likes it and then he choose the music one by one.

    Disc Jockey is all about live mixing and should pick up songs in live, not premade list in home.

    Please call yourself a Producer. NOT DJ. WTF

  • Wedding DJ Brisbane

    Hello,

    Nice post! I like live DJ most. You can create a Live session with literally hundreds of song. Young and old both can hear their music and the way they perform live.

  • figmentno9

    I love Live. To me those who use live are the ones that the traditional two deck dj’s are spinning. I Use live to Dj, and perform. I run Guitars through it using Amplitube along with Abelton’s effects then through My Fender amp while performing with 2 apc40′s, a Padkontrol, 2 fcb1010′s, Groovemachine, a slew of vst’s assigned to midi keys, a ton of effect racks and a KP3. Rather Dj’ing or performance improvisation, it’s a breeze after you learn how to use it. I really don’t remember what it was like before Live because I’ve never looked back!

  • Troy Brindley

    hi,
    nice post and good article but i have to say that the best beat making software online is here -> http://beatmaker.ca

  • http://www.phuketvillaservices.com/en/luxury-villa-phuket Luxury villa phuket

    Is it the virtual DJ? I like this software it does a great job and best and affordable for beginners.

  • http://acailipo.net/chegg-coupons-chegg-promo-codes.html Chegg Coupons

    I want to use Ableton on a macbook and route it into the clubs mixer and just mix on that. Any comments?

  • http://pencilpaperandpartner.com/pages/pinkypott.html Pinky

    Couldn’t agree more with Rik. If your playing the music, in all counts, the set has to be outstanding for the crowd. It’s what they’ll remember most. I’ve been into Traktor Pro for around 2 years now, and still love it. It’s only downside is not really being able to use all four decks because when activated it takes all of my computer screen up. I think this limits some potential creativity with looping from other tracks. I love having a pair of decks in front of me, it’s what makes it fun, spontaneous. I’ve only just started out with Abelton, because I want to write a track. I am blown away by what I can do with it. My wife will hate me for the next 365 days of no conversation each night, and to be honest I really don’t have time to learn another piece of kit. 
    So I’m leaving Abelton to be Abelton at home, and enjoy the music and fun of mixing in the bar and club. What I least want is to have my head stuck in a laptop and not enjoying the experience with the crowd.

  • http://pencilpaperandpartner.com/pages/pinkypott.html Pinky

    Couldn’t agree more with Rik. If your playing the music, in all counts, the set has to be outstanding for the crowd. It’s what they’ll remember most. I’ve been into Traktor Pro for around 2 years now, and still love it. It’s only downside is not really being able to use all four decks because when activated it takes all of my computer screen up. I think this limits some potential creativity with looping from other tracks. I love having a pair of decks in front of me, it’s what makes it fun, spontaneous. I’ve only just started out with Abelton, because I want to write a track. I am blown away by what I can do with it. My wife will hate me for the next 365 days of no conversation each night, and to be honest I really don’t have time to learn another piece of kit. 
    So I’m leaving Abelton to be Abelton at home, and enjoy the music and fun of mixing in the bar and club. What I least want is to have my head stuck in a laptop and not enjoying the experience with the crowd.

  • barney

    you wrote that you can’t play mp3 files in ableton and that you have to convert them first. this is not true. i DJ with ableton and i have no problems playing wav, mp3 and even wma files…

  • passionate about the future.

    I was a die hard Wax DJ, until about 2007, but soon it became duanting taking out record boxes when most others seemed to use CD’s, that and the price of Wax compared to mp3, made A digital setup more apealing. I also got fed up with poor excuses for samplers and what vi could achieve with 2 or more turntables, although the reloop sampler was quite good to be honest, and this led me to want to get more out of a dj set, so ableton then became my go to dj/preformance setup. Who wants to be just another DJ, i prefer to be original and entertain with the unexspected, yet make it all work together. And ableton allows you to create your own way of working to a larger extent, and more importantly who wants to have to make many moves to trigger a loop or add a effect.
     
    I love being able to have many many effects on many tracks/samples/Vst Int at any one time, mangling your sound to suit,You just cant compare the overall results to other dj software its a no brainer, and a total addiction if you are Prepared to look past the poeple who say djing with live is fake, (sync on this other software make these words quite a contradiction for most parts, so really looking past the untraditional looks of live and what poeple say, allows me to Create more unique sets on the fly.
    I spend hour, days weeks months, warping tracks/sectioning tracks into 16bar sections also using follow actions, and making my own sound samples and sample rips from unusal tracks for overlaying, all so i can mash up on the fly. as some mention its about the djing and how to put a set together, (De la soul) everyone wants to be a dj, now virtualy anyone can with a small learning curve, but for me its about pusing it with the extra technology we now have, it is not about cheating for me as with some other i guess and they will not understand this.
    I will not Fix a set once it is done, i leave it with warts and all, this adds character, just enough so poeple know its live mixed, and if i do pull of a perfect set, they will still go away feeling wowed, not ripped,becuase it has taken them on a journey that leaves them staggering out of the club at the end of the night with twisted tunes going round in there minds. I remember that from the 80′s and 90′s, but its harder and harder now days to find a good dj instead of the same ole same where i’am in the UK. And many punters actually dont really have a clue becuase at the moment they dont know what they are missing.
     
    So for me and i hope with those other really passionate DJ’s out their, they dont get put off by others Slating ableton live, they just show them how its done without just triggering play and fading in/out, get chopping etc etc etc. its taken me some years with these thoughts and no dj controller to really meet up to what i want tried all the main ones without naming,but just got myself the VCi-400 and a smalll secondry device, and at last things are looking up,i have tried all these other so called dj software over the years, and i keep giving these chances, but they are just Over compliacted toys, i really hope the quiet season’s from ableton camp bring us a few more new depths,without selling it all out to max for live. this is my only fear, look after your original fanbase first.
     
    I have said this for many years,but the cheaters will become obviouse amongst the blood & sweat thirsty- new talent, and the educated older DJ’s, and if you put the time into ableton you will see the benifits, Spent years battle with negativity before i have even had chance to prove, But To any none believers that dont look at the hard facts, their are good and bad apples amongst us all, if you just want to be a dj, then you can cheat with all software, some better than others granted, But once you have spent time with ableton live, it will be hard to go back,you can not stop the future, although its gone  a little quite for ableton, i have a good feeling this is the quiet before the storm is unleased again for ableton, I have to stick with my gut feeling that the ableton camp still have passion with their product and not just intergration with serato etc, i dont want to mix and mash my software, i have had enough with that finding past controllers, i want it all in one neat on the fly package or at least given this options we are used to with ableton live, this is what it is all about.
     

  • http://kiTight.com price m.

    haha! “However, Live may not be for you if” funny list.

  • http://kiTight.com price m.

    haha! “However, Live may not be for you if” funny list.

  • Mr DJ

    Why even bother to buy expensive hardware, mixers and cdjs, when theres ipods and spotify?

    Im sorry but this ravel is bullsh*t, a dj is b la bla and a producers is another b la bla.

    Its like this, and you may take it as u like, good djs use the tools that was ment for deejaying, lazy people use computers and DVS cause many are cheap and download alot of stuff from the web that they certainly won’t pay for.

    Its one thing to bring a computer if the venueowner is a cheapskate and wont invest in new gear or that the deejaybooth is to cramped (small)

    However as a guest, i never would pay money to enter a club and find a guy changeing trax with a computer, its dead and awfully boring, and i have seen alot of theese examples and reactions during my travels as a deejay.

    I Use CDJ 2000 / 400 / 850, with the ability to use harddrives and usb / cds.

    with the electronic evolution people have taken steps from beeing say 100 deejays in total to be 10 000 in the same area, everyone nowadays are a deejay, everyone has computers and packed harddrives, but just a FEW pay for the tools they use to earn their income.

    The thing that will kill the clubscene is big, big private parties, why in h3ll should i pay good money and go to a medioker club, when i can pay the same admission and have one h3ll of a good time, with lots of different performers and dj, dancers and a crowd of people that really love what you are doing.

    the main thing of a deejay are as follows

    1. Read the crowd, this no computer still cant do
    2. The music, without this your cooked
    3. Gear, CDJs, mixers
    4. Selector of music and make the crowd follow the flow and rhythm
    5. Promotor of new music, that was the main idea back in the day when there wasn’t any internet or compjays.

    I use ableton, acid, cubase and so forth, but i use it in a studioenviroment not clubs

    Im a deejay not producer or compjay.

    • renaissancemann

      As a vinyl (only) Dj from the very early 70′s until the late 90′s, I remember when I wouldn’t go to clubs if/when they started to use cd’s only… But like time, technology changes – as well as a persons perspective on things… And I guess everyone’s thoughts are relevant at the time.  

    • http://profiles.google.com/grosbedo Gros Bedo

      Obvious troll is obvious.

    • Mistermr

      People will always balk at change. I’ve seen both great and awful DJs on both computers and controllers AND with vinyl. Whatever tools you use and techniques you use don’t change the fact that you’re a DJ. You are a different kind of DJ, or should I say I am I different kind. Vinyl is in my future but certain factors are in the way, regardless when I spend hundreds of hours checking out the scene, researching new and old music, and promoting I can’t help but feel insulted when you say you’re not a DJ if you do A or B. I agree there are some basic common denominators – keeping the crowd moving, promotion, and the music of course is number one, but a DJ isn’t the means, a DJ is the medium.

    • Club Rawker

      Its not our fault that u r a dinosaur, doesnt matter what u use to dj i can rock any club with ableton, tractor or virtual dj softare, i cn sure as hell rock it with CDJ’s, so what u r saying shows how small minded u r.

    • Patrick Bolle

      im sorry but mr dj, where did anyone ever say that a computer will read the crowd.. im almost 100% sure that no dj goes to a club and his computer mixes everything for him and picks songs specific to how the club is reacting..

      stop being so close minded. this is the future whether you like it or not

    • Patrick Bolle

      im sorry but mr dj, where did anyone ever say that a computer will read the crowd.. im almost 100% sure that no dj goes to a club and his computer mixes everything for him and picks songs specific to how the club is reacting..

      stop being so close minded. this is the future whether you like it or not

    • Patrick Bolle

      im sorry but mr dj, where did anyone ever say that a computer will read the crowd.. im almost 100% sure that no dj goes to a club and his computer mixes everything for him and picks songs specific to how the club is reacting..

      stop being so close minded. this is the future whether you like it or not

  • tigreagle

    Nice article!

    I’ve been an Ableton Live user now for 3 years, first using it for live sets at house parties, while running external hardware instruments. Ah yes, the days of bulky gear and midi cables was like a form of creative bootcamp…

    But now I mainly use Live as a production tool, creating my songs/mixes and then sneaking them into my dj sets with Traktor Le, with a Vestax Typhoon controller (until I get my hands on Pro). Now, as far as the traditional two-deck style dj set goes, I feel like I have personally found my perfect formula with this combination. I’m now able to keep a dance floor satisfied, while testing original material in the mix.

    However, if you learn the proper way to build an original Ableton set, mixed with original loops, cuts, samples, and your favorite recipe of effects and a good controller ( like the APC40 or in my case Novation Launchpad) You are bound to stick out and turn heads…This method feels way more like a performance, rather than just beat-matching and picking the right tunes. Anyone learning Ableton for production purposes needs to try doing an original set in launch mode just to see what it’s capable of.

    So yes, as the article summed up Live is not the software of choice for mixing ‘two-deck’ style. But for software that’s main intent is production and editing, it’s a nice little bonus to be able to Dj with it as well. Ableton Live is like being handed a shopping cart of excellent ingredients, but it’s up to you to find the right recipe to make a gourmet mix.

    A couple things not mentioned above:

    - Ableton has a built in master cross-fader, along with the volume slider for each individual track.

    - Each track also has an effect sends (A) and return (B), along the ability to send audio/midi from one or multiple tracks to another.

    - You can layer and daisy-chain as many audio effects onto each individual channel and master channel you desire; or until your CPU can’t take it.

    - The list goes on and on, but you should find out for yourself, I’m tired.

  • Rik Sparta

    When I was DJing records in the late 70 and through the 80s as a resident DJ 5 nights a week, a good DJ was considered a guy who played records but knew WHAT to play… regular people dont know what the hell a mix is really…they just know when it all sounds good and sounds good for hours…to them THATS a DJ. You simply played good records for people. Your ability to read what people wanted to hear was and IS still the most important part of DJing NOT the mix. A mix is a small factor of DJing… most of you here were not even born When I started to DJ. Today I still DJ in a club… I now use Traktor Pro (looking forward to Traktor Pro 2 the 1st of April) )and have Ableton Live installed and and learning how to use it also and am looking at V-DJM 2ch for Ableton. The definition of a DJ has once again changed or has it. I think we have created a new bread to which we may call them Live Producer… This is where I am going … I want to create be version of music or even my own song LIVE… DJ Mixng is a physical aspect to which it also was new in the 70s and the early DJs of the 60s did not consider it to be DJing… everything changes…. the question is …are you going with the flow or are you going to be left behind… I am GLAD that beat mixing is leaving the music scene… Don’t get me wrong I still have my 4 SL-1200 and over 7000 records dating back to the early seventies and will never sell any of it… You want respect… hell mix a 6 hour set of music from the 70s and 80s and not double beat once… after a year you will have to change the pitch sliders because they are wore out…now THATS a challenge… Today… I take two recent records and take my 5 seconds to beat match the two songs then go make diner and take a shower and they will be in perfect sync when I get back… What counts for me is the music you play… If it give me the itch to dance then your doing a good job… soooo what you use makes no difference…anyway…the people usually cant see what your using (well at least in all the venues I worked in they couldn’t) and most of them dont care either.

    DJ Rik Sparta

    • QuarkZ 26

      Wow man, you can’t imagine how i like reading that.

      I don’t consider myself a fantastic DJ. I was spinning in raves and free parties, then i switched to making “lives” with fruityloops then ableton.

      Now i spin online and i use traktor. Many DJs just HATE it. Funny thing is that they are often much younger than me. People seem to think that beatmatching is skill. Well quite frankly it is easy. Yes i knew some people who never been able to match 2 tracks together, but really… if you take the time you’ll match them.

      Some argue that great DJs can match within seconds. OK but that’s just the surface of the iceberg. They know their tracks, some even mark things on their records. Well i take a huge amount of time preparing my tracks beforehand to make my sets sound perfect, and actually create something with the tracks, not boringly playing them still sometimes i’m not satisfied.
      I have much respect for great DJs, but i heard Carl Cox make mistakes, like anyone else, and saying that mistake make the mix more “human” is just bullshit.
      I much prefer hearing a perfectly executed mix by someone who uses autosync than a guy playing track one after another without any life in it because his focus is always on the beatmatch.

      And furthermore, what you’re saying is true. DJs from the 70s were certainly much better then the ones we have now (heck, look at tiesto mixing, this is a joke and he’s considered no1 in the world)

      One guy on a forum said “it’s funny how people who are playing techno, which is in short, technology, are so against change and evolution”
      People hated us because we weren’t making “music” and now DJ’s hate the new ones because they don’t beatmatch anymore.

      Well get over it man, i beatmatched and i know how to do it, but if i have to choose between beatmatching and playing 4 decks, with looping functions and all, well my choice is made.
      And guess what, those who dance don’t give a shit about how you do things, they care about how it sounds.

      Now if you autosync and still sound like crap.. well there’s nothing we can do for you!

    • http://profiles.google.com/grosbedo Gros Bedo

      Respect.

    • Mattharvey1

       Jeez dude – you make dinner AND shower and your 2 perfectly beat matched records are still in sync when you get back – That’s some serious skill there!

    • Poo

      make dinner and shower in 5 minutes…now that’s a challenge.

  • Anonymous

    Ableton may be daunting especially if you havnt used d,w,s before ableton has the capabilities to mix great sets off the fly for best results you just have to set it up right .
    Your also made to look more in depth thus improving on your knowledge of the way music is constructed most big named djs are now creating there own samples and tracks adding more of a personal touch i dont believe tractor and virtual dj mix as smooth and precise as live when its set up right at all

  • Anonymous

    Ableton may be daunting especially if you havnt used d,w,s before ableton has the capabilities to mix great sets off the fly for best results you just have to set it up right .
    Your also made to look more in depth thus improving on your knowledge of the way music is constructed most big named djs are now creating there own samples and tracks adding more of a personal touch i dont believe tractor and virtual dj mix as smooth and precise as live when its set up right at all

  • Nikka

    Why is, that warping changes the sound of the track. I really notice this when I play on a very big sound system, even when the track is beeing played at its original tempo…the kick and bass seem suddenly muddy… Anyways, how can I keep on warping but keeping a proper sound. Cheers,

    • http://soundcloud.com/oakich Oakich

      if it’s playing in original tempo, use repitch warp mode, that does not make sound artifacts

    • Maks

      Its all about choosing the right warp mode. If you want to keep the pitch of a track, try using “tones” or “beat”. In most cases you have to tweak the settings.

  • Luis

    I love Ableton as a composer. It’s great to plug in your guitar, quickly make a rhythm with its built-in instruments, make a quick loop of a riff i like, singing blablabla.
    As for Djing, I really don’t like it. For starters, it takes away the improvisation you’re capable of with other tools; Live obliges you to do a very structured dj set in advance of the event, leaving little room for improvising quick ideas you didn’t come up with when you were rehearsing at home. That might be perfect for a lot of folks. I personally don’t like it… takes away the fun of it.
    I’d rather dj with a little less frills software like VirtualDJ. It’s SO easy to improvise on the fly very cool -albeit simple- ideas. Plus (and a lot of people won’t believe me) the automatic beat detection of virtual dj is so much better than Ableton’s. Really.
    Live really shines when you need to mix a song with irregular tempo (say some ass-spanking 70s funk tune). Warping gives you amazing possibilities to mix those hard to mix tracks.
    Summing up:
    Live is excellent for complex, production-oriented, “structural” dj sets.
    VirtualDj is amazing for improvising on the fly new ideas with a great beat detection engine.

  • http://soundcloud.com/otto disco selector

    maybe this will change things…

    V-DJM 2ch is a virtual 2ch mixer with dj functions. It reproduces the best features of the professional dj mixers in any audio host applications (it was designed to be use specifically for Ableton Live) that support VST technology.

    watch:

    V-DJM 2Ch – Virtual Dj Mixer (VST/PC)

  • sk

    abelton isn’t bad, don’t get me wrong… I just don’t think using it should be called djing because it isn’t djing at all. how about software jockey. either way i think abelton is more of some type of electronic performance so to speak then actually djing.

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  • Anonymous

    [quote comment="38174"][quote comment="38165"]Could be intresting to have a list of Major artist djing with Ableton.

    Anyone?[/quote]

    Daft Punk…[/quote]

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  • James Parentich

    I’ve only just got into djing (got no actual equipment just my laptop) and I’m used to programs like Cubase so Ableton isn’t too far off but as far as set up goes for djing I think something like Traktor s4 and some cool hardware (like KaossPads and Samplers) is a better idea unless you are really mixing lots of sounds not tracks together and like setting up within DAWs

  • http://www.loopscious.com Manish

    I started as a producer, moved to digital DJing and used live, then moved on to Traktor and finally to Deckadance. While Ableton is the bomb for many reasons, I found it to be too unruly for DJing once my set got to be large enough. I did learn more recently that an option might be to make a bunch of smaller sets where the tracks are pre-warped, and then you can drag and drop them into a brand new live set (use saved sets as crates).

    That said, warping a lot of tracks – though individually not time consuming – makes for tremendously painful carpal tunnel if done in quantity. Plus what’s great about Deckadance is that it allows you to drop tracks in easily within seconds of buying them.

  • djcl.ear

    [quote comment="38509"]There’s as many ways to dj as there are ways to dance[/quote]
    @ MUD, that’s classic …and starting to be literaly true.
    I’ll keep it in my records.

  • Paul

    First moved to dj with live because Traktor does not handle any loops that have weird time signatures very welll at all, no problem with live! Plus the ability to seamlessly move between live production and djing is awesome.

    Really my main complaint for djing in ableton is that the browser is not geared towards the dj. Traktor and other dj software do this so well. From my ignorant point of view, it seems like that would be an easy programming fix, but…

    The bridge looks great for this reason, but I am not about to by a pricey mixer just to try a software! I wish Ableton would have paired with someone that was not hardware specific.

  • Julz

    I’m a producer who wanted to get into DJing mainly to perform my songs live and well Live works perfect for this. I’ve found its not really too hard to keep a mix going with live especially when most dance songs are between 8-10 minutes long. Usually all you have to do is slide one warp over a few ticks and bam perfect beat matching.

    I was DJing at a party the other night for the first time in front of a crowd and was mixing songs like Feel Good Inc from the Gorillaz into songs like Rutten by Skream flawlessly.

    I’ve never tried any other software out but I like Live!

  • dEL

    [quote comment="38232"]It’s amazing how many anti-DJ Technology folk visit this DJ Technology website.

    We get it – you love manually beat-matching. We’re all pleased for you.

    When did all this stop being about the music? Surely if the people on the dancefloor are dancing and having fun – then that it enough? Look at it this way – think of the best night out you’ve ever had in a Club. Now, was the DJ beat-matching naturally or by software? ANSWER: Who cares. It was the best night you’ve ever had.

    This “Superstar DJ” world we live in has created too many egos.[/quote]
    [quote comment="38282"]

    Djing should always be about its roots, to get people on the f%&kin D-FLOOR. The system you use to do this? Thats your choice, i only have one ask : just that you rock me to my core![/quote]

    Word!

    I love my 1210s and vinyls as much as the next luddite Traktor and Serato are great for digitally DJing and the new CDJ 2000s are currently rocking my world in a club I play at (and about to annoy my bank manager!)….but as for creating a new way to present music to the consumer in a ‘live’ environment, taking elements of ‘traditional’ Djing, elements of playing an instrument & elements of EDM production…there is only Ableton Live…the only limits are your disposable time/income and your imagination.

    It’s fine by me if there are people who still don’t want to get into it though…means the rest of us can concentrate on creating the future!!!

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/mudsimple Mud

    I’ve been djing with Ableton for nearly 2 years now. I was lugging around vinyl for 7 years, cd’s for just a year then I decided I wanted to get into some digital set up. Did a TON of research, weighed my options carefully, and dropped the cash and went for Ableton. As someone who was so used to the traditional set up of a tuntable and a mixer I was totally confused with it at first. And i’d say my dj sets suffered for a few months as I really became more and more comfortable with it. I now feel very comfortable with my set up and have learned to make it do a lot of the things i want it to. Is it perfect? nope. Is djing with vinyl perfect? not entirely. It all depends on what you want to do. There’s as many ways to dj as there are ways to dance.

    And I couldn’t agree more that it’s a program that can be as simple as you want it to be, or as difficult. I’ve been one to use it fairly minimally. But recently i’ve been doing my homework and picking up a few new tricks.

    The prep time required for ableton tracks is a bit of a pain. But in the end it’s worth it.

    All that said, I want Serato and Bridge… could really open me up to a lot of amazing opportunities, creatively. Plus it’d be great to use a turntable in my sets again.

  • Will Marshall

    @Anonymous / @beez
    -
    All the technical information you’ve provided is correct, but you’re misunderstanding exactly how DJ apps use codecs to decode audio.
    -
    Most consumer apps just decode audio on the fly. Decoding takes time, so DJing apps decode in advance. This is how Traktor and Ableton draw those pretty waveforms! Decoding in advance is important if you’re using cue points, FX or DVS systems, because decoding on the fly introduces latency.
    -
    The only big difference is that Traktor decodes the file and stores it in memory, whereas Ableton decodes the file and stores it on disk. Ableton can be configured to store in memory as well if you want.
    -
    Technically Traktor stores a bitstream and Ableton stores a WAV, but a WAV is just a simple container format for a bitstream so the difference is negligible.
    -
    WAV is the standard format for lossless and uncompressed audio these days. It’s supported in OSX, Linux and Windows (among others). Most sample libraries, for example, are WAV. WAV is very primitive, just a container for a standard bitstream, so the output of an MP3 decoder is almost the same thing.
    -
    It’s a slight oversimplification to say that Traktor converts to WAV, but the differences between bitstreams and container formats are kind of irrelevant at this level.

  • http://soundcloud.com/egoismvselectrolight Pieter Christiaens

    [quote comment="38424"]ABLETOM IS SOOOOO WEAK! YOUR A CHUMP ASS DJ if you use ableton, actually your not a DJ. Your simply an idoit..[/quote]
    ur a chump ass dj if your so naive, and if you even can’t spell Ableton correctly

  • Anonymous

    @Will Marshall
    in electronics, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC or D-to-A) is a device that converts a digital (usually binary) code to an analog signal (current, voltage, or electric charge).
    most modern audio signals are stored in digital form (for example MP3s and CDs) and in order to be heard through speakers they must be converted into an analog signal. DACs are therefore found in CD players, digital music players, and PC sound cards.
    so where is the part that wav is so important ?
    wav is the main format used on Windows systems for raw and typically uncompressed audio,the usual bitstream encoding is the Linear Pulse Code Modulation (LPCM) format.
    wav is use only in pc,not mac,maybe that tells you something.
    decoders are “bitstream compliant”, which means that the decompressed output – that they produce from a given MP3 file – will be the same, within a specified degree of rounding tolerance, as the output specified mathematically in the ISO/IEC standard document.so,your codecs does your job in order to have sound in your speakers.
    traktor,virtual dj and other software for dj`s only records in wav,i dosent decode your tunes in wav..the encoding to mp3 to wav is useless and takes precious time for what a dj needs,and lets remember ,you codec give the word when you have sound in your speakers..
    on the other hand ,some DAW`s decode to wav in order to work better with algorithm and other stuff needed for a DAW..
    any way i think this discussion has its end here ;)
    ps : i used wikipedia

    @Paul Smith:u
    gues what,deadmau5 is not the only dj (btw he is not a real dj )using ableton like that…dont forget sasha’s …he was involved in the ableton development,so his is the grandpa of dj`ing with ableton…dont forget richie hawtin..and many other big names..
    in this days there are many types of dj`s..but basically there are 3 types :
    1.analog -old school fashion..using turntables or cdj`s,a mixer,and some times drum machines or other analog stuff
    2.digital dj`s : using only software ,midi controllers and a mixer
    3.hybrid dj`s….
    any of this these dj`s can do more then just to play other peoples music.
    the part with the dumb grind of his face is a big offense to any dj…
    gues what,any dj can customize,chop,effect,and re-edit live….
    and another think,music does not means only electro in deadmau5 style.
    so stop making yourself a total ass and get a life..

  • http://soundcloud.com/w4lk3r/deadmau5-sofi-w4lk3r-remix Paul Smith

    Deadmau5 uses ableton and he is one of the finest DJs out today. He uses it to perform his music, not DJ. People need to differentiate between DJ’ing and performing.

    A disk JOCKEY is just that. He is a Jockey that plays other peoples music and stands with a dumb grin on his face.

    A performer is playing original tracks that can be customized, chopped, effected or re created. Its all live baby.

    If more people made music like this
    http://soundcloud.com/w4lk3r/deadmau5-sofi-w4lk3r-remix
    The world would be a better place.

    • Jones

      Deadmau5 thefinest DJ? a disk jokey is just that? I feel sorry for narrow minded people like you, who can not see beyond their computer screen, the world will be a better place when people expand their minds

      • Biglovemusic

        Don’t worry Paul, They will eventually catch on buddy. I played records for years in clubs and now I use ableton and the rabbit hole just got a lot deeper. 
        Yeh its a little tougher to use and takes a bit of setting up but once thats out the way then you can just get on with the job.
        You nailed it mate when you said the word ‘preformance’most Dj’s dont know this word mate as they are too busy standing there pretending they are a real musician. and to you Mr Jones and all your infinate wisdom, are you going to tell Daft Punk, Paul Van Dyke, Jon Flemming, Armin Van Burin, The Prodigy and Pete Tong (to name a few PREFORMERS) that they should try see beyond their computer screens ??
        good luck Djing in your lounge room Mr Jones.

    • Guest

      Deadmau5  sucks

    • Guest

      Deadmau5  sucks

    • Anshul Vishwakarma

      Playing other people’s music doesn’t make you dumb.

    • Being there / Done that

      “A disk JOCKEY is just that. He is a Jockey that plays other peoples music and stands with a dumb grin on his face.” !

      You obviously don’t get what djing is and what it is not … neither the effect that a good DJ can have on people on the dance floor …!

      A well programmed set is an art form by it self …

      it requires experience, a pair of “good ears”, an innate sense of timing (to know when to “drop” what), good knowledge of the music that you are playing, the ability to read the “mindset” of a place and last but not least … a certain “feel” about the dance floor that you either have it or you don’t …!

      Not all so-called DJs are capable of that but in the same time not everybody who pics up a guitar comes up with stairway to heaven !

      It doesn’t mean that the guitar sucks as an instrument and all guitar players are worthless !!!

    • Oh gosh

      Deadmau5 just presses play…….. He even said so himself he doesn’t really”preform” live unlike Lorin Ashton. So lets pay attention to these artists that are good on the studio and the stage. It’s more gratifying to know there’s actually some talent behind an edm live performance. That reticle is even on this site hahhhahahahhahahahahahahah

  • Will Marshall

    @beez

    What format do you think MP3 decoders output? What format do you think is sent to your DAC? It’s all WAV: MP3 is a compressed format and has to be decoded to WAV in order to be played.
    -
    The only difference is how these WAVs are cached. Ableton expects to handle hundreds of clips, Traktor a maximum of four – so Ableton caches to the HDD and Traktor caches in RAM. This is very basic.

    • http://profiles.google.com/grosbedo Gros Bedo

      All modern decoders (like LAME) can decode on-the-fly, so there’s no need to cache anymore. And no, it’s not necessarily a burden to the CPU since the algorithm is very optimized, particularly for MP3. DAWs don’t need to cache the whole file in memory to be able to work on it, it can just store some informations and decode it on the fly when it is necessary (like zooming on a particular part of the song).

  • Darrell

    Why do you have to drop songs into Abletons sessions view? Have all your songs there and scroll to which you want to play…Thats your browser…you can have hundreds of tracks. Darren Cowley fixed most of the brokenness with DJing with Live with his Isotonik Max devices (See the improved loop functionality coded with M4L. You cant set loop points but you can do 2 and 4 bar loops on the fly(even smaller)). Its rock solid and reliable. Yes even djing requires thinking and planning. Ask anyone who has ever djed with vinyl.

  • beez

    @Pieter Christiaens
    i read will`s post and he says that all software decodes to wav..come on that’s completely wrong,i dont think that software like virtual dj,atomix,future decks and almost all shitty software can convert to wav on the fly
    can you prove that traktor converts to wav? or at least give us a hint in the decoding done almost on the fly,because traktor is very fast,i don`t think that i can decode from mp3 to wav in such a short time..when i load a new track it gets ready in max 4 seconds on 4 gb ram an 3000 mHz,while in ableton it takes 15-40 seconds to convert to wav,make the wave display even without warp selected when you load the file.
    and another thing,in ableton on the file folder pref you have the option to select the amount of mb used for decoding…i see this option only in ableton
    so,believe me traktor does not convert mp3 to wav!
    you can check this by checking the partition space every time you load a track ..

    @echo66
    i see ean golden using traktor for his dj setup and he does more then beatmatch songs,and gues what..all of that is done live..

    in the end i want to get back to this topic by saying again,use ableton live as it should be used…dont start to make a war of choices here by saying what does that has and what the other don’t . its your right to use anything you want,but make sure you analyze the alternatives too..i use both,ableton and traktor and im happy and proud of the results. why? because what i cannot do in traktor i can do in ableton and what i cannot do in ableton i can do in traktor..

  • echo66

    Are you being a troll, sir? Because you sound like one. ;)

    When you can do the same that daft punk did in 2007, you will have the right do say that. ;) If you just beatmatch songs, you suck. Plain simple

  • Anonymous

    ABLETOM IS SOOOOO WEAK! YOUR A CHUMP ASS DJ if you use ableton, actually your not a DJ. Your simply an idoit..

  • http://soundcloud.com/egoismvselectrolight Pieter Christiaens

    [quote comment="38353"]@Will Marshall
    LOL,ableton is the only that converts to wav..i use only traktor ,and i can tell you 100% that it doesn’t converts mp3 to wav,it only analyzes the file to make a wave display,detect bpm,make the beatgrid.[/quote]
    LOL, ur the one who’s completely wrong, what do you know about the decoding traktor does on the fly!? read Will’s comment first, he’s probably more experienced than you

  • beez

    @Will Marshall
    LOL,ableton is the only that converts to wav..i use only traktor ,and i can tell you 100% that it doesn’t converts mp3 to wav,it only analyzes the file to make a wave display,detect bpm,make the beatgrid.
    converting from mp3 320kbs to wav doesn’t give the file more quality.it only makes it more good to work with the warp engine in ableton

    @jprime
    if you choose to do what you have described in your post you need to know the following stuff:
    -live`s warp engine can be a pain in the ass..you can have the start of the song perfectly warped and after 30-40,1 min,or somewhere in the song things turn out ugly like shifting from 124 bpm to 128
    i said the part about coming with your set done because the majority of people does that,not that i can be used only like that.
    and this was my end message :
    “use ableton live as its should be used,and that is his name,so use it LIVE,even if it is a little bit harder it gives you more satisfaction of your work ,so act like a pro and do something LIVE,don’t go to clubs with your homework done!“
    so don`t misjudge me man ;)

  • Will Marshall

    Guys! All DJ software converts to WAV ;)

    Decoding from MP3 or Flac on the fly uses lots of CPU. You wouldn’t *want* native MP3 support, the correct thing to do is to cache WAV copies of all loaded files. Hard-disk space is much more plentiful than CPU cycles.

    You can drag/drop MP3s into Ableton regardless – it will cache WAV versions for you automatically.

  • JohnnyC

    [quote comment="38298"]I’ve used Live for production and once even to perform. I will say it’s not for me as a DJ tool.

    My biggest grudge is the lack of true MP3 support. I know some guys will keep all their stuff as Wav files, but I have MP3 and would rather not get memory alerts from my computer because it’s storing all those Wav files it creates in a cache.

    I also don’t like the amount of time it takes to warp and get all your tunes set up. I prefer how I have things now with Torq. I scan the MP3 with BPM Analyzer, then bring it into Torq and have it scan and make the beatmap.

    Sync or manual beatmatch, I like the way I do things now, which is cool because everyone can pick a product to do things as they see fit. I won’t knock those who use Live, but I will say it’s perfect for those who like to remix more on the fly, make mashups, and do more performance/production based things. I wouldn’t recommend it for the average joe who wants to just DJ stuff normally. Maybe use Deckadance as a VST in there if you want the best of both worlds.

    I do hope Ableton takes a cue from Logic and perhaps makes a more DJ-friendly mode. I know there is Serato Bridge, but I mean on its own.[/quote]

    I haven’t had any problems on the rare occasion I have used MP3s in Ableton.
    However, I wouldn’t suggest using mp3s on a large sound system anyways. Too many variables (different sound qualities recording studio to studio; different qualities from mp3 compressor to mp3 compressor). However, I definately don’t hate on anyone who makes mp3s work for them.

    I prefer FLAC (for storage and is at least twice the br of a 320)and uncompressed as wavs for working.

    You have to actually select to load a track into your RAM in Ableton so you shouldn’t be getting warnings that your memory is being maxed out unless you are loading an UPton of clips into memory which on any newer computer isn’t neccesary. I am using a 4 year old PC laptop with only 2GIG of RAM without this issue.

    Also, those who want to remain on the A-B paradigm can still benefit from learning Ableton if nothing more than a very useful sampler. Or, the effects racks :-)

    At any rate, if you have found a method that works for you and the technology is still servicable then keep at it!

    It seems to me that the only people paying any attention to what the DJs are doing are other DJs (general statement of course).

    Interesting subject btw.

  • Alan

    Love the article, very nice comparison. I love ableton for live composition, it’s ridiculously powerful (although it did take quite a bit of time to get the hang of it, but maybe that’s because it was my first DAW). But coming from a musical background, I love the ability to perform as well well as mix already produced tracks on the radio and such. I love people’s comments about using the ‘right’ system… I see shitty DJ’s using Traktor and great ones using virtual DJ, and obv it’s all about whatever suits your style. You can pretty much make ableton do whatever Serato and Traktor can do, but not always easily. They are different programs, so if some features don’t cut it for someone then by all means, use another system! but I love ableton for the live aspect, and can’t wait to buy some more midi equipment once I have money so I can map out even more functions and make it more versatile

  • http://www.viperfunk.com jprime

    It’s ridiculous the amount of people that assume you have to “come prepared with a pre planned set” in Ableton.

    You can mix it up on the fly in Ableton like any other DJ software. no fucking problem.

    I use Channels 1 and 2 in my Session view interface as my two main “decks.”
    Each channel has an EQ3 on it, there’s my lows, mids, and highs taken care of.
    I might even toss an effect or two on each channel, or maybe some right on the master channel, whatever.

    I’ll use the file browser in Abe to pick a song and drag it to a deck. No pre planning, just play away. Hell it’s even funner when I choose a track from the library that hasn’t been warped. Seeing how quickly you can warp on the fly is kinda fun.

    • Oqsfm123

      hey hows it going dude. .i just started using ableton and i got a question ,after warping the songs.ill play my first song(audio 1) then wen i fire the other on song(audio2)it dosent go in synch.or beatmach.it only synchs wen i fire them both up at the same time(master scene 1 play button).what m i doing wrong .if you could please send answear to oqsfm123@hotmail.com.    thanks man

  • beez

    @R3 Bonaire
    “Cue points…copy your clip 10 times in the track make 10 different start points in the clip box info’s. and set in the clip box info the global quantization to none “
    man this means what i said in my post,coming with your homework done..
    “On the fly loop…..Like with a cdj- Set loop in/out.. “
    we are talking about software here..and btw in this days alot of cdj`s has 4 beats loop …you cannot make loops like in traktor or other software in live..because it was not made for such stuff..
    @D-Jam
    yes,i hate the mp3 convert to wav too..takes some time,and a lot of disk space too..imagine 50-100 tunes in a regular night
    warp: 80% goes wrong..and i mean it..even on sample loops
    i hope ableton will consider in the future some basic dj needs and makes something!

  • http://www.d-jam.com D-Jam

    I’ve used Live for production and once even to perform. I will say it’s not for me as a DJ tool.

    My biggest grudge is the lack of true MP3 support. I know some guys will keep all their stuff as Wav files, but I have MP3 and would rather not get memory alerts from my computer because it’s storing all those Wav files it creates in a cache.

    I also don’t like the amount of time it takes to warp and get all your tunes set up. I prefer how I have things now with Torq. I scan the MP3 with BPM Analyzer, then bring it into Torq and have it scan and make the beatmap.

    Sync or manual beatmatch, I like the way I do things now, which is cool because everyone can pick a product to do things as they see fit. I won’t knock those who use Live, but I will say it’s perfect for those who like to remix more on the fly, make mashups, and do more performance/production based things. I wouldn’t recommend it for the average joe who wants to just DJ stuff normally. Maybe use Deckadance as a VST in there if you want the best of both worlds.

    I do hope Ableton takes a cue from Logic and perhaps makes a more DJ-friendly mode. I know there is Serato Bridge, but I mean on its own.

  • R3 Bonaire

    you can make cue points(though prep’ed)but loop on the fly is possible(but this will disable any stored loop marker)…
    Cue points…copy your clip 10 times in the track make 10 different start points in the clip box info’s. and set in the clip box info the global quantization to none. Save all clips in a live set and you have a prep-ed cue juggle ready.So the limit is that you can’t do it on the fly like with a CDJ or TR. But Ableton is like a prep-ed live show, can’t really do on the fly stuff other than some effects.
    On the fly loop…..Like with a cdj- Set loop in/out in clip info box and that will do a on the fly loop down till a 1/4 beat. Press loop button to release loop and the clip plays out.

  • beez

    i use live for production,pod-casting,and as a add-on to my dj setup.i use traktor to send the midi clock over to ableton where i have some loops,2drum racks (1 for percussion and 1 for fx`s) with one shot samples,the maschine vst and other vst`s..
    i hate going to a gig with my homework done.what is the point of mixing if you already have your set ready to play?
    coming with a set in ableton to a club is good only for beginners that cannot work live on cdj or live mixing software,or for peoples who are afraid of something going wrong during the mix..
    @chriscosour
    yes,the point of dj-ing is to rock your crowd.but ableton as stand alone is very limited for some basic dj stuff :
    cannot make cue`s (for beat juggling)and loops on the fly,the looper plugin just records a loop,so its not so good,and the basic problem is that you cannot scratch/rewind like on vinyl/cdj)
    for me the purpose of live used live is either to make a live act,a jam,or just to play some more sound over a track or a band..
    the saddest part that i regret about ableton is the partnership with serato ..traktor would of been the best weapon along with ableton in the bridge,but the N.I guys can be a pain in the you know what some times…..
    i dont like serato first of all because of his visual interface,specially the wave display…not that i care about he beauty,but is hard to work with.traktor`s wave display and its GUI are a friendly interface,witch helps a lot and gives you trust and pleasure working with it.and in the and we all know that traktor is way over serato (the midi mapping,the pref. menu,the audio engine,the reaktor based fx`s ..)
    so in the end :
    use ableton live as its should be used,and that is his name,so use it LIVE,even if it is a little bit harder it gives you more satisfaction of your work ,so act like a pro and do something LIVE,don’t go to clubs with your homework done!
    ps: you can use live for podcasts or sets but don play them in a club,its playback and you lie to yourself..

  • JuanSOLO

    BENTO needs to come correct with his Pinky Mod, then we can throw up some vids of Pinky in action with some new bells and whistles.

  • chriscosour

    Ive been using live for around a year now with a APC40 and SL25 MKII for djing and production.

    I learnt to DJ on a purely vinyl setup and for years i was producing little spirited attempts at EDM with fruityloops.

    I never really wanted to use CDJ’s, i never saw the point in downloading Mp3s then burning to disc, just to dj in the original 2 deck type format & once i found traktor, shit it was life changing.

    But i wanted more, i questioned why i would use two different programs to produce and dj: then i i found LIVE.

    The thing that has always appealed to me most about djing with live is the fact that most people who use it to dj probably have differing setups, there will undoubtedly be similarities but it just so personal, everything is where you want it (or put it).

    My setup works for me, even though after a year i’ve only scratched the surface i know that there a literally endless opportunities for different technique that i can conquer. I like that i have the ability to practice playing along to songs with my SL whilst djing with the APC. Whilst id never yet do this live, it increases my aptitude for production and musicality and helps me to delve even deeper into my tunes.

    There is definitely times when i feel limited, when i feel like maybe just firing traktor back up for simplicities sake, but there is always a work around.

    Like discussed previously in this comment thread im always startled when i see comments about beatmatching or lack of WTF? arent you over it yet? I dont understand how some people are so blind to the new age of controllerism that they are ready to limit themselves to a digital reinterpretation of the original DJ setup.

    Djing should always be about its roots, to get people on the f%&kin D-FLOOR. The system you use to do this? Thats your choice, i only have one ask : just that you rock me to my core!

  • http://www.dj-wholesale.com Numark NS7

    Good read, I’ve been messing with both Ableton and Traktor a lot and can’t decide which one I really want to sink my teeth into still.
    very cool…. i like see

  • Chad Parkhill

    [quote comment="38262"]I don’t understand however, how does the Nocturn provides dedicated EQ for each channel ? guess you have to switch all the time no? I like to have all my knobs lined up without any switching maneuver. I haven’t tried the Nocturn yet though.[/quote]

    It provides all the pots and buttons required for a three-band EQ on my two primary “mixing” channels. I have some other channels for acapellas and one-shot sounds, and a channel for dummy clips, and a tonne of channels with pre-loaded clips that are routed to the cue out and function as a “crate”. Most of those channels don’t need EQ controls.

    [quote comment="38272"]“integrate third party digital vinyl systems such as Ms. Pinky”

    And no mention of The Bridge?[/quote]

    The Bridge was recently a front-page story on DJTT, and it has been widely talked about in both Serato and Live’s user bases. I don’t think it needs any further publicity. ;-) My point with adding the line about Ms. Pinky was to say that Max 4 Live is powerful enough that it can be used with a host of third-party applications, not only the ones that Live has a corporate partnership with (Serato).

  • http://www.hispasonic.com Mudo

    Traktor Bridge is possible with LiveOsc and some remote scripting but the question is still why?

  • http://www.viperfunk.com jprime

    “integrate third party digital vinyl systems such as Ms. Pinky”

    And no mention of The Bridge? Interesting.

  • http://www.celtic-dj.com celtic dj

    wow,,great post,,,
    learned alot from this article and all the responses… wouldn’t mind working with ableton & traktor although having a big gig and lots of energy from the crowd – sometimes you want to keep it simple and have fun as-well…

    thanks alot djtt

  • http://turntablepoetry.com/blog dj professor ben

    You guys looking for the perfect controller to add EQ controls to every clip on ableton, look no further: http://www.lividinstruments.com/hardware_code.php
    It ain’t free tho

  • http://www.facebook.com/justinwooartist Punky

    I was all about using Ableton for DJing for a while, but it lost its shine for me when I realized that certain simple stuff that Traktor and Torq did was a real pain in the ass in Ableton, like on the fly looping, simple effects, and DJ style EQing. I moved back to traditional DJ programs, and I use Ableton for production.

    But I can definitely see the appeal. :)

  • Cabdoctor

    The thing that turns me off to Ableton is there’s no way to set a default loop size. There is the loop plug-in, but let’s be real, it sucks for DJs and the manner we use loops. At first the built in looper in the clip window seems awesome, till you click “set” and realize it’s put the end point at the end of your song. Now, I may be wrong, and there may already be a way to do this, but, it seems like that loop would be a lot more useful if you could set in preferences that the loop function would do 4-bar loop. Then you could tweak and do whatever the heck you want to it after that.

  • Jelomu

    [quote comment="38249"]I do want dedicated EQ controls for every channel, so the Nocturn is ideal (even better would be a VCM-600, but some of its limitations annoy).[/quote]
    Thanks for the reply. I don’t understand however, how does the Nocturn provides dedicated EQ for each channel ? guess you have to switch all the time no? I like to have all my knobs lined up without any switching maneuver. I haven’t tried the Nocturn yet though.

  • Paddy

    live is a very powerful tool but not knowing how to beatmach shouldn’t be an excuse to use it. It really ain’t that hard and it’s the only thing that would help you with a “not so well” warped clip. Geez, it’ even trains your ears to recognize when things start phasing out and fix it before “mortals” hear it.

    traktor/serato follow the X decks + mixer paradigm wich aint bad at all and works perfecty well on lots of different situations. on the other hand, live it’s just an empty rack for you to play with and this is what scares most people away, they have too much freedom and don’t know even where to start, so they duplicate try to replicate the “deck” setup, leaving most of ableton’s benefits behind. Both have their pros and cons so it’s your choice to pick one or combo them :)

    for the average joe/top40/wedding dj or whatever, ableton it’s just overkill because you really don’t have much room to fiddle with the knobs until the audience gives u the wtf look. Keep in mind not everyone wants to hear remixes on the fly or epic efecting, they just like to hear what they heard 3489263492784 times already. this limits the dj’s creativity to song selection and mixes, that certainly doesn’t make anyone less of a dj, you need read the crowd and perform for THEM, not yourself. most of the live sets i’ve heard are plain boring because the performer either a) plays full songs and every now and then drops a tool over it (meaning he’s just lazy to match a pair of tunes or even drop a sample in time) b) set it’s not flexible at all and can’t keep up if crowd is not responding c) they use live because it’s cool to say it
    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced some awesome livesets as well but less often than I would like to.

    I’m not saying everyone should beatmatch everything, but if you do sync, use the time for something useful! not trying to look cool by playing with an empty channel or chilling while the song advances.

    Maybe it’s just me but since djing is becaming more and more popular I see people just letting the machines do their thing and have 0 innovation whatsoever (and they don’t even mix half decently, respect or care about phrasing!). I know time will wear out posers, but it still hurts to watch/hear. I think most forgot this is an artform and we are forward looking people driven by passion, oh well :(

    sorry for the off topic, i needed to get it out of my system.

    summing up, choose your weapon and rock the hell out of it.

  • DJ D Olivieira

    I use both ableton en Traktor. I wonder why Traktor doesn`t have a brigde like serato does.

  • R3 Bonaire

    “deadmau5 doesn’t use headphones with Live….can someone please explain this”

    many times with Traktor you can do without headphones if all songs are cue and loop marked. Same is with ableton. it is all prepaired.

  • Paddy

    [quote post="8246"]Anonymous
    October 7th, 2010 at 5:53 am Quote
    deadmau5 doesn’t use headphones with Live….can someone please explain this[/quote]

    he’s a waverider and knows pretty well how he laid things down in his set

  • Nan

    I know this has nothing to do with this, but please, you’ve got to see this… I’m really excited!!!

    CHeck this out!!! Reactable for iPhone and iPad!!!!

  • Steve Francesco

    [quote]deadmau5 doesn’t use headphones with Live….can someone please explain this
    [/quote]

    If he know what all the clips are already there’s no need for headphones.. same as any live PA who knows what they’ve set up already and triggering samples and effects I guess .. check out Laurant Garnier or Underworld vids on youtube

  • Chad Parkhill

    [quote comment="38236"]My main problem with Ableton DJing is… which controller to use?[/quote]

    I use a two-controller setup – a Korg NanoKontrol for controlling clip launching and volumes, and a Novation Nocturn for controlling EQs and effects.

    Because Live doesn’t have a “standard” DJ setup – every Live DJ creates their own workflow – you won’t ever find a controller that precisely suits your needs. Since I don’t personally split up my tracks into separate clips I don’t need a Monome-like controller such as the APC40 or launchpad. I do want dedicated EQ controls for every channel, so the Nocturn is ideal (even better would be a VCM-600, but some of its limitations annoy).

    Perhaps you could consider making your own custom MIDI controller using the resources here on DJTechTools.com? There’s a lot of info on the subject in the forums.

  • Anonymous

    too much track/clip/set pre-programming using ableton….gimme an s4 and a hard drive full of music and let’s lay it all down on the fly

  • Anonymous

    deadmau5 doesn’t use headphones with Live….can someone please explain this

  • http://www.hispasonic.com Mudo

    I use vestax vci-100 plus Octinct v.2 plus Ms. Pinky and pad controller.

    Not so “heavy” or expensive but needs python code knowledge and m4L, right.

  • shep

    [quote comment="38236"]I like DJing with Ableton Live, much more powerful than Traktor in my opinion, but surely needs a lot of pre-gig work.

    My main problem with Ableton DJing is… which controller to use?
    The fact is that most of the midi controllers out there such as the APC-40 don’t have EQs, there are meant for live pa.

    I have only found those solutions so far:
    - M-Audio UC33, pretty old, lacks clip launches buttons but does the job. Light and pretty cheap.
    - Vestax VCI-600: expensive, big & heavy, lots of buttons but 6 channels instead of 8 for the UC-33.
    - Faderfox, love those but would need at least 4 of them…

    I use the M-Audio Xsession Pro. Again needs more buttons and the faders need LED as you have to look at the screen to see where they are at. Also I was resting it on the mixer the other week in a tight environment and the heat malfunctioned the xfader, lucky still had the vertical volume faders to work with.
    - Korg zero-8: too big for me, and discontinued anyway.

    If you have an other solution I would be glad to hear about it.

    My dream controller would be an upgraded UC33, with a few transport buttons, more solid faders & knobs, a couple of endless knobs maybe and that’s all. I don’t understand why M-Audio completely gave up on this controller while so many artists are still using it.[/quote]

  • shep

    [quote comment="38147"]Well, you said it all …

    What bugs me a bit is that I’m under the impression that it wouln’t take too much to make abbleton the perfect DJ soft for us who already like Live.

    Something I’m really dreaming of : a utils wich make traktor able to read .gpk files ? That would mean almost best of both world, the wraping of Live with the interface of traktor …

    Isn’t there some great coder who is also a DJTT reader that could write something, please, pretty please …[/quote]

    I use Ableton for DJ as I work with a drummer and like to get the beat exact. Yes just need a playlist to make finding requests for punters quicker!

    Otherwise superfantaz

  • djcl.ear

    Uhmm sorry for the cold water, but it’s needed.

    It seem it is too EARLY to join the party…

    R you Interested? Then check the forums about Live and see for yourself. It needs bug fixes in a monthy basis and basically when you start to complex the set-up (adding controllers, plug-ins, drivers, soundcards, etc.)then it is not rare that it crashes or malfunctions… Most of us simply cannot afford that to happen, we dont have the “other musicians” to keep jamming while it restarts or gets back on track.

    Moreover, at October 2010 it is NOT EVEN yet ABLE to operate on x64 Operating Systems PC or Mac. This means Live is NOT yet compatible with Windows 7-64bit or XP-64 bit!!! then it’s not able to work with 4 Gigas RAM PC/Laptop.
    Are you wanting to upgrade to the new Laptop generation? looking for an i3, i7 processor?… 4 cores possibly? Then Live wont notice all that expense; it will work mostly on one core. Not even Core 2 DUO will be fully utilised. I’d gathered that its internal (soft)engine is far from optimizing the power multicore CPUs nowadays have…

    Ableton may come out with functioning new 64 bit Drivers, that will belp a lot, but it will take time for them to optimize it up to the new capacities. Apparently Ableton has been long lousy with the programming side of Live. Its Managers took the route of focusing on making alliances with plenty of third party companies and kept adding requested funcionalities while trying to fix bugs. But the internal programing foundation has grown shaky an unefficient. Many reject its use as recording DAW because of the alleged poor sound quality. Uffs.

    Then, Why am I posting all this?
    Have zero hate for Ableton or Live, on the contrary.
    Because Live is my dreamt-software-interface and unless we prospective (and actual) users share balanced and relevant information in the forums, unless we talk about this, then it will be a difficult road for those adopting it now and facing the shortcomings the system TODAY still has.
    Advice; you want to buy it? then first register in its forum and join the -very reasonable- requests quest.

    Yes it will be great, amazing. And I deeply hope it happens soon, for that, it will need all support AND requests we interested users may give.
    Excellent article DJ Techtools.

  • Jelomu

    I like DJing with Ableton Live, much more powerful than Traktor in my opinion, but surely needs a lot of pre-gig work.

    My main problem with Ableton DJing is… which controller to use?
    The fact is that most of the midi controllers out there such as the APC-40 don’t have EQs, there are meant for live pa.

    I have only found those solutions so far:
    - M-Audio UC33, pretty old, lacks clip launches buttons but does the job. Light and pretty cheap.
    - Vestax VCI-600: expensive, big & heavy, lots of buttons but 6 channels instead of 8 for the UC-33.
    - Faderfox, love those but would need at least 4 of them…
    - Korg zero-8: too big for me, and discontinued anyway.

    If you have an other solution I would be glad to hear about it.

    My dream controller would be an upgraded UC33, with a few transport buttons, more solid faders & knobs, a couple of endless knobs maybe and that’s all. I don’t understand why M-Audio completely gave up on this controller while so many artists are still using it.

  • Harvey Mason Jnr

    It’s amazing how many anti-DJ Technology folk visit this DJ Technology website.

    We get it – you love manually beat-matching. We’re all pleased for you.

    When did all this stop being about the music? Surely if the people on the dancefloor are dancing and having fun – then that it enough? Look at it this way – think of the best night out you’ve ever had in a Club. Now, was the DJ beat-matching naturally or by software? ANSWER: Who cares. It was the best night you’ve ever had.

    This “Superstar DJ” world we live in has created too many egos.

  • http://www.hispasonic.com Mudo

    You can scratch (without warping) inside ableton live and do some intresting Hip Hop Stuff.

    Just let imagination flow:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVV9JdykDVk

    Cheers.

  • R3 Bonaire

    again DJJT article hits where i am working on for the past weeks. Thanks so much. Some of my ideas…
    Looping a track on the fly like with a CDJ, Midi map the 2 loop in/out set buttons and loop on/off in the clip view box and at any point one can make a loop in a track as small as 1 beat. Or use the looper effect in the return(via send 1) line and mix in the recorded loop in the return track into the main and kill the main track. Multiple cue points are made by copying the clip and making multiple track slices and startpoints. With clip launch and setting the Q-bar to 1/4 it will work very nice and glitch free.
    My idea is to use ableton & TR pro and Ableton as master clock and its audio output into Deck 3 audio Through.This way you can use all TR effects and make remixes live by using other beats from ableton and filter out the original beat in Tr. When beat drift occures you can manually adjust with Traktor.
    To DJ i will continue on TR and on the fly remixing add Ableton. But for producing tracks or remixes, Ableton is great but as said in the article kind of complex to learn.. Taking a online class is what helped me out with excelent results. I don’t know if it is allowed to name this site that provided the course…so i will leave it up to Ean if that is OK….But It is sure worth it if any one wants to get the best out of ableton..

  • Will Marshall

    Hey Ean,

    Just pinged you an email. Happy to help tidy things up – I’m a web developer and everything!

    -Will

  • Ean Golden

    [quote comment="38226"]Incidentally, can we get the CSS fixed for the comments?

    It needs something like:
    ol.commentlist li p { margin-bottom: 12px; }

    That will fix the ugly white-space issues :)[/quote]

    If your willing to help clean it up- i would be happy to get the help :) email me from the about page..

  • Will Marshall

    Incidentally, can we get the CSS fixed for the comments?

    It needs something like:
    ol.commentlist li p { margin-bottom: 12px; }

    That will fix the ugly white-space issues :)

  • Will Marshall

    I’d definitely agree that the biggest issue with Ableton is poor sample browsing. This applies to DJs, but it’s also a big problem as an Ableton producer. I end up using a lot of Native Instruments VSTs simply because they have excellent preset browsers.

    There are other commonly-cited issues (lack of dual waveforms, inferior looping controls, lack of cue points) with Ableton, but most of them are fixable or surprisingly unproblematic. The browser limitations are a big deal.

    I’d like to see NI-style tag-based libraries (with a little quicklookup database) for samples in Ableton. I’d also like to see a modal change (from normal mode to browse mode) available with good MIDI-mapping capabilities. If done correctly this could be useful in both the studio and during performance. Traktor, Maschine and Kore would be the obvious places to look for inspiration.

  • http://turntablepoetry.com dj professor ben

    +1 on the file browsing issue … would love it if there was some way to use Logic’s loop browser in Ableton Live.

    And Will Marshall thanks for linking that video. I just watched about half of it and it kind of blew my mind…. Very cool template setup you have for DJing with that, the effects are set up really nicely. When I have some time I plan to download and check it out…

  • Anon Emus

    [quote comment="38204"]why doesn’t Traktor or Serato have a time warping feature?[/quote]

    They’re not half as good as Live’s. When I rip vinyl, I rip straight into Live and warp and process to I get it how I want it to sound. This is mainly what I use Live for. Was just seeing if you could use this feature like a batch converter instead of song for song. That’s all.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/6stringmercenary 6StringMercenary

    [quote comment="38212"]
    It’s important to remember that turntables weren’t originally designed as DJ tools – their use is incidental and accidental.[/quote]

    Agreed. To be ignorant of the roots is rude, but to be ignorant of new developments is undesirable as well. Practice makes better methinks. http://imgur.com/xwC2g.jpg

  • DJ Phaidon

    @Will Marshall, Well put in everything that you’ve said

    My biggest complaint about ableton is the file browsing. If someone would code a better looking and better functioning way to drop in songs/loops/samples then ableton would be perfect. I still use both traktor and ableton, but I would drop traktor if ableton had a few more tweaks to functionality

  • Will Marshall

    [quote comment="38205"]
    The next three points were, I think, covered in the article – albeit with different emphases.[/quote]

    You’re quite right, you did cover those! I was pre-coffee and started off with a point that turned into a ramble. My apologies :)

    [quote comment="38205"]I was hoping point five would be kind of moot on DJTechTools.com – after all, since everybody here DJs using a laptop, we’re all “fakers” and “posers,” so why not be openminded about what constitutes DJing? – but it seems that the technical purity brigade is here, too (see the comments about beatmatching above). I guess that could be the basis for another article …[/quote]

    I’ve noticed this about DJTT as well. One of my big issues with Serato (and to an extent Traktor) is that I feel like they’re mostly re-implementing existing technology, and their attachment to the paradigm is a little slavish. It’s important to remember that turntables weren’t originally designed as DJ tools – their use is incidental and accidental.

  • Kepik

    using Live on its own wouldn’t work well with me spinning hip-hop/top40s stuff, but when I do play my house sets, I have been messing around with it and it works!

    But like everyone has said, it does require time to prepare all your tracks. With the Bridge, I plan on incorporating it with Serato eventually…

  • Tony C

    Nice article, It doesnt have to always be one or the other.
    For instance I use traktor but I still play some cds and sometimes use ableton for part of the night.
    Bit of variety helps pass the time!

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/6stringmercenary 6StringMercenary

    Really liked this article, strong quality and even had some “under the hood” tips I’ve been wanting to learn. Strong writing and also a thank you for sticking around for Q&A and more observations. My turn!

    Guilty. That’s how I feel about calling myself a ‘DJ’ – so many of my friends are traditional deck and mixer artists, but they’ve been really encouraging of my different approach. I can first-hand say that Ableton’s performace and portability are quite amazing, especially with the idea of “queue up and fire away” or adding on the fly. My stripped down kit – a netbook, little single in/out ASIO USB dongle, and a nanoKontrol – are ultra portable, pretty potent and I can cue and EQ and add some various phaser/distortion effects as well. Point being, a lot of the time I don’t beatmatch, but definitely cue songs in and out and crop them and toss in some samples…or even more.

    Being able to run a line-in guitar track is ultra-simple with Ableton, and with an APC40 and enough horsepower, also a MIDI keyboard tied to a Live instrument or VST, and you can start to imagine the performance rig I’m developing (though probably not the first of its kind). Down the line I’d love to include a Vestax or similar controller and use Serato + Bridge or Max + Ms Pinky or VST Deckadance…so many great options. I know I’m barely getting past beginner stage and focused a bit much on the hardware/software, but Ableton really has changed my perspective on what it means to DJ, to be a performer and a producer. It’s a lot of fun to play a ripping solo over Prodigy’s Invaders Must Die then cut out the axe and mix up some effects.

    So much homework left to do…off to go practice beat matching, but still happy I can read a WAV and cue the next track for a nice fade-in without a monitor feed to perform hour+ sets on the netbook without any trouble. Hope more can learn about how great the software is for modern times.

  • Chad Parkhill

    [quote comment="38173"]I don’t think this is right for me at all… As DJ who plays a lot of Hip Hop, scratching and tempo changes are a big part of my sets. I don’t think my audience would like a whole night of dancing at 95 BPMs and neither would I.[/quote]

    It’s very easy to change tempos using Ableton – you can map a MIDI control to the master tempo and change the tempo with a twist of an encoder. You can also use the scene launch function to create sudden “drop” style changes in tempo.

    However, if you have your heart set on scratching, Ableton is not for you.

  • Chad Parkhill

    [quote comment="38191"]A few points I think should have been covered in the article but werent …[/quote]

    Hey Will, thanks for dropping by. You’re right, I should have mentioned that Live has a Python API – it’s a big feature, and it definitely fits under the point about Live being as simple or as complex as you want it to be.

    The next three points were, I think, covered in the article – albeit with different emphases. Live isn’t the best piece of software if all you’re interested in doing is mixing two or four tracks together with some DJ-specific effects thrown in, as I’ve said. It is much better if you’re interested in taking your live performances beyond that paradigm, or if you want to start producing your own tracks.

    I was hoping point five would be kind of moot on DJTechTools.com – after all, since everybody here DJs using a laptop, we’re all “fakers” and “posers,” so why not be openminded about what constitutes DJing? – but it seems that the technical purity brigade is here, too (see the comments about beatmatching above). I guess that could be the basis for another article …

  • http://www.djkidhack.com KIDHACK

    why doesn’t Traktor or Serato have a time warping feature?

  • Anon Emus

    I have Live6, don’t use it much. My question is, is there a way to mass warp my files in Live then send them to my folders in Traktor? Before anyone says “just use Ableton for everything”, I have several DAW’s and using Live isn’t a problem. For me Abletons’ greatest strength, WARPING, fixes Traktors’ greatest weakness, WARPING. Is there a way to do my library in “one shot”? Just asking the Ableton Pros.

  • JOn

    [quote comment="38191"]
    5: I think the term “DJ” has been a little bit taken over by an obsession with traditional DJing, which only exists because of the limitations of the technology of the time. Is it still DJing to blend stems, samples, my tracks, other people’s tracks, some sequenced percussion/acid and maybe a Moog? That’s what I call it, but others don’t necessarily agree.[/quote]

    Amen.

  • El Cuco

    This is one of the best articles i’ve read about Ableton, thanks a lot Chad, im really a total noob when it comes to Ableton and always wanted a quick overview of what you can do/not do with Ableton, this has been like a mystery for me for a long time.

    Like you said it involves some pre-work and its not just launch and play, in my personal opinion this application seems to be oriented mostly for the electronic scene, i haven’t seen too much action of this on other genres and for DJs like me that spin 8-10 different genres wouldn’t be very helpful.

  • http://www.digitaldjtips.com Phil Morse

    Nice article.

    As a Serato user, I was so impressed with the demonstration of The Bridge at the BPM show last weekend that I promptly forked out on a Novation Launchpad and got ready to “roll my sleeves up”.

    Why not until now? Because as a DJ, I also love being able to just PLAY. That means pulling any track out from anywhere in my collection, roughly EQing the f*ck out of it, then shoehorning it in with whatever else I’m playing… often in 15 seconds flat, when I haven’t heard the track for 10 years! THAT’s what I love about DJing, and that’s why I’ll need to keep that kind of thing when I incorporate Ableton into my sets. The Bridge lets DJs do that. It’s awesome.

    Secondly, I have always wanted to get into production, or at least mash-ups and re-edits, and this is what I see as my way in – because I can now mix producing up with the immediacy that I love about DJing and hopefully keep my interest levels high.

    Can’t wait to get started.

  • Will Marshall

    [quote comment="38194"][quote comment="38191"]Hi guys,

    Will Marshall here – some of you probably know me ;)
    .[/quote]

    Nope… Intro..?[/quote]

    Not all of you ;)

    I do a bunch of Ableton-related DJ tools (http://vimeo.com/13539506), hang out on ALDJ, etc.

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment="38172"]Daft Punk is using 4 Minimoog Voyagers in that picture.

    Even if you were using an old Cubase running in an Atari computer, it would still sound analog. This is the real thing.

    Forget about Live, Traktor, Serato, or even ProTools, that’s just digital crap.[/quote]

    u should see that these 4 Minimoogs are coming togheter in Ableton Live. Daft Punk is a bad example for DJing with Live, cause they are doing a Concert with there own works, not DJing…
    Most “Ableton DJs” are not realy DJing, they perfom there own stuff.
    Ableton is made for Live Perfomance, but if u wonna DJing in Ableton Mrs. Pinky is one of the best solutions!well, u need M4L…

  • Karlos Santos

    [quote comment="38191"]Hi guys,

    Will Marshall here – some of you probably know me ;)
    .[/quote]

    Nope… Intro..?

  • http://www.hispasonic.com Mudo

    +1

  • Steve Francesco

    [quote post="8246"]I guess it depends on your computer but on my Macbook Pro (4 yrs old I think) they sync up ok in that direction. It does take some setting up — often I have to restart Traktor a couple times to get it to work — but once they’re synced they stay synced pretty well. Though as someone else mentioned if you change the tempo in traktor there’s a lag before Ableton catches up, so you ought not be mixing both progs and changing tempo at the same time.
    [/quote]

    Weird I guess, I’m on a macbook too and if I use Traktor as the master Ableton fluctuates wildly +-5bpms which is just way too far off. I tried it every way possible, even using “Midiclock” which had the same crazy fluctuating tempo effect to both applications!

    manually syncing both apps actually works a treat with clock nudge and is probably most accurate overall, but has “yet more” buttons to push or wheels to spin and displays to watch for what really should be a very very simple task ?

  • Will Marshall

    Hi guys,

    Will Marshall here – some of you probably know me ;)

    A few points I think should have been covered in the article but werent:

    1: Ableton has a Python API. Enthusiastic geeks like me can build *much* more advanced controller mappings than Traktor supports, even though Ableton’s built-in MIDI mapping is weak. This compensates for a lot of features Ableton appears to be lacking (like Traktor-style looping), as you can implement them really simply in Python.

    2: Traktor, Serato etc have tools focused specifically for dealing with whole, mastered tracks. There are lots of hard limitations when dealing with fully rendered audio like this, so the tools are focused on the few things you can do.

    Ableton by contrast is oriented at dealing with stems, samples and other “source” components. The big advantage is that Ableton can transparently handle pretty much *any* type of audio: the disadvantage is that it’s less focused than Traktor/Serato/etc on dealing with full tracks.

    3: If all you’re interested in doing is straight up DJing, Traktor is probably a better choice than Ableton. Ableton really shines when you’re wanting to A: perform from stems/loops/samples, B: DJ with advanced FX or controller mappings, or C: combine production with DJing. I am a heavy Ableton guy, but I set most of my friends up with Traktor because they’re really just interested in spinning tracks and don’t want the more complex/powerful tool.

    4: Ableton is a complete swiss-army-knife. I’d recommend learning how to use it effectively for *all* audio professionals (even if you use Traktor for DJing), because it’s just generally useful. I use it for DJing and performance, but I’ve also used it for art installations, composition, testing equipment and to feed audio to sound-responsive hardware a mate of mine builds.

    5: I think the term “DJ” has been a little bit taken over by an obsession with traditional DJing, which only exists because of the limitations of the technology of the time. Is it still DJing to blend stems, samples, my tracks, other people’s tracks, some sequenced percussion/acid and maybe a Moog? That’s what I call it, but others don’t necessarily agree.

  • http://turntablepoetry.com dj professor ben

    [quote comment="38167"]The fluctuating Clock sync in Traktor is a bit of a pain, but works 99% accurate (within .5bpm up and down) if Ableton is the master, setting Traktor as the master clock is complete FAIL. [/quote]
    I actually haven’t found this to be true — I guess it depends on your computer but on my Macbook Pro (4 yrs old I think) they sync up ok in that direction. It does take some setting up — often I have to restart Traktor a couple times to get it to work — but once they’re synced they stay synced pretty well. Though as someone else mentioned if you change the tempo in traktor there’s a lag before Ableton catches up, so you ought not be mixing both progs and changing tempo at the same time. Other than that though i’s pretty fun, and it seems to me to have all the advantages of the “bridge” in serato. (It also helps if you have an APC for firing off the clips, if you’re doing this with the mouse it’s gonna be no fun at all, haha).

    @Chad – big ups on Chris + Cosey, TG, and Coil! Always get a smile when I see someone on these sites as old as I am :-O

  • JohnnyC

    [quote comment="38145"]Nice article thanks !

    So we don’t have cue & loop functions in Ableton Live ?[/quote]

    You can very easily chop (non-destructively)a track into multiple clips which can loop (amongst other things)and be triggered by a midi controller. Same concept, many more possibilities. :-)

    -j

  • piopro

    [quote comment="38138"]Good read, I’ve been messing with both Ableton and Traktor a lot and can’t decide which one I really want to sink my teeth into still. They’re both so fun.[/quote]

    use both look up smart mixing on djtt

  • Stumpy

    Thanks for a nicely written article without any random editor’s Traktor inserts.

    I use Ableton, and DJed live with it using older Macbok with 2Gb Ram. I threw the tracks into the decks as I was playing without issues. The track preparation is a burden, and looping isn’t too great, but on the other hand you can chop a track without doing anything to the mp3 itself, throw the clips to different tracks, and mix pieces of the song with itself.

    (Oh, and for the funk you can add some Swing.)

  • http://urbstar.bandcamp.com URBSTAR

    Ableton is for creatives….not for “DJ’s” in a traditional sense. Once again I see bashing of a software because you cant turn it on and have everything made for you. Thats the difference between a “dj” and a artist. Ableton is a powerful tool if you can think outside the box in how you build your live sets with routing and effects. But if your the “DJ” thats twists knobs on the mixer on a track with now audio playing to make it look like your making the build up in the track stick with traktor..if you want to really be creative and not a Ean Golden clone asking for templates and mapping…..try the demo of Ableton……if you have any talent you can make some sick shit!

  • meh

    And Yes… I play Dubstep… I pre’edit everything in my bags to a 16 bar intro, So as long as you phrase cue every drop will be perfecto even when im piss faced drunk I cant miss.. been doing it for years….

    This used to be alot more work and actually take some skill in ableton 7 and earlier you had to warp everything completely manually and if the track wasnt fresh off a pay site it was a fucking nightmare and completely jacked up.

  • meh

    no beatmatching needed should never be a perk of why you should Use
    —–DJ—–Software.

    theres a difference between doing complex things during which U dont want to beatmatch so U use SYNC or master tempo etc… and choosing a piece of software cause you cant beatmatch….

    If U cant beatmatch….sigh…its not hard….. you should be working on beatmatching and have no business opening ableton.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tiagotechnohead TiagoTechnoHead

    Yeah..
    Pretty cool reading this.

    I use Torq to mix two digital tracks, use turntables to spin some records and i’m starting to create a live set in Ableton. After all I’ll mix it on a four channel mixer.
    Time and work!
    Love it.

  • Arubaro

    [quote comment="38165"]Could be intresting to have a list of Major artist djing with Ableton.

    Anyone?[/quote]

    Daft Punk…

  • http://www.djpc3.com/ Dj PC3

    I don’t think this is right for me at all… As DJ who plays a lot of Hip Hop, scratching and tempo changes are a big part of my sets. I don’t think my audience would like a whole night of dancing at 95 BPMs and neither would I.
    Also, I am definitely in the group of DJs that need something to just work. But I will admit that I am interested in the production of DEMOS and mix-tapes using this program. I am really interested in the bridge, for those purposes. Unfortunately, I am a staunch Traktor users (in a genre where most DJs use Serato), and there is no connected feature for this type of use (or at least not yet)….

    • Wordup

      I can’t believe it took so long for someone to notice the big “elephant in the room” with Ableton Live.  If you DJ all house tracks to a 125 BPM tempo, then great – Live is your tool.  But if you want to switch genres, styles and speeds… then Live is not imperfect… it’s almost impossible to use.

      • TheBot

        thank you for mentioning that. Is there anyway around that? the tempo automation is bumming me out so hard, what if i want a multi genre EDM set (ie electro house, dubstep, and DnB)?

        • Marcus

          I DJ with Ableton. You can change the universal BPM on the fly. I throw down all genres from 60 BPM to 130 BPM. You just have to bridge the tracks down or up with intermediate BPMs and change your universal tempo. Or you can get fun and start upping the BPMs of a rap song up to 120 slowly and watch the crowd get riled up and then drop some Progressive house over that rap beat and change the game. I love Ableton.

  • http://audiotecna.info Alfredo bicho

    Daft Punk is using 4 Minimoog Voyagers in that picture.

    Even if you were using an old Cubase running in an Atari computer, it would still sound analog. This is the real thing.

    Forget about Live, Traktor, Serato, or even ProTools, that’s just digital crap.

  • davendiva

    I’m with Traktor as the human intervention is much greater when playing a set and the S4 new features is only going to add to this. I’ve tried Ableton but a lot of the live “on te fly” aspects aren’t evident as there is more prep required. If you wanna something in between to record and edit live mixes, Mixmeister Fusion isn’t a bad option as you can add your own VST’s and play up to 8 decks.

  • mostapha

    I really need to get around to writing about how I use Ableton, because a lot of the complaints people use are just not valid once you get into the software.

    A couple responses:
    [quote comment="38141"]yeah the fact that it takes so much preparation beforehand to use it for something as simple as djing is the biggest turn-off to me for using it as a dj tool.

    if the software included a “deck instrument” which had intuitive functions for cue points, looping, track browsing etc. i think i would definitely be more inclined to jump ship from traktor.[/quote]

    It does take a lot of preparation, but so does everything else digital. File management is the biggest part of it, though warping and splitting things into clips/loops does take time. The good news is that it’s more precise than Traktor or SSL, that you only ever have to do it once per track, and that it gets a lot easier to do after you do more than a handful of tracks.

    [quote comment="38162"]I don’t understand why Traktor cannot be a VST plug in….. NI are after all makers of some of the best VST makers….
    Its all down to money and control….[/quote]

    Because that would be completely pointless, just like having a DJ deck instrument, as commented above. I’m not saying your ideas are dumb, and i’m not saying that either of you are dumb. You just haven’t actually gotten into what Ableton does, what its limitations are, and–more importantly–what it adds to a DJ set. Forcing a “deck” into that system takes away almost everything it adds (except good AU and VST support, flexible routing, the built-in effects, etc.) and doesn’t add anything that isn’t just a part of Traktor, SSL, or Itch. Here’s the rub. Most of the routing options only matter if you’re doing something complicated within Ableton. It takes a good bit of work to arbitrarily effect the audio using a wet/dry knob instead of send/receive channels (from the standpoint of your controller). It took me a while to figure out how to do it completely reliably. That alone means that Ableton might not be as good of a tool for people looking to just DJ the way they always have. In addition, you’d lose its warping, clip controls, looping…everything.

    If that’s what you want, the solution is for Traktor (Serato probably isn’t going to do it anytime soon) to become a full-featured VST and AU host. There’s no reason to use it as VST or even to re-wire it into Live just to use Live’s effects. Live’s built-in effects are pretty freaking good, but there’s better stuff available.

    @ a few people, there’s no reason to pre-program sets in Live any more than there is to go to a gig with a set list. You don’t have to do it. The pictures you’ve seen with hundreds of clips pre-loaded are one of three types of people. One, they’re not DJs; they’re live acts who have a pre-prepared set list anyway, just the same way a band would: think Deadmau5, Orbital, or Daft Punk (regardless of what software they’re actually using). Two, they’re EDM producers who don’t want to learn to DJ at all and just want to play their own tracks in a live environment and do more than just load up an iTunes playlist. No offense to him, his stuff’s awesome, but Felix Cartal comes to mind. Or, three, they’re DJs who have seen one of the two previous groups and decided to use the same workflow without really getting to know Ableton. Maybe someone from one of the first two groups taught them to use it and they either didn’t bother or didn’t know enough to figure out how to do anything different…which is fine. But, there are a lot of people who levy this workflow as a complaint against Live…which is just not valid.

    I have NEVER performed live with Live with clips pre-loaded except for dummy clips that control effects, and I’ve given even that up after Macro banks were added, since I can now control all of the effects I want with 4-knobs per “Effects Device,” which I use 2 of. I’ve done pre-planned sets for mix CDs and competitions, but I do them in arrangement view, still without pre-loaded clips.

    I tried doing it the other way once, and it was one of about 3 times I’ve ever had Live crash on my Mac. (The other two were from me doing something stupid like trying to run Live while compiling software).

    I really just need to submit an article…I’ll get around to that after this round of tests at uni.

  • OFF topic

    if you don’t vote on the T shirt contest, the green midi fighter is gonna win, don’ tell I didn’t tell you

  • http://www.myspace.com/djstylus_nyc DJ stylus

    DOESNT THE BRIDGE DO AWAY WITH ALL THE CONS EXCEPT FOR TIME WARPING TRACKS???

  • Steve Francesco

    Or get the best of both worlds and route your Traktor / Deckadance THROUGH Ableton record your loops from there, trigger on the fly blagh blagh

    You still have full use of your Traktor library and effects / control ..can use your 4 decks routed into channels in Ableton for Cueing and re-effecting, looping, recording snippets etc…. only drawback is really needing a second display for both pieces of software *of course Mac’s have Spaces :P*

    The fluctuating Clock sync in Traktor is a bit of a pain, but works 99% accurate (within .5bpm up and down) if Ableton is the master, setting Traktor as the master clock is complete FAIL.

    I’ve tried Deckadance as a VST but it really didn’t do it for me .. too much going on and too little getting done…I’ve always found it a lil “laggy” too.

    As for having to pre-program sets and track warps, it only takes about 10 – 20 seconds to do a live warp from an MP3 and a few seconds to get it cued correctly in live, whats the big deal with that ?

    however from a pure “fun djing” (Which is my favorite to be honest!) I prefer Just using plain ol’ Traktor .. it works and works well, has all my tunes in there, I don’t need to worry about another application crashing …. It’s never crashed on me in 2 years, not once!.. There’s still plenty of creativity to be had from the effects rack, looping and so on.

    I really don’t fancy getting mashed drunk if I was playing well live with Live .. it takes concentration & patience a wee bit more level headedness IMHO where with Traktor / Serato / Deckadance etc … you can just rock on without thinking too much about where X & Y routed to, what midi channel i’m using for what knobs for what effect .. or worse “oh crap incoming email just shut down live! – no sound !” (yes its happened:-O.. and I learned).

    For those dark techhie / progressive gigs I like Traktor & Live Combo for those fun trance or funky parties I like Traktor Solo & get just mashed with the crowd without worrying about the noisy accident waiting to happen due to the softakeover setup on channel 2 when I switch apps.

    All in my own opinion of course :P

  • Chad Parkhill

    [quote comment="38165"]Could be intresting to have a list of Major artist djing with Ableton.

    Anyone?[/quote]

    I’m not sure how current this is, but here’s Wikipedia’s list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Ableton_Live_users

    I’m particularly chuffed to see Coil, Chris and Cosey, and Throbbing Gristle on there.

  • http://www.myspace.com/electrometro oscarjmg

    Could be intresting to have a list of Major artist djing with Ableton.

    Anyone?

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment="38155"]

    Cue points can be made by chopping up the track into multiple clips with different start points each – it’s not a pretty solution, but if you have an APC40, Novation Launchpad, or another monome-style device that allows you to fire off multiple clips in quick succession it could work for you.

    In terms of prep, once you’ve mastered the art of warping tracks it’s pretty easy to warp a new song in a minute or so – just enough time to drop one into your set, warp it, cue it to make sure it’s tight, and transition into it. This is easier with electronic tracks of course, but even with irregular tracks that need a handful of warp markers you can do it – so although spontaneity is an issue, you’re not at all chained to a prescribed tracklist if you’re nimble enough. (This is also Jason J’s comment, but as he notes, that lack of spontaneity happens when you start with Ableton – it doesn’t have to persist!)[/quote]

    I agree with all of this. The way I use Live for cue points is to do just what you mentioned and it works great with my APC 40. It’s a pain in the ass to start, but once you get the hang of it it takes like 5 mins to fully warp, chop, and prep a song and you’re good to go. So worth it imo as well. Warping in Live 8 is super easy and accurate as well, so I’m not sure why people complain about this one.

    But as the article says if you don’t like the pre-planning aspect of Live don’t even bother. I actually “lol-ed” when i saw the screen shots of the 3 platforms because it reminded me of when I first opened Live and when “where the hell is everything? This is just a blank screen…” It took a lot of reading and set up on my part just to get off the ground, but now i’ve got a system worked out that does exactly what i want it to do, and for that I think it’s worth the time investment.

  • Chad Parkhill

    Those interested in running a VST within Live that can emulate some of the features of Traktor/Serato should have a look at DJTT author Manish’s article on Deckadance, which he runs within Ableton. It’s not perfect, but it is an interesting start.

    http://www.djtechtools.com/2010/09/26/deckadance-1-70-ready-to-rock/

    Hopefully we’ll see a more robust, feature-rich version of these kinds of controls once the Ableton/Serato Bridge platform matures a little.

  • http://soundcloud.com/groups/fleater Pete

    I don’t understand why Traktor cannot be a VST plug in….. NI are after all makers of some of the best VST makers….
    Its all down to money and control….

  • http://www.LQP.se Beatsnatcher

    I’ve been looking for something to use for my song mashups and remixes. After reading about the no more beatmatching thing this might just be the thing I’ve been looking for.

    But as a DJ, I’m hitting my 17th year of DJing and will more likely go for 4 decks or more in Traktor and such programs, personally that’s where I want to take my DJing.

    Thanks for the tip.

  • Abyrne7

    Nice read. One of the most informative articles I read in awhile.

  • J. Selma

    1.- FL Studio does allow performance and manipulation on the fly. It has a live mode too, where you can launch patterns (clips), play with controllers and FX, play melodies, and even record all those actions in a playlist view (arrange view). Although Ableton Live is much better organized for live performances.

    2.- I thought a DJ prepared (or a least listened to) all of its tracks. Pre-planned sessions in Ableton Live still can be modified on the fly if you prepare every song you own. Then you can later -during your pre-planned session- load whole tracks from other sets -or only a few clips- just browsing them in the Library and dropping them on a new or a existing track. This is very useful for me since I use a Lite version.

  • Dave Mac

    I was a long supporter of live, but recently switched over to traktor. I would say ableton is perfect if you want to go on the far end of creativity. It can go head and shoulders above standard 2 or 4 deck mixing and if you take the time you can do some amazing things with it. However for me that can sometimes lead to what your doing being self indulgent rather than built for dancefloors. For my own personal style traktor is much more dancelfoor friendly, in my opinion in the sense it doesnt allow me to over complicate things too much!

  • Chad Parkhill

    @Chris: Ableton Live does have a loop function, but it is nowhere near as flexible as Traktor’s looping. Live 8 comes with a looper plugin that can be used with a footpedal which may be more flexible – I haven’t yet investigated it (looping isn’t really part of my DJing style). Will Marshall is working on a Traktor-style looping system that would work with a MIDI controller – you can check out his site at http://marshall-law.co.nz/

    Cue points can be made by chopping up the track into multiple clips with different start points each – it’s not a pretty solution, but if you have an APC40, Novation Launchpad, or another monome-style device that allows you to fire off multiple clips in quick succession it could work for you.

    @DJ Professor Ben: I actually agree with your point – to an extent. I try to keep my funk/disco tracks as funky as possible, and that means keeping some of that wonderful irregularity in the drum beats. However, I think it’s really important to warp those tracks whenever they’re going to be used with another track with more steady rhythms – which means any points where you might mix in or out of the track, and any parts that you’d like to use as part of an on-the-fly mashup (like your example of a house track and a funk loop). Otherwise I use the minimum number of warp markers to keep the track mostly in time and let the beats wander a bit.

    In terms of prep, once you’ve mastered the art of warping tracks it’s pretty easy to warp a new song in a minute or so – just enough time to drop one into your set, warp it, cue it to make sure it’s tight, and transition into it. This is easier with electronic tracks of course, but even with irregular tracks that need a handful of warp markers you can do it – so although spontaneity is an issue, you’re not at all chained to a prescribed tracklist if you’re nimble enough. (This is also Jason J’s comment, but as he notes, that lack of spontaneity happens when you start with Ableton – it doesn’t have to persist!)

  • http://www.ilektron.com Mudo

    For mash-up and remix is the best tool but the partnerships are getting it a bit innestable for “Live” performance.

    paradox.

  • Zac Kyoti

    @Maybe: Quote “I never felt so powerful and incompetent at the same time”… lol! You said it man. I felt just like that when I first started using Live. Traktor can work very well with Live, but it can be a lot of work to make it happen. Once you do though, you’re set, and you can tweak things to get it just right. People use a lot of different methods. My personal flow is to use one computer and a virtual routing program, send Traktor into Live, and sync Live to Traktor’s clock. The midi clock is the biggest drawback to this system. Depending on your computer and what instruments and fx are in Live’s tracks, you need to get a perfect clock latency dialed into Ableton. After this you’ve got everything in time, but keeping things in time through tempo changes can be a nightmare. There’s a lot of reasons for this (wobbly sync between the two when changing tempo, Traktor’s slow clock response to tempo changes, etc) but if you mostly play at one tempo the combo is amazing. A trick I use is during tempo changes, one program or the other is playing, but not both. The sync settles back in nicely after the transition, them I’m off mixing again.

    @Chris: There’s plenty of loop functions in Live, but as for cues, things are a bit less intuitive. The common practice is to break up full tracks into component sections, then fire off each clip separately to emulate cue points. It takes prep work. I think Max 4 Live might be able to implement true playhead style jumping (wasn’t Bento working on something like this?)

  • http://www.jasonjpeters.com Jason J

    All I have to say is I once owned a set of turntables, a mixer, but no microphone. I traded in that gear for a controller or controllers and migrated into Ableton.
    I do own a VCI100 which I use to perform as well mix on the fly at home (I use dekadance) when I want to “mix on the fly” while I work with tracks before I import them into my Ableton live set.

    Note I am turning in my VCI (not getting rid of) for an APC 40 to expand the ability of my live sets.

    Another aspect of Live sets that should be noted is when working in the beginnings of the program a sense of “pre-planning” is evident.

    However when you dig in and build your material, mash up and such the true power of the program really shows through when the realization that using Ableton as a traditional DJ program shines through.
    Noted in the article is this, live mash up, personal re-edits, live re-edits etc…

  • Fabio

    @Chris You Can have Cue & Loops… For the Cue, you have to push the play and for the loop there’s a bottom that decide the length, it’s more accurate than tk o serato!
    Nice article!

    So @ Chad Parkhill, do you prefer ableton?What kind of music do you usually mix?

  • http://turntablepoetry.com dj professor ben

    Great article, some excellent points here, but I have to argue with the following:

    [quote post="8246"]Say you want to mix a 70s funk track (recorded with a live drummer whose sense of timing is a little loose) with a recent electronic track with a steady, computer-generated beat. Mixing between these two tracks on CDJs or turntables would be a nightmare, as the funk drummer’s beat isn’t constant and the mix would require constant manual intervention. With Live’s warp markers, you can snap the funk track into perfect timing before playing it, creating a silky-smooth mix between different styles.[/quote]
    Please don’t do this! The last thing you want when DJing is for a raw funk track to sound “silky smooth.” Funk needs to be sloppy, messy, and dangerous…. tempo changes are all part of that fun. And mixing between such tracks is not difficult at all on traditional equipment (vinyl and CD), but yes manual intervention is required, and no you don’t want to mix 2 songs for minutes at a time. Ableton is a great tool if you want to take a chorus of a funk track and loop it into a house track for several minutes or something like that but at that point you’re really going beyond simple DJing. But warping tracks just to force them into a steady BPM so you can mix them together in my opinion is the wrong way to go — you’re going to suck the life out of them. Better to find a loop where the drummer is tight and use that to switch songs, or just beatmatch by ear and move into the next song smoothly.

    Another drawback to DJing with Ableton is spontaneity — you really need every track prepped ahead of time, and keep in mind that Ableton needs to convert each mp3 into a wav file to actually work with it. So forget about bringing 2000 songs to a gig or tossing in some random track that you thought of at the last minute.

    Ableton is an incredibly powerful tool, and you can do some amazing things with it. It’s not my personal choice for DJing but if you have all your songs prepped beforehand it’s definitely workable. But it really shines if you are going beyond mixing songs together — actually working with multiple clips and loops, weaving them together on the fly. Check out the kinds of things Evolution Control Committee does with it for example — lots and lots of easily recognizable loops used to create endless mashups that are harmonically matched; every set is different even though the same elements are used together. That kind of work takes a LOT of preparation though since every loop has to be warped and categorized to make that work well. For just playing tracks for people to dance to, all that work is overkill, and if you’re wanting to play old tracks with live drummers, the warping might really crush the feel of some of the tracks.

  • ClementLeBelge

    Well, you said it all …

    What bugs me a bit is that I’m under the impression that it wouln’t take too much to make abbleton the perfect DJ soft for us who already like Live.

    Something I’m really dreaming of : a utils wich make traktor able to read .gpk files ? That would mean almost best of both world, the wraping of Live with the interface of traktor …

    Isn’t there some great coder who is also a DJTT reader that could write something, please, pretty please …

  • http://www.gohustleman.com Dj hustleman

    I like it

  • Chris

    Nice article thanks !

    So we don’t have cue & loop functions in Ableton Live ?

  • Maybe.

    To go forward on my Ableton live experience I gotta get it working with traktor, because I don’t see myself giving up on traktor to get the bridge.

    I got a the Ableton Demo as son as I heard that it was going to happen. I play around with it and it’s unlimited what you can do. I never felt so powerful and so incompetent at the same time LOl’.

    Its a long ways away for coming together. plus theres only so much you can do to prepare everything with a trackpad and that’s it. Ableton needs a hole new gear to be fun to use it to.

    instead…
    I was thinking Maschine and the S4 in the same computer hooked on clock’, be happy to have that available “working”.

    I wouldl follow a tutorial within a tutorial to get something going with the set up I have right now !

    I have a VCI 100SE, Midifigther, MacBook Pro, Traktor Pro and AudioFire 2.

  • duerr

    yeah the fact that it takes so much preparation beforehand to use it for something as simple as djing is the biggest turn-off to me for using it as a dj tool.

    if the software included a “deck instrument” which had intuitive functions for cue points, looping, track browsing etc. i think i would definitely be more inclined to jump ship from traktor.

  • Gabetron

    Good read, I’ve been messing with both Ableton and Traktor a lot and can’t decide which one I really want to sink my teeth into still. They’re both so fun.