May 11th, 2013
DJ Jason Buckham playing a set from Ableton Live. But what’s the best way of playing back to back between Ableton Live and other DJ software?
Digital DJ Tips reader Biachi writes: “I am going to DJ duet with another musician that runs on Ableton Live. I want to get a DJ controller to go with my MacBook Pro and then be able to sync with Ableton Live. Basically we want to alternate our songs back and forth at shows and have both of our systems go to the PA.
“Is this possible and if so how? What controller is better… the Numark NS6 or the Pioneer DDJ-S1 for this duet?”
June 28th, 2012
DJ Studio provides simple Ableton-like loop triggering on the iPad, with the backing of samples from the well-known Loopmasters stable.
New in the app store is DJ Studio, a free loop-based remixing app. It’s powered by Loopmasters – the company behind the well-known DJ MixTools stems – which has provided the high-quality loops and samples the app comes with.
On first loading I thought “where have I seen this before?”, and it didn’t take long to recall a similar Ableton-on-the-iPad style remixing app, Mashbox (see our previous Mashbox review). So, how does DJ Studio stack up, how good are the loops and samples, and is it easy to get good results without any particular musical skills, as the official blurb suggests? Let’s find out…
March 3rd, 2012
The Faderfox Micromodul FT3: It works with both Traktor and Ableton Live - but it won't solve your software problems single-handedly.
Digital DJ Tips reader Chris W aka Spec4 writes: “I have a problem. I am torn between using Traktor and Ableton Live.
“I have Ms Pinky for Ableton Live but it’s overly complicated. I love the loops and loop controls of Traktor and the easy effects usage, but I value the warp in Ableton and the ability to launch clips. Do you think the FT3 by Faderfox would be a good controller option here option?”
February 9th, 2012
by Darren E Cowley
Want to combine the best of Ableton Live with some of the immediacy of "'traditional' DJing? We know some software for that...
I started DJing with Ableton Live after a couple of decades of playing out on CDJs and 1210s. I also own Traktor Pro 2 and I play out using Serato with vinyl too, so I’m certainly well placed to understand all the ups and downs of Ableton DJing – of which there are many of both! I should also add that for me the glass is always half full, and half the fun of a Scalextric was building the track itself!
As the creator of Isotonik and Oktopad, which are software templates for the Akai APC40 and Novation Launchpad respectively that work with Ableton Live via Max4Live, I believe I’ve created two tools that makes DJing with Ableton Live more intuitive and more fun – especially if like most DJs you come from the kind of background above. In this article, I’ll go through some of the philosophy behind my products, and look at specific ways they can help you to tame Ableton Live for DJing.
January 14th, 2012
Our reader can't decide between a straight DJ controller like the Twitch, or going down the Ableton Live route with something like the Novation Launchpad or the Akai APC40 (both pictured above).
Reader DJ Mustachio Nuts (great name!) writes: “I’ve been a musician, mostly bass, all my life which has definitely helped me understand the core job of a DJ – getting people to shake their asses! – which is what I loved about being a bass player. I played in rock bands and always considered it my job to get people’s heads nodding, no matter how heavy the music, so DJing seemed perfect for me.
“I bought a Numark Mixtrack, but found that although my DJ skills matched the controller perfectly, my producer / musician ear had already felt like I’d outgrown it. I wanted easier access to samples, and one shots, I wanted to run an acappella track and mix and cut together multiple music tracks underneath below to make live mashups.
June 4th, 2011
Virtual DJ has an effects library where you can access a whole host of effects written by its users.
Reader Utsav Lama has not one but two questions. He writes: “I am a 19-year-old club DJ from Kathmandu, Nepal. I learned about DJing with a laptop with Virtual DJ 7 and now I am using a Traktor Kontrol S4 (my father who is working in Dubai bought it for me).
“I want to ask you whether the .dll effects from Virtual DJ can be put to use in Traktor Pro 2, because I miss some of them. Also, I currently produce music with Reason 5 but I want to change, so please can you tell me which is best production software for DJ/producers?
May 4th, 2011
by Fred Dancekowski
For vinyl and CDs, mastering is an intricate and important part of making the finished product sound great - and it's equally as important for DJs using samples to create dynamic mashup DJ sets.
Now that you know how to sample and arrange your material into mashups, it’s time to talk about levelling and mastering, so that your mashups feel cohesive, volume and equalisation-wise, helping the sounds fit together a little bit better.
I’m going to share my personal approach to volumes as well as outline my compression set-up and explain the theory behind it, so you can understand how I do it in order to aim for your own goals. My setup is basically some traditionally used plug-ins for live acts with some custom adjustments I made.
April 27th, 2011
by Fred Dancekowski
Last week I showed you how to sample material from songs. This time, as promised, I’m going to talk about how to arrange that material into cohesive musical sequences.
I’m also going to take the opportunity to write about some extra stuff relevant to arranging, both that’s on the accompanying video tutorial and that isn’t – things I’ve learned from personal experience that I feel will ease your mashup-making on Ableton Live. So, first things first…
March 29th, 2011
News & Opinion
by Dan Morse
Sasha DJs with Ableton Live and his Maven controller: At the time, this was revolutionary stuff indeed.
Take Ableton Live, one of the most versatile composition and performance tools ever created by man; then take a whole array of weird and wonderful electronic devices, either intended for musical use or not; and finally add a good dose of ingenuity and devil-may-care.
What do you get? A bizarre, idiosyncratic and often brilliant array of custom Midi controllers that creative DJs and producers use to express themselves in new and exciting ways, that’s what! Here’s our pick of the best:
February 25th, 2011
First AndrewAndrew, now these boys... what is it with DJs in lab coats?
Want to know how to live the DJ dream, make dirty dance music, and hold down a full time job? That’s what UK production/DJ threesome The KJs have managed – with a little bit of help from an old Stanton mixer, Dropbox, and some early drum & bass producing.
We caught up with Philip McDermott of the KJs to talk about how DJing has changed, why Ableton Live is like Photoshop, and why Kissy Sell Out wouldn’t say their name on the radio…
November 12th, 2010
A-trak showing that in digital DJing, laptops and theatrics can live happily side-by-side... Pic: Asian Dan
17 leading DJ software packages reviewed and rated
When it comes to software for digital DJing and “controllerism”, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s all about Traktor. But there are plenty of alternatives, all of which have their fans and some of which are extremely popular.