Ableton Questions

Anything related to Ableton can be posted here.

Does anyone have any tips or resources for mastering and editing DJ mixes in Ableton? I usually go through and adjust levels where necessary and for some styles will add a tiny hint of reverb over the whole mix to subtly add cohesion, and I’ve played with adding vocal samples here and there, but am otherwise a complete Ableton n00b hoping that if I push further into producer-like edits to mixes, maybe it will be a gateway to actual production :slight_smile:

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for dj mixes i throw an EQ8 w/ a high-pass filter at 30 Hz and i love using the glue compressor as a limiter so just using the makeup gain / soft clip on it

Here’s a few resources for learning ableton ~

Ableton resources:

warping

the main frustration point for many ppl while learning ableton is learning how to warp tracks / samples.

within the record / warp / launch tab in the preferences I have auto warp long samples > OFF. Ableton’s elastic audio rendering tends to not work well with long samples so it’s best to do it manually.

Here’s a nice guide on warping https://www.ableton.com/en/pages/the_bridge/tour/lesson/the_fastest_way_to_warp_a_track/

learning music / learning synths

Ableton created these two interactive sites that are a fantastic entry point for anyone looking to jump into audio production. ( these are best experienced through chrome / firefox since it integrates heavily w/ the web audio api )

https://learningmusic.ableton.com/

https://learningsynths.ableton.com/

Use the Tab key to switch between session / timeline views

after that ableton’s video tutorials are amazing - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoh4MB-kbBmJGLjNwRNr5qAtDr1V3zcNr

make sure to give your ears a break every couple of hours and have fun :slight_smile:

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What are the best controllers to use with ableton? Anyone using the mini aka mpc ? is it worth it?

Push 2 is by far the one. Seamless integration w/ Ableton and you can legit use the vast majority of ableton’s functionality without looking at your comp screen. The OLED screen on the Push 2 looks amazing and the pad sensitivity on it is perf.

I’m also a fan of the Novation launchkey / launchpad series. Well-made & affordable controllers.

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How do you work?

  1. Are you recording your entire mix form turntables, cdjs, etc as a single stereo file into Ableton?
    or
  2. Are you putting a bunch of songs into ableton, warping them, and then arranging them into a mix?

My tips for each:

  1. Record your mix as a DJ set, anytime you have a clang or mistake, do an additional take starting with the first of 2 songs where your mistake was. Once you have the entire mix done in multiple takes, splice them together so your fixes replace the mistakes. (more below in “general”)
  2. I get all my tracks warped ahead of time, I do a loose arrangement in the “arrange” view, I make quick edits by looping sections, and get the entire mix done. I then go back and add an “EQ3” and a “Utility” on each track. I then automate volume, and EQ fades recreating what I would do if I was DJing.

General (applies to both):
Once I feel like I have the mix down, I bounce it as a stereo file. Then I re-import it, and add a second track where I might add a reversed cymbal to accentuate a transition. I add a “utility” and automate any places where the levels get too quiet or loud. Finally I bounce with “normalize” on (I tend to not use a limiter)

Hope that’s helpful!

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