Syncing Traktor & Ableton: Simple mac version

I think everybody who clicked on the title knows what Ableton & Traktor is, what they can do, and what they are capable of.
Maybe many of you are using timecode cds or vinyl but it works with them as well.

The things you need are:

  • Traktor 2.6 (with midi clock send function)
  • Audio 6 or 8 for the timecode setup
  • Ableton Live 8 or 9
  • Jackpilot (Mac OS X only) – This is an internal audio routing application

 

Download Jack OSX (free download) by going to www.JackOSX.com.

Open Jack OSX and go to the preferences

 

 

 

 

In the next example I used the build in audio, but you can use whatever sound card you have.

To use the timecode you still need the Audio 6 or 8 from Native instruments.

 

Screen-Shot-2014-10-30-at-22.18.33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Set the Sample Rate to 44100 and Buffer Size to 512
  • Uncheck Hog Mode, Clock Drift Compensation and System Port Monitoring
  • Select the Maximum number of Input and Output channels that your soundcard will allow (Audio 8 DJ = 8 inputs / 8 outputs, Audio 10 DJ = 10 inputs / 10 outputs)
  • Select the Maximum number of Virtual Input and Virtual Output channels that your soundcard will allow (Audio 8 DJ = 8 inputs / 8 outputs, Audio 10 DJ = 10 inputs / 10 outputs)
  • Unselect Auto-Connect with physical ports and verbose logging for debug purposes
  • Click “Save”

Open Traktor

Configure your Audio setup in Traktor by going to the Traktor Preferences.

TRAKTOR-AUDIO-SETUP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRAKTOR-OUTPUT-ROUTING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have an extra out (if you’re using the Traktor Audio 10) you can use your extra output for the preview player, so you can prelisten to tracks before you load them into a deck.

Open Ableton Live

Configure Your Ableton Live Audio Setup by going to the Ableton Live Preferences.

ABLETON-AUDIO-SETUP

 

 

 

 

 

Output settings

ABLETON-OUTPUT-CONFIG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live view

ABLETON-SESSION-SETUP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can use these record buttons to record the whole set.

I think it’s better when you only record the output of the mixed audio.

This session setup will route all audio back to the soundcard, into the club mixer.
You can choose a complete different setting yourself if you like. Working with one output will be easier to setup the hardware at the club.

Once you are happy with the layout you can save this new project and go on to the next step.

Configure the send and receive ports of Jack OSX

>> This part can be a little bit tricky so watch out where you click!

JACK-STUDIO-SETUP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go back to Jack OSX and click on “Routing”

For Each Input in Ableton Live you are going to SINGLE click on the input (ex. In1) and then DOUBLE click on the corresponding output in Traktor (ex out1). Follow these steps very carefully!

 

  • In the “Send Ports” section, click on the dropdown menu next to “Traktor”
  • In the “Receive Ports” section, click on the dropdown menu next to “Live”

 

Single click Live in1, Double Click Traktor out1

Single click Live in2, Double Click Traktor out2

Single click Live in3, Double Click Traktor out3

Single click Live in4, Double Click Traktor out4

Single click Live in5, Double Click Traktor out5

Single click Live in6, Double Click Traktor out6

Single click Live in7, Double Click Traktor out7

Single click Live in8, Double Click Traktor out8

Single click Live in9, Double Click Traktor out9

Single click Live in10, Double Click Traktor out10

Note: If you try this setup on your internal audio you should also check “system”.
Be sure that the traktor outputs are not set to the system audio.

jackjack

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you are done with this studio setup you can save these settings when you click on “File -> Save”.

Test to see if we’re getting Audio from Traktor into Live.

Play a Track in all four Decks in Traktor, and then switch to your Ableton Live Screen. Make sure you are getting Stereo inputs into every channel of Ableton Live.

Over to the Sync part!

You can use this setup with or without sync but because i’m working with sounds and samples in Ableton I prefer the sync option.

The best way to sync Traktor & Ableton is explained in the following movie by Dubspot.

http://youtu.be/4xzldehIsCE?t=1m54s

Beatmatch the two metronomes.

Once you get the clockspeed of the 2 metronomes in sync you can start the magic.

Some artists that are currently using Traktor and Ableton together live are Dubfire, Pete Tong, Carl Craig, Chris Liebing, Davide Squillace, Richie Hawtin and Luciano.

You can always ask me questions about this subject, and maybe I’m uploading a video soon.

Feel inspired on what you do with this function. You can use this technique for many different things.

I promised you the links to all settings and projects so here we go!

One link download (The .jks file are the settings for Jackpilot.)

Source & images: http://blog.dubspot.com/

Backyard Rave 2014 – A quick recap of a beautiful night!

Again an amazing techno party we’ve had together with the backyard rave crew. I’ve met great people, seen many old friends and had a flawless party night all over. Big campfire, cold drinks, amazing music… I just love it! Great atmosphere!

It’s a blessing to see all those happy faces together because we could all use some drinks and recreation.
Also many of the people who attended knew Piet. We lost this wonderful soul a month ago. Way too early!
But, the crew did a wonderful job! Backyard Rave really deserves the respect. The respect they gave to all of us!

THANK YOU FOR THAT!

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KEEP THE PARTY ALIVE!

Here’s a little movie also.

Ben Solar Live @ Spectrum Ghent – Niche Club

Spectrum really did a nice job in Ghent on the student kickoff day. We had a really great atmosphere and randomer kicked the place also!
I want to thank all the people who attended to this party and also the people from Spectrum for the nice evening!

More gigs soon!

03-10-2014 – BACKYARD RAVE (ATTENHOVEN)
07-11-2014 – FREAKSIDE (CAFE D’ANVERS)

Ben Solar – Materia Oscura #3 // Liveset @ Spectrum – 24/09/2014 – Underground Techno podcasts

Crazy day at Aftrsun²

We had a blast! What a wonderful party that was. 300 people danced till the sun came down over an idilic place near the river in Langdorp. Pictures made by Thomas Van Diest.

Check some pictures below!

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New music uploaded: Techno Live set 2014

Yesterday, the launch of my techno live set was amazing at Fnoob techno radio.
A lot of people asked me for tips how I did this and that and so on.
Also a couple of listeners sayd that I could work easily for DrumCode 🙂

Thanks for all the lovely support!

Here’s the set. A download is available as well.

More information

I wrote another blog article about the things I used to complete this live set.
Many thanks for all tips I got!

Read it here

Ableton live set tips, tricks and facts

Struggle for live!

Many of you already know I’m very busy working on my next live set. The fundaments are real basic. I imported kicks, basses, and drums from several tracks I’ve made in the past year, and I did the same for the synths.
To recall most of the parameters during the set I will be using Kapture by Liine. I tried using Clyphx (a free script plugin for Ableton Live if you do not own Max4Live) but the coding in the midi clips gave me a headache.

Here’s a short preview btw…

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 22.43.12

Kapture (All about renaming)

Drop a Kapture device on a new midi track and rename the midi track to Kapture.
By default I always make a snapshot of all parameters and levels set to their normal values. I rename the Snapshot 1 to “normal”.
You can add a midi clip by double clicking on an empty space. Rename this midi clip to the same name as your snapshot. eg. normal.

Add more snapshots and rename them whatever you like. Then add midi clips and rename them with the same title.

UPDATE: KAPTURE IS GONE! NOT WORTH DOWNLOADING BECAUSE OF THE LATENCY PROBLEMS. IT’S WORTH SHARING ANYWAY…

Peaks and volumes

Right now I’m still deciding how much effects and return tracks I will be using during the performance. More parameters makes the set complex and the chance of mistakes rises fast.That’s the main reason I’m using Kapture. This M4L device can capture snapshots of all parameters and levels of any track in the Live set.

Let me talk a bit about the layout I’m using. I use 12 tracks filled with audio clips from my tracks. The last channel is filled with effects and one shots.

The kicks on channel 1 are all set to -5 / -6 db peak, the bass sounds peaks at -12 / -13 db and the drum group peaks at a max of -10db.
The synth group variates a bit more in peak levels.

The group channels also have a bit of EQ isolation on them to prevent heavy clipping parts on interfering frequencies.

Mixed in Key!

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 17.24.51

I’m also a big an of “in key mixing”. This is why I grouped all clips and samples in Key for ableton live.
All scene launch buttons have their own color depending on the scale (Key). This was easily done by renaming and ordering the launch buttons.

To get fingers on the parameters I’m using an APC40 from Akai (Controlling kicks, drums, percussion and bass) and Touchable 2 on Ipad (Synths, atmosphere and effects)

Because I named much of my synth and effect sounds  I thought it would be useful to see these names on my controller (Touchable 2). In this way it became a lot harder to miss a sound.

All effect parameters including those from the synths and atmosphere sounds will be mapped to the APC40.
I mostly use the Touchable app to trigger synths and effects at the moment. Maybe I will add an automated X-Y axis to it.

Follow Actions

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 21.12.56You can accomplish much with follow actions set to audio or midi clips. These options will tell the clip what to do next. There are several options available and also the timing can be set to the corresponding clip length.
A couple synths in my live set are programmed to work as a break. I divided the main part and the break part into 2 different clips.
On the last (break) clip I added a follow action that tells the clip to go back to the original synth after 4 beats.

An example:

Double click on the break clip and set the action to your synths or drum (fills).

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 21.12.24

Normal part

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 21.12.44

Break part

 

Dummy Clips made easy

Dummy Clips layout

Recently I added a bunch of dummy clips on most of the receiving audio channels. (Percussion, Synths, Main)
I wanted to add automation on the master effects also. I transfered all the nessasary effect plugins from the master bus to a new audio track. Next I routed this new audio track to the main master bus.
Here’s a little example of the layout.
After every block I have setup Build-up dummy clips with lots of crazy automations on the parameters. I used a follow actions to go back to the first clip (DRY)

Follow action

In the next video you’ll get more information on how you can build these dummies for your own sets.

Master Bus

Nothing special here.
I’m using a glue compressor on the master bus together with a Limiter set to -0,2db peak. in front of these effects I’m using another EQ and a Stereo enhancer by PSP.

APC40 Layout

To use this layout as a reference tool you can simply print it out on A4 or A3 paper.

To use this layout as a reference tool you can simply print it out on A4 or A3 paper.

To start with the programming I always begin with a layout on a paper. In a list I write down all the possible effects I will use and next I’ll write those effects down on my layout I got from the internet.
This is very useful to me because by the time changes will be made. In this way you have a great reference tool.

Choose your effects

I can name a couple effects you can add to your set immediately, but consider making new effects of your own.
You can always group several plugins together to get new inspiring sounds and effects.

I also found a very useful effect rack from Aurex online. He delivers a rack that will help you to make build-ups on the fly, etc.
Also a couple nice granular things and delays are added. Be sure to check it out!

A couple other effects will be delay returns on the synths and drums, ping-pong style delay on synths, Beat repeat on the snare, fade to grey, etc.

Thats it for now folks! My Ableton live set tips, tricks and facts. If you have any questions then post a comment below. All tips are welcome btw. I’m still building this up!

A preview will follow very soon!