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/

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!

DIY Shakers with PVC

These shakers are done!

Shakers are commonly used percussive instruments to give you a more energetic feel to the rhythm you are playing. Most producers use samples from originals to do the job. With extra drum automation you can get the same result like a live recording.

I prefer a live recording because: More dynamics, more motion, more energy and better sounds.

In this short DIY tutorial I will show you how I made my own Shakers from PVC.
A little video will be recorded also.

First things first.

You can make these shakers for about 5 bucks per shaker.
I bought all my stuff at a plastics store.

– All pressure PVC glue.
– PVC piping – you can choose your own diameter. We used 30mm
– Connector parts to hold the top and bottom in place.
– PVC ends which you can screw on. (In this way you can always choose to change the material inside the shakers)

foto 2 foto 5

Cutting and Assembling

You can cut the pvc piping in any length you want. Depending on the sound you would like to create.

foto 11

Choose your length. It doesn’t matter how short they are.

You can use a flat file to make the edges smooth and flat.

You can use a flat file to make the edges smooth and flat.

foto 2

These are the caps I used to close my shakers.

Check if the PVC pipe has a straight edge on the top.

Check if the PVC pipe has a straight edge on the top.

Glue all the parts together and let it dry for 20 minutes. Depending on the glue you used.

Glue all the parts together and let it dry for 20 minutes. Depending on the glue you used.

Final product. You can use sandpaper to get rid of the extra glue.

Final product. You can use sandpaper to get rid of the extra glue.

The materials (produces your sound)

Your shaker’s sound will depend mainly on what materials you choose to put inside it. Some good, basic materials to use include:

  • Polenta. This will deliver a very soft, light sound and may not be loud enough for live performances.
  • Rice. Slightly louder than polenta, the sound of a rice shaker will be sharper and more of a rattle.
  • Lentil. A shaker filled with lentils will sound rough and loud.
  • Bean. For a harsh, loud rattling sound similar to that of maracas, use beans in your shaker.

Your variables will be:

  • The material of the container.
  • The material of the filling and.
  • The size of the container.

Two guiding principles:

  • Don’t mix fillings of different sizes in the same container. The sound will be hard to control that way.
  • Don’t overfill or underfill.

On the internet I found other articles regarding these DIY shakers, so here’s a short list:

Thanks for reading!

DIY Shakers with PVC – Thats all!