Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Uclax Dj Course Lecture 2 Jan 23 2010
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Uclax Dj Course Lecture 2 Jan 23 2010


Published on

Lecture 2 Notes - Looping, Arrangement, Effects, and connecting MIDI devices.

Lecture 2 Notes - Looping, Arrangement, Effects, and connecting MIDI devices.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 1. The Art of Digital DJing Mixing Music,Video, and Technology Lecture 2. Jan 23, 2010 Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 2. Agenda • Warping Q&A - acapellas • Looping; DJing with Loops • Arrangement & Mixing Digital DJing W’10 • Effects & Transitions • Controllers Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 3. Warping Q&A • Any questions from your last assignment? • See Warping notes @ • Acapellas - find them at,, and Digital DJing W’10 • You can always use google too; note that acapella has various spellings! Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 4. Looping • New DJ paradigm for Ableton • Compare with Vinyl: Mixing two songs, no loops (most of the time) • Compare with CDJs: Mixing two songs, with one Digital DJing W’10 loop per deck available; Same as Serato • Ableton: Mixing as many loops as you want at the same time, complex layering Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 5. Why work with loops? • Flexibility when mixing - gives you time, more options • Building blocks for mashups and composition; like having a sampler • Isolate key phrases of songs: chorus, instrumental, Digital DJing W’10 drum breaks, etc • Add and subtract “layers” on the fly to make unique. creative soundscapes Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 6. Loops in Ableton Looping on/off Loop bracket Digital DJing W’10 • Every loop has a Loop-in and Loop-out point that you set by stretching and/or dragging the bracket • If looping is on, when your play-head is inside the loop, it doesnʼt come out and loops forever unless: 1) you turn off looping 2) skip somewhere out of loop 3) hit stop [recommended] 4) hit play on another clip in same track (column) [recommended] 5) have some follow action setup [mostly for composition] Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 7. Loops in Ableton outside loop inside loop Progress bar / time left circle/indicator Counts down to end of clip OR beginning of loop when looping is on counts how many loops youʼve been through, and length of loop in Digital DJing W’10 bars Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 8. Loops in Ableton Start Playhead (cuepoint) Be aware of your cuepoint - thatʼs where the clip starts Digital DJing W’10 Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 9. Arrangement & Mixing Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 10. Arrangement You can re-name any track (column) and every individual clip to help you stay organized (⌘R = rename) Digital DJing W’10 Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 11. Arrangement Once you have a song warped and youʼve set a loop, hit ⌘D for duplicate, then set a new loop. Rename the clip to remind you what itʼs about - be descriptive! Digital DJing W’10 Use colors or nomenclature as aids, eg BL: is our nomenclature for bassline. You can also make all accapella tracks or drum loops a certain color if you want, etc Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 12. Arrangement & Mixing Digital DJing W’10 • You can use as many columns as you want. You usually use up to 3 or 4 • Group things that sound good together (and save for later use by drag-and-drop back to your file system) • Work vertically - as your set progresses, you work your way down • When you are blending / mashing on the fly, you become a Sequencer, triggering clips on and off and layering to make a unique mix • Remember, each column is like a turntable (they can be blended) Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 13. Arrangement & Mixing scene Master keeps count of each scene Digital DJing W’10 • Each row is called a scene, and you can launch a whole scene at once by clicking play in the far right “Master” column for corresponding scene • Pre-load scenes with clips that sound great together; this is also a good transition Master stop - method that sounds amazing when done right stop everything! Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 14. Quantization Universal Quantization set at the top Default is 1 Bar - keep at 1 Bar Digital DJing W’10 Quantization - helps you trigger clips on time. When itʼs set to one bar, when you hit play on a clip, it wonʼt start until the next bar of whateverʼs playing. Makes everything sound rhythmically pleasant! Setting Quantization to zero means a clip comes in whenever you hit it - if you are out of sync with your beat, the clip will be out of sync too - not good! Quantization essentially ensures 1)beat matching and 2) lines up bars (so you donʼt start half way into a bar, for example) Even though clips are lined up by bar for you, itʼs still up to you to trigger clips so they line up with phrases in the song; This is a key difference between good and bad DJs. Looping helps makes this easier though! Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 15. Effects Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 16. Effects • For DJing and producing/composition • You can mimic classical DJ mixers and/or go way beyond • Ableton has rich palette of effects - fun to experiment Digital DJing W’10 with Look for the “razor blade” to see effects folder Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 17. Effects • Each effect can be expanded to show custom presets • For the most part, you only need the top level • drag and drop to place on a track (columns) or on Digital DJing W’10 the A or B Returns • effects have on/off switches • Select and hit delete to delete Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 18. Common Effects for DJs • EQ Three & Auto Filter are your workhorses • Ableton has some presets too (hit and miss) Digital DJing W’10 Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 19. EQ Three • Mimics a standard DJ analog mixer • 3-band equalizer (EQ) with kill switches, AKA “kills” Digital DJing W’10 3 knobs; for low, mid and high gain/attenuation kills, one for each band knobs to set band crossover points (you can leave default) Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 20. Auto Filter • Easy effect that packs lots of punch • Can replace EQ-3; adds creative flare • Can use for transitioning/mixing Digital DJing W’10 X-Y control to control steepness(“Q”, Y direction) and cutoff freq (X direction) Filter type - low pass, high pass, band pass, and band stop Just worry about the filter type and X-Y control, leave everything else default (unless you want to experiment) Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 21. Sends/Returns • There are two Returns Slots, A and B • When to use Sends/Returns? --> When you have one effect with a particular setting you like, and you want to use it across multiple tracks (eg Filter Delay) • Donʼt use send/returns it when youʼre adjusting stuff on Digital DJing W’10 the fly (eg EQ) • The Send knob now acts as a dry/wet control (how much audio gets effected) • Set wet/dry to 90-100% wet when using send/return effects • Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 22. Using Filter Delay (Send/Return) • Filter Delay is an echo effect that helps you transition between songs • Use when 1) the next song doesnʼt blend well [eg key clash] 2) when youʼre not sure when to bring in the next song 3) to end a set for the night 4) to make drastic changes in BPM and/or switch genres (eg hip-hop at Digital DJing W’10 80bpm to a disco track at 120bpm) • To use, toggle the sends up all the way to let through portion you want to echo, then kill the sound quickly • To get longer echos, increase feedback • watch your send volume - donʼt let it overpower Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 23. Using Filter Delay (Send/Return) Digital DJing W’10 Keep Sync on Keep feedback high I like keeping Delay Time on “4” which will keep the last quarter note echoing Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 24. Effects - contextual help window Help/explanation window Digital DJing W’10 You can collapse/expand mouse over anything to get the help window a quick explanation Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 25. Effects - Keep experimenting! • There are dozens of effects and thousands of settings to go through. You can experiment with them to find something unique in your DJing Digital DJing W’10 Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 26. Keyboard and MIDI Mapping Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 27. Keyboard Mapping • Options -> “edit key map” or hit ⌘K, or click “KEY” button in top right hand corner of screen • This enters you into key mapping mode • To exit key mapping mode, simply hit ⌘K again (or KEY button) Digital DJing W’10 • While in key mapping mode, you can map your keyboard to the Ableton layout, eg, “1”, “2” can be Mute Track 1, Mute Track 2, etc - can be anything you want • Every area that turns orange is mappable: Select something in Ableton like a button, fader or knob, when it hi-lites, hit the key you want it mapped to. And so on • Exit Key mapping mode by hitting ⌘K; Thatʼs it! Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 28. Keyboard Mapping Digital DJing W’10 • When in map mode, you can see a list of your mappings pop up on the left - For knobs and faders, you can set the on/off limits [Min / Max] • Keyʼs act as on/off toggle switches, even for knobs and faders, because hitting keys is a binary action (on or off) • Whatʼs good to Key map? Kill switches, tap tempo, mutes, stops, but whatever youʼre comfortable with really Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 29. MIDI • MIDI = Musical Instrument Digital Interface • A standard for electronic instruments (keyboards, computers, drum machines, etc) to talk to eachother - meaning synchronize, control and exchange information • Defined in 1982 and widely adopted Digital DJing W’10 • The first MIDI instruments were keyboard synths • MIDI is not a transmission of an audio signal, but transmission of event-messages that contain instructions about pitch, intensity, volume, and a tempo clock (and other parameters) Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 30. MIDI Controllers • Come in all kinds of different form factors and interfaces • Allow for much more flexibility than your mouse & keyboard! • More natural human interface for music and effects Digital DJing W’10 Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 31. MIDI Controllers Digital DJing W’10 Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 32. MIDI Controllers • You can use any MIDI controller you like for DJing • Knobs and faders are especially good because they give you natural, easy control over Ableton • MIDI devices plug into your computer using USB Digital DJing W’10 Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 33. MIDI Mapping in Ableton 1. First make sure the device is plugged in correctly 2. Go to Ableton Live Preferences (in the “Live” menu or hit “⌘,”) 3. Go to the MIDI Section Digital DJing W’10 4. If your device is connected properly, it will appear in the MIDI ports list Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 34. MIDI Mapping in Ableton 5. Find your device in the MIDI ports list 6. Make sure Track, Sync, and Remote are turned “On” Digital DJing W’10 Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 35. MIDI Mapping in Ableton 7. Close Preferences menu 8. Check to see if your computer is receiving MIDI signals from your device -> move a knob, fader or hit a button. You should see Abletonʼs MIDI activity indicator light up when you do that (upper right most square in ableton screen) Digital DJing W’10 MIDI indicator light Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 36. MIDI Mapping in Ableton • Now youʼre ready to map any function in Ableton to your MIDI controller! • To enter MIDI mapping mode, hit ⌘M, or hit the MIDI button in top right-hand corner of screen • Everything that is now blue is mappable Digital DJing W’10 • select the parameter/control you want mapped in Ableton, then move the corresponding MIDI control • repeat for all other controls you want mapped • Exit MIDI map mode by hitting the MIDI button or ⌘M • Thatʼs it! Once you save the set, you wonʼt have to map again Saturday, January 23, 2010
  • 37. Assignment #2 • 5 minute mini set using loops & effects • Use a controller and/or keyboard mappings Digital DJing W’10 Saturday, January 23, 2010