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Along the way, Yeuda reveals many live performance tricks using control surfaces and custom MIDI controllers that he's built, plus tips for playing and syncing up with other musicians and recording your live performance.
- Using Ableton Live or third-party controllers
- Choosing songs for a DJ set
- Building your decks
- Using EQ and gain to emulate mixer hardware
- Knowing when to use headphones
- Mapping the crossfader, EQ, and gain to MIDI controllers
- Looping with Beat Repeat
- Setting up multiple instruments on one track
- Creating a bus track for master effects
- Preparing your original productions for the stage
- Using commercial and custom MIDI controllers
- Live looping and live sample cutting
- Recording your live performance
Skill Level Intermediate
In the last video, we saw how we can use Drum Racks to add one-shot samples. Each sample in the Drum Rack is its own simpler. Let's see how we can imitate Scratching Sound using White Noise and a Sine Wave. Now, I know it's not turntables, and it's not actually scratching, it's more of a controller that's scratching. But you can get the feeling of Scratching using this technique. Let's check it out. First off, I'm going to rename our MIDI Track just to keep things organized, right-clicking, choosing Rename, let's call it Samples. Also, I'm going to give it a color, cool.
Next, let's load our Samples into the drum rack. In my browser, I'm going to scroll down, go to Exercise Files > Samples, I'm going to load the White Noise. Nice, let's play that. (audio playing) You can hear it's only noise, a very long noise. But let's take the Release down like we did in the last video. And now if I play it-- Let's play from my keyboard. Nice. Another thing I want to do is I want to take down the Velocity all the way to 0.
If it is on 100, it's going to be the most sensitive to my hits, which means if I'm going to hit the key soft, it's going to play low volume. If I'm going to hit it hard, it's going to play in high volume. And I don't want any changes in volume, so I'm going to set the Velocity to 0. (audio playing) Great. To achieve the Scratching Sound, we're going to use the Filter. We can see the Filter right here. This is the Filter section in the simpler, and we've the Frequency Cutoff and the Resonance mapped to macro controls. So, we can control them from here.
Let's take the Resonance all the way up. (audio playing) And play with the Filter Cutoff. (audio playing) Very cool. Let's map the Filter Cutoff to our MIDI keyboard. I'm going to go to MIDI Mapping mode by hitting Command+M or Ctrl+M, clicking on the Filter Cutoff, moving one of the knobs on my MIDI keyboard. Let's also set the Minimum/Maximum values, so we won't reach values that we don't really need.
Let's set it to about 1.4 kHz and maybe 16. Let's check it out. Exit MIDI Map mode. (audio playing) Very cool. This is how we achieve Scratching Sound with White Noise. Let's check it with Sine wave and then we demonstrate both of them on one of the beats, we'll play in our DJ set.
So, this is a Sine Wave. (audio playing) Once again, very long sample. Let's take down the Release. (audio playing) Very cool. Let's take up the Pitch, because right now it's a quite low, so take it up by 12 semitones, which is an octave. Once again, I'm going to take down the Velocity because, I don't want any sensitivity. Let's take up the Gain because, it's too low. (audio playing) Now, to achieve the Scratching Sound, we need to change the Pitch.
(audio playing) Automatically, we can do it in two ways. First, we can use LFO, which is a Low Frequency Oscillator. Let's turn it on. And we can think of an LFO as a waveform to take the Pitch up and down. So, if we take the LFO meter right here, we take the amount. Let's take it up at about 60. And now, if we play it. (audio playing) It's going up and down, up and down. Every time I trigger the Sample, it's going to start from the same point, because the LFO right now is re-triggering itself.
If we turn off the Retrig, it's going to move freely all the time. So, if I trigger the sample. (audio playing) We can control the speed of the LFO through the frequency. (audio playing) And we can control the amount using this box right here. (audio playing) Very cool. Another way to achieve the Scratching Sound using the Sine Wave is turn off the LFO and using the Pitch Envelope.
In Simpler, we have 3 Envelopes, Volume, Filter, and Pitch. Let's go to Pitch, turn it on, and take the Attack about half a second, or 500 milliseconds. When you turn the Pitch Envelope on, you can see that Env modulation box enabled. So, let's take it up. (audio playing) And let's take it down. (audio playing) So you basically need to control this box. Let's map it to our MIDI Controller. I'm going to go to MIDI Map mode-- you already know how--and map it.
Exit MIDI Map mode. And now we can see the Range is still wide. Let's go back to MIDI Map mode and adjust the Minimum and Maximum value. Let's do -24--it's up to you--and +12, that might be my comfortable range, but you can change it to your likings. (audio playing) It's important to remember that White Noise is simply noise, it will work with any kind of material.
But if you're using Sine Wave, you might want to adjust the Pitch according to your song. So, let's check it how it sounds on songs. I'm going to turn it down a tiny bit. Just so we can hear the scratching sound. And once again, this is not a real scratching, it's only controller is scratching. (music playing) You can apply this technique to other sounds like Vocals, Trumpets, Guitars, or any other instruments that come in mind. Be creative. Let's sum things up.
So far, I've shown you how to create a DJ set in Ableton Live, how to input your own songs and how to warp them, how to make your own unique sounds using custom-built effects, and how to achieve some of the functionality that can be found in deejay softwares. All of the techniques you'll see throughout the rest of the course can certainly be applied to a DJ set. But starting in the next chapter, I'm going to show you how to perform live with your own original songs.