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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
To add even more character and creativity to your DJ set, I'd like to show you how to use samplers. A sampler is a tool that allows you to play back any short or long audio files that you might have on your computer. This might be vocal samples, music samples, special effects, or even instruments. Most samplers give us the feature such as ability to change pitch, change length, looping, adding affects such as filters, and using synthesis tools such as Envelopes and low frequency oscillators, or LFO, for modulation.
While there is a place for third-party hardware or software samplers, Ableton Live samplers are very powerful and CPU efficient, because they're built in. Let's see how to use them. As you can tell, I also added colors to Audio Effect Rack just to keep everything nice and neat, and it also helps in scenarios where you play in the dark space like clubs and parties. First, we need to do is to add a new track, in this case it's a MIDI track, because we're going to use instruments and not audio files.
So let's go to Create and choose Insert MIDI Track, or Shift+Command+T or Shift+Ctrl+T. Nice. Next, let's go to our browser, under Instruments let's choose the Drum Rack, I'm just going to drag and drop onto a newly created MIDI track, we can see it on the bottom. This is the pad view of the drum rack. Each pad correspond to a key on our keyboard, we have C1, C#1, D1, and so on. Let's make sure that a track is armed with this button right here, and if I play the keyboard, you can see the drum rack correspond to our keyboard playing, very cool.
Now all we need to do is just drop audio files onto the pads, so let's go to our browser again, let's scroll down Exercise File > Sample > Processed > Crop, and I'm going to choose Slice 2 to 5. I can just drag and drop them one by one , or I can choose multiple samples by just holding Shift and selecting, let's drag all of them. Now once again, I need to make sure the track is armed using this button right here, and I can play the samples using my keyboard.
(music playing) Very cool. As you can hear that samples that I cut from an old soul song. You can use whatever samples you want, once again, vocal samples, music, special effects, or whatever comes to mind. If we double-click on one of the samples, and we see something that's similar to the Audio Effect Rack we saw in the last video, but in this case, it's an instrument rack, which can also consist of instruments and not only effects. In this case we're using simpler, which is one of Live's two samplers, which is called Sampler and Simpler.
Into simpler we can change the pitch, we can change the volume, we can change the start of the loop, the end of the loop, add filters, and so on. Let's check out how it sounds. So you can see we already have map for vocal controls for the Pitch, Volume, Filter, Sample Start, and Release. This is the default preset for dropping samples into the drum rack. You can make your own presets, but we're not going to cover it in this course. So if I play a sample. (music playing) I can change the pitch. (music playing) I'm going to hit Delete to return to a default state.
I could change the Gain, I can add Filter, and I can change the Sample Start, very cool. If I played a sample consecutively, we can hear it plays up to three times, and I don't want that. We can change that by going to Voices, and we see 3, we can change that to 1, and now it only plays 1, very cool. Let's change them to the other samples.
(music playing) Nice. (music playing) Very cool. (music playing) Awesome. We can also change the Release time of the sample, which we can see it's marked with a green dot, which means it's mapped to macro control, so let's go to macro control marked with the Release, and now if we change that, we take the Release all the way down the sample will cut itself once we release the note. (music playing) And to give us more control over playing the sample, let's see how it sounds when I play a song.
(music playing) Change the Release on all of them just to have more control. (music playing) Very cool. Of course, you can add as many samples as you want, up to 127, and you don't have only this octave, which you can see it goes up to C2, we started at C1, you can also take the sidebar and scroll up for more slots and scroll down for even more.
If you don't want to be worried about arming the track in your Live Show, and you know you're going to use the samples every time, you can open up the inputs/outputs using this View Selector right here, and setting the Monitor to In, which will input any note that comes in. So now we don't need to worry about arming the track, we still can play anytime we want, and that will come really useful when we start adding more MIDI tracks, or we want to record audio into our Live Set. In the next video we'll see how to use the Drum Racks to emulate a scratching sound in Ableton Live.