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Dear users, I have decided to phase out the posting on the forums on this website and move any discussions over to this private facebook group or join the Discord for realtime chat. I will not make the forums offline as there is a wealth of content, but posting has now been disabled. Thanks to all those who have contributed over the years, and I'll see you over on the Facebook group or Discord! -Tom

DJ Megaset 2.0 - Ableton Live Template for DJing and Mixing Featured

 

The DJ Megaset 2.0 is here! 

This is an adapted version of the popular Megaset 2.0, made for people who like to use Ableton Live for DJing and mixing music.

If you prefer to watch a video of how this works, please click here.

I've removed some features and added some new ones that are specific for DJing. Let's have a quick look at how it all works (a more comprehensive manual and tutorial video will be made tomorrow - I've been up many hours finishing this off!).

Overview

The DJ Megaset 2.0 has 4 types of areas you can work with. I will explain these more individually shortly in this article but for now, here is a basic run down.

  1. Tracks - Think of this as your CD wallet, or your record crate. This is where you store all your tunes that you might potentially play during your set.
  2. Decks - This is where you do the actual mixing and core effects. There are 4 decks and they can all be playing at once if you like. Each deck has a device (custom made by me especially for this template) that allows you to control EQ, Filter, Looping and a variety of different popular effects that work well in a DJ environment.
  3. Dummy Clips - This is where the madness happens if you are feeling creative! Complex chains of audio tracks all routed into each other, with different effects on each, allow you to seriously mash up and remix on the fly.
  4. Return Effects - This is where some more effects live, such as complex delays and echos. This are for when you want to do big dubbed out trippy shit.

Tracks Area

The tracks area is your collection of music. You can drag and drop music from your computer and other applications (such as iTunes) into here and they will be saved when you save the set, so you can constantly add more and more music to your library.

Inside the Tracks Area, there are 7 seperate sub-areas so you can put your music into particular categories, or sub-genres.

Here's an example of how I have my House music DJ Megaset 2.0 sub-genres set up. 

As you can see, I like to work with words I can associate with how each track is. Chillish is more deep, soulfull house, while heavyish is really powerfull high energy house. All the other sub-genres in between gradually move up. This is really handy for me as I know how to change the mood up or down, depending on how I want the set to go.

The DJ Megaset 2.0 template has Genre 1 to Genre 7 as the title of these groups, but you can change these to anything you like.

When you open up one of the sub-genre groups, you are presented with your tracks, and 4 other columns that are used to help you know more information about the tracks. Here's what it looks like when I open up the "Drivingish" group in my House DJ set.

These are what the 5 columns are and how to use them.

  1. Track Name - This is the filename of the track you dragged in. You can rename this if you like by pushing command+r, and you can change the colors by right clicking on the track.
  2. RATE - This is the overall score I give the track out of 10. This is totally up to you. It could be out of 5, it could be 100 - I find 10 is a good number to work with for me personally.
  3. BPM - This is the BPM (or speed) of the track. This can be found easily once you correctly warp the track (tutorial coming soon).
  4. KEY - This is the key (or pitch) the track is in. This is completely optional, but if you know the key of the track it can help when mixing two tracks together.
  5. FEEL - This is how much the track feels like the sub-genre group it is in. Again I rate this out of 10 (10 being the most "Drivingish" and 1 being the least).

You can have as many tracks as you like in your sub-genre groups.

Decks Area

The Decks Area is where you actually play the music. You simply drag a track from the Tracks Area to an empty Clip Slot in the Decks Area, and hit the play button.

There are 4 Decks, meaning you can mix up to 4 tracks at one time if you choose to do so. Usually you will only need 2 Decks, but some people like to get really complex and mix several parts of many tunes, so I made 4.

The usual method is to zig zag down for each new tune you want to play. Remember, only one tune can play in a single Deck at a time, so if you want to mix into a new tune, it needs to be on a Deck that currently isn't playing anything.

Each Deck has a volume control which allows you to bring the sound in and out as you please.

The real magic on these Deck Tracks happen with the custom device I created called the DJEQ3FX.

With this device I have attempted to include the core elements a DJ needs to mix tunes and have lots of fun while doing so. These elements are:

  • Low, Mid and High EQ dials - These allow you to subtract or add particular ranges of frequencies from the track, such as taking the bass away when another tune's bass drops.
  • Filter and Resonance dials - The Filter dial lets you quickly filter the entire track. You can bring the dial down to start feeding the sound through a low pass (cutting out the highs), or you can move it up to feed it through a high pass (cutting out the lows). The Resonance dial amplifies the point where the Filter dial is cutting off, bringing a lot more attention to it and making it sound much sharper (be careful not to turn this up all the way, or it will really ring!).
  • Looping Section - This allows you to quickly set a loop point in the track, which will repeat over and over until you hit the EXT. button. When sound is looping, you can cut the loop in half multiple times with the fraction buttons, great for on the fly build ups.
  • Effect Section - I have include 10 effects here that I consider are the most popular to play with.
    • The type of effect is located in the middle, and you can sweep through these effects by using the Effect Selector dial (or you can just click on the name of the effect you want).
    • The button bellow the Effect Selector will turn the effect ON or OFF.
    • The Amount dial controls how much of the effect you have chosen will be active.
    • The Intensity dial gives you more control of the effect, allow you to change how it sounds and acts.

NOTE: The Looping Section is not fully functional in the 2.0 version of the DJ Megaset as I am still trying to make it less CPU intensive. Version 2.1 will have the fully functional version.

Dummy Clips Area

The “Dummy Clips” group is an exciting new system I created for having a lot of fun when you are jamming/ playing live electronic music.

The group works by chaining up 16 Audio Tracks that are each set to receive audio from the previous Audio Track, and send the output to the next Audio Track.

For example, sound first hits the Audio Track 1, which then sends it to Audio Track 2, which then sends it to Audio Track 3, and so on and so on, until it finally hits Audio Track 16, where the sound can finally go to the master.

By feeding it through 16 Audio Tracks, we can put a series of Audio Effects on each Track, in a sequence chain that works well together.

For example the effect on the first Audio Track is a Beat Repeat - great for capturing snippets of audio and looping them quickly, allowing you to grab and repeat something you feed it. After that we can EQ the sound by putting an EQ on the second Audio Track. Each Track has a new effect which compliments what is happening on the previous Tracks.

Why are these all on separate Tracks when you can easily chain up effects on just one channel? Dummy Clips!

Dummy Clips are blank audio loops that produce no audio. Because the routing of the audio on the 16 Tracks is defined within the audio routing settings, any Audio Clips inside the Clip Slots loose their color and do not produce audio. However, these blank audio Dummy Clips can still contain modulation information that changes parameters within the devices on that particular Audio Track.

For example, you can have 2 Dummy Clips on an Audio Track with an Auto Filter set with a low pass cutoff. The first Dummy Clip has modulation information that sweeps the cutoff from 0 to 15000hz over the length of the loop, and the second Dummy Clip sweeps from 15000hz to 0hz.

Now if you feed sound into this Audio Track and trigger one of the two Dummy Clips, the sound will have cutoff sweeps, depending on which Dummy Clip you trigger.

In this group of “Dummy Tracks” I have 8 Dummy Clips for each one of the 16 effects. These Dummy Clips will change the parameters of each effect by setting absolute values, or changing values over time.

By using a special version of my Dual Toggle device, you can quickly send audio from any of the tracks to the Dummy Track Area.

The Dummy Clips Area is a really neat place to do real time remixes, however it requires much more of an explanation. I will release a tutorial video and a manual very soon, but if you feel like you understand, please go right ahead and try it out!

Return Effects Area

This area has Return Tracks set up ready to recieve any audio you send to them via the Send dials on each Track (even on the Dummy Clip Tracks!).

Each return has a specific role. These are:

  1. Dummy Injector - This return track is only used by the Dual Toggle device to route audio to the Dummy Track Area. There is nothing on this Return Track you can play with.
  2. Orchasmic Delay - This is a dub delay that works by constantly feeding the delay back into itself over and over. This means you can subtley bring in various effects, and each time the delay passes through it will get more and more of the effect. You control the feedback by changing the Gain dial (but be careful, if it's up to high things can get out of hand very quickly).
  3. Orchasmic Delay Out - This is just for the Orchasmic Delay to use as an exit route. There is nothing on this Return Track you can play with.
  4. Grain Delay Live - This adds very very short delay/echos to the sound, which can be changed in various ways. 
  5. Shepard Machine - This feeds the audio through a series of resonators, that are all constantly pitching up in a clever way that gives the impression of a rise the builds up forever.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoy this template as much as I have had making it. This is the exact template that I personally use when I play DJ sets at clubs, festivals and house parties. 

Once you become familiar with how it operates (especially the Dummy Tracks Area), there are endless hours of fun to be had. It's like playing a video game, expect your playing fat beats and being creating on the fly.

I will release a propper manual and tutorial video series on how to operate it properly soon.

Finally, here is a video runthrough of the entire thing.

The DJ Megaset 2.0 is downloadable right now for Pro Members - just click here to be taken to the download page (make sure you are logged in).

Not a Pro Member? Get access to the archive of Projects, Templates and HD Tutorial Videos, including the DJ Megaset 2.0. It's instant, easy and secure. Click here to find out more about becoming a Pro Member.

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