CategoryTechniques

My Ableton LP / Mixtape: Update

I’ve been working on my LP in Ableton for almost two years (!!!), but today, I’m excited to announce I’ve released my first mixtape. Why a mixtape, and not the album? Well, aside from a vocal sample I snagged for the intro, they are essentially one in the same. That is, the track selection and order are there. But instead of releasing 10 standalone tracks, one after the other, properly mixed and mastered, I was keen on getting this project out. Hear the mix below and read the steps I’ve taken to reach this critical, yet very personal, milestone.

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Better Ableton Mixes: Utility Gain

I recently subscribed to the “Your Mix Sucks” series by Marc Mozart, and learned loads of tips as to how to get a great mix in my home studio. One such tip suggested inserting a track-level “gainer plugin” instead of moving the default track volume fader. Skeptical, I decided to try this technique in Ableton, and the results have completely changed my workflow.

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APC40: Still the best Ableton controller

I got into a controller conversation with a friend tonight. He and I have a similar Ableton setup, including Push and the first-gen Akai APC40. Given the new analog synth he was adding to his studio, he and I debated whether he could ditch the APC, and continue using Push only. It definitely got me thinking… thinking I don’t see ever parting with my APC. Here’s why.

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How I Mash Up – Part 2

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Best Ableton Videos for DJ & Production

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How I Mash Up – Part 1

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Producer’s Block: Working Toward a Finished Track

Bang out a beat first? Pick your synths? Select a tempo range, and choose a key? There’s no right or wrong way to get to a finished track, but there are definitely steps where I find myself getting stuck in a loop (and no, I don’t mean 8-bar bongo samples – although that has certainly happened). The trick is to make swift decisions. Far easier said than done.

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Quit Clipping

I’m always surprised to see red meters in other guys’ DJ sets. Even worse, in Ableton training videos on YouTube. Red is BAD, people. Your meters go from green to red for a reason. By pushing tracks beyond those maximum levels, your audio is actually getting destroyed in the process, adding crunch, noise and artifacts to your mix. Now let’s talk about how to avoid it altogether.

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Deeper Discoveries while Warping Ableton Tracks

In a previous post, I outline how I warp tracks for my Ableton DJ sets. Here I’d like to share a few additional discoveries and learnings I’ve encountered along the way.

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