Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ableton Tips & Tricks #....4? Let's go with 4 haha.

So I couldn't really find out a tutorial on this particular subject, and this is a new thing to me too. But a few of my DJ buddies are telling me about "PA" style DJing and how enjoyable it is to play.
In a nutshell, PA style means you have loads of clips loaded in Ableton or your program of choice, you select certain loops out of those songs, play that loop alongside other loops from other clips, as well as building drum beats and loops to go with your clips. So if you like a certain 20 second pattern from a song and think it would go really well with another clip, you can play those together and loop it. Then slowly change your drum loops and patterns, then select another clip and layer them. If you have the material to build off of, you can make a whole live set for an hour long with constantly evolving clips and sounds.
Here's a simple way to get you accustomed to playing this way.

Step 1: Open a new project in Ableton Live, and open any number of Audio tracks you feel comfortable with.
To get started, I just opened 3 for now.

Step 2: Find your music that you want to clip out, and add it into the Audio tracks. Wherever is fine, just remember you can't play two clips in the same stack.

Step 3: I recommend getting about 8 files in your Audio tracks, and listening to them together. The ones that sound good together, make sure they can play at the same time in Ableton.

Step 4: Open up an 808 drum kit and build some drum loops that mesh or play off your clips.

Step 5: Mix and match, eventually you'll find some that really sound good together.

And really, its that simple. You can play the same loops for many bars then change one clip or one drum pattern and you'll always have a different sound. Put enough clips in a set and you will never play the same music twice.
I would've loved to link everyone to a video tutorial but I could not find one. I do not know much about this "PA" style, and it might not even be called that. I never did find out how its spelled :P
I would be more than happy to create a video tutorial for this, but I don't know much about recording from computer screens. Anyone know a good trial program that won't have watermarks all over it?

To close out, here's an artist I've really been liking lately.


  1. Very instructive! I really want to learn how to use it properly. :D

  2. That's awesome but it looks like it requires a lot of time, which i dont have right now :(

  3. Yes good to see more fans of Dorian, the man puts on an incredible live show.

  4. At the risk of swallowing my words later on, this seems easy, might just try it.

  5. Cool! :D
    Try out "Camtasia". There's a 30 day trial without any watermarks. (Check the settings first though, sometimes you can get a watermark but all you have to do is to turn it off.)

  6. Sounds really time consuming, given that you're kinda picking things out randomly. I guess there is a certain skill to remembering beats you think would go well with each other, though :D

  7. Cool I will have to take a shot at it when I get more free time.