I need help figuring out where to go.

  • I dont know what i'm doing. Im really inspired by all the videos people have put up, its all awesome. I know a fair amount about music, but up until this point I've mostly been using analog instruments. Playing in bands and such. I have a basic knowledge of recording. But thats where it stops.

    Heres my goal. Next fall, i'm leaving america for spain to study abroad for the year. I want to be able to play DJ sets by the time i get there. Hopefully for more than an hour. I dream about DJing and getting a workflow while performing that keeps everything im performing organic and fun. Having it be different every time. I do NOT want to just sort of "play tracks" and twist some effects every now and then. I want it to be my music.

    Ive got plenty of equipment. A macbook pro, a gs128, an arc 2, an Akai mpd18, and various other things that i could trade for an ipad or something if it would help me. I have an mbox that im planning on selling for an apogee duet. I've got plenty of mics and keyboards to do whatever i want. I can get ahold of software if its the right thing i need. I have ableton live.

    I've amassed all the correct hardware, i just need some direction. I've used all these things for cool little sound designs up until now, but i really want to produce finished pieces that are danceable. I want to be able to set up and play things like Daedleus or Galapagoose plays.

    So, Monome community, Please help me out. im up against a wall of too much information and options. I need concrete things to work out.

    If anyone here really knows what im talking about. And could tell me Get (these) programs, then watch all (these) tutorial videos, practice with (these) audio tracks in mlrv, start making your own beats with (these) libraries and so on.

    I know it looks like im just looking for a pill to swallow, but i just need some helpful hints to put me in the right direction. I feel like in in a tiny boat in a massive ocean of bits. i need a compass.

    TLDR; I have four 1/2 months to learn enough to make a dj set. I have all the hardware i need ( i think), but i need direction. specifics. what programs to use to do what, how to go about it, what to read, how to learn. from someone whos been where i am before, and has come out on the other side.

    I want to feel like im playing an instrument when i'm djing, not being played by the software i barely understand.

  • you have everything you need. for starters try mlrv or flin or something like that. do you have completed works?

  • what do you mean by "complete works"?
    I feel like my first step should be mastering the process of making beats and rhythms. and then being able to manipulate and control them in read time.
    Im not sure the best way to go for that. Or what program to get.

  • by complete works i mean completed songs. i'm assuming you don't. there are a variety of ways you can produce beats. you could use a step sequencer like the one in pages. or you could use press cafe, which is a pretty cool way to create beats live. you have to feed the midi to a sound source like a drum rack in ableton. there you can assign different drum sounds to different midi notes. you have to make sure the midi notes you are outputting from press cafe align with the midi notes that are assigned to drum sounds in a drum rack.

  • @Yorke: I appreciate you reaching out so openly and honestly, and I wish I had advice for you. I am in a similar boat, less the desire to DJ. I have been directionless for some time, always hopeful of making completed tracks but usually trailing off once the initial inspiration has cooled. I hope some others chime in with tips and suggestions, because they may apply to myself and others as well. I admire your pluck and determination; despite what you may or may not get from this thread, I bet you succeed simply for the trying.

  • the style you seek is best developed by experimentation.

    style is a matter of experience, temporal senses, and chance.

    "I want to feel like im playing an instrument when i'm djing, not being played by the software i barely understand."

    i challenge you to rethink what an instrument is, what it means to play, and what it is you are seeking from other people through the medium of DJ'ing.

    my surface level advice: explore traktor, ableton, mlr(v).

    find your connection to the waves.

  • Disclaimer: I'm not a DJ and may never claim to be.

    For me playing music live and programming music is all about noticing the patterns. It's about having all these components (drums, bass, melody, vocal samples, etc.) that are separate but being able to recognize a pattern that helps put them together in some logical way.

    Find a nice beat, find a nice melody, in MLR(v) change the speed/transposition and try to make the two layers coalesce (listening to the mix is key). See how many melodies you can make that work with.

    Building a collection of samples that you like will be fairly important, if someone can provide a good tutorial on how to isolate instrument/drum/vocal tracks that would be awesome.

    These videos of Daedelus have meant endless amounts of inspiration in learning how to get MLR to work for me, I'm unsure what version of MLR he uses (may be a custom MAX app) but a 128 and MLRV2 should suffice:

    Most of all keep it simple, I've been overwhelmed at times with all the software, devices, samples I have. Usually when that happens I program a simple drum pattern in Logic and jam some guitar lines over it. If I'm feeling particularly adventurous I throw all the tracks into MLRV then mess around.