Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

Do you find yourself needing 4 hands in the middle of a set? The fundamental principles of mixing tracks are; balancing the EQ and keeping volume levels even through a transition. This may sound simple, but often in the heat of a mix several of these factors need to be handled at the same time. The most frequent problem is trying to turn down the bass on one track while raising the bass and volume on the other and somehow managing to keep everything in time. Considering that the average DJ only has 2 arms and usually about 3 drinks in him, there has to be a way to make that process easier right?  Yes- and the answer is smart mixing.

Where did it all start?

The concept of Smart-Mixing was first introduced to the DJ community by Moldover in a video demonstrating his approach to Controllerism. Also known as smart-compression, this powerful technique can be used to instantly create room for a new song or sample by pushing down on important frequencies. You could think of it as multi-band key-input compression for djing. While the concept is solid, actually finding a good design that executes it well has been elusive. To solve that problem, I set out to:
  1. Create a quality smart-mixer that is easy for anyone to try.
  2. Address the problems of cuing within a smart-mixing setup.
  3. Create an smart-mixer using only Ableton Live 7 native effects.
In an earlier article titled Smartmixing Traktor with Ableton we recommended using the Belvario smart-mixer Ableton setup. At the time Belvario’s smart-mixer setup was the only Ableton setup available that used free plug-ins. Unfortunately, this file suffers from unfavorable coloring of the audio. The Dj TT smart mixer on the other hand has been built from the ground up to eliminate those problems and create an extra clean sound. No additional plug-ins are required as everything in our racks are native to Ableton 7 and above.

Why Smart-Mix?

Smart-mixing is a powerful technique that can automate some of the tasks of EQing your tracks. It will enable you to spend less time on the EQs and more time doing interesting things like playing with effects, triggers and beat jumps. Most of the EQ work a DJ does is typically in the low end, so by automating that task we can free up time and even out a mix. Smart-mixing automate most of the tasks of EQing out the bass to make room for new material that you want to bring into the mix. EQing techniques that you could only accomplish using a both of your hands can now be accomplished with just a single hand allowing you to take your transitions to new levels.

Step 1: Download

Click here to download the Live 7 file

This file is fully compatible with Ableton Live 7 and 8

does not include the cue channels.
Right click the link and press save target as if your having problems downloading either of these files.
PayPalDonate
If you find this file or the knowledge gained from it useful and would like to help support the project please think about making a donation via PayPal. Donations go directly to the developer of the file, which is me, BentoSan and will help support future developments of this project.

Step 2: Map Your Controller

To fully utilize our smart mixing technique your going to need the following controls on your midi controller:

  1. 4 Buttons – 2 Band Select buttons  and 2 for Smart Cue buttons

  2. 3 Knobs – 1 for low smart compression, 1 for high smart compression, 1 Frequency select knob

  3. 1 Cross-fader – For cross-fading between deck A and B

  4. 2 Volume Faders – For the volume faders of Deck A and B

Note that you must use a midi controller to control this smart-mixer, this is because changes to a smart-mixer rack need to be made in synchronization to the other 3 racks in the setup. Also Ableton 7 LE users will not need Smart Cue buttons.

Basic Mixing Controls

Assigning your midi equipment to the smart mixer controls is a pretty simple process. For this first step you will need to enter midi map mode and map the controls listed above as described in this picture below:



Smart Mixing Controls

Now that we have the very basic mixer controls assigned we need to map the smart compression racks that are found inside of the channels named SCA, CueA, SCB and CueB. In this step we are going map the same controls for all of the compression units in all 4 of these same channels. The smart-compression racks are setup in such a way that you only need to midi learn the macro knobs and all the tricky stuff is handled in the rack for you.

For this step you will need:

  • 3 Knobs
  1. The Smart Compression Low Amount
  2. The Smart Compression High Amount
  3. The Frequency Splitter Knob
  • 2 Buttons
  1. Deck A/B Low dominant frequency switch
  2. Deck A/B High dominant frequency switch


* Note – Map circles to knobs and squares to buttons.

Step 4: Experiment

Play around with the file and post your questions in the comments. On Friday we will publish more details on how the compression actually works, detailed answers to FAQ and we take a look at a brand new technique called Smart-Cueing.

Edit:  Make sure to read the next part in the series which can be found here

 

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  • your images on the page are generating a 404 error. did you perhaps move or remove them? i really want to read this article and see the pix too 🙂

  • 999

    Some assigned buttons dont want to work, but this tutorial gave me some good ideas about ableton whose possibilities are endless! thanks Bento. I still dont want to trust ableton for live dj-ing.

  • 999

    Some assigned buttons dont want to work, but this tutorial gave me some good ideas about ableton whose possibilities are endless! thanks Bento. I still dont want to trust ableton for live dj-ing.

  • 999

    Some assigned buttons dont want to work, but this tutorial gave me some good ideas about ableton whose possibilities are endless! thanks Bento. I still dont want to trust ableton for live dj-ing.

  • 999

    Some assigned buttons dont want to work, but this tutorial gave me some good ideas about ableton whose possibilities are endless! thanks Bento. I still dont want to trust ableton for live dj-ing.

  • killa

    does this really work??

  • I have to say I prefer the previous way, this just ain’t cutting it but good effort. I think I’m going to make my own version.

  • Adam ‘Stalker’ Czarnecki

    nice template but i have some problems with coordinating it on nanokontrol – it might be of ‘see-saw’ 😉

  • Honk

    Hi! This seems awesome. I’ve tried it but I can’t figure it our 100% with the compression knobs and frequency splitters. I mean, I can hear that something is different but I don’t exactly know why/how 🙁

    Bento, you should definitely make a video tutorial about this little template! Think many would appreciate that.
    I will definitely donate for this as soon as I manage to figure this template out.

    Ps. Is there anyone here with a smart-mixing template for the APC40? Just want to check if I mapped everything correctly.

    Kindest regards!

  • Clark Kent

    Got some questions.
    Do you have to use the Low on/off when you transitions ? And when does it even do ?
    Do you use crossfader, or volume change ?
    Do you find a setting inside Bend Smart Comp, and leave it there through the transition ?

  • Dont understand

    Would be nice if someone could create a video tutorial on how to set the settings. I have been trying all day to turn this and that knob up and down. But everything sound like crap.

  • mostapha

    So, I don’t have an ALS file to give you because I’m still playing with it, but since people want a multi-deck version…it’s a little weird.

    I’m not going to lie, the first time I saw smart mixing, I didn’t get it. It seemed pointless to give up some creative control just so you could operate one control instead of two, especially when the system is limited to a 2-deck setup and Ableton Live is capable of so much more. Limiting it to 2 decks just so you can let compressors work EQ adjustments faster and without control of how far to push them seemed dumb.

    But think about what you’re asking from a multi-deck setup. Each channel, only when it’s supposed to, needs to feed multiple side-chain inputs to compressors…every channel’s compressor except its own, in fact. Live doesn’t have a good way to do that without hacking it together in Bomes or Max4Live, since you can’t assign multiple controls to a parameter.

    If you could assign multiple physical knobs to a parameter, it would be trivial.

    I’m going to describe what I see as the only ways I see to do it without max4live, but only for the bass…it gets ridiculously complicated to do it for 3-4 bands.

    You have N audio tracks set up to play tracks. Each of them has a multiband compressor setup in its device chain. There are 3rd party plugins that do it, or you can use an Audio Effect Rack and a couple EQ3 or EQ8 devices set to split the bass away from everything else and then compress that chain, leaving the other(s) alone. Simple so far.

    Where do these inputs come from. Deck 1’s Low Compressor has to take side chain input from deck 2, 3,…,N (2..N from now on) when you choose, but it shouldn’t take side chain input from deck 1 ever. That’s where it gets complicated.

    Live can do 12 return tracks. That might not be enough, ‘cuz you’re going to use N of them just for this. You need a knob associated with Track 1 that when turned will increase Send A for each audio track 2..N (that is, not Track 1). Track 1’s low compressor’s side chain input will be Return A, post-FX. Inside Return A, you just copy whatever you did to split off the bass frequencies. Then, set Return A’s channel output to be “Sends Only,” and disable its sends.

    Repeat for Track 2 and Send B (remembering that Track 1’s Send B needs to work and Track 2’s Send B needs to not work).

    And so on.

    Then, give your compressors sensible settings, and it should work. There are a couple problems.

    First, if you want to do this for Bass, Mid, and High for each track…you’re going to be using 3*N Return tracks…which limits you to 4 Tracks, using all 12 sends.

    Second, you can easily run into clipping problems if you’re playing more than 2 tracks at once. You have to be pretty careful not to turn the control for each track too far and pay attention to the levels, because if Return A is being fed by tracks 2..8, for example, and they’re all playing at close to 0dB…then Return A is going to clip long before any of the sends get up toward 0dB. This doesn’t matter so much because the audio isn’t going anywhere important…but it would lead to funky effects with Track 1’s bass if the compressor is set weird.

    Third, if you’ve noticed, what this actually does is the opposite of what most people would think. As you turn Send A up on Tracks 2..N, Track 1’s bass decreases. It works like a bass-cut EQ. Doing it the other way (i.e., sending Track 1’s bass to the side chain input of tracks 2..N) is something that I haven’t been able to figure out. I’ve come up with ideas, but they all suck. The only one that actually works in my head involves ~(N-1)^2 extra audio tracks with most of their outputs going nowhere and N returns. Hardly worthwhile IMO.

    And, the other thing you may have noticed, is that it seems like it would work in practice just about the same way as a bass EQ…with less predictable results…using a LOT more cpu and ram overhead.

    So, yeah…if you’ve read through all that…forget it. The whole thing is pointless if you’re using more than 2 channels.

  • james

    I never usually have a problem with live crashing but this setup seem to crash every 5 mins. I am on an imac with version 7 live.

    Anyone else having same problems or might know what this could be.

    Thanks

    J

  • Torrey McMahon

    [quote comment=”22680″]Anyone see a status on the 4 deck version lately? Is BentoSan on vacation? :)[/quote]

    No really, is Bento around? I sent him money and want to make sure he got it. 🙂

  • Torrey McMahon

    Anyone see a status on the 4 deck version lately? Is BentoSan on vacation? 🙂

  • xtianw

    [quote comment=”22379″][quote comment=”21437″][quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]
    Hey man, I will be more than glad to donate something to the good cause of smart mixing, but I would actually be very curious about your progress of making a 3 or 4-deck set-up? Please contact me at your convenience.

    Thanks![/quote]

    +1 to everything this guy said[/quote]

    this was me btw lol

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=”21437″][quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]
    Hey man, I will be more than glad to donate something to the good cause of smart mixing, but I would actually be very curious about your progress of making a 3 or 4-deck set-up? Please contact me at your convenience.

    Thanks![/quote]

    +1 to everything this guy said

  • Misha

    [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]
    Hey man, I will be more than glad to donate something to the good cause of smart mixing, but I would actually be very curious about your progress of making a 3 or 4-deck set-up? Please contact me at your convenience.

    Thanks!

  • never mind got it

  • BENTO SAn, the first link, doesn’t download anything….another page just pops up with some weird coding.

    Please fix Bento I want to check it out asap.

    Thanks

    dO

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]

  • I have a problem with this setup. Please check the forums at http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?p=66164#post66164 for information. Don’t want to spam-up the comments page.

  • aG

    ….disregard that previous post. this clip launch/cpu issue is present no matter what .als i’m using in session view….verrry fustrating!

  • aG

    [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]
    thanks again bento for this awesome template.
    i have a serious issue though….
    about 1 out of every three times i launch a clip with this smart mix set up i get a severe cpu overload which causes the audio to drop out. i’m running a macbookpro 2.23ghz and 2gigs RAM…. i’ve never had any issues with ableton regarding cpu overload and like i said, its when i launch a clip, regardless of whether i trigger the clip by mouse or midi controller, i”ve tried switching quantitize from 1/8 to 1/4 to a whole bar to no avail. its very fustrating because at this time the cpu overload is rendering this setup useless, any helpful tips to reduce stress during clip launch would be greatly appreciate -aG

  • [quote comment=”20330″]Awesome work, man! Any plans for a four deck setup?[/quote]

    Yes a 4 deck smart-mixer is in the works, donaters will be the first to get a copy along with documentation.

    [quote comment=”20331″]This will work with uc33e controller?[/quote]

    Yes it will, it works with any midi compatible controller that has enough knobs and buttons.

    [quote comment=”20690″]How can i Donate to you so i can get the 4 deck version.[/quote]

    Click on the paypal donation link right under the download link

    • killa

      hi does this work without a controller beacause when i turn smar lo and smart high nothing happens ?

  • How can i Donate to you so i can get the 4 deck version.

  • liniker

    This will work with uc33e controller?

  • Awesome work, man! Any plans for a four deck setup?

  • Dj subivk

    hey bento,

    awesome stuff,but we coouldn’t use it on club,b’cse i am facing an problem with Smart low/high and fre: splitter,i am using axiom 61 and when i assigned the knobs to axiom,it is getting sided from 0 to 127 when i turn the knobs to set compression ratio,How can i fix this,and also lot of volume variation in different tracks as u know….if u can fix it will be very thankful and i can take ableton to ma partys well

  • answered my own question…I had the sc channels selected of deck a and b respectively…unselceting them solved the problem

  • I figured out my issue with the cue channels…thanks! I notice when I mix form deck A to deck B or vice versa that there is a section of the cross fader from about 70% of deck A to 70% of deck B that the mix just seems very quiet. Thus when I cross fade between the decks the mix seems to lose several db of sound so the incoming kick and bass of the next track feels weak until I get the cross fader 70 to 80 of the way to that track. I have checked the appropriate sc switch is selelcted so that the incoming trackss’ bass/kick is compressing the out going tracks bass/kick. What do you suggest I do so the mixing sounds better and my incoming track doesnt sound so weak?

  • BentoSan

    [quote comment=”20221″]
    do you have to use the cross fader ? will this work just using the sound levels ?

    Thanks in advance
    Share and […][/quote][/quote]

    Hi there – no you dont need to use a crossfader, it just makes smartcueing alot easier. If you dont want to use a crossfader and still want to smart cue then you will need to mute the side chain channel (SCA or SCB) when you want to smart cue that channel. If your doing this then you can easily mix with linefaders 🙂

  • nick bailey

    [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton
    do you have to use the cross fader ? will this work just using the sound levels ?

    Thanks in advance
    Share and […][/quote]

  • [quote comment=”20183″]Deck A/B Low dominant frequency switch
    Deck A/B High dominant frequency switch

    These two knobs this turns on the compression? like on/off switch for compression on the track? I read on the next post explaining this that you use this and turn on the switch like the low or high for whatever track your bringing into the mix[/quote]

    You map every high dominant frequency switch to a single button on the controller – so 4 knobs are mapped to one button

    You then do the same for the 4 low frequency dominant switch knobs – map them to the same 1 button.

    Now when you press the button it will turn off the compression on one track, while turning on the compression of the other track.

    So you can use the low frequency dominant button for instance to select which song’s bassline is going to be compressing the other songs bassline – in effect you choose which bassline you want with just this single button, then use the low ammount knob to select how much compression that you want to apply.

    [quote comment=”20145″]this is awesome. Will dontate for sure dude! my question is how do I test the “blend” of the mix in my headphones. Right now I only hear the track I am cueing in my headphones and cant hear the 2 tracks mixing together unless I use the crossfader. How do I hear the 2 clips mixing in my headphones? Right now I have a clip loaded in deck a and a clip in deck B. Do I have to load the a clip into the the cueing tracks of deck a and b?

    Also how exactly do I donate ?[/quote]

    You need to cue deck CueA and Cue B, to cue those channels – these cues are intentionally post fader as the loudness of the track is super imporant in how much compression is being applied.

    If you have the crossfader all the way to the left and you want to cue track B then cue the CueB channel and raise the volume fader to your desired playing level.

    If you want to hear what your mix sounds like with the smartmixing applied before its even applied to the master output then you cue both of the CueA and CueB tracks (i explain how to do this in the second part of this article found here – http://www.djtechtools.com/2009/06/05/smart-mixing-explained/ ). Any changes that you make to the track that is playing wont be applied until you start crossfading, this makes smart-cuing a super powerful tool for getting a great picture of exactly what your mix is going to sound like before you even start your mix.

    If you want to donate just hit the donate button thats under the download section of this post and place a donation though paypal 🙂

    Read that second part of the article, that should help out.

  • Steve Garriques

    Deck A/B Low dominant frequency switch
    Deck A/B High dominant frequency switch

    These two knobs this turns on the compression? like on/off switch for compression on the track? I read on the next post explaining this that you use this and turn on the switch like the low or high for whatever track your bringing into the mix

  • this is awesome. Will dontate for sure dude! my question is how do I test the “blend” of the mix in my headphones. Right now I only hear the track I am cueing in my headphones and cant hear the 2 tracks mixing together unless I use the crossfader. How do I hear the 2 clips mixing in my headphones? Right now I have a clip loaded in deck a and a clip in deck B. Do I have to load the a clip into the the cueing tracks of deck a and b?

    Also how exactly do I donate ?

  • mr_coops

    Awesome stuff, this really an eye opener. Giving me some mad ideas.
    Much respect cheers bentosan 🙂

  • jules

    wow! just found this website and feel like praising the lord/gods of ableton or summat. Can’t wait to get my teeth into reading all this tomorrow as i have been having real problems sorting my dj set up in ableton.
    Nice one!
    jules

  • [quote comment=”19996″]Do you have any links that explain the maths/science behind it? I can hear that it works, but I’d love to know why.[/quote]

    We actually have a little bit of material on phase cancellation\phase inversion on the site here. In the capella thread i talk about using phase inversion on page 4 –
    http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2722&page=4

    There is also a little talk about phase cancellation in this blog post Nico done a while ago –
    Phasing the perfect mix
    http://www.djtechtools.com/2008/06/13/phasing-old-school-beatmatching-for-all/

    Also look up the utility effect in the Ableton manual.

    I also have plans on explaining this frequency splitting in a blog post down the track to explain how it can be used in other inventive ways to apply effects to certain frequency ranges. Its a very very useful trick and is much easier and sounds better then trying to match a high-pass and low-pass filters up.

  • Will

    Thanks! It’s an awesome trick I’ve never seen before, but I’m planning to use it.

    Do you have any links that explain the maths/science behind it? I can hear that it works, but I’d love to know why.

    Also: do you have any ETA on the four-track version of this rack? I’ve been thinking about how to do it, but I can’t think of any way that’ll maintain cuing.

  • @Will-
    Using phase inversion is your friend when your trying to do colourless audio splitting- trying to match up a highpass and lowpass filter allways adds a little extra colour into the sound. Using phase inversion along with 2 low pass filters you get colourless audio splitting 🙂

  • Will

    [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]

    Nevermind! I got it: you were being smarter than me.

  • Will

    Can you tell me why both both the “hi” and “lo” chains have an LP filter?

    From my cursory examination, it looks like this is wrong: that the “hi” chain should have an HP filter to let through His, and the “lo” chain an LP to let through lows.

    Can you explain why this is not so?

    • Wastoid

      Because ableton doesn’t have very suitable filters for splitting audio i am using phase inversion techniques to separate the highs from the lows while creating as little colour on the audio as absolutely possible.

      If you take 1 signal, split it into 3 then low pass two of these signals, then apply phase inversion to the third. If you mix the third (inverted audio signal) with the second audio signal (2nd low passed signal) you will be left with all the high frequency content thats missing from the 1st signal (1st low passed signal)

  • BentoSan

    @Kris –

    Try right clicking this link and pressing save target as:

    http://www.djtechtools.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/bentosan-djtt-smartmixer-v10.als

    If that doesnt work email me on bento at djtechtools dot com and ill mail it too you 🙂 It does indeed work for macs.

  • Kris

    ok so ive clicked the link multiple times, brings me to that page of code, then i save the file as and it just saves that page of code… does this not work for macs or what? i mean im obviously not doing something wrong all you have to do here is click the damn thing.

  • [quote comment=”19753″]Do you have another example about mixing setup in Ableton? I would like know an example with 4 channels. If you have it please help me…ty[/quote]

    Im working on a bit of documentation for the 4 deck version and i will be sending it out to donaters to check out and test first. Anyone who donates can also get hold of my on skype and call me for support too.

    Once everyone were happy with the 4 deck version and we feel everyone understands the 2 deck version enough a 4 deck version will be released, then after this a 5 deck moldover version.

    If your not donating i urge you to be patient, but if you want to donate feel free to hound me for info and smartmixing rigs :p

    I am also willing to work with anyone who feels they can contribute anything to this project – if anyone feels thierself to be quite handy with sidechain compression get hold on bento at djtechtools.com

  • Do you have another example about mixing setup in Ableton? I would like know an example with 4 channels. If you have it please help me…ty

  • BentoSan

    [quote comment=”19712″]I made it!!!Wow, this is awesome

    It makes perfect mixes, really!!
    Im going to try it hard now.

    Thanks a lot bento, great work[/quote]

    Thanks 🙂 Glad you like it, i put alot of time getting it nice and tight 🙂

  • Eduardo

    I made it!!!Wow, this is awesome

    It makes perfect mixes, really!!
    Im going to try it hard now.

    Thanks a lot bento, great work

  • BentoSan

    [quote comment=”19710″]So when the low is on in deck A it should be off in the B one?[/quote]

    Thats right, but if you look at channel SCA it says Low On/Off and SCB says Low Off/On.

    This means that if you turn all 4 of these knobs in each of the channels (SCA,CueA,SCB,CueB) all the way to the right then the smartmixing will be setup correctly.

    Channel SCA-
    Smart Low: Half way turned up
    Frequency Splitter: Half way turned up
    SmartHigh: All the way Down
    Low On/Off: All the way up
    High On/Off: All the way down

    Channel CueA-
    Smart Low: Half way turned up
    Frequency Splitter: Half way turned up
    SmartHigh: All the way Down
    Low On/Off: All the way up
    High On/Off: All the way down

    Channel SCB-
    Smart Low: Half way turned up
    Frequency Splitter: Half way turned up
    SmartHigh: All the way Down
    Low Off/On: All the way up
    High Off/On: All the way down

    Channel CueB-
    Smart Low: Half way turned up
    Frequency Splitter: Half way turned up
    SmartHigh: All the way Down
    Low Off/On: All the way up
    High Off/On: All the way down

    If you cant hear anything after once you have these at these settings then you must have rewired the input output settings incorrectly – theres no need to touch these unless you know what your doing and you want to modify the smartmixer.

    If you like you set can up the smartmixer in a way that you think it should be working and it isnt, then send it to bento at djtechtools.com and ill take a look at it then tell you where your going wrong.

    Also remember a mouse is not capable of making the changes on the smartmixer properly because changes need to happen in multiple channels at a single point in time. So make sure your using a midi controller when attempting this.

  • Eduardo

    thank you so much for the help Bento, I have the two tracks playing at the same time of course, I can hear them

    So when the low is on in deck A it should be off in the B one?
    Thats what I do, and I cant hear the variation…

  • BentoSan

    [quote comment=”19665″]anyway it sounds great thanks for your hard work I will be sending a paypal donation promptly.[/quote]

    Thanks for your offer for donating too its apeciated 🙂

  • BentoSan

    [quote comment=”19704″]Hi, Im having some problems here…I have configured everything ok, I have the master on channels 5/ and the cue on 3/4

    I can switch everything but I dont hear any effect.
    I dont know how does this works.I think the point is to mix only with three knobs, but when I have the Xfader in the mid position and move the knobs doesnt happend anything[/quote]

    Make sure the knob for the frequency splitter knob is sitting somewhere aroudn the halfway mark which is around 700hz i beleive off the top of my head. This means that frequencies below 700hz are smartmixed using the low smart-compression and frequncies above this are smartmixing using the high smart-compression.

    So now when you turn up for example the Low-Amount knob your going to be sidechaining the bass of one song with the bass of another song. Effectivly cutting away at the bass of one of your songs but only while both are playing.

    Your problem is probably that you dont have both songs playing at the same time – or that when you havent mapped the 2x Low On/Off, 2x Low Off/On to one button and then 2x High On/Off, 2x High Off/On knobs to another button. There is no need to do any midi inverting when your assigning these ! The low band swap button selects which deck is going going to have its frequncies below 700hz reduced in volume by using the Low amount knob and the high band swap button selects which deck is going to be have its frequcies above 700hz reduced in volume. This reducion in volume only happens when both tracks are playing at the same time.

    So make sure you have material in the Deck A channel AND the Deck B channel and they are both playing at the same time. The controls on the smartmixer wont be doing anything to the track unless both tracks are playing at once – this is fully intentional and one of the things that makes the smartmixing really powerful.

  • Eduardo

    Hi, Im having some problems here…I have configured everything ok, I have the master on channels 5/ and the cue on 3/4

    I can switch everything but I dont hear any effect.
    I dont know how does this works.I think the point is to mix only with three knobs, but when I have the Xfader in the mid position and move the knobs doesnt happend anything

  • BentoSan

    That might be the extra midi messages sent by the 1.3 firmware that could possibly be messing with Abletons midi learn – out of interest try putting it into 1.2 firmware mode(by holding the top little back button as you turn the unit on) and see if you have the same problem in this firmware mode.

  • Abombers2

    Thanks for the reply BentoSan…I’m using a vci-100 1.3 firmware version. Yeah I thought it was weird as well…everything else mapped in ableton perfectly. When I map that macro to a button it shows up in the midi map list but it simply does not change the macro. Just to be clear…this is supposed to only require two buttons…one for high and one for low… ie one button controls sca/scb low on/off and another button controls sca/scb high on/off. Thats how I understood your instructions…anyway it sounds great thanks for your hard work I will be sending a paypal donation promptly.

  • BentoSan

    [quote comment=”19642″]Hi Bento…I might be being a little dense here but for some reason I cant get live to assign a button for the on/off frequency swap. I can only seem to assign a knob for this function. When i assign a button it doesn’t affect that macro at all. I’m sure its something really obvious that I’m missing…any help would be appreciated…thanks in advance[/quote]

    Wow that really is weird – what midi controller are you using might i ask ?

  • Abombers2

    Hi Bento…I might be being a little dense here but for some reason I cant get live to assign a button for the on/off frequency swap. I can only seem to assign a knob for this function. When i assign a button it doesn’t affect that macro at all. I’m sure its something really obvious that I’m missing…any help would be appreciated…thanks in advance

  • jc

    Got it! very cool, thanks for the quick response BentoSan, everything is bang’n now!

  • Hi JC,

    If you want the master and cue are not in the right order then you only need to change the master and cue settings on the master channel and not any of the other channels in the setup.

    If you are using tracks internally inside of Ableton then you dont need to worry about the input routing on channels Deck A and deck B – just leave them as is – or alternativly change them both to no input.

    If your not hearing any smart-mixing effects first of all make sure that both you have audio playing on both decks because no smartmixing is going to happen unless both tracks are paying at the same time.

    If you still cant work out what your doing wrong send me the ableton live file with the modifications you made to bento at djtechtools.com and ill take a look at it and tell you where your going wrong 🙂

  • jc

    I’m a little frustrated here. I brought your setup in live 8, seems like I have everything setup up, I had to reverse channels for cue and master to accomidate my output setup (cue is 3/4, line out is 1/2), which means my deck A receives “audio from” 3/4, as does deck B. (did that mess something up?)

    I have audio, midi mappings to the apc40, no problems there. I am not hearing any effects from the macros or the compressor… I’ve singled out the sends and they push through to the master no problem, but no effects 🙁 What could I be doing wrong? I’ve tried a few different setups with no success. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Thanks,
    jc.

  • sorry nevermind .. just a Live noob here .. cmd+click does the trick.

  • Here is a screenshot that shows more of my setup in live:
    http://screencast.com/t/pxSjVTlC

  • Being a Live noob, it took me some fiddeling to get the cueing to work (note click on the i/o button in the right sidebar). Midi mapping worked fine except for the fact that the buttons I am using in iTM DJ (play) for the frequency swap are only triggered as long as I press them. Actually I guess that makes sense, since they should just trigger the swap, however the bigger issue (also the reason why I cannot really check if the swap is working at all) is that Live is only playing one deck at a time. I made a little screencast to illustrate the issue (sorry about the background noise):
    http://screencast.com/t/nOf4cikt

  • @Eduardo – Sure id be more than happy to help you out, if you head over to the forums http://www.djtechtools.com/forum and start up a new topic ill help you out in there. This way we can keep these comments related to smart-mixing and not audio-routing 🙂

  • eduardo

    [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]

    Hy, i have a question, i dont know if is posible this:

    i use a microphone and i conected to ableton for speak y proces my voice in live, but i would like sed the audio of the ableton to my deck C or D of traktor, for manipulate the sound of ableton whith the FX of my traktor pro.

    if you cant help me, thanks!

  • Many thanks to MBlakely for his donation of $15 US
    Also many thanks to Stan Collins for his donation of $5 US

    Also thanks for pointing that out jack i have put a note about right clicking to save the file in the article.

  • Mole

    You need to right click and “save as”.

  • Jack

    Neither of the download links seem to work for me. They take me to a webpage of code.

    Fantastic idea, though. Looking forward to more information.

    Well done.

  • Stan Collins

    Many thanks BentoSan now works like a dream…Donation on its way…:)

  • [quote comment=”18936″]Hi Can’t get ths to work on my live 7 le

    Comes up with….
    This set cannot be loaded with Live 7 le
    details
    20 sessions view scenes(limited to 8)

    If you could sort this for us poor le users I’ll happily donate to the cause ;)[/quote]

    Fixed 🙂 Re-download the file if your having this problem and make sure your using the file called bentosan-djtt-smartmixer-le-v10-working.als

  • GOOD JOB BENTO !!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Yes mate thats the one that comes up with the above error code…

    I.e the LE file doesnt work with LE…:(

    Cheers

  • @Anonymous: download the file that bento recently added to the article dedicated for Live LE users

    @Bento: The link pointing to the previous smart mixing article seems to point to a random article?

    Also can you explain a bit more what the frequency splitter does? I do not get exactly what the job of that knob is.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Can’t get ths to work on my live 7 le

    Comes up with….
    This set cannot be loaded with Live 7 le
    details
    20 sessions view scenes(limited to 8)

    If you could sort this for us poor le users I’ll happily donate to the cause 😉

  • Ok, I can see myself reusing the 2 scratch buttons as well as the two gain knobs. So I just have to look for one more knob for the frequency splitter.

    The Faderfox LV2 also seems like a perfect match, also doesn’t use up an USB port. Then again its quite pricy and runs on batteries or an external power supply. Also I first need to look into getting an Ableton Live license. I really want to start off with Live 8, but there is no LE version of that available yet. Anyone have a spare old Live license flying around, that I can use to buy a cheaper upgrade? 😉

  • midifidler

    Nice work Bento!

    Good to see this finally make the light of day!

  • @Lukas
    There is currently only support for 2 decks – 4 deck supported is planned when i am convinced everyone is happy with this 2 deck setup. Converting this into 4 decks will be a fairly simple process 🙂

    For the moment just route decks A and B in traktor into channels Deck A and Deck B in Ableton using the input/output routing. Traktor is in external mode so Ableton is acting similar to a very fancy mixer. The only control you will use from the mixer in Traktor will be the deck gain knob. Volume faders, crossfader, eqing controls are now all handled by Ableton and not Traktor.

    Anyone who is just using Ableton alone needs not to be concerned with this post. Just follow the tutorial as is, you dont need to use Traktor in conjunction with Ableton to smart-mix 🙂

  • [quote comment=”18845″][quote comment=”18844″]Yo Yo Mr San … Are you using just your vci for this ? What 4 buttons are you using ? 2 cues .. what other 2? What have you sacrificed ?[/quote]

    I have the gain knobs on the VCI-100 mapped to Smart-low and Smart-high.
    The 2 effects buttons are mapped to smart-low-swap and smart-high-swap.

    Cue buttons were they usally are on the standard VCI-100 mapping.

    Volume faders as usual.

    Cross fader as usual.

    Frequenly splitter knob mapped to one of the black knobs on the top right of the unit.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]

    Ok, just so that I understand how this works in combination with Traktor. In this case I send deck A/C and deck B/D to separate channels in Live. So you cue up tracks in Live. Also you adjust the volume and crossfade in Live. As a result these things do not need to be mapped in Traktor anymore.

  • Hi Facemelter,

    You dont need to worry about mapping anything opposite, i have acually already done all that slightly tricky work inside of the racks themselves so all that needs to happen is that they have to be midi learnt – no adjustments to the range of control or inverting way the knob interacts with the hardware is nessisary. Just sime quick midi map following the instructions and you will be absolutely fine 🙂 I tried to keep this process as simple as possible for everyone using this file.

  • [quote comment=”18873″]I need to read through this more thoroughly but if anyone else has already set this up on a Remote SL/25 then I’d appreciate a template.
    Great work.[/quote]
    [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]

    I use a ReMOTE 25 SL and have set this up, however I’m not sure if I’ve done so correctly. Bento, are all the parameters the same for the mapped controls (all 0->127), or do they need to be opposite (Deck A: 0->127, Deck B: 127->0). The same goes for the ‘frequency switch’ buttons. (all on/off; or Deck A:on/Deck B:off and vice versa)

    Can’t wait to figure this thing out!

  • FRGus723

    [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]
    Thanks Bento,

    I had a blast testing with it and all works well in my scenario. Thanks for the betas.

  • B33SON

    Nice article. Congrats on figure all this out Bento! You the man!

  • Mole

    I need to read through this more thoroughly but if anyone else has already set this up on a Remote SL/25 then I’d appreciate a template.
    Great work.

  • .P

    ..been testing this out for a month or two now & what can i say – it owns… 10x Bento 😉

  • [quote comment=”18831″]Really well thought out and awesome…

    thanks BentoSan!

    I’d love to donate some.

    Do you have any suggestion for the crossfader curves?

    For me the constant power curve really works well.[/quote]

    I personally like to use Slow Fade, it all depends on peronal preference and mixing style however. There is no correct and incorrect settings, the smartmixer will allways apply the right amount of smartmixing no matter what settings you are using.

    Thanks for thinking about taking the time to donate, glad you like it.

  • dj czo

    Amazing article!! Thank you!!!

  • I edited the article to include another version that should be able to be opened with Ableton Live LE. The difference to this file is that the smart cueing channels have been removed to reduce the amount of effects used in the setup – this isnt a big loss anyway because Live LE cannot cue anyway.

    The only differences to the tutorial is that you will only need to map 2 effect racks instead of 4 and that cueing is disabled so you wont need 2 buttons to cue with.

    So all up you only end up using 2 less buttons on your controller and lose cueing functionality.

  • ToS

    🙂

  • [quote comment=”18847″]
    Can you run this on Live 7 LE?[/quote]

    Sadly no, the maximum number of Ableton audio effects per project is 12.
    This project uses 16 Ableton audio effects and Ableton audio 8 effects racks which all work together to make up the smartmixer.

    That said – i am in the process of removing the cue channels which should bring us to the limit of plugin’s. Ill edit this article to include this version very shortly.

  • [quote comment=””][…] more here:  Smart Mixing Setup for Ableton

    Share and […][/quote]
    Can you run this on Live 7 LE?

  • [quote comment=”18844″]Yo Yo Mr San … Are you using just your vci for this ? What 4 buttons are you using ? 2 cues .. what other 2? What have you sacrificed ?[/quote]

    I have the gain knobs on the VCI-100 mapped to Smart-low and Smart-high.
    The 2 effects buttons are mapped to smart-low-swap and smart-high-swap.

    Cue buttons were they usally are on the standard VCI-100 mapping.

    Volume faders as usual.

    Cross fader as usual.

    Frequenly splitter knob mapped to one of the black knobs on the top right of the unit.

  • MisterMoleyMole

    Yo Yo Mr San … Are you using just your vci for this ? What 4 buttons are you using ? 2 cues .. what other 2? What have you sacrificed ?

  • [quote comment=”18824″]Your first link is broken.

    It has an extra “http://” before the actual link….[/quote]

    Thanks, fixed that.

    [quote comment=”18828″]fun stuff .. seems like a nanoKontrol could take on the noted controls?[/quote]
    Yes the NanoKontrol has more then enough controls on it to control this smart-mixer. Only 3 knobs, 2 faders and 4 buttons are needed to control all basics of smart-mixing with 2 channels.

    [quote comment=”18829″]You rock my world, Bento many thanks and some paypal thanks. Me and my APC40 are going to be busy for a couple of weeks.[/quote]

    No problem and thanks alot !

    [quote comment=”18833″]Welcome to SmartMixing Week here on DJTechTools![/quote]

    Yup the Friday post is going to be a goody, we will get into the details of how its working and try our very best to explain it in such a way that everyone can understand how the smart-mixing functions.

  • Fatlimey

    Welcome to SmartMixing Week here on DJTechTools!

  • VeinMelter

    Really well thought out and awesome…

    thanks BentoSan!

    I’d love to donate some.

    Do you have any suggestion for the crossfader curves?

    For me the constant power curve really works well.

  • MBlakely

    You rock my world, Bento many thanks and some paypal thanks. Me and my APC40 are going to be busy for a couple of weeks.

  • fun stuff .. seems like a nanoKontrol could take on the noted controls?

  • charo

    glad to see you got it on the website today!

  • Hey,

    Great column, I have never used Alberton Live, but I have always been interested.

    But,

    Your first link is broken.

    It has an extra “http://” before the actual link….