Video: Behind Justice’s Live Shows

Spotted today over on Jay-Z’s video channel is a behind-the-scenes video that shows off Justice’s live rig for their current tour. There’s been quite a bit of speculation about what was in their booth, and the video finally reveals that the French duo are mixing on 16 channels out of Ableton Live on three Pioneer DJM-800s (in addition to multiple live keyboards), two Korg padKontrols, and a microphone.

The video also interviews the lighting and sound engineers for their show – making this probably one of the coolest “How To Build An Epic Live Show” videos – thanks Jay-Z!

ableton livejusticelive showpioneer djm-800sound engineering
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  • Mario García

    I love them

  • Alex Hunt

    There are no CDJ’s in the booth.

  • Devin Roy

    i saw them in Atlanta, one of the greatest live shows ive ever seen, so simplistic. They did this thing where gaspard just stood perfectly still onstage with his hand in the air for like 6 minutes no music. and when he dropped his hand, the music just dropped so hard, it was sick!!

  • pelthor

    @b9336723de260db3881cf800328b6980:disqus getting multiple channels out of ableton is just a matter of getting 1 or 2 converters with multiple outputs. I know that underworld uses a rack full of the rme converters to get everything out of their dual logic/ableton setup into their midas mixers.

  • pelthor

    whats really interesting is how they can mix on 3 djm800’s on stage and still give the FOH control over the separate channels?

    either they did a crazy direct out mod. on the 800’s or the FOH gets the sound first and then it goes to the 800’s in subgroups..

    any thoughts on this anyone?

    or its al fake…but I doubt that..

    • Pieter Paßmann

      They might do it via midi/osc – just give FOH Control over the faders and you could use Wireless solutions via wifi or just One Long cable or the Stage Box provides midi jacks – does Not seem to Hard.

      • Rafa

        So you´re saying that it´s the sound engineer mixing their tracks ?
        – The FOH just say´s – that now they have digital and 16track- he means that -JUSTICE now has 16 tracks ( ableton ) instead of the analog old way – CDJ.

        When he talks about the L-R he tells that this way is a lot of easier to calibrate the channel´s ( ableton 16 ) to get arround different room acoustics – for example – this room is to boomy, so today the track that has the bass should be kept lower than previous gigs.

        • Pieter Paßmann

          I think that FOH get’s all 16 channels seperated to mix it down better. Like a final gainstage or something. They do have control over each channel on the stage, but their sound-engineer will hear resonance a lot better at the FOH and will mix it down in a final stage so it will never go wonky or anything because of the room acoustics.
          I do not think he just gets a 2 channel stereo-sum. That would be a bit of a waste for having your own sound-engineer on a tour 😡

          Also I think that instead of getting 16 audiotracks or in addition to that the FOH gets 16 Miditracksignals or OSC (basically what they prefer real also OSC is just Midi 3.0 on a buttload of steroids). For lights and stuff like that.

          • Rafa

            hi there,

            No, I think your wrong.

            No.1 they have money they can take the Sound Eng.

            -maybe he is the one who connects their rig up in the stage ( sound cards, synths, 4 djm, etc ).

            It´s always good to have somebody that you know controlling the overall sound and mostly important having someone that knows your sound.

            No.2 So if has access to all 16 channel and mess with them, maybe is name should be in the flyer also ? 🙂

            This would be very difficult to maintain the creativity to flow,

            Imagine that your on stage and you decided to do a “special trick ” like having some tracks lowered to create some tension, BUT your sound engineer decides that everything is to low and starts raising your tracks, this will ruin your trick. ( it´s not a very good ex. but it´s ok, to understand my point ).

            I prefer to have justice doing all the work, if they are not mixing and eq what are they doing ? button pushing ?

          • Pieter Paßmann

            Right because will most certainly not talk to their Engineer to warn him about Things. Also Sound is totally not better controlled in individual channels and also adjusting each Channel for getting out resonant frequencies is idiotic and senseless.

            I do Not want to be rude or insensitive but have you ever seen Front of House and a Big live mixingboard. This is a live Show not a dj Running his Stereo sum to the pa

          • Basil Simon

            The video says Malik Malki is their sound engineer, which seems to indicate that he’s a consistant member of their team. In the video he says (at around 3:10) that he runs all 16 channels separately, and has the ability to determine how strong the drums are in the mix. To my understanding, this essentially has him controlling the mix live – allowing Augé and de Rosnay to focus on, you know, “playing the music”. That’s why they have all of those keyboards on stage!

          • Rafa

            he doesn’t say ” he ” runs the 16 channel. He says WE ( and being him one constant member of their team ), he say´s WE, meaning us JUSTICE ( but that´s not his job ) He says that we ( justice ) now have 16 digital control ( all laptop ) instead of analog ( CDJ ).if you watch the video again you will notice he always says WE

            also see my answer in above

          • whalex

            Simple stuff. 2 synced laptops running the same session one for the stage, the other one for the engineer. Stage serves as master and engineer´s is slave. That and communication between them.

          • Rafa

            By the way that´s my job ( F.O.H and Recording Engineer )

            With a stereo track, you can do a lot of sound shaping.
            In the end of the chain is always a stereo sum, feeding the PA ( or mono) from a graphic equalizer or straight from the 2LR mixer

            And sometimes you just want the mixer that you´re used to, that has great pre amps and great sounding outputs with great dynamic range, doesnt matter how many channels it has. And most probably he was recording the gig, and had several audience mic´s spread in the room.

            A lot of hip hop gig don´t need much channels… but if it´s a big gig the big mixer will be there anyway

            They only play pre recorded clips ( And PRE EQ ), if the PA is fine tuned, there will be no worries, and you don’t have to mess with individual tracks, and everything will sound just like in the studio, the individual tracks leave them to the artists, don´t kill their creativity, let them worry about the mixing.

            An example – Justice is triggering a clip in channel 1, the FOH ENG goes and EQ´s that channel, as soon has justice changes that clip to a different one, the EQ setting will now be wrong because it was done to correct the previous clip and if you moved the volume fader it would be the same – CAN YOU IMAGINE THE MESS ?

            In a band like Soulwax, they need a sound engineer, lot´s of stuff been played live ( drums, synth, vocals, Mics ! ) a lot of stuff can go wrong and loose balance, Justice is triggering clips thru 16 channels.
            ( I Love Justice )

          • Pieter Paßmann

            They actually use a lot of gear I think. Also triggering a clip also has a certain sound saved, which also can be altered in tonality.

            I do still think that they also send Midi through to FOH so the engineer will actually know what they are doing in Ableton – assuming they have mapped out the stuff correctly. So they could be just doing some sort of collaboration on the mixing, but in the video it really sounds like it, that they leave the mixing down part to their trusted engineer. It really wouldn’t make any sense to take your studio engineer on the road with you, if you are doing it yourself instead as most venues will always have a capable engineer on set.

            I can imagine the mess quite clearly actually. This stuff happens a lot at small club nights and venues, where soundchecks are made at 9 o’clock and the night goes on for hours and different DJs play different styles of music. Just imagine the headache a PA set-up for a massive DnB Set will sound like if you let some-one else play the newest ans slickest mainstream top40 music through it.

            As previously stated, I really do not want to be rude. It just really sounds like the engineer does all the mixing for them and they get down and gritty with their arrangments and effects and what have you not. They will most certainely all talk to eachother throught the course of their show via in-ear monitors and mics or Armin van Buuren style via iMessage. I think they actually also do this to keep visuals aligned to their music, as they do mess with their sets and their order. Also they explain some of their workflow in the video.

            Also for everybody wondering about the modded DJM800 – It kinda looks like they put 4 DJM-800s next to eachother and just wire their RME Soundcard (well I would use an RME Device for 16 outs 😡 ) through them and then into a stage box. So I don’t know maybe FOH gets 16 channels plus 4 Subgroups, having the 16 channels as a reference like in a “dry signal” and the subgroups would be the “wet signal” or the other way around? Nobody really knows at the end, except they will make a more detailed video about this.
            From a mixing perspective all solutions do make sense, you can work from one sum, you could just mix the 4 subgroups or use all 16 channels. It runs down to the engineer behind the desk to make it work and sound nice and well 16 channels is “like in the studio” so their engineer might be most comfortable with that?

            Reminds of how baffled I was with deadmau5 his live setup and crew and rig stuff. He actually has his complete crew and engineers as a permanent staff on his tour. Kinda cool when you think about it, you will get almost always the best sound out of your production doing it like that.
            Anyways nice chat!

    • Rafa

      4 djm800 – goes or to 4 channel in the mixer ( all with the same gain and vol. ) or to 1 stereo. It´s not the foh to mix or eq those tracks ( maybe the keyboards, but i doubt that ) he just takes care of what e coming off from the PA
      But if they wanted to send it back to the FOH it would be easy, multiple soundcard´s and double the outputs 1-to foh and 1- to a djm. An Y cable, or a stage box with doubled outs, with the money they get from the show it´s very easy to do this

  • lauti

    these 2 djs rock harder than 95% of all metal bands together

  • Andres Dongo

    uhmm im thinking what kind of device do they use to get 16 outputs from Ableton and I HAVE NO IDEA

    • Basil Simon

      Many studio grade rack-mounted interfaces have 16 or more outputs (check out Focusrite’s line – it’s what I use), and as soon as you start using optical audio you can start using all kinds of breakout boxes. That’s why they talk about that being a huge shift – since once you get your audio interfaces working with toslink you have virtually unlimited output options.

  • Al Simons

    i would give a arm and a leg just to attend one of their tours.

  • Anonymous

    where’s the unplugged MPD24? jusk kidding, i love Justice, awesome set-up!

  • fredy