Making Your First DJ Intro Edit in Ableton Live

If you’re a DJ who is looking to make the transition to producing your own tracks, today’s tutorial is a simple way to get you started. Rather than diving head first into creating an original track, we’re going to show you how to make a DJ intro edit using Ableton Live.


Intro edits are intended to make mixing easier for DJs, and they’re commonly available through record pools, such as DJCity. They typically consist of eight bars of a beat or the instrumental, and, not surprisingly, they fall at the beginning of the track, before it drops into the rest of the original tune, usually into the first verse or the chorus. This gives you a long intro to mix with, so you don’t have to worry about vocals clashing with other vocals. It also makings mixing in the traditional pop format easier.

For this tutorial we’re going to show you three ways to make an intro edit:

  1. The first way is by taking the instrumental and adding it to the beginning of the original track.
  2. If you don’t have access to the instrumental, the second way you can make an intro edit is by taking loops from the original track and using that for the intro.
  3. The final way is by placing the acapella at the beginning of the track. This is a great trick for surprising your audience if you’re using a very familiar track. It builds tension as they wait for the beat of the track to drop in, and if it’s a track they know, they can easily sing along.

Sure, you could make use of Traktor’s loops to give you a longer intro to mix over, or simply download an intro edit from a record pool, but the point of this tutorial is to get you more comfortable with Ableton and to inspire you to eventually produce your first track, should you want to go that route. So check out the video above, and get started with the following tools:

  • Ableton Live 8 or 9 Standard
  • Track, instrumental, and acapella: download here and open the .als file.
ableton livebasic editingdj instrumentaldj introintro editmaking a dj intro trackProduction
Comments (30)
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  • Seth GZ

    the download doesn’t work anymore.. is there anyway i can get it??

  • Chris

    Can anyone tell me if you can create intros with Abelton Live 9 Intro version?

  • mokudekiru

    Thanks! first attempt at using ableton, you made it very straightforward.

  • mellonhead

    i’d love to see a dj edit tutorial that addresses the sound quality loss that occurs throughout the process. for example, taking an mp3 into ableton means 1 level of re-encoding. next mixing it down to anything less than 32-bit adds dither and more encoding, finally making it an mp3 again applies another step. it’s actually very much like photocopying multiple times.

    • antifm

      hey mellonhead. Just read your reply but im curious. What is it exactly that needs to be addressed? the problem is that the producer would be starting with a sound file with insufficient quality (mp3) and convert it then convert it again.
      If starting with a WAV from the original sound file, there would be no issue of loss

  • abeO

    I haven’t got ableton but can i make an intro from logic?

  • jason u

    The person is cutting the waveforms with the scissors the wrong way lol

    • antifm

      its the right way if you consider that he is SLICING not cutting HAHAHA

    • antifm

      i do wonder though. is he going to use GLUE To paste them? or real paste?

  • SixOne

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a tutorial on how to remix tracks or do it with acapella’s in ableton or even a tutorial on how to DJ with ableton. I have Live 9 but have yet to dive in. This would help me get started.

    • Ryan Dejaegher

      Cool, doing remixes in Ableton is something i’m just getting into but hopefully I can come up with something for you in the near future.

  • Zach

    No worries. They’re good! I’m a beginner in ableton and know very little about it. I’d like to learn how to take the drum sounds from a track to create a fill to help with transitions. I’ve also struggled I understand how to utilise my maschine mikro with ableton. I watched endos video on how to set it up but haven’t managed to start recording and playing beats in ableton (very beginner)

    • Ryan Dejaegher

      Cool, using Maschine and Ableton together is another article I had in mind, stay tuned!

  • Zach

    This guy is does some of the best ableton tutorials I’ve watched. Succinct and useful. Perfect. Could I request a video on how to make you own dj intros? the ones that let the crowd know you’re behind the decks)

    • Ken DJ TechTools

      Great idea, Zach. We’ll look into making this happen ASAP. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Juan Lopez

        It could also be a vocal that can be used as a “One Shot” over your newly created instrumental intro !!! – Juan

    • Ryan Dejaegher

      Hey Zach, thank you for your comment, means a lot =). Something like that would be outside my area of expertise, but what else would you like to see in Ableton?