Ableton Live Tutorial

DJ with Ableton Live - Vol 2

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24 Videos | Length: 1hr 44min 1sec
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Warping and Playback

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    Tutorial 1

    Advanced Warping Overview


    Tracks with complex rhythms that have time signature and/or tempo changes can be tricky to warp. This tutorial will help you understand why you must tell Live about these changes so that it does not try and fit them into Live's global tempo and time signature.

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    Tutorial 2

    Warping Tempo/Time Changes with Scenes


    This video shows how to make tempo and time signature changes by using Live's scenes.

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    Tutorial 3

    Warping Acappella with Original


    Learn to warp an acappella when you have the original track on hand. First you will see Craig warp the original track and find it's tempo before applying and lining up the warping to the acappella track.

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    Tutorial 4

    Warping Acappella without Original


    Warping an acappella without an original track can be tricky. In this video Craig shows you a few different ways to take on warping an acappela without an original track.

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    Tutorial 5

    Using Master/Slave


    The Master/Slave button in the Arrangement view can be used to work around tempo changes in a track. This tutorial focuses on correctly placing warp markers at the tempo changes and how to make the clips tempo the 'master' of live's global tempo.

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    Tutorial 6

    Using Locators/Set


    In this video you will see how to place and use Locators to navigate around the arrangement view.

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    Tutorial 7

    Looping on the Fly with Clip Loop Buttons


    Learn to 'loop on the fly' by taking a small section of a track and repeating it indefinitely while putting effects on the loop or mixing it with another track until you turn off the loop button or stop the clip.

Building FX Racks

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    Tutorial 8

    Rack Overview and Controls


    This tutorial focuses on how Craig has set up his audio effect rack by assigning the most used controls to macros. Specifically the Beat Repeat parameters.

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    Tutorial 9



    In this tutorial Craig focuses on setting up Autopan in the DJ rack by using both single and multiple instances of autopan.

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    Tutorial 10

    Freq Shifter/Phaser


    In this tutorial Craig shows you how he has the phaser effects set up in the DJ rack. Including using the Frequency Shifter plug-in as the phaser.

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    Tutorial 11

    Simple Delay


    This tutorial focuses on the last two controls on the DJ rack which control the Simple Delay plug-in. Including how to map the simple delay to a MIDI controller.

Quick Tips

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    Tutorial 12

    MP3 Quality and Drift


    Craig shares a tip on how a poor quality mp3 file can be source of frustration when it comes to warping.

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    Tutorial 13

    Plug-In Controller


    This quick tip can be very helpful... especially with laptops.

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    Tutorial 14

    Tempo Mapping Min/Max


    This quick tip focuses on MIDI mapping tempo in Live. Even though many controllers work 'right out of the box', Going ahead and mapping tempo allows you to set the minimum and maximum values.

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    Tutorial 15



    In this video Craig shares a tip for zooming in or out using the zoom display in Live's preferences. Avery useful feature for playing live gigs using Ableton live.

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    Tutorial 16

    Faking Unwarped Clips


    This tip shows you how to use functions such as looping and the scrub tool with the warping button enabled without actually warping.

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    Tutorial 17

    Reverb and Delay to Mask Tempo Changes


    In this tutorial you will learn a trick for transitioning in your mix between tracks of different tempos using reverb or delay plug-ins.

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    Tutorial 18

    Pitching Unwarped Files


    Craig shows us some good old fashioned beat matching and how to use detune to pitch unwarped files.

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    Tutorial 19

    Finding Key with MIDI Instruments


    By using his ears and a simpler instrument Craig tries to find the main key of a track.

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    Tutorial 20

    Finding the Clips/Freezing/Storing in Library


    Great tip for working with the Ableton Suite content (Latin Perc, Session Drums, etc.). Craig shows us how to avoid waiting for content to preview by using the freeze track function after processing the clips. Finally organizing them in the library.

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    Tutorial 21

    Removing Stop Buttons


    This video shows how you can remove stop buttons to use scenes without stopping other clips.

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    Tutorial 22

    Draw in Tempo Changes


    Quick tip teaches you how to automate tempo change for an entire set. This will allow you to plot out your tempo for your entire set.

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    Tutorial 23



    Craig shows how he set up the EQ3 as a DJ EQ.

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    Tutorial 24

    Using Beat Repeat


    This tutorial takes a close look at the Beat Repeat plug-in.

Ableton Certified Trainer Craig McCullough follows up with a new series about DJ'ing with Ableton Live, continuing where he left off, going deeper into the world of DJ'ing with Live.

Discover advanced warping techniques, tempo mapping, advanced locator usage, Looping on the fly, building effects racks, tips & tricks and much more...

If you're a DJ and use Ableton Live, watch these videos and see how much better your DJ set becomes.


- not reviewed

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I have been living and breathing music, and music technology, for most of my life. I first got into music by learning guitar over 20 years ago, at around 11 years old, and after playing in bands throughout my school years. I studied Audio engineering at college, at first with analogue tape and MIDI gear using external synths and an early version of Cubase.

2. What training have you had?

After leaving school and earning a living playing in bands for a while I started working in live sound in the mid 1990s, working on a lot of live music events, large and small, while still writing and producing my own music, both solo and with various different bands.  By this time my music took more electronic focus, switching to Logic to sequence samplers, synths and drum machines, and record live instruments and vocals. 

3. When did you get into recording?

From 2000 I worked in a production studio in the UK, mainly using Logic, Cubase SX, Nuendo, Wavelab, Sound Forge and the Waves plug-ins for audio engineering, and Reason and Acid for music composition, until discovering Ableton Live in 2002.

4. People you have worked with/for?

When MIDI was added to Live in version 4, I focused much more on using Ableton Live with Native Instruments and Waves Plug-ins, getting to know them intimately. Over the last few years I have been an internal tester for Ableton’s upcoming versions and I am also an Ableton Certified Trainer.

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I am good at training people because I have an intimate relationship and passion with the technology I use. I strive to develop a deep understanding of the tools I use and genuinely want to share that expereince with others

Products by Craig

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    tutorial video

    Ableton Live 8 Explained - Vol 1

    This collection of Ableton Live video tutorials, presented by Ableton Certified Trainer Craig McCullough, will explain the features and functions of one of the worlds most revolutionary DAW’s, Ableton Live. Learn the important basics right the first time as Craig takes you through them step by step.

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    Ableton Live 8 Explained - Vol 2

    This collection of advanced Ableton Live video tutorials, presented by Ableton Certified Trainer Craig McCullough, will explain the deeper features and functions of Ableton Live. Craig offers knowledge that is sure to take your Ableton Live skills to the next level and make you a master.

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    Ableton Live Clip Tricks

    Use Ableton Live? Well then you need to know all of these awesome clip tricks! Ableton Certified Trainer Craig McCullough takes you through all of his personal favorites, one by one, in this power packed micro series, empowering you and your Ableton Live knowledge to work faster and more creatively.

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    Designing Electronic Drums

    Ableton Certified Trainer Craig McCullough reveals the steps to design fat, brilliant modern and classic electronic drum sounds. The techniques Craig shows you can then be applied in any DAW and to any type of sound to make them stand out and be noticed!

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    tutorial video

    DJ with Ableton Live - Vol 1

    Ableton Certified Trainer Craig McCullough takes you through the fundamentals of DJ'ing with Live, demystifying commonly misunderstood and overlooked skills and techniques needed to create a solid DJ set, and get the club moving.

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