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Mouseless laptop DJ’ing: Getting Started

Mouseless DJ’ing: Getting Started
Once you get started DJ’ing with live you will want to get rid of the mouse. Using Midi learn feature in live we can assign most things to a midi controller. However, we are limited to the items that Live offers as midi assignable.

Fortunately, live offers keyboard shortcuts for many things, but ideally we don’t want to be using keyboard combos either.

It’s not possible to do mouse-less DJ’ing in Live IMO unless an additional step is implemented. It requires converting midi from your controller into keystrokes, enabling your midi controller to send midi messages AND keystrokes to Live.

There are a variety of programs that do this. My favourite is Bome’s Midi Translator. Bome’s sits between your midi controller and Live. To explain, your midi controller sends midi messages to Bome’s. Simplistically, we tell Bomes to convert the midi message Y into keystroke Z. Bomes then sends the keystroke to Live to carry out the function. In reality, all sorts of combinations and rules can be applied to achieve amazing results. It all works unbelievably well.

I started with Bome’s when I set out to make Serato’s Scratch Live program midi-capable. I did it as an experiment and I had to pay Florian Bomers to add functionality that allowed me to emulate a key-press and hold. However, it worked so well, I never used the controller vinyl ever again.

In Live I use it to achieve the following:
1. Navigate the session view
2. Access the browser and navigate my library of tunes
3. Load songs into my template
4. Create the ability to pitch bend – equivalent to nudge, and pull on a turntable
5. Zoom in on clips
6. Adjust loop size and move loop braces
7. Select & control multiple effects in my stacked effects rack

The possibilities are endless. The application is essential for mouseless DJ’ing. Without it people are going to think you are checking your email.

In other posts I will make available presets for achieving these things.

Check out Bome’s Midi Translator
http://bome.com/midi/translator

September 10, 2007

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