Using .als packs to DJ with
Your DJ template will be saved as an Ableton Live Set (.als file). However, we can also create .als files by selecting multiple clips from session view and dragging them to the browser. Once saved, they can be retrieved just as we would retrieve an mp3 file.
Why use .als files and not just mp3’s?
1. It’s easy to do. Just drag the clips to your browser.
2. I control when the track moves to the next section. Eg: i can fire two clips at the same time DeckA moving into the main rif and DeckB moving into Outro. Gets around the problem of intro’s that are too long or short.
3. Some tracks I might have a loop which I can play over another track until I am ready to bring the track in eg: Vox snippet of FX noise
4. Never have to fiddle with the clip envelope whilst playing (eg: turning loops on/off)
5. Have options as to how you bring a track in 1) loop a breakdown or 2) standard beats intro
6. Loop and extend a breakdown whilst you bring another vox loop from your next track in
7. Nothing to loose. If you dont want to use the .als then just load the mp3 or wav.
Possibilities are endless.
Here’s how you do it….
1. First, Set your Global quantize to 1 bar. (near the transport bar at the top of the screen)
2. Load an mp3 into Live
3. Set the quantize setting on your mp3 to Global. (see the clip envelope.)
4. Right click on the file and select duplicate. You should see a copy of your mp3 in the next slot down
5. Go back to the first clip and Loop some intro beats say 1st 8 bars
6. Go to the second clip. Move the start marker to the 1st beat of a bar where the track gets interesting
7. Set the loop markers for a point towards the end of the track that has a little rif that you might play over your next track
8. Right click on that file and select duplicate
9. Make the start point at the end of the last clip and set loop markers right near the end of a track with just beats
10. Highlight all 3 clips. Drag and drop them into your browser where you keep the mp3. Save it as the same name
11. Now drag and drop it into Live as you would your mp3
There you have it. You now have:
Intro beats Clip
Main Track to Loop near end
Highlight the first clip and press enter
Arrow down and press enter. At the first beat of the bar your track should move into the main part of the track – seamlessly
When your track reaches the loop at toward the end of the track arrow down and press enter
Your track should now move into the outro.
The possibilities are endless. Just experiment with a few tracks so you get the hang of it and then let your creativity fly.