STEP 2 – ASSIGNING GROSS BEAT TO TRACK CHANNEL/SEND
The previous section provided detail on how to use Gross Beat “Time Slot” patterns to alter the playback of a waveform from one genre to another. Now we want to apply these patterns to a particular channel of DJ performance software, such as Ableton.
There are a lot of different ways that people set up Ableton for DJing/live performances, so I won’t go into too much detail on how to design your Live set, except for the different places and ways can route your audio to Gross Beat. However, the main thrust is that you are going to have at least one track/clip playing a certain genre and want to mix in at least another track/clip in a different genre. There are several different options.
One method would be to use two channels for mixing, then assign Gross Beat to one dedicated channel where alterations will be performed, while the other channel(s) remain unaltered. For example, the channel with Gross Beat is currently playing the audio of a House track, and you want to mix in a Breaks track on a different channel without Gross Beat. You would be able to activate the House to Breaks pattern through Gross Beat on the currently playing track and then mix in the Breaks track. This option is somewhat limited, because the other channel(s) cannot be altered by Gross Beat, but it does not require complex audio signal routing and complex MIDI mapping.
Here is how to set that up.
- Select “IL Gross Beat” from the Ableton VST plugin menu and drop it into the desired track (e.g., the “Left” channel in the image below).
- Load your Gross Beat preset for changing Genres (click here to download the preset used in this tutorial). In the above image, you’ll notice the preset named “GenreBend” in the Gross Beat device window in the bottom-middle section of the screen. You can also load the preset in the Gross Beat GUI as shown below.
- Recommended: Assign the Time and/or Volume Slots to a range of notes corresponding to a MIDI Controller (see this tutorial for Trigger Finger and this tutorial for MIDI Keyboards and this tutorial for the Novation Launchpad)
- Download the .als file for this DJ Template here.
A second method would involve more than one instance of Gross Beat, such as one instance of Gross Beat for each channel. Drag an instance of Gross Beat into the first channel.Then choose the desired preset for Gross Beat, and copy and paste that instance of Gross Beat to the second channel. Then assign the MIDI controller if you wish. NOTE: If using a MIDI controller, it is suggested that you assign different keys, pads or knobs to have distinct control over each instance of Gross Beat. Download the .als file for this DJ Template here.
A third method would be just to assign the Gross Beat to the Master Channel and not worry about mixing different genres, so that you can perform a “manual” change-up of the currently playing audio. For instance, if you have just mixed out from one track to another in a set and the currently playing track will be playing for a bit of time before you want to mix in another track, you could do some transition effects and change-ups of style “on the fly” to add some variation to your set. Download the .als file for this DJ Template here.
I’m not a routing guru, and there may be ways to utilize the Send and Return Channels in Ableton, but after a couple of hours of experimentation I find the Send and Return channel configuration less than optimal, because the default set up is such that both the original sound and the Gross Beat effect go through to the Master Channel unless you route the audio channel to the Return track. If there is a way that you would think using the Send/Return Channel configuration could work well or better than the three examples above, please feel free to comment and provide some guidance.
You can buy Gross Beat (VST for Windows) at the Image Line shop – present the code HDIBEGH491 and get 10% off (or follow this link to go directly to the Image Line shop with the code already applied).