Way to ask how Christian Vance how he does this specifically?

There is this video from Producertech on YouTube Christian Vance - Full Length Interview - YouTube where Christian goes into how he plays live using his material in Ableton. He does give some details in the video @ 11:00 that he uses audio clips specifically and has just one single soft synth that has certain parameters mapped to his launchcontrol along with sends to his FX returns as he does in the tutorials he has here on SA. But I have questions about this process of his and I’m wondering if there is some way for me to get in contact with him or if he is going to produce another tutorial for SA to have him go into the details of how he performs live. I know nothing of DJing but I know they can use stems and perhaps the way they use fx is similar to what Christian is doing here? Any insight or resources that might point me in the right direction here would be so useful because I’m really trying to figure this out! Thanks.

Hey there @BigBossMFM

Christian has always been very active here on the forums and providing a lot of feedback & insights to the community on all courses he has done for S.A, you might just ask him on the forums on one of his tutorial’s discussion thread.

Tagging him here as well so that he will see your question & interest.

Cheers !


FYI : @cvance :wink:

thanks for the tag @Tekalight. Hi @BigBossMFM !!

Please tag me here and ask some really precise questions. Dot point format would be great so we can cut to the chase quickly. I’ll try to answer as promptly as possible.

In the meantime here’s an instagram highlight with a quick snapshot of how ridiculous my Ableton Live setup can get before performing… this was for my H4L project playing live at Distillery in Leipzig a couple of years back.

Map, double map, triple map… control everything :imp:

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Hi @cvance , nice to talk to you man!

I’ve been so hugely inspired by your tutorials and using live performance in session view to shape arrangements for my tracks. My questions revolve around your live performance, I know essentially nothing of DJing so forgive my ignorance if and when that becomes apparent.

Let’s say you have 3-5 original tracks you want to play together in a short live set

How would you set up to play in the session view? Specifically…

-In the video I quoted, you said you use audio clips and then usually one soft synth.
- What kinds of clips populate those audio tracks, are they divided into elements like Kick / Sub Bass / Mid Bass / Arp / Lead / Pads etc… ?

-How does the soft synth come into play here, do you have it set up to change patches during the performance depending on what track you are playing?

-What parameters of the soft synth do you have mapped to your launch control specifically? And…

What are the most common parameters you map to your launch control, I can see you have the delay, reverb and distortion returns set up like in all your tutorials…
-Do you have individual sends from specific tracks to your returns mapped or are you just sending the master to them as a blanket effect?

I ask this because I have tried to emulate what I’ve seen you do in that video to ‘perform’ a track in session view as it records into arrangement and what I find is it becomes very easy to get lost as to which knob sends what to what, if you catch my drift.

How do you standardize the layout of your mappings on your launch control so you know what knob controls what?

Let’s say you had a part that has opening and closing of a filter cutoff throughout a track, how would you set that up to perform? Are you going to bake that track to audio and just have it play or do you bake a short audio clip and then use something like auto-filter or similar to recreate the opening and closing of a filter envelope?

I have a feeling I should probably learn how to DJ and that answer some of my questions but I have no DJ equipment and only Ableton Live, so I wouldn’t know where to start or how to translate a beginner DJ tutorial into working in Ableton.

I likely have a million more questions but that is my best attempt to articulate what stands out to me the most! Thanks for the taking the time to answer……

Oh and… You mentioned an instagram highlight, I think you forgot to post the link, I’d love to see it and glean what I can, thanks so much.

Aside from any feedback from Christian himself, maybe those tutorials can be useful. They are older courses but still can be helpful to learn some basics about Djing with Live IMHO.

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Thank you @Tekalight, I’ll check them out!

@BigBossMFM >> https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17907930322248937/

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In response:

-In the video I quoted, you said you use audio clips and then usually one soft synth.

  • What kinds of clips populate those audio tracks, are they divided into elements like Kick / Sub Bass / Mid Bass / Arp / Lead / Pads etc… ?

It really depends on HOW you want to perform your music. The basic way to order it, for me, is to ask the question. What can I effect/modulate/f#-with in my music? Example: The Kick is usually pretty static for most forms of dance music. Save CPU/RAM etc and make it a small audio clip. You don’t need to “play live” with it. Much. For other drums perhaps you want to switch audio clips yourself with drum fills etc. Always keep it as simple as possible with the best possible outcome for diversity, versatility. The smartest compromise.
For gigs where it is hard to bring in my own hardware and I need to only play from Ableton… I either use 1 X whizzbang synth like ANA 2 and/or multiple tracks and instances of low cpu native synths or my fave (Synth1).

-How does the soft synth come into play here, do you have it set up to change patches during the performance depending on what track you are playing?

Change the patch on the fly sometimes, run multiple instances other times. Depends on the result you want. More time twiddling or more time searching etc. It is always a matter of compromise to suit the level of improvisation you want.

-What parameters of the soft synth do you have mapped to your launch control specifically? And…

What are the most common parameters you map to your launch control, I can see you have the delay, reverb and distortion returns set up like in all your tutorials…
-Do you have individual sends from specific tracks to your returns mapped or are you just sending the master to them as a blanket effect?

The basics… freq cutoff for example. OR make nice controls for yourself on lfo, modulation stuff etc. The trick is, what mapping makes the most impact. How do I want to melt people’s minds? Subtlety can get lost with heaving music on big sound systems. Always remember to dial in your max and min digits on all parameters so you don’t blow up those sound systems. I keep master FX and individual track FX separate on my midi controller for obvious reasons. Fat EQ notch sweeps can work great on synths when playing live… big psychedelic, sucking filter sweeps. They work a treat. Delays etc on return are great… control multiple parameters with one pot/dial/knob.

How do you standardize the layout of your mappings on your launch control so you know what knob controls what?

It’s personal! What works for you. Be pragmatic, be diligent, don’t be lazy! hahaha

Let’s say you had a part that has opening and closing of a filter cutoff throughout a track, how would you set that up to perform? Are you going to bake that track to audio and just have it play or do you bake a short audio clip and then use something like auto-filter or similar to recreate the opening and closing of a filter envelope?

I record it as audio if you don’t want to hammer your CPU. BUT… I record several versions of it with the filter fully open. 16 bars for example. Then I set up personal EQ preferences (Autofilter with OSR and Morph can yield wonderful results), EQ8 of course too… A little resonance to help it sing and cut through a mix when playing live. Launch those clips and then go hell for leather with your personal settings all mapped to the midi controller. The possibilities then become endless and you can really play a simple track live for many minutes to a dancefloor… with absolutely ZERO song structure.

Happy Music Making!

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Thanks a lot @cvance I’ll take all that and work on it for a few months and see where it goes!

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