I have a question concerning djing in 2022: I started djing with vinyl as a hobbie, back in 1997, and after some years I left the hobbie. I returned to djing in 2008, at that time one had to choose if to go daw or dawless. Since I like the feel of live performance, I decided to go dawless and started buying dj controllers, starting from a little and cheap one and over the years I ended up with a x1800 and SC5000s. Also, I bought many grooveboxes and external effect equipment to add color to my mixes. This was really fun without a doubt (after that time I had to sell everything and currently I am using standalone devices like Prime4 or Prime GO, which I love).
However, the time goes by, and I always wondered if there is some kind of controller that “writes” all the live performance to a daw (everything: volumes of each song at any time, tempos, eq knob positions, effects, etc…). But it should keep the feel of a live performance, I don’t like to have everything planned, every song to be played, I like to improvise, and I would like to have all my sets “written” in a daw.
In the end, I would like to perform live using controllers (as I do now using any dj hardware), and if at some point I want to modify or correct something in the mix, use the daw to do that.
That’s why I went to Akai force - You can make Your clips in Ableton live, and then export them to Force. So in DAW You create a live set, and then launch it from Force. You can use also internal plugins with your own melodies written in real time, or pre-planned (imported from Ableton).
As for complex sounds and effects - I suggest to bounce them to audio files before exporting to Force, as Force does not have Ableton plugins. To keep the sounds as You like, audio files are best option here.
But then You can sample, You can loop, you can create on the fly, with Ableton link synced with Your prime gear.
I could imagine you can do it with the X1850, likely the X1800 too, but it involves quite a bit of one time preparation…
Audio and midi are 2 separate things that you need to treat differently.
Audio the easier bit - with the USB out from the mixer you can record all 4 stereo lines individually plus the master output.
With midi signals you could store the knobs and fader positions. You would need to teach your DAW first about what the midi signals will do, which is possibly not as easy as you may think.
As the audio won’t record in its original version but the modified by mixer (eg. EQ etc) you can not easily adjust the EQ to modify the audio in a clean way. To get a single audio output from the player before it goes into the mixer would help in that case. All has got its downsides though
Yeah that was the basic idea I guess… Sad that the bridge didn’t evolve properly.
I want something similar to this but with exactly the opposite direction: I want to perform a live dj set (completely improvised), and after that, somehow get everything written to the daw. Your approach implies preparation of the set, planning the sounds and songs of the set and then launching it from the force, which is also fun but I want it the other direction
Many thanks to you all for your answers, my conclusion is that the methodology that I am looking for still doesn’t exist, or if it exists, it’s not easy at all. I will continue with my standalone dawless setup and in 2032 I will ask the same question again
I have a Mackie D.2pro that allows me to record multitrack to a daw even while using dvs. The only mixer I know available now to do this looks to be the djm s11 from pioneer and maybe (because I can’t find a block diagram to confirm this) the Rate 72.
It works like this.
First set up your gear how you wish to use it. Open your daw and assign the appropriate outputs from the mixer’s sound card. The appropriate usb outputs are post eq for each channel. This way you can record almost everything you do on each channel on a separate track in your daw. You can record knob, buttons and fader movements as automation in you daw. You can also record the mic and master out all of it at the same time.
This route is expensive and has some limits though (for the s11). But the mechanism exists.
According to Your description, this can be done also with X1600/X1700/X1800/X1850, Xone 96, Pioneer DJM900nxs/nxs2, DJM850, Mackie D4, Ecler EVO4/5, Korg Zero 4 and many others…
As they all send separate channels to the computer and receive as well.
Only the problematic part will be assigning the knobs and faders via midi to the proper functions to record automations… Maybe not problematic, but time taking in general. It’s a lot of work.
You can’t use your dj software and multitrack record at the same time with those mixers.
I stated this
The hardware required needs to have at least 2 dedicated usb sends per channel strip. My D.2pro has 2 dedicated per channel plus a 3rd selectable one. Look at the block diagram for the djm s11 and you will see multiple usb sends per channel strip and returns also.
I think the xone 23c might be able to do it just because you can switch where on the channel strip you want to send usb audio.
I’m still trying to find a block diagram or sound card routing scheme for the rane 72.
If you are using standalone single media players then any dvs capable mixer will do but you can’t record your eqing and other things. It’s good to pull audio post eq if your hardware allows it
Thanks to all for the answers. As far as I understood, It can be possible, but is difficult and using very specific hardware. One of things that I value most is portability (that’s the reason that I own a Prime GO), I am not open to sacrifice portability to get this feature. However, I think this would be such a great feature to have!!