How to listen to cued tracks through headphones while using a Macbook?


I bought an Akai APC20 with Ableton Lite last week and am having a blast. One problem I do have is I am unable to listen to cued tracks separate from the main audio output, so I cannot manipulate them on the fly (so far, I just trying to use Ableton to DJ). I am running Ableton on a Macbook with only one audio output and one audio input. How can I set up headphones so I can preview upcoming tracks before I play them through the mains?


dankodyssey 6 years ago | 0 comments

5 answers

  • kruegersc4
    1 answer
    6 votes received
    6 votes

    Actually, there is a way to use your Macbook's headphone jack to cue. Search for 'audio midi setup' on your computer. With this, you can create an 'aggregate device' that combines your interface and the built-in output. Ableton should see this new device with the two additional outputs. Note that I have to restart Ableton after configuring the cueing to get it to work.

    5 years ago | 0 comments
  • g dup
    1 answer
    5 votes received
    5 votes

    Ok, this is for p/c not mac but very similar.  I'm using ableton 9, push controller , and apc 40 controller. (dream setup) 

    I wanted to post this because I couldn't find a good answer on the web.  After searching for hours, reading all the manuals and watching tutorials for hours, and finding no specific answers... I found a way of doing exactly what you're also wanting to do.  First off you will need an audio interface, this is a must if you've made it this far, so I will assume everyone has one.

    First things first, you must correctly route the audio to your headphones through your ableton program.  I had no problem with this as there are many great tutorials about this on the web. I had to followed the instructions as everyone else says in the tutorials and youtube videos but i will repeat what they say and include/add one final step*

    1. Go to options, then preferences, then audio, in my case usb for the scarlett  turn 1/2 3/4 input and output on in the output input configuration...

    2. press I/O button to turn on cue function on live dashboard...

    3.set master out to 1/2...

    4. set cue to 3/4

    This is as far as most ableton tutorials and youtube videos go, but here is the last necessary step.  Up to this point, you have routed the headphones to 3/4 but must now change the A/I (audio interface) to send the 3/4 signal to the headphones.

    *  5.  in preferences menu click the hardware setup this pulls up the mixers dashboard menu (in my case the "scarlett mix control") now, find the headphone symbol or headphone slot and switch the headphone routing, there should be a drop down tab or menu.  For the L headphone change to (DAW3) and for R headphone change to (DAW4). Either way is fine L(DAW4) - R(DAW3).       

    Because without this last step, your audio "is" correctly sent to the headphones in ableton, but "is not" being routed to the correct channel in the audio interface. 


    2 years ago | 1 comment
  • scottiedo
    72 answers
    69 votes received
    2 votes

    Get an audio interface with more than 1 stereo output. It will solve this problem, give you better D/A conversion quality and take some strain off your CPU.

    6 years ago | 0 comments
  • RobertX
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    If your only audio output device is the Mac's headphone jack, you can't preview tracks separate from the main output, because the headphone jack *is* the main output. You have to have a second stereo output, either via PC Card slot, firewire, or USB.

    6 years ago | 1 comment
  • karstenisgerman
    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    you can set master output to 1 and cue to 2, then you are approximating master v. cue in L and R of headphones but obviously your hearing everything in dual mono now instead of dual stereo (ie master stereo, and cue stereo)

    6 years ago | 0 comments

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