What is the best way to organize my music library for DJing with ableton?

what is the best way to organize a music library full of all kinds of house, techno, tech-house etc. for use with ableton?

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physicalpatrick 2 years ago | 2 comments

18 answers

  • Manik
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    1 answer
    15 votes received
    15 votes

    ableton please fix a better sound browser with collors/tags/pictures/

    especialy tags like: bpm, key, style, etc

    this would makes browsing samples/tracks  in ableton much better!

    2 years ago | 1 comment
  • Warrior Bob
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    60 answers
    106 votes received
    4 votes

    It's up to you: pick what works for what you do and what you think is most important. There are lots of valid ways to do this.

    Here's how I do it:

    I put mine into folders by major genre (rock, house, trance, downtempo, whatever) and then inside those, enough subgenres that I won't confuse myself (downtempo has chillout, lounge, misc, etc). These aren't absolute rigid genres, these are just where I would personally think to file a track. The idea is to make me work faster.

    Every subgenre folder gets two subfolders: Audio, and Live Clips. This is so that when I use some Non-Ableton DJ program that doesn't care about Live clips, those files can be easily ignored: just navigate to Genre/Subgenre/Audio/ and get everything in that subgenre.

    The naming convention I use is:tempo-key-artist-trackname. Let's say I've warped up "Hurry Home" by Fever Pitch.

    I'd locate the raw audio like this:

    /<dj music folder>/Downtempo/MiscDowntempo/Audio/118bpm-Em-Fever Pitch-Hurry Home.aiff

    And then any live clips I make go in the Live Clips folder. Here's an example of how I'd name the clip for the full song, warped in its entirety:

    /<dj music folder/Downtempo/MiscDowntempo/Live Clips/118bpm-Em-Fever Pitch-Hurry Home.alc

    Any other clips (separate chorus/verse clips maybe?) go in the same folder.

    The advantage to this is that I can load up the Live Clips folder in the Live browser, and get a list of all clips I have to work with in that genre sorted by tempo, and then by key - no accidentally dragging in the raw audio when what I wanted was a clip with the warp markers where I want them. I've found this to be the fastest way for me to work when building up a set of clips in Live.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • JoshMock
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    1 answer
    4 votes received
    4 votes

    I use Rapid Evolution 3.

    When you import songs, it scans them for tempo and key (think Mixed In Key, but often more accurate) and allows you to organize songs in playlists and genre tags.

    When you double-click on a song, it tells you what other songs in your library have similar tempos and compatible keys.

    You can drag and drop songs from RE3 right into a scene in Live, so they work together fairly well.

    Best of all, it's free.

    http://www.mixshare.com/re3preview.html

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • Amitsegall
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    15 answers
    20 votes received
    3 votes

    it might be easier than you think :)

    just open another app like iTunes ect...(where you can easily filter by genre,artist and so on...) and drag and drop inside live... 

    i won't recommend doing it live though, you should build your live dj set before hand.

    hope that helps you !

     

    2 years ago | 3 comments
  • Bayley
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    1 answer
    3 votes received
    3 votes

     

    Speaking from a mac users perspective it would be so much better if Live would recognise Smart Folders (which already have the ability to sort tracks according to genre/BPM/Key based on their ID3 tags, so you don't even have to muck up the file names)
     
    Also integration with Mixed In Key would be really useful or some kind of harmonic mixing/colour coded system. Something that I have outlined here http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=162470&p=1346040#p1346040
     
    Whether Ableton want to code their own solutions into the software or just provide greater compatibility/integration with the OS, either is better than currently having neither.
     
    Ableton is awesome, but can be even better!
    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • TravisMc
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    1 answer
    2 votes received
    2 votes

    At the top level I have folders based on mood/vibe - Banging / Cruise / Minimal, then within each I have a folder for 4/4 and breaks, and within those folders by musical key. 

     

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • Razzkazz
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    2 answers
    4 votes received
    2 votes

    I use 2 methods depending on requirements (neither ideal)

    1.

    I warp tracks, save the warping, then drag the file from itunes into pre-made folders grouped in 10bpm distances, eg 90-99, 100-109, etc.  Then within those folders I split them into genres. Dragging from itunes in this way copies the files in their original format, along with the analysis file.  This way it auditions immediately when you click on it in Lives browser.  If you just dragged it from a track in Live into the browser folder it would reference it as an ".alc" file, requiring you to press "enter" or "end arrow" to audition it. 

    2.

    I drag the files in from itunes, not ideal but heres what I do. Change the size of the itunes vertical size to be as small as possible then position it at the bottom of the screen.  I then use "Apple+tab" to switch between Live and itunes (itunes is just a bit taller than the Live devices window height).  I go into my OSX audio preferences and set the audio system out to be the same as the cue output in Live, that way I can audition tracks while monitoring Live's main out separately and still audition in Live as well.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • chaircrusher
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    5 answers
    18 votes received
    1 vote

    I've been lobbying for an alternate browser view that you can sort on metadata -- ID3 tags or FLAC/OGG VORBIS/WAV metadata.  Then you could sort by genre or artists.

    I don't really sort or organize my track assets very well; for DJ'ing I have sets with anywhere from 30-200 tracks preloaded as clips, and I use the scene names to identify the tracks.

    I've done the drag & drop from itunes but that won't really fly when i play out, because I only have a single laptop screen.

    I've also thought about using PyQt to write a GUI program that just displays tracks, sortable on different ID3 tag fields, and allows drag & drop.  Haven't done it yet because I write code all day, and when I'm at home I want to make music.  But everything you need except the ID3 library is right there in PyQT -- table views, the ability to generate a SQL database of tracks, & drag & drop.  Theoretically you could connect PyQT directly into Live with Python, but I think after an initial burst of enthusiasm about exposing the Live Python interface, people didn't really run with it.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • schnoidl
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    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    one possibility is to create projects, with session tracks labelled by sub/genre or whichever, and use those as a sort of browser. one advantage of that is that the clip names can be fairly long, and if you use aliases, you can give the clip names tags in one track that are different than they would be in another track.

    for me, my techno folders are further broken up by energy/etc.: 
    bridge: for taking the energy down a bit
    builder: for bringing it gradually up again
    glitch: spazzy stuff
    groove: funkier lush stuff
    hard: the peaktime missiles
    misc: whah'evah
    poly: stuff with polyrhythmic/non-4/4 lines
    static/fx: raging textures and craziness
    steady: solid energy, but not too killer
    stomp: heavy 4/4 bases
    tribal: power drums

    I also use "camel case" for all my tracks: no spaces, only underscores, and the first letter of each word is capitalized, and usually only the first initial of the producer: FormOfFormless_VEnzinger_129.wav

    but yeah, i wish the browser had a much richer tagging function.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • ArcRunner
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    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    organize files on the HDD however you like;

    i tend to go with the mixed in key standard <filename><key><bpm>
    inside either a dated or genre named folder. (eg. /2011-11 or /electro )

    Then load the files into an ableton set, and sort the clips by key/bpm.

    You can drag clips from this set into whatever set you're currently performing in. They tend to load faster than loading from the HDD.

    Also, you can search by key/bpm by looking at the Set on say the 1 or 2 tab, and search alphabetically on say the 3 tab by looking at the HDD.

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • autozone
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    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    I end up making my playlist in itunes --> copy it to a playlist in Traktor to find BPMs then screenshot it... then add the playlist folder to my browser. Open up the screenshot and constantly go back + forth... not integrative, but it's fast and efficient. Would like the BPMs to display in the Ableton browser though... maybe someday???

    5 months ago | 0 comments
  • Mash J Prime
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    1 answer
    1 vote received
    1 vote

    I put all my warped clip files in a single DJ set folder with the actual wav files sitting wherever they may be for normal listening. The clips files are named bpm-key-artist-trackname-vibes. Then its simply a matter of using live 9's search function to bring up say a selection of 110 funky glitch. Easy :)

    4 months ago | 0 comments
  • romulopierotti
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    1 answer
    0 votes received
    0 votes

    I divide the tracks by month and style..it works for me

     

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • physicalpatrick
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    3 answers
    2 votes received
    0 votes

    Wile we're dreaming tho...i will share with all you codeheads out there my awesome 'perfect scenario' for a music organizer.

    it's VERY SIMPLE and would be effective and i'd like your opinions because with enough support i could present it to the ableton team!

    picture a row across the top with the following buttons "dubstep" "house" "techno" "electro" "peakHR" "dirty" "progressive" "banging" "sexy" "chix-dig-it" "vocal" "afterhours" "delete" etc..

     these buttons are toggles for a "master filiter" which filters your entire library based on this criteria... and you can create whatever buttons are suited to your own style of music.

    every track in your library (in the spreadsheet style view)  would have the same series of buttons which you can toggle on or off.

    When auditioning each track, you select the toggles suited for each track's sytle. "afterhours" "techno" and you could create your own "sketchy" (this would cause a "sketchy" button to be created up in the master filter)

    so if it's real late and you on the decks, to see all of your "sketchy afterhours techno" click on "sketchy" "afterhours" and "techno"  ...boom! your library has now filtered out everything that is not "sketchy afterhours techno"...pretty sweet!

    if you want dirty vocal electro ...click those buttons and your library will only show you those tracks!  AWESOME!!

    to see your entire music library turn all the master filters off.

     

    what do u think?
     

    also do check out my music:

    2 years ago | 2 comments
  • skymakai
    contribution
    10 answers
    7 votes received
    0 votes

    -Run all your tracks through Mixed In Key (http://www.mixedinkey.com), overwright Comments field with Chamelot Key Code and BPM field with tempo

    -Add to your Library and use iTunes (on Mac) or WinAmp (on PC) to tag files, organized by column:

    1) Genre: make up your own if you need to; whatever helps you remember the style

    2) Star Rating: 1-5 by energy level (1 being ambient, 3 being almost danceable, 5 being HOT

    3) Comments: Chamelot Key Code, add comments to describe track...

    Continuing columns of Artist, Album... then Track...

    ...

    Use the columns to organize songs by the comments field, showing all similar Key Codes together.  Select and drag these into Ableton. 

    After they are decoded, you can color the tracks to correspond with the Chamelot Color Wheel.  This makes it extremely easy to see which tracks can be played in harmony.

    ...

    After warping a song, I create 8 clips (good for Novation Launchpads novation.com) of cue points for different parts of the track... I create follow actions so that the first clip will loop... the remainder of the clips will play through, unless I manually re-play them.  The final clip, the Outro, loops indefinately.  I rename the clips to describe the parts, ie. "Intro, Intro + Bass, etc"

    I select and drag these clips into the Ableton Browser, creating a project, which I name by the Key Code, BPM, and Song Title.  example: "6A - 95 - Dean Sparks - Superphatty"

    In the Ableton Browser, there are 3 folders.  I map these to my three DJ Crate folders.  These are the 'MASTER, 'HOT', and 'VIP'.  Within these folders are more folders for Genres.

    This way, I can use Ableton's native browser for my crates, have multiple cue points for looping, and have the clips be colored for easy harmonic mixing... lots of fun!


     

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • login
    contribution
    5 answers
    4 votes received
    -1 votes

    IMHO ABleton Lives needs a more dj oriented browser for this end. Also a tipical dj 3 band eq.

    2 years ago | 1 comment
  • DIS_MSFT
    contribution
    1 answer
    -1 votes received
    -1 votes

    If Ableton could read id3 tags, organization of a dj library would be much easier. 

    2 years ago | 0 comments
  • lloydforth
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    1 answer
    -16 votes received
    -16 votes

    get traktor

    2 years ago | 3 comments

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