Many DJs currently use this setting: Traktor + Ableton Live. This can be for several reasons: various effects on what is playing in Traktor, creating live music to mix with Traktor to have more resources, base for Maschine… The possibilities of Ableton Live are infinite, they are limited only by the creativity of each one. But the most important thing is that everything is well synchronized so that in the end everything sounds good.
If you are interested in the equipment that DJs have nowadays, you will have noticed that DJs like Richie Hawtin, Dubfire or Chris Liebing perform their sessions with a couple of computers, one on each side of the table.
On one you have Traktor just as anyone would use it, and on the other computer Ableton Live is running. This can be used for example to be controlled with Maschine to create bases and loops to mix with, a live go, or simply to create effects and loops on what’s playing in Traktor.
If our budget is tight and we can’t afford to have two MacBooks on our table, we can opt for the option of running the two programs on the same computer and synchronizing them thanks to one of the latest features of Traktor that we’ve mentioned before.
The first thing is to get into Traktor’s preferences. Specifically in the MIDI Clock tab, and check the Send MIDI Clock box. This causes Traktor to send the tempo of the clock via MIDI to other MIDI capable applications.
As we’ve done before when using this option, we need to create a new Controller Manager Device from Generic MIDI . In Out-Port we will select Traktor Virtual Output and in In-Port None . For your convenience, if you have more than one device you can change the name of the one we just created.
It is important that no other controller we are using is using all the ports, in other words, the Traktor virtual Output we have selected so that there is no longer a clock overlap to drive Ableton crazy.
Normally hidden underneath effect module 1 is the global section with the master clock of Traktor. There we’ll see and be able to control Traktor’s tempo, which we’ll finally send to Ableton. To start sending the tempo as MIDI after setting up Ableton we have to hit the PLAYPAUSE button on the master clock .
On Ableton Live
The first thing to do is to open Ableton’s preferences, on the MIDI and Sync tab. In the MIDI Ports we will probably have more than one input and output. One of them will be Traktor Virtual Output which is the one we have to activate in Sync by clicking on On.
Now we can synchronize! In the window next to Master Clock we have to hit the button EXT , as it receives the *tempo externally. If Traktor is already sending MIDI, there is a small green light in Ableton next to the EXT button.
There can always be a small delay that depends on various factors, although we can remedy it. To find out if they are synchronized, the easiest way is to activate the metronome in both programs.
If there is a delay we can adjust it in Ableton’s preferences, within MIDI SYNC as before. We deploy the Input from Traktor Virtual Output and adjust the MIDI Clock Sync Delay