Preparing a live set on the Digitone

The next month I’m playing my first live set ever, I need to come up with 30 minutes of music and I have less than 15 so far. Here’s my first rehearsal, please give me some constructive feedback and tell me your best Digitone live set tips :smiley:

EDIT: So far I’m using 3 patterns: The one in 00:00 I consider it ready, 07:41 needs some work, 15:11 needs a lot of work.

Now I have 8 patterns, but the recording failed around 27:00, still making mistakes with the mutes, for example I completely screwed it up around 24:27 so I hope to improve by Friday :sweat_smile:

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New rehearsal, now I don’t screw up the mutes but sometimes I stay too much in a pattern or change the original sound too much and it gets had to come back smoothly. I’m playing tomorrow so wish me luck :D.

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Hah, nice to see how certain patterns developed here in the different rehearsal versions.
Will you be recording the live set tomorrow? Good vibes for your gig!

Every time I’ve tried different things to keep the patterns moving, probably it will be completely different tomorrow :smiley:

We will try to record all live sets tomorrow, I’ll publish as soon as I can. Thanks for the good vibes!

EDIT: fixed typo.

Good Luck !! :slight_smile:
What’s the place ? Club, pub ?

At the office, we have DJ sets from our coworkers pretty often and “club nights” from every now and then. This time we have a mini event where we will present 5 live sets.

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For what company are you working from ?

Well, you will not perform in an hostile area :slight_smile:

Good job mate, sounds nice overall! Really good development across the 3 iterations of the liveset.

Some small tweaks, to keep the feedback simple:

  1. I’m lacking a bit of low end. The kick volume could perhaps be increased as you have a qutie busy high-end spectrum. Or just decrease the high-end and upper midrange. It’s about that balance.
  2. I’m missing a bit of groove in terms of bass, maybe add some toms or conditional kick trigs to syncopate. It’s a bit too “straight 4/4”. The bass has more presence and interesting rhythm in the 3rd liveset however. 11:30 and onward is a cool part.
  3. The reoccurring hat / white noise as in 3:50, you could add some reverb to open up the sound and soften it a little bit. Perhaps I’d try to add a slow LFO controlling decay time, so it goes from shorter to longer hits. Could create some subtle tension. Here the trigs are placed in an interesting way, not the typical hi-hat pattern.
  4. 18:30, here i’d play with the cutoff of the prominent bass / lead. Open it up with high resonance on the filter and close it.
  5. 21:00, i’d add some bursts of delay or reverb on the open hat here and there, to create tension.
  6. 25:30 around this area, super cool beat. I think it sounds the most “complete” of all segments of your set. from 26:00 in the breakdown, open up the bass arp with some filters too, create some drama. I’d also add some kicks here and there on the off beat, say on the 31st and 63rd notes or so depending on how long your pattern is. from 27:00 it is a bit repetitive, but started so well from 25:00. after 27:00, bring back the hat that comes in from 24:00 (the one that is less frequent, not the very repetivive plucking perc sound which comes in at the same time).

Question:

How do you set up your patterns and kits, to create the relatively smooth transitions? I think you did this really well considering you only play with one machie. Is there a pattern which blends two kits, which you use as a transition pattern - or how do you do it?

Good luck tonight! Bring a scotch or brandy with you. You can always blend it with coffee from the office coffee station if you run out of beer during your set - i’d expect ppl to dance and get really thirsty! :rofl:

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For SoundCloud in Berlin.

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Thanks a lot for the detailed feedback, I’m playing tonight but I hope to at least follow part of your advice!

I have 8 patterns in total with 4 extra transition patterns, in the other cases I play with effects or add/remove some percussion for the transition.

Cool.

How do you break it down? Is it sthg like:

Pattern 1: Song 1: Pattern 1
Pattern 2: Song 1: Pattern 2
Pattern 3: Mix: For example, 4 audio tracks from Song 1: Pattern 2, 4 audio tracks from Song 2: Pattern 1
Pattern 4: Song 2: Pattern 1
Pattern 5: Song 2: Pattern 2
Pattern 6: Mix: For example, 4 audio tracks from Song 2: Pattern 2, 4 audio tracks from Song 3: Pattern 1
Pattern 7: Song 3: Pattern 1
… onward

The general structure is:

  • Patterns 1 to 8 are my “songs”. The name of the pattern gives me a clue of what kind of transition, e.g. T-EFFECTS means I need to use effects for the transition, T-NEXT means I have a transition pattern, T-DRUM means I need to do a change in drums to resemble thenext pattern.
  • 4 of the patterns between 9 and 16 are transition patterns that have 2 elements of the current track and 1 element of the next track, for example to transition from pattern 1 to 2 I need to go through pattern 9 first. They usually play for a couple of bars only.
  • I keep the same kick in all patterns and I sound lock in almost all patterns it so I can add extra stuff in there without changing the kick.
  • I’m using pattern mutes so usually patterns start with 1 to 3 tracks.
  • To keep tracks moving I edit some patterns in real time, for example adding extra locks, adding some with random % to locks, changing FM envelopes, AMP envelopes, filter, etc.

The set is something like:

00:00 - 05:32 => Pattern 1
05:32 - 05:45 => Pattern 9 (Transition pattern with the pluck of the next one)
05:45 - 10:07 => Pattern 2 (Here the transition is going crazy with reverb and some filter)
10:07 - 15:12 => Pattern 3
15:12 - 15:42 => Pattern 11 (Transition pattern with half the bassline of the next one)
15:42 - 19:35 => Pattern 4
19:35 - 19:50 => Pattern 12 (Transition pattern with the rimshot of the next one)
19:50 - 23:48 => Pattern 5 (Transition was trying to mimic the rhythm of the intro of the next one, this was probably the worst transition of the set)
23:48 - 28:51 => Pattern 6 (Transition was trying to mimic he rhythm of the intro of the next one)
28:51 - 32:28 => Pattern 7 (Here the transition is going crazy with delay, some filter and probably reverb)
32:28 - 35:42 => Pattern 8 (Transition is going crazy with reverb)
35:42 - 35:50 => Pattern 16 (To finish without the reverb)

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I’ve survived my first live set, it was nice to play in “friendly territory” to reduce the pressure but I was still pretty nervous, it’s completely different to play by yourself than with a band.

We played 4 lives sets for our coworkers in the office café, there wasn’t too much dancing since some was talking / drinking and others were purely listening to us but only moving slightly haha.

Something really fun was the technical differences between the 4 of us:

  • First set was Digitakt + Virus A + Minilogue.
  • Second was Modular skiff sequenced with a Monome.
  • Third was Ableton + MIDI controller.
  • Mine was only Digitone.

As @Reframe mentioned there was a lot of high frequencies, so I had to tame them a little in realtime because I didn’t have time to change my patterns. Other learnings:

  • Bring a stand for the next time, so I don’t need to look down all the time making easier to engage with the audience.
  • It was a great idea to leave everything connected and do soundcheck during lunch so everything was ready for the afternoon.
  • Rehearse more, the more I rehearsed it was more natural to change stuff in realtime. So I’ll keep rehearsing and present the same live set somewhere else if I can. I also need to think about the next one I’ll do in the office, it needs at least 80% new material to keep it interesting.

As soon as I get the recording I’ll publish it.

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I had to chime in to say that I really appreciate your writeups. As someone who would love to do a proper performance for real people at some point, I learn a lot from reading these.

I’m glad it worked out for you and hope to see more of these at some point!

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Well done mate!

Ps your gig summary mentions your set was digitone only, which I’d suspect give the melodic content. Title for the thread says Digitakt?

I’ve updated the thread title, thanks!

Hi Jano, So, where is the final live version ? :slight_smile:

I need to wait for my coworker who recorded the sets to get back from vacation :sweat_smile:
I hope the recording quality is good :crossed_fingers:

My coworker is back from vacation, so here’s the recording. Sadly there’s some clipping. I hope for the next show we can record it better.