Ableton vs Traktor – For the Digital DJ (Introduction)

Jul 31 • Editorials • 5123 Views • No Comments on Ableton vs Traktor – For the Digital DJ (Introduction)

This is one of the most common questions that we receive and seems to be an area of much debate and misinformation. This article will address this question in detail and as part of the process, will debunk some common myths and misconceptions such as:

– Traktor is better than Ableton Live or vice versa
– You cant play RnB and Hip Hop on Traktor
– Traktor and Ableton Live are only for Electronic Musicians
– and many more myths of this nature.

Even though Ableton Live is a full blown DAW with extensive Audio and MIDI capabilities, for this topic we are only featuring and comparing its features that are relevant to the digital dj. So please do not treat this as an extensive cover of Ableton Live.

Also, lets get this straight, right from the beginning… while these two programs can accomplish similar results in different ways, they are two very different programs with different goals and different feature sets, so there isnt a clear winner here, it all comes down to what you want to do. We’ll be discussing each of their strengths and weaknesses with respect to DJ’ing, allowing you to decide which works best for your style.

Before I get into discussing the topic on hand, I thought I’ll do a quick technical discography (so to speak) of myself for people that don’t know who I am, and to highlight my experience with these 2 products.

I started my DJ’ing in 2000 on the regular CD players/mixer setup and then in 2004 I moved to Ableton Live as I wanted to do more with my performances and sets. This transition was easier for me back then because I came from the studio background as I was producing and engineering tracks, long before I got into DJ’ing. From 2004 to 2009 I performed on Ableton Live using a bunch of different Midi controllers and tools (more on this later) and for the last couple years I have been using Traktor Pro for my DJ sets. So suffice to say, I have spent a considerable amount of time with both the platforms, in the studio and on stage to know all their capabilities in detail.

There is a lot to cover in this topic and for the sake of clarity (and our sanity!) we’ll split this article in 3 parts, so the contents will be something like this:

Part 1: Introduction to the platforms and what they were designed and built for
Part 2: In depth look at their feature sets for Dj’ing and the possibilities on offer
Part 3: Performing with them and the tools required (MIDI Controllers, Sound Cards, etc)

– By Tanseer

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