Discussion: sampling live, beatmasher

BourseWillis Member Posts: 4 Newcomer

Hey folks,

My setup: mainly X1 + Z1, Traktor pro 3. Using an Ableton push 2 on the side too and a few other midi controllers when I want to experiment.

One thing I started liking a lot is the "beatmasher" FX as a sampler, let's say:

  • track 1 is playing
  • track 2 in cue

I want to repeat a small sample of track 2, like a piano note or whatever. Beatmasher is perfect for these purposes: I can put up the volume of track 2 exactly when the note plays, than kill the volume, and replay the single note infinitely with Beatmasher (and in the meantime I can do whatever I want with track 2), which is super convenient.

This is very versatile, but I've got several problems in this setup (given my current hardware at least):

  • I can't "pre-record" my beatmasher sample without playing it aloud. There is a small trick I found here (use 2 beatmasher FXs, the first one without any sound, then record the new sound on the 2nd beatmasher... feel the pain)
  • how can I pre-hear FXs in cue ? I really need to hear whatever FX I add before sampling
  • it's super hard to bring back track 2 because it's now "either the beatmasher sample either track 2".

I managed to fix a bunch these problems with hacks like using Ableton Live + Blackhole in parallel etc., but gosh the sound delay and the risk of bugs is so high...

Starting to think that investing into extra hardware could be relevant, but not sure what's best. Also I like how lightweight my current setup is.

Or maybe I'm missing something more simple to use, like Loop recorder which does some pretty decent layering.

Would love your suggestions !


  • Sûlherokhh
    Sûlherokhh Member Posts: 1,273 Expert

    You can hear the FX in cue if the FX Unit is set to Insert and not Post-Fader. Incidentally this makes it possible to feed sound to the FX Unit without having the deck's fader at max.

  • BourseWillis
    BourseWillis Member Posts: 4 Newcomer

    Thanks for the FX Insert reminder. Was using Post-fader to keep delay effects post lowering faders but I don't think it's worth it compared to hearing the FX, will experiment again.

  • Sûlherokhh
    Sûlherokhh Member Posts: 1,273 Expert
    edited May 2022

    That's why i keep FX with a potentially long tail (Delay/Echo) on one Post-Fader FX unit (usually Unit 4 so it sits at the end of the chain) and all other FX on Insert. Using Insert also makes managing the levels a bit easier since the signals are added a differently.

    It still bothers me that the RemixSlot FX assignments can't be listened to via the slot cue monitor.

  • zephry
    zephry Member Posts: 431 Pro

    A bit off your topic.

    I found that I like Beatslicer in single mode better for capturing the sample and also drum rolls. Use knob 3 to increase or decrease size much smoother than Beatmasher. Here is a picture of the parameters.

    As for the loop recorder, I always forget it is playing so I only use it for preparation and making Remix Sets.

    For hardware the Djtechtools Twister is amazing for a versatile controller.

  • BourseWillis
    BourseWillis Member Posts: 4 Newcomer

    Thanks for the ref @zephry , I'll give it a shot

    Sûlherokhh I ended up doing the exact same: one insert and one post-fader.

    My trick with the 2 beatmashers only works when I use the beatmashers post-fader.

    Still experimenting a lot with my setup, I hesitate so much between a lot of pre-recorded loops/one-shots (in which case I'd probably bias towards using Ableton on the side, thinking live sets Swayzak-style), or the spontaneous "sample the exact thing live", which is harder but so much potential

    Ordered an S4, let's see how this goes. Maybe the jogwheel can help extract with high accuracy, which is really the painful part about sampling with Traktor's remix decks IMO: the slightest extra noise will kill you. And if you want a pattern 4 beats out of 8, but you record only 4 beats, annoying to fix in Traktor (at least, I don't master it enough yet)

  • Sûlherokhh
    Sûlherokhh Member Posts: 1,273 Expert

    The sampling goes a lot smoother when i plug in an F1. I'm talking about adjusting the sample's length, gain, pitch and beatgrid as well as trigger point. With a bit of practice doing this on the fly stops being a flowstopper. I just unpacked mine again and had a lot of fun chopping a track into playable pieces.

    And it still bothers me i can't prelisten individual slotFX, now more so than before. It should not be so hard to place the monitor tap between slot fader and FX in the signal chain rather than before both. I wonder if this was just an oversight.

  • BourseWillis
    BourseWillis Member Posts: 4 Newcomer

    Will wonder about F1 one of these days, I don't wanna overgear, I can also custom-map my Push 2 for sampling

    Wish the D1 was still a thing (back then I think we could buy S8 in separate pieces, like what Carl Kox is using)

    At some point I really wonder about sampling externally with Ableton, the Push 2 is natively a beast. The annoying part is seemlessly sampling from a single Traktor track to Ableton. I guess a solution could be to have a dedicated deck whose output is re-routed to Ableton for recording purposes. It's easy enough to load a live track on an extra deck when needed, because Traktor makes it start at the live position.

  • Sûlherokhh
    Sûlherokhh Member Posts: 1,273 Expert

    You can't go wrong with the F1. I have spent countless joyful hours messing with custom mappings and playing with the end results. For some reason (I'm looking at you, N.I. managment) S4/S8/S5/D2 qml doesn't let you control sample length/grid/trigger point/punch mode nor prelisten samples. And grid very fine adjustment is even F1-only, even Traktor software doesn't let you do it with a mouse.

    So, i have my gripes with all the inconsistencies mentioned. It's not perfect. But you can get one cheap (less than €130 second hand), it's lightweight and small, awesome visual and tactile design, super useful. If you can get one of those metal stands/protectors second hand somewhere... well, i'm so happy i got two of them after searching long and hard.

    Man, this looks like i got paid doing N.I. advertisement! 😝 Shoot me.

    The most awesome mappings for this device can be found here: [DJ Tech Tools Mappings]

    The super useful Tekken FX mapping is an obvious pick and you can customize the FX settings with a bit of fiddling to exactly your liking; and there is tons of other mappings for every need. Stevan recently did an advanced sequencer mapping you could try.

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