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Published on October 13th, 2013 | by Mr No Hands

Ableton Live – Tech Talk With ‘Toronto Is Broken’

I’ve been using Ableton Live as a platform for my productions since about 2010, and I’ve never changed since; it was only natural to use it for my live performances as well. In stead of the standard two or four deck set up, you’re given the flexibility to perform how and you want, essentially given you a blank canvas to work from, even in a live environment.


All the plugins and effects you use in your studio productions can be used as effects for you live show or DJ set, basically allowing you do to whatever you want, on the fly, if you really wanted you could turn morph the latest Rihanna single into a Breakcore Gabba tearout track, live, with the addition of a few controllers and actually learning the software.

Personally I’ve set Ableton’s live performance to work as a giant DJ template. With all my tracks already warped, and organised into genre, ready to be dragged and dropped into three empty channels I use as the traditional A, B and C decks. Even though performances with Ableton Live do take some setting up, I’ve adapted it so I can still mix on the fly, which is the beauty of it all.


I’ve kept the mix channels fairly simple, as it’s easy to over complicate things. All there is on the deck channels are a standard EQ Three plugin, that controls the low, mid and high frequencies, just like on a real mixing desk and those knobs are controlled by the keys on my midi controller. I also have reverb sends set up to help with transitions between tracks, of which the send amount is connected to knobs on my controller, and same with the individual channel volumes. The crossfader is also controller by a slider on the controller too.

Overall I’d recommend using Ableton Live as a performance tool to a bit more experienced producers, not DJ’s that are just starting out. It requires a lot of setting up, the rewards can be worthwhile, and your live shows have to potential to put Deadmau5 to shame.

About Toronto is Broken: 20 year old bass music producer Toronto Is Broken (Christian Hoffmann) from Leicester, is signed to Jay Cunning’s label Sub Slayers. Despite his young age, he’s began to already make waves in the scene, and achieved praise and support from some of the biggest names around such as Paul Oakenfold, Sub Focus, The Crystal Method and Skream & Benga, and Reso, with tracks like “Spirit Song 2012”, “The Metropolis” and “Extraction Point”.

About the Author

Chief of 'Operations' on the LSM ward, Mr No Hands created LSM following three years as a singles reviews editor for Mixmag. He's released tracks on Air Recordings, RocStar and BombStrikes, while picking up plays from The Bassbin Twins, Stanton Warriors, DJ Icey, Mat the Alien, Laurent Garnier and the Plump DJs.

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