Why Do I Need a Remix Template? (Part 2)

In Part 1, we discussed the significance of having a remix template.  To summarize, the main reason for making use of a remix template is to invest less time recreating the repetitive technical aspects of a remix, and devote more time being creative.  In Part 2, we’ll examine Ableton’s factory default template and how you can build a brand new template from an current session.

By default when launching Ableton Live, an empty session is made containing an empty audio and midi track, two return channels, along with a master channel.  Like Ableton, virtually all DAWs permit you to get started with a fresh session, though the terminology, track/channel types, as well as other elements will differ.  If you’re creating a remix, you are certainly going to require at a minimum one audio track and a master channel to begin with.  Though I cover remixing in depth in yet another series (stay tuned for my upcoming Smart Remixing tutorial series), I normally begin by importing the original song into an audio track at its original BPM (beats per minute) for warping and manipulating later.  Normally for house music, tracks are brought in at 128 beats per minute, although you might want to raise or lower (“warp”) the session tempo later depending on your project.  For you to listen to the audio track, you usually utilize a master channel for routing audio from the audio track to your system’s internal or external soundcard and subsequently out to your earphones or speaker system.

Once you construct a personalized template, you’ll have the option to save your current settings as the default template when starting Ableton or creating a new set.  To undertake this, access Live’s Preferences, select the File/Folder tab (left side, fourth tab down), and along the top you will see the ‘Save Existing Set as Default’ option.  Simply click 'Save’, confirm 'Overwrite the Template Set’, and your new template is saved.  Based on your DAW, I actually advise leaving the default template alone so your DAW opens up quickly.  As a DJ while playing live, I often times start up Ableton to rapidly warp or edit tracks for direct use in Traktor Scratch Pro.  In this particular scenario, speed, low CPU usage, and minimal hard drive activity is a must.  As you are going to notice, a sizeable, feature-packed template usually requires some time to load and may seriously tax your system.

An awesome technique exists in Ableton should you decide that you really wish to revert back to Ableton’s factory default template.  Merely reopen a new session while holding down the [shift] button, then just follow the directions explained above to 'Save Current Set as Default’.  Notice: As soon you save your new template, your previous template will be deleted.  Understanding this, you may want to save your former template as a session before reverting back to Ableton’s factory default template.  That way, you can simply just reopen any one of your stored sessions and 'Save Current Set as Default’ to save your favorite session as the new default template.

In Part 3, we are going to begin building our remix template by studying the template I currently use to construct a completely new remix.