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16. Live Performance for the Dance Musician

Live Performance

 Acts like Pendulum, London Electricity, Keiretsu and many more have taken Live Dance Music performance to the next level.  They perform Live Drum and Bass with a combination of traditional and modern instruments, live Drummer, Guitar, Brass, Keyboards and Laptop

The options available to the live dance act are becoming more diverse and reliable, which is reassuring especially as the fear of software crash during a live set has deterred many budding musicians.


The basic performance instruments available include..


1) Mixing

Using Vinyl Decks, CD Decks or Electronic Mixing software like Ableton live will enable you to perform a diverse range of music.  You can spice up your mix by mixing your own tunes and remixes to give the crowd a completely original set of tunes.


CD Decks and Ableton Live use “real time” time stretching to drastically speed up or slow down songs without altering the pitch, to give you more options, e.g. slow down a Drum and Bass tune to 140 BPM and mix in with a Hip Hop tune, sped up from 90 BPM.


Ableton take beat matching away from mixing.  The DJ can set start points and Ableton will automatically beat warps music to match the other songs tempo settings, enabling mixing at the touch of a button without any manual adjustment.  This takes a lot of the skill and fun away from mixing, but lets the DJ concentrate on manipulating the sound with real time DSP effects.


2) Live Set

Ableton Live is a very versatile software sequencer / mixer / performance tool.  You can add beats, audio riffs, and any audio samples into a sequencer matrix and trigger them in time to the song.  Ableton is also a VST host so you can play live synthesiser on top of a pre recorded drum pattern.  The flexibility enables you to record audio during a performance, to loop and manipulate it.  A musician can build up 1 layer of a song at a time in from of a live audience.  The possibilities are endless.


3) Live Band

You can integrate Decks, live Sequencing software together with traditional performance instruments such as Drums, Guitar, Brass, and Keyboards to create the ultimate musical experience.  The first 2 options enable you to achieve a solo performance.  Being in a band is a team effort where a lot of dedication and commitment is required.