Ableton Live Music Set with VJing

Hi everybody,

I am very new to the VDMX and VJing.
Working on my live set for an electro rap gig, I would like to have a nice visual background with Vdmx.
I am learning actually all the plugins and the FX possibilities, used to after effects since a long time, I find the soft quiet intuitive and very fun to work with.
My problem is most in the way I should organise my project for a live show.
I will have my set in an Ableton session linked to VDMX, but my ideal goal would be to have a different video sequence and effects for each tracks, in connexion with the univers of the song.
I will be alone on stage, most of the music will be sequences, but I’ll also have some rap and singing parts, so I could quickly lost my control If I have to do all the visual FX in live.
What is for you, the best way I could set a rich video background, with a lot of different sources (movies, animations, drawings, titles…) without having to play in live all the FX, but having a mix between live VJING and already prepared video edits?
many thanks to all for an answer

Hi Carlos,

Maybe someone who knows Ableton could answer this better, but VDMX is pretty versatile for show building. You could have ableton trigger clips in your media bin via Midi or OSC. You could make multiple FX presets for each track and/or pair everything to a midi controller and remix it live anytime. Some other things to check out are the Cue List, LFO, Step Sequencer, Data Looper (under Window> Workspace Manager (command+1)> Plugins> hit the + button and add it.

A good midi controller will go a long way.

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HI ProjectileObjects
many thanks for your quick answer,
My ableton live projet will not have midi files in it but just audio sequences , so I imagine it will not be possible ton connect it with VDMX in Midi and OSC isn’t it?
One question I have, is about the video files I will use during the gig, what is the most simple solution, to have a different groupe of videos played for each tracks, is it for exemple possible to create a dedicated “Page” from the media bin for each song?
one more question, how do you make presets ?
thank you

I think the solution for you is to use MIDI tracks to trigger your video clips. So for example you could try to use the sampler / simpler plugins and trigger them with a dedicated midi track which also triggers VDMX - so it might be needed have certain tracks double or being routed to others (use midi from other track). You need to figure out a system / workflow that suits you best. In the end the only important thing is timing, right?

Hi microFX,
thanks a lot for you answer
yes I am going to explore the possibility of using midi tracks in my Ableton project.
As you say its a question of timing, it will be my first solo show with this configuration ; with music, video and live drawing, so for the beginning gigs I will mostly use audio sequences instead of playing live music, so I can be more focused on VDMX and Live drawing.
So if you advice me using midi, is it because, playing audio tracks (abletonlinked to VDMX) with audio detection plugins such as “audio analysis” will not be a good idea?
what i am searching is a way to program in advance some FX and automation in VDMX and play them during the show, syncronised with the music coming from live.
One more question is about triggering my music with midi tracks in live; my live project is for the moment made of exports of my song stems (bass, synth, drum) that I play at the same time. so if I understand well what you are telling me, you advice me to import those stems into a Simpler for example?

many thanks for all MicroFX

My advice is to try a few things and see what works best for you. I am also trying to do the same thing / getting my head around this - maybe we can collaborate altogether in a new thread about nice workflows that actually work? Trying a few things this week - and you should too - so keep us posted about your advances! I will too.

And about audio analysis: Of course! This is a great way to manipulate FX! Use it!

Regarding presets: This is a super awesome feature of VDMX. Sadly my computer is too slow at the moment - so I can’t recommend them since depending on the complexity of your “scene”/preset the transitions can look a bit flakey (don’t know about super new computers though - so try it out! We now have also MIDI program changes - this could be useful also with Ableton to change presets between songs - but I guess more for hardware synthesizers, drum machines etc.)

Also OSC had a big update in VDMX - could also be a big help for syncing Ableton and VDMX


Yes we get in touch and inform each other about our discovers to get that best set organisation.
I am going to follow tutorials about how setting Presets in VDMX.
like you I am also exposed to the problem of slow computers, that is why I am a bit scared of having Ableton + VDMX running on the same laptop for my live.
I saw that its possible to have 2 laptop connected with Ableton Link. But do they are only syncronised or its also possible to have audio analysis between the 2 laptops?
Thanks and cheers

No, AbletonLink is not transmitting audio. You would need to have a physical audio connection (or use the microphone).


Check out my reply in this other thread… in this case they were talking about using Live and VDMX on different machines, but the same concepts apply if they are both running on the same computer.

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many thank for all those tips David

I am getting familiar with the Cue List principles, and preparing my presets,
I am preparing the VDMX session to have one preset created for each song I will play.
I now would like the preset to be played synchronized the same time of the song that comes from Ableton.
What is the easiest way to do that?
How can I trig my song to each presets I created so when I click play on Ableton the preset starts playing in vdmx
many thanks,