VINKALMANN’s Guide to Using the Echo Indigo DJ With Ableton Live

(Ver 1 03/29/07)

Introduction Luckily for us there’s a wide variety of sound card options to choose from to use with audio programs like Ableton Live. They all have their strengths be it cost or number of outputs. The Echo Indigo DJ is an excellent value, has great sound quality, and comes in a compact form and doesn’t require an external power supply. This guide focuses on setting up the Echo Indigo DJ for use with Ableton Live. We’ll cover installing the drivers, setting up the Echo Console, and setting the card up in Ableton to cue as well as outputting audio to multiple channel inputs in a traditional DJ mixer. This guide is geared towards PC users, but the same concepts apply for Mac users. While this guide focuses on the Echo Indigo DJ, the Ableton section on cueing and routing applies to all sound cards. Driver and Hardware Installation Your new card comes with an installation CD, but I would recommend going to the Echo Audio site to get the most current drivers. This is especially important for Vista users as they’re making updates to the drivers on a very frequent schedule. The drivers can be downloaded on the Echo Audio Support Page. Before proceeding, make sure that your card is not plugged in. Launch the executable file that you downloaded. Hit install and let the installer do its thing. 1

If you get a warning that the drivers are unsigned. install them. go ahead and plug the card into the PCMIA slot of your laptop. you get the satisfaction of seeing the blue LED light up (don’t worry if it doesn’t light right away.Once the drivers have been installed. XP will recognize the card and will ask you to search for drivers. don’t worry. Choose to have the drivers found automatically. On Vista you don’t need to do anything else. it takes a few seconds). or 2 . On Windows XP you’ll need to do an additional step. www. When you plug the card in. After the card is inserted. Hopefully you didn’t confuse an Express Card slot with a PCMIA when purchasing the card.vinkalmann.

com 3 . 3 Since we’re only interested in channel 3 and 4.Echo Console Setup While the Echo Indigo DJ only has two sets of stereo outputs (4 channels). Make sure that the mute controls for channels 1 and 2 are not clicked. Open the Echo Console (Programs=>Echo Digital Console=>Console 3=>Show all console windows). Now hit the “A 3-4” button so we can do the settings for channel 3 and 4. 1 3 2 5 4 To start out we want to deal with channels 1 and 2. Seems like most people get started www. this isn’t necessary.1 We only want channels 1 and 2 output from Ableton to be output through the card. For Ableton use. Let’s confirm that the console is setup correctly. you can actually use 8 channels in audio programs and then mix those channels down to 4 channels. Start by making sure that the “A 1-2” button is clicked in.vinkalmann.5 That’s it! Don’t be surprised if it was already set up when you launched the console.4 For all channels make sure that the output level slider is all the way up. make sure all other channels are muted.2 Confirm that the mutes for channels 3 through 8 are clicked. 4 . but some have different settings which aren’t compatible with cueing.out without having to do this.vinkalmann.

Set the “Driver Type” drop-down to “ASIO” and the “Audio Device” device to “ASIO Echo PCI”. Click the “Input Config” button to bring up the input setup 5 . Then click on the “Audio Tab”. www.vinkalmann.Ableton Live Soundcard Setup Start by launching Live and select “Options” then “Preferences”.

if the sample buffer is set at 512 samples and you aren’t hearing anything. come back to the “Hardware Setup” screen and increase the buffer size. raise the sample buffer size higher. Hit the “Hardware Setup” 6 . Hit ok get back to the preferences page. If there are inputs active. This is a good way to conserve system resources. or drop-outs in the sound.The Indigo DJ doesn’t have any inputs so there’s no need to have any inputs active. pay attention to whether you are getting clicks. try lowering it. Hit “OK” and then hit the “Output Config” button. If you are. Here we want to have “1/2 (stereo) and ¾(stereo) active. Set the buffer size to 512 samples. Also note that a www. When you ultimately have finished setting the soundcard up and you’re playing tracks. If you continue to hear the artifacts in the sound. This setting should cover most systems. In the same way. Lower it until you do hear problems and then raise it one step higher.vinkalmann. Note that taxing the system with a lot of effects and tracks will require a higher sample buffer size than if the system was only running two tracks. “1/2” is likely active already so hit the “3/4” button. pops. Ableton allocates resources even though the inputs aren’t technically being used.

The second track in the picture below is outputting to the cue. If it does click it so it turns to “cue”.slower computer will likely need buffer size than a faster machine.2 It probably doesn’t need an explanation. but not the master. 7 . Click the “I-O” (input-output) button and you’ll be in business. If you’ve gotten to this point and you can’t even find anything in the picture about.3 You can change the volume of cue output by using your mouse. That’s because the cue www. Set the cue out to “1/2” and the master out to “3/4”.1 It may say “solo”. All you need to know now is how to cue. or even better map a midi controller knob to the cue volume control. There are two drop-downs for “cue” out and “master out”. 2 1 3 Hit the button that says “cue” so it turns blue. you’re almost done. but you also have your cue level control here.vinkalmann. Take a look in the lower right of the screen. a higher Close all the preferences windows to get back to the main Ableton screen.

The speaker switch is turned on. You hit the cue button on the first track and the cue on the second track turns off. but the cue switch is turned off. Hit the other cue button and you’ll notice one of Ableton’s quirks in the cueing department. on the other 8 . but not the cue. Problem solved. Turn the 1 “Solo” switch off.vinkalmann. www. Not all that useful since on many occasions you may want to cue more than one track. you can cue all you want now. 2 1 The first audio track. Select Options=>Preferences again and go to the “Record/Warp/Launch” tab. is outputting to the master channel.button1 is clicked on. and the track speaker switch2 is turned off.

using the mixer to control track levels and cue using the mixer instead of the card. This allows you to mix using Ableton in the traditional manner. Since the card has dual outputs. you have the option to output to multiple channels on a typical DJ mixer. 9 .1 Using Ableton With a Traditonal Mixer The last section deals with setting up the Indigo DJ to cue from the card. Change the “Audio To” drop-down1 to “Ext Out” and the drop-down below to “1/2”2 on audio track 1.vinkalmann. To do this we need to change the audio routing. and “3/4” on audio track 2.

You’ll likely need to turn up the trim knob on the mixer channels that the Indigo is hooked up to. Make sure that the cue volume is dialed all the way up.V That’s it.vinkalmann. the signal output that comes out of the Indigo DJ is often times a bit lower than that of a CD deck or turntable. As a quick side 10 . 1/2 V 3/4 To connect the Echo Indigo DJ to your mixer.1 2 If you happen to have an audio card with more than two audio outputs. you can do the same thing as above for as many audio tracks as you have outputs. connect the “1/2” output to channel one channel on your mixer and output “3/4” to another channel on the mixer in the same way you would if you were hooking up CD decks. Just add a track and set the “Audio To” channel output to “5/6” and so on. www.

vinkalmann. that’s about or have ideas for things that should be added to the 11 .Conclusion Well. www. please let me know at vinkalmann@yahoo. you have questions. If anything is confusing.

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