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Live Set vs Dj Set - by E-Clip

What would be the best way to perform at a festival or at some club party?

There are several ways to perform as a Live set or a Dj set. Let's first try to understand what do we call a Live Set. Live set, as a name says, means that we should do something live. But the question is what is that we could do live actually? From my experience and what I have seen on the scene, the Live Sets are called the sets when the artist would play only his music., while from the other side we would have a DJ set when an artist or a DJ would play various of music from all artist that he would like.

Let's focus on the "Live Set" for now. I know several types of "Live Sets" and I have put Live Set in the quotation marks for a reason, as from what is actually behind the live set, I believe that those types of sets would be called Home Sets, and they would be caller more fairly.


  1. The first type of the "Live Set" that I saw is the type of pre-prepared set in Ableton, with all automations written, where the performer would be busy with phisical performing, dancing, applying a different prepared move, dancing while it wouldn't affect the music at all. Maybe it would apply a bit of effect on the mixer, just enough that he doesn't get bored to death while performing. This type is the one I would advise avoiding, as it will be just a matter of time that someone notices it and it could affect your career on a bigger scale. So this one is a NO-NO

  2. The second type is that you could use the hardware gear to really perform everything live, for example, Minilogue, check the link , but for this kind of Live Sets, it would require that you make a piece of music that is up to 10 channels maximum, as otherwise, you would need at least 8 people to perform all the 100 channels we actually produce in the studio. This one is a big YES, but only if your music supports it, otherwise, it could sound terrible and could affect your career on a bigger scale as well.

  3. The third type is that you could pre-prepare the set, and use some of the synths and play on top of the pre-prepared set, but that would be cheating as well, performing live only 1 channel, while everything else is already pre-prepared. I do not see any logic behind this kind of set, as if we do live, we should do all life, otherwise, we should call it a half-live set, or 3%-live set,m depending on how many live things we are actually doing.

  4. Even that there are several more ways to perform a live set, I'll skip to the last one and close the live set section. This type of set would be that you DJ your own tracks. The only difference between this and the DJ Sets is that you would play only your tracks, and this one is the only fair, and the only one that has a sense to me. You could implement as much as you want external instruments in this set to make it sound better, effect units, additional instruments or so on, but this one also should be called differently as it wouldn't be much different from the DJ set.

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So my honest conclusion is that the DJ sets are the fairest of all other ways of performing. As I see it, if you do not have the ability or if your music doesn't allow you to perform all as a Live thing, I do not see how can anything that is pre-prepared be fairer from doing a simple DJ Sets, where you would play any music you would like. This way would give you the opportunity to change a music style from dancefloor to dancefloor, as in different parts of the world, people like different music. Another thing is that if you start playing a lot, you might get super border of playing the same tracks all over and over again, as if you are playing a lot, it will mean that there is less time for making music, which will lead to playing the same tracks.

Another thing is that not every style will work on every dance floor, and my honest advice is that you lear to play as a DJ, and that way build ability to play on any dancefloor that your career takes you. In all other genras it is super normal that same DJs or Artist produce one kind of music, but when it comes to DJ sets, they play a variety of styles, which makes the whole process much more fun.

All the bets Marko Radovanovic


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