Forum: Music discussion

Music, broadcast, podcast, playlists and more
Topic: Know your tracks

This topic is old and might contain outdated or incorrect information.

[NB - This applies to vinyl, CDs, or any DJ software]

Anyone can count to four (or even sixteen) which suffices for most trance, house and even syncopated (sp?) stuff like break-beat (listen for the hi-hat, not the bass)

Cheesey 4x4 trance tracks are the easiest to start with. They have 4 beats per bar and 4 bars per 'set'. New sounds/samples are usually introduced at the beginning of each set... this makes a good place to bring in the next track.

There are four basic steps to bringing in the next track: beat-matching, cueing, starting and mixing

Beat matching : Set the next track to the same BPM (or multiple of!). This takes practice with vinyl/CDs but is dead easy with most DJ software.

Cueing : Cue the next track up so the first beat of the bar (and preferably first beat of the set) is about to be played when you release the vinyl/start the CD/press play on Atomix etc.

Starting : Release/start/play the new track when the first beat of the set on the 'live' track happens. The vinyl/CD/MP3 may need a small nudge to make sure the beats are lined up.

Mixing : Now you've lined up the beats, bars and hopefully sets... have a listen in your headphones to make sure everything is all good and start mixing.

Everyone mixes differently, although I prefer to use a combination of EQs and crossfader when mixing (always using an external mixer!). Depending on the tracks, I might lead with the treble first (hi-hats, female vocals etc) and the follow with the lower frequencies and maybe even a 'bass-drop' where I would swap the bass lines over at the beginning of a set once all the other freqs have been swapped.

All of the above are the bare basics *BUT* a good DJ that keeps the crowd pumping MUST know their tracks, for me it's all about 'shot selection', knowing when to drop the killer tracks you've just purchased, when to put in the build ups and break downs etc...

Once you've got the above basics down pat and you can do really long mixes (up to several minutes with the right tracks), then focus more on a consistent style and making your whole set a journey for the dancers!

Good luck and most importantly have fun!!!!


Posted Tue 13 Nov 01 @ 12:02 am

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