View Full Version : Your Mix "Journey"

11-21-2012, 05:56 PM
Hey Guys
New here, and as I said over in the intro section, I will probably be a pain here. I am certain this question will have been asked in the past, but wanted to get a fresh perspective on it regardless. So I myself am still finding my feet with DJing. Still learning and experimenting with new things to find a pattern which I find comfortable. But I wish to find out other peoples views on the way their sets pan out.

Do you go into a set with a set vision, a journey, for how it will sound. The good nights out I have had, has usually been where I feel like I have been on a journey of emotions. I will give an example of a little play about I just had here. So I started off with some tech minimal. Nice and easy on the ears, moved on to some sort of "mainstream" house, which I feel would ramp up the mood on the dance floor, with more people getting into it. Then finally moved into some higher BPM techno/trance sort of tracks, which I would imagine would be the peak of the set. I then ended there. If I was to keep this journey going further, if I was feeling really adventurous, I could throw in some gentle dubstep, the lower the tempo right back down, and potentially go through the cycle again.

What are people's views on this? Do you cycle through different genre's to bring out different feelings from your crowd. Or do you just stick to the one and that is that?

11-21-2012, 06:04 PM
I usually have some sort of vibe in mind, but after the first two tracks, all of my song selections are 100% on-the-fly with almost no-holds-barred. This is regardless of how I was feeling going into the night. If a few of my signature tracks aren't matching with the vibe, I usually don't force anything and play the crowd 95% of the time. The 5% goes for when I'm testing something, usually a brand new track. That's usually one out of every 20 tracks or about once an hour.

12-04-2012, 12:02 AM
I'd say have an idea of what you want to accomplish with your first 2 or 3 songs. I like to start slightly lower tempo, have a song I know mixes well into that song but also shifts the mood / feeling a bit. Then, maybe one more song you know "fits" and see where your crowd is at. If they are digging it, the slowly bring the tempo and feeling up, take them on your journey. If they aren't feeling it, start figuring out what they will be feeling and get them there. Ultimately, playing on the fly and getting the crowd into it, while simultaneously taking them on a journey they didn't anticipate going on is the way to be, though difficult.

12-04-2012, 02:17 AM
My studio mixes are 100% planned, my live gigs are not.

12-04-2012, 07:44 AM
Obviously there is a general order in which music should be played in regards to energy, how recent of a song it is, genre, etc. And that will always vary based on what type of venue you are playing at and what music they feature, as well as the crowd that's there.

But I hate the whole romanticizing of what most club DJs do by saying you are taking people on a "journey." Let's be serious, the majority of the time you are just there to enable drunk people to grind their genitals on each other.

12-05-2012, 04:57 AM
A bit of both for me. I'll have the opener and perhaps the first 2-3 tracks in my head, after that I do have a rough idea of what I'm going to do and where I'd like to go, but that's very much subject to change, depending on the crowd etc. I reckon one in three gigs goes as I expect it to, the others end up changing as time goes on.

12-08-2012, 07:25 PM
i try to tell some kind of story thoughout the night.

DJ Nada
12-08-2012, 07:50 PM
I don't transition by genre like you do, because I mix all sorts of genres together. The main thing I think about is energy level, which doesn't always correspond to BPM. Am I trying to raise the energy level, keep it the same, or lower it? If people have been dancing their butts off for the past 30 minutes, then it's probably time to lower the energy for a few songs. If it the beginning of the night, then I'm trying to start at a lower level, get people hooked, then ramp it up. If people aren't dancing to the slower stuff, but they're still on the dancefloor, they probably want something with a higher energy level.

As for planning out what I'm going to play, yes I do. I don't have tracks picked out, but I'll have a rough idea of what I where I want to take the dancefloor that night.

12-08-2012, 08:28 PM
My studio mixes are 100% planned, my live gigs are not.

I'm in the same boat.

12-09-2012, 11:39 AM
When I was playing gigs, I would play several genres - hip-hop, electro, some reggae/dancehall, R&B, funk. If I was doing a whole night rather than a 1-2 hour set, I would always start off with slower "head nodding" type tracks as the place is filling up, then when I felt the time is right I'd try and drop a tune that would get the dancefloor filled up. I'd then test the water with different stuff, which would sometimes be based on requests. I did a set in Birmingham once where I was asked for some dancehall and the first track I played went down so well that I ended up playing just about every dancehall track I have, while at other gigs I wouldn't play any dancehall at all. It really depends on the crowd.

With mixtapes I'm putting out on the web, I am 100% selfish and I don't consider the listener at all. It's different in that case, because there's no onus on me to satisfy a crowd like there would be in a club. I make mixes that I like and if either people like them, that's great. If they don't, that's alright too, but as there's a potential worldwide listener base, there's bound to be someone out there that likes the same things as me and I would rather those people found my mixes than me saying "what's popular right now?" and then putting out mixes full of the latest top 40 stuff - there's far too many people doing that already.

As a patron in a club, I do like it when DJs play "good music" across various genres, rather than being focussed on a single one. When I went to see the Scratch Perverts, they played all kinds of things - hip-hop, drum and bass, even grunge and rock tracks - it was great.

12-10-2012, 03:49 PM
If playing for a crowd, vibe off them to see what they like and play to please ;)