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View Full Version : EDM DJs: How did you acquire a style?



BurntToast
04-03-2012, 02:31 PM
Title may be a bit misleading for what I'm getting at, so let me elaborate. I've only been doing this for a couple of weeks. I'm starting to get the basics down... beat matching, matching phrases, quickly dropping songs in, and tastefully using an effect once in a while. I like to let the tracks play and not take anything away from them by trying to overdo it.

A lot of edm DJ's I've seen look a lot busier than I do, yet they are obviously capable of cueing a track and matching it way faster than I am, so they should appear less busy in that sense. I feel like aside from cueing up the song and matching it, I'm usually just kind of chilling until I'm ready to mix the next track. I realize that what I see from the pros has to be taken with a grain of salt (because lots of people pretend their doing more than they are), but I know some are actually throwing in some tricks and whatnot.

Basically, I'm asking:

What the hell are you guys doing when you're not cueing up a song or transitioning from one to the next? I just feel like I have too much free time to stand around while a song is playing.

zaxl
04-03-2012, 03:00 PM
i have observed a lot of DJ's making frantic, yet tiny changes to every knob on their mixer in order to appear more busy than they really are. that probably accounts for a good deal of what you're seeing

DJNR
04-03-2012, 03:05 PM
i have observed a lot of DJ's making frantic, yet tiny changes to every knob on their mixer in order to appear more busy than they really are. that probably accounts for a good deal of what you're seeing

I don't know if it is just me, but I always hear little things I want to change. In hindsight, I am actually doing something, but I may look like I'm just twisting knobs frequently.

Finnish_Fox
04-03-2012, 03:09 PM
Depends on when.... if the track is playing and no mixing is going on, at best some EQ tweaks or rocking an FX? There is a lot of unnecessary touching of knobs by DJs, though.

When the tracks are mixing and they've got them matched, blending the EQs.

BurntToast
04-03-2012, 03:12 PM
So you guys also spend a lot of of time not touching the gear and dancing/head bobbing to the track? Maybe I'll go back and watch some youtube footage to get a better grasp on what's being done.

Finnish_Fox
04-03-2012, 03:21 PM
So you guys also spend a lot of of time not touching the gear and dancing/head bobbing to the track? Maybe I'll go back and watch some youtube footage to get a better grasp on what's being done.

Depends on where. At my house, in front of a few people, that's pretty much all I do... if I play for a crowd, there is a lot more internal pressure to get everything just right, hence to constant fiddling even if unnecessary.

In most cases, its going to be minute (aka unnoticeable to most) EQ changes.

DJNR
04-03-2012, 03:25 PM
So you guys also spend a lot of of time not touching the gear and dancing/head bobbing to the track? Maybe I'll go back and watch some youtube footage to get a better grasp on what's being done.

I don't think anyone said that necessarily. Let me elaborate on my technique:

Typically when I mix, I very rarely mix from start to end. I know a lot of people that do this, but frankly it leads to a lot of "dancing/head bobbing to the track" which defines your as predictable, uninspiring, and boring. Instead, I try to find ways that I can mix two tracks with each other, so that they compliment the other by highlighting an aspect that the other doesn't have. For example, if track A has a really low and heavy bass line, but lacks a synth or melody, I will try to find a track that will fill that requirement and mix them together. Sometimes I jump around in tracks, and I'll throw down a bass line or kick pattern into a breakdown of another tracks so that I don't lose energy. From there, it is all about EQ blending, and knowing when to transition into another track.

Another thing I find since I mix on turntables that I can never beat match two tracks and just leave them be, because if I do, they end up getting off beat because of of turntable pitch drift, so I am constantly having to re-match the tracks.

If you really want to try and push yourself and do more, try keeping your two channels live as much as possible. Find ways that two tracks compliment each other, rather than just simply mixing into one, and out the other. In other words, challenge yourself to keep two tracks playing at the same time as much as possible with little down time in between, and see if you can make them sound good by bringing out the qualities of each track. I know that's vague, but you will understand more as you spend a little more time mixing.

DJNR
04-03-2012, 03:26 PM
In most cases, its going to be minute (aka unnoticeable to most) EQ changes.

I find it unnoticeable after I have actually made the mix and listened to it, but in the process of making the mix, EQs stand out to my ears like a sore thumb.

Finnish_Fox
04-03-2012, 03:37 PM
Typically when I mix, I very rarely mix from start to end. I know a lot of people that do this, but frankly it leads to a lot of "dancing/head bobbing to the track" which defines your as predictable, uninspiring, and boring. Instead, I try to find ways that I can mix two tracks with each other, so that they compliment the other by highlighting an aspect that the other doesn't have. For example, if track A has a really low and heavy bass line, but lacks a synth or melody, I will try to find a track that will fill that requirement and mix them together. Sometimes I jump around in tracks, and I'll throw down a bass line or kick pattern into a breakdown of another tracks so that I don't lose energy. From there, it is all about EQ blending, and knowing when to transition into another track.

Hmmm... I tend to mix beginning to end because (a) house music intro are intended for that and (b) my thing is having the two tracks playing simultaneously for as long as possible with elements from each playing off each other. Basically...

1st track... 1st track drop... start throwing in second track... phase out bass on track 1 as the drop for track 2 approaches and, at that point, I either cut out track 1 or let track 1 play through the breakdown.

Effectively... go from drop to drop to drop to drop.


Another thing I find since I mix on turntables that I can never beat match two tracks and just leave them be, because if I do, they end up getting off beat because of of turntable pitch drift, so I am constantly having to re-match the tracks.

Happens with CDJs as well, although to a considerably lesser extent.

Good point, though, when mixing with wax, I always have one eye on the decks.


If you really want to try and push yourself and do more, try keeping your two channels live as much as possible. Find ways that two tracks compliment each other, rather than just simply mixing into one, and out the other. In other words, challenge yourself to keep two tracks playing at the same time as much as possible with little down time in between, and see if you can make them sound good by bringing out the qualities of each track. I know that's vague, but you will understand more as you spend a little more time mixing.

^ This. You will find:

- your understanding of what is going on with each track increases
- your ability to keep tracks in sync for long times will be better - improving your beat-matching.
- you may find tracks that work together in a way you never imagined

I'm sure there are more.

whiterob
04-03-2012, 03:49 PM
Great advice everyone has posted. I too have said t myself at times.. ok, so I know I should be doing something here, but these two tracks are playing perfectly together, what now (obviously minor pitch bending is required)? So then got another deck so I could try to mix 3 tracks together.. Well lets just say I will not be doing it live for a while. I more or less, will just try to listen for any imperfections I hear, and teach myself what I can do to make it sound even better. Only effects I really ever use are ech delay and the color filter, but have thought about getting into digital effects as I have the tools for it, just not the ambition to learn them

Minksy
04-03-2012, 03:50 PM
You might use that time to introduce a new track (audio, midi, etc.) into the mix?

mostapha
04-03-2012, 04:57 PM
There's nothing wrong with just letting an awesome track play.

But adding elements does sound good if done well. Traktor's sample decks work well for this, as does SSL's Live integration (which is just hands down more powerful, though more expensive and harder to set up).

For me, the big thing is just playing the right track at the right time.

At some point, I got bored with it and started down a long path through all the big ways of DJing with a computer…and I've enjoyed all of them to an extent. The times when I was doing the most was with Traktor + Maschine (the app, not just the controller) and adding beats and/or synth lines as necessary. Even a mediocre hip hop beat sounds awesome under a house breakdown. And now that I'm back on SSL, I'm transitioning back to working that way (i was on TP2, not TSP2, and I wanted 1200s under my fingers instead of X1s)…biggest hurdle at this point is just lack of space.

But even if you're not using computers, you can do something similar. Try a 3rd deck loaded with loops/samples if you want to ease into it. Look into something like an MPC500/1000 or Octatrack…or Korg makes a couple groove boxes that are fairly simple…and instead of just adding loops, build something on the fly. If anything, it takes more prep work to do that, plus knowing things really well. But it can be awesome.

And don't forget that "just playing tracks" can be a style. Some of the best DJs I've heard didn't do much else…they just played the right tracks at the right times, and they played awesome sets.

login
04-03-2012, 05:05 PM
I usually dig for the next track, I add fx here and there and that's it, I try to make long transitions and mixing an 8 bar loop of the next track sometimes before total transition, like just after the first breakdown exchange the highs.

kidj fresh
04-03-2012, 05:08 PM
I stumbled upon mixing, "What a Surprise" by Johnny Maestro and The Crests, with dubstep. My love for doo wop and being so soft inspired me to try and enhance it.. Key word is enhance because the song is made as is with its own intention and style. In my case, i wanted a more powerful version of that song, and crazy enough... some doo wop and dub mix.

BurntToast
04-03-2012, 07:31 PM
Thanks for the tips. Makes a lot of sense to take some creative liberties when I'm just mixing for myself in my apartment. I've already found a couple of songs that go together well just by not giving a shit and giving it a try. Others, I've thought of mixing together and it worked. Some combinations I thought would work... they don't. Guess that's how we learn.

It's kind of frustrating at this point, and I already feel like I'm hitting a bit of a wall... not because I'm not getting it, but because I'm getting to a point where I feel like it would be so much more helpful if I actually knew another DJ. DJF and YouTube are great, but at some point it would be nice to just have a little 1-on-1 interaction with a few pointers and some feedback.

DJNR
04-03-2012, 07:36 PM
It's kind of frustrating at this point, and I already feel like I'm hitting a bit of a wall... not because I'm not getting it, but because I'm getting to a point where I feel like it would be so much more helpful if I actually knew another DJ. DJF and YouTube are great, but at some point it would be nice to just have a little 1-on-1 interaction with a few pointers and some feedback.

I don't know how much money you have, but why not take some classes at Dubspot? It's located in NYC, and you could learn some pretty nifty skills from people that attend classes there. Similarly, you can take classes from some pretty good DJs, like DJ Shiftee. Just a thought. You can find the website here. (http://www.dubspot.com/dj/)

BurntToast
04-03-2012, 07:52 PM
Thanks for the link, DJNR. Some more practice will be the most beneficial at this point. I gotta learn the gear in and out and put some real work in before I make any other investments. Hopefully, I can get around to recording a mix on Friday and get some feedback from y'all. Meant to put one together last Friday, but had to leave town for a show. I don't think it's impossible to learn with the internet being my only outlet... just a little slower and more indirect. Nothing a little patience and hard work won't fix.

DjAaron
04-03-2012, 08:12 PM
I am basically making sure in my headphones that the EQ's are proper and not over the top for that event and I am also cueing up my next song and starting to blend it in at the right time. I have some new tracks that I am trying to learn where to drop in the next track and so on.

If all else fails do the fist pump or jesus pose lol!!!

Sedna
04-03-2012, 10:55 PM
i have observed a lot of DJ's making frantic, yet tiny changes to every knob on their mixer in order to appear more busy than they really are. that probably accounts for a good deal of what you're seeing

Uh, I spend a lot of time on the knobs, but every time I'm touching them I'm doing some sort of useful EQ tweaking.

Finnish_Fox
04-03-2012, 11:20 PM
Uh, I spend a lot of time on the knobs, but every time I'm touching them I'm doing some sort of useful EQ tweaking.

Useful EQ tweaking that keeps you on the knobs for a disproportionate amount of time?

mrkleen
04-03-2012, 11:44 PM
Most young DJs have ADD - or the DJ equivalent of ADD. They are constantly fidgeting with every moving knob, button and dial in the DJ booth, switching tracks every minutes (or less) and basically making their set all about THEM and not about the vibe. As you grow, you start to develop awareness of when to apply effects, loops etc - and when to LET A SONG PLAY.

I use Traktor and am constantly adding elements to the mix using 8 sample decks, effects, loops etc. But only things that enhance and add something positive to the vibe. If you are playing good music, you shouldn't need to switching things up every 30 seconds.

Build a vibe, create a vibe, cultivate a vibe - and learn to let it grow and mature. Like a fruit, if you pick it too soon (it will be sour and unsatisfying.)

Finnish_Fox
04-04-2012, 12:09 AM
Most young DJs have ADD - or the DJ equivalent of ADD. They are constantly fidgeting with every moving knob, button and dial in the DJ booth, switching tracks every minutes (or less) and basically making their set all about THEM and not about the vibe. As you grow, you start to develop awareness of when to apply effects, loops etc - and when to LET A SONG PLAY.

I use Traktor and am constantly adding elements to the mix using 8 sample decks, effects, loops etc. But only things that enhance and add something positive to the vibe. If you are playing good music, you shouldn't need to switching things up every 30 seconds.

Build a vibe, create a vibe, cultivate a vibe - and learn to let it grow and mature. Like a fruit, if you pick it too soon (it will be sour and unsatisfying.)

Got a mix? I'd be interested in hearing what you do.

DJNR
04-04-2012, 12:13 AM
Got a mix? I'd be interested in hearing what you do.

Seconded.

Boomcie
04-04-2012, 12:20 AM
I spend time beatmatching, monitoring the mix for drifts, and searching for the next record. I don't use effects, and I only touch the eq when necessary, probably why my mixes suck.


I spend the rest of the time fist pumping and stage diving. Don't judge me:blank:

Finnish_Fox
04-04-2012, 12:22 AM
I spend time beatmatching, monitoring the mix for drifts, and searching for the next record. I don't use effects, and I only touch the eq when necessary, probably why my mixes suck.

...and I would probably like it more than most of the mixes I hear.

DjAaron
04-04-2012, 12:39 AM
I spend time beatmatching, monitoring the mix for drifts, and searching for the next record. I don't use effects, and I only touch the eq when necessary, probably why my mixes suck.


I spend the rest of the time fist pumping and stage diving. Don't judge me:blank:

I do this most of the time when just messing around when home besides the fist pump thing......well maybe the jesus pose just to look cool when people look through my window lol

DJNR
04-04-2012, 12:41 AM
I spend time beatmatching, monitoring the mix for drifts, and searching for the next record. I don't use effects, and I only touch the eq when necessary, probably why my mixes suck.


I spend the rest of the time fist pumping and stage diving. Don't judge me:blank:

At least you're honest. I spend a lot of time dancing in place. :P

Mahatma Coat
04-04-2012, 03:39 AM
This is a great thread,

I've only been DJing a couple of years,so my style is still developing.

Was wondering if anyone had thoughts on styles of DJing that also included the 'sound' one develops. Its is slightly separate to 'style' I guess, but still part of the same thing, so I don't think it warrants a separate thread.

You can know a certain DJ when you hear them from the style of their playing, but also they have a very distinct sound. My style is developing slowly but surely, but as for a sound, not sure I have one; I just play what ever I like/sounds good for the time, and mix tunes that compliment one another as much as possible.

Do people here purposely only choose certain records to try and get across that sense of a specific sound/style that so many of the big name DJs seem to have pinned down? Because its something I just can't and don't really want to do, limiting myself like that.

mrkleen
04-04-2012, 11:34 AM
Got a mix? I'd be interested in hearing what you do.

http://www.mixcrate.com/mix/137652/Techno

Short bit from a recent live set.

Pretty much this entire clip - I am working 2 full tracks, a number of percussive bits, vocals samples, effects etc.

ben mills
04-04-2012, 11:47 AM
They might actually be mixing. There is no law that says a mix must start at Point X. If you use loops effectively, you can throw a mix at any time - with the loop cued from the first beat. Let it loop and run concurrently with the live track - then at the right point, just release your loop and let the mix continue on. In the mean time, you can use the looped track and do funky cuts, pumps, etc., while you're waiting to actually "throw" the mix at the "proper" cue point.

BurntToast
04-04-2012, 02:00 PM
They might actually be mixing. There is no law that says a mix must start at Point X. If you use loops effectively, you can throw a mix at any time - with the loop cued from the first beat. Let it loop and run concurrently with the live track - then at the right point, just release your loop and let the mix continue on. In the mean time, you can use the looped track and do funky cuts, pumps, etc., while you're waiting to actually "throw" the mix at the "proper" cue point.

I need to learn to utilize loops I think, instead of just cueing up the next track at the right start point. It takes me a decent amount of time to cue up a track, beat match, etc... especially when I need to scan through the track to find a part that's suitable for beatmatching. Sometimes there's too much silence or not enough volume in the track to match it well.

DJNR... I liked your mixes on your website. I thought it was cool how you brought in the next song as kind of a teaser in some spots, then stayed with the first track, then mixed in the next one for good the second time around. Might be shooting you some PMs soon, if you don't mind, to ask you a couple questions about specific transitions.

DJNR
04-04-2012, 02:06 PM
Thanks! Glad you liked them. Shoot me a pm with any questions you got :tup:

BurntToast
04-04-2012, 02:08 PM
Do you guys find your headphones are on or off a lot of the time? I've been relying on them quite a bit... and I still have a really tough time beat matching with one ear on the phones and the other on a monitor (even though it's been less than 2 weeks).

DJNR
04-04-2012, 02:20 PM
I mix with headphones all the way on almost 100% of the time because they are comfortable, and I just monitor within my headphones.

I think I might just be used to it because I don't have monitors at home, so I just use headphones.

ben mills
04-04-2012, 02:25 PM
I beatmatch in my headphones and mix on monitors. Will throw a cup up on the ear if I'm having a hard time with distinguishing something on the monitor - but usually don't need to.

ben mills
04-04-2012, 02:34 PM
I thought it was cool how you brought in the next song as kind of a teaser in some spots, then stayed with the first track, then mixed in the next one for good the second time around.

This is a key and central element of being able to effectively use your loops. You use that loop as a teaser of the upcoming track. You cut it, you pump it, you get funky with it in time and in rhythm of the track that's live.

For example, say you have had your loop running and you've beatmatched the track within the loop (which is perfect, because you always start out back on "1" without having to recue). Say the outgoing track has a two phrase breakdown (or more...could be any length, who cares, because you've got your loop and it's beatmatched). One the "1" of the breakdown you can throw in the incoming track - bass completely down. You know you have 64 beats to "play with", so you can pump the bass on the incoming track at increasing intervals, starting at every 16, or whatever. Or you can pump the track without the bass...then later to pumping with bass. When you get down to your last four beats before coming otu of the breakdown you can get funky crazy, pumping the beats, cutting between the two - beat, breakdown, beat, breakdown - BAM - then on the "1" coming out of the breakdown you throw the looped track live into the mix with some bass, release the loop, and you've started your mix with both tracks on "1" and you go from there. Or whatever you want to do. The point is, with the loop you're coming out of the breakdown ok. As long as you can count to 32 and can keep the time in your head, you're good to go.

Great technique for building energy in a breakdown and just exploding your mix to another level.

Now, compare that to letting the breakdown run, then on the "1" coming back in you cue...then after the first phrase you throw the track to start the mix. Get the fuck out of here with that weak ass mixing style.

Finnish_Fox
04-04-2012, 02:56 PM
Do you guys find your headphones are on or off a lot of the time? I've been relying on them quite a bit... and I still have a really tough time beat matching with one ear on the phones and the other on a monitor (even though it's been less than 2 weeks).

Depends on what I am mixing. For house music, my headphones never come off. Always just keep one ear open and the other half covered... I do focus on the monitors when they are both mixing.

ben mills
04-04-2012, 04:06 PM
Here's a jam session I did last Friday night at my house. It's three and a half hours, and is a pretty typical session for me. Maybe a little bit more expiramental in some techniques than when playing out, but not much or not at all. Keep in mind this is impromptu, and not intended as any kind of demo - just my normal, average, every day mixing. Just want to give a glimpse of what I'm talking about in regards to loops, cuts, etc.

Watching and listening you'll be able to see and hear how I use the loops to enhance the mix all around. It can be a higher risk style of mixing, but comes with higher rewards.

At the end of the day though, being able to use the loops to maximum advantage will take your mixing up another level.

http://bambuser.com/v/2515407

Grifff
04-18-2012, 12:03 PM
Typically when I mix, I very rarely mix from start to end. I know a lot of people that do this, but frankly it leads to a lot of "dancing/head bobbing to the track" which defines your as predictable, uninspiring, and boring.

Sometimes I wish I had an extra CDJ/ turntable because there are certain times when I am mixing and, for example Track A is being is being mixed out with Track B coming in. And it still feels as if it's missing something, that I could add to the mix with Track C. I mean, I suppose it's a given for techno that you have to layer the tracks on top of one another and use three decks more so than other genres

Finnish_Fox
04-18-2012, 12:04 PM
Peer pressure.

Rek_Aviles
04-18-2012, 12:11 PM
:lol:

Good questions. For me i'm always tweaking EQs while mixing and after i'm setup for the mix, i'm tweaking my efx to add during the mix or to the current track playing if I choose to.

It feels like im always doing something cause I don't give myself too much time to just chill and wait, because my mixes are usually long. By the time the new track is playing on its own, I only have about 3 mins before I should start the next track after a drop.

Finnish_Fox
04-18-2012, 12:44 PM
Good questions. For me i'm always tweaking EQs while mixing and after i'm setup for the mix, i'm tweaking my efx to add during the mix or to the current track playing if I choose to... all while tweaking

Fixed. :eek:

Rek_Aviles
04-18-2012, 12:55 PM
Fixed. :eek:


:teef:

DJNR
04-18-2012, 01:28 PM
Tweaking while tweaking... Interesting... :P

Finnish_Fox
04-18-2012, 01:43 PM
Tweaking while tweaking... Interesting... :P

Tweakmaster Flex.

MeowMix
04-18-2012, 02:18 PM
I mix with headphones all the way on almost 100% of the time because they are comfortable, and I just monitor within my headphones.

I think I might just be used to it because I don't have monitors at home, so I just use headphones.


Same here. I mix exclusively in the headphones and just take em off to check the mix.

Usually as soon as out of a mix im looking for the next track, matching and playing with headphone volume and EQs to get the track for the next mix. I also play with effects from time to time. So at least half the time between mixes im getting ready for it, the other half i am either thinking about dropping loops or having a drinking and smoking some hookah.

Luke Ryan
06-19-2012, 01:14 PM
I don't know how much money you have, but why not take some classes at Dubspot? It's located in NYC, and you could learn some pretty nifty skills from people that attend classes there. Similarly, you can take classes from some pretty good DJs, like DJ Shiftee. Just a thought. You can find the website here. (http://www.dubspot.com/dj/)

I'm currently finishing up the DJ extensive program at dubspot myself. I will say this just to give you an idea of what it's like there. Prior to dubspot, I knew very little about the technical aspects of DJing/mixing, however, music (EDM in particular) has been a passion of mine for a very long time and I know the ins and outs of many many songs and could give you the name, artist and remix of a song after 5 seconds of hearing it. I am one week away from completing the DJ extensive program at dubspot and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I am completely confident in my ability to beat match, phrase my mixes, use effects, know where everything on a turntable and mixer is, etc. The teachers are extremely knowledgeable and all of them have professional experience. I loved the fact that they come at you with an "old school" approach, for the first few weeks ONLY using turntables with vinyl and then progressing into software, CDJ's (if that's your preference), etc. The only thing really left for me to do is keep practicing and start to network myself. I would recommend dubspot to ANYONE, whether you have absolutely no experience with DJing or if you're just looking to refine your skills. I will be enrolling in their 6 level ableton course very shortly.

AdrianR
07-14-2012, 03:30 AM
I spend a fair bit of time humping the table if its that kind of music. And taking my clothes off .... But when I'm actually out and playing, I look for the next song or 3. I plan it all about 3 songs in advance so that I know where I'm going. That way you can even work requests in.

"Ok I'm playing this now, if I play that song next as a half way song I can play the request after it, then play this other one into the request to bring it back to this"

And yeah I play with knobs to. (hehe knobs) but it's necissary. You have tools at your disposal, use them. Make the song more interesting. Make a build up 7000 times more energetic.
Add a bit of flange on a break or something. There's heaps of stuff. Cut & Chop. Scratch over the top. Put the effects over your Mic Channel and start saying weird shit like a robot about sodomising the dance floor or something.

As for mixing with turntables, sounds like floating decks syndrome! .. I copped that and always thought I was a horrible Dj until I went and used someone elses and was slamming them in beat REALLY fast. It's good. It will train your ear! A very rare strength in a lot of Dj's now days!

Andrew B
07-14-2012, 03:57 AM
Do you guys find your headphones are on or off a lot of the time? I've been relying on them quite a bit... and I still have a really tough time beat matching with one ear on the phones and the other on a monitor (even though it's been less than 2 weeks).

Mostly off. I'll keep one cup on to beatmatch and find a cue. I just listen to the monitors when I'm in the mix.

BuddyUK
07-14-2012, 06:36 AM
Play the music that everyone else doesn't is the best place to start IMO.

recess
07-17-2012, 02:26 PM
Most young DJs have ADD - or the DJ equivalent of ADD. They are constantly fidgeting with every moving knob, button and dial in the DJ booth, switching tracks every minutes (or less) and basically making their set all about THEM and not about the vibe. As you grow, you start to develop awareness of when to apply effects, loops etc - and when to LET A SONG PLAY.

I use Traktor and am constantly adding elements to the mix using 8 sample decks, effects, loops etc. But only things that enhance and add something positive to the vibe. If you are playing good music, you shouldn't need to switching things up every 30 seconds.

Build a vibe, create a vibe, cultivate a vibe - and learn to let it grow and mature. Like a fruit, if you pick it too soon (it will be sour and unsatisfying.)

I think i just matured as a DJ by reading this. Just made me realize my mixes are too ADDish.

DjAaron
07-18-2012, 10:41 PM
Most young DJs have ADD - or the DJ equivalent of ADD. They are constantly fidgeting with every moving knob, button and dial in the DJ booth, switching tracks every minutes (or less) and basically making their set all about THEM and not about the vibe. As you grow, you start to develop awareness of when to apply effects, loops etc - and when to LET A SONG PLAY.

I use Traktor and am constantly adding elements to the mix using 8 sample decks, effects, loops etc. But only things that enhance and add something positive to the vibe. If you are playing good music, you shouldn't need to switching things up every 30 seconds.

Build a vibe, create a vibe, cultivate a vibe - and learn to let it grow and mature. Like a fruit, if you pick it too soon (it will be sour and unsatisfying.)

Wow just like said above my post about what you said. It is very true. I see a lot of young Dj's mixing track after track after track every min or less. It does get annoying even at a club when you can't enjoy the song. Once you start really feeling it they switch it up. Most of my mixing I let the track play for a few min maybe longer depending on the crowd and then start switching it up to keep the vibe going. I do it sometimes but only when I can tell people aren't really into it.

I only mess with the eq's when I feel something is off or I am starting my mix. Other then that I leave them alone and just dance or whatever behind the table lol

DougMore
07-18-2012, 10:46 PM
I guess I developed a "style" by not limiting myself to a style or genre. I like to think I have the skill to go from Nu-Disco to Hard trance in the span of an hour...than break it down to dubstep, back it up with hip-hop and get some indie dance at the end.


But I have genre ADD. I'm not focused on trance or tech-house...but I at least have 100 tracks of each.



For mixing, I like to let most songs play almost all the way through. That being said, I try to mix intro over outro or last chorus.

disparate
07-19-2012, 08:14 AM
Buying music I like and practising in my own way, inspired by DJs I like.

My one weakness is that I haven't had many gigs given how long I've been into DJing, I reckon regularly playing to a crowd regularly must definitely shift your style.

TCMuc
07-19-2012, 02:31 PM
Ideally, you should already have a set taste when you start DJing. Be it from having been going out for a while, collecting music for quite some time, etc.

When you start DJing you work with that and develop it. It's like with you clothing style: it's about what you pick and how you combine it. Of course you could just look what's cool at the moment and buy a complete outfit (read: playlist/chart when applying to DJing) you saw in any magazine or window, but you probably would look like you dressed as someone you are not.

You need to pick the pieces/tracks you like and make them your own by mixing them in a way that's unique to you. That's someting that naturally takes some time, as one set doesn't define a "style". It's what keeps returning over and over again in many sets over a long time, that will become your signature sounds, be it certain tracks or certain elements of tracks (percussions, melodies, ...).

It's only when you have people say: "I've never heard you play that track before, but it absolutely makes sense." that you can say you have found your "style". A certain sound, that is both diversified and recognisable, that is connected to you, not only by yourself but by other people.

Nigelshaw
08-09-2012, 07:05 AM
Showboating lol. Its all about the Character of the DJ. for example:

i can cue very quickly and sometimes, off the cuff without pre cue. So i too have a lot of extra time between tracks. To fill, i change the eq, filter etc and it sounds great. I showed a DJ mate what i was doing with base etc so he started but, When he does it, its like the mixer is on FIRE! he can barely touch the knobs without immediately throwing his hands off. ( imagine it being so hot that you can hardly touch it but you 'need' to turn that knob ), like that.

So, even though technically my eq work sounds much better, my mate gets a better crowd result becuase he 'showboats'. That i guess is why DJ's look busier than what they actually are :)


N

TheRabbitMonk
08-09-2012, 03:31 PM
practice gets you style, and also time.

DJ ATX
08-13-2012, 09:05 AM
Basically, I'm asking:

What the hell are you guys doing when you're not cueing up a song or transitioning from one to the next? I just feel like I have too much free time to stand around while a song is playing.

1) Looking at the crowd. Gauging their reactions. Looking for the next track.
2) Cueing it to see how it blends with current track, changing my mind, cueing another track. I may only do this once or perhaps a few more times. I feed off the crowd and what I feel, so I may change my mind a few times about the next track. Or I may have someone come up with a request that I think fits and I would try to figure out how to mix it in. I may do it right then if it works, or try to think of a few tracks so I can transition into it.
3) Maybe throw in a secondary beat to the current track.
4) Taking sips of my drink.
5) Talking to the chick that just came up for a request, if shes hot.
6) Bouncing around and dancing like and idiot in the hopes the crowd will catch on

That is typically a typical night for me when I am spinning out.

digitalizedeath
08-13-2012, 08:47 PM
I primarily mix EDM, possibly may be mixing more Top40 in the future. When I started mixing, I only played UK Hardcore on vinyl, and learned to do quick cuts and beat juggle, and keep beats over long vocal breakdowns. I play electro and house now, but since Philadelphia is over-saturated with electro DJs, I try and stay more to the Fidget sub-genre which less people around here play regularly.

disparate
08-14-2012, 10:01 AM
Ideally, you should already have a set taste when you start DJing. Be it from having been going out for a while, collecting music for quite some time, etc.


I agree. I've not seen it as much lately but it never ceases to amaze me when I see beginners asking things like "which records should I buy" and "what genres to play", becuase my background of getting into DJing was from being very into certain styles of music, scenes, particular DJs, etc. Of course you'll evolve from there, especially once you devote a lot of time to finding and buying music for your sets, but it would seem strange not to have a starting point.

Jette
08-17-2012, 08:58 PM
I agree. I've not seen it as much lately but it never ceases to amaze me when I see beginners asking things like "which records should I buy" and "what genres to play", becuase my background of getting into DJing was from being very into certain styles of music, scenes, particular DJs, etc. Of course you'll evolve from there, especially once you devote a lot of time to finding and buying music for your sets, but it would seem strange not to have a starting point.

I feel this attitude is mostly from those who want the benefits of DJing without the work. They want to know what other people are mixing so they can copy a style. A friend of mine is like this. When I go listen to his mixes they sound horrible because he is trying to use everyone's style and make it his own.

My advice to anyone getting into mixing is to take the time to decide what you want to mix. Spend a couple months getting a small library together and it doesn't matter if it is 10 songs or 1000 as long as you are having fun, your style will come out. If it is not what you want, do what i did and switch up the genres a bit. I started out by mixing dub step. I realized that sound was not one I enjoyed playing. I currently mix Electro, House, and Electro house, and I can tell from my own mixes how much more i enjoy it than trying to play what is hot right now.