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Thread: The art and practice of set planning.

  1. #21
    Member Jimanee's Avatar
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    "What if the crowd doesn't like where you are going?"

    Then you play something else, as advised at the very end of the thread. You would be no worse than if you hadn't planned at all.

    "Now I have too ask are you implying you can't reach a destination or have a smooth journey without planning your set?"

    Now again no, but if you want to, set preparation can help.

    But I will confess to trolling here, with the use of "proper" and "actual", Adzm and I have had this battle across many a thread, I've always stayed defensive, always said "you can" instead of "you should" and "prepared sets can work" rather than "prepared sets are better".

    Time to go offensive and make the other side work and justify themselves:

    Two DJs, equal in all regard, A has a prepared set, B does not. They both end up playing randomly, they both play well. Yet A has the knowledge of why he did not follow his plan, his experience in preparing planned sets has grown. B has not got that.

    A has more than B, explain to me why that isn't superior?

  2. #22
    Member Adzm00's Avatar
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    Planning works for this: Headliners, the people there know what they will get, Residents, the resident DJ already knows what the crowd is likely to expect.

    By not planning a set, you are not letting the crowd dictate the music, you are playing them stuff you like that they will like too.

    Set planning: Typical computer DJ plans set out as he always does, loses the crowd, and then can't do shit about it: a) because he has no idea how to mix an unpracticed set; b) hasn't developed crowd reading skills, so when he changes it up, they still hate it; or c) because like a tit he has only brought the music for the set and other music like that in case he runs over.

    The amount of time I've seen this happen I've lost count, and it is ALWAYS computer DJs.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimanee View Post
    Time to go offensive and make the other side work and justify themselves:

    Two DJs, equal in all regard, A has a prepared set, B does not. They both end up playing randomly, they both play well. Yet A has the knowledge of why he did not follow his plan, his experience in preparing planned sets has grown. B has not got that.

    A has more than B, explain to me why that isn't superior?
    I agree with you, although I can see why some people would think pre-planning is unnecessary.

    In my last battle on here, I planned the mix out. Intro and outro samples, which tracks I was going to play and in what order, where I would scratch, where I would use loops and effects, and I also edited a couple of tracks. The end result was a better mix than I would have made if I'd just pulled out whatever tracks took my fancy as I was mixing. If someone says that their set is no better with pre-planning, then it's either because they're shit at pre-planning and their tech skills/creative skills aren't anything to write home about, or it's because they're a mixing master. I would say that 99% of people that say "my mixes are no better if they're planned out" fall into the former category, not the latter.

    If I did that mix live in a club and it went down well, great. If, a couple of tracks in, people ain't feeling it, I can just forget it and mix on the fly. It's not like I can't mix, scratch, do a bit of trick mixing etc. on the fly - I can just do it better if I've thought about it in advance. It's really not that much of a loss to me if it doesn't go down well live, other than the time it took to plan the set out in the first place, but that's not necessarily wasted because I can record it and put it on SoundCloud.

    I don't think there's a good rebuttal to this. Talking about DJs that can't play a set in a club without pre-planning it is fine, but that doesn't apply to me. Saying "the golden rules of DJing prevent it!" or whatever purist argument someone might make is just nonsense, cos those "rules" don't even exist.

    What Adzm00 should learn, is how not to keep going to nights that are ruined by wanky laptop DJs, cos if I'd "lost count" of the times I'd seen one ruin a night then I'd start thinking "perhaps I should be going to different clubs", lol.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimanee View Post
    Two DJs, equal in all regard, A has a prepared set, B does not. They both end up playing randomly, they both play well. Yet A has the knowledge of why he did not follow his plan, his experience in preparing planned sets has grown. B has not got that.

    A has more than B, explain to me why that isn't superior?
    Because that scenario is very unlikely, If "A" has had enough experience to feel comfortable not planning his set he probably has the proper music and knowledge of the music to go anywhere. In contrast, "B" has relied on his practiced and planned sets so much his ability to wing it has not developed nearly as much as "A". Now if we're talking about mix tapes or a fashion show plan it to a T, line up the music, preset your fades, and note your volume levels and Eq settings.
    But people have an energy when they get together to party learning to feel and go with it is a major part of Djing. I have seen way too many Dj's fall on there face trying to stick with the set they planned and to be fair I've seen it work as well (almost always in a genre specific events though) to not at least put a warning in this thread for people learning that this crutch may get in your way as well.

  5. #25
    Member Jimanee's Avatar
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    Too much to cover really, and the thread covers most of it already, I'm not responsible for/nor advocating badly prepared sets.

    People are butchering prepared sets all over the world, I'm trying to fix that.

    I think Sig's nailed, but I must spread rep before chucking it his way again

    @ Mrspyaman; That situation is hypothetical, it is interesting that you had to bring in a load of assumptions into it, to try and spin something else out of it. My point was that there was extra experience to be gained and that that was better than none.

    A small point, but a valid one.

    Based on the monstrosity you turned it into, I would change it to:

    Two Noob DJs play separate rooms, A has a prepared and practiced set, B is winging it. They both are nervous, but A knows what he is doing gets straight on queing his second track, whilst B is still looking for his. Because A is quicker off the mark, he sustains his floors energy into the next track, whereas B took a bit too long.

    A buoyed by the success gets the third straight on, the dance floor now trusts him to keep it smooth. B knows he's bodged it and is now looking for a tune to fix, he picks one, oh no that one doesn't go, he panics, nothing sounds like it did at home, people are watching him sweat. He fumbles a track on, get's the phrasing wrong and people go "f*ck this" and go to A's room.

    B goes home and cries to his mum.

    I have seen that ^^ more than failing prepared sets...

    I do get your point though, there are loads of warnings all over this thread, but not a specific crutch one. But you see, I feel that people "winging" it is like a basic, that's what everybody does, until they start preparing, it's like a given.

    Just to check, you do know that this thread is part 1 and that there is a part 2?

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimanee View Post
    Fair enough. No it's just a deep point, to say that with some DJs', their style of music or mixing, means that it doesn't matter what sequence they play their tunes in.

    Why should they plan sets? They should just know their records and fling them in a pile like Adzm; or just look really busy whilst selecting like dlove. And then they should moonwalk right out of this thread because it is not applicable to them

    This thread is for those who want to map out an interesting, smooth proper journey with an actual destination; one that LEADS a crowd rather than just follows it.

    There's nothing intrinsically wrong with planning, ask this guy:

    haha

    you can still 'map out an interesting, smooth proper journey with an actual destination...that leads a crowd' without pre-set planning, as you are planning on the move, as you go. Using instinctive imagination, live, with timing.

    I think, with mixing on the fly, the planning begins once the DJ steps up to the decks and chooses the 1st record. It's better to make a plan once you have a map of the room; get a handle on the vibes happening at that precise time, in order to lead everyone where you want to take them.

  7. #27
    Member Adzm00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
    What Adzm00 should learn, is how not to keep going to nights that are ruined by wanky laptop DJs, cos if I'd "lost count" of the times I'd seen one ruin a night then I'd start thinking "perhaps I should be going to different clubs", lol.
    I would but it isn't just one club or one night, its EVERYWHERE.

    Shitty techno DJs eh.
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  8. #28
    Member Adzm00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimanee View Post
    Two Noob DJs play separate rooms, A has a prepared and practiced set, B is winging it. They both are nervous, but A knows what he is doing gets straight on queing his second track, whilst B is still looking for his. Because A is quicker off the mark, he sustains his floors energy into the next track, whereas B took a bit too long.

    A buoyed by the success gets the third straight on, the dance floor now trusts him to keep it smooth. B knows he's bodged it and is now looking for a tune to fix, he picks one, oh no that one doesn't go, he panics, nothing sounds like it did at home, people are watching him sweat. He fumbles a track on, get's the phrasing wrong and people go "f*ck this" and go to A's room.
    OR

    A starts playing his set, but the crowd aren't into it, but because he is a noob and has no idea what he is doing, plus too scared to move outside of his preplanned set, A loses the crowd and they go to B's room.

    In the meantime, B has a few less than perfect mixes, but his crowd reading skills are slowly developing and he is managing to play tracks the crowd are reacting positively to.

    A goes home and cries to his mum, B is invited back to play the next month.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimanee View Post

    I think Sig's nailed, but I must spread rep before chucking it his way again

    @ Mrspyaman; That situation is hypothetical, it is interesting that you had to bring in a load of assumptions into it, to try and spin something else out of it. My point was that there was extra experience to be gained and that that was better than none.

    A small point, but a valid one.

    Based on the monstrosity you turned it into, I would change it to:

    Two Noob DJs play separate rooms, A has a prepared and practiced set, B is winging it. They both are nervous, but A knows what he is doing gets straight on queing his second track, whilst B is still looking for his. Because A is quicker off the mark, he sustains his floors energy into the next track, whereas B took a bit too long.

    A buoyed by the success gets the third straight on, the dance floor now trusts him to keep it smooth. B knows he's bodged it and is now looking for a tune to fix, he picks one, oh no that one doesn't go, he panics, nothing sounds like it did at home, people are watching him sweat. He fumbles a track on, get's the phrasing wrong and people go "f*ck this" and go to A's room.

    B goes home and cries to his mum.

    I have seen that ^^ more than failing prepared sets...

    I do get your point though, there are loads of warnings all over this thread, but not a specific crutch one. But you see, I feel that people "winging" it is like a basic, that's what everybody does, until they start preparing, it's like a given.

    Just to check, you do know that this thread is part 1 and that there is a part 2?
    Sig did nail it, for a mix tape or online battle hell yeah, but in a club the crowd is part of the mix and is better off being adjusted to and becoming part of the night then just witnessing your performance.
    Both of your Hypotheticals seem too far gone for me to relate to. Never seen a noob wing it and read a crowd there is barely enough confidence to attempt their over planned, sync'd,my friends like it, practiced all week, now i'm gonna show the world what I can do mix.
    Most of my experience is dated as well so I give you that, but if there are a lot of noobs crashing in front of crowds there are a lot of GM's that should be looking for new jobs. I've seen way more under skilled Dj's get past the interview with a planned set or mixed cd without the ability to do the job right.
    I really have to ask this, how do you plan a floor rotation I have always done it off body language (or the bartender showing some malcontent).

  10. #30
    Member Adzm00's Avatar
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    When I was a "noob" (in the DJing in the club sense at least), I never pre-planned and always tried to read the crowd (probably why I am good at it now) and I wasn't nervous about my gigs either. There is a reason for that, it is called lots of hard work and practice, I didn't even really do a mix for anyone until after 4 years of a lot of practice, so I knew I was a decent standard, not throwing down a half arsed, pre-planned (MIK told me what to play) sync'd up boring piece of shit mix. I practiced until I was good and that is what most people fail at doing today.
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