You might use that time to introduce a new track (audio, midi, etc.) into the mix?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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