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What is your magic touch?

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DJ Carter +

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What is your magic touch?
So I'm a latecomer to the DJ game, relatively speaking. Been producing for 12 years, and a few years ago bought a Numark NS7 controller to start mixing and compliment my studio work.

Now here's the thing ...

I know how to drop Track B over the tail of Track A, cutting the bass from Track B until I wish to transition. I use Mixed In Key, and being musical I understand the principles of harmonic mixing. I've even taken to composing intros for my mixes.

As it stands however I'm still an uninspiring "meat and veg" DJ, and would like to learn a few tips and tricks for improving my mixes.

So without meaning to sound like someone asking a magician to pull back the curtain ... what is your magic touch? What is it you do that separates and elevates you from the bedroom DJs who just drop one track over another? What ace up your sleeve do you pull mid-set that makes others think "I'd like to sleep with that person"? And what is is that separates good DJs from a beat matching jukebox?

Last edited by DJ Carter: 04-Apr-15 at 10:26pm

Reason: add pertinent point

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I should probably mention I mostly DJ trance and most forms of house
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Epic cross fade slams, brah..
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try not to touch the decks...only the pitch...keep your hand on it at all times...it will take alot of practise but your mixes will become super tight...and I love super tight things...urm i mean mixes..
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I use Dubfire's rattlesnake snare effect every 20-30 second for good measure.............

Jokes
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Remains to be seen whether it elevates my DJing over anyone elses, but I like to think my schtick is just playing really good tracks. Varying the music at the right time i think is key.

It seems that a lot of DJs get caught up in just trying to impress the 3 other DJs standing around the booth...
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ghostman View Post

try not to touch the decks...only the pitch....

I think you've mentioned this before yeah? I have tried do this, oh man how I have tried. It's like trying to eat a sugar donut without licking your lips! IM POSSIBLE!
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It's not impossible, but it is tricky...correcting and catching without over correcting is an art...saw Derrick May catch a mix from someone bumping the booth and causing an insta train wreck with the pitch alone, in like a second or two, too...most people would just drop the new track out and start again, not Mr May...wiggle wiggle wiggle, back in and locked...fuck off! haha
Pete Gordon - Deep and Low

Slower tempo but still with balls, deephouse, slow-mo, futurehouse, nudeep, indie, nudisco, hints of progressive, whatever the fuck you want to call it, just good shit! Get on it

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/\ Sick. I occasionally have a play with doing it, but does doing quick movements with the pitch wear out the internals?
But if your life is such a big joke, why should I care?
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Yeah, I was pretty dumbfounded...had only been learning to mix for about 3 weeks, was amazed at how he'd just fuck around with EQ'ing and having fun, then it was new track time and it was drop, wiggle wiggle wiggle, BAM up goes the fader within 5 seconds or so and then just rides it till he gets it locked...then he does the train wreck correct...insane!

Hmmm, no idea, possibly does a bit faster than normal, but shits going to wear no matter what you do really.

I’m pretty good with the quick riding and getting it close to locked, but the last few degrees of getting it nailed is so hard
Pete Gordon - Deep and Low

Slower tempo but still with balls, deephouse, slow-mo, futurehouse, nudeep, indie, nudisco, hints of progressive, whatever the fuck you want to call it, just good shit! Get on it

https://soundcloud.com/random_kiwi/deep-and-low
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Much as it's hard to say, i reckon one thing the Stantons have over Technics 1200s is the looseness of the pitch sliders. So much easier to make either fine adjustments or the big sweeps needed for riding the pitch... :-/
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Random_Kiwi View Post

Hmmm, no idea, possibly does a bit faster than normal, but shits going to wear no matter what you do really.

True I suppose, touching the platter doing the same thing maybe.
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For me, track selection is paramount. Mixing just needs to be clean and smooth, no trickery necessary. The greatest set that I've ever seen (Dozzy at Inner Varnika) was all in the immaculate track selection, and long, drawn out, incredibly smooth mixes.
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My scratching and beat juggling sounds ok sometimes.

Too bad my mixing sounds like 2 dj's having a punch up half of the time.
meh..
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Surely track selection should be the thing to be concerned about? You say you can mix so I wouldn't worry about any tricks to try & impress people. You could be listening to someone who knows how to do every trick in the book but if his tunes are shit, the tricks are pointless.
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Track selection is paramount, and depending on the genre, I think the actual mix points are the next most key thing...in phrase, the perfect first beat on first beat drop, all the changes happening together, track A dropping out right as track B breaks down/really drops into the meat of the tune. Nothing worse than missing the drop point and track A ending while track B is still in the intro and not full enough to support the dance floor (back in the days of records so no looping the outro )
Pete Gordon - Deep and Low

Slower tempo but still with balls, deephouse, slow-mo, futurehouse, nudeep, indie, nudisco, hints of progressive, whatever the fuck you want to call it, just good shit! Get on it

https://soundcloud.com/random_kiwi/deep-and-low
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Can't be exaggerated how important track selection is. Focus really hard to getting an awesome bag of tunes to play with first of all and then through lots of practice learn when to drop the right song at the right time. If you have enough songs to begin with, you will be able to match up many more attributes than just BPM.
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besides, no one cares about mixwizzardary once their pingas drop so save all that wiggle wiggle shit for the first 5 tracks and then just concentrate on playing mad choons and your g2g
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Agree with what everyone else has said. Track selection (something I definitely need to work on) is going to help you bundles.

If you can nail that, THEN MIK is going to benefit...you know, horse before cart sort of thing.
  • Know your tracks (where vocal come in; where the breaks are)
  • Mix genres by all means, but:
    • tech > tech > tech > tech-house > breaks > breaks > deep house is gonna sound better than
    • tech-house > funky house > breaks > tech > dubstep > IDM > drum'n'bass (read: sounding like you've a tick)
  • Stuff loops and effects. Just play tracks out. Once you're happy with your beat mixing, see about holding mixes for longer than 4 bars
  • Better than staying out the red, see if you can monitor your cued track and keep it in the GREEN
  • Consider your slopes. Easy your cued track in just a bit every bar or fourth. As a producer, you're familiar with summing, yeah? Don't jack both channels up to 100%...ease the main and level the cue before dropping one or the other
  • Consider the 'energy' rating provided by MIK, and see about managing your peaks and troughs
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