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Naturally shit at DJing
Hi All,

Just wondering if anyone has experienced this as well. I am naturally inclined to the concept of DJing as I have a love of electronic music and gadgets, which seems like 2/3s of what is required of a "good" DJ. (inb4 dubstep, flanger and jesus pose). Is anyone else missing that last 3rd? It's not a lack of trying I have been solidly trying for 3 years but still cant seem to get the whole set flow/fluid mixing thing together. Keep in mind I don't like choppin and changing songs every 3 seconds - more like 3 min overlays.

If you guys have any tips on how to get past, would be much appreciated. Is there something I need to research or learn or is it just something that you get with years of experience or it just comes naturally.

Cheers,

inb4 trolls as well.
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just promote yourself as a "detroit dj"
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Quote:

Originally Posted by pomrocks View Post

just promote yourself as a "detroit dj"

To be honest I don't get the reference, so I can't tell if you're trolling

I have no intention of promoting myself I don't want to play out just be enjoy mixing at home.
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:p was just a tounge in check comment on some of their lax mixing style


sometimes it takes a long time to pick up, i dont think i was "competant" for 2 or 3 years, and even to this day i have more off days...

is it the beatmatching part of it you struggle with? beatmatching you can fix with practice, flow comes with a good ear for tunes / experience
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Quote:

Originally Posted by pomrocks View Post

:p was just a tounge in check comment on some of their lax mixing style


sometimes it takes a long time to pick up, i dont think i was "competant" for 2 or 3 years, and even to this day i have more off days...

is it the beatmatching part of it you struggle with? beatmatching you can fix with practice, flow comes with a good ear for tunes / experience

Beat matching is OK but I know that's just practise. I have always had the temptation for auto syncing and I don't have the self control not to do it (damn DVS). Up until now! My mate has moved in with a good ol fashioned TT set up. I am not so much worried about beat matching, more the latter. I can't really seem to pick up what works well together and my phrasing is just absolute shit haha. I still can't tell when to "filter" the out going track out completely and stuff.
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the simple answer is; what ever sounds best

find two tracks that sound similar / similar speed....and just keep mixing them in & out till you get it nice & smooth

try not to rush mixing out of a track, ie start of using the intro / outro to get the hang of it
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Quote:

Originally Posted by pomrocks View Post

the simple answer is; what ever sounds best

find two tracks that sound similar / similar speed....and just keep mixing them in & out till you get it nice & smooth

try not to rush mixing out of a track, ie start of using the intro / outro to get the hang of it

I think I might be trying to jump ahead without getting the basics first hey. Thanks man.
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post an example
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peppy View Post

I still can't tell when to "filter" the out going track out completely and stuff.

Ah man I still have issues with that sometimes. I find the key is to know your songs well, I normally only have that problem when I don't know a tune that well.

http://soundcloud.com/mmmbutch/
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I've been mixing for maybe 3 years, I still fuck up when practicing at home. I find knowing the tracks very well helps, and listening to a whole bunch of others mixes. Also DJ with mates and gain from their experience. Also what style are you mixing?

PS I am no pro dj just giving my 20 cents.
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I am currently setting myself up for a mix I will be mixing four tet/scuba et al

so more drawn out stuff.
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sounds like you are tone deaf in which case you could mix prog trance and hardstyles, it all sounds the same so its much easier to mix
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Quote:

Originally Posted by CircusMidget View Post

sounds like you are tone deaf in which case you could mix prog trance and hardstyles, it all sounds the same so its much easier to mix

quite possibly ha same with brostep I suppose
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Wow that macc4 guy is still using alias logins?
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it's not like you are naturally shit richur, I mean you have worked long and hard at it
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Thanks macca, your praise is always embraced for what it is
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get 'mixed in key'. its a foolproof way to help keep everything fluid.
mixing in key and knowing your tracks back to front, is a simple way
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Just mix dubstep, no one will know if you train wreck a mix.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by special ed View Post

get 'mixed in key'. its a foolproof way to help keep everything fluid.
mixing in key and knowing your tracks back to front, is a simple way

What ed said - if you are trying to mix slow fades in then doing it harmonically makes a huge difference (If you have a good ear for pitch/keys you may not need the software)

And try wearing a big mouse head - no one will care what you sound like...
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Quote:

Originally Posted by CircusMidget View Post

sounds like you are tone deaf in which case you could mix prog trance

yeah cos there's no potential key clashes with the melodies in prog trance tracks
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Basically...... you want to mix in either 16, 32 or 64 bar segments,

Also try to keep any big movement on your EQs at around the start of one of these sequences,

Plus, picture what you are doing b4 you do it, then commit to it. Eg. If you are going to bring in the cymbols of track two as you fade out the high of track one, don't fuck around in the mix too much and muddy everything up, keep it clear what you're doing in the mix.

* copy mixes of famous djs with tracks you own and see how if you can emulate how they mix it in. But don't kill yourself if you can't mix Andy C on Nightlife straight away !

** Try to mix like DJ Randal
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Seriously, give mixing techno and tech-house a go. They usually have faily long intros / outros which will mean you can focus on getting the groove right, and not worry about the key. Clashing keys can sound worse than a trainwreck, and even if it's in time it can be horrible.

Focusing on one thing first will mean you can slowly progress. Also, make sure you listen to a lot of mixes of different styles, and from different times - not just new stuff, but mixes from years ago.

Last bit of quick advice - tracks have different energy levels. You can have a track going at 124 bpm and it can have way more energy than one at 136 bpm, just listen to the elements in it, but it can have a huge impact on the flow of your set.
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Try getting behind the decks first thing in the morning. All the smoothest mixes i've done, especially to do with track selection, happen straight after a good nights rest.
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Clearly you don't drink.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by osker View Post

Try getting behind the decks first thing in the morning. All the smoothest mixes i've done, especially to do with track selection, happen straight after a good nights rest.

best mixing i've ever done has been at 10am after being out all night

go figure
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peppy View Post

I can't really seem to pick up what works well together and my phrasing is just absolute shit haha. I still can't tell when to "filter" the out going track out completely and stuff.


All you really need to do is paying attention the the music playing, get into the groove and tap your feet. Do. Not. Count. Beats.


It never fails to surprise me how many folks say you should count X or Y amount of beats.

Fuck that.

When you're on the dancefloor, you know when that drop is coming ... you know when that breakdown is going to land ... you feel when that phrase comes to an end.

Get into the same zone when mixing (serious, just start tapping your toes) and the question of phrasing will disappear and will just naturally happen.


Don't over think it ... feel it.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Funkedub View Post

Do. Not. Count. Beats.

Get into the same zone when mixing (serious, just start tapping your toes)

wise words

im no good with numbers, so counting beats / bars would just confuse me
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maybe you 'feel' it as you are subconsciously counting funke?
Im guilty of counting... and always pitch shifting in increments of .8
Check it ****s.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by pomrocks View Post

best mixing i've ever done has been at 10am after being out all night

go figure



+1.

My best work happens after big nights.

http://soundcloud.com/mmmbutch/
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Quote:

Originally Posted by m_xt View Post

maybe you 'feel' it as you are subconsciously counting funke?

Nah ... take my dancefloor analogy. I sure as shit ain't counting bars on the dancefloor ... but i know when that sample is gonna drop again!
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peppy View Post

Beat matching is OK but I know that's just practise. I have always had the temptation for auto syncing and I don't have the self control not to do it (damn DVS). Up until now! My mate has moved in with a good ol fashioned TT set up. I am not so much worried about beat matching, more the latter. I can't really seem to pick up what works well together and my phrasing is just absolute shit haha. I still can't tell when to "filter" the out going track out completely and stuff.

I admire your honesty coming in here and admitting on what you think you need help on. I could list a few hundred 'dj' in Sydney alone, who tried to make the jump to early in front of crowds and only get booked because they bring a million friends to every gig, or if female dress like king cross hookers to get a gig.

Best thing i would do is, listen to a few of you favorite dj's, study how they put the sets together and how they make things flow, you will find that eventually you will start to get your own style, its something that happens over years.

Good luck with it!
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Funkedub View Post

All you really need to do is paying attention the the music playing, get into the groove and tap your feet. Do. Not. Count. Beats.


It never fails to surprise me how many folks say you should count X or Y amount of beats.

Fuck that.

When you're on the dancefloor, you know when that drop is coming ... you know when that breakdown is going to land ... you feel when that phrase comes to an end.

Get into the same zone when mixing (serious, just start tapping your toes) and the question of phrasing will disappear and will just naturally happen.


Don't over think it ... feel it.

Big time this! You'll notice it if you play some back to back sets, too, go track for track with someone and most of the time you'll be mixing out of a track you don't know, yet even without counting, you'll find the spots

Nothing like running out of time pre-cueing, shit shit shit, winding the record back, frantic drop, to find that was the perfect spot, old track ends right as the new track drops the full meat of the bassline or goes into a breakdown (internally high fiving yourself)
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wow thanks for the feedback guys.

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Clearly you don't drink.

I do but I don't drink to get drunk. I drink a six pack or so of Fitty Lashes a week cause it tastes awesome and it relaxes the muscles


Quote:

All you really need to do is paying attention the the music playing, get into the groove and tap your feet. Do. Not. Count. Beats.

This is something my logical mind never considered which is kind of ironic because music is incredibly personal, and I suppose when you're trying to enjoy it you shouldn't really objectify it

Quote:

Seriously, give mixing techno and tech-house a go

Haha I will dude just need to grab some stuff from Beatport! I am really into Nicholas Jaar though at the moment and also that Mix by Random_kiwis mates that was posted a while ago was dope! Mixes that aren't just a collection of songs mashed together but sort of .... blended. Sounds stupid but I am sure you guys know what I mean.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by pomrocks View Post

best mixing i've ever done has been at 10am after being out all night

go figure

I'm sure you felt you were doing really well ....
Wats clubing by yourself like and dose enyone do it
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Quote:

Originally Posted by b_bop View Post

I'm sure you felt you were doing really well ....


At least a couple of my mixes on mixcloud were laid down "the day after" ... recorded proof it wasn't all in my head
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Ruling out counting altogether is just as rigid as saying you need to count everytime you mix... Sometimes it helps when there's alot of shit going on at the same time and there's some odd beats overlaid with some other odd beats or the producer/s of the track/s have purposely decided to throw a curveball in the song structure/s which throws out the phrasing of the transition.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by richcur View Post

...or the producer/s of the track/s have purposely decided to throw a curveball in the song structure/s which throws out the phrasing of the transition.


Yes ... hence counting bars won't serve you well at all here.
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^^Umm yeh it will (and does) when you're prepared for the curveball and don't need to play catchup & make yourself look like a dick in front of the crowd by 'just feelin it yo'
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Digitalgrub View Post

- tracks have different energy levels. You can have a track going at 124 bpm and it can have way more energy than one at 136 bpm, just listen to the elements in it, but it can have a huge impact on the flow of your set.

^^^^ this.

And, having some sort of audience, or imagining one, can really help getting a flow going. Figure out the vibe, or energy level of the tracks you've got and then think about mixing them for people getting ready to go out, or after they've come home. Recognise the changes in energy level of your audience, and then choose tracks that flow with the changes.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peppy View Post

Haha I will dude just need to grab some stuff from Beatport! I am really into Nicholas Jaar though at the moment and also that Mix by Random_kiwis mates that was posted a while ago was dope! Mixes that aren't just a collection of songs mashed together but sort of .... blended. Sounds stupid but I am sure you guys know what I mean.

Yeah, what a talent NJ is - I find it hard to mix his songs - a lot of them being sub 100bpm. The closest thing I've found is Chicago House especially stuff by Virgo Four, and I think moombahton would clash with it.



Quote:

Originally Posted by Random_Kiwi View Post

Nothing like running out of time pre-cueing, shit shit shit, winding the record back, frantic drop, to find that was the perfect spot, old track ends right as the new track drops the full meat of the bassline or goes into a breakdown (internally high fiving yourself)

Holy yes. About as good as if I were trying to get two songs together for a while - I can here that they should go, but I can't get them, then it just works. Such an amazing feel.
A bit corny, but this is what DJ-ing is about, those 'wtfuck-did-I-just-do-dat' moments. Plus, it's music, so that's a plus there.
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The ironic thing about this thread is that everyone is shit at dj'ing st first, it takes time and a lot of effort to get good. Yeah some ppl can beat match pretty quickly but that doesn't mean they're suddenly a great dj, it's so much more than that.

My word of advice, try to find your sound, stick with it, listen to djs playing a similar sound and try to reproduce it with your own musical slant.
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Sounds to me like you don't have sennheiser headphones.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by nocturnal_groova View Post

The ironic thing about this thread is that everyone is shit at dj'ing st first, it takes time and a lot of effort to get good. Yeah some ppl can beat match pretty quickly but that doesn't mean they're suddenly a great dj, it's so much more than that.

.

I know a guy that started off ok, but as time went on he got more and more shit
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Finding your sound can be an interesting thing. I've discovered it's much more about how music 'feels' than what genre it is. Hence I'll happily play deephouse/disco, House/techno, or rave/psytrance! It's all about having some musical elements that binds it.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by CircusMidget View Post

I know a guy that started off ok, but as time went on he got more and more shit

you know David Guetta?
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just learn to beatmatch / eq half decent, then you can seem like a champion in front of your mates any time there's a house party with some decks

my 0.02

ps. to do this, just practice every day, like for 6 months b4 complaining again
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that’s terrible spastic
also I would imagine a little disheartening that he has never attempted to drug rape you?

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Sounds like your bigger problem is that you're a fan of music, but not necessarily a natural musician. The only real answer to that is practice. A shit-ton of practice until one day you'll get it.
If you've missed the basics then perhaps go back to the beginning and accept the fact that you might need some guidance beyond forums and may benefit from someone who is trained to educate people teaching you. That way you'll learn more about the structure of music and what types of music work well together. It'll also be a good basis for learning to beatmatch with your ears and instincts (if that's the type of djing you'd like to be doing)
I'd personally always go with learning on cdjs or turntables as it's a bit like learning to drive a manual car. Whereas with auto-synced/digital is more like learning to drive automatic (by which I mean that a manual driver will be able to drive anything they get behind, whereas an automatic driver will be a bit of a retard if you put a clutch under their foot) But either way, stick to ONE format until you get it.
Lastly, not everyone who djs is good enough to make a living out of it, but If you enjoy it you'll get to the top of your game with persistence.
Good luck.

Last edited by wheelo007: 28-Aug-12 at 07:00pm

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pEAkeR_hAT View Post

just learn to beatmatch / eq half decent, then you can seem like a champion in front of your mates any time there's a house party with some decks

my 0.02

ps. to do this, just practice every day, like for 6 months b4 complaining again

I don't like playing with an audience, I know half of DJing is reading the crowd and shit it's just something I prefer to do at home by myself.
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DJing is only about reading the crowd if there's a crowd to read, so don't worry about that shit/
If you're still not happy with the technical aspects of getting your mixing right in the comfort of your own home, playing the same music, after several months, you've missed out on something basic. Have you gotten around to recording 3-4 tracks yet? It'd be better for you to put them up and let people give you some feedback. Not everybody is going to troll you about it and it's part of the learning process.

Having said that, if you've only been djing for a few weeks, then don't expect to be getting it right without putting the time in. The reason it looks easy to a professional dj is because they've done it 100,000 times before.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by wheelo007 View Post

DJing is only about reading the crowd if there's a crowd to read, so don't worry about that shit/
If you're still not happy with the technical aspects of getting your mixing right in the comfort of your own home, playing the same music, after several months, you've missed out on something basic. Have you gotten around to recording 3-4 tracks yet? It'd be better for you to put them up and let people give you some feedback. Not everybody is going to troll you about it and it's part of the learning process.

Having said that, if you've only been djing for a few weeks, then don't expect to be getting it right without putting the time in. The reason it looks easy to a professional dj is because they've done it 100,000 times before.

Currently a needle on one of the TTs is broken so I'll make it a priority when we get another one.
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