Beginner Question, how do you pros plan your sets? - Page 2
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  1. #11
    Tech Mentor Halukar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djtom420 View Post
    there's also an article on DJTT about "djing in abelton" and how planning sets should be part of your masterplan.
    djing in ableton is different than djing with traktor. yes a masterplan is a good idea, but i personally believe it is more along the lines of "i want people to bounce" or "i want to convey _____ message while making people dance" and then improve from there.

  2. #12
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    Plan portions of your set, not the whole set. That way you can move in different directions. As far as harmonic mixing goes if your mixes sound seamless or go great together you're doing it. Doesn't matter if you use software to detect the keys of the tracks to aid in picking the next track or not you're still mixing harmonically.
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  3. #13
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Harmonic Mixing only comes into play when you're mixing non-rhythmic (ie - bass, lead, synth, etc...) elements. You can mix tracks that do not go together harmonically by mixing JUST the percussion elements (drums). It's a trick you can use when 2 tracks do not match harmonically, but are linked by other means.

    Let's not make this thread all about harmonic mixing techniques.
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  4. #14
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    About the harmonic mixing comment:
    Quote Originally Posted by padi_04 View Post
    yeah, but harmonic detection software aint 100% spot on (more like 60-70). unless you are doing it manually there is no way to be totally safe.
    That's the central point. I had my first vocal audition 15 years ago, and I've been playing guitar for a while. Obviously, I believe music theory plays a role in music, and keys are important. Automatic key detection software is piss-poor at giving you a bad approximation of the information normal people can perceive but not describe.

    Using them does nothing but handicap yourself by encouraging you to rely on less information than you'd normally have and that is less accurate.

    If you're capable of doing it manually without asking for help, you know that you don't need it unless you're playing along with it…just listen to the damn track.

    When you're learning, it's one huge thing that you need to ignore, especially if you're having problems putting together coherent sets. Learn that first, and learn it based on listening to your tracks. Phrase matching and managing energy levels (as in: this track has a nice groove, I want to bob my head vs. Damn! This track is HOTTT!) is infinitely more important than "well, I went up a whole step and the floor cleared…wtf?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Djtom420 View Post
    there's also an article on DJTT about "djing in abelton" and how planning sets should be part of your masterplan.
    Either you read it wrong or the author was an idiot.

    Having spun in Live for a year or so, a pre-planned set is the most boring thing in the world. The only difference between doing that and pressing play on an iPod is that Live is more likely to crash. I don't have a problem with technology; I use sync every time I mix; and I spun with Live for a year. If it weren't for a couple small features in Traktor, I'd still be 100% on Live.

    Doing that is cheating.

    Quote Originally Posted by Halukar View Post
    a masterplan is a good idea, but i personally believe it is more along the lines of "i want people to bounce" or "i want to convey _____ message while making people dance" and then improvise from there.
    Fixed. This is the way you should approach sets, no matter what you're using. Planning a set is the same whether you're using Vinyl or CDJs or Traktor or Live or an Elektron Octatrack. You figure out what music you have; you figure out the feeling you're going for; you pare down your tracks; you find a starting point; and you hope you remember your tracks well enough to know what comes next and to not forget about that perfect track.

    If you own less than 30 tracks and they're not all in the same subgenre…go ahead an plan while you search for and collect more music. After you learn how to do that, then you can start worrying about how to plan a set for a recorded mix, which is the same as you would normally spin…except that you get a pen & paper and do-overs.

  5. #15
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by padi_04 View Post
    know your tracks
    Very important!
    Yes maybe plan out the first few tunes you want to play, maybe with some intro samples etc that work well, and go with the flow from there. Learning to control the energy is a skill that will progress naturally over time. The rating system is a good idea as well. especially if you aren't so familiar with your tracks. Harmonic mixing is a great tool but totally optional, tbh i use it but only for recordings or when i'm too lazy to choose the next track mainly What style do you play buddy?
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  6. #16
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    Also we have a gig ourselves in 4 wekks so i am gonna watch this thread for some pointers as well
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  7. #17
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    Thanks people, these were pretty much the answers I was looking for!

    Fixed pre-planninng is not what I want to do, but I figured there will be so many other problems to worry about at the first few gigs that I would go for safety first and then remove the crutches as confidence grows. Being in front of a crowd on such a sound system after months on the home stereo in my bedroom might be scary enough to forget everything I had planned. I like the idea of making rough playlists with possibly matching stuff and then just dig through them while playing. Like an intro list, a list with the "slammers", a list with stuff to go in between, etc. 20-30 tracks each.

    About harmonic mixing: there's a challenge in mixing tracks that are fundamentally different. Often, I practice by mixing totally random playlists. The approach of just letting the technical stuff aside and focus on training my ears instead of remembering mathematical lists sounds good. After all, I am also a music theory noob, all I have is 5 years of total music addiction. The minimalistic style of techno I like helps a little with that.

    I am glad to hear that some of you also think a set has to be a journey rather than a fixed intensity curve. Let's see how much I can bend the rules...

    Now I only have to find a good way to tag my tracks, at the moment I just have a million playlists.

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    Cheers folks, that was very helpful!

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  8. #18
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    DJ Notation also can aid in what tracks to bring in where, but again, it requires you go through your libarary and know each of your tracks.

    theres a good article about it here.

    http://www.djnotation.org/

    think of it as tabliture for dj's
    Last edited by xtianw; 01-23-2011 at 08:57 PM.
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  9. #19
    Tech Mentor Ryan Leo's Avatar
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    I think if you know your tracks inside and out your ear and you develop a way to describe "emotions" that you can tie to a list of tracks you are essentially mixing harmonically just not in the mathematical sense that the software offers. Maybe I'm full of shit.

    So I'd like to take the rating system as a means to develop set lists or preping for set lists and elaborate on it.

    Would you use 1-5 stars to list 5 seperate levels of music? if not, what criteria would do you use to put them into each rating?

  10. #20
    Tech Guru completej's Avatar
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    that dj notation appears way more complicated that it needs be. by the time you finished notating your collection, you would (should) know your music well enough to know when all that is occurring.
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