Is track selection/set programming going the way of the dodo bird
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  1. #1

    Default Is track selection/set programming going the way of the dodo bird

    It might just be me, but mostly I see all of these djs that seem to be playing exactly the same songs as the next guy, who is playing the same songs as the next guy, who are all playing stuff off of charts that they get off the internet... I always thought that with the technology giving everyone a leg up on the necessary skills (beatmatching, phrasing etc) we would see a whole bunch more creativity in set programming. Instead I seem to hear the same 20 or so songs in differing order with an entirely overused emphasis on transitions using effects. Its almost like people don't give a shit that the mix sounds bad because 8 beats before the next phrase they are going to do the super echo delay filter slicer cue point juggle trick...whatever happened to eqing the shit out of your mix and just letting the songs speak for themselves...
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  2. #2
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    maybe you are listening to the wrong DJs there mike

    The sets of the likes of Lawler, Emerson, Sasha, Digweed, Sneak, Sanchez etc...dont sound like that to me...

    DJs that bite someone elses rhymes are playing whats popular...not what moves them...
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  3. #3
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    There are certain tracks that are universally liked by a lot of DJs and I don't blame them for all wanting to play it, but they need to be creative about it. I went out to support a friend last weekend and he played a pretty rocking first half. The floor was empty except for me and some friends but I loved it. A great mix of new plus old and I could see even he was having a great time.

    Then the place started to fill up and I took my seat next to him in the booth and just relaxed as he put on some Salsa style dance music and played 4-5 tracks of that. I asked him why? He said that if he didn't play them now and get it out of the way that he would be getting requests for hip-hop/reggae/salsa all night. I get it to a point, play something at least with a beat that can appease the crowd and get em going. Then it was all down hill from there. Just puffed up pop with a house beat all night long. The crowd loved it though. He did play to them which was nice but they just wanted whatever was on the charts that week.

    I can't say I could play that venue only because I have a totally different style, but it did open my eyes to the fact that the club masses don't want a someone who plays the latest underground set with a well thought out track selection. They want what they always hear at every other club from every other DJ because it's what they know. This is in America btw I'm sure it could be very different in your area of the US and even more so abroad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigheadmikelove View Post
    It might just be me, but mostly I see all of these djs that seem to be playing exactly the same songs as the next guy, who is playing the same songs as the next guy, who are all playing stuff off of charts that they get off the internet... I always thought that with the technology giving everyone a leg up on the necessary skills (beatmatching, phrasing etc) we would see a whole bunch more creativity in set programming. Instead I seem to hear the same 20 or so songs in differing order with an entirely overused emphasis on transitions using effects. Its almost like people don't give a shit that the mix sounds bad because 8 beats before the next phrase they are going to do the super echo delay filter slicer cue point juggle trick...whatever happened to eqing the shit out of your mix and just letting the songs speak for themselves...
    I think he's talking about most of the people who post mixes up on here, and if that's so then I couldn't agree more with him.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru Garygary1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nephew View Post
    I think he's talking about most of the people who post mixes up on here, and if that's so then I couldn't agree more with him.
    Honestly, I just think the newbies these days don't understand the concept of unique track selection unless they are taught to think that way.

    For example, I'm by no means a veteran, but my dad taught me how to dj and he was an enormous white label collector.

  6. #6
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    nope. there's just more turds in the punch bowl than a few years ago.


    i'm still hearing great new mixes all the time by djs who know what they're doing.

  7. #7

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    Keith - Yeah, the old prog/tribal house guys were basically paid enormous amounts of money to be able to "pick winners" for lack of a better term... but you and I have had this discussion before, I think that the abundance of charts and the lack of the somewhat lengthy learning curve has flooded the market (small clubs, soundcloud etc) with "pretty boys" that aren't really into the music, they dj for status and may have only been listening to EDM for about 30 minutes before they got an s4 and hit all the blogs up for "wotz Hawt" so basically they learn that there are 32 or 64 beats to a phrase in most edm, steal a copy of mik, and go nA (where N = the initial key of their set) +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 (rinse and repeat throughout the set) but I think where it is getting worse is that they aren't really learning to mix they are learning to "effect cut" (trademarked - Mike T) and they think that it is providing originality to the mix... therefore it's all creating this system that is killing dancemusic and it's seems to be degenerating into an abyss of peaktime bangers, where are the skilled warmup djs now, where are the guys that know how to give and take energy (also known as selling a few drinks) off of a dancefloor without ruining the vibe... But it's not only the new djs, I've been noticing it a bit with some of my beloved DnB guys, I downloaded a couple of Ganja recordings (Hype's label I might be forgetting what it is) nights at fabric to listen to and a couple of frictions mixes and some other stuff and the vast majority of the mixes have mostly the same songs...sure there are a few different tracks here and there but I'd say at least 75% of the tracks were the same. it's partially a different issue with DnB to me, the festival headliners have all been around for so long that the music may have passed their ears by...

    Bart - your last paragraph is extremely spot on where it says the masses don't want a well thought out set (and it doesn't have to be straight up underground to be good, but that is another discussion :P ) but why does that have to influence the masses of soundcloud djs (like myself) is everyone harboring some dream of being a semi pro dj That is the only reason I can see everyone playing the same stuff, to market themselves to the club owners/managers to show that they are doing what is working in the club.

    Nephew - exactly, but it's pretty much flooded soundcloud (as far as I can tell)

    Gary - I see what you are saying, I didn't really get into dance music till the late nineties and I started collecting records till 2000...what grabbed me first was the UK breakbeat sounds like TCR and Botchit and the like...but I was stationed in Okinawa Japan, as far as I could tell I was the only person out there that liked it, I had to basically go to satellite records, htfr, funkwax, Gemm and the like to find what I wanted, basically finding songs was much harder back then, but what I don't understand about it is that it's less difficult to find music now, why were the djs more varied back then?

    also, I'm by no means way ahead of the game or anything, I've played out some way back in the early 2000s but have never had a set of decks for longer than a year, I consider myself a beginner and am not trying to talk down anyone, I am no better than most of these "pretty boy" djs in fact I'm probably "technically" worse, but I do seem to play a more varied track selection than most of those types (but that could also be because :
    A - I'm grown up and can afford to spend a boatload of cash on beatport every week on music
    B - I have no concern with how new what I am playing is, hell I'm always pissed off that I can't find old gems on high quality mp3s... or
    C - because I have had a much longer time listening to EDM my ear is kinda "pre-trained" to hear my own "style" ) I say all that to say this, if you are reading this, please, pretty please, try to put together something that is original, not just some sort of exercise in effect use (remember when djs used to use the flange to cover up shitty mixes...it's still like that just way worse) Sorry for the immense wall of text I'm officially drunk tonight...

    Be easy all,
    Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by photojojo View Post
    The whole DJ scene has been built on the backbones of people losing their warranty.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flash101uk View Post
    Mixing is a lot like farting. If you have to force it, its probably shit!

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    I think selection is something that is really overlooked lately, and I agree completely.

    The difference is though between "underground" and the bigger clubs... underground has a lot more freedom to shine as a selector, where the bigger clubs play the recycled charts.

    As a DJ, I'm still a nub. I actually really decided to step up and get involved with it as a hobby because I started going out, and realizing that the selection of some of the DJ's was just atrocious.

    Now. I don't go to "mainstream" clubs. You won't find me in a button-up shirt and tie. I'm one of the guys who has been getting grimey in neon clothing and UFO's rocking my ass off to DnB for the past 10 years.

    That being said, I think the ease of being able to actually BUY music has hurt things in a lot of ways. It's nice... but it's the same thing as talking about sync. It's "nice".

    The big thing about "back in the day" was that artists really had to know their music personally, and had to spend big money on getting albums. They also developed a style that fit them, and chances were (at least locally) that there really wouldn't be others who fit that same style.

    Now everyone can buy the same tracks, pretty easily. There are a lot of good banger tracks out there. The people that stand out to me lately are those who really stick to a sound, and go with it. Speed Garage, chill-Dubstep, Breaks, DnB (liquid, jump-up).

    Another thing is the way we listen to music. No longer do we buy a full album, and you can listen to one track after another and they will all be great in their own way. I just look back on Fat of the Land for that. It's all "singles" now, everything being put out.

    And there are a metric shit-ton of remix's out there. Good tracks. Overplayed tracks? I don't know. It's a matter when remixing becomes more important than production it seems at times.

    I love going to a show and having tunes that I recognize as being "big" interspersed with either old school tracks, or stuff I may not have heard but are still groovy. Building that up and down movement, and keeping a set moving.

    Big a large fan of Dubstep, I see this poor choice stuff a lot. Case and point, a producer I really do enjoy; Borgore. I've seen him twice this year. And both times, while I enjoyed listening to some unreleased stuff and hearing big times like Ice Cream and Nympho go off.... BANGER BANGER BANGER BANGER. No up and down. Just I CAN PLAY MORE AWESOME AND MORE AWESOME OVER AND OVER. Original Sin is another producer that is guilty of this. Awesome tracks, but you can't just slam bangers one after another.

    There wasn't any feeling to his set. Now, I give producer's a bit of a break in comparison to folks who are "only" DJ's. They have an excuse, they focus on production. That's why you see teams like Terravita/Hot Pink Delorean with 3+ guys there. One is the main "DJ" and one produces, and then you have the MC.

    Selection and flow is so key to a good set. It's something that people don't learn overnight. And it's the difference in being a DJ, and a good DJ that people will want to come back to hear.
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  9. #9

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    People read the Beatport et rest charts.
    People purchase tracks from those lists.
    Then make mixes assuming they will be popular because they contain chart material.

    ...which is not the case...

  10. #10
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    go to a different club... i used to get the same feeling but just started going to different places. it's really refreshing to hear someone who can play you a set where you cant name more that half of the songs.

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