Learning the Moves
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default Learning the Moves

    Hey Guys

    I have been looking into Djing for the past year and I finally got a S4. I have been devouring all of the posts on the blog and I was just wondering if people could talk about how they got started DJing and also give me some tips on techniques and practice plans.

    Thanks,
    Swizzy

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Nesquigs's Avatar
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    there is a whole thread of practice and mix techniques.

    search and you shall find
    Quote Originally Posted by Xonetacular View Post
    Ya I've heard one song. It's called Skrillex.
    13" Macbook - 256gb SSD, 750gb HDD, 8gb Ram ❘ DDJ-SX | HDJ-2000
    Kontrol Z1 | Midifighter 3D | Kontrol X1

  3. #3
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    I started on vinyl and learned from that side. I honestly have no idea how I would have learned to listen to structure and rhythm the way I do now if I'd been presented with waveforms and a huge library of music………I probably would have either failed miserably or given up.

    So…my suggestions…stick to 2 decks, put them in "micro" view, turn off everything extra that you can (including sync, key lock, and all of the effects), and start building up a very small playlist of the stuff you want to spin…start with 5 songs.

    Every couple days, add one song to the playlist.

    When you can throw a set–doesn't have to be long, half an hour is fine–and not sound like one constant train wreck, start thinking about adding back some of the features Traktor offers while you continue to get better.

    That's my advice. But, frankly, I probably would have drowned in possibilities if I'd started with an S4.

  4. #4
    Tech Convert
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    Thanks, last night was my first night working with the system and I can feel the possibility, I definitely am going to start off slow and learn the beat match. Its a fantastic system I'm elicited to get deeper in the technical stuff.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor TreTuna's Avatar
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    I'd have to agree with pretty much everything mostapha said. When most people start I always recommend going analog route with just two table and a mixer, because this forces you to learn the tried-and-true methods of analog mixing. Now, that being said, you are just fine with your S4, just try to not use all the bells and whistles until you get the basics down

    Try NOT to look at the computer as much as possible. Use your ears! This is probably one of my biggest gripes of the new digital age... DJs putting their computers right in front of their face between them and the people they are playing to and then staring at it the whole time. Use your ears to beatmatch, not a screen and waveforms. This is an audio profession, not a visual one. If you notice, pretty much all the big name DJs will always have their computers to the side of the setup, this way their audience can see and connect with them a lot more.
    Tre Tuna
    DJ and Recording and Mixing engineer for live and studio sound
    Traktor Pro 2.7.1 | MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4gigs ram
    Stanton STR8-150s | Ortofon Q-Bert Carts
    NI Z2, F1, Machine MK I, RigKontrol 3 | Dicers | PadKontrol

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard
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    I totally second you turning stuff off in your settings. I'd say get rid of the beat graph too. I honestly wouldn't even touch the EQ's until you can use the track's own phrasing to go from one song to the next, if that makes sense. Use the BPM to get close and then take it from there.

    One thing you should figure out is your audio recorder, it's under the FX2 bank. I always listen to each of my transitions after I make a mix to see how well I did, how I could have improved, etc. Maybe take your five tracks, plan your set, run through it twice, and compare the two recordings. It's usually pretty humbling.

  7. #7

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    I have been doing it for about a year now. I started with the Vestax Spin, which was really good for beginners and learning the basics, and kind of along the lines of what Mostapha said because it has no waveforms and very few effects. I just got a s4 back in June and absolutely love it but i think that learning the basics on a more simple platform really helped when i made the jump to the s4.

    So i guess im just going off everyone else by saying start out small. Its as if youve been given the keys to a ferrari for your 16th birthday by starting with an s4, so just make sure to get the basics before jumping to the beatmasher.

  8. #8
    Tech Convert
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    Ya I have been just playing songs I know and learning what it sounds like out of phase and in phase and fixing it. I got the S4 because i didn't want not have to shell out more money when I was ready
    DJ Gear: S4 | Traktor 2
    Audio Engineering Gear: 15" Macbook Pro | Logic Studio 2 | Presonus Firestudio | SM58's | Blue Spark | M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Monitors

  9. #9
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    If you want to set traktor up as if you were using some CDJs make a layout with waveform set to small, on xray, phase meter off, sync set to tempo sync so it wont beatsync even if you have the urge to hit sync, and BPM and it will mimic a CDJ-2000 setup nicely.

    You may want to practice with BPM display off altogether at some point or you may want to do this first.

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