Newbie!
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Thread: Newbie!

  1. #1

    Default Newbie!

    Hey guys, I'm a complete newbie to DJing so please bear with me. This is probably the most annoying question you could ever be asked but gosh darn it, I've used the search function and I can't find an answer!

    Where does one start off when they want to learn to DJ?

    - I've been playing around on Virtual DJ, learning how to smoothly transition from one song to another.
    - I've looked around for equipment, I'm thinking of buying the Numark N4. Is this a good idea?
    -I've started buying a lot more music, mostly remixes and I'm really expanding my music collection.

    Besides doing all of this, I feel completely lost as to what I'm meant to be doing. Right now I feel like I'm just sitting at home playing around on VDJ. I know it takes a lot of time and hard work to even get the basics of DJing but I just don't know where to get started.

    Thanks so much
    Mark

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
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    buy what you can afford, but spend as much as you can. tunes are always good. i'd try trakor or serato rather than virtual dj. I know dj's who use it in bars. but i think it ends up limiting you as a dj.
    2 x Technics 1210's (mk3's), Xone 62, Denon 3500, TSP2, Traktor Kontrol S4, Midifighter, Macbook pro

  3. #3
    Tech Wizard
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    If you have a musical background dj'ing will come alot easier than if you dont. Playing around is part of the keys to learning, although you will be very limited until you get equipment ( one mouse click compared to the multitasking of 2 hands ), to be honest what sounds like a clean mix now 3 months from now wont sound so clean, and thats a good thing!

    Until then I can't stress enough the important of learning music theory. Learn about BPM, phrasing, and keys. One piece of software that will help your mixes tremendously is Mixed In Key. It assigns your tracks a camelot code number which you can use in addition to this chart to match 2 songs with complementing keys. There are more advanced ways of using this wheel, but the basic premise is whatever code your playing song is, it will match with a code to the left/right/top/bottom ( so 12A will match with 12B, 1A, and 11A ).



    As for mixing techniques I highly recomend this video series

    http://www.youtube.com/user/pioneerdjsounds

    Its essentially an overhead view while famous dj's spin, watch their techniques and what theyre doing, try to apply this to your mixing.

    The most important thing; always have fun and keep it interesting to yourself!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by riotto View Post
    If you have a musical background dj'ing will come alot easier than if you dont. Playing around is part of the keys to learning, although you will be very limited until you get equipment ( one mouse click compared to the multitasking of 2 hands ), to be honest what sounds like a clean mix now 3 months from now wont sound so clean, and thats a good thing!

    Until then I can't stress enough the important of learning music theory. Learn about BPM, phrasing, and keys. One piece of software that will help your mixes tremendously is Mixed In Key. It assigns your tracks a camelot code number which you can use in addition to this chart to match 2 songs with complementing keys. There are more advanced ways of using this wheel, but the basic premise is whatever code your playing song is, it will match with a code to the left/right/top/bottom ( so 12A will match with 12B, 1A, and 11A ).



    As for mixing techniques I highly recomend this video series

    http://www.youtube.com/user/pioneerdjsounds

    Its essentially an overhead view while famous dj's spin, watch their techniques and what theyre doing, try to apply this to your mixing.

    The most important thing; always have fun and keep it interesting to yourself!
    I agree. Also make sure all your tracks are correctly beat gridded to aid in furthering your mixing. if you start off from the start with the correct way of sorting your tracks you'll find mixing much easier.
    2 x Technics 1210's (mk3's), Xone 62, Denon 3500, TSP2, Traktor Kontrol S4, Midifighter, Macbook pro

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor nicoga3000's Avatar
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    Watch those videos from the pioneerdjsounds's show channel. Seriously, there are some VERY talented mixes going on there. To be able to see what they're doing from that angle is a real treat. The Kissy Sell Out video is my favorite still, and it still blows my mind!

    Also, the whole "mixed in key" thing is important, for sure. BUT! Don't worry too much about it right now. Make use of it while you can, but work it in as you grow - it's the best way I found to enjoy my progress.

    The one protip I can give is (after you decide on a controller/CDJ+Mixer and software) to study live performances and feel the EQ'ing. Learning to read the crowd and play to their energy will come. Transitioning smoothly from one song to another is simply bedroom practice.

    One thing that's helped me a lot is this. Keep in mind the fact that I run an S4 + TP2...

    Load up TP2 and boot up the S4. Grab a random track from genre I feel like listening to and drop in deck A. Do the same for deck B. Hit record and mix. I'll go like this for an hour or so - no planned songs, no planned transitions. I have to load a track, set cue points, and find a nice transition while the other track is going. It's a great way to feel out your music collection and keep on your toes.

    Most of all, have fun

  6. #6
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    Mixing in key isn't that important, especially as a beginner. You should be able to detect the key intuitively after enough practice. Alot of the times, if you've got a musical ear, you'll find that your mixes are in the relatively same/similar keys.

    Mixing in key should be left for after you've mastered the basics, and that is mainly beatmatching, song selection, and phrasing.

    Remember that electronic dance music counts in beats of 4 so 1..2..3..4. Repeat that bar 4 times and you've got 16 beats which is half of a 32nd phrase which is where most musical changes - either additions or subtraction - occurs.

    Always try and hit play in rhythm (on the 1 beat) after you've synced the BPM's of the two songs as this will line the songs up without requiring much nudging afterward.

    Listen to the music, record your mixes and play them back regularly. Make this a daily routine and listen with a critical ear but don't be self-defeating.

    Listen to other DJ's sets, find out what you like, and try to develop a style of your own.

    Again, always be listening intently to the music. Eventually you'll develop a "feel" for mixing and it will come more naturally and smoothly but this takes time.

    Check DJ charts for songs if you ever get lost.

    Let the song play out, if you're playing house or techno. Song selection is ESSENTIAL before effects/tricks.

  7. #7
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    yea, I gotta say I think you guys are jumping way ahead with the mixiing in key and quite honestly, I really don't think mixing in key is that big of a deal anyway. He is a total beginner, first learn to beatmatch and have 2 songs in sync, then work on phrasing, where to come in, using effects. Mixing in key is the last thing to think about if you are going to think about it at all.
    Last edited by dj matt blaze; 11-09-2011 at 12:19 AM.

  8. #8
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    he said he could already beatmatch. i think key is more important than fx. If he learns to mix in key he will get better results more often, rather than running in to bad mashups. its rather simple to grasp and is only a rule rather than a tallent.
    2 x Technics 1210's (mk3's), Xone 62, Denon 3500, TSP2, Traktor Kontrol S4, Midifighter, Macbook pro

  9. #9
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    I really don't understand why people on here time after time tell a beginner who doesn't even own any hardware yet to start harmonic mixing.

    Using mixedinkey and the camelot wheel is way overrated especially for a beginner. The last thing someone learning how to DJ needs is to key analyse all their songs and add limits of following key progression while they are still learning.

    Starting out is about experimenting and learning the basics not complicating stuff and adding more layers of confusion. I still don't bother mixing in key, if there is a key clash I will hear it when I cue and I have enough variables I am considering when choosing the next song I'm really not thinking about what comes next on the camelot wheel and if the track in my playlist is an 11A or an 11B and staring at a chart.

  10. #10
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    ^ yep. forget all that stuff mate, concentrate on the fundamentals first.
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