Beatmatching by ear
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  1. #1

    Default Beatmatching by ear

    So i've been djing for about 3-4 months now on the traktor kontrol s2. I know the basics when using a controller, wavelengths and a BPM counter. I've been researching a lot as well and have learned that beatmatching by ear is skill all djs should have. Now i'm confused on how to go about by doing this, how would i find out a track BPM by ear and how can i apply it to another song. Sorry if i'm a little vague any tricks tips or any sort of help would be greatly appreciated as i want to become a better DJ and beatmatching by ear seems to be a very valued trait.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor shr3dder's Avatar
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    You listen and practice practice practice practice practice. Get frustrated, smash some things, then practice again. It's a bitch but you'll get it.


    (Oh and turn off the phase meters and cover the BPM part of Traktor, you'll never learn if you look at that while doing it)

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor SpeshulEd's Avatar
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    Start counting the beats, however many there are in 60 seconds = the BPM of the track.

    Play track A, count the beats, count the bars, drop track B on the "1" beat.

    I have always used the BPM numbers in Traktor to help me beatmatch - if they're there, ya might as well use 'em. For most EDM, there is a change in the track every 32 beats. I like to drop on the 1 after the 32 (or a set of 32), if that makes any sense. If you know your tracks, this becomes a lot simpler and your tracks will blend a lot better. Don't listen to any of my mixes in my signature for examples of this, ha!

    I just recently got a pile of vinyl that I've been practicing on. No more BPM numbers for me! I have been cheating a bit and looking at beatport and making notes of the BPM, but for the most part, I just grab a watch with a second hand and count for 30 seconds, take that number and double it. I then know the BPM of the track. So I either find another vinyl with the same bpm to play next, or I adjust my pitch fader as necessary.

    Then it's just getting the beats to match while both tracks are playing - you can't practice this enough. Easiest way for me was to play the same track on each deck and go back and forth. Play track A, mix in track B, stop track A and let B play, mix in A again and vice versa.
    nope.

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard J-Reign's Avatar
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    Yeah, its just practice. Over time it just comes and you'll instinctively know which track is slower. Practice with all types of tracks with different bpm.

  5. #5
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    Change your traktor view to essential.

    In this view you should have, no mixer section, no faders, no knobs of any kind, no fx section.
    Decks should be in essential type.

    All that you need to do extra is remove phase meter and change the BPM counter in decks layout to something like track bpm (which shows you the tracks original bpm instead).

    All you will have to work with is the pitch fader position, the waveforms and your jogwheels.
    If you are really keen you could learn to ride the pitch, so don't even touch the jogwheels.

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor shr3dder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
    Start counting the beats, however many there are in 60 seconds = the BPM of the track.

    Play track A, count the beats, count the bars, drop track B on the "1" beat.

    I have always used the BPM numbers in Traktor to help me beatmatch - if they're there, ya might as well use 'em. For most EDM, there is a change in the track every 32 beats. I like to drop on the 1 after the 32 (or a set of 32), if that makes any sense. If you know your tracks, this becomes a lot simpler and your tracks will blend a lot better. Don't listen to any of my mixes in my signature for examples of this, ha!

    I just recently got a pile of vinyl that I've been practicing on. No more BPM numbers for me! I have been cheating a bit and looking at beatport and making notes of the BPM, but for the most part, I just grab a watch with a second hand and count for 30 seconds, take that number and double it. I then know the BPM of the track. So I either find another vinyl with the same bpm to play next, or I adjust my pitch fader as necessary.

    But by relying on BPMs you aren't really training your ears or learning to beatmatch at all, it's basically a slower version of sync. If you can beatmatch someone could just give you two random tunes (obviously within range) and a set of turntables/cdjs and you should just be able to mix them straight up. Challenge yourself a bit more dude if you really wanna learn. I've never once manually counted a BPM... that seems crazy.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru guiltyblade's Avatar
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    I would it in this order.

    Start by having all aids there. Match the bpm visually then just try to beat match without looking. semi close the lid, turn it away, whatever. This will get used to what it sounds like when you are on and off. When you think you are good open your lid and see how far off you are on the phase meter. Repeat with different songs, until you think you have that down pat.

    Then do the same with some tracks. Just choose two tracks, without knowing the bpm, and beat match, use the pitch adjuster and the jog wheel, then see how close you are to beat matched. You won't be perfect, cause the level of sensitivity is pretty huge on traktor s2 pitch fader but i'd say if you are within about .2 bpm and your phase meters are ok, you are on track.

    When you do it on vinyl or cdjs or whatever you are constantly adjusting the track just a little to keep things in time, so its ok if it comes off a little as long as you are on top of it and adjust accordingly.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru zestoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shr3dder View Post
    But by relying on BPMs you aren't really training your ears or learning to beatmatch at all, it's basically a slower version of sync. If you can beatmatch someone could just give you two random tunes (obviously within range) and a set of turntables/cdjs and you should just be able to mix them straight up. Challenge yourself a bit more dude if you really wanna learn. I've never once manually counted a BPM... that seems crazy.
    does seem a bit insane. when beat matching by ear you don't need to know the actual bpm of the tune, in fact makes no sense at all. when you can *hear* that they are in sync then they are. who care's what the actual bpm is???
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru keeb's Avatar
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    Watch ellaskins' tutorials on beatmatching on youtube. They helped me immensely.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by guiltyblade View Post
    I would it in this order.

    Start by having all aids there. Match the bpm visually then just try to beat match without looking. semi close the lid, turn it away, whatever. This will get used to what it sounds like when you are on and off. When you think you are good open your lid and see how far off you are on the phase meter. Repeat with different songs, until you think you have that down pat.

    Then do the same with some tracks. Just choose two tracks, without knowing the bpm, and beat match, use the pitch adjuster and the jog wheel, then see how close you are to beat matched. You won't be perfect, cause the level of sensitivity is pretty huge on traktor s2 pitch fader but i'd say if you are within about .2 bpm and your phase meters are ok, you are on track.

    When you do it on vinyl or cdjs or whatever you are constantly adjusting the track just a little to keep things in time, so its ok if it comes off a little as long as you are on top of it and adjust accordingly.
    Quote Originally Posted by keeb View Post
    Watch ellaskins' tutorials on beatmatching on youtube. They helped me immensely.
    what these guys said is probably the best way, you dont have to actually count the bpm

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