Crate digging, a how to guide! - Page 2
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  1. #11
    Tech Mentor deckard26354's Avatar
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    Great post. Thought provoking video at the end.

    Major issue I have still to this day is the difference between physically picking up, playing and treasuring a Vinyl Record. And Downloading an MP3/Wav/Flac etc and storing it either in Traktor or Itunes file integration.

    I have Gigabytes of MP3's, Sorting and storing and pre-listening sometime is a major chore.

    Vinyl never had that issue for me. Collecting collating and categorizing on my shelf's was always's a pleasure. Sometime's even color categorizing for my special selection's.

    Until Traktor etc integrates a color coded/tagging system (which I really, really hope in a forthcoming update) their will always be that major pian in the butt element of 'Digitally crate digging' and a need for advice in post's like this.

  2. #12
    Tech Guru 3heads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by photojojo View Post
    Some good tips and don't forget to use beatports beatbot. I use it a lot and while sometimes the results are not great every once in a while I find a gem that way.
    I don't know, whenever I try to use beatbot its results are very stereotypical and usually not interesting at all. For the stuff I look at, it seems to only spit out stuff by the same artist and/or tracks from the same genre released around the same time as the track in question. I might have found a few good tracks this way, but very very rarely this happens.

    I prefer to "dig" by label - and to a lesser extent artists. My routine is to regularly go through "My Beatport" and put all the stuff that might be interesting in a shopping cart (<3 Beatport Pro, even though the 150 track limit per cart is somewhat annoying), if there's a good track from a label I don't know yet, I open a tab for the label (once again <3 Beatport Pro for not cluttering up my browser) and come back later to check out their back catalogue. If I find a particularly interesting artist on that label, I check his back catalogue, if I find another new-to-me label in there, I check it out, you get the idea. Rinse and repeat. Oh, and of course the really nice ones get followed (but I've become pickier in this regard)

    The consequence to this is that I end up with a shitload of tracks saved in the Beatport Pro carts which I later have to distill down to an acceptable amount. But it's nice to have somewhat of a pre-selection to choose from when buying tracks.

    Edit: Oh, and an observation I made for the deep/tech house stuff I look for - often I stop checking back catalogues when I reach releases from 2009. The music is just too different then. Might miss out on a few gems by doing this (actually found a couple of awesome tracks from 2008 recently), but the good-track-crap-track-ratio just isn't acceptable. Rather check out the back catalogue of other labels in that time.

    Edit II: And another tip. Have a clear idea of what kind of music you want when distilling down all those pre-selected tracks. It's much harder if you don't have that, at least for me - my imagination is just too good in suggesting me situations in which I might play this or that track.
    Last edited by 3heads; 05-09-2012 at 05:40 AM.
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  3. #13
    Tech Guru space monkey's Avatar
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    "How can you not agree with everything he says?"

    Because, I can.
    Beyond the scope of this thread anyway. The last minute or so was right, the fuck, on though.


    Keep diggin'
    :]

  4. #14
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    Even though I see where Theo Parrish is coming from and he as a couple of very valid points I strongly disagree with him on some issues:

    1. Convenience doesn't kill artistry. Carrying severals crates with 100 12" in them instead of a laptop or a usb stick, or even beatmaching manually instead of using the sync button doesn't make you an iota more of an artist. While the latter one is acutally a craft that indeed is in danger to be lost with many of todays newcomer DJs the first one was/is simply a pain in the ass... None of the convenience advantages digital media gives you has anything to do with artistry at all.

    2. It's not the medium, it's what you make of it. And this doesn't mean you have to utilise every last one of the effects/possibilities you're software has to offer. If you just use it as your digital record bag and play the files back using e.g. timecode that doesn't make you a lesser artist than anyone who is doing the exact same thing with actual records.

    That being said we can come to #3 and thus back to topic:

    3. Crate digging is crate digging, no matter if it's done by actually physically rummaging around in huge boxes of records in a store or by clicking through the latest releases on the website of an online store.
    Even convenience doesn't play a role here. You could say people don't really dig anymore and just buy some charts instead, but we had that same sh*t (maybe slightly different) when mp3 was far from becoming a medium that is relevant for DJing. I remember that here in Germany we had at least three big magazines (plus countless regional/local ones) that featured sometimes several pages of DJ charts and the kids just went out and bought everything their favorite DJ played/charted.
    Same goes for the featured releases. In every recordstore the majority of the (new) releases was in crates while there were some special displays/shelves containing records that were - featured...

    So no matter if digital or vinyl - you could always choose the easy way and just buy what other DJs chart, your magazine/website of choice recommends or what's featured wherever you buy your tunes. Or you could go the extra mile, spend those extra hours digging for music, take your blinders of and listen to stuff from other genres. Go through those incredible amount of new releases even though you know 99% of it is going to be garbage to find that few gems that are hidden in there.


    Don't me wrong here: especially when you're just starting, looking for what other people who may have a similar taste is absolutely ok. A destinct tast, let alone a fully developed individual style is nothing one has, but something that comes slowly. Just make sure you deviate from that path regularly to discover new things, and you will find that you, eventually, develope your own unique style.



    One more practical advice: the "my beatport" feature as well as beatbot, itunes genius or other similar algorhythm can easily lead to what I would call the "always the same sh*t loop". They give you suggestions based on what you allready know/like. Getting hundreds of suggestions of music that correspond quite well with your taste can easily lead to getting lazy. Ignore all that suggestions from time to time and try a different approach to find something outside your usual focus.

  5. #15
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    im amazed anyone needs help with this to be honest. these days all you need to do is sit on your bum, click through a few tracks and engage your brain. if you like something, dig deeper into that artist/single/ep/album/label off shoots etc. then try a different genre and start it all again.

    i admit the whole digital age has brought a new breed of slack dj's that just want to be able to do it all now without any effort put in.

    its true you can buy a laptop and software and your good to go, but people even want to cut corners on browsing music. i mean wtf! thats the bit were we all (should) share a passion for music and browsing for new tracks shouldnt be a chore!

  6. #16
    Tech Guru space monkey's Avatar
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    Shoot, I'll spend 12 hours on a Sat. browsing tracks @ WhatPeoplePlay, Juno, BP and soundcloud, YouTube (research). There's so much push technology that it's sometimes too easy. But plenty of shyte to sift through.
    Still, not the same as a record store which is a kinda social event where real people not a string of code running on a server can provide directions. Getting Soul, funk, jazz, hip hop classics isn't so easy online...for me anyway. and the smell of records stores....

  7. #17
    Tech Mentor MyMotto's Avatar
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    I would love to be able to just go to a record store...idk if there are many house record stores in my area, but i dont have the time or the medium (vinyl) or the money...or the experience

    If i did i would undoubtly be trolling around there stores 24 7. In terms of crate diggging...i probably spend at least 2 hours a day on beatport...for me that the best it can get right now. Ill start listening to one artist in one genre and 15 minutes later end up with 7 or 8 new tracks in my shopping cart and in a completely new genre discovering new artists i would normally listen too. This is the best it can get for me...at least currently.

  8. #18
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonBay View Post
    How can you not agree with everything he says?
    Theo Parish obviously has a ridiculous passion for what he does, and in some ways he's one of the greats. But he's also kind of a dick. And I've never heard him mix well…I've also never gone out of my way to find it.

    Quote Originally Posted by guiltyblade View Post
    Damn. This video has just changed my evening plans. Heading to the record store now. Lol
    I'm honestly afraid of watching it for that reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by space monkey View Post
    Shoot, I'll spend 12 hours on a Sat. browsing tracks @ WhatPeoplePlay, Juno, BP and soundcloud, YouTube (research).
    See…that's honestly what I miss about spinning 100% vinyl that I bought >90% of locally. Now, when I want to go shopping for tracks, it's another 12 hours in front of a computer. I'm pretty sure I spend so much time on forums because of weird work/school habits and spending so much time listening to huge play lists on music store websites.

    I probably would have already switched back to spinning only vinyl except that I can't find a good local store. And the last thing I want to do is add another website that's the same crap cycle of clicking to build up a list and then having it on while I post in forums or do work until something good/interesting comes up.

    The fucking computers have ruined vinyl DJing.

    I really need to go do something else…'cuz I'm suddenly overcome with the desire to smash this fucking macbook pro on the floor and go buy a zoom r24, an mpc, and a couple synths and move somewhere that still has record stores. Damn, I kinda wish computers weren't so fucking cheap.

  9. #19
    Tech Guru DJDoubleYou's Avatar
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    Nice guide!
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  10. #20
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    great guide Ive been doing alot of this for the past couple of years, but why must you tell everyone the secrets of digital crate digging.

    following labels and artists on facebook is another great idea.

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