How much effort/tricks and techniques
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  1. #1
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    Default How much effort/tricks and techniques

    Okay so lately I've been wondering how much effort do you guys put into you live sets? How prevalent do you make yourself in your sets. Not just what music do you play but what do you do with your music? Do you JUST blend? OR do you do tricks and scratch? And how much do you use effects?

    Personally I REALLY try to be the DJ that doesn't JUST play track. I try to be the live remixer but I find that being that guy gets really hard after about 2 hours as i start running out of things i can add to my tracks and i don't like repeating the same technique in a different song within every hour. So I either need new mixing techniques and tricks since I don't scratch (Proud TWITCH owner). So if anyone reading could at least comment a quick technique or trick that they use, I would be a happy DJ tonight. Thanks

  2. #2

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    Nic topic!!!!!! The thing i did to change the boredom of my sets was to incorporate ableton live!!!!! Now i have so many tools to turn a 2 hour set into a magical experience! To be honest the other day i had a 20 tracks playlist in traktor for 2 hour nu-disco deep house set and at the end i only played like 7 maybe 8 tracks because i incorporated a lot of live stuff and just tweeking my own samples!!! So i suggest u try it out!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrAybar View Post
    Nic topic!!!!!! The thing i did to change the boredom of my sets was to incorporate ableton live!!!!! Now i have so many tools to turn a 2 hour set into a magical experience! To be honest the other day i had a 20 tracks playlist in traktor for 2 hour nu-disco deep house set and at the end i only played like 7 maybe 8 tracks because i incorporated a lot of live stuff and just tweeking my own samples!!! So i suggest u try it out!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrAybar View Post
    Nic topic!!!!!! The thing i did to change the boredom of my sets was to incorporate ableton live!!!!! Now i have so many tools to turn a 2 hour set into a magical experience! To be honest the other day i had a 20 tracks playlist in traktor for 2 hour nu-disco deep house set and at the end i only played like 7 maybe 8 tracks because i incorporated a lot of live stuff and just tweeking my own samples!!! So i suggest u try it out!!!!!
    I'd love to do something like this. Wouldn't know where to start at the moment!

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor rdale's Avatar
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    I find there is room for both playing tracks and doing routines. Routines are great, gives 4-6 minutes of "wow i never heard that before and I will never hear that again", but there I think letting a track play and straight mixing holds a groove better. I can think of a few DJs that I really want to hear scratch, mash, or otherwise "flavor" up for an hour and lots that I wish would let the track just play. Like bad MC's that rhyme over vocals, or interfere with the over all sound so as to be distracting, too much of a good thing is really bad.

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor Toastmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdale View Post
    I find there is room for both playing tracks and doing routines. Routines are great, gives 4-6 minutes of "wow i never heard that before and I will never hear that again", but there I think letting a track play and straight mixing holds a groove better. I can think of a few DJs that I really want to hear scratch, mash, or otherwise "flavor" up for an hour and lots that I wish would let the track just play. Like bad MC's that rhyme over vocals, or interfere with the over all sound so as to be distracting, too much of a good thing is really bad.
    ^this. I love using the effects on traktor and my mixer to spice things up, but there's a threshold to which you need to say "Whoa, I'm getting overboard with the flange." Letting the track go through just to keep the crowd going and dancing joyful is something I find really important, as its about pleasing the crowd and letting them dance.
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    Tech Guru brian_johnstone's Avatar
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    depends how the night's going really.. i have 2 weekly gigs, one is 4 hours and the other is anything from 5 to 7 hours... this thursday was mental.. i was dripping with sweat (disgusting i know!!) and exhausted by 1am and we went till 4 but it was an amazing night, i don't / dont know how to scratch but i do like to mash up/live remix tracks, start bringing one in then swap to something completely different by the transition... i find it keeps me on my toes and i learn so much more live than at home

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    You can't remix EVERY track, and you can't use interesting blends/transitions between every track. Those techniques lose their impact if you do. You have to work the crowd up to a routine, and drop it at the right time.

    I know there is a tendency to prove yourself at every single opportunity, but seriously, it just becomes too much (boring) for the crowd.

    Working up to a routine over 4 or 5 tracks is a surefire way to get the crowd engaged - and it'll go OFF when you DO drop the routine.

    Track selection and flow are huge parts of DJ'ing - dropping routine after routine is just boring.
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    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    You can't remix EVERY track, and you can't use interesting blends/transitions between every track. Those techniques lose their impact if you do. You have to work the crowd up to a routine, and drop it at the right time.

    I know there is a tendency to prove yourself at every single opportunity, but seriously, it just becomes too much (boring) for the crowd.

    Working up to a routine over 4 or 5 tracks is a surefire way to get the crowd engaged - and it'll go OFF when you DO drop the routine.

    Track selection and flow are huge parts of DJ'ing - dropping routine after routine is just boring.
    Truth.

    Awhile back I sat down, downloaded a lot of different mixes from big-name producers that I liked (mostly soundcloud stuff honestly). And I said to myself, what makes these so awesome. Why do I like them so much? What are they doing that I can try and emulate, and what am I doing currently that is NOT like these mixes. I also downloaded some mixes from "up and coming" DJ's. Stuff from the forums here and other places, and soundcloud. I've also been able to listen to a few different friends progress over time as well, and I feel that's given me an edge in knowing what I like to hear, and what I don't.

    Really though, I'm the guy in my group of friends who literally had to go over to almost all (except one) of my friends houses who mix at home, and get them setup with how to record. And I'm on them, not all the time, but fairly often: When are you putting out a new mix? What are you thinking about with your next mix? Going to try a different genre or style?

    A combination thing, because I have pride in my friend's abilities to mix, and I want them to showcase it even if they are humble about it. And I really want to hear their take on music, I just love that. I love hearing my closest friend's mixes, because it truly is awesome hearing their selection, choice in transitions, and improving on technical skills. I know I'm cocky about it, but these guys got ME into mixing really, and while they might not be able to go for gigs (as professional schedules really are a pain) they are good.

    And I think it's important to travel to shows with friends, and listen to your mixes in the car. I mean, I guess it's not the same if you live right in the city. But some of the best feedback I've had on my own mixes, and given feedback to other friends, is just shooting the shit to and from a show listening to our latest creations. It's honestly one of my favorite aspects of actually GOING to a show now.

    I still have work to put in, but I'm getting closer every practice session. But I came to realize a few things:

    • Personally, I like mixes that are smooth.
    • I like hearing the actual track pretty much, without anything fancy being done to it.
    • Unless it's a rare scratch transition, I don't really like listening to scratching except when it's produced into a song, and really really really going along with the beat. (Some guys like Shiftee and Mix Master Mike do it well, but that's a whole different level of scratching awesome than you're average bear).
    • There are a few different tricks to making a smooth transition. Even hard cuts, when timed perfectly, can be quite smooth. And learning to just rely on my EQ's like a badman really. (I don't have a fancy mixer with FX or filters, so I have to use the basic tools).
    • I remember the first couple mixes I did, I couldn't get my head around what exactly to properly use the EQ for. And now, I totally understand how it's an indispensable part of the DJ's arsenal. Too many people use filters and FX to cover sloppy transitions, and don't focus as much on the EQ work. I cringe every time I hear the basses clash in a mix, and I know I'm not perfect from making that mistake either.
    • You can't just do one type of transition over and over. Changing it up a bit is fine, but you also don't want to get too crazy with the transition either. It's all about balance.
    • In the end, you have to ask yourself: "Is this danceable?" Not if it sounds good, because a lot of things sound great that are crap to dance to. And that's something that is always tougher when people start trying to get fancy.


    People have a tendency to get too fancy, too often. And it really messes up the mix. If you have a really great mash-up planned out, awesome. But don't do it back-to-back-to-back. People enjoy just listening to a track play out sometimes. It's one of the harder things I've had to work on, because I know for a fact that I've listening to these tunes a bazillion times and I have to remember, hopefully a good portion of my audience hasn't heard them before (or at least often).

    So letting that second drop play out sometimes is the best thing I can do, even if I'm itching to get busy doing other things. That's really also a matter of reading your audience. If the crowd is into it hard and the track has got everyone dancing, don't cut it out early for the love of god. Let them enjoy it. I know personally going out when I'm really getting into a track and immediately a DJ does a transition, it's not the end of the world, but it bothers me. And it's something to be conscious about at least.

    Although bringing in a track on a later drop/build-up is a fun way I've found of messing about with things a bit. It's also a bit more technically challenging, while maintaining that same level of smooth overall. This is one of the things I'm actively trying to get better at right now, because I think sometimes it's nice to just get to the meat of the track quickly if you're on a roll. And well, at least with breaks a lot of times, the second or third drop can often be BETTER than the first drop, even if it's just a little twiddly synth line over the top that just makes it super funky.

    And a lot of this stems from my personal philosophy, of just trying to keep it simple. Let the tracks talk for themselves. My selection as an overall whole is the qualitative measure of the majority of my DJing skills, and my technical skills are there to bring two tracks together.

    (Sorry, I got carried away. But it was nice to get my thoughts on this down :P)
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  10. #10
    Tech Mentor Maven's Avatar
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    People 90% of the time want you to let the music play. They don't want to hear you do crazy beatmashing, filter sweeps, gaters all over. You might do something cool, but if they are not there for your controllerism routine, they just want you to make them dance.

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