Is it more about beat matching or song selection?
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  1. #1
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    Default Is it more about beat matching or song selection?

    I visit this site all the time and it has helped me immensely with my skills and confidence as a DJ. This being my first post, I wanted to discuss something that I feel is an important observation that myself and other DJ friends have made throughout numerous gigs.

    I have read threads on this website regarding issues of transitioning seamlessly from say a 90 BPM song to a 125 BPM song. To this day, I still have trouble conquering such a mix and feel discouraged when I cannot do so. However, the one thing that eases my pain is seeing the crowd continue to dance because the 125 BPM song is FILTHY HOT! I then began to notice at certain gigs, that the crowd didn't seem to care if the mix was perfect, all they were concerned about was if the song was hot and kept them dancing. The other night I was having a pretty solid session going at around 100-110 BPM when a lady came up to the booth and requested "Suavemente" by Elvis Crespo. I began desperately searching my hard drive for a "Suavemente" remix of some sort that was around 100-110 BPM but could only find the original (which runs about 124 BPM). Reluctantly, I made a pretty standard crossfade transition and was shocked to see the dancefloor BUM RUSHED. This kind of thing continued all night with pretty weak transitions from BPM's all over the board, but the dancefloor was completely out of control. I mixed normally when I could but when a request would throw off my groove, the dancefloor failed to suffer.

    In Chicago, where I hail from, there is a place called "Liar's Club." The DJ who spins there sometimes does not demonstrate much skill with beat or tonal matching but his song selection is RIDICULOUS. He was simply crossfading into "B'52's" to "Beastie Boys" to "Cascada" to "Dr. Dre" and the crowd remained EPIC. It seemed like he just read the minds of everyone in the place. Granted the dude spins there all the time and probably knows the crowd but STILL, when I went there for the first time it was unreal. I was dancing up a storm with mad bitties (babes) cause every song just KILLED IT.

    Therefore, I think I came to a pretty solid conclusion. If people are coming to see DJ OB (my DJ name by the way) HOUSE AND ELECTRO SET THAT WILL RIP FACES OFF!!!...I'll 99.9% be beat and tonal matching the entire night because that crowd will (hopefully) appreciate the craft of mixing. However if people are coming to see DJ OB: PLAYING DA HOTTEST JAMS FROM THE 70's, 80's, 90's and TODAY!! DOLLAR FIREHOUSE ENERGY BOMBS!!....I feel like it's totally acceptable to crossfade a few tempo changing requests in there, as long as the party keeps on hoppin. Granted mixing flawlessly is a HELL of a lot more fun than crossfading (obviously), I still feel a DJ shouldn't be judged solely on his or her ability to transition. Now maybe I'm just not practicing hard enough or perhaps I'm being lazy, but without great tunes being eatin up a dance hungry crowd, who cares if my mix was ABSURDLY SICK? I don't see any bodies on the dancefloor.

  2. #2
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    Default

    Hey buddy welcome to the crew. Some interesting thoughts there i actually think you answered your own question in a way. From my crew's perspective we definitely try and emphasise smooth transitions, demonstrating some real skills behind the decks as well as primo song selection, but then again sometimes the crowd don't give a shit as long as tunes keep banging! As you say using different tempos/styles can be a bit of a challenge, but i don't think this can be used as a free pass to "trainwreck" mixing. There are lots of guys on here that experience with this sorta thing that can offer some advice to some degree or other. When i jump out from behind the decks and let the other lads at it i definitely grind my teeth when i hear a shocker of a mix, but i think the general public may not be so critical of this (maybe cos they're drunk, lol)
    We have a young guy with us who spins dubstep, breaks and prog usually in the same set and his transitions aren't the best, but then again his song pics are usually awesome so we don't give him too much shit about it.
    I think with house/trance etc its pretty much expected that the mixing should be pretty much spot on, especially with dj softwares etc these days, whereas with mixed genres/tempos there maybe a bit more slack given. nice post and have fun round here mate.
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  3. #3
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    In the end, I think, the best transitions, effects and tricks won't make up for shitty songs, and I think that's kind of universal. The crowd will dictate the need for those techniques, but if you can't play songs that hold their asses on that floor then it won't matter what you do.

    I think Jester's right, though. I think you answered your own question.
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  4. #4
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    I think that if youre going to jump around with genres you should still make an effort to make the transition as enjoyable as possible. Smooth transitions don't always need to happen (all my hard house DJ's know about the rapid cuts) This weekend I did an electro house set in NYC and I did nothing but very long and subtle mixes using every trick Ive learned and the crowd loved it! (Im getting seriously addicted to having a night club full of people cheer for me after a set lol). Anyway after that during the same night I did a Hardstyle battle at an outlaw. That was nothing but rapid cuts and scratches and beat juggling. Different techniques for different genres. So I suppose you dont have to bore/limit yourself to generic crossfade action.
    Silly DJ loops are for kids!

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor Gueen's Avatar
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    Both. If its just about song selections, just Itunes would do the job.

  6. #6
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    99% hard house djs=idiots (no offense)
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  7. #7
    Tech Mentor Midi Kids's Avatar
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    lol i just dont like hardhouse as its like you have to be on drugs to enjoy it and well i dont do drugs xD hahaha...
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  8. #8

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    I think having a totally seamless transition between radically different bpm's is always gonna be a challenge..

    This thread is similar to one posted a while back, and I have to say here, what I said there... The most important thing you do is choose what record to put on, not how you mix it (hideous trainwrecks aside).

    Back on the transitions topic... filters, effects, loops, cuts, scratches, brakes are all your friends when mixing different tempos.. just to name a few!
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  9. #9
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    it's more about having both and more. you're not gonna get very far if you can only do one or the other.

    not only that, talent and skill behind the decks is only half the battle. work ethic/perseverance, self promotion and networking are also vital to succeed.

  10. #10

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    Duerr,

    This now sounds like the other thread The point the OP was making here, was how tune selection kept his crowd up, with other things coming secondary.

    I think Jester put it well.. it all depends on where you are and what style of music your listening to.. it sets different expectations on the DJ.
    www.djmoonie.co.uk
    The Left for dead show
    (GMT+0) Tuesdays Midnight til 1.30am, on www.phonic.fm,
    or 106.8fm in the south west of england.
    For private bookings, please use www.djmoonie.com

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