Order of Djing operations
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  1. #1
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    Default Order of Djing operations

    Thanks ahead of time for any feedback! I understand there is no "set" order,but in your opinion, what is the order of operations for learning proper techniques to djing.. I am operating a traktor s4 and of course I am running traktor pro. Does anyone have a top ten for where to start, what to focus on first, any structure, note taking or instructional videos.. I want to start spending as much time as possible absorbing, learning and mastering the software, so as stated, any info will be greatly appreciated... Thanks again, looking forward to it!

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Polygon's Avatar
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    Phrasing. Phrasing phrasing phrasing. In the beginning you can use sync, especially in traktor, so beatmatching ain't that much of an issue.
    Know your tracks well and know how phrasing works.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polygon View Post
    Phrasing. Phrasing phrasing phrasing. In the beginning you can use sync, especially in traktor, so beatmatching ain't that much of an issue.
    Know your tracks well and know how phrasing works.
    So basically music punctuation. I have many years understanding basic theory with playing guitar, so phrasing will come naturally. Thanks for the help, and anything else is greatly appreciated!

  4. #4
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    There is no right or wrong way to learn, and nothing is set in stone, as long as the end result is 2 (or more) beatmatched tracks. There are however, techniques that should be learned in order as certain things come from practicing others. For example, with scratching, you generally learn baby scratches first. They are the easiest, and they get your hand eye coordination tuned so that you can do more advanced techniques. You could jump onto orbits, or something much harder and master them, but it might take more time and practice.

    That being said, heres my suggestions. Not everyone will agree, as everyone learns differently, but here goes.

    1. Listen to your tracks critically. Dont just throw a track on and zone out to the beat. Count bars, listen for cues in the track that a breakdown is coming, or a buildup. Break the track down into its various parts. This will teach your brain to hear the music in a way that will make mixing easier. Listen for the patterns.

    2. Find a track that is easy to mix in terms of whats going on. You dont want something with a lot of vocals, various percussion instruments, multiple off tempo or syncopated beats or synth lines. Minimal house (no offence intended to minimal DJs) is good. Something with a strong steady beat and not much else going on.

    3. Play that track on both decks. Dont touch the pitch fader, leave them at the same BPM. Play both tracks at the same time, and if they are out a little, nudge them back together using the wheels or if you've got bend, that wil work too.

    4. push the tracks out of sync and then bring them back over and over again. This is teaching your brain to listen to, and hear 2 distinct tracks at the same time instead of both tracks as one.
    ***NOTE: the reason you are using the same track is because you will have less going on in the music to confuse your brain. 2 of the same tracks means all of the sounds are the same, so its easier to tell if they are out of sync. Do all of this with your headphones off, and the volume up. Keep your crossfader in the middle, and dont worry about playing one track then the next then the next. That comes later. If you are using software, avoid the urge to use sync, look at the screen, or start over when you make a mistake. While sync is a hot topic of debate, and a very useful tool, if you are looking to learn to DJ and beatmatch, the sync button will come later.

    5. Once you can really hear both tracks on their own, push one out with the pitch fader, making it faster or slower. Same as before, bring them back into sync. Keep practicing this until you can do it without thinking. Once you can train your brain to tell which track is out, and how to bring it back, you can mix anything you want to. Some genres will take practice, some will come easy, but mixing them all is based on these skills.

    Once you can beatmatch 2 tracks, learn to phrase match and pattern match, learn how to EQ the two tracks so you dont bring in a new track and have the bass killed everywhere. Read as much as you possibly can about everything to do with everything DJing. Keep an open mind and practice until you mix in your sleep.

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  5. #5
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    Great post, really enjoyed reading it
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  6. #6
    DJTT Scribe Mod smiTTTen's Avatar
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    My tip: Buy tracks you like. The first key word is "buy" (I'm not suggesting that you don't in anyway - this more for the masses).

    Always buy, never pirate. For the purposes of this thread it has nothing to do with the moral or legal argument, just that buying tracks naturally limits your library growth and should result in a selection of tunes that truly represent what you want to play. You can go download 10,000 knock-off tracks is in a minute which will immediately create a level of chaos that will make things do much harder. If your library is full of pirate shit right now - go buy the bits you like and delete the rest. You'll be amazed how good it feels.

    The second is "like." Buy stuff you actually like. Like really like. It will make everything easier. If the tunes you want to mix are the same ones in your car/on your phone/the system in your bedroom, office, living room or isolated high security monitoring area - you'll find everything Drip suggested much easier

    Oh, and never ever, whatever you do, no matter how hard things get, never buy anything by Leo Sayer.
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  7. #7
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    Rule #1) Get off this forum and practice.

  8. #8

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    don't just stop at learning how to phrase and beatmatch... leveling is something that a LOT of people don't understand.

    learn how to watch the VU's while you cue a track before you bring it in and set the gain accordingly. learn how to use the upfaders instead of the crossfader, and record your sets and listen through them again and open them in audacity or ableton so you can easily see the loud and quiet sections in your set and figure out how to maintain a level volume throughout the course of a set.

    even if you can use sync or whatever and have your beatmatching done for you and you can figure out how to press play at the appropriate point so that your incoming tracks are phrased appropriately, if your mixes go flat during transitions because the crossfader curve is funky or if you drop a track way loud all of a sudden.

    if you're playing out, you have to remember that plenty of people don't have the ear to pick out tracks galloping a little during transitions, which is why you can just flood the mix with delay or flanger or whatever and throw your hands up and pretend you didn't just fuck up and nobody will notice. volume is something that everyone has a ear for, and once you get it right, it's something that will make your performance sound far more polished.

  9. #9
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    1. Read a good book on the subject

    2. Get your gear/software (virtual DJ home trial is a good place to start, it works pretty much from the off, and the trial has no time limit, but some feature limitations, although you might want something a bit fancier like Traktor eventually)

    3. Have fun with it, mix your tunes, don't think about ANYTHING - bars, phrasing, levelling, filtering, EQing. Just mess around and have fun for a bit, get used to the gear.

    4. Once you're used to the software, go back to your book, and start learning about phrases and beatmatching, syncing, VU meters and the likes.

    5. Have fun again.

    6. This is pretty much the key - don't overthink it! You're playing tunes to make people dance. And have fun doing so. Like SlvrDragon said above "get off this forum and practice". Do it your way. Don't let anyone criticize you, and don't get caught up in silly arguments.

    7. Always bear rule #3 in mind.
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  10. #10
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    Set yourself a goal of having a recorded mix done by a certain date... doesn't have to be a really soon date just set a goal and stick to it! Once you've recorded, put it up on a public site like Soundcloud or Mixcloud and get at least a couple people to listen and tell you what they think.

    Just the exercise of forcing yourself to meet a goal and put something out in front of people will be valuable in helping you to grow as a DJ
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