beat matching and EQ
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor dj max bradley's Avatar
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    Default beat matching and EQ

    if you had two records locked and then noticed they have come off and fix them that would be the smallest pitch you can hear and how long it takes you to hear it. you would here the pitch immediately if you had just thrown the record in. what are some techniques for hearing small pitches in less time? most dj's listen to the beats coming before or after eachother. before to fast after to slow.


    I am very in the bass when I beat match. I match the start of the kicks together. I also use other elements of the track like treble and mid to know ware I am in the record. I get them close and then start fine pitching. from what I have seen on traktor I get them to within 0.1BPM often. I would here that in less than 64 beats.

    every dj has there own style with EQ's. I keep my bass and treble in the middle and my mid at 2/3rds. so the elements are not lost when I take the base out. I find that the base in the track is more than enough. how do you use yours?

  2. #2
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    once again...I am confused by one of your posts...

    I use the snare or high hat of keep in beat. If you two songs with lots of percussion then it gets pretty evident pretty quickly when things are off.
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  3. #3

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    Please tell me English is your second langue... Over time your ears learn to catch it.... I can say usually after one measure of the drift I can catch.... That being said you also learn how to anticipate where the drift will go and normally depending on where in the transition you are you need to pick which record should be adjusted ... Picking the right one will make a huge difference in overall quality..

    Years ago when I started beat matching I would try to count and sub divide instead of cueing and trusting my ears

    Kick to match hats and snares to stay condtant

    But again trusting your ears is key... Head colds and mixing can be very sketchy... Hell was hunting last week and still have to pay close attention to mixes because the hats dynamics change....
    Last edited by padi_04; 12-12-2014 at 03:40 PM. Reason: merged multiple posts

  4. #4
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    I learned to beatmatch quicker that it takes me to understand half of your posts Max.

    Please for the love of God take a bit more time when making your posts. They read like a someone has dropped a bowl of Alphabeti-Spaghetti on the kitchen floor.

    Hear not here.
    Their no there
    Bass not base.
    Which not witch.

    And please start 'some' sentences with capital letters.

    There I said it. I've dying to do so for a few weeks (and I dare say so have the members) but no-one likes a grammar Nazi... I just had to get it out bro.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor dj max bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlos Santos View Post
    I learned to beatmatch quicker that it takes me to understand half of your posts Max.

    Please for the love of God take a bit more time when making your posts. They read like a someone has dropped a bowl of Alphabeti-Spaghetti on the kitchen floor.

    Hear not here.
    Their no there
    Bass not base.
    Which not witch.

    And please start 'some' sentences with capital letters.

    There I said it. I've dying to do so for a few weeks (and I dare say so have the members) but no-one likes a grammar Nazi... I just had to get it out bro.
    stop flipping out at me. I just read it again there is nothing wrong with. it sais 1. how do you pitch your records and 2. how do you use use your EQ's. in other words its something to talk about.

  6. #6
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj max bradley View Post
    1. how do you pitch your records and 2. how do you use use your EQ's. in other words its something to talk about.
    Much better.
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  7. #7
    Tech Mentor dj max bradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester View Post
    Much better.
    sorry what did you mean?

  8. #8
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    I actually understood most of this, and my wife is off doing something else, and I just read an article about how helping new guys reminds you of the mistakes you're about to make, so....here's a wall of text. Feel free to skip around.

    Quote Originally Posted by dj max bradley View Post
    if you had two records locked and then noticed they have come off and fix them that would be the smallest pitch you can hear and how long it takes you to hear it.
    I hear drifts about the same time Traktor's phase meter becomes visible. If everything is going right, I can get within .02BPM according to traktor, but it takes longer than I ever want to dedicate to it, especially since turntable motors and analog pitch controls drift more than that anyway. So, it depends on how close I'm listening. Having to listen like that is most of the reason I'm probably ditching my turntables...I'd rather focus on other things.

    IIRC, the human physiological limit to what you're asking is in the area of 2ms, or about a 1/1024th note for a 128 BPM song. For this to take 64 beats to hear, you're talking about being way more precise than any turntable. Songs will always drift. You just have to catch them faster than your audience gets annoyed.

    Quote Originally Posted by dj max bradley View Post
    what are some techniques for hearing small pitches in less time?
    Just practice. It took me a couple years to actually feel good at it. And, I definitely still screw up. You will always be your hardest critic, but that doesn't mean you can get complacent. Try to mix so tomorrow's you will still listen to it.

    People that can mix with 3 or 4 decks manually and catch drifts before their listeners....they can do it because they've been doing it for years and have figured out what works for their ears, not because of any special techniques.

    Quote Originally Posted by dj max bradley View Post
    most dj's listen to the beats coming before or after eachother. before to fast after to slow.
    I might have completely misunderstood this one....

    When I don't use sync, I tend to pitch the new record down aggressively, then bring it back up to match it. I feel like I'm faster that way. Most of the time, I ride the fader and feather the side of the platter when I overshoot.

    Either way works, and I'd imagine it's about a 50/50 split.

    Quote Originally Posted by dj max bradley View Post
    I am very in the bass when I beat match.
    I tend to listen to snares for getting close and either snares or a high-end groove (hats, etc.) to get things precise, but it depends on the genre and what's available in the tracks.

    Super-compressed kicks kind of don't have an attack to listen to. When I stopped listening to kicks, my beatmatching got better, literally, overnight...except for those annoying tracks that start with only a kick.

    I think it's because Snares and hi-hats tend to live a lot closer to the frequencies where the average human has the most sensitive hearing. Kicks have very little presence there (around 1-4k) except at the start of the transient...and then only if the producer made it "right".

    Quote Originally Posted by max
    ...something about EQs...
    I obviously don't have EQs now, which we've discussed. But, I've had them from about a decade ago until about a month ago. I've done it all....bass swapping, mixing just with EQs, mixing with no EQs, even tried leading with the highs like you would structuring a classical piece. Far and away what worked best, for me, is......whatever the tracks ask for. Listen to the mix and it'll tell you what it wants. It sounds hokey, but it works. Actually, that one answer applies to all your questions....learn to listen right, and you'll get the answers.

    Either that or you fuck it up over and over again until you finally figure it out in a tacit knowledge kind of way.

    That tacit learning only happens if you're actually listening critically to what you're doing. Ideally, this listening happens in the moment, but recording literally every time you spin and listening to each recording at least once will help. If you do that, make sure you wait long enough that you're not fatigued when you listen, but do it soon enough that you still vaguely remember what you did. I can't count the number of times I've listened to myself recorded and thought "well, I won't do that again."

    The vast majority of the time, I found myself just using EQs to try to "fix" mistakes either in other aspects of my mixing or in how the track was mixed/mastered for my set. The shaping, I still think can be useful. Too many cymbals? Turn the highs down a bit (like, to -4dB). Bass not hitting right? Maybe boost it a dB or two before you add another kick that'll just muddy up your bass instruments.

    But, with more and more full-cut EQs with horrible curves....I just stopped doing it. It seems like modern dj mixer EQs (especially pioneer) are designed to do nothing but swap bass.

    Rane makes the only one I actually like at this point for general shaping. A&H's 4-band has an awesome hi-mid knob that works great to emphasize or de-emphasize snare/hat grooves, but I don't really like the rest of the EQ. A 4-band version of the Rane progressive slope EQ would be awesome.

    Quote Originally Posted by dj max bradley View Post
    I keep my bass and treble in the middle and my mid at 2/3rds. so the elements are not lost when I take the base out. I find that the base in the track is more than enough.
    This is the part I don't think I understand.

    You're right to not blindly boost bass for no reason...every time I see this on someone else's mixer, it makes me cringe for what the sound guy (or even worse, the mindless DSP) has to do to keep you in check, 'cuz it implies you have no idea what you're doing.

    Mid at 2/3.....just....no. I don't even know if you're talking about 2/3 of the way to 0 or 2/3 of the way up the knob. No.

    On your DJM-800, that mid control is centered at 1k. Within about an octave of that point, you have most leads, most vocals' notes, a lot of percussion, and the overtones that make male vocals intelligible. Mastering engineers make a living by how well they deal with that, and mix/recording/mastering engineers of all levels argue endlessly about how monitor speakers are supposed to present it. That band is a huge component to the reason 2 engineers with equal budgets can look at the same pair of $4000 speakers with one saying it's the best thing ever(tm) vs. the other saying it's dog shit. Leave it at 0 unless you have a reason to change it.

    The "leave it at 0 unless you have a reason to change it" guideline works for the other bands as well, but they're less strict. A sibilant or overly dry room/system probably needs a tweak to the highs that can stay there for your whole set and a badly set-up PA or changing croud size could need a tweak to the bass. But unless it's as an effect, it's best to leave that mid control at unity.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlos Santos View Post
    no-one likes a grammar Nazi.
    Heil Karlos??!


    (I mean no offense toward any person, place, belief, religion, creed, sect, race, or anything else. The statement was just meant as a joke about the phrase "grammar nazi" and to show my support for the moderator bloke's post. This joke should not be construed to form any kind of endorsement of national socialism, fascism, antisemitism, or any other belief, except a belief that proper grammar is necessary to communicate efficiently, nor should it be construed as an appeal to Reductio ad Hitlerum for the purposes of closing this or any other thread. I am not a lawyer, but I have played one on TV.)

    (No really, I played a lawyer on TV a few times....I was one of the blurry ones in the background.)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlos Santos View Post
    They read like a someone has dropped a bowl of Alphabeti-Spaghetti on the kitchen floor.
    Nothing constructive to add, apart from a at Alphabeti-Spaghetti!!!! Haha

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