DJ Edits; Worth it, or a waste of time?
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default DJ Edits; Worth it, or a waste of time?

    Title pretty much says it all; your opinion on making YOUR OWN(!! Not playing Armin Van Buuren's, guys, you know who you are) this extends to mashups, too. Everything from simple to complex edits and mashups. Simple might be changing the tempo of a techno track at 116 to be 128, or extending a drop from 16 bars in a pop song to 32. Complex might be swapping or removing verses from the vocal, rearranging the track but not necessarily 'remixing' it. You get the idea, I hope. Moving on.

    Note: These include DJ edits done simply by recording the output of your DJ software, and DJ edits done in a DAW. DJ's are welcome, not just DJ/Producers. We welcome everyone, here!~

    The question is; are they worth making, or are they a waste of your valuable time?

    Allow me to explain why I am asking, if it will shed some light on things. So, I'm a producer/DJ. I've been producing music for 6 years, and I've recently gotten really heavily into Punk and Grunge music, and even into some Shoegaze, Indie, and old Surf Rock from the '60's up to now. I'm also a guitarist, (have been for 8 years) and a bassist, (only 2 years, there) AND a vocalist/songwriter, on top of being a dance music, (EDM I guess; dubstep, electro house, dnb, trap + a few others and a Techno centric side project) producer and DJ. Now, I'm a pretty good DJ, (I'm not amazing, but it's all harmonic and my mixes convey the right vibe, I read a crowd right most of the time, etc) and generally, I'm an alright producer, too.

    I'm in a position where I am trying to combine these two elements; this underground, indie/punk rock vibe, with my productions. It's possible to combine dance music and rock, just look at Zardonic, (https://soundcloud.com/zardonic) he's been very successful doing the EDM + Metal thing, as has Celldweller, (who's SC link I don't have handy; anyone?) and Pendulumn did it way before they did, (Though I dunno if I'd call that 'metal' just rock, imo) I know it's possible, and tbh, it's probably not even an original idea, anymore. But it's what I wanna do, none-the-less.

    My issue is that I am having trouble mixing my tracks, (which are WIP's, atm, until I get the mixing elements right) with the electronic side in a DJ mix. It's not blending seamlessly. So, I'm debating making a slew of simple DJ edits, of which I have already done a couple, (mostly dropping a little guitar lick or the accapella of a rock song over a dance track) to help blend the vibes together, which appears to be working, and I'm sure I'll get better at the whole 'DJ Edit' thing the more I do it. However, I'm also considering the amount of time it'll take to make that many goddamn edits, (I play a LOT of genres, and I like to do mixes for several hours at a time, atm, and span across lots of genres; it's not fun to me to play 2 hours of dubstep, that actually kinda just sounds... plain) and whether it might be more worth my time to simply look for tracks in my plethora of genres, that have rock influences. I've found they're few and far between, ESPECIALLY since I want to stay away from Metal as much as I can, (because that's something people have heard before, it's not new, it's not unexplored territory) and because I'm not really a fan of taking a rock vocal and writing a dance track underneath or dropping it over a dance track, (Like Pretty Lights, for example, does a lot of remixes of rock songs with just the acapella; no vibes from the original except the vocal) Sometimes, the real vibe of a rock track isn't in the vocal, it's in the riff, y'know?

    So, worth it, or not? I'm leaning towards worth it, especially with an uncommon style like what I'm trying to convey. Especially since doing DJ edits of dance tracks and adding rock elements and remixing rock tracks into tracks I can DJ with is probably going to go over better in DJ sets where I'm spinning a track I wrote and singing.

    Your thoughts on the DJ Edit/Mashup in YOUR special niche? Feel free to weigh in on my situation and each other's. I'm curious to see what everyone says.

    Namaste, kids.
    Last edited by Jane Doe; 06-24-2017 at 10:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    75% of the top 40 tunes I play for corporate gigs, I have edited to make more DJ friendly. I would lose a large part of my income without doing edits, so for me they are worth it.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    In my opinion, you absolutely HAVE TO generate your own edits.

    It's one of the only things that'll set you apart from the push button DJs out there.

    And it's so fucking easy you're a fool not to.
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  4. #4
    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    In my opinion, you absolutely HAVE TO generate your own edits.

    It's one of the only things that'll set you apart from the push button DJs out there.
    While I agree with the statement, I cannot get over that fact that making DJ edits of tracks to make them more mixing-friendly is actually making it easier for her to BE the "push button DJ" type (in the live part of her work). Does that make any sense?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlayForMoney View Post
    While I agree with the statement, I cannot get over that fact that making DJ edits of tracks to make them more mixing-friendly is actually making it easier for her to BE the "push button DJ" type (in the live part of her work). Does that make any sense?
    I believe so. I don't make edits, I use cue points.

    For EDM, I play the tracks as much as I want to get from them.

    For Mobile DJing, I use mostly cuts and drops instead of mixing the whole time.

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor Stephen Nawlins's Avatar
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    I totally agree with SlayForMoney,
    Editing Tracks for a Live Set is just making it easyer for you to mix.

    But this is just my humble opinion, the opinion of an old idiot still beatmatching manually 'cause He thinks it's way more orgasmic to make the perfect transition between 2 Tracks thanx to his ears and Hands, than thanx to a Programm Line of a Computer Program (AUTOSYNC for those who didn't understand the sarcastic undertone).
    Manually Beatmatching an Original Radio Version of a Song which never has been designed for DJs, is like a handcrafted good, it has a Heart and a Soul.
    Automixing an Edit with a Software is a industrially produced good.

    Using Software and AutoSync is totally legit, please don't get me wrong, but it depends on how you see your Dj Job.

    Are you making Dj like an Artist, carving a Piece of Hood to make the grip and working the Iron to make the blade of a unique handmade knife, or are you going to the factory, working on CNC-machine cuting automatically the Blade out of the iron and carving automatically a grip out of Hood???
    At the End in both cases the End Product is a Knife.
    i am just pretty sure the one making unique knifes everyday might be more happy to wake up every morning than the one who has to go to the fabric.

    I still think that as DJ, even if I only Play others Music, I am lucky to work with Art Pieces, Musically Art Pieces, creations which deserve to be treated like Art and not like factory mass production Products.

    But as I said it's my humble opinion....And this is exactly what makes being a DJ worthy: The diversity of the ways you can exercise this Job.
    Imagine if we all were same and (even worse) if we all would Play the same way and same stuff??? an Imagination Close from Huxley's "Brave New World"...No thanx!!!

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    There are edits, and there are edits.

    There are DJs out there that warp everything in Live and export at a single tempo - then burn to CD and claim to play 100% live sets containing personal edits!!!

    The line between DJ'ing and production is getting more and more blurred. We've got the most amazing gear and software available to us, that, when I started out, I could only have dreamed of!

    Edits are your opportunity to make your sets YOURS. Don't use edits to make things easier - use them to make things BETTER.
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
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  8. #8
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post

    Edits are your opportunity to make your sets YOURS. Don't use edits to make things easier - use them to make things BETTER.
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Some DJs STILL don't get this. Stop trying to sound "like" someone, and just make your sets sound like something that you'd love to listen to.

    And scratch. Always scratch.
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  10. #10
    Tech Convert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    Edits are your opportunity to make your sets YOURS. Don't use edits to make things easier - use them to make things BETTER.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Nawlins View Post
    I totally agree with SlayForMoney,
    Editing Tracks for a Live Set is just making it easyer for you to mix.

    + the metaphor about hand crafted knives vs mass produced knives both being knives, but being vastly different in their creation. Cropped for space, scroll up to read.
    Okay, so, I feel like you guys are misunderstanding me. Yes, I want my job to be easier via these DJ edits, but not in the way you guys seem to be thinking. I'm not making edits of rock tracks so that they, what, sync properly to the tempo? For one thing, the artifacting and digital distortion from stretching everything in Live to match a click/metronome would DESTROY the tracks. I can just imagine trying to warp Blew by Nirvana, where the drummer is off as hell. (Just did a mashup with this track, and was pained by how off he was; kicks and snares all over the place! But I digress) Kurt's vocal would be absolutely wrecked in that track, as would the guitar/bass.

    I'm making edits/remixes to blend two genres, and not lose my crowd! To blend to very differently produced styles of music without causing my dancefloor to COMPLETELY stop, all at once as I blend over. I'm making edits so I can play the tracks that really mean something to me, the tracks that have a huge emotional impact for me, because while pounding bass and wubwubs sound cool, and that's awesome, I've never sat down and cried to a Skrillex track because life felt empty. I've never met a friend who said they were once about to turn their car on with a hose from the exhaust to the window, until when they did a Deadmau5 song came on the radio and reminded them why life was worth living. I've also never lost my mind and moshed to a DJ set, (which is a dream of mine, to have a crowd mosh at my show)

    To go back to Stephen's metaphor; lots of rock music, (to me it feels this way, at least) is that unique, handcrafted knife, and modern dance tunes, (not all, but a very large portion) is cookie-cutter mass produced, Made in China knives. By the millions. I'm simply trying to circumvent this issue by injecting some life back into these cold, sometimes, (again, not always) lifeless and often unremarkable tracks that are, what, compressed right and have a fist pumping drop? Yeah. I'm trying to combine the fist pumping, head nodding heavy bass and the good vibes and good times of rock.

    Think about it; you drop a house track, we'll say. Big booming kick, BOOM BOOM BOOM from the speakers. You blend to a track by The Offspring in the same key/tempo. The BOOM BOOM BOOM fades out and is replaced by.... this little tiny bumpbumppatbumpbumpbumppat as the recording of that drummer does his best to fill the gap left in the listener's ears. A beautiful, (as far as punk goes) singer, heartfelt composition, sure. But not the booming bass people were dancing to 32 bars ago before I blended in the rock track. That's a problem! Losing your crowd is a problem, hell; it would even sound like shit to me! Now I know a lot of DJ's are dropping rock tracks into their sets once or twice, (Kennedy Jones and KSHMR come to mind) like Queen and Led Zepplin, and that's cool; but I'm not talking about teasing the crowd with nostalgia, I'm talking about the whole set being a blend of mashups and remixes.

    Gotta say, I'm almost a little offended that everyone here assumed I was some push-button jockey just wanting my shit to sync when I pressed sync. Are you kidding me? Geez, guys... I can beatmatch just like the rest of you, but getting the kicks and snares to line up isn't my only concern. Hell, at this point, it's not even a concern, because this thread has satisfactorily answered my question.

    I especially like how no one called out this guy for doing edits to make his life easier;

    Quote Originally Posted by the_bastet View Post
    75% of the top 40 tunes I play for corporate gigs, I have edited to make more DJ friendly. I would lose a large part of my income without doing edits, so for me they are worth it.
    Not that there's anything wrong with that, because there isn't!
    ...
    Whatever, anyway;

    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    Some DJs STILL don't get this. Stop trying to sound "like" someone, and just make your sets sound like something that you'd love to listen to.

    And scratch. Always scratch.
    ^ That is precisely what I'm trying to do. Scratching included, (if sparsely)

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