Newbie Questions
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  1. #1

    Default Newbie Questions

    Alright so I've been mixing for a few months now with my VCI-100 S.E. and I'm having a real problem trying to figure out how to properly beatmatch and I refuse to touch the autosync button. I find myself using the orange bar above the beat grid a lot to beatmatch by eye rather than by ear which I really would like to stop doing.

    I'll sit here with two tracks near same tempo and practice adjusting the pitch sliders until the tempo is nearly the same...

    so question #1: Do "good" DJ's get the tempo of both tracks exactly the same every time ONLY by ear or do they just get the tempo in the general ballpark? By exactly I mean 89.50 for track one and 89.47-89.53 for track two.

    I want to know because I'm sort of a perfectionist and If most DJ's just get the tempo of two tracks in the general ballpark of each other then I wont need to spend 6 months practicing pitch bending until I'm perfect at it lol.. BUT I WILL IF I HAVE TO!!!

    Question #2: When beat matching two tracks, It bugs the crap out of me if I "think" I have two tracks beatmatched and I look up and the orange bar above the beat grid is off by like 3-6 mm. Is this a big deal? Does it need to be exact each time? How did you learn to tempo and beatmatch when you were a beginner and how long did it take you to become efficient at it?

    Question #3: Beat Gridding. I've been scouring youtube for tutorials and I keep coming across manually beat gridding your tracks on traktor. Why is this? Why should I manually beat grid my tracks? If I manually beat grid my tracks does that mean I have to go through each and every single track and beatgrid them myself? Will it save the beat grid I set up or do I have to re-do it every time?

    BTW I play dubstep, drum & bass, and some electro. I'd like to mix hip-hop some day and learn how to scratch... maybe next year.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
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    Does it sound good? If the answer is yes then stop worrying.

  3. #3

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    Well... I'd like to start volunteering to play live shows at clubs and concerts by next spring/summer or maybe even this winter. I'd like to be good enough to play on any setup i.e. turntables, cdj's, etc. in case I'm ever thrown in to a situation where I wont have traktor as a reference to ensure my beatmatching is on point.

    How embarrasing would it be to be offered to play at a club or party on CDJ's or vinyl and I'd have to tell them, "Umm.. I cant beatmatch by ear very well." Fuck that! I want to be prepared for any situation thrown at me...

  4. #4
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    Im not too sure about drum and bass but dubstep and electro basically stay at the the same BPM. Pretty easy to beatmatch that. Anyways though, if your track is 89.5 and your at 89.45 thats def good enough. It would take a really long time before you would hear it drift. As for the phase meter on the decks, if your a little late or a little too early then the phase meter will be off to the right or left. You have to be pretty spot on with that cause it's very easy to hear when you missed dropping on the 1, but never trust your phase meter if you rely only on Traktor to beatgrid. If the beatgrid is off, the phase meter will be too. Like the above poster said, just use your ears.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru DigitalDevil's Avatar
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    The problem I see is that you say you're learning to beatmatch but all of your questions involve visual cues (bpm display, phase meter, grid) that won't be around when using other mediums. Turn all of those off.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru dope's Avatar
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    btw i don't know if that because i don't beatgrid my tracks but sometimes my by-ear beatmatch is correct, and the orange bar is wrong. especially on breaks and vocals..

    and btw that's not a really big deal if you have a bit of a bpm difference, you can still use the jog wheel to accelerate or decelerate a bit, to correct it.

    anyway i salute you will to learn beatmatching, and even if it's not how you show your dj skills, it's still a way not to rely on a software (that can lead to technicals problems, and for some it leads to the end of the show).

    after being a beatmatch pro, i think you shouldn't go oldschool all the time, i mean, traktor is decent at reading bpm, so you can use that indicator to get pretty close to the truth, and just finally adjust if something doesn't sound right, so you have more time for mixing and creativity.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru zestoi's Avatar
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    i doubt when i was mixing on turntables that i ever exactly got the two tempos 100% spot on. what matters is how it sounds. if it sounds ok then it's all good... and if they start to drift a bit u subtly nudge whichever one is less likely to be noticed...

    +1 to disabling all and any visual cues in traktor if u want to learn via traktor. i find it impossible not to glance at them

    also +1 to using visual cues and/or sync etc once u can beatmatch. they're tools that should be used to free yourself up to do more interesting stuff if they are available in that situation.

    tho must admit i used to love beat matching manually too - the feeling u get when you have those two tunes locked in just down to your adjustments etc...
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