Demo Mix: Traditional Recording or Minimalist Traktor Profile?
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  1. #1
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    Default Demo Mix: Traditional Recording or Minimalist Traktor Profile?

    Hey fellow DJTT members, have a difficult decision to make and could use some input.

    So I'm trying to make a great demo mix to send out to some clubs and try to get a residency and what not. One of the clubs I'm trying to get into has a mixer and CDJs and I've noticed that most of the DJs there use only the CDJs with CDs (although I believe they can use USB drive as well). Anyway, seeing that I thought it would probably be best to make my demo mix emulating that method - using only CDs in my CDJs and a mixer with no software other than recording the mix.

    By doing this, I've had a hell of an issue making a suitable demo mix, as non-quantized looping is time consuming and risky (beat mismatching) and some of my CDs that have been burned have errors that have ruined my recording (If I had USB drive inputs, I don't think I'd be so annoyed). I'm getting quite irritated and losing my patience with this method of making a studio recorded mix. I am thinking of possibly using Traktor to play and record my mix but with no phase meters and (maybe) no bpm meter, to try and emulate me playing on without software as much as possible. The quantization will still not give me a perfect emulation, though.

    So, my question to DJTT is whether you think that using Traktor over a more traditional method will reduce the impressiveness of my demo mix in the eyes of the club owners? I feel like I should be doing exactly what I will be doing in the club when recording my mix, in order to prove to myself and the owners that I am ready/skilled enough for a club position, but these minor technical difficulties are kicking my ass and demotivating me. Any advice would be extremely appreciated (and sorry for the long-ass post)!

    tl;dr: Will using a minimalist Traktor profile, instead of a traditional setup (CDJs, mixer only), to record a demo mix devalue the mix in the eyes of club owners with traditional setup focus?
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  2. #2

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    If the club uses CDJ 2000's the loops will be quantized if you prepare your tracks in Rekordbox beforehand, no?
    2 x CDJ 850 | Kontrol S4 | A&H Xone XD-53's | A&H Xone K2 | Kontrol X1 | Kontrol F1 | DJM 900nxs

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebr4nd View Post
    If the club uses CDJ 2000's the loops will be quantized if you prepare your tracks in Rekordbox beforehand, no?
    True, but I am unsure if the club I have in mind has 2000's (might be 900's - they have beveled screens). In addition, I don't know the setups of other clubs I will apply to either. Non-quantized loops are fine; I can handle them well enough in a live situation. Its just in a studio recording situation where the issue arises since a demo mix should be as perfect as possible, as it shows your skill and style as a DJ.
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  4. #4

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    I think you've answered your question then! :P You're confident in your ability to get by with non-quantized loops, so why not just use Traktor to make sure that the mix sounds perfect? If you weren't confident, then I'd say some practice was in order.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firebr4nd View Post
    I think you've answered your question then! :P You're confident in your ability to get by with non-quantized loops, so why not just use Traktor to make sure that the mix sounds perfect? If you weren't confident, then I'd say some practice was in order.
    Haha, perhaps so! I think I could use some more practice for sure, in order to get great with the loops but that is definitely a possibility. Wouldn't mind hearing some other advice/comments/answers as well though.
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    Practice just using the CDJs and if you don't think you can set a loop accurately, don't loop anything. Mix like you would if you had to play just with the CDJs to begin with - that might mean a different mixing style entirely for this gig. If you're finding it frustrating doing it at home, imagine how you're going to feel having these problems at the club.

    Now, that said, if you want to create a perfect mix with all your loops and stuff, use Traktor, but I wouldn't necessarily assume you're ready to play on CDJs based just on creating mixes with Traktor.
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    I note you have Technics. If you can spin on these without the crutch of sync or quantise then CDJ's are a doddle. No where near as much fun though.
    BTW does the club have turntables? Go timecode or, even better, arrive with a crate of vinyl.
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  8. #8
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    Make a kick ass demo and when you get a gig, use their cdj's as a beer coaster .. but seriously stop stressing its just a demo mate.
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    Thanks to all your input and comments! @D-Kem, I should probably scope out all the clubs that I'm thinking to apply to and see how their workflow and style is. I would love to do timecode if they had the setup. @Jester.NZ and @djproben, you guys have convinced me to just record with traktor and practice my looping like hell during the lull of getting into a club. Sorry I'm stressing to much, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, as you can see.
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  10. #10
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    First rule of DJing? Use what works for you. Who cares what the rest of the DJs are using! They aren't you. If you like spinning using Traktor, use Traktor. I started on CDJs and am now using an S2 and Traktor, and I can tell you that my mixing style does not change much from one medium to the other, but the way I use the tools does. Drastically. I don't use the tools on a controller at all the way I use them on CDJs. When I was recording my first demo, I was using a pair of Gemini PT-2000s with timecode, and I was just having all sorts of problems with them. I finally got fed up with them and switched back to my CDJs and made the whole demo mix in one take. I sold the PT-2000s because a.) they were crap and b.) I was better with the CDJs. Do I regret moving to the S2? Not at all, it's a hell of a lot more convenient. Is it good to be able to still throw down without the aid of software? You bet. But you should be using your primary mixing medium to record as well as to perform. Imagine if you made a crap demo on CDJs but you knew how to rock a crowd using Traktor? You wouldn't get booked, because your demo was crap. Now imagine the opposite: You make a bangin' mix with Traktor and then go in and trainwreck to hell on the CDJs. You'd never get booked again. Stick to your guns and use what you like
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