Tips for a starting DJ?
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor Naderia's Avatar
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    Default Tips for a starting DJ?

    Hello!

    I've decided to put my music production on the side for a while to learn how to DJ, and I've downloaded a DJing software (Deckadance, mostly because I love FL) that I think has a good interface (simple etc.). My question now is, how long do you guys think I should mess around with it until I'm eligible to get some hardware, and what hardware should I get? I'd prefer if it wasn't that pricy. I'm planning to play EDM music if that has any relevance.

    I'm also open for any other tips/pointers that helped you out in your DJing career.

    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Well, it shouldn't be a difficult leap if you're already into production.
    I don't know much about Deckadance itself, but one tip I'd give for anyone looking to buy say, a controller, is to simply buy according to what you need. Need 20 effects knobs and 4 deck control? Fair enough, but your wallet will hurt. Need simple 2 deck jog control? Just as fair.
    You'll figure out what you really need by using the software, see what you like, and what it's awkward using the keyboard and mouse for, and buy accordingly.

    Also, don't let anyone fool you by talking about "pro" gear; you'll be just as competent with a mixtrack pro or reloop beatmix (two decent 2 deck controllers by the way), than you will with an S4 or other monster. Although try and avoid gimmicky toys.
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  3. #3
    Tech Mentor Naderia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountenanT View Post
    Well, it shouldn't be a difficult leap if you're already into production.
    I don't know much about Deckadance itself, but one tip I'd give for anyone looking to buy say, a controller, is to simply buy according to what you need. Need 20 effects knobs and 4 deck control? Fair enough, but your wallet will hurt. Need simple 2 deck jog control? Just as fair.
    You'll figure out what you really need by using the software, see what you like, and what it's awkward using the keyboard and mouse for, and buy accordingly.

    Also, don't let anyone fool you by talking about "pro" gear; you'll be just as competent with a mixtrack pro or reloop beatmix (two decent 2 deck controllers by the way), than you will with an S4 or other monster. Although try and avoid gimmicky toys.
    Thank you for taking the time!

    I'll definitely mess with the software and see what I can use without any hardware. Do you by any chance have a link to a good site that has reviews of different hardware for DJing?

    One quick question, do I have to worry a lot about tracks being jn the same note or is it just BPM?

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    Well here would be a good start! - there's a reviews section along the top browser. But Digital DJ Tips publishes a comprehensive guide every year as well!

    Haha well, that's a rather large can of worms to open!
    What you're on about is something called "Harmonic mixing", where you mix tracks in related keys in order to make mixes sound smoother and less clashy. It is something worth learning, but it's not something to get too wrapped up in, and definitely don't let it take over your sets. It's more important if you're doing say, a mashup, demo mix, or something similar, rather than just a live mix.
    It does become important when you're cutting sharply between tracks though in order to keep a consistent vibe, and make the whole thing sound good. Most of us now use the Camelot system, you can easily find a picture of it, it's just numbers instead of notes and you mix adjacent numbers.
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    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    My question now is, how long do you guys think I should mess around with it
    About an hour. Then you should start learning how to use it properly.
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

    Click HERE to D/L Free Tracks from Soundcloud!!!
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  6. #6
    Tech Mentor Naderia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountenanT View Post
    Well here would be a good start! - there's a reviews section along the top browser. But Digital DJ Tips publishes a comprehensive guide every year as well!

    Haha well, that's a rather large can of worms to open!
    What you're on about is something called "Harmonic mixing", where you mix tracks in related keys in order to make mixes sound smoother and less clashy. It is something worth learning, but it's not something to get too wrapped up in, and definitely don't let it take over your sets. It's more important if you're doing say, a mashup, demo mix, or something similar, rather than just a live mix.
    It does become important when you're cutting sharply between tracks though in order to keep a consistent vibe, and make the whole thing sound good. Most of us now use the Camelot system, you can easily find a picture of it, it's just numbers instead of notes and you mix adjacent numbers.
    Thank you so much for that info! I don't know if you're up for this, but are you aware of any links that describe different terms in DJing (like the Camelot system) or if perhaps you could run me down the basic ones? If its not too much to ask.

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    Tech Mentor Naderia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    About an hour. Then you should start learning how to use it properly.
    And by properly you mean with hardware, or putting down time and make a complete mix?

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Just time, mate. Lots of time. Expect to start off being rubbish - but keep putting in time, and you'll get better and better.

    You don't need ANY hardware to learn how to mix... I think having hardware to start off is actually limiting. Hardware will not control every aspect of a piece of software - but a mouse and a keyboard will unlock every element of the software.

    When you know what you WANT to control with hardware, you'll be in a position to decide for yourself what hardware meets your requirements.
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

    Click HERE to D/L Free Tracks from Soundcloud!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naderia View Post
    Thank you so much for that info! I don't know if you're up for this, but are you aware of any links that describe different terms in DJing (like the Camelot system) or if perhaps you could run me down the basic ones? If its not too much to ask.
    Your best bet is to go and buy a book called "How To DJ (Properly)" By Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster - it's not an expensive buy, and is in my opinion worth every penny. It's easy to read, well illustrated, will tell you everything you need to know. But it also teaches you integrity - what DJing is about, and what it's not about. You won't find silly or pointless arguments about sync buttons, for example :P

    PS: "Mess around" with the software till your heart's content. It's the only way you'll really learn it.
    Countenance - (n). Appearance or expression. (v.) Admit or accept as possible.

  10. #10
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    I think your best bet is to watch some youtube videos starting with beat matching. There's not much terminology you really need to know IMO. Beatmatching and cue-ing is enough to keep you busy for a while.

    And wow that book is so much cheaper in the UK...

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