New to "DJing" - would like some advice
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  1. #1

    Default New to "DJing" - would like some advice

    Hi all,

    I am new to Djing (3-4 months) and have taken to it fairly quickly as my flatmate has basically taught me the basics of beatmatching. I practise daily and of course find it incredibly fun.

    My Gear
    - Traktor S2 MK2
    - Traktor for iPad
    - Pioneer CDJs (Old ones but no mixer yet so unusable)

    I have two questions:

    1) Other than beatmatching, having obscure songs to hand (so you don't just sound like others), ability to play to mood of crowd...what other important skills will I need to develop to become a skilled DJ? I am primarily playing House (proper house, not Disclosure) and Grime.

    2) What other kit should I buy and can I get by on what I have so far? (Money is tight)

  2. #2
    DJTT Infectious Moderator photojojo's Avatar
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    This question has been asked a bunch. Do some searching through old threads and the blog and you'll find your answer.
    Chris Jennings FHP

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  3. #3

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    Cool

  4. #4
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Beatmatching is great but don't keep it to just intros and outros of songs, get creative in the process. Practice blending for long periods of time, practice blending in and out of breaks, see what songs of yours mesh together best, etc. There's a lot to figure out. Watch some videos of guys like Eats Everything and Carl Cox on CDJs and see what they do. You'll eventually find your path.

  5. #5

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    if youre determined enough (and it sounds like you may be) , you can get by with just traktor and a laptop. throw in an s2 and you really have all you need to rock out. as time goes by you will find your workflow sending you to the computer to use functions not mapped on your s2. once it starts to become bothersome to go to the laptop you will either start learning to map those functions out, buy a new controller that you feel will fill in the blanks , or both. just let time take its course with the gear thing, trust me on this. when youre new the best thing to concentrate on is learning one thing really good. if you keep adding new gear, it increases new things to learn, which makes the overall process slower. just stick to the basics until youve mastered them.

    1. practice beat matching but also equally important, phrasings.
    2. practice good library management ( process your music as soon as you import it , ie: hot cues, beat grids commment tags etc)
    3. practice playing in front of people.

    master these 3 things, and then you will naturally see new doors open to go through as far as style and tricks.

    listen to a lot of music and only keep the things that really really stand out. strive to keep your traktor collection smaller rather gigantic.



    p.s i find it highly annoying that on this "think outside the box" community, that people constantly point people to the search button. the search button isnt THAT accurate, and usually even in the best cases, finding someone elses related thread doesnt exactly answer your own issues. the mods(and veteran users) here seriously need to stop policing the forum so much. be more open to new users just posting their own threads! and one last thing to remember is that different browsers can yield different results with the SAME SEARCH ENGINE! just because you insta-google the right answer, does not mean someone else ges the same answers for the exact same question through google. If you know something share it, or link it, but dont be a dick because someone posts yet another thread about sync vs manual beatmatching or whatever. just answer it or dont.
    Traktor/Ableton /Komplete /MBP OSX el capitan

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwal View Post
    Beatmatching is great but don't keep it to just intros and outros of songs, get creative in the process. Practice blending for long periods of time, practice blending in and out of breaks, see what songs of yours mesh together best, etc. There's a lot to figure out. Watch some videos of guys like Eats Everything and Carl Cox on CDJs and see what they do. You'll eventually find your path.
    Hey man, thanks for this response.

    All of the stuff you mentioned I try and do already! Watch lots of videos of the best house DJs, but is there a specific reason you suggested those?

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MalcolmDeXXX View Post
    Hey man, thanks for this response.

    All of the stuff you mentioned I try and do already! Watch lots of videos of the best house DJs, but is there a specific reason you suggested those?
    It's just who came to mind when thinking of those dope CDJ mixing videos where they show you the view from up top. Can you record a mix? Mixing should also be a journey in a sense, so getting your flow down will be tough if you never play to a crowd. You should know which songs are higher energy, which ones are fillers, etc. Try recording a mix and see how you do under pressure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalcolmDeXXX View Post
    I am new to Djing (3-4 months) and have taken to it fairly quickly as my flatmate has basically taught me the basics of beatmatching. I practise daily and of course find it incredibly fun.
    Welcome, and congrats on finding a fun new hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by MalcolmDeXXX View Post
    1) Other than beatmatching, having obscure songs to hand (so you don't just sound like others), ability to play to mood of crowd...what other important skills will I need to develop to become a skilled DJ? I am primarily playing House (proper house, not Disclosure) and Grime.
    Beatmatching is the "riding a bike" skill for DJs. It seems hard, until you "get it", and then it's like "riding a bike." That said, the skills needed to peddle around your neighborhood, win the Tour de France, and compete in the X Games differ significantly.

    Obscure songs are one route to take...but it is increasingly difficult to keep your set fresh this way. It involves a TON of time spent digging in crates for out of print music.

    Alternatively, learning to layer effects, loops, and other more subtle elements to make each song have "your" sound. Finding your sound can be a big part of your journey as a DJ. Just remember, less is more (in most cases).



    Quote Originally Posted by MalcolmDeXXX View Post
    2) What other kit should I buy and can I get by on what I have so far? (Money is tight)
    The S2 is a great place to start, especially to learn two-deck mixing. Later, depending on the workflow that appeals to you, adding a MidiFighter 3D or Twister might be appropriate. Or, you could look at a more modular route built with various dedicated controllers. It is more about how you want to work than any specific "magic" bit of gear.
    Denon X1600, NI X1 Mk1 & Mk2, MF Twister
    Kontrol S2, Maschine Mk1, APC 40
    Retired: VCI-100 Arcade (Signed #198/300))
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwal View Post
    It's just who came to mind when thinking of those dope CDJ mixing videos where they show you the view from up top. Can you record a mix? Mixing should also be a journey in a sense, so getting your flow down will be tough if you never play to a crowd. You should know which songs are higher energy, which ones are fillers, etc. Try recording a mix and see how you do under pressure.
    Haha yeah I can actually. My mixcloud is basically my name on here. HOWEVER, I deleted them yesterday because they were full of songs that I now know are NOT really deep house...and I didn't want to be associated with them!!

    I'll record another one tonight. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    www.mixcloud.com/malcolmdexxx

  10. #10

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    I'm also going to learn music production at the same time, using Ableton. I trialled a few and I seem to like that the most. I guess having both of these skills should enable them to feed into one another, no?

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