Music Organization: I need some suggestions on this.
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Default Music Organization: I need some suggestions on this.

    Hello -

    So I am at a point now in which I can reorganize my library. I took a 6 month hiatus, sold my DJ gear, and stayed away from anything DJ-wise. I needed the break.

    I am now 'back in it' and have returned to Serato from Traktor (that's a whole other discussion). I still have all of my music and have returned to a record (mp3) pool. My weakness, though, has always been track organization.

    When I spun vinyl (the kind with music), I would organize my crates (they were actual milk crates) based on BPM. I put slower music in the front and, a few crates later, the faster music in the back.

    When I went to software, I organized by genre (hip-hop, dance, old-school, etc...). I tried organizing by genre and subgenre but that got to be too tedious to sort through when spinning for a club and would need to get to tracks in a hurry.

    I spin open-format and, even though the format idea worked for a bit, I was wondering if there was a better way.

    How do you do it? What is your organizational method for track organization?

  2. #2
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    folders...and be ruthless when moving older music out of the rotation...

    Alot of people use dated folders with genre. I just use genre (tech house, g house, deep etc...) I sort by date added in traktor and add to playlists from there.
    Last edited by keithace; 01-09-2016 at 10:18 PM.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Can you access iTunes Playlists in Serato?

    Even if you can't, you should use iTunes to tag and organise your library. You can click-drag iTunes playlists (even Smart Playlists) out of iTunes and into an explorer/finder folder, and it will copy the files to that folder.
    Last edited by Patch; 01-10-2016 at 09:51 AM.
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  4. #4
    Tech Mentor overcast's Avatar
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    I like to add sub-genres into the "comments" field of a song (i.e: a comment field can read: house/deep house/techno/electronic) then make playlists/crates that look for those specific things in the comments. It's a pain to go back to do with exisiting music but doing in coming in can be easier

  5. #5
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    I do the same thing as overcast. All my tracks are tagged with genre, feel, and other things like vocals/good-master/peak-time etc. This made moving from Serato to Traktor extremely easy actually, and I expect the same if I ever switch back to Serato or use Rekordbox.

    Some examples, I might tag genre with [PROG], [ELEC], [DNB], [HSTY] (Progressive house, electro house, drum & bass, hardstyle)
    I might tag feel with [FUNK], [GRVE], [BNCE], etc.
    The last might be [VOC], [MSTR], [PEAK], etc.
    In my library there isn't a restriction on how many tags I can put, some tracks fall in between genres/feels/etc.

    All the comments I have also have the Key tag leading, so an example tag might look like
    10A - [BIGR] [VOC] [PEAK] [BNCE]

    When I want to pull a certain feel of track out, all I have to do is type in the relevant tags into the search box, fire it off, and I have a key organized list of tracks immediately in my face.

    If I wanted to pull out:
    Progressive House with Vocals =>> [PROG] [VOC]
    Peak time uplifting trance =>> [UTRN] [PEAK]
    Jackin' house with maybe some funky elements =>> [JACK] [FUNK]
    Mainstream future house with some vocals =>> [FUTR] [VOC] [POP]

    Didn't need to remake a bunch of crates/list in Traktor when I switched, since I can kind of "make" them on the fly
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  6. #6
    Tech Mentor Chael's Avatar
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    I tried the folder thing and i seemed to spend more time tagging/organising music than playing it. Im not saying its the wrong way but different thing work for diferent people. then came a revelation for me - I now use the beatport pro app for tagging and building "crates" and the like. I know some people have some of bad things to say about it but it suits my workflow and i can search tags easy enough to bring up whatever mood/genre/set time etc im looking at playing. I keep everything in the one folder so its easy to back up everything onto an external HDD. The tagging fields and information available works wonders as you can export it as an itunes library and traktor reads it for easy access. You can even save tag searches which all pop up with 1 click in traktor, for example i could select techno > warm up > key > BPM > energy level > location i.e mainroom - sideroom - warehouse, then i can select fields such as the mood of the track - dirty - dark - bright - tribal, once i have saved it it will show up in traktor and everything within those search parameters is all there waiting to be selected. You can even input custom mood tags, aslong there is some consistency in your mood tagging it really is an impressive tool. You can also use these same parameters to search the enitire beatport store although there is alot of stuff that still hasnt been tagged (then again im from the school of though that the mood tagging of tracks is a personal perspective thing that differs from person to person, much like music itself - people can have differing personal feelings towards the same track) Anyhows - Im not sure how fluently it works with serato but i remember seeing on the website how to set it up. I would recommend it to anyone although there are some features i really wish it had, thats another story....

  7. #7
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chael View Post
    I tried the folder thing and i seemed to spend more time tagging/organising music than playing it. Im not saying its the wrong way but different thing work for diferent people. then came a revelation for me - I now use the beatport pro app for tagging and building "crates" and the like. I know some people have some of bad things to say about it but it suits my workflow and i can search tags easy enough to bring up whatever mood/genre/set time etc im looking at playing. I keep everything in the one folder so its easy to back up everything onto an external HDD. The tagging fields and information available works wonders as you can export it as an itunes library and traktor reads it for easy access. You can even save tag searches which all pop up with 1 click in traktor, for example i could select techno > warm up > key > BPM > energy level > location i.e mainroom - sideroom - warehouse, then i can select fields such as the mood of the track - dirty - dark - bright - tribal, once i have saved it it will show up in traktor and everything within those search parameters is all there waiting to be selected. You can even input custom mood tags, aslong there is some consistency in your mood tagging it really is an impressive tool. You can also use these same parameters to search the enitire beatport store although there is alot of stuff that still hasnt been tagged (then again im from the school of though that the mood tagging of tracks is a personal perspective thing that differs from person to person, much like music itself - people can have differing personal feelings towards the same track) Anyhows - Im not sure how fluently it works with serato but i remember seeing on the website how to set it up. I would recommend it to anyone although there are some features i really wish it had, thats another story....
    They really use "location" as a tag?

    you're kidding me...right?

    I play from a smallish <200 central group of tracks. I couldn't imagine having to sort through things with six tags to possibly find something. "techno > warm up > key > BPM > energy level > location"
    seems like overthinking it. What happened to knowing your tracks and where they are?

    I've never tagged a track. I think I may be in the minority.
    Last edited by keithace; 01-11-2016 at 04:27 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithace View Post
    What happened to knowing your tracks and where they are?
    I lost track (hahaha!) of a lot of my music when the tracks moved from round bits of plastic into computer 0's and 1's....I never knew how much I relied on my scribbles on the liner notes, and on the CD-Rs to "know" my collection. Granted this was 15 years ago.

    I moved from 300-ish CDs at an event (four books) to having tens of thousands of tracks at an event. Over time I can keep just under 1000 songs in my head at any given time. This is where I can recall the intro/outro, hum the chorus, etc from the tip of my tongue. Given 5 minutes I can probably recall twice that number of songs....which is still handy, but not when you need another track in 10...9...8...

    I use tags in layers. This is similar to how I physically organized CDs.

    1) Organization - I have folders and smart playlists based on genre, comments, years, and a few other tags.
    2) Searching - Artist, title, album, some comments are used for text searching inside the collection.
    3) Sorting - Bpm, key, energy, time are used to sort the results of a search, or a folder, or to help arrange a playlist.
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  9. #9
    Tech Mentor overcast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithace View Post
    What happened to knowing your tracks and where they are?
    I recently stopped tagging tracks as often as I found it didn't really help (I started it pre-DJing to sort things out in iTunes better) but now I just have big generic lumped folders in Serato titled like "House/Techno", "Dubstep/Bass/Etc.", " 'Club' " just to help cut down on clutter.

    Although I do love the idea of using tags to find the perfect techno track for pre-midnight at 118bpm and at F minor, that would be suitable for a rowdy room 2

  10. #10
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by overcast View Post
    I recently stopped tagging tracks as often as I found it didn't really help (I started it pre-DJing to sort things out in iTunes better) but now I just have big generic lumped folders in Serato titled like "House/Techno", "Dubstep/Bass/Etc.", " 'Club' " just to help cut down on clutter.

    Although I do love the idea of using tags to find the perfect techno track for pre-midnight at 118bpm and at F minor, that would be suitable for a rowdy room 2
    lol
    Weapons, not food, not homes, not shoes
    Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal

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