The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

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silky
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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by silky » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:04 pm

Never really been fussed on how tunes are mixed. All about the music for me.

To be honest I'd rather hear a synced set than someone who is trying to beat match, that's just my taste as I lost the love of DJ'ing years ago. That's not to say I wouldn't be impressed with a DJ doing it the Old Skool way if the beat matching was top notch.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by Restless » Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:55 pm

RonWellsJS wrote:
Restless wrote:
Is it easy to match beats? Sure. Is it easy to match beats and hold a mix down for 2 minutes on hammered turntables? NOPE!
I would say that it should be easy on good turntables to mix for more than 2 minutes if need be...

... on hammered turntables is a completely different proposition... if there is constant drift, with no chance of any real time stability then I take back my previous comment - as that would be extremely difficult and annoying.

I do still think though that too much is often made of being able to mix (on good kit),

I'd be happy for the DJ to use sync and deliver a brilliantly musical set.

;-)
You're having a laugh mate.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by lixx » Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:28 pm

Is that what these young whippersnappers are doing these days with their auto sync? Back in the day we had to walk 10 miles in the snow with a 100 pound record case strapped to our back through airport security to get to the gig- and hope the turntables functioned properly! These damn kids don't know how easy they have it!

I jest of course, but yeah there are things I don't miss about being an 'active' DJ using records back then. I remember once having to run from one side of an airport to other after a gig in Detroit literally with a metal case full of records that probably almost broke my arms, only to be stopped and questioned by airport security with minutes to spare to catch my flight. And that was pre- 9/11! Or the time my mate was taken in a "back room" for a strip search in Caracas coming back from Venezuela simply for being a DJ from the States (I escaped this somehow!) Guess that has nothing to do with records but I digress....

I've actually never tried to mix digitally. So my seething rage for it probably stems from the fact that I just love vinyl and that's how I learned. I'm nothing more than a bedroom DJ anymore, making mixes for myself- maybe one day do an internet radio show if I can ever get back into the swing of things. I have old DJ's friends who went digital who make fun of me for hanging onto the vinyl but like many have said here- it's just a preference I guess. The fact that I can completely control my environment for mixing these days 24-7 means I have no need to switch from vinyl. It's not like I'm going to gigs where you need to bring your laptop.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by jonny » Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:13 pm

I'm old skool and for me real dj'ing consists of Technics (or Vestax) a mixer and vinyl, it requires both dedication and skill and much practice, thesedays anyone can use a sync button along with numerous other things but that is not real dj;ing, i appreciate technology has evolved and im into technology myself, however when it comes to dj;ing in dance music circles im definitely old skool like this.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by Richruffcut » Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:16 pm

Its funny how the name DJ (Disc Jockey) has carried on even though sometimes no disc's are involved at all.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by dial1 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:16 am

Restless wrote:
dial1 wrote:This idea that digital djs don't spend time beat matching is a complete and utter myth unless you play rigidly quantised music with no swing a la trance and hard house.

There's plenty of analogue techno that requires you to pay attention to the track, and 93-96 era jungle is an absolute given, I still manually beat match when playing off cdjs - there's no way you can press sync and expect to get away with it, a lot of the programming in those units is algorithmic and rule-based (obviously) not dynamic and fluctuating. This isn't even getting into mixing 91-92 hardcore or trying to mix stuff like industrial, postpunk or krautrock, all of which require the same skills as a vinyl DJ, just applied/learnt in a different way.
By your logic that only applies to DJ's who play rips.

You download a modern track from Beatport and believe me, you will not need to "match beats".

Nobody does that on CDJ's nowadays. It's sync-button all the way.
Yes but although beatport stocks a wide variety of music it is primarily geared towards the trance/progressive house category, so that wouldn't surprise me. I buy a lot of music off Boomkat.com - and some of it is analogue jams - a far cry away from anything beatport would sell. Noone in techno/IDM/experimental uses beatport, unless they're playing big room wank.

I haven't used traktor in all honesty but on cdjs I use the pitch control in vinyl mode and don't even touch the virtual platter. if I'm getting desperate I'll wack the pitch right up to the top and then work down really quickly and it always produces tracks in beat. syncing so your track comes in properly is just a matter of counting. If you get the tracks matched exactly with some serious fine tuning you can hold a couple of tracks in mix for longer than 30 seconds. Just make sure it's precise, like literally decimal level consistency. Don't use the BPM counter, don't look at your records, just memorise the bar structure of your tunes and you're good to go. and don't ever, ever nudge records.
Last edited by dial1 on Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by dial1 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:23 am

dj jedi wrote:
dial1 wrote:This idea that digital djs don't spend time beat matching is a complete and utter myth unless you play rigidly quantised music with no swing a la trance and hard house.
Sorry I disagree, I have Traktor Scratch for my decks and as soon as you press sync, it locks perfectly on 99% of tracks including old skool hardcore and jungle. You can see in the software that it works out where each beat is and literally syncs the tracks beat by beat. They're not like 20 year old CDJs that were just like vinyl, the software is so clever now it does all of the work for you.

Granted for 1% of tracks it can't pick up the BPM automatically, but all you need to do is plot four beats in one bar in the software and it figures it out.

I'll do a quick video if you like to show just how good the syncing on modern software is.
Nah, I believe you, though as I indicated in my previous post I haven't used traktor to be fair.

Still that sounds very sasha and digweed to me (yawn), I can get tunes precisely beat matched but where's the fun in someone pounding out some techno or oldskool hardcore and having to spinback to avoid a trainwreck?

I mean, Surgeon, who is one of my favourite modern djs, uses Ableton but it doesn't matter because he's always genre hopping and playing different flavours in his sets. A dj that plays a set of oldskool or techno or house all perfectly synced would bore me, unless the tunes were particularly good.

But I agree, tunes first is really all that matters. I'd rather roapy mixing and a dj trying to play Autechre's fucked up mathematical stuff in a set than someone just gliding along the highway.

When I was mucking about with cdjs 7 years ago I remember this track being particularly hard for autosync.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwT4E5u0l0Y

Standard techno track you say, and you'd be right. but the kick comes in 0.1 of a beat early, it's not positioned correctly in the stereo field and the whole analogue feel of it didn't endear itself to the decks. Rather than wasting my time with that, why not spend 30 seconds or less beat matching?

I mean, if I ever wanted to chat up a girl in the booth (a ridiculously stupid and unprofessional thing to do, by the way and extremely disrespectful to your crowd) surely it would make more sense to beat match first rather than faffing around?

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by dial1 » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:41 am

RonWellsJS wrote:Agree, I've tried it... I didn't have to do a thing except; choose, cue and start... mixes locked for full track duration.

I have no problem at all with DJs who do this.

Beat mixing is easy, there is nothing outrageously skilled to claim or prove by being able to match beats. It's the same comparison between manual and automatic cars (as in, I don't manually change gear to prove that I'm capable of doing so. I let the car decide and I concentrate on where I'm going)

I'm sure I'm going to be told off for this post, but honestly if I ever did DJ again (can't realistically ever see this happening) I would use sync if the rig was digital.

I would much rather hear great choice of tracks compiled into a musical journey, rather than endure some insecure show-off playing a badly organised, 'buggered around with' load of crap.

;-)

Never touch your records. Had to metaphorically slap a mate on the wrist when he was learning to mix and his hand would snake to the platter to nudge the record to get it in beat. Subsequently he's mixing much tighter now as he's discovered the joys of pitch control alone mixing.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by Restless » Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:58 am

Can't always rely on the pitch though, as some turntables are just so f*cking stiff and hammered.

I've got no problem speeding a record up by hand. I can push a turntable platter borderline very finely, so I'm Ok. But I agree that the tune should be "locked" before the channel or fader starts getting touched for the final mix.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by dj jedi » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:33 am

Yeah I've never understood the logic of pitch correction mixing, if the record is too slow and out of time, the only way to make it 'catch up' without touching the record is to make the pitch too fast, so not in time either. I generally notice that DJs who only use the pitch control spend the whole time messing around with it because it's never spot on.

Likewise I often see DJs pushing the vinyl round/slowing it down but not altering the pitch, again it's obviously not right if that is what you need to do. A combination of the two is the only way to get it bang on, I like to get mixes tight enough so you don't need to touch it. I agree it sounds terrible if you're touching the record while it's playing, but while cueing up is fine.

I've also seen DJs who tap the 33/45 buttons to speed up/slow down the record. There's lots of techniques, all down to preference I guess. And something these sync DJs will never understand!

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by rage » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:46 am

Pitch chasing is the way forward, you don't hear the adjustments like you do touching the vinyl / platter. It takes an awful lot of practice though, and you need your pitches to be working well and not worn out.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by RonWellsJS » Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:41 pm

Light touches (grip or twist) on the spindle are usually stealth, a gentle spindle adjustment and then minute alteration of the pitch control to achieve optimal sync has always worked a treat. A couple of those touches and tracks should lock for several minutes.

Too fast: grip spindle and adjust pitch...
Too slow: twist spindle and adjust pitch...

... how hard can it be.

... no, I'm not having a laugh.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by rage » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:11 pm

Theres nothing hard about that, but that is exactly the point. What happens when you are mixing two tracks with something musical going on at the time the beats start to drift? You wont be able to make that stealth adjustment without it being audiable.

If you watch this video you will see the way Andy C does it, its a whole different ball game and one that takes years and years of practice.



Its about going that little bit extra to be the best in your field, I guess its a bit like someone trying to tell you whats the point doing all the synthesis in your records when you could have just sampled because it does the job.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by dj jedi » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:17 pm

As per my post above though, he never has it bang on, his hand never leaves the pitch control. It's the mixing equivalent of driving in a zig zag rather than a straight line. Yes he has the skill to keep it in time, but personally I much prefer to know I have 2 tracks 'locked' and can leave them for 30+ seconds without interfering. That looks like far too much work!

By the way I'm not dissing Andy C or claiming I'm better, but he is how all pro DJs should be - they get paid a fortune and DJ for hours every day, they should be brilliant at it. Most of us probably only mix a few hours a month, if that.

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Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Post by rage » Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:36 pm

dj jedi wrote:It's the mixing equivalent of driving in a zig zag rather than a straight line.
I wouldnt say that, its not vastly different really. When you make the adjustment you plant your thumb of finger so you can move the pitch back to the correct position afterwards, you're not just moving it back to a random spot. Even if touching the record you still need to move the pitch. That is three decks too, which is a completely different prospect to two. Keeping three tunes in check on 1210s and you don't hear adjustments, its an insanely difficult thing to do!

Even he affords himself the odd touch in that vid so I guess no one is perfect :D
Last edited by rage on Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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