Beginner DJ Mixing
I’ve written about having a passion for music, where to get DJ music, best DJ software, best DJ headphones and your first CDJ-mixer DJ set-up, so now I’ll get on with how to mix.
Beginner DJ Mixing – Creating Your First Mix
Whether you are using DJ software or mixing between CDJ’s or turntables the basic beginning DJ mixing principles are the same. You are mixing one track into another to create a continuous flow of beats and sounds. You want to mix them seamlessly so that it’s not apparent where one track ends and the other begins.
Beginner DJ Mixing
The idea is that you are putting together a number of smaller tracks to create one long track. Talking about tracks and beats, I like to think of the beats as the ties of a railroad track. The track is laid so that the train can travel upon it as the beats are laid so that all of the other sounds can travel upon the beats. When the train is moving there is a momentum. Imagine a dance floor with people full of energy dancing. If the music were to stop, so will the dancers and so will the energy. So think of the music not only as sounds but as a continuous flow of energy like a moving train.
As the speed of a train is measured in miles or kilometers per hour, the speed of the music is measured in ‘beats per minute’ or simply ‘BPM’. When mixing one track into another it is imperative that the speed, the ‘beats per minute’ of each track are running at the same speed. However, if track 1 is playing at 126 beats per minute and track 2 that you are mixing in is playing at 127 beats per minute, the speed can be manipulated with the tempo slider on the right side of the cdj deck playing track 2. Move the slider up until you see the BPM is at 126 and the tempo reading -0.08%. For each beat per minute of adjustment, you will either increase or decrease the speed by 0.08%. Now that both tracks are playing at the same speed, you can mix them properly by matching the beats.
On the mixer, the channel 1 fader slider is all the way up, at max volume and the channel 2 fader is all the way down at minimum volume so it cannot be heard from the output. However, to listen to track 2 prior to mixing in, you listen through your headphones by pressing the channel 2 cue button on the mixer. Now you can safely press the play button on cdj 2, and listen to the track through your headphones without it being heard from the output. Check that the track sounds good and adjust the hi’s, mid’s and low’s on the mixer for channel 2 if necessary.
Now you can cue up track 2 to where you would like it to start playing. You can choose any point but you want the track to begin playing at the very start of a beat and for now I recommend pressing the Auto Cue button on the cdj and start from the very beginning of track 2. By depressing the auto cue button, every track will begin at precisely the beginning of the first sound, which is usually the first beat. When the auto cue button is depressed A. CUE will be lit in the cdj display, hold the button down until it appears.
Over time as a DJ you will get more and more specific about where you want to mix tracks in and out but for now you will want to begin mixing track 2 into track 1 when track 1 has approximately 1 minute to 30 seconds remaining. With your headphones on, press the Channel 1 cue button so that you can hear track 1. Listen to the beats. In the beginning, a good practice is to tap you foot to the beat. Now track 2 is not playing but cued up to the first beat, the channel 2 cue button should already be depressed.
As you’re tapping your foot to the beat, press the play button when your foot is going down so that the beat from track 2 is in sync with the beat from track 1. If it isn’t, don’t worry, you can correct it by lightly moving the jog dial forward or backward. In the beginning, this can be a bit challenging but rest assured with practice it becomes an automatic movement. If you’re having trouble at first with the jog dial, you can also tap the play button until the beats come into sync.
So now the beats are in sync, track 1 is still being heard through the output, and you can hear through your headphones that track 2 is playing in sync with track 1. At this point you can monitor through your headphones with both ears or with one ear, or you can take them off and listen to the output from the speakers. Play around and do what feels most comfortable for you. Slowly raise the channel 2 fader slider and listen for track 2 mixing into track 1. As track 2 becomes more prominent in the mix, slowly slide the track 1 fader slider down until the channel 2 fader is all the way up and the channel 1 fader is all the way down and voila you’ve just made your first mix.
Once you get proficient with this technique, there will be more to do with equalizing hi’s, mid’s and low’s, particularly the bass, but this is a good start. You may be asking, “What about the crossfader?” Play with it if you want, especially if you’re into mash-up style DJing, but I don’t use it and always make sure it’s turned off when I play. Focus on making quality sounding mixes using the channel faders and then move on to equalizing with the hi, mid, and low dials. Once you have a grasp on that, tighten up your in and out points. Practice, practice, practice is the DJ way!
Check out this video out on Pitch Riding:
If you want to see more videos like this one, click here to check out: Pro DJ Mixing Quick & Easy
Beginner DJ Resources
If you have a close DJ friend that can help you out, great, nothing like it. However, it’s more rare than people think for DJ’s to share their tips and tricks. DJing can be competitive and no matter where you live, there are only so many DJ gigs to go around. One more DJ, could mean one less gig or even one less venue to play at for the experienced DJ. If you’re really serious about DJing and want to get into music production you should really consider formal study in sound engineering. I know some DJ/Producers that have gone this route who are at the top of the game.
If you’d like to get into DJing right away, then practice like crazy and check out some video courses. Video courses are relatively inexpensive compared to formal education, DJ schools, or tutors and will teach you tips, tricks and techniques that may take you years to figure out on your own.
If you’d like to learn to DJ Fast and be mixing like a Pro in no time then you really need to check out a DJ Video Course:
Pro DJ Mixing: Quick & Easy by Sean Gallagher
Pro DJ Mixing: Quick & Easy by Sean Gallagher – Sean may be a great DJ but by watching his videos, you’ll see that he’s also a great teacher. I’ve been checking out his videos for a while now and have to admit that I’ve learned some really cool and useful techniques that I didn’t know before. In his hours of video courses that Danny Rampling calls “the best DJ training videos on the market” you will learn to dj quickly and easily from secrets passed down by the biggest pro DJs in the world.
Click here to check out: Pro DJ Mixing: Quick & Easy
Beginner DJ Mixer – Beginner CDJ-Mixer
If you’re looking for DJ equipment, Beginner DJ Mixers or Beginner CDJ-Mixer then you may also want to check out the following pages at mydjblog:
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