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Old 05-19-18, 11:06 AM
userguide userguide is offline
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How to do DJ-ing (mixing?) ?

I've always wanted to try making a cool mix I can listen to on youtube, but I had no idea where to start.

Do I need to be musically gifted ( I think I am not)?

I can't play any instrument, nor can I sing well.

But I can enjoy music

Is that enough to be a DJ ?

How do I start ?

When I see guys standing over those big tables, poking at a knob every 2 seconds...
It looks like a NASA job to me.

Also, how much improvisation is there in a DJ-performance ? Are the songs prepared in 90% an the DJ just tinkers with the speed/atmoshpere/whatever, or it's 10% base song and 90% improvisation ?
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Old 05-19-18, 11:18 AM
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Re: How to do DJ-ing (mixing?) ?

A good place to start is have a large number of tunes in your collection. Preferably full 12 inch singles.


There's some free mixing software available online, but you can get better software if you're willing to pay the price (or even if you're not.... if you catch my drift)


Having a good understanding of keys can be the difference between a good sounding mix and a bad sounding mix. Not all tunes are harmonically compatible with one another. So knowing which keys mix well together and which ones don't will greatly improve the sound of your mixes. Most DJs work with what's known as the "Camelot Wheel" when it comes to mixing in key. So I would suggest looking that up to get a good understanding of how it works.


The difference between an ok DJ and a great DJ is being able to read the crowd. If you're mixing live in front of an audience, you may already have a pre-determined set in mind, but if the crowd isn't responding to it, then it's good to have a backup plan so you can take your mixes in different directions to get a better response from the crowd. If you're just creating a mix at your own leisure and planning to upload it to the internet for other people to listen to it. Then it's usually a good idea to have a tracklist made up ahead of time, so that you can mess around with it and get it to sound as good as possible before uploading it.
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Old 05-19-18, 11:57 AM
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Re: How to do DJ-ing (mixing?) ?

Thx Fraser, I will need to look up the key thing.

Is the software all you need to mix a song nowdays ?

Or you still need this cool box full of knobs and switches (mixer?)

What's the relationship / diference btw software and the hardware I see on concerts ?

I also wonder how much creation goes into a random set - sometimes I feel that everything I listen to is remaking - is that what mixing is about ?
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Old 05-19-18, 12:06 PM
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Re: How to do DJ-ing (mixing?) ?

Software can mimic hardware. You can assign keyboard keys to all the different functions, such as crossfading, EQing, pitch bending.... etc. I have a midi controller which is a piece of hardware that works with the software, so that it looks a bit more professional and provides greater flexibility and control.


Mixing can take on different forms. Mixing tracks together to create a seemless mix isn't the same as a mastering engineer in a studio creating an individual track. Some times mixes are planned out, other times DJs just go with their instinct, or they find a balance somewhere inbetween.
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Old 05-19-18, 12:16 PM
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Re: How to do DJ-ing (mixing?) ?

So if I get that well, the only reason DJs are not mixing on an iPad is that it's easier to push a physical knob than to point it on the screen, right ?

Now, do I need any professional headset/speaker to be able to mix some on my PC, or a regular headset would do ?
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Old 05-19-18, 12:36 PM
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Re: How to do DJ-ing (mixing?) ?

It's true that having proper hardware to work with makes for better mixing, but it also looks vastly more professional as well. Someone pushing a touch screen on a iPad inside a nightclub would probably look very silly to most people. (Although I wouldn't rule it out for the future...)


What you want is a decent pair of monitoring headphones that have slightly more emphasis on the low end (bass). This will help you with beat matching and leveling out the sound of your overall mix. I wouldn't recommend trying to create a mix using speakers, as they generally aren't as revealing as a decent pair of monitoring headphones. The industry standard for DJ headphones are the Pioneer brand. But there are other reputable brands as well such as Sony, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, AKG....etc.
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