Learn the top 10 advanced DJ tips and tricks for a competitive advantage in your gigs. Find out why the 10th tip is the most crucial of them all!
When you leave your bedroom and start playing in public, you've honed your basic talents and preferably mastered them. Many DJs will not seek to improve their performance by studying more advanced DJ techniques. They've honed their craft, are performing in front of large crowds, and are now content.
But what if you want to stand out from the crowd of DJs you're playing with? What can you do to make your DJ sets more unique?
Whatever you require, these top DJ tips and tricks will set you apart from the competition!
Let's look at some ways to improve your mixes and add a few features that many DJs lack. We'll also point out some common DJ mistakes made by both beginner and professional ones.
1. Preparing your DJ set
You should start preparing as soon as you know where you're going to play. Make a list of everything you'll need for this particular set. Also, make it a habit to completely prepare for each upcoming set.
You should be aware of the audience's expectations as well as the time period for which you are performing. Take the appropriate music as well as several backups in case you encounter a difficult crowd.
Sort your music into folders to make it simple to find what you want to listen to. You could even create a playlist just for that performance. You won't have to guess as much on the night if you have a playlist of songs that go well together.
2. Keep an eye out for red lights on your mixer
I'm frequently greeted by red lights clipping on the mixer when I take over from another DJ to play my time slot. Many DJs still ignore the lights, However, leaving them in the red results in poor sound quality and causes your audience to become tired of the music you are playing. They may quit your dance floor for no apparent reason.
Speakers and headphones will also be distorted. This makes your set sound bad and puts your speakers at risk of blowing up. If this happens, crank down your gains, EQ, or master volume until you see green.
Gains and EQ should be kept at 12 o'clock throughout your set as a general rule.
3. Learn harmonic mixing, or mixing in key
This is something that few DJs take into consideration. However, it is something that has the potential to completely change the sound of your mixes.
If you are mixing with lapto, keep in mind that the majority of DJ mixing software has a tool that analyzes each of your tracks. The key of the track in your music collection will then be listed. Some dj softwares, such as Recordbox, can even display the corresponding keys in your playlist. Make sure you plan out your track flow ahead of time and don't try to do it on the fly.
It's still crucial to know your tunes even if you're utilizing software. Just because two tracks are in the same key does not guarantee that they will sound nice together in the mix.
It takes more practice to do it by ear. The majority of DJs will toss any music into the mix without even considering how it would sound. They don't mind if it's beatmatched as long as it's beatmatched. Some mixes, though, will simply not sound right.
Try matching sounds like kick-drums if you want to take it a step further. Certain kick drums or kick drum patterns will not work well together. Others blend in so smoothly that it's difficult to tell the two songs apart.
You'll know you've got it down when you can flawlessly blend two tracks and no one can tell the tracks have changed!
4. Don't fiddle with the faders too much.
Playing with the up faders and constantly pushing them up and down in time with the beat. And then cutting to the next track while the vocals are still playing. Why would you remove the vocal and replace it with a handful of hollow kick drums?
When listening to a recorded mix, this has to be one of the worst things you can hear. It's not much better to hear it out in a club. It's acceptable if it's done correctly and serves to tease the next track. However, when it's done for no reason, it can come across as amateurish.
Try recording your mix to hear how it sounds to others and see if you appreciate it.
5. Learn how to work with FX
FX can be a lot of fun to incorporate into your settings. It can also provide a wonderful touch to your mixes. However, you may need to devote some time to mastering the use of the FX. Add them as needed, but don't go overboard and bother the audience.
Too many DJs play with flanger, delay, reverb, and other effects during their set, which can come out as unprofessional and frustrating to your audience.
Some people utilize FX to hide bad beatmatching, while others use them to transition from one mix to the next. This can help you get out of a jam, but you shouldn't rely on it. It's preferable to polish your beatmatching, EQing, and other techniques.
6. Learn to play a variety of genres
This is the most effective technique to begin getting gigs. Mixing only one kind of music may limit your booking opportunities. At the other hand, It can also stifle your creativity and hinder your progress. It's wonderful if you enjoy playing your one favorite genre. Every genre, however, has something unique to offer and will bring a fresh challenge.
Do you think you could pull off a disco set at the club on Saturday night if you only mix Techno and have never mixed anything else? It's unlikely.
Try to blend as many genres as possible; they may not be your favorites, but they will improve your mixing and skill level. Plus, as your genre list grows, you'll be able to take on more employment.
7.Learn How To Use The EQ In Your Mixer
The three-band EQ on a mixer can be the most critical feature to use during a mix. DJs mixing without even touching the EQs is still quite normal to witness and hear. You'll probably hear basslines clashing, speakers distorting, and a sloppy mix if you mix without utilizing the EQ. I would say that blending your track with the EQ is crutial!
This is a basic tip that should be practiced all the time.
8. Make music on your own.
Another wonderful method to give yourself an advantage is to produce your own music to perform in your DJ sets. There's a probability you'll be into producing if you enjoy DJing and music and have a creative side.
Production software has gone a long way and is becoming better all the time. You won't have to spend thousands of pounds on constructing or even hiring a studio. With tools like FL Studio, Ableton live, and the bet of all for me, Cubase, you can create an entire track on your PC, Mac, or laptop.
These softwares allow you to create whole tracks in just a few days. All you have to do now is include the tune into your DJ performances. You'll be able to judge how well you're doing by the crowd's reaction.
9. Understand how to read a crowd
The ability to read your crowd is something that many DJs overlook.
You need to learn how to get the audience going and how to engage with the crowd as a DJ. You'll also learn about the crowd's body language. And what should you do if the crowd is illegible?
Don't overlook this crucial DJ ability. It's equally as vital as mixing, and mastering it will help you gain a larger following. People will remember you more easily as well. And they'll want to watch you perform again.
10. Keep Learning
Continue to learn new dj skills. After the initial learning faze in the bedroom, many DJs don't take the time to increase their skill level. DJs that put forth the effort to continuously learning will be far more successful.
Are you already a DJ? Now it's time to learn the traditional art form of DJing with vinyl.
Join our on site Vinyl DJ course. You'll be able to use, beatmatch, and mix vinyl like a pro at the end of these lessons. You will have a complete comprehension of the art.
Be at ease with a turntable DJ setup. See more