I found this DJNTV video refreshing: Is mixing important?

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,256
45
So refreshing to see a guy much older than me who "gets it" and has evolved organically with the dj movement

I know some on here mix....some dont....some see no importance in it...or dont want to take the needed time to master it... i fully get that and support your decisions... I just think this video has some harsh honesty on the modern day view of mixing...and of the much discussed antiquated view of playing a song in its entirety

I normally put these DJNTV videos on and they become white noise...but this one stood out to me

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGmkh5j7dT0


cc
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
198
33
I just don't get it and I have made my voice noted. If you are not mixing, then what on earth on you are doing???!!??!!?

And how borning!

It's literally the main skillset that makes a DJ. When I am selling my services, I don't just talk about mixing, I talk about how well I do it, how creative I am with my mixing, and how it creates a much better vibe for dancing.

I don't think it was different 20 years ago either.

If I wasn't mixing, I would not be a DJ.
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,256
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I just don't get it and I have made my voice noted. If you are not mixing, then what on earth on you are doing???!!??!!?

And how borning!

It's literally the main skillset that makes a DJ. When I am selling my services, I don't just talk about mixing, I talk about how well I do it, how creative I am with my mixing, and how it creates a much better vibe for dancing.

I don't think it was different 20 years ago either.
If anything i believe mixing makes our job easier.. i did a wedding for an elderly couple last year...and had to force myself to just play songs and not mix... i was playing a lot of 50s music... but making the segues work well without bottoming out the dancefloor was a test... it was like watching a nascar race where every 15 minutes the drivers park up and drink some lemonade...then start back.... it was essentially giving the dancers a decision every 4 minutes....hmmmm....should i dance to this next song....will i recognize it.... hmmmmmm

mixing just keeps the momentum going....it puts the dancefloor in a groove or a trance that is smooth and seamless

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jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
198
33
couldn't agree more, and playing music is not DJing, unless you are a radio DJ.

When I was 15, and wanted to be a DJ, mixing was it, like that was all I cared about, b/c I knew if I could not do that, then I could never be a DJ, and never market myself as one.

It's like basic 101. 1. Learn how to mix, the rest will come naturally.
 
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Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,119
48
Sydney, Nova Scotia
couldn't agree more, and playing music is not DJing, unless you are a radio DJ.

When I was 15, and wanted to be a DJ, mixing was it, like that was all I cared about, b/c I knew if I could not do that, then I could never be a DJ, and never market myself as one.

It's like basic 101. 1. Learn how to mix, the rest will come naturally.
I can and have done both ways and honestly I find it takes more skill to almost play out a song and make it sound good going in to the next one than it does to play 45 seconds and beat mix it. Anyone can learn to manipulate beats if you practice enough knowing the music and knowing what sounds good with it is a little more difficult
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
198
33
It's not one or the other.

Learning how to mix is the fundamental skillset a DJ has to learn. Knowing what song to play and when to play it is all part of DJing and very important, and maybe just as important as good mixing. Knowing how to do all 3 is simply what makes a better DJ. If you can only do 2/3 then you are not as good.

Of course, in my book, not knowing how to mix, is step 1, so if you cannot do that, then going on to step 2 and 3 makes no sense and puts you in the same category as anyone else with access to music. I have plenty of buddies who have really good ears and excellent music choices, but they can't mix, so they do not consider themselves DJs, solely b/c of the skillset they lack.

There is also not a 45-second rule. Each song gets mixed differently for various reasons.

And yes, with several hundred hours, I am sure anyone could learn how to mix, but so what. That doesn't mean they are good at it. Pretty much all my competitors mix on some level, but they lack creativity and excitement in their mixes or it just doesn't sound good/right. Learning how to line up beats it just the beginning. Knowing when to bring it in, how to bring it in, how to get out of the other track, when to get out, all play a role. Then comes song choice, song timing.

Once a DJ has the basics of mixing down and is able to make an 8 bar mix, he or she then takes it to the next level.

I am telling you all from experience, showing a mixtape is one of the best things you can do to close a client.
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,818
36
Watching Dr. Drax talk...I WISH I had the time to practice 2 to 3 hours every day, LOL. I did not do that when I didn't even have a job, and all I was doing was being a DJ. I dunno where people find that kind of time with everything else going on in life.

I do agree though, that the more you practice, the more refined your skills as a DJ will be, and that just does not go for mixing. That goes for everything! The more you talk in the MIC, the better MC you will be. The more you set your gear up, the quicker you will be at it. The more events you do, the better your music programing skills will become.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,818
36
Drax was on DJ Chat for a while... I met Drax at the AC DJ Expo in 2013 , and he sold me on signing up for ADJA for a year. Nice, talkative person. Great at selling ADJA memberships! ...I was a member for that 1 year.

I know Drax has been around a long time, and he has been involved with ADJA for a real long time, and has been running it for years. ...So, has anyone actually seen him perform as a DJ before? I am just curious because I can't find any videos online, and his personal website is not appealing at all in terms of being a good professional website. 1 single picture of an event. Just a bunch of text...About on par with a website from 2008 should look like, but his website says 2019.

Just curious, but I just can't find any thing much about him outside of ADJA, his involvement at the shows over the years, and Disc Jockey News videos. :shrug:

Seeing a VLOG would be nice...Even one from 10 years ago if one exists.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,119
48
Sydney, Nova Scotia
I am telling you all from experience, showing a mixtape is one of the best things you can do to close a client.
Maybe where you're from but around here one of the first questions they ask is do you cut songs off like they do in the clubs....It's simply not wanted at the events I do in most cases. I can do it and I'm quite skilled at it but I don't feel the need to force it on my clients

Drax was on DJ Chat for a while... I met Drax at the AC DJ Expo in 2013 , and he sold me on signing up for ADJA for a year. Nice, talkative person. Great at selling ADJA memberships! ...I was a member for that 1 year.

I know Drax has been around a long time, and he has been involved with ADJA for a real long time, and has been running it for years. ...So, has anyone actually seen him perform as a DJ before? I am just curious because I can't find any videos online, and his personal website is not appealing at all in terms of being a good professional website. 1 single picture of an event. Just a bunch of text...About on par with a website from 2008 should look like, but his website says 2019.

Just curious, but I just can't find any thing much about him outside of ADJA, his involvement at the shows over the years, and Disc Jockey News videos. :shrug:

Seeing a VLOG would be nice...Even one from 10 years ago if one exists.
I'm not speaking directly about Drax but from what I've seen over the years with "industry leaders" is they spend a whole lot more time preaching than playing
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,256
45
yeah....im not discounting knowing the right songs to play...obviously thats of utmost importance....and the art of the mix has many layers....as Jas said... there are multiple steps... but the fundamentals of beat matching should be high on the priority once you understand the power of the songs themselves

cc
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,119
48
Sydney, Nova Scotia
yeah....im not discounting knowing the right songs to play...obviously thats of utmost importance....and the art of the mix has many layers....as Jas said... there are multiple steps... but the fundamentals of beat matching should be high on the priority once you understand the power of the songs themselves

cc
My point is done correctly the beat match can be done towards the end of the song as well as the during the song
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
198
33
Jeff, it's not about cutting mixes as quickly as possible. I do have people asking me that too.

For a wedding, I am not cutting every 45 seconds, but I generally do not play the whole 4:20 of a song. I simply tell them that, and they understand. I then follow up showing them my mixes so they get it and explain to them that the length of the song is based on several things, not just a one fits all timing.
 

azdeejay

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 1, 2015
2,697
38
Phoenix AZ
My point is done correctly the beat match can be done towards the end of the song as well as the during the song
Back in the 90's and what got me hooked on mixing was our Friday and Saturday Night Party Mix on long gone now Party Radio @ 103.9 , they mixed out via the outra for most songs , but they were also paying the club and remix edits.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,256
45
My point is done correctly the beat match can be done towards the end of the song as well as the during the song
oh...well yeah.... i can agree with that....everything has its place....but in the heat of a dance set ...if u have them worked into a lather....that 45 second stuff is so fun... i like to attempt to take em on a journey and lettem hear as many great tunes as possible

ITS SO FUN!!!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpI52UYzKr0&t=174s
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
2,256
45
Back in the 90's and what got me hooked on mixing was our Friday and Saturday Night Party Mix on long gone now Party Radio @ 103.9 , they mixed out via the outra for most songs , but they were also paying the club and remix edits.
same here...i used to drive 3 or 4 hours to bigger cities...sit in the car and listen to radio mix shows...lol

cc
 

azdeejay

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 1, 2015
2,697
38
Phoenix AZ
oh...well yeah.... i can agree with that....everything has its place....but in the heat of a dance set ...if u have them worked into a lather....that 45 second stuff is so fun... i like to attempt to take em on a journey and lettem hear as many great tunes as possible

ITS SO FUN!!!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpI52UYzKr0&t=174s
I like the quick edits Promo Only offers , perfect for the doing the 45 sec stuff, they all have a intros on them.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,865
Oklahoma City
Maybe where you're from but around here one of the first questions they ask is do you cut songs off like they do in the clubs....It's simply not wanted at the events I do in most cases. I can do it and I'm quite skilled at it but I don't feel the need to force it on my clients...
^^^^ This!!!... If you’re doing kids events, short cuts, scratching and other mixing techniques work great. Before I started DJing, I practiced for 2-3 hours a day for months, until I was able to put a pretty good mix together. I still practice a couple of hours 3-4 days a week because I enjoy it. But frankly, a 66 year old DJ trying to emulate a 26 year old DJ just looks bad. My mixing style is more toward smooth and seamless... trying not to emphasize the transitions too much. People at the events I do would not appreciate that quick cut style. You cut someone’s favorite country song too short around here and they might pull out their gun and shoot you. You learn to play for YOUR crowd... That’s the way to get referrals. Being a good DJ is knowing when NOT to use all the mixing tricks you know.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,118
60
So refreshing to see a guy much older than me who "gets it" and has evolved organically with the dj movement

I know some on here mix....some dont....some see no importance in it...or dont want to take the needed time to master it... i fully get that and support your decisions... I just think this video has some harsh honesty on the modern day view of mixing...and of the much discussed antiquated view of playing a song in its entirety

I normally put these DJNTV videos on and they become white noise...but this one stood out to me

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGmkh5j7dT0


cc
Sorry but I don't know if playing a whole song is antiquated. Depends on the type song it is, how popular the song is right now and what the crowd is into.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
4,286
32
NJ
www.djtaso.com
Many of you are focusing on quick cuts, and using 45 seconds and 60 seconds as mixing points. Beatmatching DOES NOT mean a song gets cut down to a fraction of its total length... nor does beatmatching/mixing mean scratching. In fact you can actually make a song longer if you create loops at the end to mix a song in gradually. You can also beatmix at 2.5 min into the song and no one would be upset that they didnt hear the very last chorus (when you already played it 2 or 3 times at that point) or the 32 beat outro. Again stop associating beatmixing or mixing in general with it having to be quick cuts. This also isn't a 26 yr olds style. Many of the top tier dj's doing it here are in their 40's and 50's and are killing the market with their known mixing skills and effective branding.

I've said it to Jeff before and I'll say it again... many of you don't get crowds that appreciate quick cuts or "cutting songs shorts" or mixing in general for a few reasons.
1. If you're not doing it... chances are they're not gonna call you for it, and you will never experience a conversation like jaswrx or I would have about how songs seamlessly mix into one another, and playing only the best parts of the songs so guests "don't get bored of a song".
2. They're asking for you not to do it because they probably have had bad experiences from others that have tried to do it, but failed. Beatmatching and quick mixing are skills that need to be practiced. Just like there are more bad dj's than good dj's as a whole... there are even more bad mixers than good mixers, and therefore most have a bad experience at events with dj's failing horribly at mixing effectively, and the crowd perceives that as "mixing" and "cutting songs short". Let them hear a proper dj do it, and their perception on it would be changed remarkably, especially once they realize how many more of their favorite songs are being played in a night.
3. If you're not doing events where there is a lot of value placed on the dj, chances are the skill of a dj is not valued, and they could care less if you mix flawlessly, or if there is a 2 second gap in between songs. We've all gotten the calls where they "just need someone to play music for a few hours".

In NJ all the $1500+ dj's mix... no if and's or but's... if you're not mixing, you're not gonna get to that price point. We're not different in NJ/NYC than anyone else anywhere else... the only uniqueness here is that there is a larger nightlife atmosphere to be exposed to this, even at the local bar, as well as the radios doing live mixing during morning and evening commutes and weekends, where the casual radio listener that is 18-75 is exposed to this skill set (from good dj's not amateurs), and enjoys it.

If you're good at it, and incorporate it into your events, you'll stand out. I've traveled now to 15 different states, sometimes in more rural parts of the country, and my mixing style has stayed the same (songs may have been different, but not my mixing style), and each and everytime I went somewhere out of my local area, the remarks have always been how it was the best atmosphere, and they never heard a dj mix songs so well and never let things slow down for a moment. Just like moving heads, and fancy enhancements are appreciated everywhere (despite the constant echoes "my area doesn't care for that stuff"), the same goes for mixing.