I found this DJNTV video refreshing: Is mixing important?

DJ Bobcat

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Nov 8, 2014
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LOL... Self-appointed DJ Monitors always make me laugh. I’m amused when someone get’s SO I incensed when another DJ DOESN’T do the same things, or doesn’t buy the same gear, or whatever, but has a thriving DJ business. It really seems to pi$$ them off that some other DJ isn’t following the rules.[emoji1] It’s like they’re cheating. All I can say is; GET OVER IT. There are NO DJ RULES. The rules you go by are no better than those ANY other DJ goes by. If you’re bothered that some “inferior” DJ is getting business that you should be getting, ask yourself why YOU aren’t getting that business instead of ragging on that DJ for not having the “necessary” skills. Also, it’s a BIG mistake to assume that because someone doesn’t do or won’t do that they can’t do.[emoji1] If you make big bucks by doing it your way, what’s it to you if someone else is making good money doing it differently (their way)?[emoji4]
 

djtaso

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LOL... Self-appointed DJ Monitors always make me laugh. I’m amused when someone get’s SO I incensed when another DJ DOESN’T do the same things, or doesn’t buy the same gear, or whatever, but has a thriving DJ business. It really seems to pi$$ them off that some other DJ isn’t following the rules.[emoji1] It’s like they’re cheating. All I can say is; GET OVER IT. There are NO DJ RULES. The rules you go by are no better than those ANY other DJ goes by. If you’re bothered that some “inferior” DJ is getting business that you should be getting, ask yourself why YOU aren’t getting that business instead of ragging on that DJ for not having the “necessary” skills. Also, it’s a BIG mistake to assume that because someone doesn’t do or won’t do that they can’t do.[emoji1] If you make big bucks by doing it your way, what’s it to you if someone else is making good money doing it differently (their way)?[emoji4]
I never said it was a necessary skill to be considered a dj... all I was pointing out was that many assume that “mixing” means cutting songs short and everything is played for less than 90 seconds... which just simply isn’t true. I’m also pointing out obvious reasons why a particular person may never get someone asking about mixing... primarily because if a dj doesnt mix to begin with, those that want that skill set probably won’t be calling that dj. Just like I’ll never get clients that want all songs played out entirely to call me.

I personally wish even less djs mixed around me, that way I’d stand out even more.
 
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djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
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LOL... Self-appointed DJ Monitors always make me laugh. I’m amused when someone get’s SO I incensed when another DJ DOESN’T do the same things, or doesn’t buy the same gear, or whatever, but has a thriving DJ business. It really seems to pi$$ them off that some other DJ isn’t following the rules.[emoji1] It’s like they’re cheating. All I can say is; GET OVER IT. There are NO DJ RULES. The rules you go by are no better than those ANY other DJ goes by. If you’re bothered that some “inferior” DJ is getting business that you should be getting, ask yourself why YOU aren’t getting that business instead of ragging on that DJ for not having the “necessary” skills. Also, it’s a BIG mistake to assume that because someone doesn’t do or won’t do that they can’t do.[emoji1] If you make big bucks by doing it your way, what’s it to you if someone else is making good money doing it differently (their way)?[emoji4]
lol...i dont think anyone is incensed or hurt over another dj's business...

i love debates like this because its one of the only things about this business im passionate about ....its an artform... i didnt spend those years driving to other cities with a jambox to record the radio mixshows because i admired that dj's wireless mic set up...or his photobooth....i was obsessed with the art of the mix...

every penny i saved up went to records and the bare bones equipment to learn to mix... nobody was giving me the blueprint to all that in some youtube video....i just fell in love with it the minute i heard it... a friend of mine took trips to manhatten with his dads business and would bring me back stacks of mixtapes... REAL mixtapes....i played them til the tape snapped......

so i guess at the end of the day we all became dj's for different reasons.... but if i cant mix at a gig... or if all my clients were to start saying... dont mix....play the whole songs....then... id rather stay home on Saturdays.

cc
 
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rickryan.com

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Dec 9, 2009
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LOL... Self-appointed DJ Monitors always make me laugh. I’m amused when someone get’s SO I incensed when another DJ DOESN’T do the same things, or doesn’t buy the same gear, or whatever, but has a thriving DJ business. It really seems to pi$$ them off that some other DJ isn’t following the rules.[emoji1] It’s like they’re cheating. All I can say is; GET OVER IT. There are NO DJ RULES. The rules you go by are no better than those ANY other DJ goes by. If you’re bothered that some “inferior” DJ is getting business that you should be getting, ask yourself why YOU aren’t getting that business instead of ragging on that DJ for not having the “necessary” skills. Also, it’s a BIG mistake to assume that because someone doesn’t do or won’t do that they can’t do.[emoji1] If you make big bucks by doing it your way, what’s it to you if someone else is making good money doing it differently (their way)?[emoji4]
No, jaswrx is exactly correct. The past 11 years has been an illusion and I haven't been working successfully as a DJ. Thanks for setting me straight.
 

DJ Bobcat

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Nov 8, 2014
7,892
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lol...i dont think anyone is incensed or hurt over another dj's business...
Really???[emoji1]

... its (mixing’s) one of the only things about this business im passionate about ....
Well, you know what they say; “One man’s passion is another man’s poison.”

... i was obsessed with the art of the mix...
I enjoy mixing as well, but like @Jeff Romard said, mixing in toward the end of a song is still mixing. If you play songs that are repetitive or have no discernible lyrics, then it probably doesn’t really matter where you cut in or out, but many (most) country songs tell stories; they have beginnings and endings. Where you cut can destroy the song. I got into DJing because I’m obsessed with the MUSIC. I try to respect the ART of the recording artists who provide me with the raw materials to do what I do.

I was originally an Art major (prior to my ultimate career switch to IT). The Art Museum near the school I attended had a copy of 'David' by Michelangelo...



When I was trying to perfect my drawing style I would go there and draw that statue from every angle. It was an amazing and beautiful sculpture, but it was only beautiful because it was THE ENTIRE statue. Not just...


... Kinda conveys a whole different, uh... thing, huh???[emoji1]

My own creations were unique to me... nothing like anyone else did. I didn’t try to copy any of my contemporaries... Quite the opposite. I was flattered that people bought my paintings, drawings and sculptures. As an artist, I would not have been too pleased if someone had cut a piece of my painting out and displayed just that little cut out piece. If they bought it, I guess they’re free to do with it as they please.[emoji4]

...so i guess at the end of the day we all became dj's for different reasons....
Yep... that’s why I continue to counter the “cookie cutter” DJ mentality. There are no rules that say you MUST follow this method or that.
 
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Albatross

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Sep 7, 2016
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It won't be news to anybody here that I agree with what Dr. Drax talks about in this video. It's just how I prefer to DJ.

That being said... I have no interest in trying to convince anybody else that mixing is important. If people in my market don't want to do it... great! It's that much easier to stand out.

To the practice element... I used to practice A LOT. And then as I increased the number of gigs I do with beatmixing, I have to spend less time honing that particular skill. With 59 events last year that were all mixed live... I don't necessarily need 2-3 hours a day to lay down clean mixes. But more of my "homework" time now is in listening to music, searching for the right versions of songs to fit my sets, etc. There is such an overwhelming number of crap remixes out... finding one that suits my ear and style of playing is the hard part.
 
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DJ Ricky B

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I believe that there is no right or wrong way to how a DJ play's the music generally speaking.

There are some NEGATIVE things that a DJ can certainly do though:

1. Letting a song end, and going into "DEAD AIR" before the next song start's to play during a set-----> BAD...VERY BAD. Probably one of the worst things a DJ can do outside of screwing up a bride/groom's first dance, or introduction, or totally butchering the names of people in the bridal party on the microphone. May not be as bad as having a terrible sounding sound system making awful noises or distortion all night long. Playing onoxiously loud is another bad thing a DJ can do that may be worse than some dead air in between a song.

2. Showing Up Late/Starting Late. ....Yeah, I think that would be worse than some dead air after a song.

3. Not having the important music that needs to be played. ....Yup, I would consider that worse than Dead Air.

So, after all of that, and some other stuff I'm probably not thinking about, comes how the DJ mixes.

There are clientelle that want music played, and prefer for The Full song, or 90%+ of every song to be played. There are also clients that like a great sounding mix, but want to have a good amount of time to enjoy each song. ...Those clients may find that a DJ mixing in and out of songs every 2 to 3 minutes is putting on a GREAT show for them. ...Then there are other clientelle out there that really loved when a DJ is mixing in and out of songs every 20 to 60 seconds, and enjoy that FAST club style mixing.


Generally speaking, DJs are going to mix firstly by how they were taught, or how they learned. 2ndly, DJs are also going to play music how they listened to it.

My Dad is 74. He plays the full songs, and mixes into the next song near the very end of the song. That is how he has always been. He will only change into another song early if a song is just not working. The older crowd Age 55+ PREFERS the full songs. They won't like a DJ mixing songs every 20 to 60 seconds. They like to take their time, and enjoy the full songs. THEY ALSO GENERALLY KNOW HOW TO DANCE TO MUSIC. ...The younger crowd doesn't KNOW HOW TO DANCE. ...SO the younger crowd out there will like song changes much faster because they can't keep their excitement level up during a 3:30 to 5 minute long song these days.

So Taso is Correct. ...Deejaying for the Sweet 16, and young 20 something couples getting married crowd will generally WANT faster mixing. Now with weddings, they WILL want to hear MOST of certain songs...not just 20 to 60 seconds of it. It's up to the DJ to figure out what those songs are where the crowd will want to hear and dance to most of the song. ...I can name at least 15 to 20 songs off of the top of my head I would never just play 20 to 60 seconds of at a wedding. But there are others where I would not want to play the full song either, and mixing in and out of those songs is key.


I do believe Drax is correct gnerally speaking though. School Dances, Sweet 16s, College Age events. Those events really do need fast in and out mixing of songs to keep those crowds satisfied. They are not really interested in hearing "the full length" of most music. They will want to hear most of a anthem type, or sing a long type song, but most dance/hip hop/rap....need to mix quickly to keep them involved, and liking your performance these days.

Age under 29 wedding clients: They will generally want more of the fast mixing...Especially when the party really get's going, and most of the crowd is Buzzed on alcohol. Playing full songs for this crowd may leave a lot left to be desired
Age over 29 and under 40ish wedding clients: They will generally be fine with a DJ who plays 2 - 3 minutes of each song, or even plays 90%+ of each song. This can vary a little bit depending on if the clients were/are big into going to clubs in urban areas or not, and want that club feel or not. Playing full songs is probably fine as well as long as the transitions are seamless, and we are talking a wide age range of guests.

Older age group Weddings, 40th birthdays, 50th birthdays, 60th birthdays, Anniversaries...They don't care about a DJ fast mixing. They may not care at all how the DJ mixes. They just want seamless music, and a good overall time.
 

Proformance

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Nov 6, 2006
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...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.
You either take it seriously or you don't. I honed my mixing through full time DJ work. I had 4 nights a week in four different clubs. During the day I'd be working with dance or aerobic instructors to create their program tracks for various classes, some radio commercials, or just demo new tracks I wanted to use in the clubs.. When I wasn't in clubs I did mobile gigs.

Practicing 2-3 hours every day is as simple as pushing the envelope at every gig you do, playing at the edge of your ability. If you're not taking any risks with your mix you're not learning, and nothing amazing ever happens.
 

dbstudios

DJ I think
Aug 2, 2018
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Walker Michigan
I know I am a bit late to the party, but I am probably one of the worst beat match/mix dj's around. When I first started training back in 2005, the DJ I was working with was more into hard mixing than doing anything smooth. It didn't sound horrible either, but it wasn't always pretty. I am working on my mixing skill, but I know it will take time to become even a little proficient at it.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

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Oct 16, 2011
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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

cc
What I find is there are times you got to do what I call punch them in the gut. Hit them with stuff they know for certain to either get them on the dance floor or sitting in their seats tapping their toes to the music. Once I get a bead on what they like I stick with it. As far as mixing goes, not everyone is good at it. Some are better at it then others and some can't mix cake batter. I did something I never did before. I kept getting a song request for a song that they didn't know the same of the song, but knew the artist. It was Marvin Gaye's Got To Give It Up. Once the dance portion started I played that song first and let it play for a while. Then mixed in the club version of George Duke's Rhyme Or Reason and it worked like a charm. I went on from there. Just being creative and honestly lucky at the time I thought of doing it that way.

Of course we all want a packed dance floor with people losing their minds hollering to every song we play. That's simply fantasy island. Some events there is plenty of people on the dance floor and others it's like pulling teeth. Just do the best job you can do and keep it moving. I'm not a big fan of talking on a mic. I just like to play the music and see people's reaction to what I'm doing. I hate those DJs who don't know when to shut up. I'm not afraid to get on the mic. I just don't like to go crazy talking on the mic. At times just making a joke that doesn't offend people will work to get people on the dance floor. Nothing brash, just keeping the humor light to get people to try to relax. As far as me doing that mix I just noticed the BPM for the Marvin Gaye song was over 124 BPM's and just tried that mix.
 

Hank Davidson

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Nov 15, 2006
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I think that the art of the segue is more important than the art of the remix (in my experience). I have found that the familiar versions of the songs are what people like to have played. I have had many people react poorly to remixes/mashups, even if they are great ones. There's really no way to read how a crowd will respond until you play one. I will also add that even when mixes are welcome, most won't know or care that they are being executed live or are pre-recorded.

Again, that's been my experience. I still think that any extra skill you can add to your arsenal is beneficial in the end.

:cheers:
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
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Prospect, CT
I said it before, I'm less of a mix and more of a scratch guy .. and I try to do that when no one is looking .. ba dum dum tsshh.
 

Albatross

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Sep 7, 2016
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I have found that the familiar versions of the songs are what people like to have played.
This is definitely true at weddings and similar family style events. If I use anything, it might be a re-drummed or quantized version of the song so it's easier to bring in. But the character still needs to remain.

Something like this version: http://www.just4djs.com/product/the-jackson-5-abc-redrum-94-bpm/ Most guests would barely realize that's different, but the kick hits way harder and you don't have the push and pull of the live drummer.

In a nightlife environment... you can get away with huge differences of course.
 

TwinSpinDJ

Up-lighting
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

cc
I found that many older dancers (60's-80's) prefer to hear the "whole" song than snipits that extend the play time. I suspect they need the rest! LOL
 

azdeejay

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Apr 1, 2015
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I know I am a bit late to the party, but I am probably one of the worst beat match/mix dj's around. When I first started training back in 2005, the DJ I was working with was more into hard mixing than doing anything smooth. It didn't sound horrible either, but it wasn't always pretty. I am working on my mixing skill, but I know it will take time to become even a little proficient at it.
Dont feel bad, you are not alone .
 
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azdeejay

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Apr 1, 2015
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Phoenix AZ
I think that the art of the segue is more important than the art of the remix (in my experience). I have found that the familiar versions of the songs are what people like to have played. I have had many people react poorly to remixes/mashups, even if they are great ones. There's really no way to read how a crowd will respond until you play one. I will also add that even when mixes are welcome, most won't know or care that they are being executed live or are pre-recorded.

Again, that's been my experience. I still think that any extra skill you can add to your arsenal is beneficial in the end.

:cheers:
Speaking for me personally, I love mixes,remixes and mixing, but I only really care for remixes that still somewhat sound like the original and like you stated, sounds familiar , for a short time I got into mashups, but now, I find it rare that I like them.
 

azdeejay

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Apr 1, 2015
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I found that many older dancers (60's-80's) prefer to hear the "whole" song than snipits that extend the play time. I suspect they need the rest! LOL
As both (DJ and personal, not old lol), I feel the same way, I feel older songs ( 80's90's early naughts) are better for the longer play time and newer stuff is better if its quick mixed.

One think I like about PO is the Quick Mixes they do.