I found this DJNTV video refreshing: Is mixing important?

DJ TJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2013
1,758
Beatmatching/mixing is a necessary skill but how and when it should be implemented and whether that should also include not playing a song in it's entirety can largely depend on the audience you are catering to. This is where knowing your audience and knowing when and when not to cut a song early is just as if not more important skill to have.

Being able to cut or mix through songs early through beat matching should be a necessary baseline skill for every dj to have in the way that it makes it sound more seamless and professional to the audience if you want to transition to a different song if the current track isn't working or there needs to be a quick change to the timeline etc.... as opposed to just doing a quick crossfade.

If you are trying to please a dance/pop audience then beat matching or only playing portions of tunes can not only be a very valuable energy tool, it's even expected by some crowds.

If however you are trying to cater to an audience with a broader range of musical tastes (most usually found at weddings) and you continually try and shorten songs of certain genres even if professionally transitioned utilizing beatmatching, you will earn looks of "buzzkill" from the crowd and maybe even the dreaded "stink eye"!


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Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
13,413
49
Sydney, Nova Scotia
I forgot to respond to this

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".
You make it seem like I end everything with a bang, wait, and start another. I transition very well and I can mix very well at any point if the need is there...Most times it's not. I was doing it long before there was beat counting software and wav forms to watch. I'm going to do over 100 gigs this year between the bar and private events. I'm really very ok if there are some that don't call me because of the way I mix


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.
Perhaps you're right but I can tell you that there are a couple of very good mixers here that can't get a private gig if their life depended on it. I do fully agree if you are going to do it and be good at it there is a lot of practice involved. One guy came up in conversation last week with a bride she goes wherever he is playing and has for years. This guy is amazingly talented and when she brought him up I asked why she didn't book him. She said I don't want the club at my wedding....

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".

Again perhaps you are right. I believe my clients do put a value on the entertainment but maybe they don't....All I do know is a lot of them hire me and over 90% do because they have seen me before somewhere

Just for reference unless my laptop crashes there will never be a gap between songs with me...
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
1,533
59
Long Island NY
Well, this is very interesting but I’d like to point out something to those too young & weren’t around around for the 70’s, There were DJs in the early 70’s and we DJed with cassettes, Reel to Reel, turntables without pitch and very rudimentary mixers. One if the first DJs I saw used a PA head Segueing from channel 1 to channel 2 with no cue. I started that way too. Back then the other option for music at the party was a record changer, jukebox or band. It was all about selection and creativity. Mixing in its different flavors came about later along with improvement in equipment. Is mixing a requirement, well that depends on your crowd and who’s your playing to. One crazy example, I was doing lighting for a college. The DJ company came in with a huge sound system. Here where it gets crazy, one turntable and a mixer. There was a DJ, MC and selector. The selector selects the music, the DJ plays the music and the MC talks/raps between changes. They rocked the party for 4 hrs nonstop. The darndest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I provided lighting for a couple events like that. I trained a couple people sent them to do corporate event on Park Ave & Wall St with very limited mixing ability and their event regularly went into O/T. The absolute classic was when the DJ didn’t show up in the room across hall. So I sent one of my guys over with two CDs and he rocked the place using a multi disc player, using the ceiling speakers in the room.
So a more correct statement is more like mixing is important to me & my clients. Not if you don’t mix you’re not a DJ. Mixing is a tool to take in to a different level. Some audience like it short quick and fast, others like it seamless and some couldn’t give a damn as long as you put on all the right songs.
I am also a VJ who did Video Dance Parties in the college circuit so we played videotapes, then Vcds, then DVDs, we didn’t get pitch & the real ability mix until Pioneer released their DVJ-X1 DVD DJ player in about 2002. 1982-2002 was hell but we got the job done.
Just something to think about.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
5,223
46
i learned music selection using consumer cd players a dual cassette deck and a belt drive TT... for like 3 years... the whole time finding different ways to transition songs...at times even get off an accidental almost beat match.... i kept striving to not only improve my selection/playlisting skills but afford the proper equipment to actually mix.

I bpm'd every single song in my collection....every new record pool release...every cd i bought from 1991 to 2007 with one of these and a watch...

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i never had a readout of bpm...nor did i ever have a sync button or any of the modern tools... i mixed by ear...and i honed it for years...in clubs and private parties...

i can slam a song without mixing with the best of them... and know that method at times has its place....i can dj an entire party without mixing.... and maintain a crowded floor... i can certainly play entire songs start to finish ...

However i truly believe that it was all the work i put into learning the artform of mixing that allows me to do that and do it well... like a classical pianist who (guess what) can also play chopsticks....

What i cant abide by is the notion that... mixing/beatmatching isnt important...coming from any djs who decided to skip to the front of the line without actually devoting the time to learn it. Technology has truly fisher priced the whole process for you....so theres simply no excuse not to learn it and utilize it.

If your reasoning is.... im already getting gigs...and nobody cares that i dont mix....then you are doing a disservice to your clients....your company....your potential...by not making proper use of those other buttons on your rackmount controllers.

cc
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
13,413
49
Sydney, Nova Scotia
i learned music selection using consumer cd players a dual cassette deck and a belt drive TT... for like 3 years... the whole time finding different ways to transition songs...at times even get off an accidental almost beat match.... i kept striving to not only improve my selection/playlisting skills but afford the proper equipment to actually mix.

I bpm'd every single song in my collection....every new record pool release...every cd i bought from 1991 to 2007 with one of these and a watch...

View attachment 37958


i never had a readout of bpm...nor did i ever have a sync button or any of the modern tools... i mixed by ear...and i honed it for years...in clubs and private parties...

i can slam a song without mixing with the best of them... and know that method at times has its place....i can dj an entire party without mixing.... and maintain a crowded floor... i can certainly play entire songs start to finish ...

However i truly believe that it was all the work i put into learning the artform of mixing that allows me to do that and do it well... like a classical pianist who (guess what) can also play chopsticks....

What i cant abide by is the notion that... mixing/beatmatching isnt important...coming from any djs who decided to skip to the front of the line without actually devoting the time to learn it. Technology has truly fisher priced the whole process for you....so theres simply no excuse not to learn it and utilize it.

If your reasoning is.... im already getting gigs...and nobody cares that i dont mix....then you are doing a disservice to your clients....your company....your potential...by not making proper use of those other buttons on your rackmount controllers.

cc
Some of us don't even use controllers.....Some of us are very good at it and have learned to do things beyond what a beatmatcher/mixer does and some of us like you have learned by ear....I don't lose floors very often and when I do I know how to bring it back. I play requests even if they don't fit in my "set". I make people happy on a weekly basis

I respect what you do and that you are good at it it takes time and practice and is a very marketable skill. To use your analogy I prefer to play chopsticks but I am very capable of classical piano