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The Five Secrets of Digital DJing

The Five Secrets of Digital DJing

Often a touchy subject for old school DJ’s who still see vinyl as the holy grail, digital djing has gained a lot of traction in recent years. Whether you’re a fan or not, technology is moving on and there’s now a wealth of options for the digital DJ.

There are many ways to approach it, DJ software such as Traktor and Serato are the big players in the game and offer a whole new world of creativity. Here are some of our top tips to get the most out of it.

  1. Use Quantize and Snap
    Cue points are one of the great benefits of digital DJing, gone are the days of marking vinyl with a pen to let you know the best point to queue from. If you’re a fan of queue points, Traktor’s Snap and Quantize modes could come in very handy.

    If you turn Snap mode on, whenever you add a cue point on the fly it’ll instantly snap it to the nearest beats. Plus if you activate quantise, when you recall a cue point Traktor will automatically quantise it to the nearest beat. This allows you to create amazing mashups in real time and they’ll never go out of time!

    Although you may get frowned upon by the old school djs, as well as quantize and snap Traktor even has a ‘sync’ button which allows the software to mix two tracks together for you!
  2. Serato Remote
    Put simply the remote for Scratch Live and Serato DJ is a cheap controller that offers full control and playability over the SP-6 sampler. A great way to activate samples, queue points and more.
  3. Record your Gigs
    Both Serato and Traktor (plus most other good digital DJing software) allow you to record your gigs as they happen. The very simple recording features on either program open up a wealth of promotional opportunities. Your recorded gigs can be used to gain prospective clients in the future and help get your name out there further, uploading to sites such as Soundcloud and Mixcloud will allow you to have them easily accessible online as and when they’re needed.
  4. High Quality is Imperative
    The larger and louder the sound system you’re playing on the worse low quality MP3’s will sound. Always play audio files with bitrates of 320kbps - the higher the number, the better the sound. Especially if you're playing alongside someone playing vinyl or high quality audio files, the difference is vast.

Plan your sets
One of the best things about digital DJing is the ability to carry all your music around on your laptop or hard drive in one go. This means you can compile crates for any occasion and have any eventuality covered, from weddings to birthday parties to the latest club bangers. If everything is going Pete Tong mid gig, you can jump into your crate of “Party Saving Classics” and revive the dancefloor in an instant. The best thing to do is to work on a rough idea of your playlist before your gig and make sure it all flows correctly to a build-up of excitement at the peak time and of course having a selection of classics for the last tune is important too.