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How To DJ And Mix | Learn To Beat Match

by Matt · 0 comments

in How To DJ

The good news for you is that learning how to beat match on DJ CD players or on digital DJ equipment is an easier ride than on vinyl with turntables. 

In case you missed it, I provided a guide and some DJ tips on how to beat match using turntables and vinyl. 

Make sure you read it!

It tells you how to beat match using your ears only.

You’ll have to master beat matching with your ears. Even for digital DJs, it’s not advised to mix relying on only the BPM counter and looking at a waveform.

You have to know how to mix with your ears

If you know how to mix with vinyl, you’ll get the basics of beat matching and DJ mixing.

Lots of DJs learn to mix with a video course made by a pro DJ, Sean Gallagher. This could be interesting for you too.

Find out more on Pro DJ Mixing


Mixing with CD Decks and DJ Consoles

There are a number of differences between turntables, CD decks and digital controllers.

Both DJ CD players and digital controllers can emulate vinyl decks.

Put simply, you can pretend you’re playing with vinyl, even if you’re not, and get exactly the same effects and use the same mixing techniques. 

 The differences when using DJ CD Players and DJ Consoles

Technology, evolving DJ needs and competition between manufacturers mean that modern CD decks and digital controllers now boast pretty amazing new features.

Most of these new features make it easier for you to mix.

Having computer assisted mixing is kind of strange for those of us who grew up mixing vinyl on turntables.

But it’s the way the world evolves and we should embrace technology and go with the flow.

BPM counters

All CD players for DJing and all digital controllers are equipped with BPM counters.

BPM = Beats Per Minute (of a track)

Knowing the BPM makes mixing a walk in the park.

Even if you know how to mix, you’ll be able to line up your tunes a lot quicker by visually seeing the BPM on your indicator.

You just need to adjust the pitch of the incoming track until it matches with the playing track.

It’s as easy as that.

I still recommend you to mix with your ear. If your BPM counter fails and you can’t mix your tunes as a result, you’ll feel a bit silly. People will think you’re not a real DJ. 

Which DJ mixers indicate the BPM and can even mix harmonically for you?

Wave form displays

Many CD decks and all consoles show a wave form display.

A wave form is the sound form of the track playing.

Each kick drum, each beat and all the peaks and troughs of a track are visible.

You’ll even be able to see the volume of your tracks for optimal volume mixing.

This means that your ears could become used less and less.

We’ve all seen DJs mix by only looking at the screen.

Personally, I use my ears as much as possible. Having mixed CDs and vinyls for more of my DJing life, this isn’t a problem for me.

I advise you to do the same: mix using your ears. You’ll need to learn anyway. Don’t rely on wave forms, it’s risky. 

Tutorial: learn to beat match using only your ears 

Thinking of buying a DJ controller? My reviews can help
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Looping and sampling

With any decent DJ CD player and with all consoles, you’ll be able to loop and sample parts of your tracks.

This is great and you can have endless fun creating a loop of a climax of a track and playing it again and again.

For example, say if you like the chorus of a Calvin Harris remix, you can play your favourite 4 seconds of that chorus when you like.

You can store the sample, pull it out when you feel like it and shorten it to add drama to a climax.

If your clubbers react well, you can pull out samples and mix them in again with new tunes.

This is fun as you’ll be changing the tracks you know and making mini remixes of them.

It’s also practical for lengthening the end or beginning of tracks if your new track isn’t quite ready to mix in yet.

Amazing sound effects

Although high end DJ mixers have effects units that can be applied to vinyl turntables, DJ controllers and most CD decks have their own effects.

An array of effects such as these are available to choose between:

Reverse, flanger, phaser, reverb, repeat

These are just a few of the effects and the ones I use most.

If your venue has a basic mixer with no effects, you can use your CD decks or controller to add spice to your tracks.

Don’t overdo it though. No one likes a DJ too absorbed with effects. It can sound amateur and ridiculous sometimes.

Use effects sparingly. 

Need some gear reviews on CD Decks? My tips can help.

Learn how to beat match with your ears

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