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Improve your DJ mixing Technique & Skills
If your looking to improve your DJ skills one thing you may be over looking is how to blend your tunes more effectively. On your DJ mixer there are various features, all of which are there to help create the perfect mix. Learn to use all of these features and improve your mixing skills.
As the signal from your sound source enters the mixer, the first adjustable parameter is the gain pot. You need to have the signal at roughly the same level as the song that is currently playing, use you decibel or VU meter to determine this. A small difference in level here will be obvious when you finally bring the tune in, try to keep the two levels exactly the same so the audience is unaware a new song is being mixed in.
Just as setting the gain of the new song is important its also vital you consider the gain of the currently song. To help give your new song impact you could consider slowly lowering the gain on the current song. Doing this slowly will be unnoticeable to the audience and will give you chance to turn the next song up just before the drop! Think about it, its great when the DJ turns the music up, but they cant do it every time because it would eventually blow the sound system or your ear drum. Turning the gain down on the current song, and turning the gain on the new tune up abruptly just before the drop makes the new song sound louder, and people like that.
The next feature your sound source is met with is the EQ section. If your unfamiliar with what these three pots do (High, Mid & Low) Have a play with them, you will soon workout how they work. A simple rule to getting a clear mix is to not boost (turn up) the same pot on both tunes at the same time. To hear the bassline on one tune, turn the low end up to around 2 o'clock while keeping low pot on the other tune turned down. Quickly switching between the two basslines can really work as your in the mix, try playing the bassline of the first tune for two bars then cutting the bass while boosting the bass of the next!
Next up is the fader, Im fairly sure that most DJs have this turned up to the maximum and use the gain pot & master fader to control the over all volume. The fader is great for Cutting a track in and out quickly without effecting the volume of the other track. Having the fader at any other level makes it very difficult to cut a track in and out without a drastic change in level as you guess the old position of the fader.
Before hitting you master fader, that you should use to control the overall long term volume of your mix, your cross fader shouldn't have to much work if you have followed my tips above, just remember to push it the right way at the end of the mix!
Remember to look after your DJ Equipment, buy flightcases if your gigging lots and keep your beer on a different table!