Digital DJ Tips reader Bruno writes: "I would like some advice on recording my DJ sets. I have read you saying that the best way to improve and is to record your practice sessions, so I want to start off on the right foot! Is it just a case of hitting 'record' in my DJ software? Any further advice you can give me to make them sound great?"
Digital DJ Tips says:
Funny you should ask this, as I've just got off the phone after a long discussion with one of our tutors, Steve Canueto, who's in the process of making part of a new course we're working on, about making great mixtapes. We were discussing this exact subject: The various recording options in DJ software, and how best to use them.
Firstly, you don't tell me which software you're using, and the number one rule is to make sure your DJ software can record at all - it's one of the major limitations of "LE" (read: free in the box) software that such software often can't record at all. In this case you have two choices: Do it using some kind of hardware recording device (by using a physical cable splitter from your sound card / controller output if necessary), or - better - upgrade your software to the paid-for version.
Assuming your software does have a recording facility, though, you're not out of the woods yet! Depending on what you use, you will have good, OK or rudimentary control over the recording levels, and the monitoring of those levels. The best general advice is to keep all levels on screen / on your DJ controller out of the "red", and to experiment to see if the "master" volume control affects recording or not. To be sure, once you start recording, don't alter any master or recording level controls, and if you want to make your actual room louder or quieter, alter the volume controls on your amplifier or speakers, rather than the master output on your DJ controller or software.
We're going to go into much more detail on this in the forthcoming course, but this general advice (along with a bit of experimentation) should allow you to get decent results right way - whatever software you're using.
Do you have any advice on how to record your DJ sets properly? Have you had to overcome any hurdles with your particular DJ software or hardware? Please share your advice and experiences in the comments.