5 Reasons Why You Should Video Yourself Mixing

Carl

Carl Cox in the Pioneer DJ studio recording a mix in 2014. You don't need to be in a cool studio or have multiple camera angles - you can do all of this from your smartphone in your bedroom.

Have you done a DJ mix yet on video? We've actually been doing an awful lot of these recently here at Digital DJ Tips (filming material for our forthcoming Digital DJ Lab training - more on that later...), and we think it's something every DJ should have a go at. 

So whether you've thought about it and not known where to start, or not even considered it before, here's why you should make doing your very own video mix a priority:

  1. Videos of DJ mixes get watched and shared much more than mixtapes - Let's face it, we live in a video world. If you make a mixtape, but film it too, you're going to get far more traction than if you just record an audio mix and throw it out there
  2. They're so simple to do nowadays - You can use your phone to record the whole thing; get a phone tripod, and a TRRS audio cable for recoding the audio direct into your phone from your controller or mixer, and you've got all you need. When you're done, upload it to a site like chew.tv, which is specially for DJ mixes
  3. Perfection is not as important on video as it is on "audio only" - As part of the aforementioned Digital DJ Lab training that we're currently making, we deconstructed a Carl Cox video (you can see it here), and it struck us how it was all about having fun and trying things out, not mixing perfectly. If Carl Cox can play free and loose when using this format, so can you!
  4. Videoing yourself behind the decks gives you a chance to see how others see you - We've always encouraged people to record their mixes and listen to them away from their decks, because then you hear yourself like others hear you. By filming what you're doing too, you get the chance to study your body language, behaviour and techniques in a way not possible with mere audio mixes
  5. They're currently a really cool thing to do - Skrillex did a live Boiler Room from IMS in Shanghai a few weeks ago that broken all viewing records for DJ mix videos. Now is definitely the time to get on board and get comfortable with doing this

chew

Chew.tv is custom designed for DJs to stream and host their DJ mixes on video, and it's all completely legal. It makes the "getting your mix out there" side of things easy.

People have long moaned that DJ mixtapes don't attract any interest nowadays, and if you think the same, this is a simple way to breath lots of new life back into your mixing. Get one in the can and share it with the world!

Here's your chance to share your DJ mixes on video with us, too. Feel free to post a link to any videos you have of your mixing below in the comments. Don't forget to tell us a bit about your mix too, we'd love to know the background of anything you share.

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Comments

  1. aldoboymusic says:

    Couldn't of put this better myself, I've recently started a youtube channel, i thought to myself, i might not be a big facebook fan ect: but thought youtube would be a good place to start for uploading video dj performances of myself.

    Thanks for the info on phone tripods as i actually didn't know such a thing existed until today...

  2. Dj Bobby P says:

    Hey Phil. Think your totally right here. When i look through facebook pages for dj mixes theres more chance i would click on video than just a soundcloud set. I've only just recently started recording mixes with video and have a few on youtube. Have heard the name chew tv before never thought anything of it. Going to sign up later and hopefully be sharing any new mixes on there from now on.

  3. Reality isn't always that predictable. I've uploaded a few live recordings on YouTube and they gain some views. Not expecting much as I really don't promote them very much. As I have gigs every weekend, I choose to showcase my personal preferences in house music. Mostly Deep, Soulful, Vocal, Funky & Tech. Now, one live recording I made early this year, has gained 200 views, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8r2ndMaWMk&t=1765s
    while another one, live but only sound/cover picture, has gained +1400 views in just a few weeks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtmidPhtOrU&t=342s
    Sometimes it's difficult to know what makes something work or not. Any suggestions on why you think one is getting so many more views than the other, please comment so I can make more mixes that get lots of views :) . B.t.w, they have both about the same restrictions because of copyright, which makes them harder to play on mobile devices, but OK'd to be viewed on a computer showing ads from the copyright owners. That's the hard part, getting the mixes through the copyright filter.

  4. Really up for this - makes total sense. Am struggling to find the TRRS cable on Amazon UK - but can I assume there's no issue in using various adapters to create the same effect? As long as I have TRRS at one end?! Not a cable expert...! And presumably, it's recording straight into the video file as opposed to some other audio file?! Thanks!

  5. DJ SkeletonMan says:

    I started going live on Facebook every Friday 21h CET recently and making YT videos out of some of the performances. I can only heartily recommend both. The live part makes the performance much more life-like and urgent and much more fun - people are ACTUALLY watching you and listening to what you do! The editing / Youtube video part adds one more aspect and gives me a chance to lift the performance one more bit and really send the DJ SkeletonMan persona outthere. Editing a one hour set with three cameras (the phone camera, a good "real" camera and a camera placed on the mixer) does take some time (if you're experienced my guess is you can do it in 8-16 hours) but the work lasts and it certainly sets you out from all the other Youtube mixes that just has a screen picture. And alternatively you don't have to do any editing. Just use the imagery from your camera and the audio from your mixer (this HAS to be good quality) and you're fine. It may not be as impressive as an edited video but it can still work wonders and has authenticity which is what the kids wants these days...
    My Youtube channel here where my first four videos are up hopefully gives an idea what is possible (and my progress as editer 😉 )

    So my best recommendation is: Go ahead. Try it.

    And for the person asking how to use the audio directly from the mixer when sending live from you phone. Get this cable https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Musical-Instruments-DJ/R%C3%98DE-SC4-iPhone-Accessory-Black/B00L6C8PN0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1478856592&sr=8-1&keywords=trs+trrs

  6. DJ SkeletonMan says:

    Right on, Phil. You need a cable from the TRRS cable to connect to your phone. Preferably as long as possible so you can move the phone around freely without being limited by a short cable connection.

  7. Dj Snowbro says:

    To be honest, the only reason I see to video myself during mixing, is to see how the audience sees me and to promote myself to party organisers. But I'm still (maybe too) old shool, as for me a dj is not someone to watch. A dj plays music and people should be dancing. What I see now is an audience that reminds me of a bunch of rabbits watching a light, waiting to get shot. When I watch some of those boiler room videos, where people don't dance, but watch the dj, or even worse, just try to get filmed themselves because 'they are so cool'. C'mon...

    So, if I do ever decide to video myself, it wil be for self-education, not to show the world how good I am at pushing and turning knobs, because, after all, dj'ing isn't rocket science. Getting a crowd on the dancefloor, keeping them there and having them go home, talking about how good the music was, there in lies the real art.

  8. Great article, I have been wanting to record and upload videos for a while or even use Facebook Live feature, however I only have a DDJ SB controller and think that people will view it as "unprofessional DJing". All the videos I see feature a full Pioneer CDJ club set up, I play on club gear when gigging but for home use a controller is more than enough.

  9. Thanks for the shoutout, Phil! Always love seeing Chew on here :)

    If anyone has any queries about Chew, feel free to leave a comment - or join the Chew forum (slack.chew.tv) and we'd be happy to help. Feel free to drop me an email too (wil@chew.tv); always keen to help out.

    Would love to have you guys on Chew (if you're not on already!)

  10. Phil,

    Great article! I totally agree.

    As a habitual Chew.TV user. I can attest to using Chew as a platform to host your mixes. I started using them around February as a new years resolution to myself to start mixing more regularly and to get exposure on my mixes. Doing a weekly livestream has forced me to do just that! I now have over 50 shows and over 69,000 minutes watched of the shows, which is amazing! I never had those type of views with Soundcloud, Mixcloud, or otherwise. It also allows me to chat with audiences from all over the world, offering a different experience than I thought possible.

    If you are going to stream, just make sure to do it right, there are so many garbage streams out there on FB or otherwise. You really want to be able to sell yourself and your brand!

    If you want a quick tutorial on Gear, Traktor, Chew.TV, and OBS, check out some training I just did on Chew. https://chew.tv/echobreaker/setting-up-streaming-obs-chew-traktor-and-webcams

    There is also a Slack Group to help you get started: slack.chew.tv.

    Look forward to seeing you on there!

  11. Rick Dawson says:

    Ive been streaming video (webcam showing my decks), before there was a legal service for DJs.
    used livestream.com (original livestream), ustream.
    then I got onto Mixify.com, followed by finally settling with chew.tv (just after moving to chew, they took over Mixify)

    tried YouTube to stream, but got auto took down by its scanning software for copyrights.

    shameless plug: http://www.chew.tv/DJRickDawson

    met will at BPM this year. one of the chew guys.

  12. Martin Pike says:

    Nice article, was great to read. I have been looking at doing this recently and I have been testing it out. Using iPad and iPhone, trying to get the sound quality through to the iPad/iPhone has been a struggle. I'm constantly getting a humming/interference sound which affects the quality of the live feed/video. The gear I am using is the Hercules DJ Control Instinct, DJUCED software, Apple Mac Book, with some standard PC Speakers. Is anyone able to help me please with the setup so I can start the Facebook feeds and video recording my mixes??

  13. Dustin Pearce says:

    I have a quick and hopefully not a silly question.
    If I were to video/record my mixes using the trrs cable directly to my phone aux jack, would that mean I'd only be able to hear what I'm playing/mixing through my headphones as the RCA outputs are going directly into my phone?
    Thanks in advance
    Dustin

  14. I have been trying to find out how to to that with the iphone route the audio to the iphone. Anyone knows

  15. Karlton Bethea says:

    Okay, so before I buy a TRRS cable, (which I might already have), I have a cable that is a 1/8" to RCA, would this work and if so, where would I plug into my controller to record sound? I am running the Pioneer DDJ SX2 and am planning on using an actual camera (not a phone), to record my sets. As always your help is greatly appreciated.

    Karlton Bethea
    aka "AntiQue"

    "IF Music Be The Food Of Love...Play On"
    -Billy Shakespeare

  16. Lisa Domingo says:

    Couldn't agree with #4 more! I got immediate feedback on how I looked when I videoed my 1st practice session. Definitely good feedback early on in my journey eliminates the need to unlearn bad habits later on!

    As for #3: shouldn't everything we do be about having fun! IMO, that's how all the successful people are successful...because they're having fun!

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