Why You Don’t Have To Be A Musician To Be A Good DJ

dj-rap1-300x200

A reader asked whether it’s possible to be a good DJ without also being a musician, or without being able to play a musical instrument, which I thought was an excellent question. (Thanks, Kevin!) In order to answer Kevin’s question, we need to look at two distinct types of musical teaching/learning, and also delve a little into the nature of what DJing is (and isn’t). We’ll also discover that the answer to this question depends on how far you want your DJing to take you…

Review: RekordKrate for iPad

Rekordkrate Featured 520

The new RekordKrate app aims to put some of the big-screen library navigating power enjoyed by laptop DJs into the hands of USB (and CD) DJs, by allowing them to use their iPads (and soon iPhones and Android devices) to browse and select from their music libraries easily.

Your Questions: Am I Relying On Key Mixing Too Much?

Software such as Mixed In Key has popularised harmonic mixing for DJs, but it's not the only way to slice and dice your music for your DJ sets.

Digital DJ Tips reader David writes about his DJing: “I think I’m focusing too much on getting the key changes right, whilst wanting to get some specific tunes in… am I over complicating it? Should I just let the music do the talking?”

Review & Video: Mixed In Key iMashup For iPad & iPhone

Mixed in Key's new iMashup brings its Mashup software to iPad users.

If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at mashups but never felt confident enough to do it, then maybe you’ve already heard of Mixed In Key Mashup. Now the company has launched an iOS version: iMashup.

4 Ways Harmonic Mixing Can Rescue Your DJ Sets

requests-300x300

Back at the start of my DJ career, I read a book called How to DJ Right: The Art and Science of Playing Records (I completely recommend it to any new DJ, by the way). Of all the styles of mixing it discusses, the one that I grabbed and ran with the most was harmonic mixing, which opened my eyes to many mixing possibilities.

4 iOS Tools To Give You An Unfair Advantage In The DJ Booth

1

Wouldn’t it be good to whip out your iPhone and quickly detect the BPM (and even the key) of the last track played by a previous DJ, then effortlessly blend your next track in, perfectly harmonically matched and on the beat, as you take over digitally? Turns out there’s an app (or four) for that…

Think Sync Is Killing DJing? Look Away Now!

MixMash

So you think “sync” is killing the art of DJing? That without a DJ manually matching the tempos of two pieces of music, the skill has gone and the doors have been opened for the unwashed masses to trample all over your sacred ground? Boy, you’re very likely going to hate Mixed In Key Mashup 1.5, then.

Review: Keyfinder Key Detection Software

Keyfinder detects musical key, but also lets you get under the bonnet to see how it's done it.

Intrigued by key mixing, or “harmonic mixing”? Want to try it out without spending money on an established piece of software such as Mixed in Key? If so, you may be interested in Keyfinder, an open-source key detection program for Mac and (in beta) for Windows too.

Your Questions: Is There An Auto-Key Function In Traktor?

Traktor

Digital DJ Tips reader Samuel asks: “Do you know of any kind of ‘auto-key’ function in Traktor? A function that automatically adjusts the key when I load a song in another key?

Review: Mixed In Key 5

Mixed in Key 5 comes with a tutorial to make introducing this technique into your digital DJing as simple as possible.

Adding a music player, key search engine, multi-key detection, better file compatibility, and a claimed improvement in accuracy, Mixed in Key 5 appears to be the most complete version of this harmonic mixing software to date. Here’s our review.