If you have this skill, it won’t make you a great DJ – but all great DJs have it. It’s something that was relatively simple in the pre-digital days (hint: If you checked your needle for fluff, you were halfway there).
However, for digital DJs in particular, if you don’t understand what this commandment is about, your DJing will be inferior to that of other DJs who put the effort in to get this right, or of vinyl and CD DJs in general.
So here it is:
Know how to deliver great sound quality.
You need to be able to listen to all music critically, that’s for sure – but you also need some basic knowledge and best practice awareness in order to make sure that music you play to your dancefloor is of a quality fit to be used for DJing. Today’s video and extra content will give you all the resources you need.
As you’ll know by now, this is a special campaign by Digital DJ Tips to encourage better digital DJing, and as usual today I am asking you to press the Facebook Like button at the end of the article – if you enjoy it, of course.
Why? Because want these rules to go way beyond our normal audience to demonstrate to the wider world how we in the digital DJing community care about DJing just every other type of DJ does. Thanks for your help!
Get up to speed on all the issues, and tons of practical advice on how to improve your own DJing sound quality, with these resources:
- Know your music file formats – Only by knowing the formats can you understand how to handle them when you come across them. What Every DJ Needs To Know About Music File Formats has all the info
- Rip music properly – Especially if you’re ripping from vinyl, it pays to do it right – read How To Rip Tunes From Vinyl To MP3 (Without Them Sounding Like Junk)
- Understand “The Loudness Wars” – see 6 Ways To Win The Loudness War & Play Better Sounding DJ Sets to help you understand why you really do have to be on the looking for badly mastered music nowadays
- Keep an eye on things when you’re DJing – Good sound quality doesn’t only rely on good music files. 7 Easy Ways To Sound Better Than Other DJs will show you how to keep on top of things at your gigs, and if you’re a Traktor user, this article will teach you How To Set Your Levels In Traktor Like A Pro
- Set high standards for your own work – I am not qualified to teach you production mastering, but mastering a DJ mix will explain a bit about DIY mastering and could help you to make your own DJ creations, mashups etc sound better
- To train your ears to be critical, try this: Buy a WAV file (WAV is the best quality there is) of a song you know sounds great. Using any sound editing software, save that file as a 128, 192, 256 and 320kbps MP3. On your best speakers or headphones, listen to the files critically to compare the difference
- Once you’re convinced, aim to eliminate lower bitrate or bad sounding music files from your collection entirely: If you don’t have them you can’t accidentally play them!
- Nearly all music that streams on the internet is below 320kbps MP3 quality and should never be ripped, recorded or performed as part of a DJ set. That includes YouTube (although to get the best quality on YouTube in general, it often helps to select the highest quality video).
- Can’t say this enough – trust your ears! If it sounds rubbish to you on your headphones, don’t inflict it on your dancefloor
- Read our Platinum Notes 3 review to see if this kind of software is something you might find useful – there are some opposing views on it in the comments of that post
We hope this material has been useful to you, and thank you once again for Liking this post in order to help us spread our campaign for better digital DJing far and wide…
• Watch out tomorrow for the ninth of our ten “commandments”. And thanks again for your support – it’s really appreciated.
Check out the other parts of this series:
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #1
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #2
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #3
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #4
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #5
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #6
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #7
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #9
- 10 Commandments For Better Digital DJing, #10
What are your views on our eighth commandment? Have you heard examples of DJs playing with poor sounding music files? Have you done it yourself? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments.