Digital DJ Tips reader Tait writes: “I’m new to the world of DJing. I have a Traktor Kontrol S4 and am wanting to learn to beatmatch manually. I’ve watched your video on this topic and a few others too. I was wondering if it’s a bad idea to be watching / referencing the phase meter above the waveform in Traktor Pro (I’m assuming that’s the phase meter – unless I’m completely off the mark). I’d really appreciate your view on this.”
Digital DJ Tips says:
Our view is that it’s fine to do that, after all as far as we’re concerned anything that helps is great! Just be aware that if you ever have to mix using CD players or cross media players, you won’t have this luxury – so it’s always a good idea to practise sometimes beatmatching without using aids. You may be interested to know that in some other DJ software, instead of having phase meters, they often stack the waveforms above each other or overlay them in different colours, so you can match the beats visually. This is what we call “waveriding”.
Also, don’t get caught staring all the time at your phase meters (or waveforms) – laptop DJs often get accused of staring at their screens instead of interacting with the crowd, and this is often the reason! But a quick glance at the phase meters in conjunction with using your headphones? Perfectly OK.
What do you think? Is it fine to use visual aids to help beatmatching? Have you learned to mix using them and wish you hadn’t, or do you beatmatch manually and make a point of never using visual aids in your software? Please share your views below.