Your Questions: Should I DJ With Remixes?

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
mashups reedits remixes Remixing
Last updated 8 November, 2017

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A DMC remix
A DMC remix sleeve from ‘back in the day’ – remixes have existed ever since the re-edits of the 70s and are an integral part of a DJ’s toolkit.

Digital DJ Tips reader Kenny says: “Is using already remixed tracks (from Beatport or SoundCloud for example) for DJ sets considered a ‘sin’? Are real DJs only supposed to use radio/single version songs when mixing or playing to a crowd? Why do I feel like I am cheating myself (of properly learning how to DJ) when DJing using remixed tracks (which are often easier to mix than non-remixed tracks)? Finally, of course it depends on the crowd, but is one inherently better than the other for a great dance party?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Firstly, there are all types of remix out there. Most dance songs come with mixes to suit various types of dancefloors. There’s nothing wrong with finding the version that you like best. Then there are “”unofficial” remixes, as you say, you’re most likely to find these on places like SoundCloud. And then there are “mashups” also usually unofficial, where two or more completely different songs are mashed to make something new.

All of these are absolutely fine for DJing with, you should never feel you’re cheating by using a mix of a song that suits your set or your floor best, or that’s been prepped for easier DJing (longer intros/outros, well loved by digital download pools, for instance). Rule is: Play the best track for the people in front of you right now. DJing with remixes, mashups and so on is an age-old part of DJing, and nobody I know has ever frowned upon it. You cross the line when you use sequential songs that have been mixed by someone else, of course, but I don’t believe that’s not what you’re asking here.

We recently filmed a case study with one of our Scratching For Controller DJs students, SimmoJ, who made an unofficial re-edit of a track, and it led to something amazing happening in his DJing life… but we’ll tell you more about that one when we release the case study very soon!

Do you think it’s cheating to use remixed, mashups and re-edits in your DJ sets? Do you prefer to use original versions, or are you happy scouting for DJ-friendly edits? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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