Your Questions: Organising Music For Different Types Of Gigs

Last updated 3 August, 2017

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Get organised!
Is your iTunes library starting to look like the digital equivalent of a messy pile of discs? Be intentional when curating your digital library!

Digital DJ Tips member Chris writes: “I currently DJ at a few different gigs: weddings (about 4-5 a month), bar gigs (chart / hip hop / dance and pop), cooler bar gigs (disco / edits / funk / Gilles Peterson type stuff), and the odd club gig (can be anything from garage to deep house). The subject of organising music is obviously well documented, but I’m still having trouble. The wedding stuff tends to be the biggest pain as I’ll normally get a list of songs and and then add them to a specific playlist for that event.

“I (try) and keep playlists organised (either by the name of the event I’m doing/the bar I’m playing etc) but I’m now in the position where my iTunes is a complete mess. I know i could thin it down a bit but I’m always wary of having enough for every situation. Weddings are a good example as these can go from the usual wedding stuff to completely off kilter depending on the couple or guests (one I did last week ended up wanting loads of hard dance stuff towards the end). Would love to hear some examples and advice.”

Digital DJ Tips says:

I consider myself to be in the same “place” you are. Coming from CDs, having collected a huge CD collection over the years, then buying my first “digital” system, I ended up importing the whole shazam in my DJ software (Traktor at first, later Mixvibes Cross) and was going crazy!

Recently I started to create a new collection from scratch, importing it all into iTunes and use it from there in my DJ software. I am trying to set the size of the collection to a maximum of 1,000 to 1,200 tracks tops. This will cover most genres (including some wedding-specific stuff, tropical, salsa, ballroom, etc.) I use, with enough tracks in each to get through any gig. The rest of my tracks will sit on an external HD which I can take with me to request- and/or genre-heavy gigs like weddings. I will just search for them through the file explorer. They will not be part of my “official” collection any more, but will be there when I need to play that specific request.

Here are some good tips as well: 7 Rules For Music Organisation For Digital DJs.

Got any tips for our reader? How do you separate your casual music library from your DJ library? Let us know in the comments below.

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