DJing is a technical artform: Song structure, counting beats and bars, and tempo are essential aspects of DJing. Understanding how the math behind these works improves your mixing.
One of my favourite tempo related tricks is using half time / double time to make smooth, big tempo changes.
Half Time? Double Time?
Half time and double time refers to using a song that is either half or double the tempo of the song that is currently playing. For example if you are playing a song that is 120BPM you can beatmix a song that is 60BPM and they should mix smoothly in most cases. The same can be done vice versa, if you are playing a song that is 70BPM beatmixing a 140BPM song should work quite well.
One thing that you may have to keep in mind is how to calculate the bars when using half / double time transitions.
If you are using a half time transition, one bar of the “half time song” is equal to two bars of the song you are mixing into.
Example: one bar at 60BPM = two bars at 120BPM
If you are using a double time transition, two bars of the “double time song” is equal to one bar of the song you are mixing into.
Example: two bars at 120BPM = one bar at 60BPM
Half time / double time transitions provide a “wow” factor in your DJ set and can surprise the audience with a sudden yet smooth change in energy and musical direction. Here’s how to do it:
- Have a song playing in deck A
- Select a song that’s either half or double the tempo of the song in deck A
- Load selected song into deck B
- Begin beatmix keeping the number of double/half time bars to have proper phrasing (eg four bars of 60BPM song = eight bars of 120 BPM song)
- Complete the beatmix
Learning how to utilise half and double time adds a great tool to your arsenal as a DJ. Being able to completely flip the energy of your set for your audience quickly is invaluable. It’s a technique that I use constantly and I’m sure that once you master it, you’ll be using it quite often too.
Do you use half time and double time transitions in your DJ sets? Have any special tricks or tips to share about them? Do so in the comments below.