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Beatgrids – the grids laid over your music automatically by your DJ software or system – help you sync songs when mixing, help loops and cues to work accurately, and mean rhythm-based effects like echo and delay will work properly.
Usually your DJ software will “get them right” – but sometimes it won’t, and when it doesn’t, you need to step in. Often the fixes are very easy because the software is 99% there – but the issue arises when you want to “fix” songs that use real drummers rather than drum machines.
“Elastic” or “Flexible” beatgridding refers to adjusting the beatgrids in your DJ software so that they are accurate for music that isn’t electronic in nature.
Not all tracks are created equal
The issue is that even if a drummer thinks they are playing at the same tempo throughout a song, that is rarely the case. They will naturally speed up into a chorus as the song gets exciting, and slow down at the more mellow parts. No human drummer will stay 100% on tempo throughout a performance.
So if you want to DJ using all the tricks of modern DJs, but with music that wasn’t created using drum machines, you’ll find you’ve got a problem. Your DJ platform will probably make a real mess of auto beatgridding those songs.
Here is where you need to step in and adjust those beatgrids so that they’re perfect. Do this, and your software will then know where to “stretch” or “compress” the tempo of the song (hence the term “elastic” beatgridding), so that it stays at exactly the same BPM throughout. Result? Older songs are as easy to mix and DJ with as modern music!
The good news is that once you do this for a song, you’d never have to do it again – it gets “remembered”.
But you need to know how it’s done, and therein lies the problem…
Why this training is needed
Here at Digital DJ Tips, we have 27 DJ courses, and well over half of them rely on DJs having the basics sorted – a clean, well-organised music collection, with all the tracks prepared for modern DJing.
But we’ve found that many DJs are scared of the beatgridding work that’s needed to achieve this. They either think it’s not necessary (this is usually denial!), or they’re scared of it, or they think it’ll be hard work, or it’ll be beyond them.
They may have even tried it, and given up.
It’s not surprising – we surveyed all the free content out there on beatgridding, for all the major DJ platforms, and realised that while there are some OK tutorials around on doing it with easy-to-grid music, there’s little that explains well how to do it with old soul, funk, disco, rock and so on – those big, timeless records that just don’t play ball when it comes to letting your software do this for you.
So we decided to make a comprehensive elastic (or variable, or dynamic, or flexible — they all mean the same thing) beatgridding mini-course.
- Introduces the topic and explains why it’s important to beatgrid your tunes
- Shows you exactly how to do it on all the major DJ platforms
It’s presented in a series of easy to follow videos, with a real-life example of beatgridding a “difficult” tune, so you can follow-along and finally master this crucial technique.
How to get the course
The course is 100% free to all Digital DJ Tips members (don’t worry, it’s also free to join Digital DJ Tips). We want you to have it so you can start exploring using sync, loops, quantise, effects and so on with ALL your music collection, not just your modern, electronic music.
It’s taken from our acclaimed Digital DJ Lab training programme, but we believe this is so important that we wanted to share it with the wider DJing community too.
To get the course:
- Click here and give us your best email address – we won’t spam you or share it, we’ll only use it to send you useful information to help you become a better DJ or DJ/producer
- Check your inbox for a link to your FREE flexible / elastic / variable / dynamic beatgridding course!
That’s it – have this one on us. And if you enjoy it, remember that we have 27 DJ courses, and there will be one that’s the perfect next step for you.