Home Forums The DJ Booth Tagging Tracks (again, sorry)

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    Jens Kühnemann

    as I started playing at different venues about 4 months ago and bookings are more and more coming in I am wondering whether to switch from a laptop with controllers to CDJ. Carrying two sticks is quite nice compared to a backpack full of equipment.
    So right now I got Rekordbuddy to convert from Traktor to Rekordbox, might be getting xdj’s as well but for now I think I am fine.
    Anyway now that I start converting stuff and playing regularly I am thinking that it would be a good idea to kind of sort all my music so that I am able to play a bit more with a plan instead of relying on a crappy organization and skipping through tracks which are sorted by release date and forward or groovy until I find something kind of matching.
    Rekordbuddy allows nice tagging but I am experiencing heavy difficulties to choose tags. Either I am staying very general so the tags are more or less useless or I use lots of tags and end up having far too much of them. I play tech house to bass house but in this genre there are so many different styles that I struggle with sorting them properly.
    If anyone has any ideas I am happy to be enlightened.



    Ask yourself, what decisions do I make when looking for tracks in certain parts of the gig. This could be energy level, intensity, “popularity”, vocal or instrumental and a zillion other things. The idea is that you create your own list of things you would like to be able to search on and then start adding the tags. Genre is only one, but grouping is one where you can put a lot of tags that are still searchable.

    Peter Lindqvist

    Selecting and deselecting is very important part of how you organize your music. Always start by selecting the best tracks you have, the ones you never leave home without. The ones that would make you quit playing if couldn’t bring them. The ones you know makes the night every time you play them. Set a number, like 200 tracks, if you play sub genres. These tracks will be the foundation of your sets. Don’t use more tags than what you need when searching for something, and learn the tracks you have. Personally I have the tonality and the BPM in the filename, sometimes also tagged in the the comments.

    I’ve almost stopped using genres and instead I use groupings, like DJ Vintage suggested. It’s more useful. Depending on how much your gigs differentiates from each other, you can have a couple of groupings for each part of the night. Background, warm up, build up, peak hour, after hours. Start taking your 200 tracks and group them like this and then set a limit to each folder/playlist to something like a 100 tracks. Now you can see where you have enough, more than enough and where you need to add some tracks.

    When you add new genres to your sets, this is a way to easy maintaining a growing collection and you learn where your best tracks are, always. Sometimes you end up needing tracks from different genres and this make it easy to have like one soulful vocal warmup side by side with a melodic deep minimal warmup. They sound perfect on their own but also together done right, and you can flow between them and get into the next phase with the right sub genre that’s right for each night.


    I must say, you will be losing quite a bit of functionality moving from controller to CDJ. But if you are a regular visitor/reader here, you will have seen that discussion before 😀

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