Home Forums The DJ Booth Top DJs beat matching or slamming songs in phrase?

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    Jim Slaton

    I’m not sure if I am explaining myself correctly. I’ve only been DJing for about a year using two CDJ 2000 nexus and DJM 850 mixer. I’m am doing your traditional beat matching between two songs taking about 2-3 phrases in the process. However, when I listen to recent sets from some of the top DJs like Calvin Harris & Tiesto I notice the song transitions are different. Most of the time you don’t even hear the incoming track until the last minute. It’s almost like they are beat matching the two songs but not brining in the incoming song until the ending/start of the phrase they want and then they are slamming it in there. Its like they are slamming the two songs together but they are still beat matched so it works out…

    How exactly are they doing this? What is the best way to transition from one song to another in the shortest amount of time but still blend well?..

    You can listen to Calvin Harris’s most recent set at EDM Las Vegas and hear his song transitions at this link….. http://inthemix.com/news/calvin-harr…egas-set/24042

    Jim Slaton

    Here is the correct link to Calvin Harris’s recent set at EDM Vegas… http://inthemix.com/news/calvin-harris-shares-free-download-of-his-crowd-pleasing-edc-vegas-set/24042


    A lot of “big name” DJs don’t actually do any DJing. Their entire set is premixed and it’s usually their own stuff anyway and they often have personal edits of tracks.
    Don’t pay any attention to what they’re doing, most of them are producers first and foremost and their DJ skills are below par. Your transitions are something you should practise and be happy with yourself, besides longer mixes enable you to fart about with effects, kill a bassline and replace it with the one from the incoming record and before you know it your doing something of a live remix.

    Much more fun 🙂

    Jim Slaton

    Nope. This has been covered much before. Yes, there are some known DJs that say its all produced and DJs just push play but there are FAR More well known DJs like Afrojack & Tiesto that say they have NEVER seen any well known DJ play a pre-recorded set where they are not mixing the tracks live.

    So assuming they are not playing a pre-recorded mix what are the techniques they are using to create short transitions/mixes with the songs stacked up tight but still in sync? Thanks!

    DJ Vintage

    Cuts and drops. Just two of the transition methods a DJ can use. There are no rulez in our game. Beatmatching is something you can do, but there are a lot of other ways to transition tracks. The Digital DJ Masterclass has a complete chapter on this subject. And apart from the actual technique there is the issue of where in the track(s) you mix in/out of.

    To give you an idea, you can cue up a track as you would for beatmatching. Tempo is in sync and you are cued up at (for example, there are more advanced options) the right 1st downbeat. You could have your incoming fader up and hit play at the right time (where the 1st downbeat of the outgoing track would have been) and (timing it right) quickly lowering the outgoing fader. Or you can do something similar with a bass cut and a quick fade out on the outgoing track.

    Since you made sure the run at the same speed and the 1st downbeat of track B replaces the 1st downbeat on track B, it will sound like the beat continuous as they do in a beatmatched track.

    It works in beatmatched “mode” but can be equally effective if you want to do a tempo change and/or a bpm change.

    Hope that helps some.



    Protip: DJs are like everyone else and tell lies.

    As for the technique, such as it is, it’s some I used to do back in my vinyl days but you really needed to know your records backwards to make sure they lined up ok. Today it’s much easier, you use cue points and/or loops and the sync button if you get really stuck.
    All it needs then is fading in the next track at the right time for a quick transition.
    The cue or loop can be set however many beats before you want the track to come in so you know your timing is spot on.

    Dead easy when you know what you’re doing, all it needs is a bit of prep beforehand.


    Actually I did a count on my last nights gig:
    I did actually use 29 different transition techniques (almost everyone was different) where only about 50% of them were beatmatched.

    I think people are too set on specific transitions. There are loads and loads of options to do real great transitions, wether it be a blending of one song to another or a more slamming approach.

    Silvercue Master

    I would say watch Carl Cox. Does not matter what kit he uses – he mixes beautifully and in a way that you can see and understand what is going on.

    crem brule

    Here’s a link to Carl Coxs latest set for DJsounds, its done split screen with an overhead cam on the decks and mixer, really good to see how Mr Cox works up close. Should provide some ideas but probably more inspiration/

    crem brule

    odd link didnt take first time

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