Home Forums The DJ Booth Your advice to DJs using the sync button

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  • #1005288
    Phil Morse
    Keymaster

    What advice would you give to a new DJ who’s just getting going and who’s using the sync button for every mix? Is this OK? Are they missing something? Should they try without it sometimes? Is it worth manually beatmatching or is that not necessary any more?

    #1005312
    Steelo
    Participant

    Things have certainly changed and I guess you could say that beatmatching isn’t a prerequisite for the job anymore but I still believe its a valuable skill that allows us to be more spontaneous in the mix, get us out of hairy situations with messed up beatgrids and things as simple as keeping the music playing during the changeover of DJs.

    #1005316

    Sync is just a tool, and like any tool, to get the job done properly, you have to use the tool properly.

    ‘Press Play, Sync and Pray’ is what gets people into trouble, not the sync button itself. A DJ using the sync button should:

    – Be able to hear when sync isn’t working (split hearing)
    – Have full knowledge on how beatgrids work (how to set them, fix them etc) and what sync DOES with beatgrids
    – Have a recovery plan if sync messes up the mix (or if their laptop crashes)

    If you’re relying on Traktor to set all your grids, and not even *test* them before a gig, and you’re setting yourself up for failure. A DJ who has been over the grids to all his tracks for the night has nothing to fear from using sync.

    The only downside I see to a sync-only policy is that you are limiting yourself to what kind gear you can play on. Not having gear mobility can potentially limit where and when you can actually play.

    #1005317
    Rodders
    Member

    I use the sync button (or pre-warp my tracks) but having DJ’d for over 20 years I feel like I’ve earned that right 🙂

    Echoing the comments above, I’d advise learning the fundamentals so you know what to do when things go wrong. If a mix is done well then it makes no difference whether it’s manual or sync’d, but if it’s a trainwreck due to poor beat gridding / warping / whatever, you’re going to make yourself look stupid if you don’t know how to immediately rectify it.

    #1005343
    Phil Morse
    Keymaster

    Solid advice…

    #1005363
    Terry_42
    Keymaster

    Like everyone said: Sync is a tool, you must not rely on one single tool. Plus: Do not be dull, there are also like a hundret mixing things that can blend songs into each other without actually beatmatching at all or where beatmatching is only a little tool… I think there is too much fuss about beatmatching, as it is only the beginning. The really cool mixing tricks come later and you need the skills to manual beatmatch anyways (like split hearing etc.) even if you do not manually beatmatch.
    The whole discussion goes into a direction where DJs are defined by a few skills or tools, which bothers me.
    It is like talking about sex and all you talk about is the lying down part without actually having any and with the fact that you do not actually need to lie down.

    #1005427
    Bigicedog
    Participant

    [media=youtube]mHDuZTJV_1A[/media]

    #1005432

    Dj iceman, post: 21291, member: 187 wrote: [media=youtube]mHDuZTJV_1A[/media]

    ‘Nuff said!

    #1005440
    D-Jam
    Participant

    Iceman’s video does show a lot on why one should know manual beatmatching…even if it’s just to assist when sync fails.

    I’d tell DJs who use the sync a lot to focus on more than just matched beats. Learn to really BLEND. Use the EQs, pick the right tunes, and work to make your mixovers smooth and fluid.

    I’d also tell them to push the envelope. We all just got Traktor 2.5 with those remix decks (review coming early next week!) and I’d tell everyone to play with them, toy with them, try stuff. Go beyond just sliding from one tune to the next…even if you only do one “cool moment” in a whole night.

    I think you’re only cheating yourself if you just decide to “get comfy” and not work to evolve. These new digital tools are a marvel, but this is also when we should evolve into performers than just players.

    #1005452
    Terry_42
    Keymaster

    Well said D-Jam and excellent video Iceman. (However a few less F*** words would have sufficed hehe) 😉

    #1005455
    Bigicedog
    Participant

    Terry_42, post: 21316, member: 1843 wrote: Well said D-Jam and excellent video Iceman. (However a few less F*** words would have sufficed hehe) 😉

    i know. (i wonder why everyone says im an “angry dj”)

    #1005521
    longmover
    Member

    having just started using vdj the sync button doesnt beat match spot on every time you still need to nudge here and there and ride the mix. it does make things a little easier if you havent got a controller though.

    as rodders says though you need a back up. you should still know how to beatmatch manually, but as tech gets better youmay need never have to manually beat match again????

    #1005541
    Steelo
    Participant

    Rodders, post: 21180, member: 2248 wrote: If a mix is done well then it makes no difference whether it’s manual or sync’d, but if it’s a trainwreck due to poor beat gridding / warping / whatever, you’re going to make yourself look stupid if you don’t know how to immediately rectify it.

    Hit the nail on the head. This is the correct answer.

    #1007464
    DJ Yaka
    Participant

    think i am just going to be echoing the words of others here … but i will still say it.

    every DJ should learn how to maually beat match… its a basic nacessity. its part of the learning curve. it is a cruicial part of djing.

    to be fair i don’t think you can call your self a DJ untill you have learnt this skill. (in my opinion)

    however, i am not against the sync button, as i honestly belive it can be a valuable tool. but that is all it is… a tool. it should not be rellied upon…. why?? becasue it will let you down!!!

    #1007470
    Bigicedog
    Participant

    can we be TOTALLY HONEST here? why is everyone talking like beatmatching is some magical,mystical technique developed over years of hard work and rigorous training in some dark chamber in the shaolin temple?? its not rocket science!! its dj 101!!i taught my son how to do this when he was 6!! the boy hasnt fully mastered the english language,or learned to shoot a steady stream (if you know what i mean) but he could beatmatch!! and a 4/4 beat at that!! for real?? now dont get me wrong it is an essential skill for all djs, but its not the hardest thing in the world!! and the sync button dosent get it totally right. and here some food for thought most of this technology replicates things that can be EASILY DONE (like syncing and looping) to get those tasks out the way so to be able to focus on harder tasks. why do you think most of this stuff dont have “scratch” buttons or a “beat juggle” button,or i would love a button that would be able to sense the mood of the crowd for me or one that will flare,orbit,and pryzim for me. the tools are there for a reason. either use them or not but people really need to stop crying about it!!

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