Hi guys, it’s Andre.
It’s now my 30th Production Diary, so it’s my 30th week here at the Benztown Studios in Stuttgart.
After my last Tutorial about creating a DJ Mix in Pro Tools, I’m getting a bit more deeper into DJing with Pro Tools.
DJing is not only about beatmatching, it’s about timing, too. Your songs might have the same tempo, but if you’re messing up the right timing, it still sounds like crap.
Electronic (and most Pop-) music works simple. 4 beats per bar. My technique is to sum up bars into ‘phrases’. I count 2 bars as one phrase. An example: a song with a 16 bars intro has an intro with 8 phrases. After 8 phrases, I start with 1 again. Maybe it’s not the best technique, but it works for me.
Here’s a pic as example (click for full view)
My technique is to mix with phrases, that means, I start phrase 1 of my first song and phrase 1 of my second song at the same time, phrase 2 of my first song with phrase 2 of my second song, etc…. You can also mix phrase 5 of your first song with phrase 1 of your second song, phrase 6 of your first song with phrase 2 of your second song, but that depends on the songs and the way you want to mix them.
When it comes to DJing, you got to know your songs. How long is the intro? How does the Drop sound like and when do you have breaks (softer parts in a song, which build up to a second drop)?
Speaking of Drop, that’s what Wikipedia says:
“The drop is the point in a track where a switch of rhythm or bass line occurs and usually follows a recognizable build section and break.
In Hip-Hop and electronic music, the reintroduction of the full bass line and drums is known as the drop.
In Dubstep, the drop involves a full bass line and commonly a “wobble” bass accompanied by a strong shuffling beat.
In Metalcore sub-genres, drops are often utilized at the first chord of a breakdown, to emphasize the passage.”
In short: the drop is, when the action starts
When your timing is perfect, you’re able to perform a “double drop”, means beatmatching in a way, that both drops occur at the same time. You either can switch to the second song or (if you use the right songs) perform a crazy mash up with both songs.
The following example is one of my favourite double drops, I play in my sets. The included songs are ‘Culture Shock – Bad Red’ & ‘Brookes Brothers – Last Night’ (don’t be afraid. No matter, how fast the music is, the technique with counting phrases works on every tempo).
Performing double drops with vinyl is one of the most difficult techniques in DJing and it might take a long time, till you can do it. With Pro Tools, it’s done in a few minutes. I’ll show you how…
Here are my both songs in different tracks. They both have the same tempo (to learn how to determine the tempo, click here)
Now, they need to be placed into the grid.
Cut the beat at the first beat of the first bar and move it into the grid.
After moving your track into the grid, you can open your song to have it full again.
Do the same with the second track. Cut the first beat, set it into the grid and open the song again.
Listen through your first song, until you find the drop. Mark it.
Do the same with your second song, but instead of marking the drop, you cut at the part your drop starts.
Now move the drop of your second song exactly under the drop of your first song.
With the cutter, you can bring back a part of the intro of your second track and you’re able to mix it into your first song. And no matter, how long you want the transition to be, you’ll always have a double drop.
Use a fade to make your transition smoother.
In most cases, you have to adjust the volume to avoid that the one song is louder than the other.
Now it’s time to EQ both songs. Make sure, the frequencies of both songs won’t effect each other negatively.
For real DJ feeling use an EQ with only 3 bands.
Creating a double drop in Pro Tools is not hard at all and it sounds great, when you’re using the right songs.
A few good played double drops really spice up your set and make it interesting to listen.
Cheers and have a nice weekend