Library management is an essential skill that can help elevate a DJ’s performance to the next level. Having a neat, well organised library will help you find songs quickly and can even inspire song choice you may have not considered before.
Every DJ organises their libraries differently and it’s a very personal and unique process. Fortunately modern day DJ softwares offer us methods to customise our libraries to suit our individual needs.
Today we take a look at Rekordbox and five top tips to help you organise your digital record collection.
View and Column Headers
Rekordbox offers DJ’s various ways to organise their library and display the information that matters to them most. You can choose between the various sources and library modes within the preferences.
Under the view tab, scroll down to layout and here you can change which sources matter to you in the tree view. If you don’t play music from iTunes or a streaming partner such as Beatport, simply untick them to clean up your library view. Once you’ve cleaned up the tree view, you can customise the column headers to show the key information of a track that matters to you.
Right-click on any column header to display a drop-down menu of available options. You can choose between 38 different fields made up of information from the tracks metadata and history within Rekordbox. The columns can then be dragged into an order that you prefer and stretched in size to allow the DJ see the information that matters most to them.
Once you’ve organised your columns into a suitable order, you can simply click on any of the headers to organise by this attribute. Click again to change between ascending or descending order.
It’s often very easy to lose tracks inside your music library, especially if you download a lot of music and don’t always end up playing new tracks straight away. The My Tag system in Rekordbox DJ is a fantastic way to help categorise your tracks into custom fields that you can then filter at a later date.
You can open the My Tag pane on the right-hand side of the library, once opened you are greeted by the default tags that come as standard within Rekordbox. There are three preset groups Genre, Components and Situation with an untitled blank group left for your own customisation. You can in fact change the names and contents of all the groups should you wish but you can’t add more than the original four offered.
You can add as many options below each group as you like, the preset suggestions are actually really useful though. Spending time going through tagging tracks with what time of the night they will suit best or which venue you’d prefer to play them at. Once you’re playing you can then open the filter panel and these tags will be shown.
Choose between the current playlist or your main collection to search though and then you can select various parameters that will narrow down the tracks displayed. These filters can link to the master playing deck, for example filtering by matching or near BPM. You can always untick this option though and filter through the tags we set earlier however.
A great method of finding tracks you may have tagged months ago and forgotten about.
Related Tracks Playlists
Found on the left inside the tree view, the related tracks section is a powerful weapon for finding songs that mix together well. Made up of four main ares, suggested track, BPM+Key, same genre and same artist. Suggested tracks will display a list of songs that the software thinks will work well with your currently playing track.
Basing its suggestions on your master deck, suggested related tracks can be narrowed down by clicking on the individual playlists. These are made up of era, mood and association. Era looks at the age of the song and tries to display songs that fit in the same period. Mood suggests tracks that have a similar key, speed and structure so the vibe continues.
Finally association looks at the artists, the record label and other parameters to try and display tracks that will compliment your playing track. These suggestions are an amazing help, especially when you are playing a set with unfamiliar songs. Playing a throwback set, check the era playlist for suggestions! Playing a unfamiliar track, check the association tab for music signed to the same label!
You can adjust the settings of the other related tracks playlists by opening one and then clicking the cog icon in the centre. This adjustment can be great if you want to narrow your searches down to exact parameters.
The playlists are created by searching for matching BPM+Key, genre and artist to the master deck. If you like the suggestions, you can right click on the tab and turn the suggested songs into it’s own individual playlist. A great tip for saving time curating your own playlists based on genre or artist.
Palette playlists are a great time-saving feature and allows you to browse multiple playlists at once. Found at the top of the library, there are four sections that will display “black list” when unused.
You can browse through three banks of these palette’s with the options found to the left. You can drag any of your existing playlists into one of these blank lists to create a shortcut back to that playlist. Fantastic for easy access to go to playlists. You can also show these playlists at all times by pressing the drop down arrow next to the list icon. In this view you can be browsing your main library whilst having access to four playlists too!
Fantastic for open format DJ’s who need multiple song options open to them at once! Found to the far left of the panel is the TAG button. This opens up the tag list, a list of the songs you have tagged whilst browsing through your library. Once you have played one of the tagged tracks it will automatically leave the tag list. Great for DJ’s who like to prepare tracks mid set!
Just like Smart Crates found in Serato DJ these are playlists are controlled by rules you implement.
Once you click New Intelligent Playlist, you are asked to input the rules. These follow the same as Serato how ever Pioneer use the < (less than), > (greater than), = (equals) and ≠ (does not equal) signs rather than the actual phrases.
The intelligent playlists will automatically update when you launch the software or you can force them to refresh to include any changes you may have just made to your library. A great time saving tip!
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