Five Easy DJ Transitions For Beginners To Learn
When you are learning to DJ, mastering the basics is essential. But performing the same simple blending technique can get boring fast and can leave your DJ set a bit stale. In this beginner DJ tutorial we are going to cover five simple yet creative ways to transition your songs.
The full video tutorial to this is embedded at the bottom of the page. Remember after to check out our dedicated beginner DJ lessons and other tutorials throughout this site that will help you to learn to DJ.
The Filter Mix
Learning to DJ isn’t an easy process, however the filter mix is a simple and easy way to add more flair to your DJ sets. One of the most popular DJ transitions is to add high/low pass filter to your mix. To perform this mix, start by adding low or high pass filter to the track you want to mix in. Remember to also kill the low EQ if you are adding low pass to avoid unwanted rumble. Once you begin your transition, slowly remove the filter and adjust the EQ’s to create a smooth and interesting blend.
The Vinyl Brake Mix
DJ’s who played on turntables will remember the old trick of turning off the motor switch to create a slowing brake effect. In the modern era of DJ’ing the motor switch is quite a rare sight so we lose the ability to recreate this trick. However there is a way to recreate the brake and even take it to the next level by being able to adjust the speed of the brake in our DJ software. Adjust the brake to last around 1 beat in length, then at the end of your regular mix apply the brake. You can add another layer of creativity by applying a half beat echo to the brake too!
To learn how to apply the Brake setting to your DJ software, click here!
The Half Loop Mix
The auto loop feature is a fantastic tool for creating new and dynamic sounds from your regular tracks. Set your auto loop to be 4 beats long and start your mix as usual. We then need to activate the 4 beats loop on the last 4 beats of the phrase. Now as the build up to the drop continues, we need to half the loop a few times but take your time. Try not to rush the process and then just as the drop is about to happen, add the vinyl brake technique from earlier to complete the mix!
The Hi Hat Mix
As DJ’s we are always listening for the strong beats to mix. Usually the kick drum and clap falling on the 1, 2, 3 and 4. However in between these beats we often find hi hats. We can use these and isolate them with the up fader to tease in the next track before EQ’ing and finishing off the mix. To take this DJ transition to the next level try adding reverb or echo to the track to fill out the high hats or even try it on the track you are mixing out!
The Hot Cue Mix
This method of mixing can sound the most impressive but in fact it’s very simple to do. We first have to set up a few hot cue points within our tracks, try and select points with strong melodic content. In our example we have set our first hot cue at the beginning of a bar so we can use it to finish the mix in time. The other hot cues we set on parts of the track with different notes. Now with our hot cues set, we can jam with them using the hot cues as make shift musical notes. Try to create a pattern that repeats every 4 beats, that way you can play this over the playing track before ending on the first hot cue, leaving the mix in perfect time!
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