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When you are first beginning to DJ, and mastering the basics are crucial to making your DJ sets more interesting to listen to.
However, if you’re still new to DJing, you might be curious to know: How do DJs improve transitions?
In this article, I will cover some important information about transitions, including how DJs improve transitions.
So, let’s get started.
What Is A Mix Transition?
To put it simply, a transition is the movement from one track to another. That being said, a transition doesn’t have to begin with one track and end with another, it can also refer to two tracks that are playing simultaneously.
It is also important to note that there are a variety of different transitions, and which transitions you use will largely depend on the type of mix that you would like to create.
When figuring out which transitions will work for your mix, you will first need to consider how you would like your mix to sound from start to finish.
Are you aiming for one that will run smoothly the whole way through and therefore requires seamless and almost invisible transitions? Alternatively, you might want transitions that are more obvious and abrupt for the type of mix you’re going for.
Ask yourself these questions, and once you have established the answer, you can then figure out which transitions work and can then set about incorporating them into your mix.
How Do DJs Improve Transitions?
There are a few techniques that you can use to improve your transitions, but these techniques take effort to perfect themselves. These include:
Always Timing Your Transition
When it comes to pulling off a transition, you will need to make sure that you keep the rule of fours at the forefront of your mind. This simply comes down to the fact that if you transition at odd times, then problems such as your tracks not lining up properly can occur.
The majority of electronic music has a standard 4 beat bars that are arranged into 4 bar sections, forming 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 bar phrases.
Using EQ (Equalizer) Switch
Whilst mixing, the EQ is used to control different frequencies to prevent frequency clashes and to change the prevalence of a certain sound in a track. It can transform or totally ruin your sets, so it’s important to master.
The bottom line is, you will struggle to seamlessly mix between two tracks without playing around with the EQ, and it’s futile to try. After all, you want your mix to sound purposeful.
Using filters when mixing can soften the sound, which can help to prevent the clashing of different tracks. For instance, if you turn a filter towards the high end, it will work to filter out everything below that point.
On the other hand, if you turn it towards the low end, it will instead filter everything above that point.
Occasionally you will find that when you’re playing your set, you need to get creative to keep the crowd guessing and interested. It can sound obvious that you’re slowly elevating the fader on your new track until the two tracks are playing simultaneously.
An FX is useful to mask this process, working to provide a more creative transition.
However, despite these techniques you can master, there’s no getting away from the fact that improving transitions takes consistent practise. DJing isn’t something that you can learn overnight.
It takes a lot of time and dedication to perfect your craft and smooth transitions as a DJ.
The more that you practise, the more your transitions will improve.
How Do You Transition House Songs?
A house beat is synonymous with 4 x 4 beat structure. An important thing to remember when mixing house songs is that house as a genre is often melodic. Bearing this in mind, you should make sure that your tracks mix in key with each other.
When it comes to transitioning house songs, you generally have two options to choose from. You can either cut between the tracks quickly, or decide to introduce a track into your mix over a long 32 or 64 bar section, swapping the EQs between the two tracks gradually.
Which transition you choose will depend on the feel of your overall mix.
How Do You Transition Techno?
How you decide to transition techno depends on the type of techno and the energy of the tracks that you’re using. Techno can be so broad, and includes many subgenres that you will need to be aware of.
You might decide to mix heavy and harsh techno tracks quickly, for a more clean transition.
Melodic and building techno is much more suited to long 32, 64 or 128 bar transitions with EQing. However, you will need to ensure that you maintain the crowd’s interest, as you want them to keep dancing!
These are all things to consider when choosing the specific techno tracks to incorporate into your mix.
Tips for DJing
Practice Under Pressure
If you really want to improve your transitions, practise under pressure. Streaming live can help to imitate the experience of DJing live and will get you used to performing to a crowd.
The more you play to real people, no matter the circumstance, the more confident you will feel when it comes to performing on stage at an event.
Listen To And Watch Other DJs Perform
There’s nothing like learning from the best! If you want to get better at transitions, make sure that you are doing your research. Listen to and watch other DJs perform religiously, and get a feel for the techniques that they use to blend their transitions.
There are a few techniques that you can master to help improve your transitions.
However, if you’re serious about becoming a good DJ, then you can’t underestimate how much work goes into perfecting this skill.
Practice makes perfect, and the more experience you gain from playing the better.