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Mixing Based on BPM

Lesson 5 from: Scratch DJ Academy presents: DJ Fundamentals

DJ Hapa

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Lesson Info

5. Mixing Based on BPM

Lesson Info

Mixing Based on BPM

This segment I feel like is the most important and you know I mean everything that we're teaching over the course of these two days is super important but to me I honestly feel like a majority of djs are mixing djs like you're you know, the gigs that you're going to take on the gigs that you'll want to say yes to our you're playing in front of this crowd and you know no matter how small or how big like you're controlling the music you're mixing songs together you make seeing some of your favorite tracks was you know, maybe some of the crowd favorite tracks and kind of like getting this whole thing to go together the other part of this is that you know, you might want to be blending genres um and not be stuck to just one genre you know? So you know there's plenty of djs out there that have sort of um found their lane and found their niche in terms of their music and like that's all they'll play like you go and see if you go in see rusko you kind of know what sound to expect you know, yo...

u go and see calvin harris you know what sound to expect um as an open format deejay though and being able to mix up the genres and mix up the uh music this segment is super important what we're going to cover in here so it's not going to be as hands on as the scratching was this particular module being muchmore taking taking notes on what's going on and like it was mentioned before the break I really do feel like they'll be some lightbulbs going off um so let me start with this I'm actually going toe mix two songs together well manually be matched to songs I'm gonna mix one song into the next on dh then we'll take it from there that'll sort of services like the general this is this is what we're gonna do all right so um and c turned sad which one I want to start with let's start let's start here you guys here okay all right now I'm gonna try and kind of narrate through what I'm doing here so this song is playing it's playing out of speakers playing out of the house I've got my headphones in I'm listening to the next record that I'm bringing it right okay so everybody clear on what I'm doing their way little scratch dropping this song in not making an adjustment to try and line up the beets with wade here mike you know what I'm doing is I'm trying to line the beats up I'm moving my uh volume I mean my pitch fader to get the timing right I'm also making like manual adjustments were to cover all this at the end of the day in a very hands on session wait wait the next record okay, so there was a couple of things I had gotten the the track lined up the meaning that the beats were matched up I got in that lineup before actually brought this in obviously we want to make sure that it's lined up before you bring it in but you notice that I just didn't wait for I mean, you know it's that it just didn't jump in as soon it was like lined up like I waited for a particular section in the song to mix out of it mixing is d jane is this really interesting form of musicianship right? So we're using other people's work other people's music and making it our own and finding a way for these two songs to intersect so this song that I just played his tea lopez it's ah it's a spanish record um we have a new student who came in to jose which ironically I was I was playing that so you understand all of that but this is a song called viva low and I was playing this song and as I'm playing it I'm trying to figure out what the best section is to make out of this song so um I want to like back up really quick and say uh before we mix two songs together what do we need to know? All right? So let's go let's go to like the board here and let me get from you guys what you guys think just even from taking a step back if you were to mix two songs together used to teach somebody how to mix two songs together what is the first thing that you would need to know about both records before you try and mix them together bpm so couldn't be pm now for everybody to make sure everybody's clear bpm stands for what beats per minute and beats per minute okay, so beats per minute now how do you find the bpm small segment multiplied by whatever to make it a full minute ok ok so you could count how many beets are in life let's say we were doing this earlier were joking about the whole sixty seconds and all of that right so you could take so this is exactly what it means how many head nods right? Well let's go back to this beats airhead nods how many head nods are in a minute and that will then give us what the beats per minute is now this isn't going to be it's going to be as close as you can kind of get it but you're trying to do a conversion here, right? So like you're trying to say that there was like what if you stopped and it was like ninety and now that was a minute? So is that ninety four, ninety five right it's somewhere in between that so ultimately like if you're doing account like that's up for you to kind of figure out what that would be so you could do accounting so probably the most accurate if you were to do counting will be the count for a full sixty seconds that way you're not multiplying because if if they're like ninety four and now you now multiply that by three now you're three off which you know it could be three off or whatever if you did twenty seconds so but if you wanted to do a multiple I don't I don't really recommend it because it could put you off quite a bit but you could do fifteen seconds and multiply by four you could do thirty seconds multiplied by two something like that this is not entirely accurate county er because you'll lose count I don't know when's the last time I actually counted upto ninety something or one hundred something or one hundred twenty something in while listening to music so what could be another way of doing this using a tab tempo okay sorts tap tempo okay so there are pieces of software um and hardware that allow you to tap the beating in fact actually can you guys get a close up of my screen here perfect this is going to be pretty small right now it says one twenty on here but I can tap this in so like now you see it's reading pretty consistently at ninety five ok? Eso I can tap into something like that and that didn't take as long as a minute so a little bit less than a minute right to be able to tap that in what is going to do is gonna average my taps so if I have pretty good timing um it'll register a pretty even number quickly now notice this is still like a whole note value ninety five even is what it says doesn't say like ninety five point six or ninety five point five um uh there's also software that we're like run an algorithm and detected like most of the deejay software that's out there will do that so fusion cerrado or using track there um using a program like that it'll automatically reed and run an algorithm and then tell you what the bpm is now for isn't just appear like algorithm but how rhythm is is that happy spell algorithm? Is it we'll go that's I don't know is the last time I spoke algorithm well, if this is wrong, then you go like that no. Anyways, you guys know what I'm trying to say right algorithm alright, so um obviously I'm teaching deejay not spelling um the uh so we've got tapped tempo algorithm county ok, what I would probably recommend is the tap tempo the other I'm not entirely accurate why do you think that the algorithm that is running software might not be accurate like when win would be a case in which it would not be accurate yeah the track has a b p m changed number and uh if the track changes bpm um that could cause for chaos right if the track goes from like ninety five and transitions itself upto like one thirty what is going to do is it's going toe average those out likely or it's going to give you one value and not the other so here you are thinking that this song is ninety five beats per minute but it transitions itself upto one thirty so you had gotten ready to mix out of a song that you thought was ninety five and now here all of a sudden now it's one thirty and now you're caught you know your cotton you don't know howto get out of that okay um one else might be an issue with the algorithm if the tracks started like with a really ambient intro or something like that where there wasn't actual beats yep and it wasn't meaning that it was meeting or it was a like a jazz thing where it wasn't like a super standard rhythm yep yep I mean anything to that like is you know maybe not quantity ized like not quantity eyes, drums and maybe can fluctuate a little bit that might cause it to be also like a lot of old funk you know stuff from like the seventies that wasn't necessarily played with a drum machine but instead was a live drummer that could cause that to be off now bpm is crucial. This is the very, very first step. So before you even figure out like okay, well, this mix with this this is the way I learned by the way, when I would go to the record store and back then it was like vinyl records um was the kind of the primary medium, so I would go to the record store and buy a couple of records. I buy these records, go home and now try and mix them, just try and mix them not knowing this or anything sitting there trying to mix two songs that maybe could never go together because one is eighty five beats per minute and the other one is one hundred twenty five like there would be no way for me that physically get thes to sound good together. Um this is going to save you a lot of time. The other part of this is once you've now have things bpm, you can organize your music in that way. So what I talked about earlier when we first started the segment here like how many of you like other genres of music besides just one okay and most people are the same way like most people that you're going to play for, two are going to want to hear different genres of music so I'd be able to mix those genres of music together you're not just going to play okay? And now I'm on ly gonna play funk and now I'm only gonna play house and now I'm only gonna play hip hop now on ly reggae like toe figure out how to blend between the the genre's bpm is going to be key. You may think that like this would never go with this and maybe based on now the bpm maybe now that gives you insight for what could go together and also maybe what should not go together. Um and here you are here was me trying to learn how to deejay taking these three records and trying to force it and literally spending hours and hours and hours and weeks trying to like get two songs tio go together now. The other thing is if you're not paying attention to be pm, which I wasn't at the time, I then ended up finding two songs that went together and guess what? I always played those two songs together because I knew that those fit so I would always like if I would play this song song a and song be I found that they worked together I could never really play song a without going into b because that's what I was like, oh, no, this is what's gonna work so the problem then becomes well, what happens when song a is no longer taught anymore. Now you have nothing. Now you don't play song be you know. So, uh this is why bpm is really helpful. So my music has actually organized bye bpm, not by genre. I actually organized me music by bpm first and then look a genre. So this is my first step, my first filter, if you will of like what could go with what? Ok, now, as a rule of thumb what I have found by concensus with, like you know some of the other instructors at the academy and just threw experience the range in which you should try and stay tight too that good old number four plus or minus four beats per minute could range wise. Now you can you can change the pitch, right? So if we zoom back out and see the turntable really quick, see, here we go. Nice. What does this do? Okay, well, what pitch? Fader what's. Another one thing that it does besides changing the pitch, yes, yes, so, you know, in a very the turntables a pretty simple instrument right? This is going to be our temple control more than it is our pitch it started as a pitch control it's called the pitch control because that's what it was when this was analog and if you're just to play this by speeding up the record the records passing through the needle faster which is then who caused the pitch to go up all right slowing it down is going to cause the pitch to go down. But now with a lot of digital d jane you're really using this as a tempo adjustment, not a pitch adjustment it's more of a tempo adjustment this one so in layman's terms it's speeding up and slowing down that's what you're going to use this for now the range of this can change also we're going to get inside a little bit more in the next segment after lunch when you start breaking down hardware a bit more but the range can change so I can make this this is a percentage of change khun b eight percent faster a percent slower or khun b twenty five percent faster twenty five percent slower let me see if I could just give you that real quick so this'll turn that's actually ten percent faster that's ten percent slower now notice did the pitch change no the pitch didn't change in the software have a setting said it'll lock the pitch in place, so the pitch will be the original pitch, but the temple will change on, and I'll show you where that is. When we get into that segment later this afternoon I can change the range, though by hitting this button and I can go up to plus or minus twenty percent on the range. So, wait, you're starting to hear its fall apart and sound a bit distorted. Yeah, so I don't want to push it that far and I can actually. Now, on this go up to fifty percent of that sounds right. I can change the pitch range, but ultimately what I think is best is you keep the pitch range as small as it can be and then you stick with this plus or minus four. This will allow for less error because technically, even a song that's ninety five beats per minute and another song that's ninety five beats per minute still were not made to go together, so you're still gonna have to do some work to get them tow line up exactly right even if they are the same bpm. It's not that I can just like up ninety five, ninety, ninety five hit, go! And here we are, plus that's not the reality either what's gonna happen is one song is playing first and I'm going to need to bring this song in on time to make sure that they line up correctly so there's a lot of like variables and we'll get into some of that stuff when we get into the manual beat matching section later this afternoon to, um any questions with bpm so far we don't have any bpm crisis we have a couple questions still about scratching um okay that we could cover um if you want yeah that's him real quick if I just ask one um is it better to eat? Cue the low end out while you're scratching way we didn't get a chance to talk about that in the section I'm glad somebody brought that up by taking out the low end it ends up like making the sound sharper so if I take out the low end go in back in fact you can actually with the low end on you can actually hear some of the base here undertones when my hand hits the record less basie like undertone there. So yeah, I mean taking that that low out which will also get into the queue later this afternoon to but taking that low out can be a good way of like cleaning up the scratch a little bit it's a good question um keep going cool bpm ever is good plus or minus four for the magic number call so if we were to kind of like get real real technical for a second if something is one hundred and twenty plus or minus four would be what what to what? One sixteen to one twenty four okay now obviously because pitches in percentage of change it's going to be less of a movement that's going to cause greater change in bpm islamic sense so like if I were to go plus two percent on the pitch and if it was sixty bpm two percent of sixty bpm is what three right? Yeah yeah right three so that's a big difference in in in change where is like this then two percent of one twenty is is even bigger of a difference number wise right? So that would be a lot to be able to like change so technically though I want you to go off of plus or minus four no matter what the tempo is but what would really happen is plus or minus four sixty four to fifty six is harder to mix there's more margin for error than one twenty to one twenty four because the beats are closer together so in this one there's a little bit easier to mix that so sometimes people start with like mixing faster bpm just because there's a little less margin for error with the manual be matching you'll get a little bit more of a wider range cool beats per minute that's our first check off the box so actually tapped tempo does anybody have an app on them that you do do you have iphone to have android what's the name of the act that you have let me find out real quick anybody else have ah tak temple which is called bpm tap tempo the icon is just be pm there you go like white text and so it just gives you a section can you pull it out real quick and bring it up here? Let's look at it yeah, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna really important when you figured out the bpm set the set everything to zero okay, cool. So you're going to tap this out here and actually wanna um let me get one more jose come on appear or pillow sorry. Did you call you by your deejay name here? I'm gonna have you tap on this guy I might have you tap on this thing so let me have let me see if we can get both of you in the same shot you're gonna tap on this little orange one. Okay, so you're just gonna top every beat and if you're at home and you want to tap along, you can do this too starting to even out tap tempo app is still moving a bit, but around ninety five and this is giving us ninety two before we stop for a second and went back into it so cool the actual bpm yeah, I think this is a bit more accurate this one but the tap temple is good it gives you a good idea and again you're looking for just the ballpark you know you've got to be as close as possible but you're not going to get exactly on like what that is and it's honestly just a reference to figure out what we'll go with what? But you want to be as close as you possibly can just see you know what to reference so there's a guy I think we have a slide with like um there's an app on android uh what's the app calling angela bpm okay, so pretty there you go s o b p m tapped this is I think the android um the iphone one would you say you found had b p m e p m tap tempo tempo and then there's another source which al figure out getting up with the website removing that like if you go in and you actually, uh, type in the google tap tempo bpm tap tempo it'll pull up like a free tap temple that you can use on a desktop like just on a web browser um but always really important to make sure you be pm things out what I tend to do is I'll let you know, cerrado our tractor, run the algorithm for the bpm and figure out what the value is. And then I'll go in, and I'll read it. Tap it just to double check gives a good sort of reference point. Either way, though, all this boils down to you, really knowing your music and that's going to be really important.

Class Materials

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DJ Hapa - Syllabus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Greg R

Caught this course on free stream day, and was totally impressed! DJ Hapa is so good at explaining things, in an easy and clear way! Great attitude and energy too! Really like his teaching style! I learned so much from catching what I did of this that day, and I'm not even a DJ! Lots of respect now for the Art of DJ'ing! Wow. Thank you! Look fwd to following you and maybe even dabbling into some of this myself now :) Great course loaded with golden nuggets for learning the craft!

Arik Cohen

I’ve always wanted to be a DJ and dabbled with gear and software since I was a kid. But as a result I never got really good at it. So I finally decided to give the subject it’s proper respect and study it. Boy am I glad I did. This guy is a terrific instructor. Just enough theory to give you a solid foundation, just enough practice to get you to work on your skills. I’m half way through the material and I’m loving every minute of it. I learned in one video more than I had learned my entire life watching random YouTube videos and talking to others. I would definitely recommend it to any DJ, new or experienced that want to get their fundamentals down cold.


It's great to learn from a master such as DJ Hapa, the course content is the perfect blend of comprehensive content and practical demonstrations. I've learnt a wealth of valuable information! Thank you Creativelive and DJ Hapa for an excellent course

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