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Scratch DJ Academy presents: DJ Fundamentals

Lesson 8 of 13

Segment 8 - Mixer Overview and EQ

DJ Hapa

Scratch DJ Academy presents: DJ Fundamentals

DJ Hapa

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Lesson Info

8. Segment 8 - Mixer Overview and EQ

Lesson Info

Segment 8 - Mixer Overview and EQ

The essential brain of the deejay rig is the mixer uh you can have one, two, three, four decks usually plugged in to let's say one mixer just depends on how you want to use that mixer so the mixer is the hub for everything. This year is the rain t m sixty two this is sort of like a pretty high end mixer, relatively speaking, you know there's a ton of gear out there and one of the things that is really important to realise is that, um, you know, deejay mixers can range from under one hundred dollars all the web too. I mean thousands of dollars for d j mixers and so, you know, really what's the difference between a mixer that seventy nine dollars and a mixer that is two thousand dollars, some of the extra bells and whistles that come with it, but in the most basic form a mixer has inputs and outputs and understanding the signal flow is probably the start of everything. So your music is going to come from a deck into the mixer out of the mixer, into speakers out of the mixer into headphon...

es that's kind of the general routing of everything on dh I'll go back over the routing in a minute like every we talked about like the volume failures, right? So this was this is volume for each track so this is a two channel mixer I've got one for this side one for this side right? If we're looking at a four channel mixer I come over here this is for channels it has uh one two, three, four and the way that it's built is that one and two are in the middle three and then four on the outside but you can assign thes to be different also so depend on what kind of mixture you have this actually do it can we even get a visual of this this mixing board they have in front of me the maki there's essentially eight tracks here of audio right. Alright, this actually sorry this goes up to twelve sixteen sixteen this goes up to sixteen, but like you have these eight, nine and ten on this one eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen so same thing though these air all volume feeders and this has the ability to, you know, mute certain ones on dh then this also has an equalizer so we can talk about e q and what it does, guys, what doesn't? Do you guys know what q does it why you would need it? Yeah, it can boost or take down or completely remove uh certain parts of this frequency spectrum good, very good, so, uh, you can really affect the sound of something by taking out either isolating the lows, isolating the highs, the mids like and certain boards will give you more control, like certain mixing boards will allow you to mix not only just one knob on the low, but maybe they have multiple frequencies at different, uh, ranges that you can then use ah, knob for so a deejay make sure, though, for the most part has these three ik hyun ups, which I also think we have ah, visual on the keynote for that just you can see it like, up close, we'll hear. Yeah, okay, so here, actually, this is a good I'm glad we're bringing this up. This is an old school realistic mixer. Um, you can even see, like, the uv meters on this. I don't think I think it's been a while since anybody's played on something like this, but you can see that the volume failures are still there, like you'd have, right, that you would have inputs that come into this mixer and outputs that go out, you have a headphone q there. Um, no matter what the mixer is, I mean, I play, I play internationally, so, you know, I'm in asia several times a year, I'm in europe several times a year, like you never know what kind of I mean, I've never played off of a realistic mixture in quite some time, but you never know what you're going to get, and ultimately, though, like, I'd still be able to make this work, we don't have a cross fader on this thing, though, but it is a stereo disco mixer uh, you also see that there's ah there's inputs for microphones right there, you can use it so phono one info no too, and in fact, that it's a good point to make, which is for anybody out there that's using using vinyl, and if you're actually using a vinyl record, then you need a mixer that also then has the pre empt in it that will amplify the phone, no signal so that's one thing that this maki board really won't do as effectively, it doesn't have a phone. Oh, in that you can't just take a turntable, plug it into this board, and just so that we're all understanding what is actually happening with the turntable. The turntable signal is lower in volume like it's sending a lower signal in so it needs to be amplified. It needs to be boosted up, so when you plug a turntable into a deejay mixer, there's a special slot on the back for phone, oh it has to go into that slot if it doesn't go into that slot and you plugged the turntable into a line input what do you think you're here to be almost undetectable t ear because it needs to be amplified. So oftentimes the mixers also called the pre amp because that's what it is doing is amplifying the the turntable signal now obviously if you're, um using a turntable go into phone oh, and pretty much everything else would go into line there's a step fritz slot for like a microphone but we can talk a little bit more about the ins and out in second year so if you let me actually I'll play the same record this lopez record here let me take out the hive's mids and lows just you can hear it it's how the song regularly is I'll take out the low with the low back way right now to take out the middle so you can still hear the bass right can still hear those kicks they're gonna hear the higher frequencies to it's just that middle range it's pulled out almost sounds hollow take the high road wait so this is all just being able to find tune the the audio that's coming out the audio that you're sending out is is by using this now why would this even be useful? Why do we even need this any idea yeah for mixing for mixing good like when you're mixing two things together here's the challenge trying to mix two songs together and each one has low frequencies each one has mid frequencies and each one has highs, so if we're on ly blending something overtime like over this period of time which is like let's say eight bars that two things airplane we're going to get a little bit of a volume boost right? Like in that time period because everything is going to be doubled up if it's playing the entire time so when we're mixing at as we're mixing things together it's important I'm gonna go back to this board really quick it's important that let's say this is eight bars you guys see over there okay? So like this let's say this is our aybar course, right? And then let's say this one this is our a bar intro so as these two are plain, what I want to do is I don't want to start fading the volume here because then I'm gonna, like cut the song short when we talked about that earlier of how that probably wouldn't be a good idea everybody wants to hear the course right? So what I want to do is I want to leave my volume still upset your hearing what's going on, but and then at the end it kind of comes off now there's obviously multiple ways you can do this same thing with this like I don't want this to maybe start full volume when it comes in maybe not maybe I wanted to kind of like coming like something like that, so but for this period of time here I've got two things plain and essentially almost full volume this is where the q's gonna come in really handy because the cute I'll be able to take frequencies out but not take the whole volume out so it's not as drastic it ads for more of a blend of how things will go, so let me I'm just going to mix these two really quick and now that I've got all of my q points set up here, let me just make this real quick and I want you to hear makes it one way without the cue now that makes it the other way with the q so you can kind of hear the difference right? So wait so that I basically had volume the whole time ah they're playing together and then now when I switch into the other now it almost feels like something's missing though because they were playing together for so long that then now when I take it out it feels like there's something missing in fact, if you were to like record the audio record me doing this, you will see a spike for when there's two of them are together and then now when I get into just the one by itself then now it's back down to here s o now gonna mix it makes the same mix point with with samy queuing ah e way a lot better right lot smoother and all I did I didn't use all of the gonads I just used the low for that one and that way it assumed the baseline of the new one and assumed the drums of the new one and then it added for a nicer transition a big big difference small knob big difference right and then you also see a lot of guys like really like putting like you know major like especially like idea festival sets and like a lot of like you know dramatic like twisting of the knobs it is doing something you know it's it is changing the frequency but you know oftentimes some guys make it like it's the the craziest thing in the world that they're like all right get the low down uh um okay cool uh any questions of the you go with the cuing okay um cool um I guess this is actually time to talk about filter as well and I wasn't planning on really addressing filter until later but it's actually a good segment to filter so on this mixer if you can come back to the mixer real quick on the overhead you'll see that there's, this blue knob right here, and this is the filter knob. Um what? This one right here. Now, one thing I guess tto make sure to point out is, you know, there will be times where like, especially if you're going out and you're digging and you're you're playing like bars and clubs and lounges and stuff like that, you're playing with buddies or whatever that you might end up on a mixture you've never seen before. It's very, very likely, um, everything on the mixer is labeled it all has a label and it's important to, like, take a second to look at the mixer, everything is going to be laid out, maybe slightly differently, but again, going back to this whole, like there's mohr similar things than differences like there is an e q knob on every single one of the mixture is that we have up here like there's, a high mid low on this there's a high middle on that at all. Is there a filter? Is maybe one of those things that may not be on every single d j mixer that's kind of like a little bit more of an add on feature, so like for that seventy nine dollars mixer that's out there that may not have a phil turn up? On it, but what the filter will do is essentially takes everything I'm doing with the cue and puts it into one nob s o I'm able to either have a high pass or a low pass filter that is working off of a knob and I can adjust how much of the highs and how much of the lows air coming in with one knob though, so here and give you this example, I'm gonna use the filter first I'm gonna go to a low pass the oh wait that's all the way down on the way in the middle this's with no filter on that in the middle. Now I'm gonna go to the high way all the way until that's the edge s so it's taking it's taking all three of those knobs is the high, the mid in the low and it's turning them all at the same time, essentially with one knob. The only problem is that you also don't have full control over how much low, how much made how much high that you're getting. So this does become one of those like auto kind of knobs were then you're getting get like the you know, then the whole thing, if you turn it this way, you're gonna miss all of that, you turn it this way gonna miss all of that override for the existing in q knobs or can they work together? They can work together. What ends up happening is the I want to say that it really depends on the mixer, I think, and this don't don't quote me on this and we can look this up, but I actually think that the e q is first and the filter happens after the s o if I take the low out now it's filtering without the low on it already because I'm doing a low pass, so I'm trying to let the lowest passed through, but there's no lows to pass through a thief so the u is happening first your highs, mids and your loads, those knobs are happening first and then the filter is happening. On top of that, I think that that's pretty much how that works. So if I were to use the filter, I'm gonna make this again and I'm gonna use the filter this time instead of the low um, the loan out, I'm gonna use the filter and I'm gonna do a high pass filter for the first uh, this mix. So wait, so it sounds a little different, you know? Unlike each each time I'm doing it, if I'm it's going to sound different if I use the filter versus I used the cq. S o they don't exactly do the same thing in fact, what I hear is there anything that you guys here when I used the filter versus the the difference does it sound exactly the same to you? No, it sounds different. Like what? What do you here that's a little bit different got that sweeping motion like that cut off point is changing like not quincy is moving in it sounds like something's coming up or going down yeah, right. So you'll hear this a lot in like elektronik dance music like this sort of like sweeping sound right? A lot of that is like this sort of filter sweep that is happening before the drop or you know, whatever's happening so that kind of a effect can be a good effect before, like, something drops in like since this isn't the sort of the right kind of track to do this to you but I do it with all right. So this sort of like sound that like on dh something's happening right? You know, so, um cool. Do we have any questions so far? Well, yeah, michael wants to know do you always take out the loews when mixing two songs were tried variations of other e q so he's saying like kiki is not filter so that he uses accused yeah, I think you know, I use the I personally use the low more than I use like the middle of the high I know guys that like like the middle of the high I think the low is probably one of the more dramatic ones just because it's really obvious that the lows are being taken out uh and if you have two sets of lows on during the mix it can start to get really muddy so I find that when you're blending two songs together that eliminating the baseline out of one of them ads for a better blend I do know guys also that do the reverse and I would I encourage you guys to like try try things try and mix it up like you might find that two songs sound really good together when you take the low out of the one that's coming in you know so the one that you're bringing in maybe you take the low out of that until the last sort of moment in which you switch the lows uh you know um hair I'll accept for you real quick just you can hear that that's a good question wait right so like that requires a little bit more I was trying to do that and then also be able to like bring the volume down the same time so that could be tough because you only have so many hands to be able to do that um but yes, you can see what they sound like an experiment definitely experiment with like the each you experiment with the filter you know, find what it sort of works for you they're cool. Um failures we've always sort of covered that. Just a quick review though you khun set the on some mixtures you khun set the, um the curve for the vine favors so let me do that actually so while I've got this up here there's on this particular mixture there's three knobs that are in the front of this okay, so one knob the left knob is for the curve of this one the right novice for the curve of this and then the center knob is for the curve of the cross fader so let me see if I can there you go and then you also this thing called reverse for each of the failures you have reversed, which is interesting. I don't know if any of you of do any of you know the name d j q. Bert um from the invisible scratch pickles he's a very, very famous turntable ist he's pretty much referred to oftentimes is like the jimi hendrix of d j the stuff that he could do with the turntable and the music that you can make with the turntables like completely mind blowing but cuba it was there's a couple of other guys that were you know famous for the hamster switch but that's what it's called it's the hamster search which the basically swept our switches instead of the left being here the right now is here and the left is on this side so it reversed the fader for the reason why mention cuba is because he came he became really popular at the time and like the nineties in which like there was a lot of videos being put out and he himself was putting out a lot of like tutorial videos of like how to do certain scratches and it's quite interesting because he really spawned like this generation of like turntable ist djs that all used the fader reversed so they would reverse the cross later so essentially there cut on this side would be here so let me show you really quick so so obviously if I'm all over here its finest from all the way over here it's playing this right well if you switch it on reverse so now basically the fader is like flipped around so this would be on this side now the volume for that is still here so for me I could never really wrapped my head around exactly I would get confused if I tried teo do that um and flip them around but the ability is there so if for some reason you know a lot of stuff to that I'm going over is good troubleshooting as well. So, you know, you may walk up to a set of gear or something like that. Maybe you're playing, you know, at a local bar or something like that. And the deejay before you last night used reverse and that's the way he had it set up and maybe didn't, you know, flipped the switch back. So now you're over here, like panic? Like what the hell is going on? This thing doesn't work and it's something as simple is that, like, a little switch? Um, I'm gonna put it back, so I don't forget you can do the same thing on the volume, fader. So instead of this being volume one hundred percent, you can make that being one hundred percent. So when you flip that so that's off that's on, yeah, a lot of different, a lot of different options on and then let me show you the curve, okay? So I'm going right now, I've got it set to slow. So this is that slow fate slow fade, right? Wait. Now put it into the middle s so kind of falls off the edge, right? Like it's, like it's kind of slow now are coming out a little bit and then it's done right there, okay, now. This is a knob so we can get every variation on the spectrum there, so if you find that like oh that's still too sharp there, let me get a little bit more so now I'm gonna instead of being all the way to slow, I'm gonna be halfway between slow in the middle a little bit better, but it doesn't it doesn't have that nice tail at the end of it. And then obviously, if I go all the way to the other side too fast alvaro ume until right there you see how much I move that just that s o that's where we have the cross fader set too, right? We did that earlier today when we're doing some scratching, we set the cross fader to be sharp like that. Um and then we wanted our volume favours to be fade. All this can be customized. I'll tell you the way that I, you know, do this and that I find like a majority of djs use it is with this being slow fade and with this being sharp cut now, if you find that and with it all being normal, not reversed. But if you find that like no, it just makes more sense to me to be reversed or makes more sense to me, teo have this be full volume and this be out, you know, that's completely up to you guys, you've taylor to you, that's. The best part about this gear is that you could make it yours.

Class Description

Learn how to DJ with DJ Hapa of Scratch DJ Academy. This class will set you up with everything you need to know to get your start as a DJ.

DJing is more than counting beats and waving your hands in the air, it is about skillfully bringing together songs to create an experience. In DJ Fundamentals you’ll learn about the theory behind music and the basics of manual beatmatching and scratching. Hapa will introduce you to the gear essential to a DJ set including hardware, software and the functions and features to look for. You’ll learn about breaking down music and analyzing arrangement – skills you can use for DJing and producing remixes or original work.

If you are brand new to DJing or you’ve been at it for a while, this course will give you a solid foundation you can build on no matter which genre or style you prefer.


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

N Ho

Great intro to DJ-ing, covering gear, building blocks of music, beat matching, and lots of little stories about his experience. Also touches on what to think about depending on what kind of DJ you want to be and how that might change the type of gear you're after. As a classically trained musician, I also find his notation for phrases, beats, etc a lot more simple and intuitive than traditional theory. Thanks, great course.