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The Crossfader

Lesson 4 from: Scratch DJ Academy presents: DJ Fundamentals

DJ Hapa

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Lesson Info

4. The Crossfader

Next Lesson: Mixing Based on BPM

Lesson Info

The Crossfader

Teo teo the cross fader okay, so there's a lot of good there's a ton of d j gear and I don't want to get too far into that quite yet because we're going to do it like I said after lunch we're going toe talk a lot more about deejay gear I know there's probably a lot of people out there to that like are either in the market to buy something or like not sure of like what's the difference between this or that going to get into all of that the thing that I want to focus on right now is just one piece of the mixer so essentially this is the mixer this is a deck this is a deck uh I can come over to this gear this is a mixer this is a deck this's a deck in this case I've got a cd j deck hooked up I've got a turntable same thing here this is the mixer okay, so the thing that all of the mixers have though for all the mixtures today or most of them here um is this right here okay, so actually we're goingto some very simple things I've got channel feeders and I've got this cross fader okay? So on ...

this particular one I've got to channel fader so one the second what does this do this channel fader any idea yeah switches between the two input sources of the cross fader oh yeah yeah that's right controls each individual channels volumes exactly is our volume control for each each deck okay um and then the cross fader the cross fader here does what again switches between the two sources right? So I'm all the way over here I'm just hearing the left back from all over here destroying the right that hopefully yeah, exactly it's cued up uh um and if I'm in the middle what am I hearing both s o this is the way that we can then mix two things together, right? And a lot of people like that's your main that's where you see djs the most writers like at a party or something like that where they're mixing tracks together taking like that michael jackson record and mixing it with, you know, whatever that new diplo record and making it work right? And so the, um the way that we're doing that though is if we don't have a cross fair and we'd have two different channels to be no way to mix that audio smoothly. So now um there's a couple different settings on the cross fader which I think we actually have a visual of the cross fader cool I think we have an actual yeah there you go so this is our curve setting on the cross fader and what that does is it it tells the cross fader how drastic to cut or tohave things fade so if I've got it set all the way over here this one is the fade so it's gonna it's gonna fade itself to them this one and then to this one and it's going to almost like x like that that's why it's got that picture that looks like that there's a couple of different ways that this looks now on this particular photo this is of a cross fader which we actually don't is actually from like a pioneer cross fader that has basically these three settings dude either be on this he would be on this which is a little bit mohr of ah of an arc to the fade or in this one which is more of a cut the one we want to have our cross fader on when we scratch is this one more of a cut? So we want to use this as an on and off switch now for some of the mixers there's an actual knob that adjust from basically this toe that so you'll have then this like spectrum that you can use so it doesn't have to be one of these three settings that can be somewhere in between either way, though, I want to turn it all the way to cut its like on this mixture I'm gonna turn it to cut there's a little knob down here you guys get up here you can look at it but there's ah knobbed I'm gonna turn that way now on some mixers to it also has the ability to change the way that the curve is set for the volume failures as well so you can have those set to either cut or fate and the set up that I prefer and that I recommend if you're going to use the cross fader to cut is for the cross fader to be on that sharp cut and then for the volume failures to be on a slow fade so all of our sort of like fading in and out of songs I'm not going to use the cross fader to do that I'm going to do that off of the volume failures when we get into mixing later you'll see how this comes into play um so quick question we have can we get the overhead back on the this mixer right here on the c two? Perfect so question I want to have one hundred percent of the left deck and only fifty percent of the right deck what should this configuration look like little prostate in the middle right fader or your fade the faith in what you want all these somewhere in down behalf or a quarter like that? Yeah awesome I couldn't do this get one hundred percent of this and fifty percent of this with the cross fader like with it being set to fade there'd be no way for me to control that so again this comes back to this issue of control right as a deejay we want to have as much control as possible we're control freaks man like this is what we want we want to be able to manipulate and control every little piece of this and by having the cross fader set toe fade I've now lost control of being able to control the volume that intricate like now it's just like well it's either now fading to this air now fading to that cool um all right cool so now as this now on cut though which will notices you hear my sound now what I can do those I can take this sound this one sound and I can control it but if you don't from all over here you won't hear this so you don't hear that now now you're just hearing the forward but you're not hearing the back because I'm cutting off the sound before its coming back right so this is a way that I can control the sound in fact now I can take this sound and chop it into pieces right? So now that what was now just one sound I'm ableto like manipulate and put into a couple of different pieces all right so this is the crossroad and how that works any questions with the cross for you guys it's a mechanic thing it's a practice thing so we're gonna do a couple of exercises the practice this one the first one we're going to do is this I don't I think I really even need you guys to come up for the forjust a hand but I'm gonna play it for you sticking here it put out your hands if you're gonna scratch on by the way now now we get into two hands at once so you'll have to determine in a perfect world you'd be and perfectly ambidextrous and equally good on both sides on both things most djs prefer one side over the other, so I actually myself prefer my left hand on the on the deck and my right hand on the fader s so it's kind of you'll figure it out, you'll figure out what works for you um and ultimately like I said in a perfect world and being that like you guys are kind of blank canvases right now might not be a bad idea tto practice as much on one side as you do on the other and kind of even it out the problem I have is I have years of practicing this one way so it's even harder to train myself the other way yeah, muscle memory I can do it I just need teo spend more time focusing more on that side ok cool so um with your fader I mean with your record hand what you gonna do is I'm going to play a b okay so get up whatever hand you're gonna use your record hamlet and what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do what's called a drag so I'm gonna drag this sound out over two beats so give me like a half no drag that's how I like this one to fact to moving it slow good forward to back to good forward two back to court too all right so now what I'm gonna do is with the fader I'm gonna use the cross fader and all I'm gonna do is I just want to hear the forward to just try the air scratch first on actually before we do that your finger position is kind of helpful like people have different theories on how to use the cross fader guys I've seen guys do this sort of thing I've seen guys do this um guys that use more of their wrist here honestly probably the best way to do this where it'll then develop the muscle memory for like more complex scratches would not be to do this um and instead use your thumb as sort of a wall against this cross fader and what I'm going to do is I'm going to use my fingers my these fingers could be the two fingers or just one finger this one may be the middle finger this different guys who's different um settings but what you're doing is you're sort of tapping the fader so that this pulls back it's like a wrist motion right so that your thumb is always going to be the wall that comes back all right so it's yep exactly so that you're pushing back against this ok so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to get this sound to be um here's where there's a uh this is a bit of the magic so let me when I'm using the just here in the forward it's going to be back back the fader has gotta close before you bring the record back so it actually doesn't happen all at the same time when you hit when you see me do this you may think that it's all happening at the same time like your hands are connected but they're actually you're splitting your hands down this is like this hand is doing one thing the sands doing another so it's actually one of these right? Eh so this is where this gets a little tricky and where the muscle memory is important so what I want to do first is open the fader uh these can happen at the same time forward, back, back, back, back, back back back now if they happened at the same time this is what I'm in here, right? So you hear that little bit of that all right the little bit of that pool back so I don't want that for this exercise for this exercise we just want only the forward so forward back back forward back back and start slow like I think everybody wants with scratching everybody wants to scratch fast it's actually harder to slow it down it shows more control if you're able to slow it down so start slow and then that way you make sure you're getting the right mechanics down and that goes for every scratch that you're learning try and start slow and then start to build up speed on a lot of this again is time and putting in those those hours putting in that time of practicing the muscle memory so I have a question I hear a little bit of attack on your forward like a the very front end of your forward scratch is that are you coming in at the same pace that you but it's like right yeah you can you can change like that so those would be two different things that I could and in fact this is a good time to show the difference here one of the other ways that I can do this one would be tio this is often referred to as a stab where it's coming in harder um a forward would be a little bit lighter on that but I can change the way that I do that so right so or you could even use let go of the record can use this release which is another another one that we haven't talked about yet but we we can sew there's two ways of this sort of scratching with holding your hand on it and that's we call that the baby scratch where your hand is connected to the record like I was showing you earlier and then the evolution of that would then be that you're releasing the record and catching it at the same point in bringing it back. So actually this is a good time to show the release and let me play beat for that so not to jump around but let me show you the release first because then what we can do is you can either do the forward at using the cross fader is either a release or holding it so you could forward and hold the record or released the record and bring it back so either one okay so let me show you the beat we do a full just forwards uh are just releases so the release would be mark is really important so watch over watch my mark here so now this is a quarter note right it's a coordinate release so now the trickiest part about this is like watch my hand watch this hand watch where he grabs the record you recognize her come over, then. Bring it back because it's not moved, so I want to bring it back there. If I keep my hand in the same place, is what's gonna happen? I've lost my spot, so my hand has to move with that. In fact, I've got this little scratch man who's upside down here it's against the brand policy right there. But that's all right, we'll use it. Uh, what I can do is I need to grab him. So watch my hand. See, I'm grabbing him. Bring him back so that second mark might be helpful. That second mark at, like, nine where your hand is supposed to be is helpful. Then you're grabbing that mark and bringing that mark back yet. Did you add that little dude on there yourself? Or was that are there? No, that was on the record already. That's our little scratch man icon on dso that's actually, on the record. There it is, right set up there. But I just, you know, I was looking for something to use as a visual. And so that happens to kind of be in the general area of what I'm looking for. But, you know, with your own records, feel free to mark them up. You know, even even if uh, the tough thing is when you start to get into some of the digital stuff some of the q points move so it's not the exact same so by marking that record it's more of a of a digital mark in which can kind of be tricky sometimes because you don't have an actual visual of that except for if you're looking at the laptop and that's what you kind of don't want you know just the same as you watch somebody played the mandolin you wouldn't want to watch somebody play the mandolin like this in a screen right? So you want to especially with this you especially scratching in time any kind you want to get into that groove you want to find that that space that groove to get into and you don't want it to be relegated to like watching a screen so especially if you're practicing scratching at home and some of this fundamental stuff at home and you're using you know um software and you control or something do your best to not look at the screen on such a coupon for it needs to be and then really focus on like this here as opposed to like looking at a screen all right? So I did my release so now let me show you now what we can do now so I can either do a forward as release or france when I'm holding it versus when I'm releasing it so the other thing to notice to and this was this is a good a good observation is that I can put more emphasis on the front end of that as much they want and it's how fast that that sound travels through the needle so actually even if I take a step back I could take something as simple as like let's say sixteenth note right? I can take this and change the pitch based on how I push this through the record one way thing timing timing is the exact same but I'm pushing it through a little bit more and I'm like lengthening how much I'm moving that sample through it which is then causing the pitch teo change definitely sounds different right? So like that's another sort of little technique that you can use so any two guys want to get up here and try this real quick this uh come on up here sweet so if you're at home um and you happen to have a fader even if you're just even if you're not using the exact same sound you can do this with the fader and again like that sort of air scratching motion um all right? So let's actually let's do ah let's do release really quick while have you first without the without the fader we're just going to a real simple uh release back release back um quarter note on this okay so um and feel for you guys just jump in when you're ready yeah so get this way try and find that rhythm released back back back back back back way back way on foot to make sure you're getting a little forward almost like you're not quite like a plane taking off wait that's already like get lost that's alright let yourself find that group okay all right cool so now we're going to do a nice job so now we're gonna do is this instead of ah coordinate were used a half so will be released s o release back back release back backwards slow down released back back so let me I'll do it with you for the beginning part so this before can move together so it's released back back back back back back before whenever you ready back back back back release back back good forward back that nice nice forward back back good forward back back forward back back yet for that back yet pulling back that there you go good forward back back and if you say it too that I'll help you out I know it's stupid but if you're saying it your hands will do it so forward back back release back back yep disease back back back back could police bag with max released back back belief bag back good all right, sweet sweet so good I want to give you one more I want to give you one more before we uh before we're done we're gonna break this module so um one more and we're going to do is the same sort of thing with the fader except for I'm now going to cut it into three pieces so instead of just one we're going to now do that this is called the transformed scratch okay and what you're going to do is it's your hand is going to go one two back to same motion so release back back release back back same thing said for this time I'm gonna use the fader and click it three times forward and three times back so be it four, two three back two three now my hand has to move slow this hand has to move so otherwise there's nothing to chop because if it's moving fast there's nothing for teo chop up ok, so one, two, three and I want you to stay practice that with three first so one two, three back to three and then you can do for five you know people go crazy on the on the transform but start with three and try and get it even because the toughest part like I said is this separating the hands cool uh awesome is there anything else that we yeah there's two questions that I want to ask would you recommend minimalist equipment for beginners as opposed to having the best money can buy just for the learning like for the sake of the learning process would you have somebody just by the rat of stuff if they can afford that are like start my friends at my friends that the gear companies won't like this answer so much but it's true I think like when you start off I think before you really know like hey yes this is exactly what I want to do my recommendation is if you don't have all this money to toss at gear don't do that quite yet you know there's so much new deejay year that comes out because technology is such a part of our world there's going to be the new this and then the new that six months from now a year from now so what I would do is I would try and work within the budget that you're looking to spend like definitely don't go out and get you know spent six grand on gear if you dont got if you don't have that to spend like spend what you can on get remember too there's other costs are going to come with d j um and you know from my perspective education is probably the biggest thing to spend on now I would spend on education before I spend on gear um for you guys, just because you don't know how you're going to like this and ultimately, like, you don't want a piece of gear that you spent two grand on sitting there collecting dust, I mean, I've been there with gym equipment that's sitting, you know, that ends up sitting at the house and then, like, you know, it would be better off working with a personal trainer and you know, that would be a better, um, value spent, yeah, um, that great question, though, and we got one more, um if you're if you are, comptroller does not have a fader switch or knob like the deejay black farah from brazil. So somebody's watching from brazil, black bears watching from brazil so that's not the model of this it's tough if the if the fader doesn't have a um if it doesn't have a sharp cut, it just means that you need to bring the fair over farther. So there's a point where will cut off and it's not as tight then so your emotions going tohave to be longer of how you cut it off, you know, kind of old school trick that guys used to do would be to take a failure that didn't have as sharp of a cut stick, like a piece of like heavy duty duct tape or something like that. That would block where the end of it wass to them. Be able to, like, create more of a sharp cut on it. It's kind of ah, literally putting duct tape on the mixer. But maybe that maybe that works. And try that out.

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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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