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Scratch DJ Academy presents: Intermediate/Advanced DJ Strategy

Lesson 10 of 15

Organizing with Crates and Playlists Part 1

DJ Hapa

Scratch DJ Academy presents: Intermediate/Advanced DJ Strategy

DJ Hapa

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Lesson Info

10. Organizing with Crates and Playlists Part 1

Lesson Info

Organizing with Crates and Playlists Part 1

It's important, though, that I figure out where to store all of my music. This becomes like your strategy. And again, however you figure out, you know what works for you may be different than the guy who's sitting next to you. So what I can really just speak on in terms of my own experience and what I use. So the way I do this is, Let's see, I'm gonna create a new folder and I'm gonna put this new folder in music, um, up his music for D. Jane. That is also really important. I'll say it again. Not all the music that you download will be music that you D J with try and create separation there so that you don't get confused so that you're not flooded with tracks because here's what ends up happening. You then open up cerrado or you open up tractor whatever you're storing all of your music in and you're playing live and you're looking for the next song to mix in and you're at, Let's say, 128 beats per minute and you're looking for what to play Next. You're scrolling through your tracks, sc...

rolling, scrolling, scrolling scrolling. If you've got stuff in there that like there's no way you would even play like you wouldn't even dream of playing that song ever like. It was like an interlude from on an album like It's Probably Not Good that that's then taking up space in that program. One. It's gonna make your laptop runs slower because of trying to process all of that. But to is it's just getting in the way of you finding the actual song that you do want to play. So it's really important that you make that separation. So I'm gonna I'm gonna actually pin this folder. Um, let me put it to favorites. But and I found that this is a lot faster when I like, pinned the folder because then I could do things like this. I can take Francine and just dump it in there. So I've now moved that, um, that's now there. Um, and now, if I were to come back to ITunes, ITunes has gotten a lot smarter in terms of like looking for your files and things like that. Like, I think that they've tried to fix that a little bit more before. Like it was very sensitive, and you end up like where the file is missing if you're them moving files, and that's what's actually happening. So I think it's important for you to know that and recognize that, though, is that if I have a file and I've now saved it, um, and put it in one place and now I've opened up cerrado or opened up tractor and said, Hey, this is my music and it's here in this folder and then you then it's like, analyzed. You've played it a couple of times like That's great. And then now somewhere you've now moved this At some point in time, you took it from this folder and instead put it into some other folder that now when ITunes, cerrado or tractor or any of these programs go to look for it, they're going to go to that first folder, and it's not gonna be there. So it's gonna turn up with an error message. And really, all that is is like it's just important that if you've now moved that file that you then say, Hey guys, this is where I moved that file to so often times will be a prompt, and you'll just have to re select where that was located. Or you could just drag this and put these where you've moved it to and put it back into the software. Cool. Um, all right, so that's in. And now I can only move that Jae Seo record, okay? And then I can move this and put this into happens. Music for D. Jane. And so then these air here. Now, what I can do is if I want to Now put this into, like, one of our programs here. This is pretty cool. I can then just go in and take my list here. Um, it's like both of these. And if I just drag this toe my playlists section here, it'll create a create with those two songs so I can grab as many songs I want. I can throw this right in here, and it'll create a crate inside here. Now, a crate is, um is like a playlist. Um, you Actually, there are settings that you can then have your ITunes library be read by the deejay software. The consensus from, uh, the D. J software companies is that you don't do that. That you don't read ITunes in that way because then now you're having to, uh, applications talk to each other and that doesn't allow. Like, if, let's say, ITunes updates. But it's not supported by the new cerrado deejay, then they're not going to talk together. They're not gonna communicate together. So the idea from their side is that, like use their native playlists instead of using the ITunes creates, there's an easy way to then do that. If you wanted to, you could set up if you like. ITunes. You like the way that ITunes works. And you'd rather organize an ITunes, organize an ITunes, make your playlist, then take that playlist. Do Almost What I did is select all that music that's in the playlist. Drag it over and make it create inside of, um, your deejay software. Um, it's just gonna be important for you to remember what is updated and what's the latest one. If you're doing that, um, course I've got my creating I can rename. This happens music for D. Jane and I've got my tracks in here now. Cool. So, um, that is one way to do this the other way I can do this as well as I can now make a not only cannot make playlist, but I can make, um, sub crates of that like it could make sub playlists of that. So if I wanted to, I could take something and create a new crate, which, by the way, did that right here. Little plus there. There's two types of create. You can make these regular crates or you can make the smart creates. And I'll show you what a smart create does here in a second. But I just dragged it onto it and you'll see it made a sub great. So the sub crates can be a good way of like organizing. So on my computer, which you can't see, Um, my what? How I've organized now is, um I'm telling you, always lose these markets. Ontario. Um, how I have my music organized inside of like, cerrado and tractor is I have dance for this is a big category, and then I have sub creates of that, and then I have sub creates based on like, um, tempo. They have some sub creates that are based off tempo. So, like something like, you know, 95 plus bpm and then like something like, you know, 100 plus bpm. So I'm sorted in this way inside of inside of here. So if I go to this creating said otherwise, I have stuff that's like, you know, big room, and I've got then in there, all of like my big room like a tronic e g m tracks that are that are there, you know, I have some crazies base this way, and then I have, like, non dance floor, which then has sub creates is well, so like, you know, if I'm playing more of like a poolside lounge or, you know, I'm playing in like the lobby of the W Hotel or something like that and like I'm playing stuff that's like, not meant for a dance for that, Then I can go into these sub crates and then I've also saved, like Come. I'll do like sets. So, like, you know, things that are meant for a particular like type of gig. Let's say you know, so something specific, like for the Bradshaw wedding you might want to then like that would exist in here, so it would be like Bradshaw, and then maybe I'd have even sub crates of that that are like, you know, um, based off that does this. This is how I've organized This is what? How? I've made sense of it. Um, Cerrado deejay allows for sub creates tractor does not yet eso in tractor. I have mork rates than because because I don't have the ability to make some creates yet. So, um, in tractor, though you'll see it here, um, playlists will do the same sort of thing. I'm gonna make a, um I'm gonna make a new playlist. This. I want toe create a new playlist first. And this will be APA's music for D. Jane. Here's my playlist. I can then take this music, drag it in here, and this is where my tracks are. Then, um, And now, um, and now I'm ready to go. Um, with what? This is up here. You'll notice this section here. You can actually take these crates and make them closer so that you can then jumped to him here. So there's hot keys to be able to jump to those types of crates that are right here. These air, like your favorites. So again, use hot keys to jump to that. Um, and then in this there's no hot key to jump to those crates. But any questions? So far, we've got one when winning. Why would somebody want to use this? Smart. Great. Okay, so let me pull up the smart trade mark. Yeah, I actually, um I just got, uh, sort of hip, too. Smart crates more recently. And I haven't really. To be honest, I haven't really used smart crates too much, but I love the concept of it. And, um, the idea here is if I click on a smart create which I think they're smart creates an ITunes now, yes, Smart playlists. Smart playlist in ITunes. So the concept is, I believe the same in both, um, ITunes and in cerrado. Let me walk you through the one in cerrado first, and then we can look at the one in ITunes. Um, so you can add a rule. The rule can be, can follow a couple of different things. So this is based on time, right? So I added I added this into my library before 10. 22. Well, that's gonna pull up everything. Because today is today is 10 22 right, So that's gonna pull up everything. So I can say added, after 10. 20. So that's gonna pull up everything that I added from yes, from yesterday and today I'll put in all put into here. Okay, so let's see what that does save there. This is everything that was added in the last two days to this computer. So that's pretty cool. And then I can actually then create more rules here. Um, I can create another crate has different rules. So this was like, added, uh, in last two days, okay. And then I can let me make another smart create here. Um, okay, so let's say added after 10 21. And let's also say that's at a rule. So here's the other categories for how you can then break down the create so it can be stuff that was added since yesterday, and also at a certain BPM or from a certain label or, um, from a certain artist. Ah, I mean, this can get pretty specific key. You talk about key, which we mentioned key really quick, we'll get we can talk a little bit more about key. That, to me, can be an entire other conversation key. The biggest thing I do want to say about key before, um, that I want to talk about in this seminar is there's a program called Mixed in Key that is pretty popular that, like a lot of DJs, utilize um, this program called mixing key. What it does is it analyzes your the key of the record, and then it outputs a certain value, and it uses this color wheel to then tell you what would go with what? The only challenge that I have with mixed in key is if you're using a program to detect key and you're relying so solely on that. But you have no concept of like when keys actually clash yourself that that becomes then a crutch for you. So ultimately what I would and then the other piece of it is that there are definitely songs that change key within the song. So if you're if it the same kind of thing with BPM, right? So for a track that changes BPM analyzing the V p m. And then saying that well, this is 120 beats per minute when in fact the BPM changes, then is inaccurate. Same thing with key. If this is spitting out that, hey, this is in a minor. But later on it changes to a G minor that like you then and you're going solely off of that in terms of well, this will sound good with this because mixed in he told me it would that then that becomes a problem. So all I would say is like use it as a reference point if you like. But ultimately, like, I think it's important that you train your ears to be able Teoh detect when there is a key clash and it doesn't sound like things fit well, the other thing when it comes to D. Jane, is if you are a deejay and or if you have mixes where things melodies are playing together over an extended period of time, like over 16 bars, 32 bars, 64 bars and you have melodies that are playing with one another and are complementing one another. Key is super important. It's super important that that's in key, but if you're doing mixes where you're going from one record to the next and that you're using an instrumental section and you're using, Maybe, like the instrumental section that is mostly drums to switch than the key is kind of a relevant because you're using the drums that are matching up with the track that has vocals and melody and drums as well. So, like the key part then becomes I often times here DJs, you know, that are so adamant about key that they won't even try to mix a song that I won't. No, no, no, that won't work. Well, it might work, you know, tested out. Try it, see if that works. Um, and definitely depending on how you mix it. Uh, that's ah, that's gonna be ah, determining factor too. So that's kind of my bit about key, but you can Certainly, there's a field for key. You can put key in. Um, it's sometimes would be a great idea to know what's in what key. It's a great also, if you're not sort of a classically trained musician or don't know key, like I personally am not a classically trained musician. And don't I couldn't play for you like a g ah g minor chord. That's not something that I could do. Um and so this could be a good like education. Of what? That then Sounds like you can delve deep into that, like we talked about earlier. There's probably a ton of other classes on that even offered on the network where you can learn about that. Um, cool. There was one question just came in. Have you ever used other sound organizer's software, like Audio Finder or the open source software called Clementine's I First night? I personally, I'm not familiar with either of those, but I'm definitely gonna make note of both of those because I want to check those out. So can you can be like, Yeah, totally put him in the chat to Rob Zach. Put him in the chat. Clementine's is the open source one and then audio finder Come in Time and Audio Finder. Yeah, I also heard of some DJs using simple finder folders. Is that relevant simple finder folders? So I think maybe just searching folders Um, yeah, okay, So, like, that's a That's a good point, like a finder window. So, like if I wanted to like inside this hoppers music for D. Jane, right? Like, let's say I created different folders and I said, like so I know a lot of people are doing that by, like genre, right? So they're saying like, OK, this is my hip hop folder. Um And then I'm gonna create another folder for, like, house music, um, and then another hoops on another folder for, like, reggae. But the only problem that I've found with this way of doing things for me is that a lot of these songs start to blend together genre wise, so it becomes a little bit difficult for me to like. Well, do I put that record in this folder? Do I put that record in that folder? Where does that even go? Don't put it in both. But then what's the point of that? Now, I've got two of the exact same file. Um, and now, like that creates more confusion. So that would be my only a challenge. That I would say with, like, trying to do like, finder folders is that finder folders by genre might not be the best idea for that. You could do things. Maybe by maybe by bpm, you could do maybe finder folders by BPM That might help. Or maybe you could take, like maybe I could do that with, like, my categories here, like create like a dance floor folder and then I can not. The only problem that I have here to sometimes is that, like I have something that's in like the non dance for folder that ends up like end up like creating a set around like, you know, I want to paint on where I'm playing like maybe it's like Deep House and like, That's also gonna then, like, work for a dance for so some of those some of those tracks maybe I would like, put in there or whatever. So you just kind of have to figure out what like how you want it toe live the the interesting thing about like I tunes and going back to what I had said originally. The interesting thing about ITunes and cerrado and tractor and these types of programs is that music is not duplicated and put into these folders. So it's literally just a way of like organizing without moving things around without having a double things up. And actually, speaking of doubling things up, I want to go back to ITunes really quick because some of you might have this setting that is checked if you go toe advanced, which David does have this check. So this is Ah, good thing to make note of So which is probably why it had an easy time reading this. This check right here. Copy files toe ITunes media folder when adding to library. What is that going to do? Any of you guys here in studio have any idea? Yes, sir. You're filed. Teoh didn't exactly that. It's going to double up the file, so your file is located in downloads like like the J C 01 that I just downloaded is located in downloads. And then it's also then copied in tow. ITunes. So it's living in two places. Um, let me see if I can find that. So So this song, this is here and me see where this is, So get informed that OK, so this one is Yes. I tunes Media Music Jae Seo and Sasha Grey. Unknown album, Heat of the Night. That's where that's at. Okay, um and then my guess is, if I were to go to actually let me go back to that Where is this one? This one is different. This one is music, hobbies, music for D. Jane, The two different files in two different places. Uh, you can't have two of the same file. No, good is everything that you then end up doing to that file. The notes that you put on the file, the cue points you put on the file. Everything that you do with that file is then to that one file. So then now, if for some reason you then are opening up this other one, it's gonna be missing all of that information. There's really no point in having two of the exact same thing on your computer, and it's literally just taking up space. So it's something that comes as a default. If you've never unchecked it, it'll probably be checked. So what I would recommend is like to go into ITunes and see now the positive part of this is then that ITunes is never gonna not know where this is. If you didn't move anything around because I could move this file and move it somewhere else, and it wouldn't matter, because ITunes is still reading it from that ITunes folder. So ah, you know, technically, if you deleted, if I deleted this song. Um, it would still be in that in that ITunes folder. Um, so I need to make sure that, like, just check your check your settings, check your preferences to see how your set up.

Class Description

Ramp up your skills in the booth and in business with training from DJ Hapa. Intermediate/Advanced DJ Strategy will teach you the business of DJing and give you some essential technical skills for backing it up, no matter which genre or style you prefer.

Intermediate/Advanced DJ Strategy is Business 101 for DJs who want to know more about creating a company, building a brand, and marketing their skills. In this class, you’ll learn accounting essentials and how to get more gigs using press kits, social media, and basic marketing principles.

Hapa will also give you tips on improving your live performance – with training on everything from using the microphone as a tool to tempo changes and effects. You’ll also learn a little more about Serato and Traktor and intermediate techniques and strategy to optimize the software.

If you’ve mastered the basics and you are ready to do something more with your DJing skills - don’t miss your chance to learn from Scratch DJ Academy veteran, DJ Hapa.


a Creativelive Student

This was a great class. I am an up and coming DJ. I have been teaching myself for the most part. This was the first actual class that I have taken and it was very good to know and hear that I have been teaching myself properly. It was good to hear that I am on the right path. I was also able to pick up some tips on what I can improve and change about how I proceed in my journey. Would like to have more classes like these. Thanks.


This was a great class with a great teacher. I just started working for a DJ company and wanted to learn about the craft. It was a great class to learn the basics to really get started. I highly recommend to anyone that wants to learn about DJing.