To make a high quality playlist and dj set, you have to work and be organised, the preparation of playlists and deejays sets are absolutely essential to lead crowds to a musical euphoria. Obviously alcohol and drugs help to fill in the gaps in a dj's skills and can even make you forget that he can't mix, but before you embark on a vast campaign of collective intoxication in the hope of getting cheered on at the end of your performance by retards who will no doubt show their joy by throwing up on you, I can only advise you to follow this tutorial which will make you a champion in dj set creation.
Before we start, this post is only meant to help you progress for those who want it. And btw im sorry if time to time you dont understand me.. i try to do my best
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1- LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC AND GIVE IT A SCORE
This step is the absolute basis before doing anything, you must obviously build up a rich music collection and listen to each track and give it a score from 0 to 5. So if you find that the song is :
0 1 2 3 4 5 To rate your track, you will obviously need to use the star rating system available through the id3 tags in your files using software such as iTunes, Tracktor, Serato and many others.
2- SORT AND EDIT YOUR MUSIC TAGS BY GENRE
Assigning a musical genre to a song is not easy when you are a beginner, because it requires a real musical culture. Also, the attribution of a name to a style of music can seem complicated as the diversity is so great and equivalent to a general lack of culture which dictates a tendency to confuse everything. Thus, for electronic music styles, for example, it is necessary to differentiate between "House" and "Deephouse" and "Electro", but also "Dubstep" and "Bigbeat", "Techno" and "Minimal" or "Tek" etc... To make it simple, you have to start by assigning a style representing a musical family that contains sub-styles. For example, we can define as an electronic music family, TECHNO, HOUSE, DANCE, DUBSTEP, BIGBEAT, GARAGE, 2STEP, DRUM&BASS, JUNGLE, TRANCE, DOWNTEMPO, etc... To define a musical family, the tempo often gives a clue for the classification but only the construction of the rhythmic and the song gives reason. Also, for those who know "gesaffelstein" you will not be surprised if I tell you that this artist makes techno, but that contrary to what one could believe, half of his tracks have a BPM (beat per minute) not exceeding 100 whereas for this style, one expects rather 140-160 in BPM.
Then, we attribute a sub-style, we can reuse the same terms and use many other more subjective ones that allow us to identify the style of the song, for example: HOUSE dance, HOUSE tropical, HOUSE disco, HOUSE hiphop, HOUSE rock etc... But also, ELECTRO rock, ELECTRO funk, ELECTRO house, ELECTRO techno, ELECTRO dance, ELECTRO clash etc...
For the sub-style, it is not essential to try to assign it to all the songs in your music base to start with, but as your collection grows, this step becomes more and more important to allow you to quickly select music in order to prepare coherent playlists.
3- ANALYSE THE HARMONIC CLEF AND TEMPO OF YOUR MUSIC
Once you have assigned a musical style to your tracks, you can move on to analysing the harmonic key of your songs. To do this, you need a music file harmonic key detection software like the famous MixInKey. I invite you to use one of these softwares only for the detection of the harmonic key and not for the tempo, for the BPM, it is preferable that you do it directly with your dj software like Traktor which is often much more precise than the key detection softwares.
4- CREATE A PLAYLIST AND ADD MUSIC FROM ONE OR MORE MUSICAL GENRES
Now it's time to start your playlist. To do this create a playlist directly in your dj software or iTunes if you know how to export your playlist to your deejay mixing software. To start, give a name in relation to the musical genre you want to mix, then, when your playlist is finished, you can modify this name by adding a sub style or an adjective qualifying your playlist, for example: playlist: ELECTRO funky cool. Select your music according to their genres and musical styles and add them to your playlist, the more the better, as you will have more choice to select music that will mix perfectly with another. So if you want to make a playlist with a very specific style, add all the music of that style to your playlist. Similarly, if you want to make a playlist with a versus style, i.e. to oppose and mix two different styles like ELECTRO with ROCK or HOUSE with HIPHOP.
5- CHOOSE A MUSIC AND A HARMONIC KEY TO START WITH
Once you have added your music to your playlist, sort it by harmonic key and locate the key with the fewest possibilities. By this I mean a music key that would be rather rare in your music selection. The idea is to minimise the chances of finding yourself with few choices in the middle of a playlist and thus ensure that you can always select music that will perfectly fit the desired musical energy. In this harmonic key, choose a piece of music that would make a good starting point. Of course, it is up to you to judge which one will work. However, you should choose a piece of music with a rather medium musical intensity, so that you can build up the pressure later on. Don't start with music with a high intensity, because you will probably have trouble building up the pressure and there would be nothing worse than starting high and going low at the beginning of the set.
6- CHOOSE THE MUSIC THAT FOLLOWS ACCORDING TO ITS HARMONIC COMPATIBILITY
You have chosen a starting music and it is now time to choose the one that will follow. To do this, you need to know how to mix with harmonic keys. Here, in our playlist creation, I advise you to go for the simplest and most efficient. Select a music with the same harmonic key, test first the music with the best notes and if it doesn't fit because the musical intensity is too strong or too weak, switch to the higher harmonic key, test again and if it still doesn't fit, switch to the lower harmonic key on the condition that it allows you to take back the current harmonic key and to be able to switch to the one above.
Example: you are currently on a music in harmonic key "4A", test another music in "4A", if it doesn't fit, switch to "5A", if it still doesn't fit, switch to "3A" provided that you can go back to "4A" and switch to "5A".
7- CONTROL THE INTENSITY BY THE CHOICE AND THE WAY YOU MIX
The intensity of a track, its energy and its complexity in sound sources, make it more or less adapted to another track and logically orient the energetic evolution of your playlist, of your deejay set. However, this is not the only thing you should rely on, because the energy of your deejay set will also be defined by the way you mix and link your music. Also, the original tempo of a music is not necessarily indicative of its potential. That's why when you choose a track to link with another one, you should try it by mixing it with the key control of your dj software or player ("Keylock" function) with the tempo you want for that particular moment of the dj set. This will allow you to discover that many normally slow songs can be a real bomb when sped up. However, the opposite is rarer and should be avoided, as the slower you slow down digital music, the more you reduce the resolution and therefore the sound quality.
Also, you should gradually increase the tempo throughout your set and not stay at the same BPM. Increase it progressively throughout the mix and from time to time, you can choose to lower it to bring out the bass better for example. To lower it, it is preferable to do it when there is no rhythmic, or else do it quickly and in an exaggerated way to increase it progressively during a rise to create a break effect between two phases of loaded rhythmic.
For example, the famous "Rockafeller Skank" track from "Fatboy Slim" at 1m50s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMrIy9zm7QY
Furthermore, when a track is clean, simple, minimalist, it will not be a good choice to follow a very loud and intense music, but can be an excellent choice for a three or four decks. In this case the selection of 2 single tunes can very well be chained in 3 decks behind a busy track. Therefore you should also test and select a track according to your deejay skills and equipment.
8- FINISH YOUR PLAYLIST STRATEGICALLY
Once you have selected twenty or so tracks that follow each other, you will no doubt notice that your playlist evolves in waves. This geometry is probably the most appropriate for a playlist and a dj set, as you could say that each wave contains a starter, a main course and a dessert. At this point you could choose to stop at the dessert, but as the other guy would say, "we'll have a quick coffee", and then "it's time for the aperitif" and "again".
More seriously, a dj set can be defined in one wave, but a playlist has no limit, so I advise you to try to link several waves, but above all to try to come back to the Harmonic key of the beginning of your playlist and to close it with a piece which links perfectly with the very first piece of your playlist.
This way, when you find yourself in a party situation you can, without any worries, start mixing your playlist at any time depending on what you were doing before. With this type of closure for all your playlists, you can mix and change at any time and adapt perfectly to the audience's reaction without any stress or musical mess.
9- ADJUST THE AUTO-GAINS AND SET THE GRID TEMPO OF YOUR MUSIC
That's it, the hardest part is done, now all that's left is to prepare your tracks one by one to make sure that your dj sets are as precise as possible.
To do this, the first thing to do is to choose a reference music, simple with a perfect regularity in its tempo and sound level.
Choose a track that is not too old and of good quality, it will serve to calibrate all your music.
Now you put this music in the player A, you calibrate its tempo grid once and only once and without touching its gain, you listen to it in a loop.
You then tune the auto-gain and the tempo grid of each music in your playlist according to this reference track. This way, you can be sure that everything will be at the same level and perfectly tuned during your set. This way you can concentrate on the purely artistic part of the dj mix.
Thanks to the new id3 tags, all auto-gain levels will be stored in your mixing software, i.e. the sound level setting will be directly recorded in the id3 tag of each music, which is really convenient (this is the fundamental difference between auto-gain and gain which is not stored).
10- PREPARE THE CUES OF YOUR MUSIC
Last but not least, you have to edit your cues to chain your tracks like an ace and recompose a song live. Also, each dj has his own technique of editing cues, that's why here I will only talk about my actual technique.
Since most dj software and even high-end CD decks generally allow you to store 8 cues per track, I organize my cues in the same way for all my music in order to be able to improvise better, according to my desires and the audience's reactions.
I use Cue 1 to start the song, I place it on the first beat which is usually the bass drum. I generally choose a passage at the beginning of the song corresponding to a rhythmic intro, but not too busy, perfect for mixing with another song.
I use Cue 2 for a flashy snare drum which allows me to juggle and manually recreate a rhythmic pattern with the other cues set to bass drum beats. Or if the song is not appropriate, I prefer to set it to an onomatopoeia
I use Cue 3 and 4 to mark the start of two busy parts of the song, usually the verse and the chorus.
I use Cue 5 and 6 to mark the start of two climbs and bridges in a song. Cue 5 should be less intense than Cue 6.
I use Cue 7 and 8 to mark two interesting parts for mixing the next song, usually I use this hot cue as a pre-recorded loop
11- TEST, RECORD, LISTEN AND REFINE YOUR MIX
That's it! your set is ready to blow the crowd away, but before that, of course, you have to practice, record and listen to learn your music, your set, try different ways of linking, dare to use effects, ascents, beat juggling etc... in short do your job, mix.
I hope that will help you, dont hesitate to tell me what do you think, and tell me if you want some tutorial like this to improve your skill