Traktor Tips Reader Will writes: “I am using Traktor Z1 with an iPad and just wondering if you have any good tips for mixing into the last track played by the previous DJ if he/she is using analogue setup (e.g. vinyl/cdj)?”
Traktor Tips says:
Whilst the Traktor DJ iPad App is a fascinating and useful piece of kit it can cause some issues when using it in a real world DJ experience such as taking over from the previous DJ.
This is also a problem for DJ’s that use a sync only mentality when using digital DJ software.
Whilst the full version of Traktor Pro has a ‘Tap‘ function to set the overall tempo, the iPad does not have this feature. (Something I suggest they add) The iPad does have a tap function to set the tempo of a track when lining up a beatgrid, but this does not tell us the tempo that you tap.
You do have a few of options however:
- Tap Tempo App
- Intro Track
Tap Tempo App
A quick search in the iPad App store for ‘Tap Tempo’, returns 27 results.
Many of these apps can be used to determine the tempo of the last track your opening DJ is playing by simply tapping the screen. Some maybe more accurate than others, so you may want to spend some time researching or reading reviews.
As Traktor DJ shows the Tempo to 2 decimal places ‘123.60‘, I would suggest looking at those that provide the tempo to a decimal point to provide more accuracy.
Whilst this will give you an option of setting your first tracks tempo, it’s never gonna be as accurate as using the real deal and mixing a track in.
Perhaps Native Instruments need to build in a nudge function into their iPad App so you can correct the timings if your first mix is going out?
As Will, the writer of the question, has also suggested in his email; effects are one way of making the transition.
If this is one way you are going to have to mix out of your warm up DJ’s track, then I would suggest learning how to ‘read’ vinyl.
Vinyl has different textures and shading at different places on the record. Look at some vinyl and you will see a pattern. You can easily tell where there are breakdowns. Usually when the vinyl has a section on it that appears lighter or darker in colour, usually smoother; there’s likely to be no beats. This is the spot where you will want to make your mix.
Don’t be scared about asking the DJ before you, if there is a breakdown in the track at the point you see on the vinyl. DJ’s are not expected to know every track under the sun.
Once you have a breakdown located you can apply some filter effects using the mixer on his/her track and then slowly bring in your track on the iPad. You may even have a filter applied to your music too, to help blend them as best you can.
I would also use a track with an intro that has no beats. Use your ears to determine if the keys are gonna match and you’ll be golden.
Some DJ’s have a signature intro track, that announces who they are, or simply just a slow building into of some sort.
Having a track like this can be the perfect excuse to simply fade out the previous DJ’s track.
- Fade it out slowly though and don’t be rude.
- Make sure the main part of the previous DJ’s last track has played it’s banging part.
- Never take a DJ’s track out too early and definitely not suddenly.
- If you’re gonna fade it out, do it slowly.
If there is a microphone and you have good presence on the mic, grab it, and give respect to the previous DJ. Get the crowd pumped on his set, ask them to applaud him, saying something like, “Give it up for DJ Whatever….”. Allow for some respect time as you fully fade out his track and then fire up yours. Don’t introduce yourself, just get on with it.
Whatever method you decide to use, remember DJ etiquette when taking over from another DJ, don’t disrespect his track, don’t think because you are on after him that you’re better than him, thank him and praise him for his musical greatness!
Make the changeover fun, it doesn’t have to be a serious battle of egos.
What do you all do? How do you usually take over from a DJ? Have you ben in the same situation as Will, what did you do?
Let’s help each other out in the comments.
New to Traktor and want to figure it all out Quickly?
Sign up for the Traktor Basics Course and Learn at your own pace.
Want to receive extra tips in your inbox?
Sign up to our mailing list