Planned set or freestyle?

Discussion in 'DJ's, MC's & Turntablism' started by DJ Catalystix, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. DJ Catalystix

    DJ Catalystix Member

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    hi guys,

    Im new to this forum. i started off playing midi for about a year, got quite bored of that dreaded sync button and not feeling like im actually doing something.
    On my midi i used to plan my sets. but ive had my new setup for a month now (pair of CDJ 350's with a behringer ddm 4000 mixer) and i absolutely love them. makes you like your doing alot more for your mix.

    ANYWAY....i have noticed with CDJ's (especially as a kinda of beginner) there is alot more room for things to go wrong and i have learnt that sometimes you need to cater your tunes to your audience or the atmosphere.

    So what do you guys think is better with CDJ's. Planned set or just wing it.
     
  2. muzzadj

    muzzadj POW!

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    Blend of both. If you fully plan a set and take some time finding some nice blends/switches or whatever your after it will pay off. I used to write a tracklist before hand whilst playing around on the decks finding some mixes then record following the list. But freestyling it can work just as well or better, you know what to do at the time sort of thing and maybe grab a tune in a hurry to accidentally find the mix of your life!

    These days I tend to put a load of tracks I want in the mix into a folder on Serato and mix out of that otherwise im just scrolling for tunes for too long. Doesn't help my memory is pretty shit so any preparation tends to help. Each to their own on this one i'm sure though.
     
  3. DJ Catalystix

    DJ Catalystix Member

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    hi,

    Thanks for the reply. your right, everyone is different! i think im just gunna learn all my songs inside out and then without even having a tracklist i will know which songs i can mix in to what etc.

    once again thanks,

    Dj Catalystix
     
  4. Agent Smith

    Agent Smith Currently Putins Koala

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    Mixing off the cuff is a real talent. Being able to stand there mid mix and start working out in your head what tune to play next is a fine art IMO.
    It takes time but means you need to know all your records. (or MP3's)

    I'm a fan of planned sets in some respects, super clean, great blends, but I feel the freestyle/off the cuff way really shows how good a DJ you are.
     
  5. DJ Catalystix

    DJ Catalystix Member

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    yeah i understand, mixing with midi is a doss, could sit there and freestyle nearly all day. cdj's it gets abit harder. but ill get the hang of it.
     
  6. Dannyboy93

    Dannyboy93 EL CAPITAIN

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    I tend to put all the records I want to use in my set in my record box next to me then freestyle, then I know what tunes to use and not looking through tonnes of vinyl but a select few that I think will go well together (only do this when recording sets though, when just mixing mix whatever you want to man it's all fun and you find some surprising blends). Not to sure about CDJ's but i'm guessing the same sort of principle could apply where you put all your tracks you want over a couple of CD's and mix through might be an easier way to try and get a set together then you really get to know which of those tunes to blend with each other and what mixes go well out of a select few songs, all down to the way you feel comfortable mixing though mate
     
  7. muzzadj

    muzzadj POW!

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    Definitely helps a shit ton to know your tunes. Comes with time and plays though that does so best jump on those decks :)
     
  8. DJ Catalystix

    DJ Catalystix Member

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    yeah , at the end of the day practice makes perfect. i just really wanted to know what everyones else's views where on this :)

    Once again thank you all for your advice, it is greatly appreciated
     
  9. hyperd4eva

    hyperd4eva H&M SCARVES

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    Iv always been off the cuff.. playing out and recording mixes. I find that It works well.

    Although i cant help but think i could have made my recorded mixes much tighter with a re record and a bit more preparation.

    Its the way i learnt how to mix though. jump on and go for it is the way i work!
     
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  10. MARKLAR

    MARKLAR International Tracksuit Salesman

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    i tend to plan the intro and maybe a couple tunes after that
    then its just freestyle
     
  11. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

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    Every set I play out is off the cuff. I have no idea what I'm going to play.
    It's just whatever vinyl stands out whilst rummaging through. I can't use traktor because I just stare blankly at the screen and I have no idea what to play.
    Free styling is what it's all about. Trying to create a vibe with the right tunes at the right time.
    I do have one or two mixes that I so often but that's it.

    I can never remember what I've played at the end of a set
     
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  12. Teddy

    Teddy 60% Staff Member

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    I tend to plan mixes in groups of 4 or 5.
    have a few tunes i know mix well. i know where to mix and how to eq them because ive probably done these blends a hundred times. then i can then mix in another small group of planned mixes.
    basically treating a group of tracks/mixes like one track. then decide what to play next.

    if ur playing live a fully planned set is a no no. if the crowd isn't feeling the minimal techstep jump funkatron ice walk your playing? then what.. ur just gonna carry on for the next hour playing the same stuff.
     
  13. daveyberkowitz

    daveyberkowitz Member

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    I ususally plan out my first 3 tunes and then just see what comes out after that, u absolutely need to know your tunes well tho to pull it off
     
  14. cele

    cele Well-Known Member

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    depends on where i play, most of the time I plan out my intro (first 3 tunes or so) and maybe outro beforehand, if its an important gig sometimes more (just searching out doubles or nice blends beforehand and noting them essentially)
     
  15. DJ Catalystix

    DJ Catalystix Member

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    hi guys,

    What ive gathered from this is practice makes perfect :)
     
  16. lug00ber

    lug00ber Active Member

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    I plan the first two-three tunes, and practice that opening a few time the same night I'm playing, just to have the start locked down. I tend to need a couple of mixes to get in the groove, so having something that I've practiced is a good way for me to get confidence for the rest of the set.

    Apart from that I try to fill my bag with pairs or thrices of tunes that I know blend well, as well as some tunes that's always at the back of the bag because I love to play them. In addition I usually have 6-8 ragga-dnb/jungle records in the bag, because if everything else fails some ragga vocals and nice basslines usually lure people out on the floor :D

    Packing my bag like this gives me the option to change up styles of I want/need to, but still have some tried and true mixes to draw on.


    Apply same principle to CDs/USB drives/SD cards/playlist in your DVS :)
     
  17. hyperd4eva

    hyperd4eva H&M SCARVES

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    ^^ This geezer knows.
     
  18. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    2nd.. Although I always plan my sets when playing as i generally know the time and crowd. I do like having to switch it if its not working tho, although you need to be organised which im really really not ha
     
  19. hyperd4eva

    hyperd4eva H&M SCARVES

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    easier done on wax though..
     
  20. RUSSLA

    RUSSLA DNBF Monarch

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    maybs, but i hate carrying vinyl about ha! CDs are light lol
     
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