There is no great art to beat matching
, anyone can do it. Once you learn
to beat match, then your style
on the wheels of steel
can develop and you truly become a dj
Here are the basics to get you started.
First you need to have the basic set up, you know, two turntables
(I wouldn't use anything but the best if you can (Technics SL-1200MK2
s), a mixer
, decent styluses
help, too, but anything will do to start, headphones
, receiver, speakers, yadda, yadda, yadda. Oh yeah! at least two records
, hopefully of the same music genre
. Start with house music
for the simplest mixing
, straight 4/4 beats
are just a step away from your heartbeat...easier to 'get into'.
Place the record
s on the turntables
We will call them TT-A and TT-B. Turn them both on so they are spinning. Double check and make sure they are on the right speed
(33 or 45). Set the pitch control
to 0 (zero) so that the green light is on.
Move the crossfader
on your mixer so that it only allows sound from TT-A to come through the speakers.
While music from TT-A is playing, fiddle with your mixer so it lets you hear sound from TT-B in your headphones
Place the stylus
on the record on TT-B, it should be spinning, so you will need to use your finger to manipulate the record in order to do the next steps.
While listening in your headphones to TT-B, wind the record back or forward (depending on where you put the stylus down), slowly if you need to, until you get to the first bass beat
. You might need to listen to it on the speakers a few times to figure out just where this is...some records are tricky and the kicks
can fool you.
OK, you have found the first beat, use your finger to practice moving the beat over a few times, wind back, move it forward, wind it back move it forward, get comfortable "scratching" the beat. Bring the record back to the first beat, holding it just before it hits that first beat. You are hearing this in your headphones.
Remember the record on TT-A? Is it still playing? Good! Pay attention to it for a minute. Can you find the rhythm
and an eight-count
? To identify an eight-count, let your head kind of bop around with the music and start counting 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, until *you* feel in rhythm with the song. Can you identify a measure
(usually 4 eight-counts)? Great! Usually with house music there is something different about the music every four eight-counts, something new is added or something is taken out, or the diva
starts to sing. Use this to help you decide when to mix in a new record.
So now you are listening to music on your speakers from TT-A, and holding a record still (while the platter is spinning beneath it) on TT-B. Your headphones are half on your head, that is, you have one ear in a headphone, the other is free to listen to the speakers. Listen for an eight-count to end on TT-A. As the next eight-count begins, let go of the record on TT-B. Ideally, the first beat of the new eight-count on TT-A will happen the same time the first beat on TT-B goes off.
Now you are listening to two different things at once, with two ears, something you are probably not used to doing and will only get used to with practice (have faith - it eventually sounds natural!)
Use your finger to conrol how fast/slow TT-B moves, so you can keep the beats aligned with TT-A. This also takes practice, 'control' is the key word here. If TT-B feels a little too slow, use your finger to speed it up, keep winding it around the spindle
until the beats are together. If TT-B feels a little to fast, slow it down a bit using your finger,again, to control how fast the record moves.
What about the pitch control
? Now is the time to use it. Once you decide if TT-B needs to be faster or slower, use that knowledge to adjust the pitch control(+faster - slower). If you have gotten the two records beat matched using your finger to contol TT-B, move the slider
on the pitch control up a little or down a little until the record on TT-B stays in sync with TT-A without you keeping your finger on it, controling it.
Bring the crossfader over to the middle and listen to your mix on the speakers.
Hooray! You did it! Practice
a few thousand times and become a Superstar DJ