Vinyl turntable

Basic Beat-Mixing, using Vinyl Records

When you’re new to DJ-ing, some basic notions are essential as you are trying to know as much as you can  when it comes to DJ-ing. The equipment you use is important, so start by looking at some turntables for DJs on Beetlabs.com.

It’s important to know how the “chain” tracks together, and any club/techno/trance is made of 4/4 beats. A bar with 4 beats is the smallest “part, therefore.

Most tracks are made on same general rules (even though some exceptions are common) and you need to recognize the various parts and the transitions between various stages.

mixing using vinylThe lean version of the main theme is the “intro”, whereas the “body” refers to all-sounds-included main theme of the track. Once the most of the music stops, you get to the “break” and the moment where you build up tension is the “climax” of your track.

The “build up” is also important, but don’t “touch” a build up by mixing another record through it.

When you get to use vinyl, getting the incoming record at the same speed as the current speed isn’t sufficient. You have to line up the incoming record so that they are entirely synchronized. The beats of the records have to sound as one

You need to temporarily slow down or speed up the record when you want the incoming record in phase with the current one. Either you break to slow it down or give an extra push to catch up…it’s up to you!

It’s also essential that you learn how to add track structure to manipulating your vinyl and to synchronize 2 records. Try to get 2 records that have the same BMP (Beats Per minute). Put on the first record and adjust the gain for the record so that the VU meter peaks between 0dB and +3dB. Do the same for the second record and see that the volume is the same for both records.

Typically, “Record 1” is the one put over the speaker, heard only by the crowd (real or not). “Channel 1” is the slider on the mixer of the Record 1. The record you “bring into phase” is the “Record 2” and the same goes for the “Channel 2”. You may want to practice “Jump starting”, though.

Always use the slip mats so you don’t ruin your records when using the Vinyl. They let you keep on turning while you hold the record.

first beat for dj

“Jump starting” is when you start a record exactly at a beat, WHEN you want to. This is how you get 2 records to run in phase. It’s important to find the first beat of the record and don’t be afraid to harm your record/stylus or turntable. It’s not a good idea to play it on the safe side when it comes to DJ-ing.

Keep in mind that the first beat of the record typically comes in the first ½ inch of your track. Spin back the record and leave it on the turntable as the slip mat helps you backspin the record with no need to stopping the turntable. Put a finger on the edge of your record and rotate it the way you want it. After you found where the first beat starts, put your finger on the edge of the record/of the level. Pull back and forth the vinyl, as you want to locate the area with the first beat. Feel the beat and practice as much as you can.

Making your first beatYou also need to master the “jump start”. Open both channels on your mixer and move your left hand back and forth a couple of inches so you may repeat the beat when in need. You should repeat the beat that matches the beat of record 1. Repeat the first beat of record 2 (don’t forget about timing), let go and open channel 2. They should synchronize for a few seconds.

Sometimes you may get a difference in speed or phase and it’s better to use only one of the 2 speakers of your headphones. Use your other ear to hear the record 1 and settle for a side. You may hang your headphone around your neck or put one of the pads behind the ear. Tilt your head and push up your shoulder…You do look like a professional DJ right now. Note to self: stay away from the fragile headphones!

Pay attention to the pitch also and stay away from mixing records close to the 0% pitch. Most turntable to show some lowering in pitch accuracy until you feel the slider click. It’s important that every first beat in a bar of the incoming record matches the first beat of your current record.

The more you get into DJ-ing, the more you learn to master the Vinyl and how to match bars of both records, but also the themes and loops.