Digital DJs is where the DJ scene is currently at. Vinyl DJs who use traditional turntables are still around but more and more DJs are using CDs and MP3s to make their mixes. Not only are CDs/MP3s cheaper they are a lot easier to carry around to gigs too. Most clubs also favour digital djs with many now having Pioneer CDJs as standard in their club or venue. When you fist start learning to mix beats on a CD mixer, such as a Pioneer CDJ you may feel over whelmed either because you don’t have the physical nature of vinyl to help or because of all the extra things to can now do. Lucky for you we’ve got a guide to help you get started mixing with CDs whether you are new to DJing or just digital DJing.
You’ll need two CDJs or similar. Pioneer make the best CDJs on the market with many DJs swearing by them but if your budget can’t stretch that far you can still get great results with CD Decks from Denon, Stanton, Numark and other companies.
1. Set up your decks, mixer and headphones like you normally would and place your first into one of the CD Decks and press play. Make sure the mixers cross fader is set to only play the CD Deck that is currently playing. Take a note of the BPM indicator, this will help you to be ready for mixing in the next beat. Be careful that BPM counters are not always accurate so try to learn BPM by ear too or to help get tracks with similar BPMs.
2. Put the other CD into the other CD Deck and press play on the one beat of the first track playing. Using your mixers headphone output you can tell if the track is synced with the first one before the crowd will be able to hear you mixing it in.
Mess with the pitch shift/bend controls to get the tracks BPM in sync, you’ll be able to tell if they are in sync when you don’t get double beats happening and the BPM indicators match up. This may take some practise, especially with songs you are new to mixing. Once you are ready move the cross fader over slowly to the other track playing and hopefully all should line up and fade smoothly.
You can also use the mixers EQ controls to blend the tracks output into the one that is already playing. This will help keep harsh frequencies being out from the mixer.