June 18, 2021
Most DJs with weekend gigs tend to do their jobs then and focus on two other things during the week: rest and recuperation. If you’ve been doing this long enough, you have your go-to digital crates together and your gear routine locked. But every DJ needs to freshen up their weekend sets every once in a while, and there are a few easy ways to do that. Here are a few weekday tips for preparing your weekend set that will help you expand your mixes each week.
Did a particular mix really hit with the crowd? Did a really great mix idea have people heading for the bar? Your time during the week is a time to review what works and what doesn’t work in your weekend set. It’s a good idea to pay attention to the records in your digital crates that have similar vibes. Take time during the week to group those tracks together. Chances are those songs with a similar vibe could work for future sets. Grouping songs with similar vibes will boost your creativity. It will also free you from thinking off the top of your head or frantically searching what to play during your gig.
It wouldn’t hurt to also take note of the records you play that work with your audience as well as the ones that don’t work. Test your tracks and ideas with various crowds, because not all songs resonate with all audiences. Notate which tracks work with particular crowds, and you’ll give yourself a leg up when choosing the next hit with your listeners.
ListIt is a great tool that can help you see your mixes at a glance and reorganize files to switch things up. It’s as easy as dragging and dropping files from your library onto the ListIt tool, and it automatically creates a text file that can be edited. It’s a really great way to create documents of files you use from week to week, so that you can freshen up your set for potential regulars at your gigs or residencies. ListIt is a tool that would be great for current prep as well as archiving your sets for years to come.
When you prepare your weekend set, you have more resources at your fingertips than you may initially think. It’s easy to connect with music service providers and see what’s trending on their charts and new music lists. Most digital record pools have monthly and weekly lists on their official websites that reference top tracks and downloads. You can sample songs, blends and transitions to see if they’re something that would work for your weekend set. Other music service providers curate and update Spotify playlists you can check each week to see what’s new (and you don’t necessarily need a paid subscription to check out the playlists).
It may be a more generalized search, but you’d be surprised at what you could find by searching certain hashtags. #NowPlaying or #NP searches will bring up songs from all over that people are listening to. This might help spark creativity as you look at songs that you haven’t played or thought about.
Obviously, you can’t be in front of your home setup 24/7. But you can have mixing on the brain while you’re out running life errands. There are a few mobile apps out that create mixes out of your playlists of songs, and those can help you hear for yourself how new tracks may work in your upcoming weekend set.
Serato’s “Pyro” app is a great app for setting up and previewing mixes. Beat-matching and timing glitch at times, and that’s a good thing. (If it was perfect, you would be out of a job.) But for the purposes of getting mix ideas, it’s definitely a great way to hear what new combinations sound like. If you arrange songs in an order you want to try, you can save it to organize your crates later (or play it again via the app). This is just one of several apps that can help you stay in a forward-thinking playlist mindset as you go about your week.
It’s good to get in a solid groove when it comes to what you play and how you mix your songs in your primary weekend set. But don’t be afraid to try some new things throughout the week to keep your weekend music libraries fresh and your regular crowds anticipating what you do.//php comments_template(); ?>