Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So You Wanna Be A DJ: Part 5

DJ Rap session arrangement in Apple Logic Pro 8
Well hello there friends, it's a lovely day in the neighborhood and I'm happy to see all the great feedback we've been getting from the blog. I'm glad you're diggin it! Rather than drone on about more mixing mojo and blah blah blah... I thought we'd talk a bit about arrangement today.

While you might not think that arrangement is a big deal, I'll tell you its a well known fact that many Dj's wont play your record if the arrangement sucks. Plenty of DJ's, myself included, will spend hours editing their sets to flow together like butta. But thats another story. Getting your tracks to peak and breathe is going to take a bit of schooling and a lot of listening.

You're probably gonna kill me here but again... the first step to getting arrangement right is.... anyone, anyone... Bueller... Bueller... listen to your favs. The importance to listening to your favorite producers in any genre of music is huge. Simply because there is a formula and it works.

When it comes to electronica, gigantic intros are a pain in the ass to mix, as well as not putting beats at the end of the track, meaning more time in the studio editing so that the sets flow. I mean come on will it kill you to put 4 bars of beats at the end? or fade the sounds out so it ends up just being beats. Sounds like im nagging, but you have no idea how many dj's bitch about this, myself included.

Once you've spent time and you understand the formula, a great way to cheat with this is to import the track into your sequencer and simply copy the arrangement. I personally dont do this but it might help you in the beginning. One of the great things about having experience DJing is knowing how the crowd will react. This is something the bedroom producer never gets to see. For example I know that no matter what people say, big drops go down well. You only have to listen to productions by Paul van Dyk, BT, Tiesto, Deep Dish and Dubfire to know that i speak the truth. Same goes for every genre of electronic music, it simply sells records. However it's important nowadays to stay away from the old fashioned crashes and 'ravey' breakdowns. Deadmou5 is a perfect example of how to do a perfect modern breakdown. It doesn't have to be cheesy, it just needs to be powerful. Of course there are some producers who do not want this kind of impact in their music as it would not suit the productions they are making. So it really is a judgement call on your part dependant on the production style you're going for.

That's really about all i can say concerning arrangement for right now, but keep it here for more in a couple weeks. And as always, head over to the djrap website and sign up to the mailing list to get free music every month.

luv and bass, DJ RAP

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