When starting DJing may be a bit difficult, it sometimes makes you frustrated. If you want to find a music genre for beginners, I think House Music is suitable for you because of its House beat’s nature and structure. Let’s follow our article to know how to DJing House Music.
DJing House music will require you some basic skills such as mixing music using Turntables, CDJs, or a DJ controller with a DJ mixer. You just understand song and beats’ structure to master phrase matching and beat-matching. Using the EQ knobs can smooth mix transitions while mixing music
After reading our post, you also know some tips and techniques to add to your knowledge about DJing House music.
Table of Contents
Learn about DJing House Music
Before working with the House music genre, you should equip and master some basic knowledge about it. Thus, you can mix and blend House tracks smoothly without trouble.
House Music’s Beat Structure
The House music has 4 x 4 beats. This means we have a kick drum pumping to the beat, always in time when you count from 1 to 4.
You may meet the snare at 9 times out of 10 when being on 2 and 4 beats. Hi-hats and cymbals are often featured on the offbeat in between each beat.
You should learn about House Music’s beat structure because you will know how beats syncopate and rhythmically form, Thus, you are getting used to counting phrases and bars. You also practice your earing a sensitive earing with House music.
Let’s look at the picture and visualize a 4 count beat’s structure.
After understanding about 4 x 4 beats, we will study the building blocks that create a House music track’s sections. They are phrases that are made of 16 beats.
If you start to learn to DJ, you should split the 16 beat pattern’s phrase into 8 chunks. Hence, you will know when you begin and end a section.
When you combine phrases, this means you form the basis of the music section (song sections), including.
The phrase’s end has some vital beat pattern to marks it. This situation happens if there is a drum fill and a cymbal crash. The DJs will get many benefits when they count phrases and beats because they can realize a phrase’s end or a section’s end.
Beat-matching by Ear
If you are an entire newbie DJing, don’t worry, you will get some tips on how to use your ear to House music beat-matching.
To start, you need to accustom to beat-matching by ear.
There are a few elements that you need to become accustomed to when beat matching by ear.
Counting beats, bars, and phrases
You should understand counting beats, bars, and phrases before mixing music.
Now, you are familiar with the beats’ structure, counting the beat number per bar, section, and phrase; so you can beat match by your ear easily.
Let’s remember that the section and phrase’s end will appear as a crash cymbal or drum fill.
You can interpret some easier signifiers, for example, the bassline. It lies in the song’s first chorus.
Or for instance, the drop’s breakdown begins where the drum or beat cuts out, and you may only hear instruments that start building up to the drop one more time.
After counting beats, bars, and phrases, the next step is setting cue points on each section’s first beat. Therefore, you will make a track, which is ready to mix in.
You may look at the DJ in a club, they often tap in the cue button. When a section’s first beat begins, they will set a cue point. Then, the DJ is ready to drop in the song on the first beat by touching cue points while counting phrases and beats.
For instance, if a phrase has the last 8 beats, the DJ will tap the cue button, count from 1 to 8, and drop (pressing to play on the 1 key).
If you do not tap the cue button correctly in line with the track’s first beat, that is going to be difficult to reach the tempo’s inline by utilizing the pitch shift key.
The final step is matching both track’s tempos. Before moving the crossfader to the new song.
Bopping the head or moving the body along the beat are good ideas. While the existing song is playing, if you want to achieve the new track’s precise speed, you may try to change the pitch shift. Thus, your playing live song’s beat will suit this speed.
You should practice many times with a copious amount of songs to build up an excellent ear even the playing live track’s beat faster or slower.
When you play with DJing House music, you can find both songs’ compatible tempos more simply compared to different genres.
If you are a DJ of House music’s specific sub-genres. The tempo range is usually relatively tight, for instance about 123 – 128 beats per minute, which can bring some advantages to you.
Let’s remember that the new and playing live track’s pitch shift should be at a similar level. Finally, you just move the tempo a bit to get the suitable beat.
Using DJ Software to Phrase Match
The DJ software supports you so much when you match the phrase. You can mark easily in the hot cues’ form.
You may refer to this image to know the hot cue points that we set to identify the track structure’s start and end.
You can use Serato or Rekordbox to add hot cues for every music type.
However, you have to notice that when you use the DJ application to install cue points, you may be dependent on them. In case you need to change to utilize a record vinyl, remember and count sections and phrases are essential.
It is really terrible if you forget those, you may be panic or have trouble.
Don’t depend on the cue mark feature very much. You should remember and practice count bars and beats in sections and phrases frequently.
Besides, you will reduce the stress when unluckily, the technology meets risks by getting used to your music collection’s complex structure. The DJ application is only a support tool, does not replace the counting act.
How to DJing House Music: Step-by-Step Guideline
Step 1: Source the right songs
Before mixing music tracks, you should determine 2 songs with powerful bass melodies. If you are layering music tracks, you may not use music that includes vocals to avoid clashes.
Let’s find reliable and illegal sources to get high-quality music during the mix and blend process.
Step 2: Prepare music
House music usually has long intros about 1 minute, then a breakdown part. If you want to speed up your mix process, setting hot cues at the song’s vital spots is necessary.
Before installing hot cues correctly, you have to identify breakdowns. Additionally, you may try the beat jump function to jump backward 32 beats when dropping the tracks.
Step 3: Opt effect
Once you perform the trick naturally, let’s try to add something such as FX, LPF, HPF, etc. to get a more wonderful and fantastic effect in your remix.
Step 4: Apply mixing technique
Professional DJs usually special mixing techniques to create impactful tracks while performing. Moreover, the most subtle songs also contain impressive drops thanks to low frequencies filter.
After eliminating low frequencies, DJ can bring to the audience a great impact when the bassline comes back.
Filtering and returning the bassline can create an additional energy coat for their DJ sets. Thus, we can listen to a much big influent song than mix 2 songs regularly.
Step 5: Finish your remix
Play the first track, then, press the hot cue on the last drop on the second track to start your song.
Wait for a phrase, on the second song, press the hot cue one more time to edit the phrase.
Turning down the low EG and introduce the second song. Use a high pass filter to the first track to cut low frequencies.
Opt reverb feature or not, then bring the low EQ to the normal situation while dropping the second track.
Turn off the reverb and high pass filter in the first track, and turn down EQ. Lastly, mix out the first song.
Notes for Mixing & Mix Transitions
During mixing House tracks, I think you may try to apply some tips to create the best songs and bring the most wonderful musical experience to the audience.
Use EQ knobs
If you need to combine both songs’ EQ frequencies, the EQ knobs are really useful to get a smooth transition. The EQ has 3 knobs: high, mid, and low frequencies.
Some vocals, cymbals, and hi-hats relate to high frequencies. Mid frequencies have the lower-end sound percussion, pianos, and synths. And low frequencies include bass and kick drum.
You may utilize EQ knobs to transit between 2 tracks by cutting prominent sound. This action lets a new song get in your mix track.
For example, when mixing a new song with an outstanding vocal. The crossfader is great to blend 2 tracks. It helps you cut mid and high EQ frequencies smoothly. Your existing track will have better quality.
When you are towards the middle to the last phrase’s end of a part, you may cut low-end frequencies too. Lastly, using vocals is to move conveniently the crossfader to the new song.
Install beat grids
The best thing that you can do while using DJ applications is setting beat grids for your music collection.
This action allows you to mark memory cue spots exactly. You also beat match songs quickly. The beat grids will be tighter. If they are slightly out of position, matching up the beats may take more time after pressing the “play” button and arranging a track.
Install beat grids precisely will make cueing your songs and beat-match easier.
Don’t ignore Looping
If you want to repeat the track’s end, the looping feature will be helpful to you. Hence, you do not run out of time when mixing into a different song.
Thus, if, unfortunately, you missed a phrase or need to blend between 2 songs together for longer, the looping will help you get these aims.
Setting a memory cue with automatic triggers is for install auto-looping.
You can also use looping to create songs before dropping that is not commonly used in House music. However, you may discover those things, even if the looping goes out songs.
FX appears regularly on DJ software with controllers, so you can use it comfortably.
First, you should try the reverb when removing low frequencies. This feature will bring a distant sound further while mixing out of a song into a new one. If you mix it into a breakdown, the reverb/delay feature will be truly great.
If you want to emphasize the phrase’s end, the vinyl stop is ideal; it can announce to the listeners that you have switched to a new song.
When coming to the phrase’s last beat, let’s hit the vinyl stop FX key before going into the section’s first beat of a new music track (it is on the bar’s eighth beat, the section and phrase’s last beat).
Utilize Low Pass Filter (LPF) and High Pass Filter (HPF)
LPF and HPF rarely lie on DJ controllers or mixers, so it is great if you own them.
When mixing many tracks, you need rapidly switch off both mid and high or mid and low frequencies at the same time, you can choose 1 of 2 filters.
After practicing 2 of these filters in the same method as EQ, you will see that HPF and LPF are pretty sensitive but they will definitely give you some advantages.
Smooth crossfader transitions during a phrase
Even you use the most complex function, you should not forget the basics, such as the crossfader.
If you use the crossfader smoothly and properly during a phrase, you will get an amazing sound.
Blend into a Breakdown
It would be best if you try to mix a bit of breaking in the energy flow. You just blend into one or two music track’s breakdown in your mix.
Hence, the audience may have a rest time after dancing. You also add some build-up instruments or wonderful vocals while dropping.
Harmonic Mixing for Excellent Sounding Transitions
Harmonic mixing (another name: mixing in key) is picking songs, which are compatible with each other based on suggestions (or key).
You can see a track’s key in the songs’ metadata. People listed them in DJ software.
If you use Rekordbox, you can see a green highlight to realize a compatible song.
You may try to download a plugin, it is Mixed In Key. This application lets you create a DJ set with the best sound and many compatible music tracks.
Choose a House music’s style
After learning to DJing Housse music’s technique, you should explore the sub-genres.
You may try Tech House, Deep House, Soulful, Progressive, etc.
You just go to the Traxsource website and click on the navigation menu and “Genres”, you will find many different styles.
Some music styles suit together. You can try to mix them in your mix. Therefore, you can create many songs with lots of different emotions.
Maintain a specific sub-genre will make your own style and personality. Hence, you are going to be famous for your unique musical identity.
If you want to become familiar with the different genres, you may refer to some lists, such as Dan Shake, Mark Knight, Sam Divine, Fatboy Slim, Disclosure, Low Steppa, etc.
Top House Music Labels
If you want to bring more inspiration and ideas to renowned record labels, you may consider a few names, for example, AUS Music, Crosstown Rebels, Dirtybird, Diynamic Music, Spinnin’ Deep, Toolroom Records, etc.
Best Places to buy House music
If you want to buy House music, you may visit some address, such as Amazon, Apple Music, Beatport, etc.
You may try to use some subscriptions services that integrate with DJ applications (Soundcloud, Tidal, Beatport Link, etc.)
After signing in, you will access the playlists that you have created.
When using DJ software, you can’t delete or edit your playlists unless you signed into the website.
Some record pools require costs, however, it is truly worth it, especially you need music tracks frequently, for instance, DMS, Digital DJ Pool, DJ City, etc.
Pay attention to the kick
The kick drum is the House music’s soul. It shows the genre and keeps the groove. Otherwise, the bass gives you energy. You just need to put the bass in a higher register from a frequency of 100 hertz. Hence, you will get a more powerful and funky sound.
Some House tunes have a reversed order if you make sure the bass and kick own their private space and frequency in the spectrum. Thus the kick and bass will not make a muddy and bloated sound.
Turn the sound design into an instrument
Many House music styles’ majority motif is a repeated synth chord, and how do DJs keep their songs attractive for many minutes?
The answer is the sound design. You can use mix automation to automate controls, so you will receive more lively tracks.
Think for dancers and DJs
Most House tracks are for dance shows. Therefore, let’s think about dancers and DJs when you create it. If your song lacks a distinct rhythm, even pro DJs are hard to mix it with another track.
To prevent that condition, many House music songs gradually add instrument layers and own shortened drums. DJs will reduce slowly the number of elements to back to their original place. You can make an exit by creating a rhythmic breakdown
Generally, you should provide different tracks with catchy melodies to listeners.
Create a grid with sidechain compression
If you want to reduce the instrument levels when playing the kick, sidechain compression will be suitable for you. Thus, the kick is more outstanding.
To perform this, you need 2 steps.
- First, put a compressor on the song that you have to control (maybe synths, bass, or samples).
- Second, creating the kick by installing the sidechain input.
After 2 steps, you will know the songs are in sync with it.
Make more bass sound with layers
The low-mid range (about 150 – 500 hertz) can create quality bass. you can apply a square tooth synth or quieter saw to increase double the amount of bass in the spectrum.
Thus, the bass line will be warmer and richer. In case the sound overwhelms the sawtooth synth, you can add a white noise oscillator to the bassline. Setting a shot attack may help you emphasize the transient sound.
Sustain and exaggerate attack of sound with compression
You can use compression to shape sound’s sustain and attack, especially drums. Some people only focus on the kick drum’s transient sound and its great cutability via remix. However, if the kick cuts through have no heaviness, you can’t hear it.
You should emphasize the sustain and decrease the kick’s transient if the release time and attack are rapid. You may create weight for the low-end by ringing out it for longer. If your song is too soft, this way will add some stomp to it.
Otherwise, if you set a longer release time and slower attack, the kick tail’s duration will have more punch.
Use Transient Shaper to deflate or inflate drums
Transient Shaper is an alternative way for compression to shape drum transients. If a drum loop needs some beats, on each band, you should increase the attack knobs until a sharper quality comes to you.
Turning up the sustain will splatter and overblow the sound, so everything may be exciting.
Decrease the mids and highs’ sustain on the too big drums or rooms. Thus, you can trim the room and drums to get tighter audio.
You can release hi-hats or other percussive instruments (which stomping kicks crush them) if you reduce the drum lows’ attack
Building a solid static mix
After getting a balanced remix, you may try to use sweetening and tiny mix tricks. You can pan and apply a bit of EQ.
You may lose control while working with tweaking sounds easily before you finish a mix. If your mixing aims change, you should complete your remix immediately.
Listening and watching other professional DJs
Listening and watching other DJs is a great method to learn to DJing House music. You can access Youtube or Mixcloud to enjoy mixes and discover more exciting things.
While watching videos, let’s pay attention to DJs’ techniques mix music tracks and try to follow.
Then, listen carefully to the songs that they are blending and remixing. Thus, you can identify the tracks’ harmony and key that DJs combine smoothly together or not.
Next, listen in detail to the different songs’ sections and phrases that are blended. Alternatively, let’s concern which FX the skilled DJs are using.
Ways to record your House mixing
DJ applications often provide a record feature that helps you mix and record your DJ mix. Before recording, don’t forget to create a new folder to hold your music tracks. Press the “Record” button and begin DJing.
You may buy an external device to record your songs. You should equip the back outputs of the DJ mixer or controller to connect to a device more easily.
After recording, you may edit a bit to complete a perfect mix with professional quality sound.
Experience Live Stream As A Truth DJ
If you want to practice withstand the DJs’ pressure, you should hold a live stream. You may be a bit stressed and nervous, however, when you pass everything, it will be okay.
I believe you will feel amazing after finish your DJ set. After such times, you will become more and more confident.
Ensure you record all your mixes and get everyone’s feedback continuously. Finally, you should recheck and self-evaluate to getting better.
How do DJs receive music tracks?
DJs can download songs from music websites, join in online record pools or streaming services. They also visit record labels and famous artists to get free music.
Should DJ use illegal music?
Never. You should not use illegal music even you are a beginner. Illegal music often has poor quality, so it will affect your remixes and records, especially you are in live performances.
Do DJs have to permit to play music tracks?
Our answer is no. The venues hold events that ensure licenses and other legal problems, so DJs do not have to permit to play music at any event, such as parties, pubs, clubs, bars, weddings, or festivals.
Our article still has lacks ness, however, we tried to give you basic knowledge about how to DJing House music. We hope you will find inspiration to start to learn to lay House music and create excellent remixes in the future. Not only that, you can stand on the big stage and perform as a professional DJ.