Marketing, promotion, and tricks aside, transitioning from one song to another is at the core of what every DJ does. Therefore it’s not surprising that one of the most requested tutorials continues to be how to use effects for transitioning between tracks. Though there are many gratuitous and overboard uses of effects out there, they can be masterfully utilized as powerful mixing tools to shape sounds and make room for new tracks. In today’s video, I am happy to share two of my very favorites.
Firstly, while I demonstrated these techniques in Traktor in this case, they can be reproduced in any DJ software that has the following: filter, gater, reverb, beat repeat. These special chains were built on the following concepts:
- When mixing live, it’s easier (and cleaner) to use one single wet/dry knob instead of bringing in multiple effects
- To avoid sonic soup, it’s always good to take away as you add things
- Effects can be useful for minimizing a song’s harmonic content, making it easier to mix out of
So just in case you missed it, the two chains are:
- Beatmasher (for grabbing a micro-phrase or note late into the mix—optional)
- Filter (set to High Pass to remove bass)
- Reverb (set to Small Room to push the track back)
- Gater (set to 1/4 or 1/2 note) to chop up the song
- Filter LFO 92 (set to a one- or tw0-bar sweep) to modulate and create motion automatically
- Iceverb (or very small reverb) to take the edge off the gate
That’s it! These effects are intended to be very subtle mixing tools which will greatly aid in the transition between two songs and should be always used in conjunction with smart volume management.