As 2013 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on a great year of articles and a growing DJ TechTools community. It was a slower year in general for new DJ gear as compared to the early phases of the controller craze, but we had no shortage of interesting subjects to write about. Grab your time machine and check out what you might have missed or forgotten.
TOP 10 ARTICLES + TUTORIALS
These are the top 10 articles we’ve published over 2013 (ranked by number of comments and social shares), and to keep it interesting we’ve pulled out some of the less timeless articles (mostly product announcements). Thanks to all of our writers and contributors who have helped craft great content with us over the past year. Most of all, big thanks to all of the readers who continue to push us further each season. Together we can take the craft of DJing even further in 2014.
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TOP RECORD POOLS FOR DJS
Nick James (May 6th): We first spotted Nick writing up his reviews of online record pools in DJ forums and on reddit, and quickly reached out to him to do an official round-up review of all the pools he’s tried and liked. Read the full article here, and check out the follow-up article covering other reader-suggested pools.
USING TRAKTOR’S CUEPOINTS FOR REFERENCE AND PERFORMANCE
Ean Golden (June 3rd): Cue markers can be used for any number of purposes – both performance (cue juggling) and reference (remembering mixing in / mix out points). Learn how Ean uses his cue markers for both in this extended tutorial article.
IMOGEN HEAP’S ABLETON-CONTROLLING GLOVES
Dan White (February 5th): One of the most viral articles ever published on DJTT was this quick news piece on Imogen Heap’s glove project, featuring a full demo and explanation video that she gave during a Wired UK event. With the gloves (and a Kinect) controlling Ableton Live, it’s a fascinating video, and could be indicative of the future of musical performance and controllerism. Check the article out here if you missed it!
FREE/CHEAP VST PLUGINS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Mad Zach (June 16th): We’re firm believers that one of the best things DJTT can do is give our readers access tools that let them create and perform. Mad Zach took this concept and applied it to the production world, seeking out some of the best free or really cheap VST plugins – and even a free DAW to go along with it. Check out the full article and video demo here.
HABITS OF HIGHLY MEDIOCRE DJS + HOW TO AVOID THEM
Mohamed Kamal (March 20th): Most DJs know, have known, or have been a mediocre DJ at one time. It takes some serious self-reflection to realize it sometimes, but by following the advice in this article, you can avoid falling into the traps that mediocre DJs do. If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to read the article and make your DJ life/hobby/career more fulfilling. Also, the comments are a great read on this piece, with some admirable admissions of mediocrity .
MIXING TECHNIQUES: 5 CREATIVE TEMPO CHANGES
Ean Golden (April 14th): How do you move between songs that are incredibly different in tempo? What techniques work well for shifting tempo? Ean shares some of his tempo-altering DJ secrets, as well as shows how to go “around the world” in BPM, increasing in tempo enough so that eventually you can halve it and come back around to slower tempos. Read and watch this tutorial here.
HOW TO AVOID SERATO FACE: SOLVING DJ SCREENGAZING
Dan White (February 14th): Excessive staring at a computer screen is one of the most common faux pas for digital DJs – something that the internet has dubbed “Serato Face”. Thankfully, there are solutions out there that cut the amount of screen gazing that involve using controllers, moving your laptop, and more – read all of our strategies here.
5 ABLETON TIPS TO REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR WORKFLOW
Nick Perloff (July 22nd): Nick has had an accomplished year as a DJTT editorial intern and a rising producer (Flaxo). His bite-sized tips for cleaning up an Ableton workflow are worth checking out, especially for producers who haven’t been in the game for that long. Learn how to use macros as toggles, get creative with sidechaining, and more powerful technique in this article.
Ean Golden (April 30th): Digital DJing has created more time for DJs – but what can they do with that time that adds value to the mix? In this extensive article, Ean shares ways in which DJs can use their time to make a performance better as well as some of the most common traps that DJs fall into with that extra time. Read it now and learn when to DJ more, and when to DJ less.
FINDING DJ GIGS IN UNLIKELY PLACES
Dan White (January 11th): If you’re not a club DJ or a mobile DJ, most of your performance opportunities have to come from other places. In this article we explored some of the more creative places where DJs are found – from art galleries to public transit parties. Get inspired for finding your next event and read our guide to non-traditional DJ gigs.
TOP DJTT YOUTUBE VIDEOS OF 2013
Our YouTube channel has seen tremendous growth this year due to some fantastic videos – watch our top five picks for the best of 2013 in the playlist below – including Mad Zach’s Ableton Push review, performances from Ean and J. Espinosa, and more:
YOUR FAVORITES HERE
We just included items here that have done well from a popularity standpoint – so what articles or tutorials on DJTT would you consider the underdogs of 2013? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add a few audience favorites to the article.
Interested in something older? Check out the best DJTT articles of 2012.