Video: DJ Isolator Tips by DJ Shorty

It’s easy to overlook some of the older advanced methods of DJ technology and performance when we’re constantly swimming in a world of new controllers and software for digital DJs. One such DJ performance style with its own following is the DJ isolator – standalone EQs that shape and carve into the actual sound coming out of the speakers.

Last December, we wrote an article covering the basics of DJ isolators and highlighting the auteurs of that style. Derek, the author of that same article, shared this great video on twitter this afternoon featuring DJ Shorty from SBS Designs (an isolator design/manufacturing company) showing off his favorite isolator techniques – it’s a fascinating watch, and will come in handy if you’ve got a chance to practice with some isolators!

More Info:

analog dj gearDJ isolatorsdj shortydj techniques
Comments (17)
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  • T-Doid

    🙂 people need to investigate before they leave a bashful comment.
    Even Pioneer included an full blown isolator on there djm-1000 and now on there remix unit.
    Shorty isn’t the best example to show how to use this piece of equipment. (no offence) Look at Derrick May or Theo Parrish. Two very different approaches to using an isolator.
    I know some Chicago and New york DJ’s who can slam the shizz out of any dancefloor when using an isolator on the dancefloor on the right time… the key is knowing when to use it. There are also jocks who don’t know how to use it and than the dancefloor will be very empty soon.
    Just be open towards everything otherwise you will not make it in about anything.

  • Jj Mac

    This is poop DJTT did you guys even watch this video before you posted? Well…thats 15 minutes of my life I believe you owe me back. One MF3D please 🙂 But seriously did you watch this?

  • Anonymous

    this type of mixing sounds really good in a large club system…. this youtube video makes it look like shit. I use this technique and i didn’t even know it was called isolating haha…. create your own distinctive sound… mixing style..

  • Jeremy Searight

    so whats the difference between isolators vs the lows,mids,and highs on a mixer?

    • Jj Mac

      I find this to be a very awesome question and should be answered…just saying.

  • drhiggens

    It is amazing all the folks here that hear the music that is playing and can not get past that, to see what is a very useful tool for any style of music. they can be used in so many ways but they just dont see that because “but this video just makes me think its only useful for easy listening” way to keep and open mind or try to think how that might be useful or even if it is not what it may teach you about your music and your track selection…
    Im sure I am not the only person who comes here and sees this and thinks of all the isolators I have seen in clubs over the years, and thinks that I really missed a great opportunity and was missing out by coming to these powerful tools so late.

  • Joe Maffei

    I’ve been reading about isolators for a while but I haven’t played with them. They seem to give you much better control over a track than EQ/Filter, especially since you can sweep the high and low cutoff points. You can really hear the effect when he isolates the hi-hats.

    As for messing around with the controls like he does… I probably wouldn’t, but that’s his style. The point of the video was to show what an isolator does and raise the question of “how would YOU use it?”

  • Shishdisma

    I love this comment section. It’s not a beatmasher, not a feature Traktor has, and it uses old hardware, so its outdated failsauce.

    • Jj Mac

      Just because its your dad and your crying in the background doesn’t mean its good.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzz

    hard not to be negative but when i was like 13 my perception of dj’s (not counting scratch djs) this was the sort of boring stuff i imagined most dj’s were. gloria estefan blasting on some sun soaked beach for boring rich wankers…
    maybe isolators are something that can be useful for a multitude of genres, but this video just makes me think its only useful for easy listening – gloria estefan and sade type shit…

    • jibberish

      🙂 yup…..that

  • DoctaOcta

    I’m gonna have to agree, i wasnt feeling this one 🙁

  • DJ fellasleep

    Lmao. I remember when this was considered skill….. 17 years ago. Sorry djtt, big fan of vinyl but this was a fail.

  • Emil Beatsnatcher Brikha

    I swear, I’m not trying to be rude, but the video looks like a parody about DJ’s who piss off the crowd. Golden lines like “a track like this brings the meat and potatoes…” or “I’m slamming you with the hihat” when he’s in fact “slamming” the snare.

    Personally I want any and all effects to be applied swift, tight, on beat and with moderation. Like makeup, you don’t want to notice it’s there, just making the track sound better. For me, this would be the hazard video I’d show to any beginner on what NOT to do when DJing.

    • campark43

      Agree, lmao when he’s like “I’m hitting u with the hi hat”. Id like to use his voice in some remixes. Guys voice is very unique. No disrespect, I like the gear. Good tunes.