2 Powerful FX Chains for Easy Mix Transitions

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:

  1. When mixing live, it’s easier (and cleaner) to use one single wet/dry knob instead of bringing in multiple effects
  2. To avoid sonic soup, it’s always good to take away as you add things
  3. 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:

Chain 1

  1. Beatmasher (for grabbing a micro-phrase or note late into the mix—optional)
  2. Filter (set to High Pass to remove bass)
  3. Reverb (set to Small Room to push the track back)

Chain 2

  1. Gater (set to 1/4 or 1/2 note) to chop up the song
  2. Filter LFO 92 (set to a one- or tw0-bar sweep) to modulate and create motion automatically
  3. 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.

how to use effects for transitionshow to use fx for transitionsTraktor Tips
Comments (53)
Add Comment
  • MadeInMachines

    Lawsuit for a DJ tutorial. What a joke. How about the free publicity?

  • Kristoffer Melendres

    Hi ean.. You can you make a new video with the audio on it please?

  • buxxxxxx

    Don’t blame Ean about the audio, don’t blame ten walls either, he has to make money after his homophobic remarks which killed his career for this summer

  • Earvin Julius

    Hi Ean. I use Traktor X1 Mk2 have the same reverb, formant filter and beatmasher2 on my chain, but when i activate beatmasher the reverb/ filter/ formant filter does not work as supposed to yours, where you can still adjust the with the formant filter while the beatmasher is on. I use traktor version 2.6.8 any suggestions?

  • DJ HItz

    This works, it sounds good, and i think that you shoud do it with a different song Ean

  • I am

    Something is wrong with the video, it’s playing a song instead of the tutorial audio…

  • Muckish

    The sound doesn’t play in the video for me. There’s a downtempo guitar track at the start, then silence.

  • jimmyv

    I just came back to this article to check out the use of these effects since i normally don;t use effects when missing and was disappointed to see the audio removed. Is it possible to redo this video?

  • Ticey

    Hej guys, the audio in the youtube video doesn’t match the video. There are no voices and the music is not at all as intended.

  • Hors La Loix

    Hi Ean!
    I’ve been struggling to figure out what exactly you are doing without the audio. I think I’m on the right path but I still would love to also HEAR what you are doing. Is there any chance you could upload this video with the audio on another platform or maybe a download link? I’d truly appreciate it!
    Thank you for your great videos and knowledge, as always!

  • Brandon

    Keep videos like this coming loving it!

  • 5 Cheap DJ Tricks and How To Avoid Them | DJ TechTools

    […] The Creative Alternative: Use a filter and reverb sweep to gradually carve out the bass and drop a beatmasher in for a subtle fill. It’s harder, less generic, and generally works better anyway. Here is a full tutorial on this technique. […]

  • adz

    what would be some good effect chains to use with serato when mixing ?

  • DJ Semi

    Kudos Ean – those transition tips are ‘Golden’! And on the right track, that Gater combo can literally ‘pump’ new life into a transition in a controllable yet pain and stress free way. Keep those nuggets of advice a coming – pure dynamite!

  • Kiro Coneski

    Hey Ean, I noticed you have a bunch of keys info on the track details. What do they mean?

  • Dave

    Hey Ean, I’ve been a long time of yours and your products. In fact, I’ve bought a couple of hardware from you already including the MidiFighter Spectra. But to be honest, I’ve stopped following you guys (inlcuding a number of people that I know) since you haven’t been featuring anything for Serato and it’s quite frustrating to see how good your content is (from articles to mappings) but it is soo focused on Traktor and little to none for Serato. I’m not sure if this is too much to ask but I hope you’ll hear us Serato users out. And it’s pretty sad coz the same DJTT equipment that I soo loved before, I have to sell it out due to the fact that there’s no support out there (ex. Spectra to Serato DJ).

    Just my 2 cents. More power still to DJTT, it’s still a brand and an experience that I love but I hope I won’t feel left out of this.

    • Ean Golden

      Thanks for the feedback Dave, we actually have a few Serato staff writers on board now that are doing more material for that platform as well. Look for more in the coming months.

  • Moose

    Thanks again for another wonderful tutorial. I’ve tried this technique before, but didn’t really understand the parameters and how they were effected by the dry/wet knob. I did notice your FX are reversed compared to the normal X1 layout (by design I imagine), but when I try the first chain the filter just doesn’t seem to work when the Beatmasher is enabled. I followed the tutorial and no luck. Any suggestions on Traktor settings that might be causing this issue. Again thanks for the lesson, I can say personally I’ve shown resident DJs some of these tutoral tips are they were blown away.

  • Sara Simms

    Good ideas for FX chains here, looking forward to trying these techniques out!

  • Daniel Jones

    I learn something new here everyday. Thank you Ian and the rest of the Techtools staff.

  • jon nesbitt

    hey great video, just a quick question i noticed you have four separate effects chains, is this possible to set up with a X1, F1, Z2 mixer set up? sorry to ask what may be a simple question but i am new to Traktor

    • Prof_Strangeman

      If you learn to map anything is possible!

  • Mike

    Great work as usual Ean. You the man, cool guy!

  • djhiro

    how about doing this with some hip hop music. it seems like most of the videos that DJ’s provide us with a tutorial for are for house or electronic music. just my 2 cents.

    • Ean Golden

      that is a good question. We try to be really music agnostic here at Dj TechTools – everyone from all backgrounds or music styles are embraced. Showing a diverse range of material in the tutorials is important, and this particular effect works best with electronic material – as it’s more subtle.

  • Vincent

    Ean, is there a way so that Filter92 in Tractor2 sounds like in Traktor1? (cause they clearly not sound the same)

    • Stewe

      Set the FX Unit as a single effect and enjoy.

      • Vincent

        It is set as a single effect. The sounding is not the same. I tried the Filter92 (Traktor2) on a couple of my friends setup and it sounds just as it sounds on my setup, so, its not because of me.

  • Damin Hansford

    this is what im after always

  • Jim Scobie

    Great video.. much appreciated.

      • Nicholas Polydor

        You’re 😉

  • chris

    for me: the sound has an color, and is in an kind of an …. hm …. bubble. When i change the music – when i switched – so i have one bubble with a nice sound, and manipulate inside this bubble. *i hope this is clear saying for understanding.

    outside the bubble, the sound is going to be unclear and is trash. but inside the bubble you can merging in harmony.

      • psy/OPs


        • chris

          wherever, the sound is yummy. And when i didn’t recognize about the “marble” you never had hear them.

          sounds crazy 😉
          (but what is normal?)

          • chris

            is no one there with some macho-postering?

          • psy/OPs

            normal? is that gap in the circle right between insane and unsane? the ring with a break in the middle of it.

            to travel from insane you have to go right all the way around the ring to unsane. and while they look so close together they are still such a vast distance apart.

          • chris

            in my city (vienna, austria) the center is inside the “Ring”-street.

      • chris

        oh yeah. telling a story. I know the article.

  • Benedek

    Nice! I’d really love to see more tutorials on Traktor.

  • Simon

    I’ll start with admitting i’m not a fan of effects. In particular the effects in traktor because of how they sound. Most of them sound cheap, harsh and mainly very digital!
    This has probably something to do with my work. I’m a professional sound mixer for films and sometimes music as well.
    But i must admit i really liked this tutorial! It’s a technique i use all the time when i’m mixing films or mastering music and it’s interesting to see this techique being applied to dj’ing.
    It’s very musical and feels more natural than eq’ing.
    Thumbs up!

  • Aken

    Very good tutorial 🙂

  • El Tiburon

    Ean, post the same except using Serato DJ as the effects are different in Serato DJ.

    • Collins.

      Just use sera to equivalents of delay and reverb etc.
      Many of the effects are very similar, just with different names.
      You should be able to figure it out. Good luck!
      By the way, Ean is a traktor DJ so I wouldn’t expect anything regarding sera to from him.

    • Ean Golden

      Ok – I can start to explore Serato FX as well for you, although the fundamental principles should apply to both.

      • J

        Also some ableton effect racks that would be similar would be awesome

        • chris

          let him a bit room, or we lost him for his biblical 100 birthday bash