A while back I used to think everything I heard from a DJ was a result of their mad mixing skills… WRONG. Often enough folks are using mashups, edits, redrums, pre-recorded tools to supplement their sets. Why not use a transition track to help take you from a 100 beat per minute hiphop set to a 128 beat per minute dance music set? Relying on such tracks would be a disservice to your craft and skillset, but throwing one or two in per night certainly helps the tempo of things, and there’s only so many times you can echo out a track or simulate a turntable stop.
A few years ago a friend told me about a few sites that sold these type of DJ tools. I only recently began using them, but man are open format gigs a whole lot easier! DJ Remix/Edit sites sell modified tracks to varying degrees and DJ ‘tools’. These are the type of custom songs you’d find on Soundcloud, buried under a litany of versions done by everyone under the sun. Part of the value in these Remix sites is that you can sort by popularity within sub-genres to do some digging for you.
Usually they require you own the original versions for legal purposes. And many of these tracks aren’t cheap, averaging $2-2.50 a pop. Despite all that, I’ve gotten great use out of the handful of my select purchases these past few months that have really helped me to stand out from the crowd. You’re not going to be able to blindly download their Top 10 each month as they peddle their own bundles of crap just like everybody else, but you are going to find some really nice tracks that you’ll use from weeks to months at a time.
Now among these edits are re-drums. Re-drums are exactly what they sound like, original tracks that have been ‘re-drummed’. Usually this means added intro/outro’s, a refreshed beat with hi-hats throughout the song in addition to tightening up the drummer’s tempo. You’d have experienced an inconsistent tempo if you’ve ever played a Rock n Roll track from the 70’s where the beat grids fall out of line towards the end of the track, despite being aligned a minute or two from the beginning. Drummers weren’t perfect back then like drum machines & DAW’s are nowadays! With two small changes like adding intro/outro phrases and tightening up your tempo, your old school rock track now becomes easily mixable and a mildly refreshed.
For the longest time I disliked many open format Pop gigs as that meant being stuck with music the same old worn out tracks that didn’t lend themselves to mixing easily or beat matching, if at all. By incorporating a few redrums and edits found on these websites I can throw in a few more blends to help with my gig’s flow keep things a bit more fresh.
For reference here are a few sites I’ve used in the past; I am in no way affiliated or receiving compensation, just passing along another source for music!