This whole book is free to read online. Learn everything we know about DJing, and browse the Table of Contents after you’re done with this article.
2. How to Use Harmonic Mixing
Are DJs really musicians? The debate has raged for so long, you could probably sample and loop that question and make a song out of it in response. Even the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl got into the act at the 2012 Grammy Awards, when he took a subtle swipe at DJs during his acceptance speech for Best Rock Performance. “Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument and learning to do your craft, that’s the most important thing for people to do,” he said. “It’s not about being perfect, it’s not about sounding absolutely correct, and it’s not about what goes on in a computer.”
What he forgot to mention is that for the last decade, technological advances in audio engineering have actually made it easier to learn your craft and pursue your dreams as a musician–even for a rocker like Dave Grohl. For this very reason, DJing has become more musically diverse as an art. When you hear BT or deadmau5 or Skrillex do a set, they’re not just playing records; they’re also dropping in synth lines, triggering effects, looping and manipulating beats–in short, they’re performing, and their DJ setup is their musical instrument.
If you want to get to this level, you have to begin somewhere. We’re convinced that a technique called harmonic mixing is a great place to start.
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