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Digital DJing UCLA Extension Lecture 1 Jan 9 2010


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Digital DJing UCLA Extension Lecture 1 Jan 9 2010

  1. 1. The Art of Digital DJing Mixing Music,Video, and Technology UCLA Extension Winter ’10 Alan Cannistraro Gautam Banerjee 1
  2. 2. When & Where • Lectures: 1/09, 1/23, 2/06, 2/20, 3/06, 3/20, 3/27 • 10am - 1pm • 1010 Westwood B06 - be on time as we have to end promptly at 1pm Digital DJing W’10 2
  3. 3. Communication • Course blog: - please read the blog for class summaries and extras; ask questions here so everyone can see them and participate • Al: G: • No such thing as a stupid question Digital DJing W’10 3
  4. 4. Required Equipment • Mac or Windows • Ableton Live 8.0 (7.0 ok) • A hardware controller of your choice • Control surface (MIDI) Digital DJing W’10 • USB Piano Keyboard (MIDI) • USB Game controller • Other? Be creative. We can help you get this working 4
  5. 5. Weekly Assignments • Weekly assignments • Each assignment builds on previous week. • Donʼt fall behind!! • This is a performance class! You will be asked to perform your assignments. You will be graded on your participation and performance Digital DJing W’10 • The more you practice, the better 5
  6. 6. Final Exam • Final Exam will be a live performance at a club • Location TBD. • Last year, we held it at Air Conditioned Lounge, Santa Monica • All assignments will build towards your Final Project Digital DJing W’10 • Start thinking about what kind of music/style you want to perform. 6
  7. 7. Introduction to DJing • History • DJing Basics • Tools & Technology Digital DJing W’10 • DJing with Ableton Live “The DJ” by Justin Bua 7
  8. 8. History 8
  9. 9. Roots of DJing • 1935 - The “Disc Jockey” is born; why? • 1947 - Paris, France, Jimmy Saville uses two turntables to DJ • 1950ʻs - the “selector” of Jamaica was a DJ who Digital DJing W’10 freestyle rhymed or shouted over music. This Jamaican tradition influenced hip-hop culture (rap) and DJs as performers (1970s NYC); • 1974 - Technics SL-1200s & direct drive 9
  10. 10. Technics SL-1200 • Direct drive turntable • Strong motor • Quick start • Lots of torque Digital DJing W’10 • Steady as a rock • Design mostly unchanged since its birth in 1974 2009 Vinyl sales up 35% over 2008 Great for scratching 10
  11. 11. Scratching • Late 70ʼs - Hip-Hop gives us break-beat DJing, sampling, looping, and scratching; DJʼs become performers Digital DJing W’10 11
  12. 12. Scratching • The turntable becomes an instrument with unique sound • Pioneers - Grand Wizard Theodore, Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc Digital DJing W’10 • Different DJs created different scratches • forward, backward, baby, tear, scribble, chirp, flare, transformer, etc 12
  13. 13. Disco & House • NY Club DJs gain • Continuous Mixes, late notoriety, mixing their nights, huge parties records with others • Studio 54, Twilo, • Chip E., Frankie etc. Knuckles, Junior Vasquez, Danny Digital DJing W’10 Tenaglia, etc. 13
  14. 14. DJ Explosion • Electronic music tools become cheap • Breaks into several subgenres: • House, D&B, Trance, etc. Digital DJing W’10 • Rave scene explodes in mid-90ʼs • Bedroom DJʼs abound in the 2000s due to dropping costs and ability to DJ with MP3s 14
  15. 15. Mash-Ups • “Mash-Up” is a (relatively) new term for an old art form • Much higher notoriety in the late 2000s due to access (eg YouTube, file sharing etc - no more record label gatekeepers) and low cost in software tools to make them • DJ Danger Mouse was doing cross-genre mashups in 1998 Digital DJing W’10 with two turntables; his Grey Album (2004) and its controversy injected the term and concept “mashup” into the mainstream for good; Eclectic Method: audio-visual mashups since 2002 Mash-ups as we know it used to be called • More on mashups in a later class (Feb 6th) “blends” or “mixes” in the hip-hop community and have been around for decades 15
  16. 16. Computer-based DJing • DJing starts moving to • DJs play with song computers segments (loops) instead of linear songs • Production tools & DJ tools start to integrate Digital DJing W’10 • Tech-heavy San Francisco starts experimenting with throwback sounds 16
  17. 17. VJing • Synchronization of Video becomes possible • Video (already popular at shows) starts being controlled by DJ Digital DJing W’10 • Early stages 17
  18. 18. DJing Basics 18
  19. 19. Deconstructing Music Digital DJing W’10 19
  20. 20. Beats & Tempo • What is a beat? Textbook: a steady succession of units of rhythm; In practice: what you clap your hands to or step to in dance • Tempo = the pace of the song expressed as Beats Per Minute (BPM); Digital DJing W’10 • What does BPM mean to a DJ? -> faster songs are generally higher energy; BPM affects mood and energy and informs how you mix; e.g. hip-hop is 80-100 bpm, trance is 140 bpm, etc • We generally mix songs of similar tempo 20
  21. 21. Bars & Phrases • A bar, also known as a measure, is a segment of time which contains a certain number of beats - usually we have 4 beats per bar, aka 4/4 timing • Groups of bars = a phrase; Phrases tend to be 8 or 16 bars long Digital DJing W’10 • Why do phrases matter? Helps you predict/ remember when something is going to change in the music; eg vocals coming in, a chorus ending, bassline start etc 21
  22. 22. Bars, Bars, & Phrases Example Digital DJing W’10 22
  23. 23. Key & Pitch • Pitch is the frequency, or essence of a note (eg middle C is 261.63Hz) • Key is the center harmonic of tonically related scales and chords - eg Key of C, A-minor; When mixing, you want to avoid “key clashing”, especially when blending (or when making mashups) Digital DJing W’10 • Analog: pitch control on the turntable is used to change BPM - BUT serious limitation (notes and key are changed) • Digital: we can change tempo/BPM and preserve pitch and key (ideal), or change key and preserve BPM 23
  24. 24. Key & Pitch Example K-Os, “Highway 7” original tempo and key Digital DJing W’10 24
  25. 25. Key & Pitch Example K-Os, “Highway 7” pitch change +10% (analog way of Digital DJing W’10 increasing bpm) 25
  26. 26. Key & Pitch Example K-Os, “Highway 7” Digital DJing W’10 digital world: tempo +10%, pitch and key is preserved; this is known as key or pitch correction 26
  27. 27. Key & Pitch Example 2 MJ “Billie Jean” original 27
  28. 28. Key & Pitch Example 2 MJ “Billie Jean” original 27
  29. 29. Key & Pitch Example 2 MJ “Billie Jean” can you guess the change? 28
  30. 30. Key & Pitch Example 2 MJ “Billie Jean” how about this one? 29
  31. 31. Song Components • Drums & Breakbeats • Bassline • Melody Digital DJing W’10 30
  32. 32. Equalization & Filters • Helps to isolate song components • Can help create mood & builds Digital DJing W’10 31
  33. 33. Tools & Technology 32
  34. 34. Analog gear • 2 Turntables & a Mixer • Headphone monitors one or both tracks • Principle: A song on each deck; Mixer to mix between • Volumes, Crossfader, EQ/Filter Digital DJing W’10 33
  35. 35. Digital gear • 2 CDs & a (digital?) Mixer • Adds sampling, looping, jump points, digital effects • Same principle as Analog (phasing, etc) gear Digital DJing W’10 34
  36. 36. Traktor - DJing on Computers Digital DJing W’10 • Computer emulates CD decks 35
  37. 37. Serato Scratch Live • Allows your analog equipment to talk to your computer so turntables & CD players can control mp3s; • Fine control of turntables Digital DJing W’10 • Benefit of digital processing (jump points, looping ,etc) • Go back and forth between MP3 and vinyl/CD at will • Familiar equipment 36
  38. 38. Ableton Live • Professional DAW and • Can map your own hardware sequencing software from as your custom DJ interface Digital DJing W’10 Germany; since 2001 • Integrates production workflow • Designed for live performances as much as composition and production • Recordable/Editable Timeline • Loop based performance • Flexible tracks • As a DJ tool, features crossfading, monitoring and seamless beatmatching 37
  39. 39. DJing with Ableton Live 38
  40. 40. Layout • Browser • Session View vs. Arrangement View • Loops vs. Time Digital DJing W’10 • Detail (Clips & Tracks) 39
  41. 41. session view browser Screenshot of Live in Session view clip view sample editor 40
  42. 42. Browser • Clips (Files, Loops, Sets) • Preview Clips to Headphones • 3 favorite locations for quick access Digital DJing W’10 • Effects (w/Presets) • Instruments 41
  43. 43. 42
  44. 44. Session you can label • Tracks and Scenes tracks anything you want (helps when DJing) • Clips on a track are each entry on a track mutually exclusive is called a clip; can be anything from one note to an entire song • Mixer controls for Digital DJing W’10 playing tracks concurrently each column is called a track 43
  45. 45. 44
  46. 46. Arrangement • Tracks & Time • Arrange clips sequentially in time • Used for production more than performance Digital DJing W’10 45
  47. 47. 46
  48. 48. Detail clip view • Clip vs Track • Track shows effects • Clip shows fileʼs audio waveform Digital DJing W’10 Track view (effects) 47
  49. 49. Navigating “Clips” • A “clip” is a song or sample youʼve placed in a track slot. When you hi-light a clip, you are in clip view & see itʼs sound wave and settings Digital DJing W’10 “sample editor” - where you move markers clip settings around and can see the sound waves 48
  50. 50. Navigating “Clips” • What are we looking at here? These numbers are a Timeline expressed in bar and note counting (as opposed to minutes and seconds); The format is (depending how close you zoom in) = Bars.quarternotes.eightnotes.16thnotes etc If you mouse over the top gray bar, your cursor turns into a magnifying glass - this means you can zoom in/out and scroll left/right Yellow squares are warp markers Digital DJing W’10 If you mouse over the grey bar under the timeline OR the Visual bottom half of the wave, your representation of cursor turns into a speaker, sound (waves) meaning when you click, the sample will playback from where your cursor is more on soundwaves here: 49
  51. 51. Warping • “Time-Warping”, usually just called “warping” • So, there are two kinds of markers you will is Ableton-speak meaning the software see - 1. Warp Markers & 2. Transient knows where the beats are in a song. This markers allows ableton to synchronize any song or transient markers are small triangles sample to the master tempo (which is a big Warp markers are yellow reason why people love the software) • When you import a song, Ableton analyzes it to mark all the transients (like a drum hit or start of a note) with transient markers, Digital DJing W’10 calculates BPM, and tries to line up the timeline with the song waveform A sample or song is considered “warped” if the beats line up with the timescale for the entire song/ sample. Think of the timeline as a conductor conducting an orchestra - itʼs how musicians know when to play their notes. 50
  52. 52. Warping • Ableton does a good job of finding the • For stubborn songs, you will “pin” down transients, but not a great job with warp transients by double-clicking and making markers them warp markers (ie anchored in time) to force them to a point on the timeline • Warp markers pin down waves to points in the timeline • When you import a song, you have to you can make any transient marker into a warp usually fix the warping so itʼs right marker by double-clicking Digital DJing W’10 • Electronic music (made with drum machines/loops) are easy to warp because the beats are rigid in time • Acoustic or analog music is harder to warp because humanʼs arenʼt perfect at keeping time • In Live 8, we move the waveform to line up with the timescale 51
  53. 53. Warping - step by step • 98% of your music can be warped in < 10 • Step 5: If the end of the song is in time, seconds youʼre done. If not, where you hear the song off time, zoom in and align where • Step 1: Zoom in & Find beat 1. It should be needed by grabbing transient markers and near the beginning of the song, but it can putting them where they need to be in time be any beat 1 in the song. When youʼve found that beat, Right-click the transient • Step 6: Playback again and check middle marker for it and select “Set 1.1.1 here” & end of song. It should also “look” lined up visually too. If the end of the song is • Step 2: Right-click the 1.1.1 marker and lined up, youʼre done. select “Warp from here straight” Digital DJing W’10 • Any electronic music or songs with • Step 3: Visual check - the first few bars programmed drums like hip-hop, these should look “aligned” to the timeline. If not, steps are all you need. double-check your 1.1.1 and move the transients to line up for the first few bars • For acoustic songs, the timing will not be perfect, and you will have to tweak the • Step 4: Turn on your metronome and warp markers by hand sometimes (and playback song. Listen for the beats to line make your own warp markers). We will up with metronome. Start at beginning of cover this later song, then check middle and end. • For now, just practice. youʼll get it in no time. Good tutorial: http:// 52
  54. 54. Assignment • Decide on a style for your performance • Find songs you would like to use Digital DJing W’10 • Import them into Ableton Live • Play around with warping them; come next week with questions 53