Few tips to create a successful DJ showreel

A great show reel is a key to success for any beginner. Hence, there is no reason why one shouldn’t think about its content. A DJ should consider every aspect such as how the show reel would be structured and who will listen to it. Few useful tips to keep in mind before you prepare a show reel to represent your characteristic work are as follows:

Prepare the showreel live or in Ableton

If you are preparing your show reel to be used to get a gig, mix it live. You certainly want the mix to represent your live work. Mixing the music on Ableton creates numerous filter envelopes and delays which prevents the recreation of the music. Also, you will be misrepresenting yourself and will possibly kill your chances for a future gig. Recording live party sets by combining the sounds of a live mic near the dance floor will give an exact feeling of how it should sound in an actual party.

Picture your set’s direction

Dance music producers rely on a helpful tool that illustrates the energy levels they are looking to reach during the course of the song. Applying this tool can be just helpful. It shows figures such as The Ramp, The Mountain and The Wave. The Ramp is the steady rise from low BPM to high whereas the mountain is the symmetrical rise throughout the song. The wave is the series of peaks and valleys where you bring the listener up and down along with the song.

Know your audience

The mix that you will prepare for a gig at a nightclub will be entirely different than the mix that you will prepare for a dinner party of your closest friends. Knowing your audience will definitely help you in track selection and determining the appropriate energy level. For instance, Canyon Haze is a mellowed down psychedelic mix which is great for a post party wind down, but is something which you would not like hear on dance floor at Saturday night.

Track order and selection

The selection of tracks for a show reel is a largely a result of personal taste and the target audience whereas, the track order is determined by energy levels you hope to achieve. Always choose tracks that represent your style of music and not necessarily the popular tracks on the charts. Don’t be sacred to mix classic songs with new ones.

Transitions in your tracks

Conventionally, hip-hop DJs prefer cutting, dance DJs like matching beats and radio DJs fading. While a single transition type can make an excellent mix, using the combinations of transitions can fit some tracks in a beautiful way. If your mix has combined collection of various forms of genres, you can change it up transition-wise. If you are playing just a single-genre, seamless beat matching is the ideal way to go.

It may appear insignificant, but encouraging someone to listen to your music is very important. It means the right artwork, right name and its right distribution in a way which caters the requirement of the audience.

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