One State DJ

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Practice Decks

3 minutes
April 23, 2020

I’m going to do a few writeups over the next week or two, talk about some interesting things. Before we get to those things though, it’s probably good to talk about how I make these Practice Sessions that I’m uploading to Mixcloud (random-regularly), which of course brings us to start at the beginning… what am I practicing mixing with?

Do you use a dust cover? I use a dust cover… well… the setup is also in the middle of my living room so yes, it’s a fancy hand-stitched pattern-dust-cover-so-guests-aren’t-sloshing-drinks-and-splashing-snot-on-them-when-not-in-use

Do you use a dust cover? I use a dust cover… well… the setup is also in the middle of my living room so yes, it’s a fancy hand-stitched pattern-dust-cover-so-guests-aren’t-sloshing-drinks-and-splashing-snot-on-them-when-not-in-use

The Decks

I have a pair of Pioneer CDJ-800MK2 turntables. Really nothing fancy, just solid CD-based turntables and that’s it. No USB, no network links, not even the possibility of synchronizing anything - except by being a DJ.

Presto-chango and the living room is a bangin’ party den! The fans go wild, obviously they’re impressed, I am.

Presto-chango and the living room is a bangin’ party den! The fans go wild, obviously they’re impressed, I am.

The Mixer

It’s a simple Reloop 4-channel mixer. Cost-effective, has just enough features that I can’t go back to my original Pioneer DJM-400 (2-channel, basic, boss but showing it’s age).

Overall

I really can’t complain. The setup is good enough for me to practice mixing and have a great time.

I’ve played on “proper” (recent) gear, linked up with laptops, midi and all the fun stuff, and yet here I am back at the basics.

I won’t apologize for any skips, bumps, hiccups, horse-clopping-double-beat transitions because this stuff is hard. There’s no if-ands-or-buts about this seemingly simple act of mixing two tracks together seamlessly.

I have no technology helping me beyond my ears and ability to focus while mixing… and so, I mess up… a lot… like, really, it’s almost comical how many practice sessions I’ve deleted. For every mix I upload, there’s probably a long trainwreck of failed sessions in between. Any time I end up with a certain basic level of quality in output - that’s when I’ll upload the mix. Sometimes it’s a couple wins in a row, other times it’s duds all week long.

I aim for at least one practice session every day, wether it’s any good or not is irrelevant to me. Some people jog, I mix and I love it. The main reason I mix is to control the flow of music while I’m working my day-job (programmer, tech consulting) and for general background music while travelling or exercising.

I’d like to give a big shout-out to Mixcloud for their service because if it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have redesigned this site and I wouldn’t have a legal way to share my mixes with the general public.

If you happen to like the mixes and want to encourage more of this from me, an easy way to do that would be to signup for OneStateDJ SELECT and you’ll get to download the mixes for offline listening. In the future, I’ll figure out some good give-aways but there will be mixes that I’ll end up being so happy with that I’ll reserve them for just the select members.

Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoyed this post!

Until next time!

Next Up

The next post will feature the library I use, what CDs look like, why am I even still using CDs, the types of music I like to mix and so on.