DJing Effects Question

Just out of curiousity when you guys DJ how often do you employ Effects on the track? Do you use it within the tracks themselves (when? during Breakdowns or even during the actual main part of the track?) or do you use them just for transitions?

Which Effects do you guys use and do you use them as Send FX or Insert FX?

Do you guys often use Sound FX like White Noise Sweeps, Acappellas and what not?

Do you guys ever mash in a track during a set or do you only use pre-made mashups (if you ever do mashups that is)?

Finally do you guys use a Master Effect type thing, creative or just for mastering?

(I seem to force myself into throwing Izotopes Ozone and use its Saturator and Reverb (for some side reverb, tiny amount) and some limiting to keep things from clipping, I know I need to stop but I just cant help it lol!).

Just a few curious quesitons. I dont DJ but every now and then I like to do me a little mix on Ableton when I am bored and I always find myself ruining tracks completely at one point or another during my mix cause I over use some effect.

More so I dont have a Midi Controller or anything like that (Not even a Midi Keyboard, Im too poor) so if I am using mutliple Send Effects I have to try and quickly turn the knobs down before a drop and always miss a couple of them meaning the drop passes into the effect and ruins the whole mix (Long Reverbs and Delays on a Thick Kick ****s everything up really).

For me I just have this urge that if I am not doing something to the track I am not doing something right…

I know that when I go into a club every now and then and listen to a DJ you can hear them mostly using small Filter type Effects and that personally bores me, not heard many DJ’s using cool outlandish effects really unless im at a bigger club and even then its rare.

Soz for the long post/essay question… Its just something thats been at the back of my head for a while.

EDIT: One more quesiton, when you DJ do you guys have a set limit Tempo? Today I tried swapping from Umek & Beltek - Firewalk to Tiesto - Adagio for Strings and the tempo difference was massive, the mix sounded POOR. If you guys ever do go through a large tempo change is their some technique you use to keep it sounding good?

If you are playing to people you shouldn’t use effects that are noticeable too much otherwise people will find it very boring. It is normal to use them a lot when practicing and, as you say, get to the point where you ruin tracks, the only way you will learn where the line is drawn is by crossing it.

The only way you are going to know how to use effects well and get good at DJing is by practicing a huge amount, much more than you think.

If you are finding that you are getting bored DJing with Ableton then it seems unlikely that you will put the time in required to get good. It might be a good idea to think about why you are getting bored and try and address that. I think I would look at the music that I was playing and the medium.


I play records, my 1210s only has + or - 8% - that is a good guide.

Thanks for the tips :smiley:

The +/-8% thingy is probably a bigger help than you think, prolly going to start limiting my Tempo changes to about +/-4 (not %, just 4)!

I think you misunderstood the bored part though lol, I mix when I am bored and not doing anything else, not me being bored about DJing, I really enjoy mixing whenever I give it a go.


Out of curiosity, with things like Technics do you use Effects?

I know they are MUCH harder to use than Ableton, especially since everything on Ableton is synced up whereas Technics is all manual, plus Vinyl’s are heavy :stuck_out_tongue:

Ok, I am glad about the bored thing - you had me a bit worried :wink:

Just to give you a bit more info on speed. I play house, tech house, deep house etc which is usually 122 - 130 bpm, most of it is 126 or 127 I would guess.

I like to play things at at least +2% because everything sounds better speed up  a little. I don’t really want to play anything lower than -1 or -2% and going over +6% will depend on how that track sounds (some sound fine, some sound terrible).

As for effects, they have been around for a lot longer than digital DJing :smiley: I have a Kaoss pad which is used a send on my mixer. I also have Traktor scratch and I can play audio vinyl through that and use its effects. Lastly, and best of all, I use (but don’t own :angry: ) a DJM800 which has effects built in.

I tried the +/-2% thing but it seems to introduce artifacts on ableton :stuck_out_tongue: I used the other warp modes but they didnt help either. Worked on one or two slightly more empty tracks, but the more filled up tracks showed artifacts and all the tracks with real powerful kicks ended up sounding weird as well.

Nice tip otherwise, will definately work on it thanks again :smiley:

Been wanting a Kaoss Pad for a while myself, either that or the Maschine.

Checked out some of your mixes, everything flows nicely with your stuff, JetLag was awesome!