Any professional DJ worth their salt should be bringing crates and crates to each and every gig. After all, what’s a DJ without a huge collection of music to really get the d-floor pumping? These days, most DJs record crates are USB sticks and hard drives – and in a digital world that’s all well and good. However with this format comes the formidable task of organising your tunes. It can be a difficult task browsing through thousands upon thousands of songs, searching for that next banger, when the track on your deck has only thirty seconds to go!
Let’s take a look at the best way to organise music on a computer. We’ll start with software.
iTunes is actually not a bad piece of software to organise your DJ music. You can create different playlists and folders for each genre or mood. For example: a playlist of different tech house numbers and a playlist of various trance songs. It is then easy to pick a song based on the current genre. iTunes can also be synced with Traktor, Serato and Rekordbox so it’s very easy to integrate into digital DJ software. The downsides to iTunes are that it can be difficult to micro-manage individual files, as it is part of Apple’s “user-friendly” ecosystem.
Another option is Beatport Pro. This handy piece of software allows the DJ to categorise music (like iTunes) and arrange playlists but it also has a space for one shots and loops and other little sound bits that can help to spice up a DJ set. It also syncs directly with the Beatport store, so the DJ can buy and arrange their songs all in the one spot. It also has a handy tagging system, allowing a DJ to organise their music quite precisely. It also syncs with most major digital DJ software.
There are several other tips to help organise you DJ music on a computer, despite the individual choice of software. As mentioned above, arranging songs by their genres is a great way that allows you to pick the next best song right off the bat. Another way is to arrange songs by their BPM. This helps to create a smooth and steady mix without too many huge alterations in tempo.
Backup, Backup, Backup!
This is so important we’ve mentioned it three times! Working on the digital plane, it’s all too easy to lose entire libraries of files in crashes and glitches. It is well worth backing up each and every song, and in more than one place. Having a couple of hard drives spare with your entire music library on them is a very wise idea for any professional DJ in the scene these days. Digital disaster can strike at any time! So be forewarned, and enjoy your mixing!