How to Record and Mix a DJ Set with live crowd sound

How to Record and Mix a DJ Set with live crowd sound

How To Record and Mix a DJ Set with live crowd sound

People all over the world are now using budget-friendly setups to create professional sounding presentations. Whether it’s a radio show, a live mix or an event, it’s understandable that you will want to record the whole vibe of your show.

Good news is that you will find cutting-edge radio stations launching in someone’s home recording studio. These new sets, mixes and radio stations often sound just as professional as their big-budget counterparts. 

In 2019, you don’t need to spend big or have a sound engineering degree to make your shows to sound like a pro.

There is no need to mention the importance of preparing a flawless set, but how to do it. Harmonic mixing, proper track selection and music production. If you are ready to take the next step and master you mixing skills visit How to become a professional DJ.

1. THE RECORDING EQUIPMENT 

For small budgets, you have two options to record your mix. You either record using an external recorder or directly to your computer. Each solution has its pros and cons. 

Portable recorders 

That is possibly the best and simplest solution. As soon as you’ve learned how to properly use the recorder which is only a matter of connecting it to microphones or a mixer and monitoring the levels, you will be ready to start recording.

That is the ideal option for DJs who want a portable device for recording live sets, radio shows, and podcasts with interviews on location. 

Recording a long duration DJ set or talk show might drain the batteries, so it’s better to go for a recorder that comes with a power supply. One of the most popular recorders out there is the Zoom H4n.

Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder

Zoom H4n  is ideal for recording voiceovers and interviews. It offers four-channel recording up to 24-bit, 96 kHz, capable of handling up to 140 dB SPL. That means you can record everything from ear-splitting heavy metal to heavy bass electronic music. H4n has excellent reviews on online stores and is also Amazon’s choice and top seller.

Check price on Amazon.com

The Zoom HI is available at half the price, but it only has one input, which will limit what you can record but won’t change the quality of your recording. Additional features of the tool are the Playback Speed Control, Voice Emphasize Filter, and Stereo overdubbing functions. This handy recorder is also available in many colors for you to pick.

Zoom H1n Handy Recorder (2018 Model)

Check price on Amazon.com

By using this method of the external device, so you’ll then need to copy the files over to your computer, and edit it if it’s required before you can share it anywhere. 

Direct to your computer 

If you don’t want to spend extra on a recorder and also try to avoid copying files from an external device, you can do it by recording directly to your computer. All your recordings will be ready to edit and share on your laptop or computer.

However, it is a little bit more complicated as it sounds. If you want your set or mix to seem professional, recording directly to your computer is not good enough. Which means you will probably need an audio interface. Unfortunately, the sound card in your PC is not good enough to accurately record audio, so another piece of equipment will get involved to correctly converts the audio signals to digital, so it’s recognized by your computer.

There is also no problem with portability, as audio interfaces are lighter than ever. Check the Best Audio Interface under $200 in 2018, and you will find affordable, portable, with great built quality made by famous brands and record excellent sound. 

For example:

It is time to record your live set along with the ambient sounds. You are using one line input to record from your DJ mixer and one microphone to record the people partying, yelling, clapping, singing, etc. Recording each of these channels separately gives you the flexibility to edit the volume and sound of each channel before you share it to the world. Likewise, if you’re recording a DJ mix and you want to add some drum samples or record your vocals onto a different channel means you can fix imperfections and add professional effects to export a final professional recording.

One of the most popular audio interfaces out there for beginners is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. Which is available for less than $200 and also is available in value bundle packages. For more equipment to your home recording studio, check The Best Home Recording Studio Bundles and Packages. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 includes two inputs. In general, the more inputs you want, the more it will cost you; but is not always the case as are more things to consider when buying one. You’ll also need a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software to record the signal from the interface onto your laptop. Best of all, most audio interfaces out there include an intro-version of professional music software. Ableton Live, Logic Pro and Cubase are popular DAWs for that job. Those are powerful software’s that let you record multiple signals at once.

2. RECORDING TIPS AND TRICKS 

One of the most common mistakes people usually make is recording the audio very loud. You want to avoid clipping and distortion at all costs, so lower the levels if you are not sure. Primarily, the optimum recording levels will depend on what you’re recording, but you’ll want the audio to bounce between -20 and -12 when recording into a device like the Zoom H4n. 

That will give you enough “space” to fill it with when you come to mix the audio. If you’re recording music, make sure the input is stereo and not mono, and this is important. Otherwise, you will have a very flat sound. DJ software, such as Traktor Pro or Serato, will give you the option to switch between the two. So make sure you’ve selected stereo if you want the music to sound like it’s supposed to. 

harmonic mixing DJ

3. DJ SETS: WHAT TO KNOW 

Mixcloud, SoundCloud are some popular music network platforms used by beginners and professional musicians around the globe. It is a great place to “investigate” other shows and sets and get some ideas for you. You’ll notice some shows will stretch to three or four hours, while others will last for around an hour. Podcasts on Mixcloud generally range from 20 minutes to over an hour or two.

You’ll also notice some shows include short voiceovers and fun jingles, while others are just a mix of tracks. 

How you produce your show is really up to you, but we encourage you to experiment and think creatively. It will be your signature on the music you play. Keep it simple and creative at the same time.

Useful DJ set tips to consider: 

1. Be original, creative and create unusual concepts that will make your shows unique. For example, invite guests and talk about recent news, events and other music relative subjects
2. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Invite guests for guests mixes or back2back sessions. That adds variety and expands your reach to a new audience. 
3. Add Voiceovers either by you or professional vocalists. This way you will give your fans an extra insight into your music character that they will be able to recognize it even if they missed the beginning of your set. It’s also a great way to promote your social media pages or events at the end of your set. 
4. One last thing that many producers have it on their shows are the jingles. If your show plays automatically after another show has finished, using a jingle at the start or end can identify your show and get people excited about what’s coming up. Just do not over do it. Overusing jingles can distract your listeners, so pick the right times to do it. Ideally, 3-5 times would be perfect for one hour show. Once at the start, middle (once or twice), and at the end will create the ideal DJ showcase. 

What is Jingles? Jingles are very short clips of audio containing key information about a show, such as the name of the artist and where it is hosted. 

That is arguably the most crucial part If you’re recording a DJ mix, start with at least a full minute of musk so you can hook people in. For a live radio show or podcast, keep the introduction short, so you can pass straight to the music and do not walk-out your listeners. We’ll often notice significant drop-offs in the first minute of Mixcloud shows, so the first 20-30 seconds are the most important. If you’re new to presenting, don’t worry, as everyone has to start from somewhere. Preparation is essential so make lots of notes. 

Some final notes before starting to record your music sets or/and podcats:

– Don’t talk over vocals 
– Do keep the musk below your speech low 
– Don’t apologize for mistakes, just move on 
– Do relax and be natural 
– Don’t script everything (but do make notes) 
– Do add personal stories and anecdotes

Check out 20 music production and sound recording tips.

You can drop your comments below and let us know what do you think or how you record your DJ sets with live crowd sound.

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