De sync-knop - elke DJ controller, tabletop of softwareprogramma beschikt er tegenwoordig over. Manueel beatmatchen lijkt daardoor op de achtergrond te raken en dat zorgt voor een levendige discussie in de DJ-wereld, want gaat de ‘art of DJ-ing’ hiermee ten onder? En is deze functie het einde van de term deejay of geeft het juist meer speelruimte? In deze blogpost worden deze vragen beantwoord én geven we je nog wat advies op de koop toe!

The sync button: every DJ controller, tabletop controller and DJ software programme has one these days, but does it spell the death of manual beat-matching and the art of DJ-ing as we know it? The discussion within the DJ-verse is currently hot, to the point where, on one side, it means the end of DJ-ing and on the other side, the sync button gives DJs even more room to play. In this blog, we take a look at both sides of the argument and offer a little advice on how to get the best out of this seemingly harmless little button.

Foul Play?

Basic DJ-ing is essentially beat-matching, where you match up the tempo of one track with the beat of another track, so you can create a seamless, flowing mix of the two. With the sync button, all of this is done by the software so, in theory, you can suddenly mix any track with any other track with minimal skill. This immediately reveals why such a large portion of the DJ community takes such offence to the sync button. It seemingly wipes out the months if not years spent honing the craft of mixing. Why bother when you can do the same thing at the push of a button? Tweaking, pushing and braking your turntable or media player; counting, listening and the hours upon hours of practice involved results in a set that may not always be tight right down the millisecond, but does result in a kind of swing that threads through the performance, making things exciting for the crowd. In a word, there’s jeopardy. And it’s that jeopardy that can help take a set to a higher vibe – a higher sphere. And isn’t that exactly what DJs do it all for?

Beat-Matching: Practice Makes Perfect

Of course, learning to trigger a track at just the right moment takes some practice – that goes without saying and, since beat-matching is a core skill of DJ-ing, it’s a pretty important thing to master. But, the sync button is actually the best tool in your box for this. Using the sync button, you can get a feel for how the beat sits and how to land on it; get familiar with how it sounds and then try the same thing out manually. This will also help you get to know the tracks you’re working with and help stimulate the more creative side of mixing. The fact is that, when you get to the point where you can mix by hand and ear without your nose pressed against a screen, you’ll immediately win the respect of your fellow DJs.

In Practice…

Great, you’ve put in the hours, and now you’re stepping into the booth. Maybe you’re taking over from the DJ that just played. There is nothing worse than just cutting off the music and starting to blast your own tunes. This will just kill the vibe that the DJ before you just worked hard to create, and will only make you look unprofessional. Count, match your opening track with the BPM of the track that’s already playing and keep the atmosphere alive. This is the kind of thing that will make sure you’re remembered as a respectful and professional DJ. If you need to hook up some extra equipment, then put on a longer track and give yourself enough time to set everything up and mix in the next track. Oh yeah! And always bring a backup! You’re not the first DJ to suffer at the hands of failing gear.

What do you think? Is the sync button a blessing or a curse? Don’t sugar coat your thoughts and let us know in the comments!


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