A DJ is one of the most hardworking individuals in the dance music industry. DJ’s are skilled to select a pool of songs that convey a certain mood or vibe. Within the heart of this skill, is a technique
known as ‘Beat Matching.’
What is Beat matching?
Beat Matching is done by ear and is a skill that can be learned. If two tracks are not matched or
beat-matched perfectly, their beats will fall out of sync while mixing or blending them together.
Instead of sitting beautifully on top of each other, it would sound like noise that could ruin your
performance in the blink of an eye.
Known as mixing or blending in the earlier days, this technique was invented in the later 1960’s by New York DJ Francis Grasso. Francis initially used a metronome to measure the tempo of two tracks in order to pair up their meters and downbeats. This blend resulted in turning the two tracks into a single track that was better than the individual tracks alone.
Now, new-age DJ equipment and software offers a visual representation of the track being played along with the representations of BPM that simply beat matching. It is often easier to visually match the beat rather than by ear with the help of this equipment. The graphical or numeric representations were meant as confirmation to the skill of the trained-ear, but it is possible to do this just visually, though not recommended.
Further advancement in technology allowed the promise of instantly syncing two tracks with just the push of a button, eliminating the first set of skills required to be a professional DJ.
That leaves us with the question – if you use a button to sync or beat-match, are you still a DJ?
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