Making your own DJ edits and remixes is a great way to start learning production. Why? Because you're not starting completely from scratch your adding your own sound and personality to something that's already done.
To do this you'll want to identify a song to work with. Maybe an old classic or something current. From there you'll want to start layering in your own sounds and samples. Which is where samples, drum machines and samplers come into play.
OK so I'm a long time user of sample libraries and I got to the point where it was time to start making some sense of my collection.
Somehow in the process I discovered a hidden feature in Pioneer Rekordbox that allows you to export loops of your tracks as wav files.
This is a win because Rekordbox is free and exporting these loops right from Rekordbox is a lot faster than finding loops in a DAW and exporting them. Plus Rekordbox tells you what key the song is in and DAW's don't really do that.
Having this ability to export loops is big especially for you more creative DJs. Maybe you just want to play loops of a track to tease the audience, or perhaps you want to go further and start making your own edits and remixes.
Now I'm a big fan of proper progressive house from the early 2000s, the problem is that tempos were faster back then and today's music just hits in a different way compared to the past. Part if it is louder masters but mainly everyone's mixing and sound has evolved for the better in the past 15 years or so.
Anyhow, this feature of Rekordbox is awesome and it's worth using Rekordbox (the free version) if you don't have it. (link)
If you have a sampler you can have a ton of fun taking your favorite tracks, cutting them up and making your own edits and what not. Again, just use Rekordbox to identify what track you'd want to remix, find parts of the song you'd want to use and quickly export them so they can be loaded in your sampler of choice. HINT - you want to find songs that have break downs or parts with a key musical or vocal riff that have little or ideally no music or percussion playing in the background. You may also want to work with the intro drum section to grab a top loop or something like that.
This brings me back to sample libraries. It's a good idea to have a process for organizing your library. In terms of this specific example you'll want to have your samples key labeled. So if you're going to edit or remix existing music you're using samples in the same key.
Remember - no amount of EQ can fix samples that don't match sonically. Particularly with kick and bass.
Check out the video above - and for more tips on organizing your sample library I wrote this post last week.
Ranking in at a mighty 4.4 out of 5 stars on Sonic State is the Boss Dr. Rhythm. Here's what's written on Sonic State.
Comments About the Sounds:
It sounds like a less grungy, brighter TR-606, with fantastic handclap sounds. Ticky Roland noise snare, your roland hissy analog hihats, ride-cymbal's bell-like, like the 606s, and the Bass drum... well, if I make a successful mod I'll post it. Oh, did I mention the handclaps are the best?! Not real tunable. . . But I'll be working on making some mods once I get my spare (guinea pig) DR-110."
Hopefully you're like me and have a handful of cool older cousins. My cousin Mike is an awesome dude. Super duper cool. Runs a local business, plays in a band, always up for a cigar or whiskey. Back in the day he got cast as an extra in the Sopranos and so on.
The boss drum machine came out in the 80s and my cousin Mike was one part of the intended audience. Mike plays guitar and wants to jam to a drummer so Roland made these drum machines. Well, you know how history goes. They were terrible at their original purpose as they sounded no where close to rock and roll drums and they made there way to the second hand market and became the stuff of flea markets. Then us DJs and electronic music heads got a hold of them and you know what happened from there. One day a long time ago at Mike's house he was like "Here take this thing, because I never use it but you might like it."
Anyhow it's a cool but of kit. Very very simple, theres like 5 sounds so I recorded them with my UAD Apollo through the unison pre-amps and assembled some basic loops. I don't know what project couldn't use the cymbals, claps, and snares. What's nice is that it comes in it's own case, so many are well kept. You grab one for a few hundred but instead, I recorded and you can grab the samples here. Enjoy.