DJ self-study – 3 exposed crossfader moves
The crossfader is one of the DJ’s best friends. He doesn’t get much attention when it comes to the DJ’s toolbox, but he is a friend.
I always tell students to know their team. You have to know the ins and outs and how your particular team works. With the crossfader, that means you have to learn its “in point”. The “in point” is where the channel you are playing with becomes audible. Once you find that spot, put it in that part of your mind that you won’t forget (you know, right next to the memory of your first car).
Now the work of the crossfader is easy. It allows you to control the sound that comes from your components and goes to the amplifier. Your components are likely to be vinyl, CDs, a laptop, an iPod, and a microphone. You may not have all of these, but this is just an example. Use the crossfader to move from one component to the next. Sometimes the move is a basic fade in/out and sometimes you are using the crossfader in conjunction with more advanced beat matching or techniques.
Now, of course, your next question will be, “What kind of advanced techniques are we talking about here?”
Before I encourage you to learn about some advanced techniques, you should know that these are difficult to explain and even more so if they are based on reading. You really need to find a decent Video DJ series if you plan on getting good at it.
Well, I refuse to leave you hanging. So hold on to your covers, my friend, because it’s going to be an interesting ride.
3 exposed crossfader movements:
The cut (or stab): scratch the record and place the crossfader silently in the middle of the crossfade. It’s going to sound like half a scratch.
The front scratch: Position the sample so that it is just behind the needle. At a particular point (usually at the beginning of a bar in this case) move the crossfader in and let the recording play. When the sample stops, pull the cross fader back, back the dial to the beginning of the sample, and let it play again. Then it’s a matter of repeating until the heart is content, playing with the sample.
The Squeak: this is where hand coordination really comes into play. Start with the fader open and move forward as usual, but fade out as you reach the end. The opposite takes place on the backstroke, that is, the backstroke begins to fade. As the name suggests, this should create quick, short chirps.
I know some of these sound difficult, which is why I tell my students to get a good DJ video course. Books aren’t going to teach you much since you can’t even see what’s happening to save your life.