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Manual beat matching vs Sync — Which is better for DJs?
And should you focus on honing your classic DJ skills or learning new technology?
Watch me (DJ Shortee) nerd out with Jazzy Jeff and the gang for BPM Supreme in this quick video clip where I share my thoughts on the advancement of DJ technology — and also more specifically, what I think of using sync vs manual beat matching.
In this video, Cory Guiles asked for my thoughts on this hot topic during a fun panel discussion I did with Jazzy Jeff, ADMC, Jay Shale, Sophia Rocks and Cory Townes called “Generations of DJing”.
(As a seasoned turntablist, my answer might surprise you!)
Want more? Click here to peep the full panel discussion!
As a veteran DJ, turntablist, and educator who started spinning back in 1995, I’ve seen technology change the game in ways that were once unimaginable.
From the days of carrying crates of records to now just carrying a thumb drive, it’s been quite the journey. Nowadays, DJs have access to a wide variety of tools that can help them mix, scratch, and create sensational soundscapes in ways that were once impossible.
But with this advancement comes a question…
Classic DJ Skills vs New DJ Technology?
In my opinion, they go hand-in-hand.
The advancements in DJ technology has pushed the artform forward and reduced the limitations in so many ways. With just a few clicks, we can now sync our beats, loop tracks, add FX and even separate all the elements of a track using stem technology.
But let’s not forget the importance of honing classic skills too.
Manual Beat Matching vs Sync: Which is Better for DJs?
Manual beat matching is an invaluable skill that not only allows you to match beats but also tunes your ear like a musician.
Sync is a tool that can match the beats automatically to free you up to perform other actions.
Both manual beat matching and Sync have their unique value and I believe they’re strongest when used together.
Even if you prefer to use Sync all the time, manual beat matching is still a fundamental skill that every DJ should learn.
In addition to tuning your musician’s ear, it gives you the extra skills and confidence to handle any situation.
Trust me, you’ll be grateful you put in the extra effort to learn manual beat matching by ear when you find yourself in a situation where sync stops working and it’s up to you to keep those beats matched to avoid an embarrassing trainwreck.
Relying on Sync as a crutch is a recipe for disaster just waiting to happen.
This is why I teach my students to use Sync as a TOOL, in addition to manual beat matching, in order to enhance your skillset and free you up to concentrate on other creative actions.
Overall, finding a balance between embracing new technology and honing classic skills can help you become a better DJ and elevate your performances to the next level.
So, what do you think about Sync vs Beat Matching and the advancement of DJ technology? Let me know in the comments of the video!
ps — Want to learn to Beat Match like a BOSS??
Click here to learn to beat match by ear so you can DJ without fear!
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