Last week, I was focused on technique. As you may or may not know, I have a pretty slick new piece of gear called the Numark NV. As the saying goes, with great power, comes great “responsibility”…or in my case, “lots of practice.” These 4 inch jog wheels feel a whole lot different than a 12 inch motorized platter and trying to push them forward on the beat has proven difficult. Until I get used to the push, I typically resort to looping so that I can keep different tracks on time, but I can’t help but feel that although it sounds fine, it feels less interactive.
After about 2 hours of non-stop pushing the jog wheel forward in attempt to introduce a new track on beat, I can frustratingly say that I am much more successful in doing this right-handed than I am left-handed. This is a bit ironic, because on a turntable with 12″ platters, I can control records better with my left hand. So it looks like I’ll need to spend some more time on this seemingly simple, yet highly frustrating technique so that during a performance, I can add a little more flair and excitement!
I have been practicing and using the heck out of Beat Jumps in Serato! Taken from the Serato Blog directly, “Beat Jump is a new feature to Serato DJ that allows you to instantly jump forward or backwards in your track by a pre-determined amount, perfectly in time.” Imagine you have a track where the first 8 measures have vocals only, and the next 8 measures have just a beat without the vocals. With beat jump, you can loop the first 8 measures (vocals only), and with the touch of a button, you can bounce to the next 8 measures (beat only). The really impressive feature here is that as you jump between segments, you never lose timing. In other words, it sounds seamless. In that example, the beat jump was a full 8 measures. With Beat Jump, you can also jump backwards/forwards in smaller intervals. Say you wanted to loop the first 4 measures with vocals and the next 4 measures with a beat only…one minor tweak and you can jump by increments of 4 measures instead of the full 8. I cannot explain how useful this feature is. After just a little practice, along with some practical use at a local bar, I am not sure how I got along without this feature!