Beatmatching: A Practical Guide for Students in DJ Training

Posted on June 24th, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

beatmatching helps pros with DJ training keep the music playing

Music has long been used to bring people together and get them dancing. But if you’re playing songs one after the other, there will be moments when the song needs to be changed, resulting in moments of silence. Fortunately, there are ways around these awkward pauses. Beatmatching allows for the song to change in a DJ set by fading one song into the other and matching their tempo, or their beat, which keeps crowds dancing.

Read on to discover some practical tips on how to beatmatch once you become a DJ.

Students at DJ School Will Learn How to Properly Cue up a Song

When you begin to learn how to become a DJ, you’ll discover that one of the first steps in mixing and beatmatching is ‘cueing up’ a song. Cueing up a song refers to how a DJ prepares a song so that it starts playing right on the first beat.

A typical DJ set-up features two turntables placed on either side of a mixer, which controls how the music is sent from the turntables through the speakers and the DJ’s headphones. A Typical mixer will have anywhere from 2-8 mixer channels. On most standard DJ mixers there will be a ‘cue mix’ button for each mixer channel. These mixer channels will each be connected to a song or turntable. Once a DJ presses the cue mix button, the song on the mixer channel will begin to play—but only on the DJ’s earphones at first, and not yet through the speakers. Once you become a DJ, use just one earphone to listen to the song that you plan on syncing, while letting the other ear listen to the music being played on the dance floor.

When finding the first beat, DJ students know that they can’t just let the record spin until the first beat arrives. There isn’t time to waste as a DJ, you need to keep the music coming! That’s why instead of waiting, students learn to ‘fast forward’ a song by rotating the record on the turntable in a clockwise motion until they hear the first beat. Then they rewind the song until the needle lies directly behind the first beat. It’s important for students to precisely let go of the record as the first beat hits.

Pros with DJ training often listen through one earphone

DJs often listen through one earphone to hear the song currently playing as well as the one being cued

Syncing the Beats is an Important Lesson in DJ Training

Once you’ve started your training at DJ school and know how to properly cue a song, it’s time to move on to learning how to sync tracks. That’s where your turntables will come in handy. Let’s refer to the left turntable as A and the right as B.

When you have turntable A playing through the speakers, it’s time to use the above lesson to cue up the record on turntable B to begin syncing your music. Press the ‘cue mix’ button for turntable B, which will begin to send its sound through your headphones. Put your headphones up to one ear, and try to simultaneously listen to what is being played through your speakers and what is being played through your headphones. Now, try and start turntable B’s first beat at the same time that you hear a beat coming through the speakers from turntable A, usually by focusing on a kick drum sound.

If you’re lucky, you will match the kick drums of both turntables, but if not, there are some ways to quickly fix the situation. If you started record B late, give the record a slight push so that it begins to match up, and if you’ve started the record early, place your finger on the side of the turntable to slow it down just enough to begin to sync.

Matching Tempos Is Important For Students in DJ Training

Most likely the tempos of the two tracks you’re hoping to sync are different, which means that you’ll need to adjust each turntable’s speed in order for the tracks to sync properly. One way to do this is to raise the pitch level on the turntable in order to speed it up, or lower the pitch level to slow it down. This will help make the tracks line up well. The pitch level is often controlled by a little slider that is located directly next to a turntable and is used to speed up and slow down the speed of records.

Once the beats are synced, you can use the ‘fader’ slider on the mixer to begin to fade the song from turntable A out of the mix, and bring in the song from turntable B.

Want to discover how DJ training can provide the hands on instruction you need to match beats and move crowds?

Contact an advisor today to find out more!

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4 Characteristics of Successful Audio Production College Grads

Posted on March 18th, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

audio courses

Before reaching your ears, every film soundtrack, radio broadcast, and top 40 hit passes through the fingers of an audio production professional. These skilled professionals can be found working for live concerts, film and radio, videogame and ringtone companies, corporate events, theatre performances and more.

If you’re interested in securing employment in any of these creative workplaces, finding the right training institute with experienced instructors and industry-standard recording equipment is half the battle. There are also certain key characteristics that suggest you are particularly well-suited to a career in sound.

Wondering whether audio production is for you? See if you have any of the following characteristics.

1. Audio Pros Are Open-Minded & Willing to Learn from Past Experiences

Today’s music and sound recording industry is complex and multifaceted. Not only do industry professionals arrange, compose and adapt sound, they’re also often called to negotiate recording studio rates and budgets, help performers make demos and book rehearsals, mix, master, and engineer recordings, collaborate with artists and beyond. That’s why many of the world’s best sound producers come from diverse walks of life. Working a range of fields and environments gives them a wealth of life experience from which they can draw skills and inspiration.

Your prior work experience, even if not directly related to the sound field, can support your career. For example, Oscar-winning sound engineer (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather) Walter Murch tried his hand at writing and editing before deciding to pursue sound production. He says this experience gave him valuable insight into how sound can influence different aspects of the storytelling process.

2. Great Audio Training Grads Have an Interest in Computer Technology

At its foundation, audio production is the manipulation of sound through digital or technological machinery.

“As a gear-head, I enjoy all the tubes and knobs and lights and boxes,” admits Seattle audio producer Stuart Hallerman. “I love music and technology.”

audio production college

Get your hands on the technological side of music-making in audio production training

An interest in the technological aspects of how sound is shaped and formed can help you adjust to the hands-on recording sessions you’ll face in in audio training and throughout your sound production career.

3. People Skills Are Key to an Audio Training Grad’s Success

One of the most essential aspects of a successful sound career is the ability to connect with people. Getting the most out of artists, managers, studio owners, production teams and more requires keen communication and collaborative skills.

“Part of recording is getting everyone fed and relaxed, getting their body chemistry adjusted, including my own,” explains Hallerman. He helps artists record their best performances by offering strategic support, with phrases like “your voice sounded beautiful today, just sing it one more time.”

If you consider yourself a strong communicator or you’ve worked in a customer service environment, you may already have this important and encouraging characteristic. With audio courses you can combine your people skills with practical industry knowledge—a recipe for recording success.

4. The Most Important Audio Pro Characteristic: A Passion for Music

Regardless of your professional skill level now, you’ve proven you already have a passion for music by reading to the end of this article. This passion is the most important tool you can use to launch a rewarding sound career.

“I’ve been consistently impressed with the students’ eagerness to jump in,” says Murray Foster, bassist for Great Big Sea and instructor at Trebas. “For the final assignment of every semester, there is (amazingly) always at least one song that makes me think, ‘that song could be on the radio tomorrow.’”

If you have this passion and the traits detailed above, the right training can get your career on-track and your creations radio-ready.

Are you interested in pursuing audio production courses?

Visit Trebas to learn more about getting started.


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4 Reasons to Work in Video Games after Sound Design School

Posted on January 29th, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Video Games after Sound Design School

Video Games after Sound Design School

If you’ve got a knack for expressing yourself through music or an ear for recognizing quality sound, the right training can open doors to dozens of successful careers for you. You could become an audio mixer for television and film, a professional DJ, or you could make like Jaclyn Shumate and become a videogame sound designer.

You’ve likely heard Jaclyn’s work before: she created the audio used in such games as Fable Journey, Plants vs. Zombies, Kinect Star Wars, and many more. It’s an exciting field, and right here in Canada, industry leaders are looking to hire those like Jaclyn with state-of-the-art sound production training. Read on to learn why video game audio design is a stable and worthwhile job path for people like you.

1. Gaming Offers a Range of Opportunities for Sound Design School Grads

You might not expect the videogame industry to be brimming with viable job prospects, but it takes real workers with state-of-the-art training to produce even the simplest of games.

“I think most people who don’t already know about game development are surprised at how technical the job is,” explains Jaclyn. “You have to learn a wide variety of hardware, software, and different techniques to create the audio and get it into the game.”

With these kinds of skills, those with sound production and audio recording training can find work as videogame sound mixers, sound designers, and composers. And as the industry expands, more and more of these specialized technical roles are projected to become available.

2. Canada’s Videogame Production Industry is Thriving

Thanks to the massive popularity of mobile video gaming, which now accounts for 31 per cent of all gaming industry revenues, the video game industry in Canada is growing by what CTV refers to as “leaps and bounds.”

In the past two years alone, the amount of active game studios in Canada has grown from 143 to over 475, with steady job expansion experienced by longstanding companies like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard.

The popularity of gaming in Canada shows no sign of slowing down.

The popularity of gaming in Canada shows no sign of slowing down.

This is great news for students pursuing audio production careers, who now have their pickings from dozens of gaming industry jobs at established studios and newer start-ups.

3. Careers in Videogame Sound Design Pay Well

If you earn a career in videogame sound design and production, you’ll find yourself creating audio content and crafting them to match particular animations and environments in games. You’ll need to not only record or design the sound, but to implement it via audio middleware and test it in gameplay.

Because this work is so creative, intensive, and specialized, jobs in gaming sound design pay well. Graduates of audio design training who work in this field can expect to earn a salary ranging from $18,000-$150,000 depending on their experience. These salaries are also reported to rise quickly, according to Forbes Magazine, because of the fast-paced nature of the gaming business.

4. Sound Design School Grads Find Fulfillment From This Creative Work

Working in videogames isn’t your average career path. It’s colourful, exciting, engaging, and challenging—needing strong aesthetics, technical chops, and even great communication skills. Being able to use so many skills and flex so many creative muscles leads most gaming sound pros to achieve a great sense of personal and professional fulfillment.

Following your career calling to videogame sound design can give you pride and satisfaction you can’t find elsewhere. In Jaclyn Shumate’s words:

“Getting to do a final mix for a game, and realizing it sounds like what you’ve been imagining in your head for months – or years, in some cases – is one of my happiest work and artistic moments.”

Are you interested in pursuing a gaming career?

Enroll in a top sound design school and get started today!

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Tips for Mixing an Amazing DJ Set

Posted on October 16th, 2015 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

DJ Training

Most aspiring DJs have probably experienced what it’s like to be present during the set of a true master of the craft. They’ll have watched the professional DJ switch between songs and genres effortlessly, every track in the mix flowing perfectly into the next.  They’ll have seen how the DJ builds the energy level of the crowd, taking everyone in the room on an emotional journey with them.

Learning to put together a set like the pros can take years of practice, and the process can sometimes be very frustrating. However, the secret to producing a well-crafted, professional sounding mix boils down to just one or two small tricks that the biggest names in the industry turn to time and time again.

If you’re planning to enroll in DJ courses, or you’ve recently started your program, read on to learn some of the tricks that professionals use when they want to put together the perfect set.

DJ Training Teaches Students to be Prepared, but Flexible

A professional DJ can often make it look easy, almost like they’re making the set up as they go along, but that’s not the case at all. Experts who have had proper DJ training know the importance of meticulously planning a set, ensuring that each song fits together into a cohesive whole.

Once you graduate from your program, you will learn that even if you’ve crafted a set that flows perfectly, things can change quickly during the night. You might find the energy of the room isn’t right for the music you’re playing, or you could be faced with some technical issues that interfere with your song choices. If that happens, you will need to be ready to change things up in the moment, and switch the tempo or mood in order to keep your audience happy and entertained.

DJ School Grads Understand the Importance of Catering to the Audience

DJ School

A satisfied crowd is the key to booking more gigs.

Your audience is the key to you booking your next gig, so it’s important to get to know the crowd and cater to them. For example, the latest underground hits might not work with a more mainstream audience, and vice versa.

In addition, keep in mind what timeslot you’re in and plan appropriately. For instance, if you’re expected to take the stage early on in the night, the energy of the crowd will be different than it would if you were headlining, so you’ll need to structure your set to suit the crowd’s mood.

Pros with DJ Training Play Tracks Based on the Audience’s Mood

These days, people’s musical tastes are more varied than ever before. The best DJs learn to divide their record collection by mood, tempo, and energy rather specific genres. Learning to be a musical magpie and cherry picking from a range of styles can be a good way to distinguish yourself as a DJ. Doing something different, such as dropping an old-school Motown track into a modern dance mix, will help make your set more memorable.

Sound Quality is Essential to a Good DJ Set

DJ Training

Keep an eye on your levels during your set to ensure good sound quality.

No matter how perfectly you plan your set, poor sound quality will make you look like an amateur. The mixing and audio engineering techniques you will learn at DJ School will be vital to ensuring that your mix is polished, sleek and professional.

A good DJ doesn’t just cue up tracks and then sit back and watch. He or she is constantly working, switching up EQ levels, transitions, and effects to give the set a unique feel. Most importantly, professional DJs keep their levels out of the red, making the front of house engineer’s life easier, and delivering a clean, clear mix.

Are you interested in learning how to become a DJ?

Visit Trebas for more information or to speak with an advisor.

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An Audio Engineer’s Guide to Starting an Independent Production Company

Posted on July 24th, 2015 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Audio college

A music production company is an entity that is responsible for recording music and managing signed artists from the very beginning of their journey into stardom. Industry pros know that it takes tons of motivation, skill, commitment, and of course a natural talent for analyzing music to be able to start a music production company.

If you plan to enroll in audio production courses, or you have recently begun your program, here’s a quick guide to starting your own music production company once you have earned your diploma.

Successful Music Producers Always Have the Right Equipment

It’s impossible to record good music without the proper recording equipment. Audio college grads know that every production company should feature a full recording studio in order to allow artists to record their music on site. Before starting a production company, it is critical to note that recording equipment can become very pricey, so it’s best to stick to the basics at the beginning, and look into upgrading equipment once you’ve signed your first few artists. Most recording studios consist of; audio interface, microphones, studio monitors, controllers, cables, and of course, music editing software.

Marketing and Promotion is Essential for any Production Company

Once you have invested in filling your space with the equipment you will need, you will definitely want to do some marketing and promotion to spread the news of your business and services. Professionals with audio training know that one of the most effective ways to promote a music company is through the internet.

As a music producer, you should have a website design that is both visually appealing, and provides a lot of information on the services that you will offer, as well as the bands or artists that you have already signed (if there are any). The internet is also a great way to promote your artists’ music, since you can embed sound clips and perhaps music videos to your company’s page. Other methods of promotion include business cards, brochures and stationary.

Audio Engineers Understand the Importance of Networking

The music business can be very fierce and cutthroat, and while hard work and dedication will pay off where your business is concerned, you will definitely need to network to get substantial recognition. This is mainly because a good portion of the business you get will come from the people you know and those you will meet.

The first thing you’ll want to do is make a list of the contacts that you already have, as well as a list of the people you will want to make contact with eventually. Some important industry contacts include music retailers, distributors, radio stations, record companies, and of course, talented artists.

Are you interested in learning more by enrolling in audio production courses? Check out our 48-week diploma program for more information or to speak with an advisor.

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