Downloading music is very easy, but finding the right tracks to play at a gig can be a challenge. If you’re finding yourself in this situation, you need better music management! So, here are some great ways to do just that.
Delete unwanted files
Getting rid of the music you don’t need or play anymore is the first essential move. If you’re a little skeptical about deleting it, you can always back it up elsewhere.
Organize at Folder Level
Now regardless of how you sort it in the next few steps, it’s always best to have it organized without the aid of any 3rd party software like iTunes or Rekordbox Playlist because if you change platforms you wouldn’t want to do this process all over.
Most commonly used method, you store your files in folders by month/year. This works very well if you play not more than 1 or 2 styles of music that compliment each other in the set.
Time & Mood
This method employs categorizing the music by what part of your set it’s the best fit for. Even if you have multiple genres, its really about know their mood and place in your set. You may classify them as happy, dark, melancholic, trippy, etc. You can use colors as well to easily classify them.
Quite typical again to classify based on the genre, but sometimes the store genre tags are totally misleading, which would sometimes require another level of sub-classification under the genre.
Using tools like Mixed in Key, one can analyze the root note & BPM of tracks and even have the files renamed automatically. This can be very helpful to quickly find harmonically compatible tracks and have your mixes sound smooth like butter.
You can have custom playlists for various situations that you anticipate. So, you may have multiple playlists with the same tracks in different positions, and you can switch up between various playlists at gigs.
Imagine that your music collection is actually physical like vinyl. Now, you can’t lug 1000 records to a gig, right? So you will need to choose 50 of your best ones that fit the night, try the same with your digital files and see the magic.
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DJ / Electronic Music Producer
Co-Faculty at Beatworx Studio
Artist at Afterworx