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[CHAT] DJM series - How to Mix in Headphones (late night practice)

Hi.  So at night, I want to practice mixing on a DJM-750.   I turn the Master level to negative infinity so my main speakers are silent.   I turn the Mixing knob to Master.   I don't hear anything.   If I activate the CUE button on the Master channel, then turn the Mixing knob to Cue, I still don't hear anything.

I thought the Master level control sets the output volume only, not the internal "mixed level" of all channels.   How do I hear the internal mixed level of all channels but set the volume in my headphones for comfort?

Or at the very least, if CUEing the Master channel, shouldn't that CUE happen "before" or pre-Master Level control?

Is there a hidden setting somewhere?  The manual makes no mention.  The only thing I can figure out is to unplug my speakers from Master and instead run them from Booth.

Suggestions?

jaynyc

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13 commentaires

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@jay you're in the majority here - lot's of users seem to be mystified by this at first.  You're reaching the right conclusion, the way I handle it when practicing is to turn off my studio monitors (if they don't have an on/off or their own independent gain, I suppose you'd need to either unplug them or disconnect them from the mixer).  Seems a lot of people think this is a miss by Pioneer but it's actually by design and quite clever - I do all of my live mixing with in-ear-monitors so I rely on this configuration quite a bit.  You're right, the cue levels for channels 1-4 are pre-fader but what you may not have noticed is that they're post-trim (if that makes sense).  Similarly, the master cue is post-trim so that if all faders are at 10, not only do you have the benefit of monitoring your levels visually, you can do it audibly without ever having to lift your cans.  This enables you to monitor the levels as they'll be heard through the master out BEFORE you bring in the new track, so you don't have to tweak trims as you're transitioning.  Hope that all makes sense.  This configuration makes mixing a thousand times more efficient (and fun) for me at least - no having to deal with stage monitors (which sometimes are just awful) or lift my cans on/off, plus beatmatching ends up being way more accurate because you're taking room dynamics/delays out of the equation.    

Fox 0 votes
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@Fox > Great sum up there, thanks for your input!

Plus, monitors aren't always available so its nice to be able to do it in the headphones!

Gavin 0 votes
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I hightly doubt DJs need to actually hear the master level going up or down in the headphones- this especially comes in handy if you're doing a warm-up set at a club or arena with a 10ms (or more) delay in the monitors and you need to split cue- if the master is low, so is the cue in the headphone.

Spoke to a few friends about this over the years, and we're hoping a future update of a DJM900nexus and DJM2000nexus firmware (or the next mixer model in a few years) has a menu option to switch the MASTER CUE from "PST" level to PGM" level 

PST meaning Post (master) knob and PGM meaning Program  (whatever faders are active- fixed at 0dB) 

This way you can split cue with the master cue being independent from the master level. 

 

Gavin, did that make sense? :)

Mad Jam 0 votes
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Hi Fox

I am thinking of changing from traditional DJ head phones over to the Shure se215 or the 425, but I am very undecided at the moment and don't want to just splash the cash out on them Incase it's not for me. The advantage I see is I can practice at home and use them in a club environment saving my hearing.

How do you find them in a club environment ? And I was just wondering what you mean by 'post trim' ? I have a DJM 900 Nexus with 2 x CDJ 2000's.
What would you say is the best way to use in ear monitors with this mixer, both in a club or at home with two standard monitor speakers ?

Any help with this guys would be much appreciated

Craig 0 votes
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In ear monitors... something coming for you soon- split cue is the best way to mix/beat-match 

Mad Jam 0 votes
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Can anyone share any light on Foxes pervious comment, the channels are post trim, what does that mean in a more detailed explanation ? Would any of you guys be able to recommend a good pair of in ear monitors for home use and club use ?

Craig 0 votes
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Just saw this thread resurrected...sorry for the monster delay, I've been off the boards for a while. I'll take a shot answering some of the questions - of course, I defer to the pio reps in case they have any light to shed:

(after proofing my post, I thought it would be helpful to mention upfront that this response may be useful for anyone mystified by the post-master cue, not just those interested in in-ear monitoring - there's a ton of utility in this feature, and many who allow leveling fundamentals to go by the wayside are missing out some pretty massive upside)

I can certainly see why it wouldn't seem helpful for a DJ to hear the "master level go up and down" but that's actually where the magic is for in-ear-monitoring (and a pretty big deal in monitoring, generally); having an accurate (ie, relative) read on the master level in the split cue enables you to mix in a new track at the appropriate level without having to take off your phones. If you didn't have a true relative level of the master gain, the mix (with regard to leveling) as heard in your headphones would be useless - you'd need to take off your cans to bring the track in and adjust trim/channel faders live. This of course is fine in certain scenarios and various transitions, however, can be stifling in many regards. A few examples (not limiting): 1) Dropping a tune on the 1 full bore - it would be an awful shame to find out that new track was mastered several dbs shy of the preceding track or that your trim levels are off from compensating for the last mix imbalance - in this case, it's too late to trim after the track has dropped (plus you're busy doing the Jesus pose or making hearts with your hands). 2) FX-crazy DJs would rather have their hands free so they can add flanger to their wooshy sounds. 3) acapellas over instrumentals - unless you have a preview of the levels as they'll be heard by Johnny-bottle-service, you won't know what type of adjustment the vocal needs to blend properly (eg, reverb, hi/lo pass, delay, etc). 4) Anyone who wants to monitor in-ear.

"Post-trim" is just that - adjusting the trim on any cued channel (whether it's the master or any of the 4 tracks) will affect the level at which you hear that channel in the split cue. This, after some experimenting, will change the way you DJ, I promise. I encourage anyone not aware of this feature to explore how it can help your mixing style - regardless, it will force you to run levels properly and also happens to be the key to in-ear monitoring.

As for using IEMs in the club - one word, yes. My ears have never been happier with me. Some benefits 1) takes super awful club monitoring out of the equation (though you won't have it to blame if you train wreck so I suppose that sword has two edges) 2) Custom IEMs look extremely legit and provide an excellent excuse to ignore people - I just point to them and shake my head "no" - if she is cute, I replace said head shake with an adorable wink. 3) this seems obvious, but if you have any aspiration of producing, you'll need to be able to hear - I'm not a scientist but there are lots of them on google, read 5 minutes about what high-volume listening does to your hearing and you'll never go to a club without earplugs again (not kidding)

Some drawbacks - 1) if you sweat a lot, you won't be able to keep a good seal and THAT is a big problem (always bring spare cans) 2) this is a big one - the guy/girl that was on before you leaves you with trim levels and a general mixer configuration that make you reevaluate your entire life - this only happens 100% of the time so you need to find ways to manage it. The solution for this is getting to gigs early.

Suggestions: the Shures are great, but I'd be remiss not recommending the group that hooked me up with my customs - 1964 Ears. They're relatively new to the game so their pricing is EXTREMELY competitive (ie, really not a huge premium to some of the higher-end universal IEMs, and nearly half the cost of their competitors) and the company is at a stage where they're very particular about their craftsmanship (I cannot say the same for some other big names out there, which will go nameless). I personally went with the quad (4-driver) "bass-heavy" model and can attest to its appropriateness for DJing (which FTR is not easy to come by, most people that review them are headfiers). Also 1964 is US-based, which is a huge consideration given the process to have customs made (you will in all likelihood need a refit, and you don't want to have to deal with shipping overseas, customs taxes, etc - it can get very time consuming and expensive). If you're not in the US I'd recommend someone that's proximate as "fit" is really the most important part of customs (that goes double for DJing given the importance of a good seal for sound isolation). Also for DJing, soft tips are essential - despite your best efforts, you'll be pulling them out of your ears often and that can get painful fast with acrylic tips.

I think that covers it - honestly I can't remember a time before starting this post so feel free to shout more questions if I missed anything. Also, any jokes and/or mockeries contained herein are general jokes and/or mockeries and not directed at any individual on this forum. Also I am a bit wasted so I'd like to just apologize in general for everything/anything. Goodnight DJs of the world.

Fox 0 votes
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Thank you Fox for that information, was really helpful :)

I'm not in the states I'm in the UK so probably will have to leave that company you recommended. I was going to buy the Shures and just use the standard bud sizes they come with to fit my ear. If I get custom moulds made could I attach them to your shure 215/425 models you think ? Can't find anything online about putting your own custom moulds on the Shures. Just don't want to go crazy on the budget

Just a couple more things to clarify if you can help with mixing with IEM's. I used some (not great) ear buds last night at home with my DJM 900. They are standard ear buds really more for listening to ipod etc but the sound is pretty good so thought I would use them to try and get an idea of what it would be like mixing in headphones/IEM'.

I mix with 2 channels on my DJM900 so used a couple of different ways I thought would work best. Firstly it did feel a little wired mixing constantly in your ears but I did like it, but I know it will take some getting use to and changing a few habits.

I used the following method which I'm not sure is right, could you advise on the best method if this is incorrect.

1- I left the master cue on at all times so I could always monitor the master level.

2- I then used the (cue/mix) to listen to the level/beat match of the track I wanted to bring in.

3- I would then raise the level and turn the cue off on the tract I was bring in and listen purely then to the master cue. This was using the 'stereo' option on the headphones section of the mixer

I found the levels to change between the cue/cue master this way and when going back to purely listening to the master having to crank the volume up a little.

When you say cue split do you mean the 'mono-split' setting on the DJM 900 ? I did use this last night when just messing about and couldn't really get to grips with how to use it correctly :/ I know this sounds ridiculous but hearing one song in one ear then the other on the cue/master I feel I must be doing it incorrect.

I know that the cue buttons are 'post cue' so if the cue buttons turned off and you are just listen to the master cue when you take a track out it will cut the sound go like if you were mixing on normal speakers. But with the 'mono split' It's more difficult not to have the cue button engaged even with bringing a track into the master level to mix then together.

I went and watched Laidback Luke on the dj sounds show yesterday and notice he only ever pressed the cue of the track he wanted to listen to/bring into the mix, he didn't even have the master level cue engaged. So how would he be able to reference in his IEM's a best match between the cued track and the master

Any help with this fox on the best war for me to use IEM's with my DJM 900 would be great. I plan to use these for home practice and club so really want to get this right appreciate your feedback

Craig 0 votes
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Hi Craig - responses to your last post:

1) I believe most of the custom IEM shops will do custom molds for universals (I know for certain 1964 does), but no need to get too wrapped up in all that if you're getting a good seal

2) #1 and #2, right on. #3 I personally skip shutting off the cued track(s) and just shift the phones mix to 100% master but that's just my own habit - both methods get you to the same place effectively.

3) If master vs track levels are dramatically different in the cue, check the trim levels. Keeping the master trim in relative balance with the track trims before they're summed will sort this out.

4) Apologies, when I say split-cue I'm referring to mixing on headphones in general; I don't personally use the mono-split, but again, that's just personal preference.

5) Luke uses Earproof IEMs - from what I can tell in the video you're right, it looks like he never engages the master cue. I'm just speculating here but it looks like he's cueing in the phones at a modest level and his reference for the master is whatever bleeds through his IEMs from the studio monitors. I didn't see him adjust the level on the phones at all which makes a lot of sense - if he has a constant cue and master signal reference coming at him throughout the performance, he can manage his levels by ear. Just another way to skin the cat. If you'd like you can ask him on his forum - he's very responsive to DJs and producers on his boards.

Fox 0 votes
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MaDJam - sorry, I just saw your post as well. The solution for the low master level in your phones is to balance the relative outputs of the master and track channels. In the situation you've framed above, turn the trim down on the tracks and trim up on the master (so as to keep the same master output level overall) and the levels in your phones will balance out.

Fox 0 votes
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Hi Fox 

I think I will end up going for the Shure SE425 and see what the generic ear buds that come with them are like for isolation and sound.

I am still practicing with In ear buds at the moment and am getting used to mixing that way.  Just have a question regarding the master and a bit of an issue with it.  Above you explain you will need to make sure the master level is as close the individual track trim level. But this is what I am finding when mixing in ear.

I will keep the master cue on at all times as i am purely mixing in my ears with no monitor or outer sound when practing at home.  Benefit is it won't piss of the neighbour this way either haha.

When i wan to then bring in the cued track on channel 2 for example, I will beat match it with the master cue and then start to bring the fader up and the tune into the main master mix level.  i will either disengage the cue button on channel 2 or turn the 'mixing' knob to 100% master level like you mention above which is down to preference. 

After this when the upfader is at 10 on the mixer I can barely here the track at has just come into the mix over the master, but the master level in the cue is not really loud or louder than the cued track i have just brought in to mix with the master.  

When mixing to here the cued track I want to bring in i will use the mixing Knob to here the master and cued track and usually set it to 12 o'clock, but the track is just to high but the mixer is saying that the trim on say channel 2 is equal to that of the master cue level. 

The problem i have is when taking a track from an individual channel on my mixer into the master cue after turning off the channel 2 cue or putting the mixing knob on 100% the master I can barely here the track i have just brought in when both tracks are playing live together on the master cue. 

Sorry for this being long winded and I am probably missing something simple it's just I have checked the levels and everything seems to be equal so i can understand why the track being brought into the mix gets so quiet then listening to both ones mixing on the master. 

Yeah i think i will nip on his forum or tweet him, your right though looks like his reference is just the sound coming throughout his IEM's I can imagine those speakers would be fairly loud in that environment. 

Once again thank you for your advice on this forum. 

Craig 0 votes
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This is old, but someone's got to stop the insanity. I guess Susan Powter wasn't available.

All DJ mixers with channel gain/trim knobs put their PFL/cue routing after the gain/trim. Please cite a single mixer that puts PFL/cue before them and has gain/trim knobs separate from the channel volume control... I don't mean something defective, either. The comment that somehow that's a special feature is patently absurd.

Pioneer puts the Master/Pgm feed to the headphone (including both cue select and the headphone blend/mix knob that do the same thing) after the Master/Pgm knob as a means of allowing you to attenuate it to compensate for how much bleed is coming into the headphone already from the monitors or house system. It's an interesting option they work into the design. Not totally necessary, but not the worst idea I've ever heard of. Preferably, you should just leave it at unity, but if you need to cut it in the cans a little and don't mind sacrificing a bit of signal level to the house system, you can. There is plenty else they could be doing to provide other options, but my advice in that regard is not free.

That you had to be told to turn off or unplug your speakers in order to keep the Master/Pgm in the headphones maxed/at-unity when mixing late at night privately is just, well, baffling. How is that not the obvious solution?

Reticuli 0 votes
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