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DJ Mixing Terms - The Definitive DJ Dictionary

Noah Feasey-Kemp

Noah Feasey-Kemp

Welcome to the ultimate DJ dictionary!

In DJ culture, there are thousands of terms and slang words that may be difficult to understand for new DJs.

Thankfully, the experienced network of DJs behind DJ.Studio have put their years of mixing knowledge together to create this extensive compendium of DJ terminology.

From acapella to WAV this DJ dictionary covers all the basic and complex terms in the culture of DJing.

DJ Mixing Terms - All Explained#

Now, let's get stuck into the DJ dictionary definitions.

Acapella#

An acapella is a vocal track with no instrumental accompaniment, often used by DJs for remixing and blending with other songs. You can often find acapella versions of classic tracks online, where the vocal has been isolated, and all other elements have been removed.

You can also create your own acapella by using stem separation tools - although this takes some technical knowledge.

Amp#

amp

Short for amplifier, an amp is a device that increases the power of audio signals. Amps are found in several stages of DJ setups. The most typical place is a power amp which is used to power loudspeakers or PAs. Additionally, vinyl turntables need a phono preamp to boost their audio signal to line level.

Anti-skating#

anti skating

Anti-skating is a feature on turntables that helps counteract the tendency of the tonearm to pull toward the center of a record. This prevents 'skating' where the tonearm of a record player may slip out the grooves and bounce along the surface of a record.

These are typically presented as rotary controls where you can adjust the amount of anti-skating applied.

Auto Warp#

ableton warp markers

Auto warp is a feature in DJ and music production software (which originated from Ableton Live). This detects beats in a track and automatically places warp markers, which can be used to adjust the timing of beats.

There are several uses to auto warp, but it's primarily used to quickly quantize audio to a grid - making it useful if you want to beat-match older music that wasn't made using a digital beat grid.

Time-warping is a similar process. Occasionally the beginning of a song has a bit of space, which can throw the beat grid off in some situations. Time warping can help correct this.

Balance Control#

Also known as a Pan, this is a control found on DJ gear and software that lets you set the balance of audio output between the left and right speaker channels.

Balancing Levels#

Balancing levels is the process of making sure the volume of all tracks used in a mix are at a similar level. This is important - as you want to make sure that your tracks are all in a relatively close volume range, and aren't jumping from loud to quiet.

Bar#

Bars

A 'measure' of musical time, typically consisting of a specific number of beats. Most modern music is in a 4/4 time signature, which features four beats per bar, meaning the pulse is counted as ' 1 - 2 - 3 - 4'.

Bass#

The term bass refers to sound in the lower end of the frequency range anywhere from 20 to 250 Hz. Bass is also often called 'Lows', and is the heavy, powerful area of sound that is often emphasized in dance music.

Bassline#

A bassline is a repetitive arrangement of bass notes used to form the low-end rhythm and melody of a track.

Battle#

A competitive DJ performance which often involves turntablism and showcasing a DJ's technical skills. These originated as underground events in the 70s and 80s, although now have become their own movement which occurs as large, often professional events with judges and prizes.

Battle Record#

A battle record is a type of vinyl record specifically designed for turntablists and scratch DJs, often containing samples and scratch sounds which are great tools for performance DJing.

Beat#

A basic unit of rhythmic time, often marked by a drum or percussion sound. The underlying pulse of a track is often where you count the beat. Most music contains 4 beats in a bar. With a kick drum on beat 1, and snare hits on beat 2 and 4.

Beat match#

beat matching

Beat matching is the process of aligning the tempo and phase of two tracks, so they can play in time, in perfect synchronism. You want to make sure the next song playing is at exactly the same speed as the last.

On older gear, DJs would need to manually beat match tracks using the pitch control. These days, modern controllers and DJ software feature Sync controls which can accurately automatically beat match tracks.

Belt Drive#

This is a type of vinyl turntable mechanism, where the platter is connected to the motor via a belt. The other main type is direct drive. Belt-drive turntables have a more accurate and consistent motor speed, although they take longer to speed up after stopping. Direct-drive turntables are more suitable for DJs, as they reach full speed nearly instantly.

Booking agent#

A person or agency responsible for securing gigs and managing bookings for a DJ.

Booth#

Booth

The DJ booth is a section in a club which is where the DJ is located - these contain all the equipment and speakers needed for a DJ to do their job. You may also see the term 'Booth' used on DJ mixers, which control the volume of monitor speakers in the DJ booth, but not the main speakers used for the audience.

BPM (Beats Per Minute)#

A measurement of tempo, indicating the number of beats in one minute of music. For example, house is typically around 120 BPM - meaning you can count 120 beats every minute. This measurement is used for beat matching, as you need to make sure both tracks are playing at the same BPM.

BPM Counter#

A feature in DJ equipment or software that automatically detects and displays the BPM of a song. You can also find these as websites online. Learn How To Find The BPM Of Songs!

Break#

A section of a song where the rhythm and instrumentation change, often used by DJs for creative mixing.

A break beat is a breakdown in a song where only the drum beat plays for a couple of bars. These breaks were remixed, and served as the foundation of modern genres like DnB, breakbeat, and jungle.

Breakdown#

A portion of a song where the intensity drops, providing an opportunity for dramatic build-ups and transitions.

Cartridge#

cartridge

This is part of a vinyl turntable, which holds the needle used to read the groove information. The cartridge converts the physical vibrations of the needle into an electric signal, which is then amplified to create audio.

Channel#

Channels

An individual audio path on a mixer, allows DJs to mix multiple sources of audio. DJs need at least two separate channels to be able to mix two tracks together - although some mixers contain 4 or more channels for extra layering.

Chorus#

Chorus has two meanings:

  • A section of a track in terms of arrangement. The chorus is the 'centerpiece' of a track, typically with the catchiest lyrics and section. Unlike verses, the chorus uses the same lyrics every time.

  • An audio effect that creates a rich, shimmering sound by duplicating and slightly altering the original signal to widen the sound.

Legal protection for intellectual property, including music, which DJs must be mindful of when using and sharing tracks. The copyright owner will often be paid royalties every time their music is used in a commercial situation.

Counterbalance (counterweight)#

A weight on the tonearm of a turntable that helps balance the tonearm and apply the correct tracking force on the vinyl.

Crossfader#

crossfader

A slider or knob on a DJ mixer that blends audio from two channels, commonly used for smooth transitions between songs.

5 DJ Crossfade Techniques!

With the crossfader in the center, both channels play at equal volume. Sliding it in one direction turns down the volume of one track while increasing the volume of the other. When put fully to one side, you will only hear the chosen channel, the other will be silent.

Crossfader Curve Control#

A setting that adjusts the curve or slope of the crossfader's movement, affecting how quickly or gradually it transitions between channels. Some settings create a more gradual blend, while others are sharper.

Cue#

A control on DJ decks and controllers. These work differently to the play/pause control, and are used for preparing the position and beat-match of a track.

When you push and hold the cue button down, the track plays. When you let go of the cue button, the track stops and is returned to the cue point.

Cue Point#

Cue points

A point in a song where a DJ marks for playback, often used for previewing and syncing tracks.

Cut#

A sharp, precise movement of the crossfader, often used in scratching and quick transitions.

DAW#

DAW

Short for Digital Audio Workstation, this is a piece of software which is designed to produce and edit audio. These are typically used by music producers to make songs, but can also be used by DJs to create, edit, and record DJ mixes.

DJ.Studio - The Ultimate DAW For DJs

DVS (Digital Vinyl System)#

A technology pioneered by Serato that allows DJs to control digital music on vinyl turntables using a control vinyl.

Deck#

Decks

A term often used interchangeably with turntable, CDJ, or even controller. These are some kind of device which acts as a sound source. Traditionally, two decks are plugged into a DJ mixer, allowing DJs to mix between two tracks.

Demo#

A recording used to showcase a DJ's skills and style to potential clients or promoters. These are often not released to the public.

Direct Drive#

A type of vinyl turntable mechanism where the platter is directly connected to the motor, offering greater torque and stability. DJs use direct-drive turntables rather than belt-drive models.

DJ#

An abbreviation for Disc Jockey, a person who selects and mixes music for an audience. Walter Winchell, a radio commentator, is credited with inventing this term in 1935.

DJ Mixer#

mixer

A DJ mixer is a piece of hardware (or software) that is used to control audio signals from other DJ gear. See 'Mixer' for more info.

DJ Software#

A computer program which is used to facilitate the DJing process in some shape. Popular brands inlcude rekordbox, Serato, Traktor, Virutal DJ, and DJ.Studio.

Echo#

An audio effect that creates a delayed sound by repeating a short snippet of a track - usually in time with the beat. These effects are useful for transitions and are used in all genres of music production.

EDM#

Short for Electronic Dance Music, this is a genre of music, which is produced mostly electronically and is designed to be danced to!

Understanding the Different Tempos and BPMs for EDM

Effects Unit#

Effects unit

A device or software used to apply various audio effects, such as reverb, delay, and distortion, to music. Some DJ mixers feature a built-in effects unit, although you can also find external units that are connected via the effects loop. 

A Beginner's Guide to DJ Mixing Effects

EQ (Equalizer)#

EQ

One of the DJ's most important tools, the EQ is a control for adjusting the balance of frequencies in audio, allowing DJs to control bass, mids, and treble. These typically give the DJ the ability to independently raise or lower each band.

5 Tips and Techniques to become a master in DJ EQ Mixing

EQing#

The process of using equalization to adjust the tonal balance of a track during mixing.

Fade#

A gradual change in volume or intensity, often used in song transitions. To fade between two tracks, you'd slowly turn down the volume of one while turning up the other.

Filter#

Filter

A type of audio effect that removes sections of the audio spectrum to place emphasis on chosen frequencies.

Typically, DJ mixer filter controls give you the option to use either high-pass or low-pass filtering. These do the same thing but in reverse. High-pass filters start by removing the bass and progressively remove mid and high frequencies as more filter is applied.

Low-pass filters do the opposite and cut out the high frequencies, eventually removing the mids and lows as the filter is increased.

Filters are a core DJ control and are typically presented as a knob on DJ mixers.

Flight case#

Flight case

A sturdy, protective case used to transport and store DJ equipment. Flight cases are often designed to withstand travel and rough handling - for instance loading DJ gear into an airplane cargo compartment.

FX#

An abbreviation for 'effects', which can refer to various audio effects used in DJing to manipulate sound. The most common FX found in DJ mixers include EQs, filters, reverbs, delays, chorus, flange, loops, repeat, gate, and bitcrush. You can find many more though.

Gain#

Gain is a term that describes how loud a signal is - often used interchangeably with the term 'volume'. (Although audio snobs will tell you that volume is an incorrect term, as is scientifically used to describe the 3D space of a container - like a jug. But everyone knows what you mean when you use this term anyway...)

You will see multiple gain controls on a DJ mixer - and these are used to balance the volumes of tracks before the audio is sent to the channel faders and crossfaders - letting you perform gain staging

Gain Staging and Gain Structure#

This refers to the overall system and method used for managing gain across multiple stages of a setup.

In DJ setups, there are several stages in a signal where you will typically find a gain control. It is important to use this correctly to maximize volume while avoiding distortion.

The typical stages of gain are - track gain (preamp) > channel gain/fader > crossfader> master gain > loudspeaker gain.

Genre#

A category or style of music, often used by DJs to describe their preferred or played music types.

Examples of genres include house, hip hop, techno, jungle, drum and bass, pop, EDM, dubstep, jazz, rock, vaporwave - and thousands of others!

Ground#

A channel of electricity to which all audio gear must in some way be connected to - otherwise it will create audio interference. You need to connect the ground terminal on your mixer to any turntables and amps, to make sure they all share a common ground path.

Hamster Switch#

A switch on some mixers that reverses the direction of the crossfader, changing the feel of cuts and scratches.

Headphone Monitor#

A feature on mixers that allows DJs to listen to a specific channel through headphones before it's played to the audience. You will typically find a headphone gain control, and buttons for choosing which channel is played through the headphones.

Headphone Selector#

A control on some mixers that lets DJs choose which source they want to listen to through their headphones.

Headshell#

headshell

Part of a vinyl turntable that holds the cartridge and stylus and is removable for easy cartridge replacement.

Hi#

Short for high, often printed on the treble control of a mixer EQ. This is used to control the high frequencies. Hi (High/Treble/Top)

High#

The upper range of frequencies in the audio spectrum.

Hook#

A memorable and catchy section of a song, often repeated, that grabs the listener's attention. Often the hook of a track is used as, or referenced in, the track's title.

Intro#

The first section of a song, often used by DJs for mixing into the previous track.

Jog#

Jogging is the process of slightly spinning the deck wheel control. This creates a tiny nudge forward or backward in time, which is used to correct minor desynchronization in beatmatching.

Juggle#

A DJ technique involving the manipulation of two copies of the same songs to create intricate patterns and rhythms. Also called beat juggling. This is a common practice for scratch DJs and breakbeat artists.

Kill Switch#

A button or switch that instantly cuts off a specific frequency range (e.g., bass, midrange, or treble) on a mixer or effects unit.

Line#

A certain level of audio signal which has already been amplified to some extent, and is ready to be sent into speakers. Mobile phones, computers, and CD players output a line signal. Vinyl turntables output a phono signal, which needs a preamp to boost them to line level.

You will see line outputs on the back of CDJs and controllers, and line inputs on the back of DJ mixers.

Live DJ Mixing#

This is the classic method for making DJ sets. Here, the DJ performs in real-time to an audience, using at least two decks, and a DJ mixer, to mix songs for their audience, creating a continuous stream of music.

Loop#

A repeated, or repeatable section of a song. Some DJ gear offers a loop function, where you choose the start and end of a loop, and it will play the chosen section continuously.

The term loop can refer to a short audio file, which is designed to be looped and is seamless from end to beginning. These are used by music producers and live performers to quickly make a track.

Low#

Referring to the low-frequency range (bass) of sound. You will sometimes see this printed as 'LO' on the bass EQ control of a DJ mixer.

Master#

The main output of a mixer, where the final mix of all channels is sent to the sound system. You will typically see a 'Master Gain' control on DJ mixers, which sets the final output level.

Mastering#

This is more of a music production term but is still important for DJs to understand. Mastering is the final stage in music production, where process like compression, EQ, and limiting is used to control the final tonal balance and dynamic range of a track.

MC#

MC

Short for Master of Ceremonies, an individual who often hosts and provides vocal commentary at DJ events and parties. The MC is an additional performer who uses a microphone to compliment the DJ and hype up the crowd.

Mid#

Short for midrange, referring to the middle range of frequencies in the audio spectrum.

Middle-8#

A section in a song that typically deviates from the main verse-chorus structure, often featuring a different melody or arrangement. These are usually 8-bars long and are also known as a bridge.

MIDI#

An abbreviation for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, a protocol used for communicating musical information between computers and electronic musical instruments.

Most DJ controllers use some kind of MIDI signal to communicate with the computer and software. You can also find MIDI controllers like keyboards and drum pads to use with music production software.

Mid-Range#

The portion of the audio spectrum that includes the midrange frequencies. These sit in between the bass and treble and are important for creating a rich, full, and resonant sound.

Mix#

The term mix has a few meanings:

  • The act or skill of blending and transitioning between multiple tracks in a DJ set. "That was a clean mix between track one and two".

  • A term used to describe the entire DJ set itself. "Have you heard Skrillex's latest dubstep mix?"

  • In terms of music production, mix (short for mixdown) refers to the internal balance of instruments and audio within a song. "This song's mix is bad - the drums are too loud and the vocal is too quiet".

Mixer#

A device used to combine and manipulate audio signals from multiple sources, such as turntables, CDJs, and microphones. Most DJ mixers are hardware, although DJ software also contains a digital simulation of a mixer.

The Best PC DJ Mixer - Is It DJ.Studio?

Monitor#

monitor

The term monitor has three meanings:

  • The speakers used by the DJ to hear the music in the DJ booth.

  • Monitoring is the process of listening closely to the audio to make sure it sounds good.

  • Headphone monitor - these let you hear music before playing it out loud.

MP3#

A common digital audio file format used in DJing and music playback. MP3s take up less storage space but have lower quality capacity compared to lossless formats like WAV.

MP3 is short for MPEG Audio Layer III, where MPEG stands for 'Motion Pictures Expert Group' - the format's creators.

Needle#

A component on a turntable's tonearm that makes physical contact with the grooves of a vinyl record to reproduce sound. AKA stylus.

Nudge#

A technique used to manually adjust the timing of a song by gently pushing or slowing down the turntable. This is a core part of beatmatching and is used to correct tiny amounts of desynchronization between two tracks.

For example, if one song is a tiny bit ahead of the other, you would nudge it back so that the beats fall perfectly in sync.

Outro#

The final section of a song, often used by DJs for mixing out of the track. Some genres like house and techno have long outros which give the DJs plenty of time to mix in the next track.

P.A.#

Short for Public Address system, this is the equipment used to amplify and distribute sound to an audience. Typically these are a large pair of amplified speakers that are loud enough to fill the dancefloor or listening space.

Pan#

Not used for cooking, in this case, pan is short for pan pot, or panoramic potentiometer. This is a control that determines the balance between the left and right speakers for the given audio output.

‘Phones#

An abbreviation for 'headphones', the audio devices used by DJs for monitoring and cueing tracks. These let DJs beat-match and prepare the next song in private, without the audience hearing it.

Phono#

Phono is a type of audio signal which is quieter than line level. You will see this term in two places typically:

  • A phono input on a mixer specifically designed for vinyl turntables, as they require a specialized preamp to boost their low level signal to line signal.

  • A phono output - the output on a vinyl turntable that needs to be plugged into a phono input.

Phono Cable#

phono cable

A cable used to connect a turntable's phono output to a mixer or audio interface. These are RCA cables (which the terms are often used interchangeably). These have two channels, white and red, for left and right.

Phrase#

phrasing

This term is used to describe a bit of a song, or musical segment, often consisting of multiple bars. Phrase mixing is an advanced DJ mixing technique that uses the arrangements and phrases of songs to create more coherent and flowing mixes, without any clutter or clashing.

What Is Phrasing in DJ Mixing?

Platter or Plate#

The rotating surface on a turntable where the vinyl record sits and spins. Usually, a slipmatt is placed in between the platter and vinyl to prevent the record from getting scratched.

Pitch#

The perceived highness or lowness of a musical note, often adjustable on DJ equipment. Pitch is interlinked with speed.

As you speed up the playback of a song, you will also increase the pitch, making it sound higher. In reverse, slowing a song lowers the pitch, creating a muddier sound.

Pitch control#

A knob or slider on a turntable or controller used to adjust the speed (pitch) of a song.

This control is essential for beatmatching, where the DJ uses the pitch control to change the speed of the new track so it matches the previous one.

Pitch lock#

A feature that allows DJs to lock a track's pitch to maintain its original key while adjusting tempo. This is useful if you want to harmonically mix your tracks, while also making large BPM changes.

Pitch Ride#

A technique where a DJ continuously manipulates the pitch control to create dynamic changes in a track's speed. This is necessary if you want to beat match a song that isn't quantized - meaning it isn't playing at a consistent tempo and has slight speed changes throughout.

Pitch Fader#

Another name for a pitch control - a sliding control used to change the speed of playback.

Promo#

A promotional recording, often given to DJs by artists or labels to showcase new music. Or the term used to describe the general promotion of your music or DJ work.

Pulse#

The regular rhythm or beat in a piece of music, often used for synchronization and mixing. Usually, you will automatically nod your head to the pulse of a track - this is useful for feeling the beat and beat matching.

Requests#

Song requests made by the audience to the DJ during a performance, where they request the DJ to play a specific track. In some situations, making requests is a highly frowned upon practice, but in some situations, it is completely normal.

Quantize#

Quantize

Quantization is the process of digitally organizing music so that the beats fall perfectly in time with a BPM grid. This is often an automatic process in DAWs, although it's very hard to achieve perfectly when recording an acoustic instrument performance.

This process is only possible due to digital technology, meaning that music produced before computers is not quantized, making it hard for a DJ to beat-match for long periods of time.

Rewind#

A DJ technique involving quickly reversing and replaying a section of a track for dramatic effect.

DJs will aggressively spin back the track to create w whirling sound effect. This is typically done after a DJ drops a new track and the crowd goes wild. The DJ will hit a rewind, and start the track from the beginning so the audience can enjoy it in full.

RCA Cable#

Designed by the Radio Corporation of America in the 1930s, the RCA cable is one of the most common types used in DJ setups and is used for most types of DJ gear.

These types of cables feature separate red and white channels, allowing the connection of separate left and right audio.

Sample#

The term sample has a couple of meanings:

  • A recorded snippet of music or sound used in DJing for creative purposes. "I loved the vocal sample used in that track".

  • The process of recording a short snippet of audio to use in a remix or new track "I'm going to sample this Phill Collins drum fill and use it in my next track."

Sampler#

A hardware or software device that allows DJs and producers to record, trigger, and manipulate samples during a performance or in the studio. the invention of samplers had a huge impact on music, particularly hip-hop and electronic music.

Scratch#

Or scratching, is a DJ technique involving manipulating a record back and forth on a turntable to create rhythmic and percussive sounds. This was pioneered by hip-hop DJs in the 70s and is synonymous with the genre.

Scribbling#

An advanced scratching technique involving rapid and chaotic movements of the record.

Slipmat#

A circular pad placed on the turntable platter that reduces friction and allows for smooth manipulation and scratching of vinyl records.

Solo#

This is a control which gives you the option of isolating one track against the others. It's typically found on mixing desks, so you can temporarily select a single channel to listen to and mute the others.

Song#

A musical composition often consisting of lyrics, melody, and rhythm. Also called a track, tune, or beat.

Sound Desk#

sound desk

A large audio mixer used for adjusting the sound levels and quality in a live performance. These are typically connected to the front-of-house PA, the DJ mixer, and any instruments and microphones used on stage.

Sound Engineer#

A professional responsible for setting up and managing the sound system and audio quality at a nightclub, event, or recording studio.

Sound Manager#

A person responsible for overseeing the technical aspects of sound production at a venue or event.

Sound Reinforcement#

The use of audio equipment to amplify and enhance sound for live events. A sound reinforcement system will include microphones, amplifiers, sound desks, PA systems, and more.

Sound System#

sound system

The collection of speakers, amplifiers, and audio equipment used for playing and projecting loud music at events.

Speed#

The rate at which a turntable or CDJ spins, often measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). Most records spin at a speed of 33 RPM, although some use 45.

Spinback#

A DJ technique involving quickly spinning a record backward and then forward to create a dramatic effect.

Stab#

A short, sharp musical note or chord used for emphasis in a track. These typically use instruments like horns, brass, and pizzicato strings, although they can be anything, like synths or keyboards.

Studio DJ Mixing#

studio dj mixing

This is a modern method for creating DJ mixes, where the DJ doesn't need to perform the mix live in front of an audience, and can instead mix at home.

This method has several advantages over live mixing - including enabling more expression and creativity and also saving time.

How to Craft Your Own DJ Mix with DJ.Studio

Stutter#

A technique involving rapid and repetitive playback of a small portion of a track for rhythmic and glitchy effects. This effect is sometimes found in high-end DJ controllers and mixers, and often in music production software.

Stylus#

The tip of the needle on a turntable's cartridge, responsible for tracking the grooves on a vinyl record. AKA tip.

Sub#

The extra low frequencies of audio, which are more 'felt' than heard - typically between the range of 0-60hz. Sub-bass often needs a dedicated sub-woofer speaker to project the audio, as standard speakers often can't create frequencies this low.

Tempo#

The speed or pace of a musical composition, often measured in BPM (Beats Per Minute). When beat matching, you want to make sure the tempos of both tracks are the same, so they play in time with one another.

Tip#

The very end of the stylus on a turntable's cartridge, responsible for reading the information in the grooves of a vinyl record. AKA stylus.

Time Coded Vinyl#

Vinyl records with timecode signals embedded in the grooves rather than actual audio. These are used in digital vinyl systems (DVS) to let you use vinyl turntables to control digital audio in DJ software. These are also referred to as 'control vinyls'.

Time Signature#

A concept in musical theory used to help with counting the rhythmic flow of music. Most modern music is written in 4/4 time signature, meaning there are 4 quarter note beats per bar - so you count the bar 1 - 2 - 3 - 4.

Throwing#

A scratching technique where the DJ rapidly moves the record back and forth, creating a rhythmic effect.

Top#

The highest frequencies in the audio spectrum, also known as treble or highs.

Tone Arm#

The pivoting arm on a turntable that holds the cartridge and stylus and guides it across the vinyl record.

Track#

An individual song or piece of music.

In audio editors, sometimes the term 'track' is used to describe one channel row on the timeline interface.

Tracking#

The ability of a turntable's tonearm and stylus to follow the grooves of a vinyl record accurately.

Treble#

The high-frequency range of sound which is often associated with clarity and brightness. Sometimes an EQ will use the term treble, although sometimes it will be called hi/high.

Trim#

A control on a mixer that adjusts the input level of a channel before it reaches the fader and EQ. This is also sometimes called channel gain.

Tune#

A slang term for a song or track. "Nice tune!"

It can also refer to whether music is in the same key, or a singer is using the right pitch. "Your singing is out of tune... this song is in tune with the last one."

Turntable#

A device used for playing vinyl records, consisting of a platter, tonearm, and cartridge. Although these days people also often call CDJs turntables - even though they don't actually turn.

Turntablism#

A style of DJing that emphasizes creative and technical manipulation of vinyl records. Common turntablism skills include scratching, jogging, beat juggling, and speedy record changes.

Verse#

A section of a song that typically contains lyrics and melody, often contrasted with the chorus. Unlike the chorus, the lyrics usually change from verse to verse, and the instrumentation may also be different.

Vinyl#

vinyl

An older format for the storage and playback of music. These large wax discs are made from polyvinyl chloride - hence the name vinyl. Unlike digital formats like CDs and digital audio downloads, vinyl is an analog medium, meaning the information is physically stored on the record and is etched into wax.

Vinyl can only be played using a vinyl turntable - a device that spins the disc and uses a tiny needle to read the information, converting it into an electronic signal which is then amplified to the speakers.

Vinyl Adapter#

Vinyl adapters are small accessories that are used to play 45rpm records. Some smaller records feature a larger center hole, which is too large to attach to the spindle of a record player. These vinyl adapters are used to make the large hole smaller so they can play.

Vinyl Cleaning Kit#

A set of tools and solutions designed for cleaning vinyl records to remove dust, dirt, and debris, improving playback quality and preserving the vinyl.

Vinyl Collection#

A vinyl equivalent of a music library. Vinyl DJs need to acquire large amounts of vinyl records to be able to play diverse sets, as they don't have the flexibility of using digital formats.

Vinyl Groove#

The vinyl groove is an indentation etched into the surface of a record. This groove contains the waveform information, which is read by the stylus to create audio.

WAV#

A high-quality digital audio file format commonly used by DJs for playing uncompressed music - short for Waveform Audio File Format.

WAVs have higher quality capacity than MP3s, although take up more hard drive storage space. WAV-quality sound is used in most professional DJ situations.

Summary#

Wow! That's a lot of terminology to take in!

If you learn all of these terms then you are well on your way to becoming a knowledgable DJ.

Now it's time to put that knowledge into action and start mixing - why not give the free trial of DJ.Studio a try?

FAQs About DJ Mixing Terms

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