Why won't some music fit into a beatgrid in DJ software?

Editing the timing of all music to automate in DJ software

DJ software has developed into such a sophisticated solution that it is changing the way we all look at DJing. When I first started mixing in the 90's, I used 1210s; these were fun, but also a lot of work. There was a constant need to press and push records to maintain the near perfect alignment of both tracks for smooth mixes. You could get it so that the track you were bringing in needed a minimal amount of manipulation during the actual mixing process, but that would take time and effort. The result of this way of mixing is, of course, the development of a finely tuned ear for lining up tunes, but the down side was the limited available time to think about the actual performance in the moment.

This isn't a worry for DJs today, because CD decks are much more stable and require less attention. While, DJ software has introduced the Beatgrid, enabling there to be no need to even think about the time used to synchronise the tracks while mixing them together as it's fully automated.

Although, as those who have experimented with their wider music collection will have already discovered, tonnes of music does not play nicely and fit into a beatgrid.

Why don't some tracks fit into beatgrids in Tratkor, Serato, Virtual DJ or other DJ software?

There are two major reasons why some music won't fit into a beatgrid. The first could be that the producer has used live musicians to record the track. This reason is usually more applicable to music that is older (but not exclusively), as production techniques have developed to enable producers to quantize their tracks a lot better today. The second reason could be the way the studio was setup during the production process: usually tracks produced before 2000 used some form of tape technology in the production process; and much like my vinyl in the 90s, tapes didn't always rotate in a uniform way and therefore introduced lots of slight drifts throughout the music.

Fact: we CAN automate all music in DJ software!

We developed an early service called "Time Correction" back in 2010 at warpingableton.com. The aim was to carefully remove all of the slight timing errors introduced by live musicians or older studio technology, and then reproduce the audio in new files without the timing problems. The first attempts were crude as we had so much to learn, but throughout the years that followed we've finely tuned our approaches to BPM editing music to reduce the overall effects on the sound quality, while fully straightening the audio out to be free of timing errors and beatgrid like a dream. 

Introducing DJFile's BPM Editing Service to fix all timing issues and produce new clean sounding files.

Fast forward to today and you'll find the next generation of BPM editing service. No one size fits all, and each track is approached differently to retain the highest possible sound quality in new music files that always fit into any beatgrid.


Subject Area: 

  • BPM Editing

    Got tracks that won't fit into beatgrids?

    We edit bad timing from problem tracks and reproduce files without those issues.

    Learn more

Mark's avatarThis article was written by Mark Cochrane. Having mixed for more than half of his life, and being reffered to today as middle aged by his "loving" wife, he's been around the block a few too many times. From the first DJ mixers with EQs in the 90s, on to CDJs, and finally into the minefield of vastly ranging DJ and studio software.
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