Artist Tips: DJ Godfather

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Detroit ghettotech master DJ Godfather (a.k.a. Brian Jeffries) is a DJ’s DJ, so when he made the switch to Serato Scratch LIVE, he no doubt convinced more than a few others to follow suit. Rane’s innovative hardware/software DJ package enables DJs to kiss goodbye their heavy vinyl stacks (for better or worse, we know), and jump right into the mix with a pretty simple DJ setup. The user’s laptop hooks up to a mixer via USB and two turntables or CD players (playing the system’s time-coded vinyl or CDs) manipulate the performer’s digital-audio files.

Godfather’s The Detroit Connection Pt.3: For the Freaks, concocted earlier this year as the first commercial release mixed with Scratch LIVE, packs 66 digital tracks into a seamless ghetto-tech mix that never loses a beat and never, ever slows down. The tracks’ immediacy and brevity evoke images of a sweat-drenched Jeffries frantically throwing records on his decks from piles of vinyl, but all it took was a laptop and a couple of turntables. He gave us a few pointers on how to keep our Scratch LIVE game tight.

1. Set Your Cue Points Early
Always set up a cue point at the beginning of each track for fast loading. Then, in the setup, click the option that allows you to load the track at the first cue point. You should do this if you mix your records really fast like me. It helps load the track at the exact point at the exact second. You can almost punch the track in on time.

2. Set the BPMs
This is also good for mixing your records fast. It puts everything in order by bpm so you know right away what songs will mix perfectly in speed with each other. I used to organize my record crates that way, too.

3. Pre-build Your Overviews
Making sure your overviews are always built avoids the computer doing it while you are playing the track. It will free the computer’s CPU up a little more and won’t lag in the middle of a high-powered set.

4. Learn the Rane TTM 57 Serato Mixer
It takes DJing with Serato to a new level. You can set the mixer up to do anything you want, which can make your set more creative. There is a list of options you can choose for each button so you can map your own little tricks with the mixer.

5. Use the Instant Double Feature
The Instant Double is good for beat-juggling and other things. It locks the same track together on both turntables, if you’re at the same pitch in each table. I use it if I want to do a scratch echo, then I’ll hit the Instant Double button on my mixer and it locks the tracks on both turntables again.