The Secret For Effective tagging

The ultimate guide to make your dj library work for you, not the other way round.

Published on

May 9, 2024

Effective tagging: A secret trick to create Dynamic and Exciting Mixes.

Navigating the fine line between a consistent, flowing setlist and injecting it with dynamic, unexpected shifts is a challenge every DJ faces. I don't think anyone else has spoken about this, but here is an incredibly valuable technique that utilises track tagging to help you strike the perfect balance in your sets.

Make Mini Groups

In a nutshell, the idea is to create mini groups of three tracks (or a similar number) that blend seamlessly. 

These groups form the foundation of your sets, as you can be confident that within these groups, the blends will be flawless. However, you're not confined to a rigid 20-track setlist. 

This flexibility allows you to swiftly transition to a different group, adapt to audience reactions, and keep the mix exhilarating, whilst basically guaranteeing that half of your mix will be perfectly blended - not a bad safety net.

How to find and capture perfect groups

You know when you are mixing, and you just stumble upon these golden blends that just click? This happens quite a lot. The problem is, we end up losing them or forgetting about them. The question then arises: how do you retain these exquisite combinations?

Well, you could put each of these groups in crates or playlists, but there will soon be lots of tiny folders which end up being a nightmare to navigate. 

Instead, as soon as you find a group that works perfectly, tag all the tracks with the same comment. This will need to be quite specific and unique as you will eventually have lots of these mini groups. 

If you find a group when using a CDJ, just use my tag to remember the tracks, then you can make a proper tag when you are back in front of your computer.

Tagging and naming the mini groups

Here is an example of a way to tag your tracks. Let's say you have been listening to a lot of Neffa T, and want to mix dubstep into techno. There are only a few songs that work really well for this stuff (unless you are Neffa T) so whenever you come across one of these, you can tag it “Dubstep/Techno” or even just “Neffa 1” depending on how you are going to remember the tag.

If you have a lot of tags that fall into the same category, but you still want to keep the tracks separate, use numerical extensions for variations, like "Neffa 2," "Neffa 3," and so on. This ensures an organised archive of these mini sets.

Don't worry about remembering a million tags

You don't need to worry too much about remembering these tags as well. 

Let's say you are making a set and you have just put in a track, you can see within your file manager what tag it has, and then search for the other tracks in that group to drop them in. If you have tracks in threes, it makes your track building so much easier.

Now you can create sets really fast, with blends that you know are going to be absolutely perfect for tracks that are meant to be similar, while still leaving yourself room for creativity when it comes to switching between groups.

Take it one step further

Imagine if, rather than creating hundreds of these groups yourself, there was software that could scan your entire library and group all your tracks immediately. This is what DJOID excels at. It is a great starting point for creating sets as it cuts out half of the manual labour needed to process your entire library. 

What DJOID does is automatically analyse all your tracks for genre, mood, feel and many other parameters, and tags them accordingly. 

It doesn't stop there, though. What makes DJOID unique is that it can then automatically group all your tracks based on these parameters (and any tags you create yourself) to create groups of tracks that fit together really nicely.

It can also then order these groups in to give you a set that flows excellently from one track to the next.

Sure, you will still come up with amazing blends that are personal to you, but DJOID can take care of grouping and tagging the bulk of your tracks - It will even assign automatic names describing the mood and genre of the groups. So you can focus on the details and creativity,

Its in your hands

Armed with a load of perfect groups, constructing a dynamic and cohesive setlist becomes a breeze. No more hunting down individual tracks or contending with a maze of folders. Embrace this approach to DJing, and let the fun and excitement flow into your sets.