Track Analysis Help w/ Beat Grids, BPM

I play 70-90’s dance music and aware this window of music has it’s problems (live drummer, etc.). Is there anything I am missing to help improve the Beat Grids. Manual adjust is a pain in the rear and manual gridding on 12 inch disco is a nightmare. Rekordbox has a dynamic analysis feature which works pretty well on songs that are relatively close or wavey but can’t get the grids to import into Engine DJ Software.

I am looking for the best practice for this style of music with the least amount of beat grid editing possible. I have access to Rekordbox, Serato and Engine - they all have their issues but I feel like I am missing something no matter how many tutorials I watch or posts I read. I like the grids to be on point for loops and yes I know I “should be mixing by ear”, but until they fine tune the pitch nudge and make it more granular it doesn’t work as consistently as one would like. Not complaining, just sayin’. Any help, thoughts or processes are appreciated.

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Moin @tuneturner,

it’s a never ending story, but improved by DENON in the meantime since the below post though not perfect yet.

My idea is still to drop anchor at the downbeat you detected as improper and commencing from this point, the beatgrid feature should analyze the rest of the track by itself automatically (without manipulating the speed) up to the next improper down beat and start again … and so on and so on

Happy beatmatching and enjoy the sunday

Brgds BeatMaster


Alternatively: You could buy one or more of the Mastermix Re-Grid packages: At 40 euros for a collection of 50 tracks its cheap and it will noticeably up your 70’s 80’s and 90’s sets.

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Alternatively you can use Ableton Live’s excellent warping technology to straighten out those wobbly old tracks yourself. Probably how the re-grids were done (althought many DAWs can do it now).


Thank you all for the replies. Just doesn’t make sense that everything seems to be based on the beat grid, bpm, analysis being accurate and the foundation of loops and sync but nobody can figure it out. I think they are sacrificing analysis accuracy for speed.

You would think someone would come up with a format where the DJ puts in a dozen or so markers/anchors on trouble tracks and the software analyzes the song from there with dynamic capability. Or maybe a fast analysis for on the fly and detailed analysis for track prep when you are not DJing. I don’t know, maybe I’m over thinking it. Definitely going to try the DAW route.

Thank you all again - if anyone one has other suggestions I’d love to hear it.

Yes, AL’s gotten really good at warping with a few caveats. You need to check as it can occasionally cause audible anomalies. If it glitches somewhere you can reset the warp marker and rewarp from there. AL doesn’t support ID3 metadata for export, so you’ll have to add tags back in. Worse, I notice exported AIF files often don’t support ID3 tags. If you want an AIFF, you have to export to FLAC then convert.

This is time consuming, but the track will be forever fixed and work across platforms. It may be worth it for some tracks, but, consider that you don’t actually need a perfect grid throughout a track. You can use Engine DJ to mark (anchor) the few sections where you wish for cues and loops.

I did some testing with RekordBox variable BPM analysis. You can usually import those grids, but it is tricky. You must delete the tracks from Engine DJ and put them in a new RB playlist and import that. Auto analysis has to be off. Unfortunately, I think the tracks are excessively littered with anchors.

Don’t overlook all the wonderful new remixes! The BPM are evened out and they have better EQ.

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They’re not for me if they stray too far from the original production. It’s OK if it’s literally just straightened out the wayward BPM, but when they increase the tempo, add a House beat, chop it up and rearrange it etc. (a la LF System) I’m out.

Agreed. I especially dislike a few samples being looped with an overbearing beat. But there are many with a gentle touch that are great additions. As mentioned before, I love Walter Verdi’s work.

I heard a version of Southern Freeez the other day that was quite tasteful.

Dr Packer Jazz Funk Homage Mix. Basically the original with some added horns.

Why not just turn sync off and beat match by ear? We played this music on vinyl without even having a BPM counter for decades.

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One other consideration, more than one way to skin a cat. There is a modern obsession with every single track having to be ‘beatmatched’ into each other…. A carefully timed cut can sound just as good as any blended mix… also using a reprise to mix between tracks could be another method.

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Quantize, it also works for fx, mixing by ear would mean having to use only the noise and the filter, the rest would be useless in reality, since the real beat would not coincide with the grid

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Yeah, that’s what people looking for classic pop / dance tracks want! Tons of beat FX!