What's More Important Mixing/Performing

This has been a constant debate within our company. Bear in mind we have guys who are great mixers, and guys who are great entertainers. While people have come up to me and personally said, “Sweet mixes!” I have heard far more compliments on my performing with crowd, dancing behind booth, being a party catalyst as I like to call it.

While we all love loops/great mixes what is more important. I tend to lean on microphone performance as I’d rather have a DJ with great presence and limited mixing ability vs. a DJ with great mixing technique and limited personality.

The best DJ’s I’ve ever seen - Larry Levan, David Mancuso were all about selection and timing - Mixing / beatmatching was never as important as mood matching and knowing when to fill and when to empty a dance floor. Yes, knowing when and how to appropriately empty a floor is just as important - it’s how you sell drinks and merchandise at a public venue, and prepare for the next peak moment - going all peak is no peak at all. - Performance in this particular case is more important because what you say gives meaning to what you play. - great mixes are fun to listen to, as a mixshow / mixtape - but in public - connecting to your audience is far more important imo.

PS - some dj’s are skilled enough to not say a word yet fully connect with people by simple selection and timing. so performance doesn’t have to be a mic - just an emotional bond with your audience. “I know what you want to hear” not “Look at me, no hands”




You’ll get an endless debate here because it entirely depends on the venue, event, audience, etc. I am more involved in the club side of things than the mobile, and therefore music and it being well put together would top mic work and audience interaction antics at most of my shows. But at some shows, audience interaction trumps everything, while at others, they just want you to shut up and play background music.

Know your audience. Know your room. The rest takes care of itself.


The most important thing to master as a DJ, imho: “Knowing what track comes next”. All else is very important and secondary to it.

It’s all important.

To different people,

At different times.

Back in the 80s, clubs used to book, and/or alternate between “personality” DJs or “mixing” DJs

Talking? Mixing? Both are skills. Whilst we have various “auto mix” technology aids… I’m not sure how quickly technology will give us “auto interact with crowd”

Mixing is obviously an important skill.

But you’re being paid to perform and theres more than one way to do that. A good performance usually involves multiple skills.

Won’t matter how good your mixing is or isn’t, If you don’t have the selection. I’m definitely in the selection/timing camp.

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Mixing is much less important than it used to be; on vinyl mixing was king and proved that you were if you could programme and beat match correctly. Now, with Mixed in Key (or built in key detection depending on your software), sync etc it is the ability to pick a tune that is important, and knowing when to play it!

I beg to differ. In the vinyl days it “might” have proved you were technically sound, but mostly to those in the crowd actively watching for that. But even then, picking the right tracks at the right moment (including picking them to be part of your collection in the first place) was still king.

I have played very successful nights using turntables without slipmats (created them from pieces of paper napkins at times LOL), pitch control or direct drive. So best you could hope for was a bit of slipping and proper timing on the knobs (usually no faders). Technical mixing = zero, track selection and entertaining = 100.

Just my two cents as usual

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Not disagreeing with you; 100% think that track selection is key, but if you couldn’t mix on vinyl “back in the day” (early 90s) around here (northern England), you didn’t get on the decks, simple as. The only exception to that (and still is) is for open format DJs, and that is a while different skill, and not something that I would ever choose to do.

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LOL … back in the day for me was early 80’s lol …

I get your point though.

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