It has never been easier to record a DJ mix and share it with the world. And there are three key reasons why regularly recording and publishing a mix should be part of your process as a DJ.
Firstly, getting in the habit of listening back and spotting what you can improve means that you're honing your craft. Secondly, sharing fresh content regularly keeps your community engaged and will help build up your fan base over time. And thirdly, you can use this content to promote yourself to venues and promoters.
Whether you play with vinyl, CD, USB, laptop, or a standalone device, here are the key ways to record your mixes:
- Record with your DJ software
- Record with a standalone controller
- Record with your smartphone
- Record from your DAW
- Record using Mixcloud
Record with your DJ software
Most DJ software allows you to record your mixes internally. This is the easiest route, because everything is all-in on one platform, straight from the source. Here’s a list of software to note:
On the top right of the Traktor window in the globe section, you can click FX or a tape recorder icon. If you click on the tape recorder, the audio recorder will appear. Click the button with the circle to start recording. Check out this tutorial for more detail.
On the top bar of Serato DJ Pro, there is a button “REC”. If you press in the middle of the screen an extra bar will appear. From the dropdown menu select “mix” to record your mix. Then press the “REC” button. Check your levels to confirm your audio is coming through and not red-lining in the record panel. When you are finished, make sure you stop the recording and save the mix to a location of your choice. Here's a walkthrough for more detail.
On the top right of the Mixxx window, you will find the record icon. Click it to start your recording. You can also click Options and scroll down to Record Mix. Mixxx has many different skins - so make sure your skin doesn't hide the record button. Here’s a beginner’s tutorial
In VDJ you can select if you want to record audio or video. Select this in the dropdown menu. Once you set the file name and file path you can hit the record button and start recording your mix. Here's a video to walk you through it.
Record with a standalone controller
Not all standalone controllers have the option of recording directly from your device. But some, listed below, allow you to record with a USB stick, SD card, or internal SSD. Here are some of our suggestions:
Pioneer XDJ Series
The Pioneer XDJ series are a popular choice for seasoned DJs, as well as easy to tackle for newbie DJs. Specifically the DJ XDJ-XZ is an all-in-one DJ system that allows you to record with a USB. On the top right is a “Master Rec” button that allows you to store your mixc directly to your USB.
Denon DJ Prime
The Denon DJ Prime Series all have the same process when it comes to recording. Specifically, we recommend the Denon DJ Prime 4. You can prompt recording it by holding down the “master” button (shown below) and it will take you directly to the record screen where you’ll select a media source — either a USB or SD card which are inserted into the top right corner of the controller— and then press record when you’re ready.
The SCS.4DJ has a REC button in the center of the device. If you use multiple storage devices on your SCS.4DJ make sure you select what drive to save to.
Record with your smartphone
For this option, a really handy piece of gear is the Evermix Box. This functions as a sound card that mediates between your phone and your CDJ or DDJ. It’s portable and plugs into the back of your mixer and into your smartphone. While we know it's a pricey choice, it's a great long-term investment for any audio creator.
Another option if you’re using a Pioneer controller, is to use the Pioneer app DJM-REC. This app allows you to record the mix using a USB cable linked to any controller in the DJM series. For more information, visit this Mixmag article.
Record from your DAW
If you are using a DAW (digital audio workstation) like Ableton or Logic, you can record your mix recording hardware like Tascam, or Zoom recorders. Essentially, a DAW is a software that musicians and DJs alike use to record and arrange music. An alternative to this is Reloop Tape, which is a device made with DJs in mind to record from any mixer from REC.
Note, if you plan to record with a DAW you will need to use an audio interface. This is device that mediated between your controller and computer. Some popular ones include Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2, or Steinberg UR22C. Hook up your DJ gear to the sound interface, set the gains correctly, and start recording through the DAW.
Here are some popular DAW platforms. Since DAWs tend to differ from each other we’ll include a link to the manual.
- Ableton - manual
- Audacity - manual
- Cubase - manual
- FL Studio - manual
- Logic Pro - manual
- Pro Tools - manual
- Reason - manual
Record using Mixcloud
You can use Mixcloud Live's "Save Your Stream" feature to record a DJ mix. Every time you live-stream on Mixcloud, the audio from your stream is saved as a draft show on your channel. You can choose to publish these drafts whenever you like. Mixcloud automatically trims any silence from the beginning and end of your set, and if you don’t want anyone to watch your set while you’re doing it, you can stream ‘Unlisted’.
This is the fastest route to getting a DJ mix uploaded and out into the world. The only downside to this method is that there is no way to edit the mix once it’s happened, so you might want to practice a few times beforehand.
Recording your mix can range from a simple to complicated endeavor. Most of our users combine a few of these options — recording via your DJ software and then editing on the DAW is a common route. But sometimes, the road less traveled by can make all the difference. The more you practice, the more likely you will find a medium and combination that suits you.
Check out more musical deep dives on Campus.