You just left a gig and you’re dialing the number you got halfway through your set. As you lift the phone, you notice two kinds of ringing. One is coming from the phone, but the other one? That, my fellow DJ, is the piercing cry of a damaged microscopic hair in your inner ear, who’s sole purpose is to pick up that very frequency you’re hearing. No big deal, right? Yes, big deal. That tiny hair is making that shrill noise because it’s so severely damaged, it’s about to die. And even worse, you will probably NEVER hear that frequency again. That’s right, never. In this article, I give you a brief lesson on the anatomy of the human ear and interview two experts, so you can begin to understand what is happening beneath the headphones.
How many times have you searched through the hundreds or thousands of tracks in your library and found yourself trying to remember what a particular track sounds like? I’m sure some people will say they know every single song in their collection at all times, but that was a lot more believable when you only showed up to the club with a crate of vinyl or a book of CDs.
When you are squinting into your 13-inch computer screen at 1am in a sweaty club, with three girls tapping you on the shoulder telling you what track they want to hear for their friend’s birthday, I doubt you can still remember what that demo your friend sent you last week sounded like. You’re pretty sure it should mix well. It’s in the same BPM range and relative key as the one blasting on the dance floor, but will it really work? Was it a laid-back warm up song, or a great groove track? Did it have a solid bouncing bassline or a large woman belting out a passionate chorus? I have been in this position so many times, I devised a system that should help you to never question your next track again.
If my digital music collection were to suddenly manifest itself into some kind of physical media, I’m sure it would look something like this picture. A random mess of scattered songs, from different places and times, each being a small surprise every time they were played. Fortunately, these tracks will remain in digital form and everyone has the option of re-organizing them with relative ease. The most obvious forms of organization involve play lists and smart tagging which have been previously covered in depth here and here.
Take it a step further and there are still many things that you can do besides basic organization that will keep your digital music collection in top shape and wont cost you a penny. After the jump I will discuss three methods in which we can better our music collection and the freeware available to do the job.