DJing generally means mixing tracks to create harmonic musical combinations to entertain an audience.
A good mix is all about seamless track transitions and rightly-timed sound effects.
There are several methods to create these mixes and what I aim to do is tell you the difference between two variations – DJ sets and live sets.
What Does DJ Set Mean?
First and foremost, it’s good to understand what a typical DJ does during a regular performance.
It’s all about playing music tracks for the audience.
What differentiates DJ sets is that they are usually composed of regular, unaltered music.
For example, you are in a club dancing to your favorite songs.
You have a DJ on stage playing top hit tracks on succession.
Each song will be played for an average of 3-4 minutes.
At the end of every song, the DJ mixes them so the next song can play.
This is a standard performance.
No intricate sound effects, no record scratches, just plain tracks mixed after every transition.
Where do you usually hear this type of set?
Bars, dance halls, clubs and other similar establishments where people come not specifically to listen to music.
So in conclusion, the term ‘DJ set’ refers to pre-mixed tracks on CD or software without any added sound effects.
What Makes a DJ Live Set Different?
A live set is commonly observed at EDM or hip hop concerts and dance halls.
Electronic dance music has been a favorite among younger generations so many establishments with a younger target market adopt it.
A live set can also be thought of as an original DJ composition of sound effects and samples like drums, electronic noise, recordings, and many others added to mixed music tracks (all with a help of a MIDI controller or even just your computer keyboard).
You can also use DJ software like Ableton that allows you to create loops and synchronize different tracks all into one tempo.
Another point to know is that not all DJs are capable of this.
Most beginning artists start with standard DJ sets and develop into live sets once they pick up enough experience and practice.
You can say that the distinction between a DJ set vs live set is also an indication of a DJ’s skill.
A talented one can create mixes that involve many musical elements, effects, loops, vocals and even remixes of original songs.
No two sets are alike and you keep on wanting for more if you’re at the receiving end.
So next time you see a DJ performance ad, you’ll know what mixes to expect.