Friday, February 5, 2016

Affect the Mood of the Crowd Through BPM/Tempo - DJ Tips

DJ Tips and Tricks: How to Affect a Crowd Through Music

3 Major Tips to Consider:

  1. Anticipate the crowd's preference before building your playset (refer to this famous scene from the Blues Brothers)
  2. Intentionally create lulls in the beat, as the audience members have to use the lavatories, buy refreshments (make the venue happy!), and take a rest from the action.
  3. Step up or down the action in stages using BPM - too high or too low of a shift in BPM from one song to the next will feel unnatural and might break the mood of the crowd.

How Zulu DJ Mixer Can Help You With #3

DJs can go from memory of what the tempo of songs are like to transition from song to song and stagger the mood up or down, but modern software advances make this job much easier through automatically calculating BPM for you.


If you have been making your playlists for parties or events through iTunes or some other music software, you'll have a hard time going back after trying DJ software designed for the purpose. Try Zulu, and see the difference.

What is Tempo?

Tempo is pace of a song, the rate that beats occur in the music. It is measured in Beats Per Minute, abbreviated as BPM.

How Music Affects the Brain

Music can affect us in surprising ways. One study showed that after hearing a short piece of music, participants were more likely to interpret a neutral expression as happy or sad, to match the tone and tempo of the music they heard.

Another aspect of how our emotions are affected by music is that there are two kind of emotions related to music: perceived vs felt.This means that we can understand the emotions of a piece of music without actually feeling them, which explains why some of us find listening to sad music enjoyable, rather than depressing.

Type of Music vs Personality Types

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University undertook one of the largest studies of how music affects us by asking over 30,000 volunteers what types of music they preferred, then having them take a personality test to associate genres with personality types. Their results have been mapped in the picture below (click to enlarge):

Tempo and the Heart/Mood

The musical community has long held that the tempo of a piece of music affects heartbeat associated with the corresponding physical state or emotion which the music suggests. From the link above:
The range 60-80 beats per minute is calm and relaxed, less than 60 is often very relaxed, introspective or even depressed. 80-100 is moderately alert and interested. 100 upwards is increasingly lively, excited or agitated and, since we crave some degree of excitement from our entertainment, 80-120 is quite a common tempo, and even 120-160 is common in some energetic situations. We're not saying that there is an absolute correspondence between heartbeat and music tempo, but there is a strong degree of suggestion between the two. 
To put that in perspective, here are the general BPMs of different genres - one can at least anecdotally see if this theory holds sway on an individual level:
  • Ballad / Slow: 50 to 85 BPM
  • Mid-Tempo: 90-105 BPM
  • Up-Tempo: 110-125 BPM
  • Fast: 130 BPM and up
  • Blues: 50 BPM and up
  • Ambient/Movie Score: 80 BPM
  • Down Tempo: 65-95 BPM
  • Reggae: 60-90 BPM
  • Hip-Hop: 85-110 BPM
  • Rock: 90-100 BPM
  • Alternative Rock: 120 BPM
  • RnB/Motown: 75-100 BPM
  • Dance/House: 110-130 BPM
  • Trance: 120-140 BPM
  • Techno: 130-150 BPM
  • Dubstep: 130-145 BPM
  • Drum n’ Bass: 150-170 BPM
  • Punk Rock: 140-200 BPM
  • Bluegrass: 120-240 BPM

How to Use This as a DJ:

Most DJs know that one of the core responsibilities of a DJ is to keep the crowd satisfied, but not all DJs know that responsibility must be taken on as a give and take relationship: the DJ determines the tone as much as the audience does.



Click on the link to download or purchase  

1 comment:

  1. Speaking as a musician and an ex-radio DJ, I recently downloaded your free home use version of Zulu and I have to say, it is the single most intuitive DJ program I have found, and to be honest the first one I have actually liked. On top of that for those who wish to setup an auto DJ for their own parties, this is the dogs gonads. Very impressed guys, some of your software can be hit and miss, but the amount of free software you produce is incredible, and I have been following your creations for a long time. You have a clear win with Zulu, very impressed, it is simple, effective, but most importantly intuitive.

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