Hey everyone! For all you vinyl heads out there that are looking for a “cue point” method to use in your battle routines, mixing sets, or beat juggling practice sessions, Dirty Digits has a very helpful method that will allow you to get to that certain spot of the record without using headphones.
All of the digital DJing software that most DJs use has “Cue Points” which allows you to place a “marker” on various parts of a song – please see our blog on Cue Points in Serato. This feature was actually taken from the Sticker Cueing method and implemented into the software, but without using “real stickers”. Instead of using stickers, the “digital Cue Points” can be placed on the MP3 and triggered by a midi controller or the numeric keypad on your computer.
With the original method, stickers are used to allow the needle to slide into position at the start of a song, sample or break beat. Unlike the digital method, only a few stickers are used to mark specific parts. Too many stickers can result in confusion as to what section to play, and the blocking of grooves. Most DJs will use 2 stickers at most, and then read the stickers like the hands on a clock. This method has been made most popular by battle DJs and turntablists across the world.
At first, Sticker Cueing was seen as “cheating” because most DJs were still using headphones in their battle routines. Using headphones in a routine actually slowed down the DJ in their set. The time spent putting the headphones on and searching for the section they wanted to use, killed the flow of energy from one routine to the next. It’s not known as to whom created this method, but once it was displayed in competitions, it spread rather quickly through out the community. DJs were able to execute faster and more complex body tricks without having to worry about getting entangled in the headphone cable. This method also allowed DJs to add even more material in their routine because they were able to shave time on searching for samples.
Sticker Cueing can also be used for mixing in a regular DJ set. The method is not as in-depth compared to a battle routine, but if you wanted to cue up to the “one” of a beat or the start of the song without using headphones, you can simply place a sticker at the start of the song so that when the needle hits the sticker, it can slide right into the starting position.
Let’s take a look at Dirty Digit’s How-to video on Sticker Cueing.