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How to Make Your Own DJ Drops

By Joshua Reed Stuart ; Updated September 15, 2017

A DJ “drop” is a cued sample on a CD, vinyl record, MP3 sample or other audio file that is used to identify the DJ, a radio station or give hype to a DJ mix. A DJ “drop” can also be a sound effect, a blip of a song or a customized audio identification. DJs use “drops” to create a sense of energy in live radio and club mixes. It is also a way for the DJ to let the crowd know who made them dance so hard.

Generate Ideas

Listen to DJ mixes on the radio, the Internet, or the next time you go out dancing.

Be attentive to when the DJ uses a “drop” to raise the energy or identify themselves to the crowd.

Grab pencil and paper when you get home and write down several ideas for “drops.” These ideas could include DJ names, fun and energetic words, and vocalizations (e.g. “hooah,” “yeah,” “get down,” etc.).

Invite a friend with a nice bass or tenor voice to help you create the “drops,” if you don't like the sound of your own voice.

Record the “Drops”

Open an audio recording program such as Audacity, Cubase, Pro Tools or any of the many audio editing suites available.

Create an audio channel and set it to record.

Plug a microphone into your pre-amp or audio input-output interface.

Record yourself or your friend saying the different “drop” ideas you have written down.

Record several variations of these “drops.” Try varying the speed, cadence and emotion each time.

Refine the “Drops”

Decide on the best “drops” that will fit your DJ mix, radio program or podcast and put them together in one “Best Of” folder.

Make duplicates of each sample for backup.

Using your sample editing software, try adding different effects to your “drops.” The best effects for DJ drops are delay, reverb and chorus. Try different variations and combinations of effects.

Save the "Drop" to your "Best Of" folder with a new name, each time you creative an effective one that you like. For example: partydrop_dly1.wav, partydrop_rev+dly1.wav, partydrop_chr3.wav

Using Your “Drops”

Import your "Drops" into your DJ software's music library. If you are using a multi-trigger sample program (e.g. Native Instrument's Battery, Ableton's Drum Rack, etc.), you can create banks of DJ drops that you trigger on the fly with an external MIDI controller.

Burn your “drops” to CD if you do not use computers and want to DJ with CD decks

Raise the energy of the crowd, or simply let them know who you are, every time you use one of your fresh, new DJ “drops” to get them excited.

About the Author

Joshua Reed Stuart is a music and culture writer from Portland, Ore. Beginning his professional career in 2000, his work has appeared in "The Iowa Review," "Poetry International" and other domestic and international journals. Stuart also works as a tutor, musician and sound designer. He holds an M.F.A. in writing from Pacific University.