With tango music, I often see people use iTunes, which I have never liked. My search for something better quickly took me to a blog post by the tango DJ 'Simba Tango', describing a setup with Foobar 2000. I have mostly used the setup he describes in his blog post, with some customizations to my own desires. I will here show you how I use Foobar 2000 to DJ, but first use the space to thank Simba Tango for sharing his setup: Thank you, Simba Tango!
|Two instances of Foobar 2000 as tango my DJ software|
To the left I browse my music, and this instance is directed to my computer's internal sound card and my headphones. To the right, I have the playlist currently playing, connected to an external sound card and the PA system in the room. I drag files over from left to right to add them to the playlist.
In the instance playing for the public, I have nothing but the playlist, grouped by orchestra and type (milonga, waltz, tango etc). In addition, I display the singer (if any) and year. This is information I would like to be easily available when I can not remember exactly what I have played earlier in the evening. I would also like to be able to display this information to the dancers, but I have not yet found a solution for this.
|The instance playing for the public|
The instance I use for browsing my music is divided into three columns. Here I have customized the setup for my needs, and use the Foobar component Columns UI.
The left-most column shows me all the artists I have in my library, with a new row for each type (milonga, waltz, tango etc). At the bottom, I have the cover art of the currently selected song in column number three. This helps me remembering the song, for instance which version of the same song has the best audio fidelity.
|List of artists|
As column number two, I have pre-made tandas. I also save all my DJ events, so I can go back and see what I actually played.
|Pre-made tandas and saved playlists|
The tandas are organized in a tree-like structure of folders, and put in playlists. The folders categorize the tandas, and the playlists have a name describing the tanda. See some examples below:
|Tandas categorized and with descriptions|
As my last column, I have the songs contained in the selection made in one of the other two columns. For example, the picture below shows the songs displayed when I have selected Pedro Laurenz - Tango in the left-most column:
|Some of my tangos by Pedro Laurenz|
This column is grouped by singer, displaying those without (instrumentals) first. Inside these groups, I have sorted the songs on the year they were recorded. I have also access to my own comments, the album, length and beat per minute (BPM) for the songs. The BPM is not always accurate for my tangos, but for waltzes and milongas I find the beat manually and use that a lot when making tandas.
How this is done is shown below:
|Finding the tempo of a song|
As a last feature, I show you how I can use the powerful search function of Foobar 2000 when I am making tandas.
The following search gives me slow milongas recorded before 1945, sorted by date:
type IS milonga AND date LESS 1945 AND BPM LESS 95 SORT BY dateI can then pre-listen to the songs, and create tandas on-the-fly.
|Searching for slow milongas|
I also use some other Foobar features to control playback volume and the gap between songs, but they are better described by Simba Tango in his excellent blog post. Thank you again, Simba Tango!