How do you mix without reference points.

prettyherb

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#1
Hey,

I'm starting to mix more and more dark/ minimal drum&bass. Alot of tracks seem to have nothing to refer on in the intro: no rides, no drumpattern, no repeating synth, only some random pads.

I usually forward then some bars till i find something. BUT, sometimes, there is only a drom pattern or so in the main part, but i want to mix it in before the drop starts.

How do you guys do it?

grtz
 
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#2
If there's nothing whatsoever in the intro then it can't really be mixed until there's something to keep the timing with. The only way you can do it really is by getting the beats perfectly in time before you re-cue and start mixing from the beginning but it's pretty risky if there's no hi-hats to go by, you're likely to end up with pots and pans when the beats kick in. I sometimes cue it up from the first drop and start mixing it in with the bass EQ switched off and cross it over into the breakdown, this can work for double dropping as well if both tunes break down at the same time and drop after the same amount of bars
 
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#3
There are some songs which literally have no repeatative pattern during the intro.. But some if you listen closely will have a pretty faint hat to use as a reference. As mentioned, either beatmatch from the drop and recue from the beginning and hope.. Or eq the track and bring it in from the drop.

It also totally depends on ones ability.. Obviously the more experienced dj is gunna find it easier to cue up on a hihat pattern where as others need a kick and snare..
 

danwell

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#4
Just cue it at the drop with all faders up. Eq's at 5o'clock. That's when it sounds best IMO. If you can't make that sound good I suggest you practice a bit more
 

ThePapa

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#5
Eq's at 5o'clock.
Doesn't that mean almost to maximum? Not sure why you'd do that.


I'd get the two tunes in time then queue it from the start again and see if you can pick up a regular sound. Can you give examples of the tunes that cause you problems? Anyway there's something wrong if the bass line can't help you.
 
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prettyherb

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Doesn't that mean almost to maximum? Not sure why you'd do that.


I'd get the two tunes in time then queue it from the start again and see if you can pick up a regular sound. Can you give examples of the tunes that cause you problems? Anyway there's something wrong if the bass line can't help you.
Like logistics- murderation. In want to bring it in when the vocal 'murda dem, i'm gonna murda dem' starts. Before that, it's really hard to find a reference point.
Or June Miller- Snapcase, the part before the second drop. If i want to double drop that with another tune, i'm near to a fail :p
 

Saint

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#7
Murderation and Snapcase both have drums from the start.

In the middle brakedowns its a little different. Murderation can be done from those synth hits if you know what youre doing. Never tried it with Snapcase but mixing just pads can be pretty hard.
 

prettyherb

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#8
Murderation and Snapcase both have drums from the start.

In the middle brakedowns its a little different. Murderation can be done from those synth hits if you know what youre doing. Never tried it with Snapcase but mixing just pads can be pretty hard.
Murderation has some, like reeverbed echo-ish drums, but after a while they fade away, just the pads remain. I find it difficult imo :p

Or this new one, bottled, from InsideInfo. It's so damn hard imo to concentrate on a point to mix it in :p
 
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t345e

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#11
Snapcase 2nd drop is a toughie man, not much to go on. Make sure it's fully in time, got to have it locked so maybe use a tune with a longer more dj friendly intro to give you some time. If you then make sure you eq the treble down on snapcase so if it comes in slightly out the drum clashes won't sound massively harsh to the ear. Hope that helps mate, there some tunes that we all struggle with cos they are difficult to do, there are times when I'm sure every dj sits and prays that a tough double drop will land perfectly, just practice practice.
 

Olllie

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#12
I learned the concept through Virtual DJ. Then got decks and did lots of shit mixes before they started getting better.

Also learning to "ride the pitch" helps a lot.
 
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D-Jhepz

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#13
how you guy getting to cue point when you have no cue's like on vinyl or cdjs with no usb... is there an easy way or just remember where and wen and practise??
 
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#14
how you guy getting to cue point when you have no cue's like on vinyl or cdjs with no usb... is there an easy way or just remember where and wen and practise??
Know your tunes. Play the track over and over, counting bars for the intro and breakdown. There is no easy way, straight hard graft for that one ;)
 

prettyherb

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how you guy getting to cue point when you have no cue's like on vinyl or cdjs with no usb... is there an easy way or just remember where and wen and practise??
Know your tunes mate. When ur bored, just listen to the tunes you mix often and pay attention to when the drop comes, where there are fake drops, where there are parts without bass or without drums, when vocals kick in,...
With all that you can tease alot when mixing and playing more with the elements of the tracks. Much more enjoyable when listening to a mix than when it's just 'mixed' get it :)?
 

D-Jhepz

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#16
thats wat i do anyway but i was wondering if there is an easy/better way.. like when wanting to mix the 2nd drop of one to the 1st of another i gotta fast forward and get to the point/find the drum in about 16 bars and its hecty
 

Dubsta

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#17
Theres no science to it mate......as said get to know the tunes......personally the type of tracks your talking about i leave alone unless its a really good tune in which case i'd only use it for my intro track or to play from the top. Of course i wouldnt take a chance whilst playing out with tracks like them.....Radio yes, but whilst live best move on to something less risky.....unless your confident enough to drop it.
 

PhorceOfHabit

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#18
Murderation has some, like reeverbed echo-ish drums, but after a while they fade away, just the pads remain. I find it difficult imo :p
It's just practice mate. Eventually you'll get to a point when you can have it locked before those drums fade away. Even once they do in the breakdown you can use those atmos effects and stuff to keep it in. Get the tune locked with another one time (as in make sure it's fully locked during the first verse) then during the breakdown just listen and see how those atmos effect relate to the bars of the other tunes and work it out like that. Later on it will come as second nature.

Snapcase is a fairly hard breakdown but not impossible. Turn your headphones up, you can use not the actual pads but the predator kind of sounds behind them. Also if it's really proving too hard, use a tune with a long intro and have it already locked by the time snapcase breaks down then you can double drop them.
 

ScottyEightSix

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#19
99% of the time it may seem like there is nothing to use to get the tunes matched however, if you mix the track from the drop, get it beat matched perfectly then re-cue the track and try and mix from the intro, you may notice subtle changes to help you mix it from the intro next time.

It's also good to know the ruff bpm of the tune to help get the pitch fader in the rough possition before you begin to mix
 
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