Mixing - whats's the deal for a complete rookie

Discussion in 'Production' started by Striking Smith, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. Striking Smith

    Striking Smith New Member

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    Hi

    I write and produce songs at home, and have always been curious about how DJs mix and if I can incorporate this into my stuff.

    I am a complete rookie with mixing, and was wondering what it is exactly you do? Is it a matter of mixing one song into the next at the perfect point, or do you program your own beats into the mixes too? Are you combining a whole lot of samples together, or playing complete songs mixed into one another?

    Cheers

    Tommy T
     
  2. MARKLAR

    MARKLAR International Tracksuit Salesman

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    mixin on turntables u generally mix whole songs into others but sometimes u can do pc arranhed mixes but tbh i recon thats kinda cheatin!:rinsed:
     
  3. Dustek

    Dustek Finished the PhD

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    The basic type of mixing is putting one song on top of another.

    When you get good at it, you can use your decks and mixer like an instrument, chopping bits of songs, samples, into each other. That's what both scratching and techno (the real type, not the much abused general phrase) are based on.

    You can also mix using turntables and an instrument which add sounds. By instrument i don't mean a trombone but a computer setup like Ablethon. You play along with the record. Generally you'l have programmed plenty of stuff previously to play. This is a favourite style of cutting edge producers, but they're on the fringe of straight up dnb. You might also need a friend to work with to cope with all the equipment.

    Most dnb mixing is of the first and basic type.
     
  4. grooverb

    grooverb New Member

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    LOL! Nothing like stating the obvious!

    DJing isn't just about seguing 2, or even 3 or 4 records together. It's also about reading a crowd, exciting people and generally creating a shed load of energy for people to bounce around to, etc etc.

    If you want the basics of seguing then...

    buy some decks like 1210s or in your case a good set of CD players or nowadays a nice MP3 Controller like the vestax.

    Just for ease, start with a song playing on the left and cue the one on the right. You can even do that with stuff like traktor if you're going the PC route.

    The basic starting point is finding the first beat in the song you will be mixing in and cueing the song from that point on. When you're starting, always pick the point where it all kicks in just to make it easier.

    Listening to the song you have playing, start counting 1234, 2234 etc, and let the track you have cued go at the start of the next cymbal crash/start of a new pattern in the song.

    the tricky thing is getting used to listening to 2 things at once, and you are aiming initially to get both tracks at the same tempo. If you are going to cheat and use a PC or a set of CD players, they will help you, but if you want to really learn, use decks and vinyl.

    Once you get used to matching the tempos, you just need to work out the points where songs blend well together, and you'll always find new an interesting ways for it to happen as every song is different. There are very obvious points but mixing from break to beak can get boring and repetitive for you and the crowd.

    The fact that you are producing will give you a head start on all this because you already understand how music works. Going on form all the above, which is the basics, is the world of turntablism, and that opens some amazing possibilities.

    hope that helps
     
  5. Striking Smith

    Striking Smith New Member

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    Thanks Guys

    Yeah - that's made it all clearer. It sounds simple when you first think about it, but I understand the skill involved now.

    Cheers for your help.

    Tommy T
     
  6. rainey

    rainey Member

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    if u produce then you should know when the drops are etc...

    and you should know if summit is way out of line (time).

    so there for you should be able to learn to mix quicker than the average guy who hasnt got a clue.

    reading a crowd is summit you learn from experience, just dont drop that dead weight tune, even if you like it. but also dont drop your stlye
     
  7. Dj Jammin

    Dj Jammin Member

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    Mixing for newbies 10 second tutorial: Have one track playing, cue up your second track (By Finding the first beat and holding it) When a drop or a significant change happens in the first track, Drop your second track in from where you've been holding it on the first beat.

    Now you need to keep the two tunes in sync (This is called beatmatching) to beat match you need to use the pitch fader which slows the deck down or speeds it up you need to get this at the right tempo or the tunes will just desync and just sound awful.

    Now as you cued it on a significant drop (as long as the song structure matches which most producers try to do) it will then drop again together on the next significat drop now you can either wack the crossfader all the way to the other side which usually sounds fat as they both build together and the new tune just starts playing the main bit.

    What i like to do is when both tunes drop keep the crossfader in the middle so both tunes are playing together some tunes it sounds absolutely fat and others they just clash nastily. But for the most part what i just explained (Double Dropping) Is easily the most satisfying style of mixing for me.

    Ok Slightly longer than ten seconds but i think it explains it quite well.
     
  8. DJ COSHH

    DJ COSHH Active Member

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    It's not easy at first, all I can recommend is perserverance and practice. One day mixing will become a pleasure; and you wonder how you even let a beat out of place before, but this takes years of hard work and determination.
     
  9. grooverb

    grooverb New Member

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    amen to that...

    and if you want to find out more, you could always read last night a DJ saved my life, which is the history of the DJ, and The Hip Hop Years, both of which are a really good reads and show you partly how we've gotten to where we are today in music.

    There is one other thing you need to do with DJing which is putting up with people, and developing a skin like a rhino and immunity to womanly whiles. that one ranges from offers of sex through to "you c*** you've ruined my birthday", even if it was for a song you played 2 tunes ago. Spoony once explained to me you have to keep control. As he put it 'if you've just played half hour of garage and need to move it on, but you're getting abuse from someone who was in the toilet and missed it, it's not your fault'.

    To paraphrase Last Night a DJ saved my Life when you're DJing 'you are the lord of the dance, the witch doctor' and plugging into the primal rituals of dancing before the hunt and mating rituals with fancy lighting emulating the fires our ancestors danced round as the drum beat pounded. Djing is a pretty awesome experience and feeling the excitement and the energy you're connecting to can be better than sex, but don't tell your girlfriend that ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007