Forum: Mix lessons
DJ MIXING :...
Topic: DJ MIXING : basic - advanced - pro - Page: 1
INTRODUCTION AND SOME OPINIONS
* Playing Different Kinds of Popular Music
When playing different kinds of popular music, the most important is to know what is popular with the audience on the place you are playing. Go to the place you are going to play and hang out there some nites before your gig. Get some impressions, ask the owner…..
On top of this there are a number of “rules” when pub & club dj-ing:
- Play every song between 3-4 minutes for urban music, 6-8 mins for club music. If you play songs longer people will find it boring. If you play songs too short people will become irritated. So dont cut it too short either. Ideally after 2nd chorus somewhere is a good place.
- Minimum 4 songs of the same style in a row (or the style change gets too comfusing)
- Always play two slows. After the first not everybody has the girl/the boy he/she wants. After a slow, kick in a beat again. No point in messing around with a 'good' build-up. Some (lonely) people are waiting to dance, and the people slowing will leave the floor anyway when you switch to a non-slow.
- In the beginning of the night choose your end style of music. If you change genres at end of nite, people tend to use it as their "cue" to go home, instead of the getting a drink or something, if its earlier night.
- Don't try to beatmix when you don't have the skills. Nothing is more irritating than two non matching songs over each other with the bass drums interleaved and a DJ trying to fix that live. Use fade out, echo out or microphone skills if you don’t beatmix. You are still a dj, technique is not everything. Music and giving the crowd a party is the most important part!
Also, if you are not comfortable with beatmix, but can do some, then do just that. Beatmix those songs that u can, and leave the others for other transitions. Even when you try to beatmix in the beginning, there can be times beats drift to far apart, or you are out of luck ;) If you ever happen to be in such a situation (which will occur) just cut one of both songs. The audience will be happy if you do that. When you cut one of both songs you will be disappointed, just remember that it was too late for a subtle mix anyhow. So better luck next time :)
- At every moment have a list of the three/four/five next songs you will play, this should ensure continuity. If people ask something, don't switch immediately, put them at the end of your list, and eventually adapt your list. Trusts people's opinion only when they are not to drunk. Otherwise neglect them…. Lol :)
- Don't play songs that will kill the “atmosphere”. Like, don’t play a slow song in the middle of the gig, people go home after the song, or leave… And don’t play a techno song, even if its your favourite, if the theme for the nite is hiphop and visa versa… Knowing what an audience likes is as important as knowing what the audience absolutely dislikes.
* Playing One Style Whole Night
Essentially, it is much easier to play the same style (Techno, House, Acid, and so on) whole night than playing different styles. Of course, you have to know the style before you even think of playing. E.g: don't play Salsa if you don't know crap about it.
- Build your music tempo up, instead of playing it down. Start at one “lower” bpm, and sort your database by bpm’s – and build up from there. If it’s a long gig, you can reach peaks many times by going up to a certain high bpm level, and then build it down again (don’t go to far down, will kill the atmosphere and expectations of the crowd) Build up again after a little while…
-Tempo breaks are long ambient passages, often found in trance, house etc. This is a nice are to beatmix, or fade song out if u cant beatmix…
- If you are playing techno-style whole night you might want to surprise your audience by slowly removing the bass drum and afterwards kicking it in again. Removing the bass drum slowly and kicking it in is better than boosting the bass drum because most installations cut the mid and high frequencies when you boost the bass too much (hardware limiter).
- If you are playing techno-style, you can build your own build-up using the equalizer. Set the frequency low, cut everything out at the right moment and start changing the frequency. Be sure to kick in the complete sound at the right moment. (This can be tricky :)
- you can also do the trick above only with the bass eq for the right moments, and kick bass back in at the right moments.
BASIC BEAT MIXING
Now, something more difficult: Beat Mixing. Beat mixing is mixing two beats exactly over each other during a certain period. The difficulty with this is that different songs have different tempos. Synchronizing B with A is the first problem, keeping them synchronized is the second (as a general tip, I would say don’t use beatlock for this)
Beatmixing is only possible when the two songs are playing at the same speed.
Therefore , during playing one needs the ability to move a playing song a bit forward or a bit backward, such that they stay synchronized. This is called nudging.
- Syncing & positioning
When a suitable song has been selected and it is playing at the correct tempo one needs to start the song at the correct moment. Typically this moment is at the beginning of a phrase (that is the beginning of 8 measures). Normally, when the song is started it won't start exactly at the moment you intended it. Therefore, you will need to nudge a little bit. Look at the waveform to see if you need to nudge it forward or backwards to make it stay in beat with the song playing. AND THIS SHOULD BE DONE IN YOUR HEADPHONES; when u pre-listen the mix, and NOT NOT live… lol.. First when beats are in sync, you can move crossfader so that the sound goes out live. Having an external controller like XP10 or Hercules makes nudge a lot easier, using the jogwheels on the controller.
(MORE ABOUT BEATMIXING AND POSITIONING IN NEXT POST IN THIS TREAD)
- Pitching and nudging
If your beatmix is a longer one (2 songs on “top of eachoter”) keep watching the wavedisplay. During the time the two songs overlap the tempo difference between the two songs (even if it is a VERY small tempo difference) will result in a slight synchronization drift.
To solve this one needs to know beforehand which song is the slowest one of both. Pitch the slower one up a LITTLE, and nudge forward to make it sync in beats again.
- Cross fading & EQ shift
When you finally have the two beats exactly over each other in your headphones you want to switch slowly to song B. Before you do this be sure to cut off the bass drum with the equalizer. Otherwise you get a very nasty (and ugly) flanging effect on the bass drums. If the volume is good, switch off song A's bass drum slowly while you turn on songs B's bass drum. This way it will go unnoticed.
Once you have learned how to crossfade two songs, you might want to experiment with sudden breaks and gaps in the music, or faster fades. This will give the music more punch and keep people dancing.
(MORE ABOUT MIXING AND EQ USE IN LATER POST)
* Some Final hints
Practice!! Have a small mixing device at home
Learn from other DJ's: Listen to them and what they do, the songs they are playing as the small shifts they make. Listen also at the faults they make and how they could have avoid it. Beware: the better you become, the more frustrating it is to go to parties :)
Take enough sound-cables, power-cables and so on with you. Don't expect something will be available. Also take a mirror with you. Some mixing tables are that fixed and unreachable that you will need a way to see.
Don't forget a lamp.
Tape your sessions and listen to them afterwards.
Check all settings at mixer etc – dj’s often leave a mess .. lol
Posted Mon 09 Aug 04 @ 4:44 am
BASIC BEATMIXING CONTINUED
WHAT IS A BEAT?
Beat matching is probably the most fundamental of all DJ skills. Once mastered it allows you to take two separate tracks that will inevitably be different speeds and blend them together creating that seamless mix sought after by all DJ's.
The concept behind beat matching is quite a simple one, take two tracks and synchronise them. 'Sounds easy' I hear you say. Wrong!
First, without trying to sound over simplistic we must define what a beat actually is. When you are listening to a track, the beat is usually the bass drum. I say usually because other things such as high hats or symbols can be used. For this tutorial, we will use the bass drum, as this is by far the most common.
So what happens then when the bass drum is not play during part of the track? Does this mean that there is no beat? The answer here is no. Think of the beat as rhythm. If you find yourself tapping your feet, nodding your head or shaking any other part of your anatomy, it's the beat that you are doing this to. Let’s not wiggle too much though as people start to think you're a bit weird waving your arms all over the place… lol ;) This is specially true for modern pop, rnb, hiphop and alike, that’s why it can be harder to mix than house and trance that has a repeating bass drum (or other beat) almost constantly through the whole track.
Finding the beat in some records can be tricky but if you listen to it carefully, you will find it eventually. It's important to remember that during those quiet sections on a track, the beat still goes on but you will have to mentally count it in your head.
(To find the right beats per minute (bpm) read more here:http://www.virtualdj.com/forum/display.html?topic=5408)
Now that you know exactly what a beat is the next thing you should now is that they are placed together in groups of 4, 8, 16, and 32. Try listen to a song, and count 1-2-3-4… 1-2-3-4… that’s the beat.. and it repeats itself by 4 ..
This grouping of beats into multiple of 4 is true for virtually all tracks and is a concept that is important to grasp.. You may be able to get both records to the same speed but if you mix one into the other without taking into account the 'position' you are mixing into you'll drop it in like a lead weight, it will be easy to hear you are mixing, even if they are right beat mached, because they have a “wrong” positioning towards eachother. The idea is to create a smoooooth mix that is almost undetectable. Don't worry if you not too sure about this at the moment because it will be discussed again later on.
So, the important thing is to keep the bass beats flowing through the sets, not that means there's always bass drums banging away, just that the beat is constant between tunes, so the people on the floor don't have to do a quick 2 step shuffle to get back in time with the beats. In other words:-
Beat - -beat - - beat - - beat - - beat - - beat - - beat - - beat - - beat :-
is the kinda thing you're aiming for
beat - beat beat - be-beat- beatbe- beat - bebeat - - beat - beat - - beat
isn't really going to flow.
Tune 1 - Beat - - Beat - - Beat - - Beat - - Beat - -
Tune 2 - Beat - - Beat - - Beat - - Beat - - Beat - -
Is the preferred method of mixing, where the beats of tune 1 and tune 2 occur together. What you don't want is:-
Tune 1 - Beat - - Beat - - Beat - - Beat - - Beat - -
Tune 2 - Beat - Beat - Beat - Beat - Beat - - Beat - -
Where the beats of the two tunes are out of sync, and the people on the floor aren't too sure as to what beat they're supposed to be following when the dance. Get me?
Where each letter is a differnt tune. How, where and for how long these overlaps go on ?
The point of beat-matching is to take two tunes, and make them run at exactly the same tempo (BPM). Why? So you can play the two tunes together and go from one to the other without there being a change in the beat. Why? So that the people on the floor don't have to shuffle step to get back into the rhythm of the music. Why? coz otherwise they'll leave. Why? SHUT UP!!! (lol…)
Now…. When starting to practice, don’t go starting with some advanced beat songs of Beyonce or some crazy break-beats… :) Take 2 house songs (they are easiest to beat match), and two house songs with a clear dominant bass drum would be even better. It's a nice idea to find a tune that doesn't have a “beatless” intro - you will get more luck out of one that starts immediately into the beats.
Now, load those 2 songs into each deck in vdj, and set the pitch to zero in both decks.
Now, move both songs (use the wave form and drag), so that both songs are positioned just before the first bass beat, and press the cue button here.
Press play on deck one… and let the music start.
Okey… lets assume you have a song running on deck1, with crossfader all the way to the left.
This ensures that deck 2 will not be heard until you are ready. Set the headphone pre-listen so that only deck 2 can be heard through the headphones.
The next step is to find a good place to start with on deck 2. The first bass drum on the track is ideal. Now, listen to the beat at deck1, and try to start deck 2 “on the beat” of deck1, or press sync in VDJ to make it start & sync to beat of deck1.
If you don’t use the sync button, but do it the manual way, make sure the bpm is the same before starting deck2, by moving pitch-slider so that the bpm number on both decks correspond (again, having the right bpm’s and cgb’s are essential – and again read this post first, and understand it all: ………………..)
At this stage, it might help to have the headphones situated so that they're only covering one ear. By doing this you get deck 2 blasting down one ear but can still listen to deck 1 playing in the background through the other. Or you can use the “headphone mix” option in VDJ skin to hear both decks (your mix) in headset.
Now…listen to deck2, compared to the beat pattern in deck1. Alter the pitch so they stay it the same beat, or press sync again. If they start drifting apart, nudge on jogwheel, and alter pitch again (or try pressing sync botton again)
When you think you have finished matching up the beats it is a good idea to listen to what they will sound like when played together otherwise you could be in for a shock. You can do this listening both deck 1 and deck 2 through the headphones. If everything sounds ok then you are ready to mix in the two records and go live using the crossfader.
It will take some time before you can easily match up the beats so don't be put off if the record runs out before you can mix it in.
Ok, so you've got and idea of what you're supposed to be doing now and have got a feel for the type of adjustments needed to match the two records. Let's face it though, it's not as smooth as you'd like it to be and you want to know what you can do to improve. What's that little secret that top DJ's seem to know that gets those mixes silky smooooooth? Advance Beatmatching!
The key is to make the 2 songs mix in the at the same beat of each pattern, same “start beat” of those 4 by 4 beats. In VDJ they are shown as BIG cbg squares under the beatwave. Now, even if VDJ shows them, that does not mean that they are rightfully aligned under the “first beat of the pattern”. To make sure, go to the beginning of the song. The first beat of the song, is often the first beat of the pattern, and make sure the firt big cbg square is here. Also, every new lyric line, usually start at the first beat of a pattern. Check to see that those big cbg squares are under such “first beats”…
Now, when beatmixing deck2 into deck1, make sure that when they are aligned/synced, that they are also aligned in beat-pattern, so that the big cbg of both songs are aligned under eachother. This makes the mix sound perfect, and not as if u just “throw” a song randomly into another song, even if beat matched!
Happy mixing! ;)
Posted Mon 09 Aug 04 @ 4:47 am
BETTER BEAT MIXING
When really knowing how to beatmix, you can advance even more, by trying to mix songs by their structure. Now, this really means you gotta have a good ear for music, and know your songs.
This page goes through the SIMPLEST of structures of a song.
It's only here to show people that any tune DOES have a structure, but the structure of each tune can be as individual as a finger-print.
THE STRUCTURE OF A SONG
Dance/house/trance music, you'll find in most cases the time signature is 4/4 this means that there are FOUR CROCHET BEATS to ONE BAR.
In it's simplest form in dance music:-
Beat 1 is a Bass Drum
Beat 2 is a Bass Drum and Snare (or clap)
Beat 3 is a Bass Drum again
Beat 4 is a Bass Drum and Snare Drum (or clap) combined again
You can see here that mixing to songs by “first beat”-mixing, will make both songs have a “clean” bass drum on top of each other, sounding a lot better than if they where not mixed in the first beat logic. Now, lets advance .. ;)
For the purposes of taking you through this, I'm going to talk in terms of Verses and Chorus's. I know that dance music doesn't really have discernible Verses or Chorus's, but they are kind of there, you just have to be imaginative
Ok, the beginning of most tunes is an intro. There are some out there that bang straight into the meat of the song, but they're not very DJ friendly, so I won't mention them.
Realistically, an intro can last as long as you want - hell, some of the tunes, I sometimes wonder if the intro ever stops! But in this case we'll talk in terms of a 8 bar intro (with the most popular lengt
Think of Alice Deejay - Better Off Alone. At the end of its intro, there's a kind of "whee whee WHEEP" thing going on, which lets you know that it's going to bust into newer territory. Or it could be a drop in the beat for one bar, or whatever, the important thing to know is that the intro ends - other wise it'll be a really boring tune! Lol…
After the intro, we'll hit into the meat of the tune, thats going into the verse. You'll notice in most tunes that after 4 bars of the verse (that’s 16 beats), there will be something to mark the progression into the next four bars - which is when a lot of tunes will progress to something a little different (say they'll include more complicated bass or drum pattern - something like that). It'll probably just be a cymbal, or some kind of punctuation, but it's good to listen out for it.
After these 8 bars (2 sets of four - half a verse - 2 phrases), there will be another change. Most likely, there will be a build up of some kind, maybe a big "Whoosh" , a drum roll, a drop in the beat for a bar - a vocal sample… what likely happens is that the energy of the second half of the verse that this leads into (next 2 sets of four bars) will be greater - maybe even more sounds, a more powerful bass line, or another hook line will be introduced or a change of key.
So, that's another 8 bars, with the same kind of break between the sets of four bars as before - giving us 16 bars of the verse - or four phrases. Then we go into the 'chorus' of the tune. Many songs are made almost mechanically like this… I can see them putting the loops into Acid Loop and make music like a recipe for food ;) lol
In summary then, there are 4 sets of four bars ( 4 x phrases) to the verse - with these four phrases split into two sets of two phrases (half a verse).
So now we get into the 'chorus' of the tune. This is more likely to be only 8 bars (2 phrases) in length which could have a nice build up between the phrases and another nice punctuation when coming out.
More often than not in dance stuff, we now encounter the beloved mini BREAKDOWN or bridge. Here, the power of the tune will sometimes drop out - losing the bass drums etc.. anything to set it apart from the rest of the tune. For average every day bridges between the Chorus and the next Verse, these breakdowns will only really last 8 bars - 16 at the most, otherwise the dance floor gets itchy.
In the next verse, the same as before will happen - not necessarily with the sound of the tune, but still with the 4x4 phrase format.
Chorus - kinda the same as before really. Not much new here!
Now (very often) we hit the big breakdown, often lasting for a longer time than the mini-breakdown. After this monster breakdown, “bang!” - we're back into the tune again - most cases it's back into the chorus again, but in some cases it's the verse again.
The song either keep going until the end (Dj unfriendly fade out) or there will be 16 bars of just beats or something to help out the Dj when it comes to mixing the next tune.
In summary, my simplistic (and over simplified) dance song will look like this:
INTRO - 16 Bars
VERSE 1 - 16 bars (4 phrases)
CHORUS 1 - 8 Bars (2 phrases)
BRIDGE - 8 Bars
VERSE 2 - 16 bars (4 phrases)
CHORUS 2 - 8 Bars (2 phrases)
BIG BREAKDOWN - 16 Bars
CHORUS 3 - 8 Bars (2 phrases)
VERSE 3 - 16 Bars (4 phrases)
CHORUS 4 - 8 Bars (2 phrases)
CHORUS 5 - 8 Bars (2 phrases)
END - 16 Bars
Now… what is the point in all this structure blah blah ???? lol
well.. its all about PLACEMENT of mix…. And the smoothness and flow of a mix!
For a really really pro mix, you should mix by those first 4 beats in a bar, in both songs, to make it the smoothest possible mix, with the correct flow to it.
So, that the song you are trying to mix in follows the same flow as the song playing. That it kinda continues the song that you are fading out. Now, this often happened by itself or by “accident”, or maybe you even do it already, but don’t know why… just because it sounds better! And that’s the exact point! There IS a better way of mixing, than just fade in song nr 2 like dead weight into song1. But as songs are often build the same way, you may already do this by instinct.
But maybe fine-tune it a little more? Try listen hard to the song, so that those first phrases in song2 fits perfectly the rhythm of song1.. try counting 1-2-3-FOUR, and u will see the FORTH beat is a different one (not easy to detect, but if u aligned CBG’s right, VDJ will help you with this by showing you the cbg’s and if the BIG cbg’s are aligned, the songs mix like pro’s )… after song1 has finished its “downbeat” (forth beat) – the next beat in the song should be song2’s “upbeat” (FIRST beat of phrase/pattern – the BIG cgb square..
IF you don’t get what I’m talking about, shoot me! Lol.. because its really hard to explain in words. Its all about having a good sense of music. And explaining it would be kinda like explain in a post here how do dance… first you move right leg to the left, then… lol…
The major point here is to have the whole mix in the same structure as a song is.. that song nr 2 starts where song1 stops, in the same structure as song1. Bring in song 2 in the logic of the song almost, so that the mix sounds like a nice loooooog song :) This will make your mix sound so much smoother!
NOW – mixing just with crossfader, is just not gonna cut it.. (no pun..lol).. You need to work those EQ knobs as well, or you will end up with strange (sometimes cool) unintended effects like to sets of bass drums making a kinda flanger effect, a phasing in high hats etc .. It can really make your mix sound fuzzy if you don’t remove some frequencies of one of the songs, because having 2 songs with to slamming bassdrums on top of each other is almost never going to sound right…
(1) OUTRO/INTRO MIXING
The most obvious one is using the outro/intro of song 1 and 2 to mix them.
Simply start the intro of tune two when the outro of tune one begins.. on beat ;)
Use the crossfader from deck1 to deck 2 to make the transition. To make it perfect, make it sound like deck2 goes into build up into the “main tune” (the mix) just when deck1 fades out.
It does take perfect timing to be really great, but it can be…. And works best with an intro that does not have no or not loud bass drums.
(2) KILL BASS MIX – FADE OR QUICK OPTION
Lets say both songs have a clear beat in intro/outro. Start song 2 when the some beats before the outro starts 1. Kill bass, and beat match with song1, and loop by 8 beats. Bring fader towards middle, removing some of the high (eq high) at song1, adding some high at song 2.
Now, when song nr 1 hits the outro part, at that last beat, turn bass on song 2 up to normal position… next, either kill bass on song1 and leave it for 4 beats, or QUICK move the crossfader all the way to song2 on that beat.
Takes some practice, and timing here too… but sounds great ;)
(3) EQ MIXING
now, this is a bit like the basic beatmixing, but on time :) and WITH eq buttons ;)
When song1 is about 16 beats from its outro, release song nr2 (cued, and beat matched).
Try “swapping” the high (eq) by removing some at song one, adding some at song2.
Even the middle (eg) – if that sounds good (swaps lyric line)
And then bass… so that song nr2 kinda “takes” over song nr1. By smoothly taking each frequency of the eq. So that song2 is on its normal EQ when song 1 hits its outro.
You can either just kill song 1, or let the outro fade out.
You can try different variations of this, by just killing/swapping bass, or treble etc.
Practice, and have them as variations. After a while u will learn what is best for what songs, what mixes etc :) Play around with crossfader, trying to make them have a smooth transition into eachother, and if using a skin with eq-crossfader, these are really nice to get the mix I’m talking about here.
again, takes practice, and timing :) and knowing your songs, and their structure
(4) “RISKY VERSION”
Sometimes, it's cool NOT to follow the 8 bar / 16 bar format of the intro. By doing it that way, the mixing can become pretty predictable!! So, u need variations! :)
This last one is a bit risky, but with home-practice, you can make it work like a charm at a live gig (w/ risk). The risk is running out of time. :)
Do the same as above, but with only a 4 beat loop of the intro beat of song2. So when you have heard 4 beats of the outro on song 1 (giving the crowd a bit of a break, and some anticipation in that calmer part of song1) – then mix song2 on beat fast in, fading or killing song1
(5) ADVANCE EVEN MORE (breakdown mixing) :
Practice on there different techiquest (1-3), and when u feel comfortable, the next level is to not wait for the outro of the song, but do it in the BIG BREAKDOWN part of song1, giving u about 16 beats to do cool mixing stuff :) That will not play songs from start to end, but give a “faster” mixing, playing about 2-3 mins of each song, and not be so much of a “radio show” playing from start to end.
The basic idea is to get a nice smoothness and flow to your mixing. In a matter that the actual mix sounds and are build kinda the same way as a song is. When the breakdown part ends, the new verse starts in a song… when mixing, after the breakdown ends, a new verse in a NEW song starts.. giving the mix the smoothness it needs, and sounding logic.
If you wanna fine tune to the highest level, you really need a good ear for music. You need then try to hear the difference in those 4x4 beats (a bar), to realize that the first bar in the 2 bars of a verse is not exactly the same. By mixing not only by first beat of a bar, but also by first bar of a verse, you are really mixing like a pro!! ;) If you did not understand this last part, don’t worry. Most people can’t really tell the difference, you need a great ear for music to distinguish a bar from another bar in a song, and most people on the dancefloor can’t tell the difference too, and will not hear. But if you for example did a remix of a song to be released on an album, you had to follow this logic, because sitting at home sober, at a hi-fi stereo, u really can tell the difference between a dj mixing like this, and a dj that doesn’t :)
ALTERNATIVE “MIXING” :
Now, every now and then, beatmixing is not the answer..
Or you just want some variation. Here is a cpl of good variation techniques that are really easy to apply (some even found as plugin effects for vdj):
-backspin… when using one of the teqniques above, do a backspin instead of a fadeout or kill. Sounds cool for some songs, but don’t do this to often, will only leave people to think u do this because you cant beatmix.
-Break-beat/vinyl-stop : stop the record in stead of fading out, with a vinyl stop.. that don’t kill instantly, but kills over a second.
-Dead stop : just kill song 1 as the beat-start at song2 on the same beat (cued, crossfader middle) – can work cool for hiphop etc. Clue here is to really switch the first beat of the pattern from deck1 to deck2, by killing after the last beat of pattern on deck1, and start deck2 where the next (first) beat should be on deck1…
-Crossfader on beat-mix. Almost the same as above. After a 4 beat pattern on desk1, on beat move the crossfader to the aligned song on deck2.. w/ practice and the right songs, this can make a great mix (especially hiphop etc)
as always, happy mixing ;) practice make king :)
Posted Mon 09 Aug 04 @ 4:50 am
- RECORD YOUR PRACTICE MIXES, AND LISTEN TO THEM!
Put in on loud at the stereo and try to listen for this:
- Does it mix smoothly? song1 and 2 follow the same pattern, or is there a kinda 2-step there, making the dancefloor look at you and wonder... lol
- Does it have a phase or flanger in the mix part? (remove MORE frequencies with eq to remove)
- Does the bass drums or high hats "kill" eachother? Or even phase to? You need to work more with those EQ's
- Does the mix also give some "breakdown" or did you kill them all, by mixing bassdrums from song2 to early? Remember.. you need those 4 or 8 beats of music being less intence every now and then in the mix (just like a song need it) do make dancefloor have that little break and antisipation for whats next ;)
RECORD - AND LISTEN! this is your BEST tool ;)
Posted Mon 09 Aug 04 @ 4:57 am
Start practice with HOUSE, TRANCE or TECHNO music...
This music is easy to mix and beatmix (no offfence guys..lol)...
When you are real comfortable with that, try moving over to 80's pop (not that hard).. when you manage that move on to
modern pop, rnb and hiphop (harder)...
There are not many dj's that beatmix for example hiphop very good, so dont worry if u cant "make it" all the way there...
Because if you can beatmix a bit, you can do this for songs that u manage, and use other mixing tecniques like break stop, echo out etc where you know you can not beatmix. You dont have to beatmix everywhere to be a pub/club dj, but a bigger clubs and festivals, beatmixing is essential, but then again, they play house-music, and thats ... eh... easy.. sorry.. lol :)
And regarding my long post on how music is buildt, the reson for it was for you to have that "in the back of your head" when mixing, so that you mix right... on timing, and structure... mixing a chorus on song1 into chorus of song2 is going to sound crap! So, if u manage to "understand" music more, you will hear, and know when to "release" song nr2, and fade out song nr1, on the right spot, and in the structure of the mix...
----- just some final thoughts ------
Posted Mon 09 Aug 04 @ 5:18 am
Posted Mon 09 Aug 04 @ 7:27 am
Posted Mon 09 Aug 04 @ 2:10 pm
MORE ABOUT MUSIC STRUCTURE
Reading my own post again, just want make the part about music structure in a mix a little clearer…It’s not easy to explain, as I said before, its like trying to explain you how to dance.. :)
(a special note : there are many names to these “divisions” of a song, I call them bars, phrase, verse etc – someone else might use a different name to those parts)
*** SENSE OF RYTHM ***
Now, some of you have a intuitive sense for music, or have a good rhythm sense, and can “tell” intuitively when to mix. Some of us for sure do not have this quality.. And that’s sometimes the dj’s draw-back, as you know, the stereotype of a dj is the guy that did not dance with the girls when younger, because he couldn’t dance, and therefore became the dj.. lol … it is somewhat true for some of us ;) And that’s why a little “crash-course” into getting a better sense of music might be needed.. ;)
Trying to “learn music” is not an easy task – some might even say you ether have a music sense, or you don’t. But you CAN “teach” yourself a bit…
****4 BEAT LOOP OR ONE BAR****
Put on a song, and cue at that first beat of a song.
Put loop at 4 beats – and listen… (I take it you have adjusted bpm and cbg, and have a perfect loop). A 4 beat loop that repeats itself over and over, sounds almost “melodic” but not quite.. it lacks a bit of transition and a bit of difference…
***8 BEAT LOOP OR HALF A PHRASE***
Now, do the same, but with 8 beat loop – and listen while it repeats itself over and over. Now hear how much more “melodic -like” a 8 beat loop sounds, compared to a 4 beat loop. It has more if an end and a beginning. The clue here is to try to make a 8 beat loop (at minimum) when looping a song for mixing, because it sounds a LOT better.
****16 BEAT LOOP OR A PHRASE****
Now, do the same again, with 16 beat loop (4 bars, a phrase). Now, listen to it over and over… This can almost be looped for ever, because it sounds more like a melody. Of course it gets boring.. lol… but it has a definitive start and end, and a difference in first half phrase (8 beats) and the second half phrase (next 8 beats). But its not easy to tell, and don’t worry yet too.
****32 BEAT LOOP OR HALF A VERSE****
Try to distinguish the first part (a phrase, 16 beats) from the second part! Try to listen how the second part (almost always) have a build up to it, and often a bit of transition from first phrase to second phrase with a more sound, high hat or something else… and after the 2nd phrase there will be an even more clear transition to the 2nd half of the verse (next 32 beats).
****64 BEAT LOOP OR A VERSE***
You can clearly tell (I hope) the difference from the first 32 beats and the next 32 beats of this loop. There is almost always a clear transition of some type from the first half verse (32 beats) to the 2nd half verse (next 32 beats), like a “whoosh”, drum roll, drop in the beat for a bar etc.
The reason for this is to mark the transition to the 2nd half verse where u are likely to here there is more energy, maybe more sound – like a more powerful bass line, a chance of key etc
NOW, this is the really important part, to distinguish this first half verse from the 2nd …
Now – why does the mad dj from Norway go on with this blah blah another time?!?!? Lol… well, there IS a difference from a DJ beat-mixing “on luck” and a DJ that’s also a “musician” or an artist… what u mean?? :) Well, there is a reason for VDJ to have loop buttons ordered in the numbers of 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 beat loops. The reason being that’s how music is structured :) now…. What u mean?
well lets give it a shot :
- when mixing to a new song, try to have the same rhythm/structure of BOTH songs when mixing, that they BOTH have the same build up in 2nd half ot the verse (32 beats). This will make a really pro and prefect mix!! Practice; see if you can tell the difference in each song.
The reason for the practice above with 4 – 8 – 16 – 32 and 64 beat loops where to make you have more an “ear” for music, its structure, and how its built. It its not an easy one to grasp or hear, but hey… not all of us can play guitar in good melody and rhythm as well. I for sure cant play guitar.. lol ;)
Now, don’t go kill yourself if you can’t tell the difference, or can’t mix like that, because you are not alone. I’m one for sure that try to mix like this still… Remember, there IS a reason for guys like Pete Tong getting to remix Madonna and get mad amount of money to play at Ibiza!! It’s because these DJ’s “make music” when they mix… they not only mix on the right structure, they also expand even more by having a insane sense of what instruments go together, how much a frequency of a song should be lowered or increased… no matter what a wanna-be-dj might say, it’s well deserved stardom some of these dj’s have… they are true artist! Doing it live!! ;)
**** STRUCTURE AND GENRE ****
But as a start, try listen to your mix when mixing, not only to see if they are in structure (an important issue), but also that they “fit” together. Even if two songs are perfectly beat synced, and in the same structure of each other, it does not make the mix sound good, always… because some bass drums go well with others, and some instruments fits others.. in sum, some songs just don’t go well with some other songs! That’s why u need to know your songs, and practice at home, and have a few preferred songs to mix into when playing a song live.
Now, you almost have to be Pete Tong or and Orchestral director to get this fully working :) But you can come close as a dj thinking more about the music and the music style you play. Say a latin club house song. Latin beats have a distinguish sound to it, made by selected instruments that and rhythm that give that latin feel. When mixing that to another song, find one that has a similarity to it… either to mix up to a even higher latin groove by finding a take-off samba-techno song for example, or one to mix away from the latin groove by using a song with less latin “feel” to it. What I’m trying to say, is that some songs go well with other songs, some don’t. Try, and if it doesn’t go well together, find a transition song that you can use as a “link” between them, and use that before going to the song you where trying to use. Also, if moving from one “genre” to another, make it a smooth transition.. by adding more and more latin grooves to the mix (in this example) or removing… depending on your direction for the mix :)
Again, its all about practice, and listen to your own remixes to try to hear what can be done better ;) and as always, happy mixing
Posted Mon 09 Aug 04 @ 9:50 pm
dj-nor maybe u could upload a song mixed by u and explain all this stuff with the song as example... for example " on the 1 song, 2:10 the structure changes and there is the time when u mix a lil bit..." or i dont know but to make it easier because it is very boring to read it all without examples or images, and i know isnt a easy work but if u would do that would be very kind of u.
(srry if i made a mistake on writing...)
Posted Sun 22 Aug 04 @ 1:37 am
Another completly different question: what is the best, kill slowly the bass with the eq, or use the bassfader to mix (the same with the other ones, middle fader, high fader)?
Taking again the bassfaders and middle faders and high faders, at what speed do u kill them?
About the song structure, if i have a song playing on desk 1 wich will reach the long brake, what is the best, begin mixing the song 2 with a bass loop or just with a non-bass verse?
Talking about the bmp of a set, what is the best, start with the lowest bmp sng or with the highest?
What should i keep in mind before chose the first song of the set?
Well that's all... thanks in advance!
Posted Sun 22 Aug 04 @ 8:55 pm
when re-reading my looooong post, i can see its a bit to much...hehe.. I'll narrow it down a bit, and make it a more understandable.
Also - its THEORETICAL!! that doesn't mean that u at a live gig shall count 32 beats, listen for a whole verse for structure change etc.. Its just meant to give a more SENSE of music, and a lot of u might already do it by "instinct" - as u have a good sense of rythm.. and music.
it was more as a THEORETICAL aproach to try to get a "crash course" in getting a sense of music.. and I realise its almost impossible to explain, in words.. just as trying to explain how to dance ;) would be better to do as a video :)
the "loop-and-listen" post is for getting an "ear" for music. Loop a part, and listen... loop a bigger part, and listen. As a PRACISE ;) getting an ear for change, beats, breaks etc
( AND REMEMBER; YOU ALL GOTTA GO PAST THE INTRO PART, AND CUE FOR FIRST BEAT OF SONG FOR THIS PRACTISE)
and the questions of Fluxion :
(1) CROSSFADER : yes... u are right, it depends on music. Hiphop i use "short" crossfader, house i use "full" crossfader...
as a general statement, its hard to say, it also depends on the song.. what part of song i mix in etc.. A long intro mix gives more time, then a short on beat break mix..
So, dont know if i can say a general "rule" here... sorry
(2) same goes here.. there are no general rule for what speed to use the eq's... sometimes i "fade" them out slowly, swapping the frequency of desk 1 to desk 2 slowly, sometimes i kill the bass on the first beat where i start desk 2.... its all depending on the track u are playing, and what fits the mix, what it needs...
GENERALLY speaking, i would say that i dont KILL instantly very often, but listen closely to my mix, and "fade" into deck2 in the speed that seem to fit that particular song.. OR, if i mix on a beat, like swap song1 to song2 by moving crossfader quickly on beat, to middle, I kill bass on song1...
(3) hmmm.. again, lol... its depending on the songs. But, generally, i would have a bass drum loop cued up at deck2.. when deck1 have played a bit of the long breakdown (calmer area of song), i would start fading in deck2, OR.. wait for the moment when song1 is going OUT of the breakdown, and on that first hard beat after breakdown, swap to deck2, and kill (all or one) eq at deck1.. giving the sound of deck2 being the the new verse after the breakdown... practice different ways, and when u know your music files, u will start to have a preferred way for each song... :)
(4) YES!! exactly.. you sort your songs to bpm.. and then start at the lowes, and build up the dancefloor for a final take off at a high bpm ;) now, u can do this over and over.. like say with an hour between the high peaks. After the peak, build a bit down, and then start rising slowly again, and save a few really "kickin the roof" songs for the final take off.. making the dancefloor go mad ;) lol.... playing by bpm is the best way, starting from a lower, and building up..
If you dont, the dancefloor will not "know" what to expect next, and u would kill the dancefloor with one song, get everybody running to dance floor with next, and make them mad because u did not continune on that beat/bpm after the song is finished.... BPM! BPM! BPM!!! ;) the most important "tool" u got in the music database ;)
(5) "What should i keep in mind before chose the first song of the set?"
- well... i would look at how many people are there, and what atmosphere there was (and sure get what style of music they want for the nite)..
few people = chill, funky... let them enjoy the drink in the bar.
lotsa people = start a bit faster tune,and start building the dancefloor ;)
i'm thinking by the way on making a "HOW TO BE A DJ: get your first gig, how to behave at gigs, and how to start" post... ;) and will make that SHORTER and more fun to read... lol :)
Posted Mon 23 Aug 04 @ 1:31 am
I would like to lisent one of your mixes, very shorts mixes 'cause i have a 56 kb modem... :(
Anyway, thx for this very complete guide of how to mix like a pro dj.
Posted Mon 23 Aug 04 @ 9:39 pm
I'll wait for ur answer.
Posted Tue 24 Aug 04 @ 10:08 pm
I'll wait for ur answer."
Time you got the full version? not a cracked version?
Really is worth the money :)
Posted Tue 24 Aug 04 @ 11:20 pm
P.d. really, really i'm not angry :)
Posted Thu 26 Aug 04 @ 1:46 am
but there ARE ways to tell... ;)
hopefully u will like the software after testing the "demo", and get the full version... :)
Its DEFINITIVELY worth it.. and cheap price..
Also, a cracked version is NOT stable, and can crash etc...
Let me say it this way, getting full version will give u access to all new plugins (witch are great), new skins - and most of all FREE updates and upgrades! :) other dj software cost a lot more, and u have to buy again when upgrades comes..
And least .. u will get the full support of this forum, like more help etc from me if u like that .. ;)
about translation : - could make a spanish guide too, but need some help translating, so maybe, if someone help ;)
Hope u like the software after the "test", and get the full version.. ;)
hope to see ya as a full user one day ;)
dj in norway
Posted Thu 26 Aug 04 @ 2:31 am
Posted Fri 27 Aug 04 @ 7:47 am
You would benifit greatly by upgrading to the full legal current version.
ALSO: All trial version users are not accused of using hacked versions. Just the ones who are. (like you)
You shouldn't come here and make requests of our full version users and our team members as long as you continue to use an ILLEGAL version of our software.
Questions and requests that come from real trial version users & full version users are almost always answered. Questions and requests that are posted by users with outdated hacked versions of our software are often ignored.
Posted Wed 01 Sep 04 @ 6:07 pm
Posted Tue 28 Dec 04 @ 8:53 am
Why go to all that trouble wasting your time on bs like that
this program is not expensive ....its freggin priceless....hello help
How much more proof do you need.
Posted Tue 28 Dec 04 @ 2:16 pm