Volume issues when mixing...
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  1. #1
    Tech Convert
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Volume issues when mixing...

    Hi all, I want to thank anyone in advance for helping me with these issues.

    I've been deejaying for a little over a year so, obviously, I am still learning a lot, even the essentials. I attempt to mix all sorts of genres, mostly what beatport classifies as "nu-disco/indie dance", with a tinge of dubstep, house, trance, etc. The issues I'm about to discuss could very well be the result of not having enough music to really have tracks that fit well together, but here goes:

    I mix with the line faders and keep the xfader in the middle. I find, however, that I have consistent issues with maintaining the volume level, sometimes becoming too loud by crowding frequencies, other times becoming too low when I drop out one of the tracks from the mix. This could all be a trial and error thing, as I am still a complete novice at EQ mixing. I do all the basics like cutting the bass frequency of the new track and whatnot, but the main issue is which level on the line fader do I bring in the new track? I've been told never to have both line faders at 100%, so I avoid this, but when I try an do the switch on line faders (one at 100% and the other at 80% and switch), you can hear the drop in volume. I use the meters to gauge the levels, but still have this constant issue of the mix's levels going all over the place.

    Another question is on transitions. My current setup is Traktor, ext mixer, and axiom 25, and I'm having trouble finding ways to transition creatively, which the type of music I play tends to require. I can't do transitions strictly through beat matching because a lot of my tracks don't have the long buildups, breakdowns, etc. that are DJ friendly. Any wisdom is greatly appreciated!

    -T9

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
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    Default

    I you can't beatmatch there are options.

    Hip hop djs simply cut from one track to the next even of the bpms don't quite match. The trick is to move the xfader fast and also that the end of the bar in song A, matches exactly the start fo the bar of song B. In traktor you could simply stop track A at the end of the bar and instantly start track B that is paused in the desired point. You could even configure a button for doing those two things simultaneously (stop A, play B).

    You could use fx for transitions. Like stop track A but let a tail of a delay/reverb fading out. Then you drop track B.

    You could use other tracks as tranitions. For example an atmosphere, a filtered white noise, a speech from someone, a beatless break from another song, etc.

    You could also talk in between the songs like radio djs do, if you dare to and don't say stupid things...

    And even silence. Why not? Stop the track abruptly, then everyone goes WTF... and you put one of your best tracks with a good intro, or directly in a break with a build up.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru narrah's Avatar
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    In regards to your Line fader question, maybe this link may give you some direction. I recently asked a similar question and found this thread to be helpfull

    http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/sho...ght=crossfader
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  4. #4
    Tech Convert
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    Thanks for the replies... also, that link is dead.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru bumtsch's Avatar
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    The genre I spin allows for more tweaking, but I also use an external mixer and the line faders and have had similar issues (and sometimes still do) ; here's some of what's helped me.
    On the mixer, I try to have the levels for each channel only slightly past 0, as you're probably doing. However, there's not enough leds on my mixer for them to be really useful so when blending I try to go by the *master level* which is much more detailed.
    If using autogain, I usually touch up the internal gains a little bit so traktor's channel levels don't max out too much. If not, I get to push the external gain a bit more if that's needed. Also, the master level *in traktor* is turned slightly down so it usually never goes in the red.
    With that out of the way, my external mixer levels are usually a bit below 100% even when solo. I don't do "hard" channel swaps too much (so the line faders are physically closer than you'd expect) *however* I play with the low/mid/high eqs on all channels not only to cut the beats or hi-hats, but to adjust the level of the tracks further when their faders are nearly at the same levels (and then some.
    Usually, that helps 1)getting a less cluttered soundstage 2)boost up parts of the levels on the tracks which require it, because you've probably seen some tracks are just quieter even at the same prefade levels.
    Of course, you have to make sure it doesn't clash with what's on the other side. You get to enlarge your eq balancing from mostly lows to everything, and I found using the line levels led me to doing that more.

    edit2 : also, I believe Xolunt was linking to this : http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10290
    YMMV!
    Last edited by bumtsch; 01-13-2010 at 01:53 PM.

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