How to "time" tracks when crossfading
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  1. #1

    Default How to "time" tracks when crossfading

    Alright, since acquiring my Mixtrack, I've been trying to teach myself Traktor and the real 'art' of DJing/controllerism. I used to cheat in Virtual DJ by aligning the 'drops' on the vertical waveform display and mixing through the break.

    Obviously, Traktor uses a horizontal waveform display and this is not possible? So how do you 'time' your tracks? Does this even make sense?

  2. #2
    Banhammerized theory28's Avatar
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    Jul 2010


    have the second song ready

    look at the wave form of the first

    hit play on the drop.

    then look at the phase meeter to get them aligned
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  3. #3


    Hi, can you explain in a little bit more detail? Or link to a video/article?

  4. #4


    This doesn't hold true all of the time, but most electronic music is in 4/4 time and every 8 or 16 bars (or 32 or 64 beats...4 beats to a bar) and barring things like breaks (where the music has a part that doesn't 'fit' the pattern) you can kinda "count" it out and just drop things in 32 or 64 beat patterns...there's a bunch of instructional articles about this very subject so I'll stop because I am in no way an authority on these things, I'd work that google-fu if I was easy

  5. #5
    Tech Guru
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    Oct 2008
    West Coast, United States


    Be familiar with your tracks and use your ears.

    Hate to say it, but there's no formula, and using one is going to get you in trouble because tons of music breaks with the pattern, drops 2 bars here and there, adds bars in a break, etc. You don't want to be counting in your head and end up wrecking it. Just know your track. But if you don't, hover over the control, and don't press it if something unexpected happens.
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  6. #6
    Tech Guru sarasin's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Cape Town


    Its easy to spot the flow the of the track in the wave form.

    Fat areas are generally the kicking parts with drums etc.

    The thinner bits are the breaks....chilled bits without drums.

    You can also set the size of the waveform by clicking on the + sign on the top right of the waveform.

    If you mixing EDM...then its dead easy....but you should rather understand and recognise the sound of the 8 beat loop. Thats all the rythme is at the end of the day.

    So you would be counting to 8 each time to be able know when to start the incoming track in the correct phase. After a becomes just KNOW where in you are in the phrase at any given time.
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  7. #7
    Tech Guru SirReal's Avatar
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    May 2010
    San Fran Bay Area


    I believe the formula is... if 64/8*2+X>32x4-MDMA then it's ok to crossfade.
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  8. #8
    Tech Mentor DjWindzOne's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    San Diego, CA


    Zac Kyoti is right, every song, every genre, and beats are all different. All it is IMO is just trainng your ears a certain way. . .This is part of the reason why some DJ's, like myself, listen on one headphone while mixing. . . .

    Adjust the cue level in your headphones.
    Close your eyes. . .Even taping your foot / nodding your head actually helps. . .
    Adjust pitch if necessary. Listen carefully. . . .
    Smooth cross-fade over to new track. If your doing tricks, just remember the count and you'll be fine.

    "I believe the formula is... if 64/8*2+X>32x4-MDMA then it's ok to crossfade."
    But. . .but. . .Do you got a mapping or .tsi file for this?
    Last edited by DjWindzOne; 11-19-2010 at 06:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    From Ireland Living in Manila: Philippines :D


    To the OP .. really knowing your tracks is where its at ..

    i'd honesly recommend some "blind" mixing and even removing your crossfader mapping and beatmatch using the pitch fader for a bit which would be akin to playing on Technics/CDJ's and a dodgy club mixer with a bust crossfader - seriously!

    Not being able to see the waveform on vinyl meant really knowing either the structure of the music well, guesswork (to a small extent) and knowing your tracks like the back of your hand - the same should apply to digital dj's.

    Also don't just rely on crossfade as a drop, play with the EQ's for dropping tracks - Bass down on playing track - Bass up on mixing track... try this approach and you'll hear and you'll begin to realize the structures of 99% of EDM.

    I believe the formula is... if 64/8*2+X>32x4-MDMA then it's ok to crossfade.
    Almost I think 64/8*2+X>32x4-MDMAx2+B334=(O)(O) is closer

  10. #10
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    New Zealand


    Just go with the flow and practise makes for less screw-ups.
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