Planning mixes, or just throwing it down
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  1. #1

    Default Planning mixes, or just throwing it down

    So yeah, I've now been messing with the digital stuff for about 8 months, and I just think that my mixes could be much better. What I'm wanting some ideas for is planning mixes, aside from the "that worked before, lemme throw it in here" I just don't do it at all. But I think for making a more pro (for lack of a better term) sounding mix I should maybe try it, I know many djs do it for live sets and many don't. I am really just looking for ideas on it, from workflow (playlists, ratings, etc) to just a way to get started doing it. Everytime I try it I just end up mixing and really wasting my time... thanks in advance
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  2. #2
    Banhammerized theory28's Avatar
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    i pre plan all of my recorded mixes.
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  3. #3
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    i only plan a mix for promo cd's to get work or sometimes guest sets, anything else i just throw down flicking through my cd's, sometimes it dosnt sound as good when you throw it down, because i come across a song i really want to play get inpatient and mix it in with a tune it really dosnt go with, but as long as the beats are matched and they dont over power each other it not to bad + i must admit i do use mixed in key, not strictly but i do stick with keys when planning a mix
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  4. #4
    Tech Guru Sherlock Ohms's Avatar
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    Promo and 'proper' mixes are preplanned (hence why I do so few of them , I get a smidge obsessive)

    Live and radio I wing it from a preselected pile - I tend to aim to have 3-4 times as many tunes as I need to play, and select from them ... (mostly - I do wander off list quite often)
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    Tech Guru DigitalDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlock Ohms View Post
    Promo and 'proper' mixes are preplanned (hence why I do so few of them , I get a smidge obsessive)

    Live and radio I wing it from a preselected pile - I tend to aim to have 3-4 times as many tunes as I need to play, and select from them ... (mostly - I do wander off list quite often)
    Pretty much on the same page here.

  6. #6
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    i must admit i aint sure if this apply to anyone else, when i plan the mix its harder for me to get spot on, even though i have the into and outro times all written down tested, the times i need to drop the mix, how long they blend. Then ontop of all that i normally muck it up by missing a first beat (nothing major but dosnt end up being perfect.
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  7. #7
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    start with a couple songs that work well together and build on it from there. write it down. if it helps make notes about the fx, cue points and looping you will use for each transition.

    be mindful of the energy and flow of the mix... in other words, don't stick 10 peaktime bangers in a row. start with a couple intro songs that are powerful but not so powerful that you can't build up from.

    this is kind of a rough way of looking at an approach you can take:

    mid-energy --> high energy ---> mid-energy ---> low-energy ---> mid energy ---> high energy


    think of it like a story arch or plot. not in the way that you actually have to tell a story, but in a way that you have to entice the listener and maintain their attention for the duration of the mix.

  8. #8
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    my demo sets are almost all pre-planned. For live situations I have loads of play lists composed of compatible tunes.. I generally flip from list to list whilst reading the reaction of the crowd. Pre-planned sets in live situations don't allow you to react to the crowd.

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Topps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherlock Ohms View Post
    Promo and 'proper' mixes are preplanned (hence why I do so few of them , I get a smidge obsessive)

    Live and radio I wing it from a preselected pile - I tend to aim to have 3-4 times as many tunes as I need to play, and select from them ... (mostly - I do wander off list quite often)
    I'm the exact same way, you want to have a general idea and have something planned in your head but be able to have lots of options as you get into the groove of things

  10. #10
    Tech Mentor Belmont!'s Avatar
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    I pre-plan my sets most of the time, but I practice with random songs to get the creative juices flowing (if I'm trying to come up with a new set) and make sure that I can still do it.

    I personally think I look goofy if I dance around while I'm behind the decks, and I get really self conscious when I'm just standing there bobbing my head, so I'm constantly trying to come up with fun stuff to do while I'm playing.

    Sure, the crowd may not be aware of all the cool stuff I'm doing behind the scenes, but they don't really need to know the technical stuff, as long as I am able to present them with a musical experience that they can enjoy on any level, whether they are passively listening while hanging out with some friends, or really enjoying the selection and mixing.

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