Breaks in songs, what to do with them?
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  1. #1

    Default Breaks in songs, what to do with them?

    Hey guys,

    So I put together a mix in ableton. Basically, I was just matching songs up and seeing how different tracks played off eachother in sequence and trying to get a good flow.

    It's basically a happy electro house set.

    My question is this:

    Every song has at least one break. You know, after the first chorus there is a spacey vocal, or just a place where the beat drops out for about 16 bars. I know this is pretty standard stuff, but, what do you working DJs do with these?

    Are these breaks okay to leave as is? Or do you try and put some kind of rhythmic element underneath to keep the energy up? I've been out to clubs and raves before and I do remember experiencing some of these breaks before, but I don't remember them being particularly effective.

    I guess I'm just confused because it seems like the energy is sucked out of the set, but then, without the break, the drops wouldn't be as big.

    How much does the venue matter also? For example, would you rework/re-arrange the breaks for a rave, but leave them as is for a night club?

  2. #2
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    Most of the time i keep the break just as it is. Sometimes i put some hi-hats underneath. Or a nice trick is to use a loop of whitenoise, put a filter on it, and create a build-up from the break !

  3. #3
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    You're using ableton. Do whatever sounds good.

  4. #4
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    it sorta depends. if I have a packed floor, I hate silence.
    if the music is strictly for listening pleasure, the silence is as much a part of the music as the loud parts.

    I am not a producer, I am a mobile DJ

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mostapha View Post
    You're using ableton. Do whatever sounds good.
    Ah, sorry, let me clarify....

    I'm using ableton just to research and prepare a set. But I will actually be practicing and performing all of the transitions and whatnot live on Timecode Vinyls and Serato.

    In other words, I use ableton to make an ideal set, or create a picture of the set I would like to play. But then I work on actually doing it live.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru keeb's Avatar
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    I usually put a hi-hat as mentioned or a kick EQed down about halfway. I'll also often add in an echo roll as the build finishes. Mess with the filter. Sometimes I'll throw in a build from another song if the phrasing's right and it works harmonically to give the track a sort of "double build". Or I'll throw in a looped vocal. Plenty of options.

  7. #7
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    The breaks are essential in a song/set. Let the song flow naturally, if you try to interrupt the natural flow too much, you will disrupt the dance floor. I know from experience that when I'm dancing, whether at a rave or in a club, I need that break to give me a moment of relief and a breath of air as dancing can take alot out of you physically.

    Also, the break puts things in perspective, it allows the listener/dancer to take it all in and reflect on the music. You don't want a mix that's purely linear, you want to create waves of ups and downs, dips and turns, to create an atmosphere of aural wonder. If your playing beats allllll the time, it becomes repetitive.

    Layer effects on the breaks to create build ups if your bored.

  8. #8
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    I use small buildups with white noise filters/filtered kick drum loops...

    I've seen many very big dj's do this in sets so I don't see problem.

    Like at the 10-12 bar mark in that 16 bars have a mini drop from what you can create and then let the real build begin.

  9. #9

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    Great responses guys. Thanks so much for the help. This really is an awesome community.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru sarasin's Avatar
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    Cue Points.

    Seamlessly jump to the next kicking section.
    APC80:STR8-100's+Ortofon Concorde Scratch\Electro:ButterRugz:TSP2-NI Audio4DJ:Xone22+Innofader:MacBook Pro 15"
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