How to mix/transition rock songs?
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  1. #1
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    Default How to mix/transition rock songs?

    I am really quite mindblown how easy it is to mix electronic music with Traktor Pro. But I am quite at a loss at how to best approach mixing 2 rocks tracks (using the term "rock" quite liberally in this post). Obviously there are a couple rock tracks that come with sort of a natural "break" and are so well known that they immediatly put the energy back up there ("Seven Nation Army", "I love Rock'n Roll"). These kind of tracks are perfect for a switch from some other genre to more guitars.

    But what if I am doing a few rock tracks after another. Lets say JET "Are you gonna be my girl" and then Lenny Kravitz "Are you gonna go my Way"? Do you just cross fade? Do you leave a second between? Do you try to beatmatch, play with the EQ .. go crazy with FX?

    Some hints (especially with example mixes) would be very appreciated!
    Traktor Pro 2.5.0, Mixxx 1.9.1, Massive, Ableton Live 8
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  2. #2
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    Most of the "rock" I mix on could be considered electronic metal (Ministry would be the clearest example). I think this is all a mix by mix, song by song kind of thing. There would be some tracks you'd want to use the break for a second, some where you could beatmatch and layer effects... etc. etc. etc.

    Honestly, just experiment and make terrible mixes in search of the epic energy builders.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah of course. I am not looking for a one size fits all solution. The silver bullet doesn't exist and if it did .. it would get boring. However if someone has a link or two for a few mixes it would be helpful. So far I have found only mixes that put rock music into electronic music. But with the crowds I am playing they sometimes just want the unaltered original rock classics to dance and sing along.
    Traktor Pro 2.5.0, Mixxx 1.9.1, Massive, Ableton Live 8
    MBP 15" 8GB RAM OS 10.7.4, Audio Kontrol 1, Audio 2 DJ, Sennheiser HD-25 II
    DJTT VCI-100SE Arcade, Akai LDP8, M-Audio Pro Keystation 88, Novation Launchpad, iTM DJ
    ifnotwhynot.me | soundcloud.com | fairtilizer.com | digitaldj planet | digitaldj music

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor alien2k's Avatar
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    I have no experience mixing rock, but my approcah would be more or less the same one as If I was going to mix tracks from diferent styles or 2 tracks that are hard to mix. Here are some Ideas that you could try at home and see if you get something.

    If you are able to beatmatch both tracks the most porbable thing is that the common mixing apporach will be too clashy. So see if the second track could be equed (ex: cut everything but the mids) in a way that you can bring a known vocal or guitar riff in the mix without sounding too bad. Right now I am thinking of smell like teen spirit, on the 8 bar guitar riff on the beginig of the track. You could mix in that 8 bar loop and then take it out for other 8 bars the back in again like cuts so you announce the next track more than really mix it in. On the third cut you can just high pass filter the other track or do a nice spin back! and just give the next one full power.

    Similar apporach is just filter the first track while mixing in the next one (i recommend to do it quick like in 8 bars fully mixed). I can imagine that you can mix very quick when mixing rock.

    If the songs are at very different bpm's you can always try the non mixing approaches... for example using effects you can delay the first track (always sounds better with the bass off) and freez it then just hit play on the other deck. You can always loop it and make the loop shorter and shorter until you get the buzzing and if you practice (and look at other djs) you will see that you can use the buzzing as an actual beat for the other track with the help of your volume fader (carl cox and laidback luke do it always). You can do an old school power off on the first track and hit play on the other.... I can think of many things but I am sure there are always options that will be better depending on the tracks. So just use your imagination and give a try.

    It is always good to watch other djs playing. For example this video might be usefull for you as Laidback luke really masters the cd decks and do a lot of mixing with tracks with diferent bpms. You will see how he uses the effects, loops, and spinbacks in order to make the transitions.

    http://www.viddler.com/explore/dancetrippin/videos/386/
    Last edited by alien2k; 05-04-2009 at 12:27 PM.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru josh@firestorm's Avatar
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    thanks for that link alien2k... enjoyable set

    im moving to amsterdam i think, damn there are some hot ladies over there!!!

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Damien1138's Avatar
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    If you want to mix two rock tracks, I would go about it by first warping the tunes in ableton or another daw to try to get it to a strict bpm. Once that is done, you could probably do teases, cuts, bassline swaps, etc, the same way as any other genre. I've toyed around with the rock sound recently but i tried to keep things as dnb as possible. I have a mix in the url below in which i used (arguably) 2 rock tracks to start it off even though "Flight to Nashville" - Ed Rush, Optical, Matrix is leaning more on the dancefloor/jump up side of DnB but still has a heavy heavy rock sound to it. Hope this helps.

    http://www.djtechtools.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4942

  7. #7
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    thx .. keep the advice coming ..
    as for warping .. do you mean because rock tracks usually have no constant BPM?
    i should clarify once more however that i am not really looking to "mix" but instead just find a good way to "transition" as quickly as possible from one rock track to another. i find that most people prefer to get their rock classics as unaltered as possible.
    Traktor Pro 2.5.0, Mixxx 1.9.1, Massive, Ableton Live 8
    MBP 15" 8GB RAM OS 10.7.4, Audio Kontrol 1, Audio 2 DJ, Sennheiser HD-25 II
    DJTT VCI-100SE Arcade, Akai LDP8, M-Audio Pro Keystation 88, Novation Launchpad, iTM DJ
    ifnotwhynot.me | soundcloud.com | fairtilizer.com | digitaldj planet | digitaldj music

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Damien1138's Avatar
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    yaya, analogue bands tend to vary slightly in their bpm but a little warping can get things on point. If you're just looking to transition, i would listen to commercial radio DJs since they do this all day long.

  9. #9
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    good advice .. i havent listend to radio in about 15 years. they do "cheat" a bit since they can talk into their songs, but i am sure there will be plenty to learn and some radio masters only talk every few songs. thx .. will make myself "suffer" through some radio
    Traktor Pro 2.5.0, Mixxx 1.9.1, Massive, Ableton Live 8
    MBP 15" 8GB RAM OS 10.7.4, Audio Kontrol 1, Audio 2 DJ, Sennheiser HD-25 II
    DJTT VCI-100SE Arcade, Akai LDP8, M-Audio Pro Keystation 88, Novation Launchpad, iTM DJ
    ifnotwhynot.me | soundcloud.com | fairtilizer.com | digitaldj planet | digitaldj music

  10. #10

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    quickly .

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