Tips on making a mix a journey.
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Tips on making a mix a journey.

    Hey!

    So lately, I've been trying to make a house mix, but I just haven't been able to find the way to make the mix be a journey. I mean, I can mix no problem n' all, but I just feel like what I mix is more like random tracks that just mix well from one to another....
    If anyone's got some helpful tips to this, that'd be great. Like what is your music selection process, should keys play a big role in this, etc. thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sogyal View Post
    Hey!

    So lately, I've been trying to make a house mix, but I just haven't been able to find the way to make the mix be a journey. I mean, I can mix no problem n' all, but I just feel like what I mix is more like random tracks that just mix well from one to another....
    If anyone's got some helpful tips to this, that'd be great. Like what is your music selection process, should keys play a big role in this, etc. thanks!
    Im actually struggling with the same issues right now. Been studying mixes for a while and still cant seem do it right. It will develop over time..i will say that my song selection has gotten better since i started. I use Key,sound type, bpms, energy levels to figure out what to play.
    - 2 Gemini CDJ 700 - DJM 750 -

    https://soundcloud.com/alfredclayton

  3. #3
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    What exactly do you mean by sound type?

  4. #4
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    sorry i meant if it has alot of percusion, or no vocals..etc

    really cool insight on Markus Schulz opening tracks. I like trance alot but it translates into any other sub genre.

    http://www.mixedinkey.com/Book/Marku...lawless-DJ-Set
    - 2 Gemini CDJ 700 - DJM 750 -

    https://soundcloud.com/alfredclayton

  5. #5
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    Stop over thinking it and just play. Forget all the high-concept stuff like making it a 'journey' or telling a 'story' and just play.

    By just playing, by jamming various tunes together and seeing where they lead you will develop an understanding of how the whole thing hangs together. Yeah, you're going to make mistakes that sound terrible, but we all do that, and you will learn from it better than trying to deliberately choose tunes based on a check list. It's music, not physics. Your choice of music will come from knowing your records inside out and how they might fit with everything else.

    Just play, and see what happens.

  6. #6
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    I agree with you, trial and error plays a role in learning, but don't you have some guidelines you use during mixing? Like how you select your music? (Not for live DJing, but for podcasts)

  7. #7
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    Listen to a lot of long mixes and see what types of songs they use.
    - 2 Gemini CDJ 700 - DJM 750 -

    https://soundcloud.com/alfredclayton

  8. #8
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    Stories have a beginning, middle and end. Generally when I want to "take people on a journey" with a set, i'll first go with a certain mood, choose out tracks accordingly, and then sort them out by bpm and energy level (key) in Traktor.

    If you have "open key" on in the analyze options tab of the settings, your tracks will all have an assigned musical key or "energy level." The higher the number, the higher energy the track, and thus the better for peaking or climaxes. 12m/12d are generally but not always good peaking keys. Conversely, 1d/1m would logically make good intro tracks, but just bear in mind this is merely a starting point for exploration and you should never let keys totally dictate what you mix together or where you start your mix if it still sounds good otherwise. Anyway, you can learn more about harmonic mixing at your own will if you don't know already but that's one big thing I find helps.

    Another trick that helps with making your mix more story like is to add a bit of an intro and perhaps a cool-down ending track. As I mix predominantly techno, I like to scour beatport for weird, trippy electronica to rip apart with cues and use as openings, breaks, and sometimes endings but this is just a for instance, main point being get creative! Otherwise a cool** vocal sample mixed over the opening to your first track can sometimes make for a good introduction to preface your mix but be careful with this as it can very easily become cheesy as fuck if you pick a cliché or lame sample. Very hit or miss. Last tip - Save tracks with really nice outros for your mix out track as if this wasn't already obvious enough. Unless your doing a very time restricted podcast or b2b gig or something, it's always better to play out a sexy outro than to cut off your mix abruptly mid track.

    That is it. That is all my advice.
    reppin those deep underground European vibes out in the northern midwest

    Techno, Deep House, Electronica, Ambient.

    https://soundcloud.com/slightlydarkerblack

  9. #9
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    Oh yeah one thing I totally forgot to mention was that the most important part of any mix is definitely just exploring your options. I'll come up with a name for a playlist, and then spend days or weeks playing around and switching out the tracks in it until I feel I have the best possible combos before I actually press record and play it all out. This is how you really get to learning the inctricacies of mixing your chosen genre(s), and truly making some dope sounding combinations.
    reppin those deep underground European vibes out in the northern midwest

    Techno, Deep House, Electronica, Ambient.

    https://soundcloud.com/slightlydarkerblack

  10. #10
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    I think the best advice is to just know your music, learn it inside out and you'll find picking the right tracks a lot easier.

    Try not to over think it, it will only kill the flow.

    I think people over think it too much these days, I play vinyl, I know my records, I don't know the bpm, the key and I don't worry about not kowning that info. I just know my tracks and play them.

    Your decisions on what to pick next will come from your understanding of the music, the knowledge of the tracks you own, knowing the bpm, or key is not a major factor.

    Just have a mix, and most importantly enjoy it.
    Technics 1210 MK2 x 2 / A&H Xone:22 / Shure M35S / Urbanears Zinken / Mukatsuku Record Weights x 2 / Vinyl
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