Mixing old skool rnb
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  1. #1
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    Default Mixing old skool rnb

    I want to do a new mix for soundcloud but i find mixing rnb really hard theres no videos on youtube and useless information online. It just sounds a bit messy on my transition but then ill listen to popular mix on soundcloud and they also sound a bit messy not very smooth transitions. is this how it is in rnb mixes ? i think im focusing on to perfect the transition so much like its on a house/dance mix but Im finding it really hard
    any tips ?

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor deathy's Avatar
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    This is a pretty obvious question, so I apologize if you've already considered it, but how is your harmonic compatibility? With RnB, your key isn't going to be the only concern, either - as a more complex style of music, it's going to have more harmonic progression, so chord compatibility will probably also be important to consider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deathy View Post
    This is a pretty obvious question, so I apologize if you've already considered it, but how is your harmonic compatibility? With RnB, your key isn't going to be the only concern, either - as a more complex style of music, it's going to have more harmonic progression, so chord compatibility will probably also be important to consider.
    not an obvious question i havnt been djing long but since ive had my decks 9 out 10 times ive been mixing house/garage and hip hop abit ive only really started rnb this week i know im going to be sht at first. what is harmonic compatibility ? I think i have a good understanding of beat matching i can mix a house track quite easy now but I want to expand to other genres

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    Tech Mentor deathy's Avatar
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    The best place to start is probably Mixed in Key - a very good tool for helping you to identify harmonic compatibility. It's not free, though, and also has Always-On-DRM, which I personally don't support, so I don't use it. I use KeyFinder, which is a Free/OpenSource alternative that is not as accurate, but is still quite accurate - it works for me mixing Funk, which has a lot of the same problems you will face doing RnB.

    What it comes down to is - if two songs are in the same key, they are much more likely to mix well together. Pretty straightforward. From there, you have the Camelot Wheel (in that first link, it talks about that) which shows you how you can move from key to key. For example, D minor is a very common key in Funk (and probably also in RnB)... in the Camelot Wheel notation, that's a 7A. Looking at the wheel, it is generally safe to move from there to 6A (G minor), stay in 7A, or 8A (A minor) or transition to its relative major key, 7B (F major).

    When I say that the chord progressions are also an important consideration, this is because chord progressions can change the harmonic feel of a song for each chord change - just because you're working in F minor doesn't mean you are always playing an F minor chord... otherwise known as the "I" (one) chord. If your song is playing the "IV" chord for the second quarter of your phrase, then that would make it tend to clash with another song that might be in the same key, but is playing, say, a "III" or "V" chord.

    That said, start by identifying the keys of your songs... then, you can trust your ear and experiment. Find the tracks that mix well together. You don't need to identify every chord being played, that would be far too much work, but if they are at least harmonically compatible in general, you'll know you're in the right general area and from there, your ear will help you with the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deathy View Post
    The best place to start is probably Mixed in Key - a very good tool for helping you to identify harmonic compatibility. It's not free, though, and also has Always-On-DRM, which I personally don't support, so I don't use it. I use KeyFinder, which is a Free/OpenSource alternative that is not as accurate, but is still quite accurate - it works for me mixing Funk, which has a lot of the same problems you will face doing RnB.



    What it comes down to is - if two songs are in the same key, they are much more likely to mix well together. Pretty straightforward. From there, you have the Camelot Wheel (in that first link, it talks about that) which shows you how you can move from key to key. For example, D minor is a very common key in Funk (and probably also in RnB)... in the Camelot Wheel notation, that's a 7A. Looking at the wheel, it is generally safe to move from there to 6A (G minor), stay in 7A, or 8A (A minor) or transition to its relative major key, 7B (F major).

    When I say that the chord progressions are also an important consideration, this is because chord progressions can change the harmonic feel of a song for each chord change - just because you're working in F minor doesn't mean you are always playing an F minor chord... otherwise known as the "I" (one) chord. If your song is playing the "IV" chord for the second quarter of your phrase, then that would make it tend to clash with another song that might be in the same key, but is playing, say, a "III" or "V" chord.

    That said, start by identifying the keys of your songs... then, you can trust your ear and experiment. Find the tracks that mix well together. You don't need to identify every chord being played, that would be far too much work, but if they are at least harmonically compatible in general, you'll know you're in the right general area and from there, your ear will help you with the rest.
    ok thanks ive got a lot of learning to do and I dont think I will ever use them because I want to learn the proper way no offence. it will just take me time to understand I mean when people was explaning bars and phrases and dropping it in to them I was clueless but now I understand

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    what type of rnb, year? theres smooth dance and slow type stuff. if its dance, blend on break or last chorus. on slow, try to use am effect like echo then fade in next track, sometimes u dont hav to beat match each track

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    For what it's worth, a whole lot of really big names use Mixed in Key... Oakenfold, Sasha, and on and on the list goes. However, I am not trying to convince you, just sayin'.

    The alternative is to get yourself a cheap keyboard of some sort that you can bang the keys on, learn the chords, and just start playin' around until you find the chords that are playin'.

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    To be honest, RnB wasn't meant to be mixed (i.e. it has a different structure), so it's perfectly understandable that you're having problems, don't worry if your mixes aren't flawless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by djjsnu View Post
    what type of rnb, year? theres smooth dance and slow type stuff. if its dance, blend on break or last chorus. on slow, try to use am effect like echo then fade in next track, sometimes u dont hav to beat match each track
    round the 2000 stuff jar rule mary j blidge 50, akon etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by deathy View Post
    For what it's worth, a whole lot of really big names use Mixed in Key... Oakenfold, Sasha, and on and on the list goes. However, I am not trying to convince you, just sayin'.

    The alternative is to get yourself a cheap keyboard of some sort that you can bang the keys on, learn the chords, and just start playin' around until you find the chords that are playin'.
    I had a look on youtube of it and i understand it more it is something i will get in the future, looks like it saves a lot of time. do you think its taking the skill out of djing tho ?

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