Remembering which tracks mix well / notes on mixing them?
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  1. #1
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    Default Remembering which tracks mix well / notes on mixing them?

    What systems do you all use to help you remember which tracks mix well with other tracks? I'm new to Traktor and I know I can create playlists and what not, but what works for you guys?

    At the moment I have a Google Sheet (online Excel doc basically) that I have tabbed out A to Z on the bottom and add songs to their respective tabs based on their names. Then I have a little "mood" box that I color-code so I can quickly get a feel for the mood of the track (helpful for new tracks I haven't memorized yet) and then another column with the track it mixes well with, its mood, and then good times to drop the mix in, and notes. It's simple, but it seems to scale well and is easily sortable / searchable. I can add the same track multiple times for each new track it mixes well with and then sort by name. Seems workable.

  2. #2
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    First, how many tracks are you drawing from? I keep a nice tight group of tracks to choose from. Probably less than 100, but I rotate tracks out regularly. Keeping the list shorter is a big time help.

    If you are the type of person that torrents a bunch of music then dumps it all into a folder then you should really trim the fat. Toss out (DELETE!) tracks you know you will not play. They were free to you afterall...
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  3. #3

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    MIK tagged tracks and when I pick them up create playlists for different styles/feels to narrow down a search. In a set

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor deathy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithace View Post
    First, how many tracks are you drawing from? I keep a nice tight group of tracks to choose from. Probably less than 100, but I rotate tracks out regularly. Keeping the list shorter is a big time help.

    If you are the type of person that torrents a bunch of music then dumps it all into a folder then you should really trim the fat. Toss out (DELETE!) tracks you know you will not play. They were free to you afterall...
    Seconded. My setlist at this point is around 250. I practice a whole lot as well, usually spending time practicing every transition for the tracks I have in a given key and genre... this results in me knowing my tracks pretty intimately, even when I am mixing out of the same genre or switching keys.

    On top of this, I also tear my tracks apart when I first get them - I DJ with my own self written software as well as Traktor, in my self written software, I mark up the phrases in the track for intro, verse, chorus, bridge, fill, ending, etc., if it has vocals, etc., etc. In Traktor, I drop markers to indicate my mix points, mark vocals, mark strange length phrases like fills.

    Funny thing is, it's not that I need this information after I've practiced with that track as much as I do, but the act of tearing it apart in the first place helps me to develop the knowledge early in the practice sessions and it sticks with me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathy View Post
    Seconded. My setlist at this point is around 250. I practice a whole lot as well, usually spending time practicing every transition for the tracks I have in a given key and genre... this results in me knowing my tracks pretty intimately, even when I am mixing out of the same genre or switching keys.

    On top of this, I also tear my tracks apart when I first get them - I DJ with my own self written software as well as Traktor, in my self written software, I mark up the phrases in the track for intro, verse, chorus, bridge, fill, ending, etc., if it has vocals, etc., etc. In Traktor, I drop markers to indicate my mix points, mark vocals, mark strange length phrases like fills.

    Funny thing is, it's not that I need this information after I've practiced with that track as much as I do, but the act of tearing it apart in the first place helps me to develop the knowledge early in the practice sessions and it sticks with me.
    Very interesting ~ definitely want to hear more of your own programmed software!

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    The answer to your question is Rapid Evolution:

    http://www.mixshare.com/re3preview.html

    It's basically a database.

    I haven't touched it for many years (I actually had some input on the Ableton Live skin for RE2), but it's at v3 now and looks like exactly what you are looking for.

    RE3 has something called "mixouts", which is what you'll want to read up on.

    -

    Also - iTunes Smart Playlists (along with a good tagging regime) can do what you are looking for.

    -

    Quote Originally Posted by deathy
    Funny thing is, it's not that I need this information after I've practiced with that track as much as I do, but the act of tearing it apart in the first place helps me to develop the knowledge early in the practice sessions and it sticks with me.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathy View Post
    but the act of tearing it apart in the first place helps me to develop the knowledge early in the practice sessions and it sticks with me.
    Bingo.

    I am a wedding DJ. So the my sets are from a slightly wider pool of music than is typical of a club DJ set. The downside is that because the pool of music is wider, the mixed set is not as tight when compared to a set assembled from 100 (or so) songs. There are tradeoffs to be made, to be sure.

    I use MIK to prep all my "new to me" tracks. That gets tempo, key, energy, and now some reasonable load markers set for me.

    I have a core set of music (al la Mobile Beat Top 200) that is prepped with solid grids, markers that are spot on, loops where I need them, etc.

    I find that I can keep between 500 and 700 songs in my head at any given moment. I am CONSTANTLY listening to music in order to be familiar with the genres and artists that my clients have requested I play for them. I am listening to the "greatest hits" and the deeper tracks that only the mega fans know about. I tend to prefer to listen on "random" otherwise I find that the playlist order (however that was thrown together) tends to sound the most "natural" to me over a few listens. That exposure bias is real and must be acknowledged to be handled.

    If there is a request for a song that I have not listened to recently, I can prep it on the fly. In about 30 seconds I can put a song in the headphones and get the intro and find a mix out point. I drop some rough markers for the in/out and then mix it in by ear. That is important....in the heat of a gig there is NOT time to really refine a grid and markers. If needed I can make the outro marker a loop to give me a bit more flexibility.
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  8. #8
    Tech Guru astromech's Avatar
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    I've got all my tracks tagged with Camelot notation. When I play and two tracks work really well together, I add 'goes with X / goes with Y' to the comments field so that if I'm in a bind, I literally just type 'goes with' into the search box and i've got a big list of tracks that have siblings. Instamix!
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  9. #9
    Tech Mentor deathy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackalJyve View Post
    Very interesting ~ definitely want to hear more of your own programmed software!
    Not going to hijack someone else's thread too much except to say - right now, it's just a prototype, the sound quality isn't good enough to play out unless it's for a group of other geeks who understand they're just hearing a prototype... it can get a bit choppy in places... but it proves out for me that the workflow is worth pursuing.

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