How well do you know the tracks you are mixing
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  1. #1
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    Default How well do you know the tracks you are mixing

    The topic says it all...when you are DJing, how well do you know the tracks your mixing in? I went to a dj course a while ago and the tutor told me that you dont need to know the track because all music is written in 8 bars, so when you are ready to mix in a track, count an 8 bar period then mix the next track in, cutting the bass of the track you are mixing out of and upping the bass of the one you are mixing in. Of course, it is great to know some tracks very well so you can actually apply effects at the right moment and know when to drop them out etc but just wondering how well you guys know the music you are playing? Thank in advance. Sorry for the long post : )

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Most tracks I know off by heart.

    You got bogus advice. You need to know WHAT will happen in 8 bars time. Knowing that SOMETHING will happen in 8 bars time is not enough information.

    Knowing WHAT will happen will allow you to pick the next track, and when to bring it in.
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  3. #3
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    You need to know the tracks, specially if there are vocal parts on unnusual places, and vocal + vocal usually sounds terrible.

    If you mix without softwares than you need to know your tracks A LOT. Because there arent much visual info that can tell you whats going to happen.

    If you mix with a software, then you don't need to know your tracks that much (but should), as you can place lots and lots of cues of different types (at least on Traktor) to have a clear view of what is going to happen next.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    You need to know WHAT will happen in 8 bars time. Knowing that SOMETHING will happen in 8 bars time is not enough information.
    This. There's a massive difference between the hats kicking in, the bassline kicking in and a vocal kicking in. That being said, if you listen to music often enough (not necessarily the same song), you can kinda tell what's gonna happen, but knowing your tunes is still better.

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    Knowing your tunes, is one of the most important aspects of being a DJ.

    I know mine off by heart, whenever I buy something new it won't get put on the shelf until it's been played a few times over a couple of weeks and once I've listened to it that much, I'll play it out and then it will be organised into the collection.

    This way I know I'll know that record the next time it gets pulled out.

    Playing digital shouldn't be any different, just because you have visual cue's, there's no excuse for not knowing your music.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DISaS73R View Post
    This. There's a massive difference between the hats kicking in, the bassline kicking in and a vocal kicking in. That being said, if you listen to music often enough (not necessarily the same song), you can kinda tell what's gonna happen, but knowing your tunes is still better.
    There is no denying that knowing the tracks would greatly benefit you especially if you want to apply fx and be more creative. But if you are mixing outro and intro then you are not going to be as surprised. When i say about not knowing the track...i dont mean not knowing what it is or if its got vocals or not, but simpy the structure to that song i.e. what bar does the bass drop out of a particular song

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    any track that is worthy to go in a mix gets listened to at least 25 times. that's the beauty of spotify and soundcloud, i don't have to buy a track right away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d4rren View Post
    There is no denying that knowing the tracks would greatly benefit you especially if you want to apply fx and be more creative. But if you are mixing outro and intro then you are not going to be as surprised. When i say about not knowing the track...i dont mean not knowing what it is or if its got vocals or not, but simpy the structure to that song i.e. what bar does the bass drop out of a particular song
    Precisely. Think about this scenario.

    You're playing peak time, so you're trying to avoid any drops in energy with the exception of breakdowns. You're mixing in a new song whose bassline drops after 40 bars. You swap the basslines after 32 bars of this song. Although you've done your phrasing correctly, you end up with 8 bars where the only bass comes from the kick drum and that's a massive drop in energy.

    There are lots of different things like this which, I think, are what separated good mixing from great mixing. The technical aspect of it anyway.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DISaS73R View Post
    Precisely. Think about this scenario.

    You're playing peak time, so you're trying to avoid any drops in energy with the exception of breakdowns. You're mixing in a new song whose bassline drops after 40 bars. You swap the basslines after 32 bars of this song. Although you've done your phrasing correctly, you end up with 8 bars where the only bass comes from the kick drum and that's a massive drop in energy.

    There are lots of different things like this which, I think, are what separated good mixing from great mixing. The technical aspect of it anyway.
    Yeah thats what i was thinking about. It must be difficult in the pressure of performing in a peak slot, to remember intricate aspects such as when a bassline is due to vanish in the track you are mixing out of. We have to be prepared for this, so what are our options? Note: im not asking to be lazy and use the backup method to replace knowing a track very well prior to performing. What i do sometimes is mix in a song with the bass set to zero, then switch basses with the one im mixing out of. Sometimes it works great, other times not so much, especially if there are horrible key clashes. I have heard a lot about the 'camelot wheel' where djs only mix certain tracks what are in harmony. I know a lot of people will frown about the limitations and call it lazy but its good to know about all aspects of these methods, because when the pressure is on...i want to be armed with all the methods i can grasp to get me out of jail : )

  10. #10
    Tech Guru antifmradio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d4rren View Post
    The topic says it all...when you are DJing, how well do you know the tracks your mixing in? I went to a dj course a while ago and the tutor told me that you dont need to know the track because all music is written in 8 bars, so when you are ready to mix in a track, count an 8 bar period then mix the next track in, cutting the bass of the track you are mixing out of and upping the bass of the one you are mixing in. Of course, it is great to know some tracks very well so you can actually apply effects at the right moment and know when to drop them out etc but just wondering how well you guys know the music you are playing? Thank in advance. Sorry for the long post : )
    that advice makes no sence
    thats like saying EVERY CAR that takes gas is built the same
    Every pair of shoes with laces will last 3 years

    obviously not. And songs are the same. How would this 8 bar timing work when you are mixing an extended vocal version track into a RADIO EDIT

    trust me, that 8 bars does NOT exist the same between the two tracks

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