Tips on phrase matching.
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru MyUsername's Avatar
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    Default Tips on phrase matching.

    If there is one thing I need to improve on right now it is phrase matching.

    I've handled it different ways in the past, through experience I have a rough idea when to bring in track 2 but this isn't terribly accurate and a lot of times I'm off one or two bars. And all it takes to mess things up is one bar.

    So I decided I needed to work with more accuracy. I started counting the bars wich it what I'm still doing now, but so often I lose count or something and if you do a one hour set, it becomes so tedious and demanding.

    Is there a better way ? How do you handle phrase matching ? My mixes where also kinda okay without phrase matching, should I even bother ?

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor DJSigma's Avatar
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    Most of the music I mix has vocals, which makes it much easier as I can drop the needle pretty much anywhere in a track, hear some of the vocals, and I'll know where in the track I am, how far away the next chorus is and what have you.

    Here's some tips though: -

    1. Get to know your music as well as you can. The beginning of a new phrase is where something about the music changes, a bassline kicking in, or the transition from verse to chorus for example, so the more you know your tracks, the better.

    2. When you listen to tracks to get to know them, listen for good in and out points. Again, if you're mixing non-vocal EDM you have more options here, but in some respects that can make it more difficult. With hip-hop, you're often gonna do last chorus/intro or outro/intro blends. But you basically wanna be thinking "I could bring a track in here" and listening out for those points. It becomes second nature after a while.

    3. If you're gonna count bars - which is certainly not a bad idea - then obviously don't bother counting from the beginning of the track. You should have some idea where you're going to mix the next track in, so you can start counting at the beginning of one of the phrases that occurs before the point where you're going to drop in the next tune. It's a good idea to count like this: -

    1, 2, 3, 4
    2, 2, 3, 4
    3, 2, 3, 4
    4, 2, 3, 4
    5, 2, 3, 4
    6, 2, 3, 4
    7, 2, 3, 4
    8, 2, 3, 4
    1, 2, 3, 4

    etc.

    So you're counting in 8 bar blocks and each block that begins with 1 is potentially an in point - that's what "dropping on the 1" is. It depends how the music is structured of course, but phrases are almost always built up of even numbers of bars, so if you count like that from the beginning of a phrase, you should never drop a track in 1 bar too soon or too late. Being out by part of a bar is worse than being out by an odd number of bars, which in turn is worse than being out by an even number of bars.

    4. If you're using a DVS, you could use the comments section of the tag to add some info about the track that might help you. I've never done this, but you might find it useful.

  3. #3
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    Phrasing is very important!

    Make it a habit to count all your tracks and you'll notice the breaks at 8, 16, 32 bars. I used to do this with EVERY song I played and eventually I didn't need to count any more i could just tell where I was on a track and how much time (bars) I need to transition in phrase. May sound silly but count (1,2,3,4 - 2,2,3,4 - 3,2,3,4 - 4,2,3,4 etc. until you get to 8 on your first number for 8 bars). You'll understand your tracks much better.
    SSL - DJM 800 - Technic 1200's - X1 - ITCH - NS6 - VCI-300

  4. #4
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    Traktor will count the beats for you if you enable beats in the deck view settings and grid your tracks correctly.

    I can't be bovvered gridding tho tbqh and just count beats/bars from the last phrase or grid on the fly and check the numbers at the next phrase/key change and do the mental math to calculate where I want to start the transition.

  5. #5

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    i use que markers and the beats to cue feature in traktor... honestly ive been thinking of making a tutorial on this because i think it would help alot of people. if i can find the time maybe i will, and also one on beatgridding since people seem to think its time consuming. i can beatgrid and q mark a track in a minute or 2...

    first i just need to watch some tuts on making a good tut vid :P
    Traktor/Ableton /Komplete /MBP OSX el capitan

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deejaesnafu View Post
    i use que markers and the beats to cue feature in traktor... honestly ive been thinking of making a tutorial on this because i think it would help alot of people. if i can find the time maybe i will, and also one on beatgridding since people seem to think its time consuming. i can beatgrid and q mark a track in a minute or 2...
    Being extremely lazy this is what I'll probably end up using, but only for important sets.
    And I 've never got the idea of just starting count at a new phrase (thankfully I already know how to recognize them) so I'll implement that system from now on.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Pro-tip: Listen for crash cymbals.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patch View Post
    Pro-tip: Listen for crash cymbals.
    and it'll happen on a 8, 16, or 32 count!!
    SSL - DJM 800 - Technic 1200's - X1 - ITCH - NS6 - VCI-300

  9. #9
    Tech Guru Era 7's Avatar
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    learn your tracks it's really not that hard. i picked it up while learning how to beatmatch. it's pretty obvious with most electronic music. for example:



    tracks starts: 8 bars just drums, 8 bars drums + hi-hat. then continues with 16 bars of drums + hi-hats + clap. so on and so forth. if you have a listen to your music you will recognize the pattern. it's all about the 8,16 and 32.

  10. #10

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    Umm doesn't wave display make this easy or am I the only one that knows how to read a wave display..... Sorry to be a smart ass but really a wave display makes this fairly easy thing to do

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