Questionable R&B mixing method.
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  1. #1
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    Default Questionable R&B mixing method.

    So I'm working with this other DJ right, and he doesn't play below 133 BPM at all, even deep house tracks (Disclosure's White Noise really does show the horrors of +10% pitch increase) and I jumped on cause it was my turn, and I mix in an R&B song at 104 because, you know, it needs to calm down. Then I start looking through my library of which track to drop next when he stops me and starts schooling me on how to DJ urban (Bearing in mind I have a Kontrol F1 loaded with a RnB mashup clips, and an extensive R&B library, and am a massive fan of R&B)

    So, his theory goes like this, (and apparently this was taught to him by a pretty well respected R&B DJ) that whe nyou play a track, say 104 BPM, then all the tracks you should mix into it should be lower than 104 and sped up, basically that you NEVER slow down a track to beat match it. Apparently he worked with two other DJs who also verified this and used the same method.

    Now, did I miss something, or do Technics and Pioneer make the pitch fader go both ways just to mess with us?
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  2. #2
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    it's your set do it how you want to. But you should try and go for slowing down the feel then bring it back up again.
    Your other DJ is an asshat for not setting you up to transition. (if all else fails have him Echo out to your track)

    if i slow down the track i am mixing out of, i only slow it down enough so the next track can be sped up a bit. the crowd won't really notice it all that much. I rarely put a pitch fader to it's maximum

  3. #3
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    he's full of shit

  4. #4
    Tech Guru AllDay's Avatar
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    I have had several sets where i have gone down tempo and up energy.
    Last edited by AllDay; 01-04-2014 at 01:14 AM.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor jimbrowski00's Avatar
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    I thought that was common practice... I never play a track below zero.

    If the incoming track needs to be played below zero to beat match then I speed up the current track so the new track is at zero.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru MaxOne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbrowski00 View Post
    I thought that was common practice... I never play a track below zero.

    If the incoming track needs to be played below zero to beat match then I speed up the current track so the new track is at zero.
    Tbf I often do that too... But not religiously like it's some unwritten rule of djing

    Some tunes sound better slightly pitched down
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  7. #7
    Tech Guru johney's Avatar
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    false.

    although 99% of tunes sound better pitched up than pitched down (by a reasonable amount)
    Last edited by johney; 01-04-2014 at 05:39 PM.

  8. #8
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    I knew I was right. For me, mixing urban music is all about maintaining that "groove" with the varying bass lines, not about keeping everything sped up to force a false sense of energy on the crowd.
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  9. #9
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    I think the real question is, how did his face feel after you smacked the clown?
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  10. #10

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    He's technically right, but only technically. The reason people religiously adhere to this is because they lack critical thinking skills, but the reason that little dogma exists is kinda interesting.

    Early keylock circuits were pretty crappy, but it was pretty universally recognized that they could speed up MUCH better than they could slow down (pushing the circuit sped up would lead to some grain and a bit of a pitch slip, pushing the circuit slowed down led to horrible mis-samples, and double beating). This goes double for modern circuits and extreme pitch shifts, a 100-128 shift with keylock will sound pretty weird, but it won't sound digitally mangled like a similar downshift most likely would. In a single track-single match situation, a source track at 133, mixed into a pitched up 104-133, then pitched slowly back down to zero, sounds LOADS better than a 133 dropped to a mangled 104 pace, then somehow beatmixed into a zeroed 104.

    On the other side of the equation, pitching up an incoming track slightly (using the Up-0-Up-0 method) even without keylock tends to sound more acceptable than the opposite. A slightly pitched up track gives a character similar to the distortion caused by an amp that's working too hard, and pitching it back to zero just eliminates that effect. Whereas pitching it down tends to create a "deeper-higher-deeper-higher" tonal warble throughout the mix, that's technically a lot more noticeable.

    So in short, the guy's a bit dogmatic, and if you were planning on going from 104-133 with one beatmatched track, he's absolutely right. But if you're using CDJ's, the keylock has evolved to be forgiving enough to allow for a rock solid +/- 6%, meaning that "100% always pitch up never down" has become rather outdated. Even software keylock has become relatively usable provided you're making incremental adjustments.

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