ULTRA 2015: The Pre-mix. The shot heard around the world.
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  1. #1
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    Default ULTRA 2015: The Pre-mix. The shot heard around the world.

    Ultra Music Festival 2015: The Pre-mix. The shot heard around the world.

    Now that the Ultra Music Festival 2015 in Miami is coming to a close there are a lot of talk right now about DJ/Producers who "Pre-mix" their sets for big shows like Ultra.

    This was catapulted into the spotlight on the first day of Ultra Music Festival 2015 when a hiccup caused Tiesto's set to be interrupted by a few seconds of silence (and total darkness) to an audience of hundreds of thousands. After recuperating from the mishap, Tiesto picked up the mic and said:

    “So as you guys can hear, I never do a premix. It’s all done live.”

    You can watch Tiesto’s hiccup here...

    Now don’t get me wrong here. Tiesto’s "live" set at the festival was good but there were many headlining acts (like Hardwell & David Guetta) that sounded better as a whole. Maybe better is not the best word to use here but others like Hardwell's sets seemed to generally "flow” better and seemed like the tracks where glued together in a way that created more excitement in the mix. These other sets seemed….well…more produced.

    I hate to say it because Tiesto is a legend and he is the reason I started DJing in the first place but from a listening perspective I enjoyed the more "Produced" sets better. So love it or hate it the "Pre-mix" is a big part of EDM these days and its here to stay. So I think there needs to be some clarification on exactly what these top DJs are doing when preparing for festivals like Ultra.

    What exactly is a Pre-mix?

    What is the difference between a pre-edit & pre-mix?

    What exactly are these guys doing when “preparing” their set for a festival like Ultra?

    Are they using their DAW to make their own edits & mashups of each track they are going to use in their set & then mixing them live?

    OR

    Are they simply recording their set ahead of time in their studio so if they mess up they can start over for the perfect sounding mix?

    OR

    Are these guys using their DAW to make edits and/or mashups of their tracks ahead of time and then gluing some tracks together to create predetermined sections (segments) and then simply mixing these sections together during the show? Using these pre-edited & pre-mixed sections the DJ only has to physically mix on the decks say every 5-6 minutes as opposed to mixing every track change every minute or so to keep the pace up during their set . Using this method, the DJ has less chance messing up and will sound better overall. More importantly, the DJ has more time to interact with the crowd instead of them staring at the top of his head the whole time.

    Which is it? Which method is used the most by top DJs?

    Do you pre-mix your sets sometimes? How do you do it?

  2. #2
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimslaton View Post
    So love it or hate it the "Pre-mix" is a big part of EDM these days and its here to stay.
    and EDM is where it can stay...

    It's not like any of the guys with an actual legacy are doing it (someone correct me if I am wrong)...
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    i know most of the edm guys will warp all of their songs to a specific BPM (probably 128) and export the song as a 128 song. that way all of their songs are in the same BPM. Its like using sync but not actually using it.
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    Tech Guru DubluW's Avatar
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    I think its been said before that these kind of shows aren't about the intricacy of a mix or what the DJ is reading from the crowd. It's a spectacle. A performance. Entertainment. Punters have paid to be taken into a show for a few hours to hear their favourite DJ playing the songs they want to hear.

    The light and lasers are all synced up to the music much like an elaborate special effects sequence for the final fight scene in an action movie. It's not organic. It's been rehearsed and perfected for months. You aren't seeing a live artist, you are seeing a scripted and on rails event.

    And that's cool. It is a good show and if that's what people like then that's what they'll keep going to and it's what makes money for the people projecting it. Unfortunately that's the driving factor. Money, Money, Money and EDM/Dance music etc is a hot topic that's been packaged into a digestible format for the regular going, radio listening public. Hence the above.
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    I don't think very many of them will be doing live mashups impromptu at UMF. Maybe at a small club, but that stage is way too big. They'll be sticking to what they know works.

    Tiesto's issue doesn't even sound like a mixing issue. Must have just bumped a button on accident.
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  6. #6

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    Anytime a a good time for a live mashup when you go to mix the next track and it just sounds so right layered over top of each other...

    Last one I did like this was
    Oceanlab - Satellite (Above & Beyond) layerd over Luca De Mass - Once Upon A Time

    I was cueing up satellite and it just sounded so perfect over each other that I went ahead and mixed it in... It sounded so good I'm half tempted to do a legit mashup in ableton

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    Tech Mentor dsquareddan's Avatar
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    This argument is so overplayed. Because I don't feel like typing out the huge message again, here's the link to my posts on page 3 of the Krewella wireless DJM thread
    http://forum.djtechtools.com/showthr...t=87208&page=3

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsquareddan View Post
    This argument is so overplayed. Because I don't feel like typing out the huge message again, here's the link to my posts on page 3 of the Krewella wireless DJM thread
    http://forum.djtechtools.com/showthr...t=87208&page=3
    Great post. Also, seems like you have a pretty sweet job!
    Bedroom DJ | Pioneer DJM-800 | Pioneer CDJ2000 and CDJ900-NXS | 2 x Mackie MR8MKII | Sennheiser Amperior

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    Hehe! "the only stage that DJs are actually mixing on is the Resistance Stage and that was a total disaster.”

    Wundgerground come with the classic lines every time!

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