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A Question For Mixers...


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The playback of tracks at speeds slightly faster, or slower than their original speed is a feature which has been around on professional DJ equipment for over two decades now; enabling mixing DJs to blend two tracks together even when the tracks respective BPMs are a little.

 

In recent years, the Key Adjust, or Master Tempo features have allowed the lyrics of songs to sound normal, even when the song is pitched up or down.

 

But...some DJs feel that, even with Key Adjust features, songs shouldn't have their pitch (speed) increased, or decreased beyond a certain percentage - otherwise the feel, or even possibly the "roots" of the song are lost.

 

eg: An R'n'b track with a bpm of 100, being played at +20% to make it a dance-type track, can just sound - waaaay too fast.

 

So, what pitch percentage do you consider to be an acceptable max/min for a mix, in most cases?

Edited by Gary

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So, what pitch percentage do you consider to be an acceptable max/min for a mix, in most cases?

Without MT, off the top of my head I would say up to +2-3% (increase in pitch) before it would start to sound silly!

Obviously depends on a few factors....will have a closer inspection during a mix! smile icon

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I don't generally go beyond +/- 5%. If i do, then i'll gradually correct the pitch, sometimes disguising it by using the mic at the same time.

 

Even if i'm not beatmixing, certain songs i'll play faster than they should be, as they just sound better and become a bit more danceable..

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Depends on the type of music but most stuff will work within + or - 5%

 

I have my cd decks set to 10% and only ever go lower when mixing one type/style of music

 

 

 

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I've been a club DJ for a few years, and in most gigs now mix most of the night continuously. Most of my nights are RnB lead.

 

Keeping dancefloor energy high is a skill, and often it involves increased tempo's of tracks to keep them on their toes.

 

I have been known to go as far at +9.0% on the odd track, (usually only on R'n'B tracks eg Justin Timberlake - SexyBack.), however usually its not more than +5.4%. For dance tracks I don't think I go above +2.0%.

 

One recent mix I did which worked perfectly was:

 

Justin - Sexyback @ +9.0%

Sean Paul - Temperature @ +2.2%

Bob Sinclar - Rock this Party @ 0.0%

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When the good (mix)doctor Les Adams taught me, he said +/- 4% you are safe, beyond that, the sound can be digitally rebuilt poorly. I'm guessing with advances in technology this +/- 4% can be increased.

 

What's on your mind Gary?

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I only beat-mix infrequently, and then poorly, but I'd go with the 5% rule. Any slower and the sound can get noticeably 'digitized' when time-stretched, and faster another type of distortion is introduced, but difficult to describe.

 

There is also the problem with punters knowing the track at its original BPM, and thinking it sounds daft at a far higher speed, as heard on some crappy mixed compilations I've heard.

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