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Going a little deeper for a moment, would we all agree that the music programming ie: choosing which track should follow each track, is part and parcel of “the mix”?

 

If so, I truly believe that almost everyone who stands works the controls on their mixer and makes one source, then another, audible to an audience is mixing; making the music flow.

 

For example, consider the following list of tunes played from say 11pm...

 

11:00 Justin Timberlake: Cry me a river

11:03 Bootie Luv: Boogie tonight

11:07 Beyonce: irreplaceable

11:10 Black Box: ride on time

11:14 Soul to soul: Keep on movin’

11:18 JT & ONJ: You’re the one that I want.

11:22 Bangles: Eternal Flame

 

If you’re thinking that you’d really prefer to play those more in an order of either ascending, or descending speed ( depending on whether you’re trying to ramp the atmosphere up, or down) – rather than the “fast one”,”slow one”, “fast one” etc – then, you’re showing an element of mixing; considering the audience, and actively aiming toward that “flow”.

 

Similarly, do you find that you’re looking at the level meters on your mixer channels, making sure that the bouncy lights on the music that you’re about to play are bouncing to about the same height as the track that you’re already playing (level matching) by adjusting the gains on your mixer channels? Yes? Congratulations, you’re aiming toward that “flow”.

 

Are you, if nothing else, just trying to avoid gaps of silence between your tracks? Yes? Then once again, you’re contributing actively and positively to the overall flow.

 

Mixing can be as complicated/rewarding as you want it to be. Upto and beyond a certain point, whether or not there's a tangible difference to the audience...well... that's another aspect - just like Rope lights Vs DMX super-duper moving heads etc. A good mix can certainly "trick" people who got up for "just this one"...into staying on the dancefloor for two, maybe even three tracks (especially with indifferent tracks from typically instrumental genres). A bad mix however, with clashing drum beats, key-clashes, overlapping vocals could clear the entire floor, and wash away a little of the rapour/credibility that you'd built with that audience that night - but...is that a reason to avoid trying a more technical mix? This decision is purely down to each and every DJ, their audience and the overall situation.

 

As well as the "layers" of mixing mentioned above, technology has added some previously un-attainable tools and options for when it comes to mixing; again, simply different layers, not more advanced mixing by any means.

 

Adding a simple effect, like a Flange effect, is (nowadays) pretty much a single push-button, easily used by anyone - and adds a little flavour to instrumental breaks, and makes a standard track just sound a little different - but if/when you're feeling daring, can be used in heavier settings to not just flavour a track, but really alter it especially at very fast cycles.

 

Another more modern example; If the problem is "I don't have enough time during this tracks short instrumental intro to mix it into the next track nicely", or "The crowd love this track, but it only lasts 3 minutes" - along came seamless loops. One full-blown example of this is in my soon-to-be disposed of vinyl collection, are two identical copies of "Chubby Checker - Lets twist Again" - reason?...so I could mix the last chorus of one 7inch single, into the first chorus of the other copy (this I repeated 2 or 3 times, to give the dancefloor a darn fine workout) - I still do this long version of the track (and others) depending on the audience and trends etc. If a track's going well, let it ride... (unless you've got requests coming out your ears, and limited time...)

 

Similarly, it's seamless loops to the rescue when voice-overs must be done. Rather than risk talking over the vocals of a track, you can add a seamless loop and only press "Exit Loop" when you've finished saying what needed to be said and are well and truely ready for the rest of the track to continue.

 

Despite the calls of mics are no longer needed, or let the music do the talking, or no-one today wants mic work done (was the entire audience polled?,no questionaires etc,etc,etc) there will be times where you need to tell the public what you have to tell them eg: "The so&so company Coach is leaving in 10 minutes - be on it or walk home", "The bride and groom have requested that all of you...", "Our venues specials tonight are 3 pints of xx for a fiver...". Seamless loops can give you this required time in a song, where previously, there wasn't.

 

If the problem was then, "It takes me several goes to get my seamless loops sounding right - and I often run out of time whilst trying to set them up", along came "Memo points" - the ability to tell the CD-deck etc to remember the seamless loop that you last set-up on favourite, regularly played, anthem-like, crowd-pleasing tunes.

 

Technology is making alot of the "layers" of mixing a lot easier (as is "R'n'B" and other similar sounding genres).

Edited by Gary

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Going a little deeper for a moment, would we all agree that the music programming ie: choosing which track should follow each track, is part and parcel of “the mix”?

 

If so, I truly believe that almost everyone who stands works the controls on their mixer and makes one source, then another, audible to an audience is mixing; making the music flow.

 

For example, consider the following list of tunes played from say 11pm...

 

11:00 Justin Timberlake: Cry me a river

11:03 Bootie Luv: Boogie tonight

11:07 Beyonce: irreplaceable

11:10 Black Box: ride on time

11:14 Soul to soul: Keep on movin’

11:18 JT & ONJ: You’re the one that I want.

11:22 Bangles: Eternal Flame

 

If you’re thinking that you’d really prefer to play those more in an order of either ascending, or descending speed ( depending on whether you’re trying to ramp the atmosphere up, or down) – rather than the “fast one”,”slow one”, “fast one” etc – then, you’re showing an element of mixing; considering the audience, and actively aiming toward that “flow”.

 

Similarly, do you find that you’re looking at the level meters on your mixer channels, making sure that the bouncy lights on the music that you’re about to play are bouncing to about the same height as the track that you’re already playing (level matching) by adjusting the gains on your mixer channels? Yes? Congratulations, you’re aiming toward that “flow”.

 

Are you, if nothing else, just trying to avoid gaps of silence between your tracks? Yes? Then once again, you’re contributing actively and positively to the overall flow.

 

Mixing can be as complicated/rewarding as you want it to be. Upto and beyond a certain point, whether or not there's a tangible difference to the audience...well... that's another aspect - just like Rope lights Vs DMX super-duper moving heads etc. A good mix can certainly "trick" people who got up for "just this one"...into staying on the dancefloor for two, maybe even three tracks (especially with indifferent tracks from typically instrumental genres). A bad mix however, with clashing drum beats, key-clashes, overlapping vocals could clear the entire floor, and wash away a little of the rapour/credibility that you'd built with that audience that night - but...is that a reason to avoid trying a more technical mix? This decision is purely down to each and every DJ, their audience and the overall situation.

 

As well as the "layers" of mixing mentioned above, technology has added some previously un-attainable tools and options for when it comes to mixing; again, simply different layers, not more advanced mixing by any means.

 

Adding a simple effect, like a Flange effect, is (nowadays) pretty much a single push-button, easily used by anyone - and adds a little flavour to instrumental breaks, and makes a standard track just sound a little different - but if/when you're feeling daring, can be used in heavier settings to not just flavour a track, but really alter it especially at very fast cycles.

 

Another more modern example; If the problem is "I don't have enough time during this tracks short instrumental intro to mix it into the next track nicely", or "The crowd love this track, but it only lasts 3 minutes" - along came seamless loops. One full-blown example of this is in my soon-to-be disposed of vinyl collection, are two identical copies of "Chubby Checker - Lets twist Again" - reason?...so I could mix the last chorus of one 7inch single, into the first chorus of the other copy (this I repeated 2 or 3 times, to give the dancefloor a darn fine workout) - I still do this long version of the track (and others) depending on the audience and trends etc. If a track's going well, let it ride... (unless you've got requests coming out your ears, and limited time...)

 

Similarly, it's seamless loops to the rescue when voice-overs must be done. Rather than risk talking over the vocals of a track, you can add a seamless loop and only press "Exit Loop" when you've finished saying what needed to be said and are well and truely ready for the rest of the track to continue.

 

Despite the calls of mics are no longer needed, or let the music do the talking, or no-one today wants mic work done (was the entire audience polled?,no questionaires etc,etc,etc) there will be times where you need to tell the public what you have to tell them eg: "The so&so company Coach is leaving in 10 minutes - be on it or walk home", "The bride and groom have requested that all of you...", "Our venues specials tonight are 3 pints of xx for a fiver...". Seamless loops can give you this required time in a song, where previously, there wasn't.

 

If the problem was then, "It takes me several goes to get my seamless loops sounding right - and I often run out of time whilst trying to set them up", along came "Memo points" - the ability to tell the CD-deck etc to remember the seamless loop that you last set-up on favourite, regularly played, anthem-like, crowd-pleasing tunes.

 

Technology is making alot of the "layers" of mixing a lot easier (as is "R'n'B" and other similar sounding genres).

 

 

Strewth big man you've got to get out more!!!!!!!!!!!

I totally agree with most of your points, only on the understanding that "mixing" etc is just another string to your bow when DJing.

It doesnt make you a "Bad" dj if you cant mix, but a combination of different skills and the reading of a crowd to me, is more inportant.

I remember a couple of Julianas jocks used to Rap, and one even done Fire eating behind the decks.

It was all an addition, if not a bit extreme to the basic knowlege of DJing, and i suppose entertaining to the public.

We could go really deep on this one compairing one another e.g. How we dress, do we sit or stand, do we talk, or not, on the mic etc etc etc

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Wahey......seems like Im already mixing to a degree and I didnt think I was tongue out icon

I have used the ramp technique of progressive increases in BPM to build up to a really fast one, then ramp it back down to decrease the mood again and it seems to work ok for me. But I would like to become better at it.

 

Similarly, it's seamless loops to the rescue when voice-overs must be done. Rather than risk talking over the vocals of a track, you can add a seamless loop and only press "Exit Loop" when you've finished saying what needed to be said and are well and truely ready for the rest of the track to continue.

 

I had the idea of doing that the other day........Bride and Grooms First dance was Your still the one - Shania Twain.........I needed to do some chat while inviting the B&G up onto the floor.......so I looped the drum intro to give me enough time to say what I needed too without crashing the vocal, and also gave them enough time to take their positions on the floor while I was talking. And the drum intro for that track is so distinctive, I think everyone knew what song was coming as I was talking. And once I had finished talking and they was in position I just let the track play.

Seemed to work well, and is an experiment that I would definetely use again :D

Edited by NRG Roadshow
 

 

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Of course the mic gets used and nobody is saying that anyones better than anyone else but i really dont get why the sarky answer exbutlinred ? nobody has doubted your abilities and its great you have worked every weekend for the last 5 years but from one vet to another the benifits of being able to mix (not neccessarily doing it)really do improve your show, the way you play the music and benifit it.

Edited by C.S

I will try anything,once!

 

The Cornish will arise again !

Manager of the Andy Harris Fan Club.

Keep pasties Cornish

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Yep agree with CS to a point.

 

However in Yorkshire we lead a sheltered life.Seen more DJS dying here hiding behind there tables and rigs playing clubland tunes to audiences 40 years and plus.I don't think playing the right BPM would have saved them.I don't see it as very important in my pecking order and have never been asked to play my trax at a particular speed.

 

In the unlikely event that somebody asked me to play the next ten minuites at a particular BPM I would probably stick on Back to the 60's (Tight Fit) and then go back to the garbage that I usually play.But hell I'm not on 400 or 500 quid a night like some on the site so you've got it right not me!!!

 

See Micks pOST...he ,like me,stands up to be counted.

 

Don't think it is anything like as important as reading an audience or having charisma.

 

But thats just my opinion.

 

(INCIDENTALLY I LOVE ....BACK TO THE 60'S)

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Yes I enjoy mixing but have to agree that mixing poorly selected tracks or tracks noboby has heard of won't save you. Mixing popular stuff I what I do.

 

Back to the sixties album, now I remember playing side 2 as well!!!!

 

 

Rob

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Thank you Jim and Norfolk.

 

Playing what we like in preference to what the audience likes deserves a thread all on its own.

 

Not knocking the boys(and girls) who can mix cos that would be like a Barnsley player criticising Ronaldo its just not something I'm gonna loose sleep over.

 

 

Hope you all understand.

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The whole mix/ don't mix argument has a simple answer.

 

 

I'm bug:cense:d if I know what it is though :shrug:

 

 

Mainly it is the fact that being a mobile dj is like being described as a "painter"

It's no good the customer booking a painter,you turn up, they are sitting with their King Charles Spaniel,best suit on with a look of quizzical awareness.You've got 2 gallons of Dulux misty topaz.

 

 

 

If you play nights that require mixing,mix.

Simple

Something witty goes here..

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The whole mix/ don't mix argument has a simple answer.

I'm bug:cense:d if I know what it is though :shrug:

Mainly it is the fact that being a mobile dj is like being described as a "painter"

It's no good the customer booking a painter,you turn up, they are sitting with their King Charles Spaniel,best suit on with a look of quizzical awareness.You've got 2 gallons of Dulux misty topaz.

If you play nights that require mixing,mix.

Simple

You must be feeling the same way as me at this hour :joe:

 

I once witnessed a wedding where they had employed a top mixing DJ - a great mixer but most of the guests were away by 10 o'clock. It's all down to horses for courses.

 

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dunno if its just me or what, but it seems to me that this is a point scoring thread.

i mix therefore i'm better than you.

the simple act of playing a tune after the previous one is mixing. albeit done with panache or not.

i feel this forum is to about one upmanship than actually about helping other dj's and sharing ideas.

reminds me of the kid saying my balls better than your ball and my dad can beat your dad up.

get a life people and get in the real world.

from what i have heard regarding most mobile jocks i have absolutely nothing to fear. i am better than most and as good as anyone. but i dont go on about mixing,denons (at every chance i get) etc.

for me this place is a showcase of 'i got bose,denon,technic, whatever'

 

i dont care if you mix,dont mix,use citronic or kam. if you cant play the right music all the gear in the world aint no good.

 

Edited by Gary
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A top mixing DJ may clearly not be the right choice for a standard wedding party! However if the B&G WANT this for THEIR wedding, then good for them!

 

Most of my work is upmarket wedding work, when I meet my clients for their consultation and planning meetings and ask them what they have seen, most of them tell me how they witness other mobile discos where the DJ's presentation skills are awful; poorly sequenced track transitions, poor mic work (DJ thinks he's a great comedian or mumbles irrelevant rubbish between all the records), etc, etc...

 

I think those of you who sit on the 'I don't mix / won't mix' side of the fence are missing the point of this. Mixing in my book is secondary to music selection, but an essential skill which includes things like getting the levels of EACH track you play correct before it goes live, getting the correct cue point to start each track at, getting the correct exit point for a finishing track, knowing how to do a properly timed chop mix. These skills are very easy to learn, and we should ALL have them. Advanced mixing skills such as beat matched running mixes, eq trick mixes, and harmonic mixing are a fantastic skill to have even for a wedding DJ, but not essential.

 

You know, there are a lot of DJ's out there who essentially present what sounds like a radio show. I wonder if that's because they have not had the benefit of knowing any different or training or mentoring? There is quite a difference between a radio show and performing to a crowd of people who want to dance.

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You know, there are a lot of DJ's out there who essentially present what sounds like a radio show. I wonder if that's because they have not had the benefit of knowing any different or training or mentoring? There is quite a difference between a radio show and performing to a crowd of people who want to dance.

 

Do you mean by having a load of unnecessary bunny that inhibits the flow?

 

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Do you mean by having a load of unnecessary bunny that inhibits the flow?

Yes.

 

DJ: Right.....Ahhh, yes that was Abba from 1902, wahey! Here is George Michael - Outside - hey wasn't he a naughty boy eh? Boom boom..

 

Lovely, who cares? We know it was Abba and George Michael. Meantime, DJ is trying to work out why half his floor has gone to the bar or outside for a fag break. 'Must be something to do with the new smoking laws' LOL!

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Most of my work is upmarket wedding work, when I meet my clients for their consultation and planning meetings and ask them what they have seen, most of them tell me how they witness other mobile discos where the DJ's presentation skills are awful; poorly sequenced track transitions, poor mic work (DJ thinks he's a great comedian or mumbles irrelevant rubbish between all the records), etc, etc...

 

You know, there are a lot of DJ's out there who essentially present what sounds like a radio show. I wonder if that's because they have not had the benefit of knowing any different or training or mentoring? There is quite a difference between a radio show and performing to a crowd of people who want to dance.

 

I am not sure about this, I used to do weddings and to be truthful the last thing the couple are worried about is track transitions. They are more worried about you turning up and playing music for everyone. And in the scheme of things it would be pretty sad if a couple embarking on a future life together put such things anywhere near the top of priorities. Maybe it's different down south Brian. I always used to meet up with the couple as Brian does and I can honestly say I have never been asked about my mixing skills.

I wonder how many other DJ's are booked purely on their ability on the beatmatching ?

 

I no longer do weddings, but I do very upmarket black tie functions as the backbone of my disco business and again I get re-booked because of my choice of music and personality, I know this because that is what I have been told.

 

As I said in my last post, I respect DJ's that have mixing skills like Brian, and I am not knocking this and I know that there situations where I would be out of my depth as an ordinary DJ but not at the functions I cover.

 

 

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I would never be out of my depth if the B&G wanted a scratch and rap DJ.

I simply wouldn't take the booking.

I think that the majority of gigs that us mobile DJs do are ones where the age group of the guests is from babies to coffin dodgers and the skill we need is to be able to satisfy most of them, not just the 18-30's.

 

Jim

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I think those of you who sit on the 'I don't mix / won't mix' side of the fence are missing the point of this. Mixing in my book is secondary to music selection

 

I agree with you Brian, Im sitting on the Cant mix/would like to learn side of the fence and Im looking forward to your seminar at BPM.

Having said I cant mix, I think I maybe do mix from just teaching myself as I have gone on but I would really like to know how things should be done.

I think I can do the music selection quite well, I dont normally have a problem with getting people up dancing, but I would love to be able to mix properly as I think it improves the flow and is more likely to keep people up where they should be......on the dancefloor!

Im now aiming my business at the younger persons party as I find these the more fun to do so I think getting the mixing right would be a great skill for me to learn.

 

How do I book a place on your BPM Seminar Brian?

Edited by NRG Roadshow
 

 

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One of the things I always aim for is the smooth transition of one track to the next. I have notes of the que position for most tracks I use and fade out times plus I always set the gain levels before starting/fading a track in, quite a few I know off the top of my head if they need any gain adjustment or EQ.

 

But I've never thought that what I do is mixing. I hate having a silence between tracks or having dancers stop and listen to an intro wondering what the next track is.

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Yes.

 

DJ: Right.....Ahhh, yes that was Abba from 1902, wahey! Here is George Michael - Outside - hey wasn't he a naughty boy eh? Boom boom..

 

Lovely, who cares? We know it was Abba and George Michael. Meantime, DJ is trying to work out why half his floor has gone to the bar or outside for a fag break. 'Must be something to do with the new smoking laws' LOL!

 

 

Purely by coincidence I had an enquiry from an agency this afternoon and I've just had a chat with the potential client.

 

He said he didn't want "one of those cheesey wedding DJs". I asked him to explain that and he said anyone who considers themselves to be more important than the music and says too much!!

 

Apparently he has seen too many like that locally.

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I dont mix much at weddings and have never been asked to do so i do a lot of interactive work with the crowd without a mic and as mister butlin matey points out the personality\crowd reading is very important. However i feel the flow of the gig is much better becauseof the fact that i know and understand what i am playing because through mixxing i have learnt the technical side of music.

I will try anything,once!

 

The Cornish will arise again !

Manager of the Andy Harris Fan Club.

Keep pasties Cornish

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When I started DJing it was to mix dance music (in 1994) and I never gave party DJing a second thought.

I learned to mix house music and found it quite easy. (Although I made a few 'mix tapes' at the time as you do - I found them the other day, maybe I wasn't as good as I thought!!!)

 

However my first real gigs (in student venues, 1995) required more party stuff. The lads who already worked there were playing party stuff and mixing it, and I thought it sounded great. I loved the fact that we would try and mix up loads of different genres and see what works and what didn't. The reaction from the crowd was usually a good indication, the buzz was amazing if you pulled off something crazy (like some serious dance track into S Club 7 - 'Reach').

 

Nowadays this kind of genre clashing is not so much of a novelty, because the technology is there for you to use - I wonder how I ever lived without 'Master Tempo' or 'Key Shift Adj' for the Denon heads, and there are a lot of high profile people doing mash ups like 2 Many DJs, Cut Up Boys, Go Home Productions, Loo And Placido etc.

 

Now I see mixing as a source of my own amusement, if I am taking a request or busy digging out songs I won't mix. But knowing what will mix and what won't means that the next song will flow and sound right. And if I get the chance I will try and mix tracks together for a bit of fun/challenge.

 

Mixing isn't all about beatmatching. Think of a radio presenter, they never "crash" the vocal - you can still blend in tracks using their intros. An example would be ..err how about Will Smith - Men In Black then Divinyls - I Touch Myself.

 

Just a few rambling thoughts...

 

 

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Learn't to mix from club DJs. From experience developed a style of my own, not an expert, happy with different music formats. Whether for own amusement or for clients, I feel that mixing has been a great benefit to the service offered.

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I try to mix sometimes but I'm fairly awful at it. Most people don't notice anyway. But, while I'm not seamless, I can get through most nights without any amateurish track changes, or continual talking.

I'm a DJ based in Northern Ireland with nearly 10 years' experience offering a range of services. Including club residencies, karaoke, pub quizzes, specialised wedding service, Master of Ceremonies, Compere, Night at the Races and much more.

 

 

 

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