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 Basic Mixing Techniques & Equipment

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Number of posts : 3
Age : 36
Music Taste : UKG - New SKool!
My Mood : Hyper
Registration date : 2008-05-04

PostSubject: Basic Mixing Techniques & Equipment   Mon May 05, 2008 10:27 am

I'm by no means a pro but started out and self taught so thought I would post up what worked for me! lol!

First of all it's HARD and it's an art, everyone's style is different so what works for other people might not work for you! I bought my decks and mixer without really knowing quite how everything got together and worked so here are some tips:

Don't even consider belt driven decks, always go for the best Direct Drive decks you can get, Technics are the best but Stantons are also great. Mine are only Numak TT1650's (very very basic) but they pitch up/down 10% and do the job for me!

There are so many mixers to choose from but it all depends on how many bits of equipment you intend to run as to how many channels you need. For a basic set up 2 channels is enough but if you intend to add CD decks you will need 4 channels or you will forever be swapping leads over! Quite a few mixers have a USB function which is advertised as being simple to use, however, I have never been able to get mine working properly and neither could Numark Technical Support Rolling Eyes . To record now I just use the additional (supplied) manual lead which plugs into the record part of the reverse of the mixer and then into the microphone line in on pc. My mixer is fine for straight mixing but higher end mixers also have effects such as echo, loop, reverb etc (that's my next step), two that spring to mind are the Numark 500FX and the Pioneer DJM600 but both quite serious money.

Aside from the decks and mixer you will also need an amp/speaker set up. I bought a Kam Coolpack which you can also plug your ipod directly into so can double as a speaker system, again so many options but don't forget this or you'll have no sound to pump the tunes out with!

Then there is headphones/styli etc to go on about but I will leave that to someone else!

Before I bought my set up I watched other people mix and thought 'it can't be that hard'....HOW WRONG was I? It's something that you need to practise constantly in order to get really good. First of all I would recommend just playing around with the equipment to work out how it affects the music that's bieng played. Try different levels on your bass, treble and mid ranges, pitch them up and down to see how the tempo changes.

I spent a lot of time practising getting the second track going at just the right time, if you are pushing it to set it off the touch needs to be just right or it will be too fast/slow and you will need to manually adjust it or use pitch control to get it to the right speed.

It's a good idea to start with tracks roughly the same tempo (rather than trying to mix some 2 step and bassline like i did at the beginning), I almost always end up dancing when I mix as it helps me to 'feel' the beat but early on I would listen purely to the one coming out of the speakers and foot tap to the beat, then I'd play the second one through the headphones and keep foot tapping till it seemed about right. The more you mix the better you will be able to pick the beat out and match them up anyway.

Last bit is really not to give up, I had a week where I seemed to clang everything up badly, even tracks I knew I could mix without any hassle weren't going together and I seriously considered getting rid of it all and not bothering. I had a break from it and went back a few days later with a clear head and found my rythm again. I record all my mixes now, even if I make a mistake at the beginning I keep going and don't put the pressure on myself to be perfect, even big DJ's get it wrong sometimes, you just keep going and do your best!

PS I'm a Garage DJ so this might not be applicable to people who 'cut' most of their tracks up but thought it might help all the same! Very Happy
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Number of posts : 7
Registration date : 2008-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Basic Mixing Techniques & Equipment   Mon May 05, 2008 10:55 am

A good read that !
Should help anyone starting out !

My top tips would be :
Get Direct Drives the best you can afford
Get 2 of the same tune or a few by the same producer to help with beat matching
Don't give up !!!
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