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tekno_violet
07-17-2012, 10:21 PM
Where the hell do I start?



I want to make some good mixtapes like I used to listen to when I was a kid but don't know where to begin.

Where do you guys get your music, acapellas, instrumentals and all the other stuff you need?

Im guessing a mixtape consists of the above 3 whith some scratching thrown in.

Im on CDJ's btw and I bedroom mix edm so the couple of rap cd's i've tried to mix sound like hell. Wrong tracks and wrong style of mixing is effing it up im sure.

You guys got anything on soundcloud I can reference?

Any basic pointers?

Sigma
07-17-2012, 10:45 PM
I want to make some good mixtapes like I used to listen to when I was a kid
Hip-hop ones? Wouldn't these be your starting point?

There's 2 basic ways to makes a mixtape: -

1. Live, with minimal/no editing.
2. Multitracked, where you build the mix up in stages, plus this allows you to get more deep with what you do technically.

Either way is fine. I do only do 2 these days, cos I find it more fun to do. With multitracking you can include samples from anywhere (my last mix had samples of an old hip-hop documentary in it, and Grandmaster Flash talking about hip-hop in the 1970s for instance) and you can basically do whatever the hell you want technically - build up intros, experiment with layers, effects etc.

The best mixes, IMO, showcase a little of all you can do, but without going too OTT with any one thing in particular technically speaking. As far as track listings go, I like themed mixes, even if the theme is very loose, "90s hip-hop" for example. Sometimes bouncing around all over the place musically can work in a mix, but sometimes it sounds like the DJ only owns 20 records and they're just having to make do with what they've got, haha.

But it sounds like you need to start with the music first and if you're not experienced with hip-hop mixing, I would make your first mix a short, live one. If you were into rap when you were a kid (and I dunno when that was exactly), perhaps make a mix of some of your favourite songs from that era that's 30 minutes long or so. Get some feedback on that and then take it from there.

If you do want to try making a multitracked mix at some stage, I wrote a beginner guide here in 2 parts: -

http://www.djtechtools.com/2011/07/27/a-guide-to-making-a-multitracked-mixtape-part-1/
http://www.djtechtools.com/2011/08/03/a-guide-to-making-a-multitracked-mixtape-part-2/

tekno_violet
07-17-2012, 11:22 PM
Hip-hop ones? Wouldn't these be your starting point?

There's 2 basic ways to makes a mixtape: -

1. Live, with minimal/no editing.
2. Multitracked, where you build the mix up in stages, plus this allows you to get more deep with what you do technically.

Either way is fine. I do only do 2 these days, cos I find it more fun to do. With multitracking you can include samples from anywhere (my last mix had samples of an old hip-hop documentary in it, and Grandmaster Flash talking about hip-hop in the 1970s for instance) and you can basically do whatever the hell you want technically - build up intros, experiment with layers, effects etc.

The best mixes, IMO, showcase a little of all you can do, but without going too OTT with any one thing in particular technically speaking. As far as track listings go, I like themed mixes, even if the theme is very loose, "90s hip-hop" for example. Sometimes bouncing around all over the place musically can work in a mix, but sometimes it sounds like the DJ only owns 20 records and they're just having to make do with what they've got, haha.

But it sounds like you need to start with the music first and if you're not experienced with hip-hop mixing, I would make your first mix a short, live one. If you were into rap when you were a kid (and I dunno when that was exactly), perhaps make a mix of some of your favourite songs from that era that's 30 minutes long or so. Get some feedback on that and then take it from there.

If you do want to try making a multitracked mix at some stage, I wrote a beginner guide here in 2 parts: -

http://www.djtechtools.com/2011/07/27/a-guide-to-making-a-multitracked-mixtape-part-1/
http://www.djtechtools.com/2011/08/03/a-guide-to-making-a-multitracked-mixtape-part-2/



hmmmmm I see I see.

Ok, I used to listen to DJ Rectangle alot but let me take a few steps back and drop the mixtape thing for now.

Lets just start with the basics of mixing hiphop.

Do you need acapellas and instrumentals or is that for when you want to get tricky?

I was listening during the 90's when biggie, bone thugs, dre, some 2pac, cypress, llcoolJ were all alive. There was some pretty sweet
jams coming out.

Do I follow the same principles of edm mixing ?

Andrew B
07-17-2012, 11:28 PM
You don't need acapellas or instrumentals.

Sigma
07-18-2012, 05:54 AM
Do you need acapellas and instrumentals or is that for when you want to get tricky?
You don't absolutely need them, but they're handy to have for sure.


Do I follow the same principles of edm mixing ?
The fundamental mixing techniques (levels/EQing/phrase matching) are the same, but to be a good hip-hop DJ you really need to know some scratching (basic, clean stuff will do) and some trick mixing techniques. You can often tell when someone has come from an EDM background into hip-hop, because their beatmatching and phrase matching are solid, but there is none of the extra stuff that you would expect from a decent hip-hop DJ.

tekno_violet
07-18-2012, 07:01 PM
hmmmmm I see I see.


I mixed a couple tracks yesterday and they sounded pretty descent.

I just have to keep the blending as short as possible...(4 bars?) I've got a descent idea of basic scratching and im building on it again so i'll get that soon.

Whats the cheapest site to get music from? Or is it best to go through record pools?

I noticed most my old CD's are a little on the gangstery side so Im gonna need new music that people can dance to. (top40 type rap)

Sigma
07-18-2012, 09:38 PM
Who long to blend two tracks together for really depends on the songs and what you think works. It can be anywhere from a straight slam from one track to the other, to a long blend. A lot of the time, you'll be mixing the intro to one song with either the last chorus or outro to another.

I couldn't really tell you a good place to buy music. I hardly buy any new music, so I buy most of it on vinyl second hand from eBay, Discogs and the like. If I buy anything new, I usually just get it from Amazon on CD unless it's something I really want on vinyl, then I'll just Google for it.

tekno_violet
07-19-2012, 05:34 AM
Ok I got it.

Do you think one could practice scratching with a TT on one channel of a mixer and a CD deck on the other channel with a instrumental going? I have a Xone 22...
I'll practice this weekend.

Sigma
07-19-2012, 11:53 AM
Yeah, as long as you have 1 deck, 1 mixer, and something to play music/beats with (another deck, CD deck, iPod, PC, hi-fi, whatever) then you can practice scratching.

rchecka
07-19-2012, 03:05 PM
I know it's a lot more money, but for real, If you are serious, save up and just buy 2 turntables. It's easier to learn on 2 identical decks with the same torque and it'll make you more well rounded with each hand. Having one turntable on the right and one controller or CDJ on the left looks asinine. Plus you might as well forget about learning basic juggling without a pair of decks. Sure, you might be able to juggle with one CD-J and one deck but I'm guessing that looks as dumb as it sounds.

If you learn on 2 turntables anything else is easier to learn after that but not necessarily vise versa.


Where to buy music?

Lots of great places, discogs.com is one of the best places to find elusive records, dustygroove.com, fatbeats.com, turntablelab.com, ughh.com, metrowax.com, those are some of my favorite online record stores.

Lord Lav
07-19-2012, 10:17 PM
In my opinion the big key to all DJing is knowing what to put on and when with regards to your audience. Mixing, Scratching, Beat Juggling (though very important) is a bonus. If you've got those things right build around it.

You can get music from anywhere be it, record shops youtube or iTunes. (preferably not youtube) and look to develop your spider sense as to what is going to be a party banger.

Most things come down to the 80%-20% rule i.e with DJing the 20% that covers the most ground is choosing dope songs and knowing when to put them on. The rest is bonus. I'm not down playing the importance of DJ technique because I believe that is all super importance too. But I'm giving it all some persective

tekno_violet
07-20-2012, 12:03 AM
Yeah, as long as you have 1 deck, 1 mixer, and something to play music/beats with (another deck, CD deck, iPod, PC, hi-fi, whatever) then you can practice scratching.


Cheers man. Must get me a technics TT.


I know it's a lot more money, but for real, If you are serious, save up and just buy 2 turntables. It's easier to learn on 2 identical decks with the same torque and it'll make you more well rounded with each hand. Having one turntable on the right and one controller or CDJ on the left looks asinine. Plus you might as well forget about learning basic juggling without a pair of decks. Sure, you might be able to juggle with one CD-J and one deck but I'm guessing that looks as dumb as it sounds.

If you learn on 2 turntables anything else is easier to learn after that but not necessarily vise versa.


Where to buy music?

Lots of great places, discogs.com is one of the best places to find elusive records, dustygroove.com, fatbeats.com, turntablelab.com, ughh.com, metrowax.com, those are some of my favorite online record stores.

Yeah the 1 turntable one CDJ idea thing is just to get a good idea of basic to maybe intermediate scratching.... No juggling or advanced turntabilism will be on the cards yet. I just wanna play around for now.
Don't want too much gear right now as i'll just turn around and sell it all pretty soon.

Will check out those site too, I think we have a pretty big record store here but I haven't checked it out yet.