DJForums Member since 2004
DJForums Trance 2008: 2nd Place, DJForums Trance 2009: 3rd Place, DJforums Trance 2010: 2nd Place
1. As someone else said I have to connect with the track. I dont look for tracks specifically for parts of a set, I just look for good music, and build a set out of what I have. I cant stand music that seems to be just a few loops over and over, I like trance to musically stand above the beats, almost ignore the bars in some respect and flow continuously. Soo much euro trance seems to be soo stop-starty. It also needs to have something else that just makes it sound fantastic, awesome bassline, fantastic melody, relentless build, or just something that sounds amazing..
I am very picky in what I buy, maybe a couple tracks a month. I think that its better to be picky, if it doesn't sound amazing, why would I ever play it in a set. I also think if the tracks are good enough, then simple mixing is more than enough. I still listen back to Oakenfolds 1999 Gatecrasher mix, with very simple mixing, and ropey beatmatching. But it still beats anything I've ever listened to, because the tracks were superb. The mixing was just the glue that held them together. Dont make the mixing more important than the tracks you're playing is my motto
2. Beatport 90% of the time. The ability to follow artists is the single best thing of any online DJ music shop. I have about 100 artists on follow there, so just going to beatport I get a daily list of all their new releases. Plus BPM, key, and AIFF support now. Its the shop of choice. If I'm buying a whole album on WAV I'll prolly get it at Juno as Beatports WAV tax is extortionate
3. Usually blends for as long as possible. Sometimes until the 1st track ends, or it needs to be culled. I often think I'm quite limited in my mixing style, cos I just blend, I dont do drop, or cuts or anything. But I think in trance it should be blends pretty much all the time.
Dont really ever use loops. Most of my music is never static for more than 2 beats, let alone a bar so doesn't loop well. Also I'm not a fan of having stuff loop over and over (heh sounds wrong given I love EDM), the music has to keep changing otherwise I find it dull.
4. Dont use crossfader, just upfaders. Tho I'm thinking of leaving upfaders on, and just using EQ's for a change.
5. I gain adjust cued track to the same as the other track when upfaders are at 100%.
6. Dont know what you mean by that.
7/8. Sometime use the low pass filter on my xone, instead of EQ'ing the bass out. Given the EQ frequency range is fixed, you just changing the volume, I quite like the idea of using a low pass and high pass to specify your frequency cut off points instead. (roll on when I can afford a db2!)
Sometime I will wack up the low pass with resonance for 4 or 8 beats on both tracks, while swapping the bass, then when you wack the filter off, track kicks are swapped. Paul van dyke used to do that loads a few years ago, done well it sounds mint.
Used to use mixed in key, but with experience I find I can just stuff that goes together better, and I'd rather ultimately trust my ears than a computer program.
I miss the Jet button from my cdj 100's heh, I'm currently practising doing manual phasing. Its an old technique, by playing the same track on both decks at exactly the same place. I totally kill the bass and highs on 1 track, bring the track in, then knock the pitch up or down slightly, and you get instant jet effect as the waveforms go out of phase.. Doesn't leave much time for cueing the next track like, but its fun
I'm still fairly amateur, but this is how I mix Trance currently...
Firstly... what is a crossfader? I've never used one of those.
Anyway (I don't do this every single mix, but this is the gist):
1a. I'll have track one playing, then in my cans I'll cue another track and start it playing during a breakdown of track one (listening to see if they sound good/decent together).
1b. I'll match the BPM of each track also.
1c. Point 1a is only necessary if I'm mixing two tracks together for the first time.
2. I'll wait for the last breakdown/build/tension/release of track one and hit [play] on track two at that first big beat.
3a. I'll totally kill the bass on track two whilst having the other EQs full, then fade it in gradually [track volume fader], normally about a third more volume each time a phrase is over on track one so the gradual build sounds natural.
3b. Sometimes I will already have track two's volume set full with no bass, and hit play at what I think is the right moment (this often works and, in my opinion, can sound great).
4a. At a particular moment (when I feel it is right) I'll quickly swap the bass of each track. Occasionally I'll slowly swap the bass over the course of 4, 8 or 16 beats if I think that would sound better.
4b. Plenty of tracks I mix have bass lines like: 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-x (where x is no beat), and its at the x that I'll quickly swap bass over to track 2.
Pioneer DDJ-T1, Traktor Pro 2, Trance.
What do you look for in a track (beat structure, keys, BPM, melody)?
I don't care much for BPM in my mixes as I will jump from 128 up to 140 as long as I do it progressively throughout the mix. If anything, I like a wider variety of BPM because you can really pump up the set quickly and get people moving faster. I like harmonic mixing but just because a track doesn't fit the rubric doesn't mean you can't make it mix well.
Where do you prefer to shop for tunes? Beatport, TrackItDown, Juno...
Wherever is cheapest. There are way too many bomb ass trance tracks out there for me to just use one music outlet to get my music from. Listen to people's sets to get new tracks.
What transition methods do you use-and how long do you hold tracks together?
Depends, if they mix well I'll let the outro and intro of two tracks mix together for 16-32 bars so there is more going on in the mix and let that new track start to build up a bit. Helps with energy levels IMO. I've also been known to use a high frequency from one track to immediately drop out the first one.
Crossfade or not to crossfade?
NO crossfading, EVER
Gain knob or channel fader?
Channel fader all day long
FX settings-stacking? and please don't FLANGE the hell out of everything!
Echo, reverb, and I think transpose
The Derivative of Sound Episode #5 - Soundcloud (New as of 3-4-13)It is what a man thinks of himself that really determines his fate. -Thoreau