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Thread: What does it take to mix Drum and Bass

  1. #1
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    What does it take to mix Drum and Bass

    Thread title says it all really.

    I come from a background of Trance / house music. So I am familiar with phases, keys etc etc.

    But whats important to know when mixing DnB..

    Is it normal to mix two different types of DnB together? Such as liquid and jump up.

    Is mixing harmonically important?

    Should I read anything into the fact that tracks range from over a range of BPM's?

    Aside from keeping the tracks in time with each other is there anything else I need to worry about?

    Is the mixing of breakdowns very common? Or do people tend to mix when there is a beat?

    cant think of anything else right now, but I will ask if I do....

    BTW, the dummies thread was very useful.

    Dave x

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    I have mixed some dnb before, it seems that a lot of drum and bass has huge intros and outros which is annoying. I tend to skip right to the music and avoid the intro/outro mixing.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Synergy View Post
    I have mixed some dnb before, it seems that a lot of drum and bass has huge intros and outros which is annoying. I tend to skip right to the music and avoid the intro/outro mixing.


    WAT



    Seriously, unless you have a problem mixing, the "huge intros and outros" isn't a big deal. Just as long as it sounds right, you can mix different sub genres of dnb. I along w/ other djs, do it all the time.

    The current DnB tempo range is 174-178ish. I mean there are a few artists that make it slightly faster, but thats rare.

    Honestly, I learned how to mix drum n bass by listening to tons and tons of mixes. I highly recommend doing that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Blackest View Post


    WAT



    Seriously, unless you have a problem mixing, the "huge intros and outros" isn't a big deal. Just as long as it sounds right, you can mix different sub genres of dnb. I along w/ other djs, do it all the time.

    The current DnB tempo range is 174-178ish. I mean there are a few artists that make it slightly faster, but thats rare.

    Honestly, I learned how to mix drum n bass by listening to tons and tons of mixes. I highly recommend doing that.
    Mixing in key isnt important then?

  5. #5
    With just about every genre of EDM, it is important to mix in key. Some people do it and some don't. Personally, I don't use any type of mixing in key program or diagram or anything like that.

    Just learn your tunes and figure out different combinations for each of em.

  6. #6
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    How to mix DnB:

    Play Airhorn sample
    Backspin
    Yell "Lighters up!" (You can alternately yell "Big ups to x crew!")
    Drop next track in


    Seriously though, I tend to follow the snares more when mixing DnB. Mixing the breakdowns together works great. Try to get the breakdowns synced up so the drops come in at the same time(called a double drop). Sounds great, lots of energy. Just make sure its EQ'd and leveled properly or it'll distort to hell and back. The big intros are good when you want to let the incoming song play in the background of the current track.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Carter's Avatar
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    As with any style of music, there is no one right way to do it. It's important to be in key with dnb as it pretty heavily features horns, strings or synths. Not to mention the focus on bass, where basslines are produced and heavily effected to get a certain sound. It's ugly when basslines don't mesh or flow from one to another. Not strictly mixing in key is probably more forgivable in dnb than any other style, though. I don't use anything to determine key, I just use my ears.

    The intros really aren't any longer than most other styles... of course there are some tunes with long intros where the drop doesn't come until nearly 1:30 into the track... but a pretty common intro time is 45 seconds. I think dnb in particular is produced in a way to tease and mix the intro portions of a track though, much moreso than other styles where when you hear something new in the palette of sound it means that track is bumping in to stay in short fashion. Many dnb dj's will play intro portions of tracks they never fully drop into the mix. And that's because dnb intros typically have a good lead-up to the drop of the main groove and bass... giving little previews, if you will, of samples or sounds more heavily featured later on in the track.

    You can't really mix any other style exactly the way you mix dnb. Before I got into dnb, I mixed house and breaks of different styles. After I had been mixing only dnb for a long while, I remember I agreed to a few battles on here of breaks and tech stuff and even progressive house. The only style where my mixing didn't stick out like a sore thumb was breaks, where the structure is somewhat similar to dnb and a drop can be emphasized more the way it is in dnb mixing. House and trance both are manufactured in a different way, tempo aside. They both seek to establish a groove and carry it on pretty consistently with few notable change-ups in the flow of the mix. Change-ups are a big part of dnb mixing, so you will need to break out of the habits in style that you have established with trance and house.

    I'd get into more right now but I gotta go... I'll be back!
    Last edited by Carter; 04-11-2012 at 11:50 AM.
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    Member Adzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Blackest View Post
    Honestly, I learned how to mix drum n bass by listening to tons and tons of mixes. I highly recommend doing that.
    ditto that! listen to andy c mixes, that guy can be nuts. but listening to various djs is great for getting ideas of how to put tracks together.

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  10. #10
    It should be said, that mixing is all about YOUR take on the music. All of your questions are about style -- which can be interpreted. That said, here's my .02 ....

    Is it normal to mix two different types of DnB together? Such as liquid and jump up.
    Yes. Sometimes, thats when you come up with the best mixes.

    Is mixing harmonically important?
    Yes. That's like asking whether 'harmony' is important to 'music'.

    Should I read anything into the fact that tracks range from over a range of BPM's?
    Any form of music spans some general range of BPM. The two things you need to consider here are: 1) do the elements of the song work together for the mix (otherwise, don't mix 'em in the first place), and 2) with the tools you're using, will such a change in BPM goof up the sound of the music to a point that isn't worth mixing (aka, does it come out sounding like alvin the chipmunk vs. barry white?)

    Aside from keeping the tracks in time with each other is there anything else I need to worry about?
    Uhm ... phrasing? But you already said that ... Bass drops? I mean -- thats the same as with mixing any form of music, I'd say ...

    Is the mixing of breakdowns very common? Or do people tend to mix when there is a beat?
    Only if you're good

    Double drop ftw.
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