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Thread: Tips/Advice for mixing Minimal / Deep Tech?

  1. #1

    Tips/Advice for mixing Minimal / Deep Tech?

    Hi,

    Does anyone have any tips or advice for mixing Minimal / Deep Tech?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    For my own style, and listening to other DJs of that style that I really like - long transitions feel great, like 32 bars at least

    Gradually combine the elements and let them seep into each other

    How have you been mixing your tunes so far?

  3. #3
    As above, nice smooth mixes (As opposed to abrupt cuts/ short blends like you would with disco for example)

  4. #4
    I wrote a rather long-winded post but my smartphone shut off and it was gone from the clipboard so I'll try to gather a few pointers from the top of my head..

    First of all there may be a few pitfalls as I've dabbled in the genres you mentioned, and from my experience you may run into :

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    1) Short kick drums with nothing between them - tracks like this can be tricky to mix because you have to beatmatch very precisely in order to avoid the listener from distinguishing the kick drums. Using EQ may help, or some sort of tempo-matched delay/reverb in an aux send to fill the gaps but requires additional gear unless you have built-in FX.

    Many DVS' have all kinds of effects to play with such as beatmashers, reverbs etc (I assume you use a traditional 2-deck setup)

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    2) An intro with hi-hats to an outro with nothing but kick drum - this can sound a bit out of the place; I discovered a technique of using a low-pass filter on the incoming track to bring in the highs gradually.

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    3) Drone/pad intros - these can be difficult to mix because the cueing can be a bit hectic especially with vinyl. CDJs and DVS' have the option to use hot cues though but you need to prepare them beforehand, and on a DVS when migrating to another laptop you may lose the cue points/beatgrids of those gems you had on the old HD. Also many software-based systems may have problems dealing with beatgrids.

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    Luckily you don't have to deal with vocals, short track lengths and irregular song structures like in some genres (most EDM is based on the 8-bar structure) and there's a lot of room to play with so to speak.

    To spice up your sets you could try :

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    1) Loops - this requires a 3rd deck, sampler or a DVS and some preparation. Many sample packs come with premade synth/bass/drum loops which you can layer in your sets or you can edit your own. Traktor has Remix sets which are very useful esp. when used with a MIDI controller but you can easily overdo it so use moderation.

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    2) Synthesizer/drum machine/sampler/groovebox - these can be a bit complex to manage at first if you're syncing them manually; the trick is to beatmatch the decks to them instead, or use a metronome (unless your mixer has a MIDI clock) The best way is to send a master MIDI clock from a DVS via USB into the outboard gear and sync the tracks to it.

    There are a few people in the scene who have made themselves known using this technique; unfortunately I'm not one of them but if you have some music gear around it can be worth trying. Some people may like it, some not.

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    3) Laptop running a software sequencer - for triggering loops, one shots etc. Very similar in approach to the Traktor Remix deck but with this technique your possibilities are pretty much endless as you have access to effects, soft synths etc. I used to have 2-4 decks of songs and a few channels of loops, risers etc and MIDI notes running into outboard gear. The downside is that the setup isn't very flexible from track selection point-of-view as you need to warp everything in preparation, and that it can be a bit hard on the CPU.

    Ableton Live is the #1 software choice as it has very extensive hardware support from a performers standpoint (APC, Launchpad etc) However, the problem is the cost; many regard Macbook/Macbook Pro as the most stable laptop choice and the MSRP can be in the $1500-2000 range plus the software and other gimmicks.

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    So unless you're looking to add something to your existing setup there isn't much else to do other than focus on track selection since technical aspects more than often require some kind of investments. I can't tell much about harmonic mixing (or the software involved such as Mixed in Key) but to most people it becomes naturally over time as your ear develops.

    There are very talented DJs doing impressive sets with just 2 decks and a mixer so the old saying "less is more" applies here as there are people fighting fire with fire by adding all kinds of gadgets to their setups (with digital systems it's very easy to overlook the elementary stuff)

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