Professional DJs have the power to bring the dancefloor alive. But how do they create such energy-packed beats without any error? The magic lies in the advanced DJ mixing techniques that they use to make incredibly creative and diverse music. Do you also want to expand your DJ mixing skills and shine like a professional? If yes, then by the end of this article you would know some exciting techniques to use in your next skit. Each technique will help you take your skillset to a whole new level. So, let’s dig in.
1. The Seamless Fade Mix
Mixing two tracks seamlessly may sound simple, but it certainly isn’t easy to pull off. Even the experts have trouble getting it right. So, we are going to throw some light on a few DJ mixing tips and techniques to help you seamlessly mix tracks.
Most DJs would just fade in from one track to the next, which sounds odd, giving an amateurish vibe. It would never work, even if you beat-match the soundtracks. So, what can you do? You can use several effects and filters for a seamless experience, but first, you should consider a few things — the musical genre, mix-in and mix-out zones, and how good the sounds and instruments complement each other.
Once you are done with the aforesaid elements, you are ready for seamless mixing. The following are the best tools for seamless DJ mixing techniques.
This is the part where you will find the kick drums and the basslines. The proper adjustment will allow you to maintain the dominance of your master track’s meaty bass. Plus, when two tracks are playing at maximum volume, this is usually where the clipping happens. So, reduce the frequency to have a smoother and more seamless mix.
Medium Frequency Volume
In this range, stabs, harmonies, riffs, and some of the percussion occurs. Also, the vocals sit here, but we should avoid them until the mix is completed.
Moreover, slowly fading the incoming track in the mid frequencies will reduce its dominance. However, it would be a lot easier if the upcoming beat has dominating features. So, we suggest you bring in 70% max until the beat is ready for the incoming track’s dominance.
High-frequencies will allow you to reduce percussion — cymbals, high hats, and snares — from the tracks. As a result, you would have a smoother sound. Just start from low volume and increase it gradually during the mix-in zones.
Effects and Filters
To generate a softer and smoother incoming sound, these are used in small amounts. Plus, they help to make the track less punchy by eliminating high impact sounds.
By taking mix out and mix zones, the volume frequencies, filters, and effects into account, you can seamlessly fade in from a master track into a new one. This is one of the most commonly used DJ mixing techniques that you will experience in the industry.
2. Tempo Transition Mix
Being one of the highly complex DJ mixing techniques, it is avoided by many, including even the experts. But this will take your DJing to another level. Here you will learn how to mix tracks having different tempos using music mixing software.
Preparing the DJ Mixer Software
As the majority of the DJ beat mixer software offers only a 16% tempo range. But thanks to the digital DJ mixers, we can push the range beyond that. For this trick, follow these steps:
- Go to settings related to “Decks” or “Transport” in your software.
- Find the “tempo range” option to modify it.
- In a DJ music mixer like Serato, you can achieve this by using the shift button alongside the “tempo” option.
- Adjust the range of the pitch to a minimum of 50%.
- Enable the “Keylock” because you don’t want to change the pitch but rather the tempo of the tracks.
Perform the Tempo DJ Mixing techniques
Let’s assume that you are going from a house track to a bass and drum soundtrack. It means you will be going from 125 BPM to 174 BPM.
Firstly, you are going to sync both the master and the incoming track. So, you will slow down the incoming track to 125 BPM to beat match. We would recommend you keep your headphones on and continuously check if the sound is right. The key trick here is to stretch out the percussion and kick drums for perfect syncing.
Infinite Loop DJ Mixing Techniques
The main idea here is that particular sections of the tracks, other than mix-ins and mix-out zones, are great for loop mixing. Let us move on to find how to pull this off.
How to perform it
To reduce the punch sound in your incoming track, apply some effects — Beatmasher, Flanger, Gater, or iceverb. After that, fade in the loop with a slow pace around 50% during the time between 16 – 32 beats. If you want to give the master soundtrack a background looping effect, drop it on the first beat.
You can also create new sounds by playing around with different effects, adding some texture to your tracks. Lastly, increase the low, mid, and high frequencies, and reduce the effects to complete the mix using your digital DJ equipment.
Key Blending and Key Matching Mix
Advanced DJ sound mixer software allows you to sort the tunes by keys, allowing you to mix accordingly. Here, we are going to use the same top DJ techniques to prepare some brilliant mixes.
DJ Library Preparation
Construct a playlist of your favorite tunes in the software and allow it to analyze them. The tunes will be arranged with respect to the keys in the library browser. In case the keys are not visible, go to the column of the browser and click on the “key.” If the software hasn’t sorted out the tunes as per the key column, arrange them manually.
How to perform it
It isn’t difficult to pull this off if you know two basic rules of DJ mixing techniques. First, subtract or add the numbers; 3 or 6 in the keys and choose that track for mixing. For instance, the tune having a 2M key will easily harmonize with 8m or 5M tracks.
Similarly, the track 4d will go with 1d or 7d. The outcome might surprise you, especially if the instruments in the tracks complement each other. However, note that this doesn’t work for every track in the list, so you might have to experiment to find the right mix.
Secondly, listen and analyze the tracks to identify the ideal places for mix-in and mix-out zones, and loops. Keep on rehearsing and experiment until you know how to mix while maintaining harmony.
Shaping the Sonic Palette Using FX
Using FX in combos with loops turns out to be something great every time. But you need to set them correctly to get the most out of them. If done right it is, without a doubt, among the best DJ techniques.
Learning the FX combos
- Riser + Phaser + Reverb — Mix filters with delays or reverbs and phaser for a classic riser effect.
- Delay + Phaser + Bitcrusher — Mix a phase with a delay to turn the surrounding crazy. To release this effect, you can also add in a new tune.
- Beat repeat + Filter + Reverb — Not only the best DJ equipment but also the cheap DJ controllers allow you to use roll or beat repeat as a loop roll. So, until the beat repeats the 32nd note, you can turn the FX now to create a swirling effect.
Frequently Asked Questions
All these aforementioned advanced techniques may have raised some questions in your minds. Let’s address them one by one.
Which Is the Best DJ Software For Trance?
Whether you want to mix dubstep, trance, or even techno tracks, the following software will provide you all the essential tools:
- Native Instruments TRAKTOR Pro
- Serato DJ.
- MixVibes Cross DJ.
- Ableton Live.
In addition to this, you may also want to want to check out online DJ mixers. They allow you to mix your music for free without having to download the hefty software.
Which Are the Best Free Beat Makers To Experiment With Advanced DJing?
Tracktion 7 and LMMS are touted to be the best free beat making software that is compatible with Linux, IOS, and Windows. They are designed for not only the beginners but also the advanced users. You can make everything from amateur-level beats to advanced DJ mixing techniques.
Are There Any Affordable DJ Controllers Available?
Many DJ controllers, especially the expert-level gadgets, are pretty expensive. Even when manufacturers put up DJ mixers for sale, the deal remains unsuitable for beginners. If you are just starting to explore the DJ world, you might be looking for the best budget DJ controller. So, we have listed exactly what you need:
- Denon DJ MC4000
- Numark Mixtrack Platinum
- Reloop Neon
- Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3
- Pioneer DJ DDJ-400
- Numark Mixtrack Pro 3
- Roland DJ-202
On the other hand, if you want to go cheaper then portable DJ mixers might work for you — Reloop MIXTOUR DJ and Pyle Pro Bluetooth DJ mixer.