Free «The Basics on How to Mix a Song» Essay Sample

First, you need to understand how instruments balance in the mix. Listen to the music that you like and pay attention to different instruments and notice how the vocals, drums, guitars, and other instruments balance. Then you need to understand how to use equalizers and compressors. Equalizers are needed for changing frequencies of instruments, to make them sound the way you want. Compressors are used to tighten up dynamics in the tracks, and making them sound more stable, or to make track readable in every part. Also you need to know how to add effects and create different spaces in mix. Using appropriate FX's we can make instruments sound louder and fatter, or make them sound far away from us.

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Be sure to choose the right song style to start your mix, and then know which song to bring in as you continue mixing. For example, starting a mix with a hard techno or house, and then going into some melodious vocal is not the best. Also you cannot mix trance with house or electro etc. Similarly, mixing a sweet and lovely track with a heavy one is not a good idea either.

Song Version

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For the mix we choose only extended versions, available in most cases only on the singles. Such versions are often described as "Long mix"," club version", or "extended version". Avoid all of the "Radio edit", "Short version" ones. It is good to check if a track has an introduction and/or ending, which is not beginning or ending suddenly, but rather develops gradually and softly. This makes the track easy to mix smoothly with the other.

Song Tempo

Most DJ's equipment and computer DJ players have the ability to control the tempo of a track. DJ players often have the "master tempo" function, which enables you to adjust the tempo without altering the tone. However, it is important to make the right choice of tracks in terms of the tempo they're made in. Mix only the tracks that differ by not more than 3 beats per minute (BPM) " For example: if you are playing something that's in 130BPM, then don't speed it up to 136BPM.  

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Make a start point in a track, which you'll be entering the mix with. When DJ mixing is live, then accurately aim with the first track's beat into the second's one -in an appropriate phrase or bar. To gain the control find the first beat of a chosen phrase, which you think is right to start the mix with, and position yourself right before the beat. Use a function called "auto-cue" found in today's players, which will find the first beat for us by positioning just before the first bass kick (ignoring the silence and/or vocal).

You must match the tempo of two songs used in the music mix. We can often use not only the slowing or speed up of the song by the use of "pitch", but also by using the "master tempo" - which changes the tempo without altering the tone of the song. DJ players can automatically determine the tempo in the track, and the info is showed in BPMs on the build-in display. You can also find special discs for DJs, which have the BPM value written on the cover. Another matter is adjusting the bass, midds and treble levels in the mix on our mixer/equalizer. Avoid serving loud bass kicks of two overlapped beats or chirping treble from the two tracks. Failure to adjust bass levels may cause the disappearance of your bass kick.

In order to enter on the beat of the second track, you have to point yourself on the first beat of the metrical unit, called a phrase. A phrase is a conventional term and determines most often 8, 16 or 32 beats of a song. Generally you can say that the smallest, inviolable metrical unit is a bar, but metrical distribution can be different in different songs. Most dance music genres (house, techno, euro dance) are very simple in the metrical aspect. In practice the bar is defined by 4 beats. The inviolable limit is two beat bar.

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