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How does armin mix??
thelws
PostPosted: 05 June 2010 - 19:55:20 (871)  Reply with quote
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Hi guys, long post incoming but I hope someone will find the patience to read it XD.

Pardon my asking... but I don't think this is covered anywhere in the forum (or my search skills suck :P). But what I really want to know is how armin mixes.

I've recently started dj-ing and have sorta got the basics settled. I'm ready to move to the more advanced stuff now. So I kinda stumbled upon this tutorial from armin on youtube. You can see from the links below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN5lutezN4w (part 1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh-0Wpm_Rg0 (part 2)

I understand what mixing in key is but what I really want to ask are the following:
1)Armin talks about pre-set que points. (see part 1, 4:23). I would like to know what are good places to set these que points. When I was learning, I always entered with the first bass beat (which is usually starts after 1 or 2 secs) . Armin says 1st kick drum of the song... what is the difference between a kick drum and the normal sound of bass? How do I identify this?

I find this entry point very important because I want to keep the energy smooth when mixing a song. When I was learning, I would usually wait until the old song is nearing an end and mix in the new song. I hope you can imagine based on my description :P... But basically, i find this method kills the energy because a song naturally has reduced energy lvls towards the end and starting. If you see armin mix, the energy levals are fairly high and constant because he mixes somewhere in the middle of the track. Not at places where the energy leval is low (end /beginning).

See part 2, 2:48. He starts to queue here. He actually drops the new song at 2:56 when everything is still pounding away. I'm pretty sure armin has a set of guidelines that he follows because I can imagine he does the same for all his songs. That means he can practically drop any song he wants anywhere in the track with these guidelines.

2)Next, he says that he has programmed a few hot queues. (see part 1, 5:38 ). How do you select these hot queues? There should be some general guidelines on what to set and where to set it. I'm asking this because I noticed that a lot of the big name DJs use this method to shorten the songs. I know in festivals, some DJs are only given 1 hour to play. In that 1 hour, they can cram in 10-11 songs... Obviously a lot of the songs have been cut short since a regular trance mix is about 7-8 mins long. And I'm pretty sure they didn't pre-edit it at home.

Also, like armin mentioned, you can use these hot queues to play with the crowd. I remember once when ferry corsten was playing this song, the crowd was singing along. But the song was nearing an end and the crowd was still singing. So he didn't want to cut off the crowd and jumped back to a middle section of the song.
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forbiddenfuture
PostPosted: 05 June 2010 - 22:05:07 (961)  Reply with quote
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you're going about this the completely wrong way. It's as if you're reading from a textbook, highlighter in hand, vigorously taking notes on how to DJ. It is not necessary to mix in key, beat matching is the only skill you need and knowing the structure of each song is vital to maintaining the energy. For example, with most songs, the first minute can be done away with completely; around the 1 minute mark the track fades and then the beat drops again and the song has officially begun. The same goes for the end of the track. When there is about 1:30 left the song is basically done, and the rest is just each element playing out until the song finishes. This first and last minute or so is the period where you'd mix the songs into one another by matching the beat (which is what armin was talking about, and it doesn't matter which element you use really, just as long it is loud enough for you to identify in each track), and as the first song is nearing the point where it is basically over and the second song is reaching that 1 minute mark where it is starting to fade, when those two points converge you switch the tracks, with the second one playing in the foreground while you fade out the first track. This will keep the energy going. This is not a guideline, per se, but rather an example and you'd play around with the mids, highs, lows and gains.

You have to know your songs to be able identify the points in each track I very vaguely described here. A lot of the newer mixers offer a lcd screen that shows the track sound waves, which is quite helpful in identifying the structure of the track and the best points to mix in or out, and the same goes for using software and mp3s.

As for hot cues, those are just the point at which the track starts when you press play, and you program the point you desire, like, for example, at 0:45.

Regardless of anything, though, no matter how much advice you get, it will be no help at all compared to what you get from practicing. All the tricks and techniques one learns only from practicing.

All of your questions will be answered once you play around on your own. That's the way it went for me. And Armin has been doing this for at least fifteen years ...
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thelws
PostPosted: 06 June 2010 - 05:07:32 (255)  Reply with quote
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Haha, it does help to have a textbook at the beginning. It really does speed up the learning process considerably :P. I would prefer to learn the tried and tested methods before actually experimenting other things. It gives you something to start with happy.

Anyway,

I realize it is not necessary to mix in key. But for the purpose of this discussion, we are going to assume every song we mix is in key.

Can someone tell me the structure of a song? The problem with this question is that not all songs have the same structure (or do they?). The issue I have is identifying which is a good entry. You mentioned that most songs can do away with the first minute. But around the 1 min mark, the song starts and doesn't give you any room to mix. If you do it this way, you are practically moving the fader to the top right from the release. If you look at armin's mix the main part of the song doesn't exactly start the moment he drops the track. It is probably 16/24/32 bars back. Identifying this point is what I want to learn.

Also, can someone explain the difference between a kick drum and normal bass? I still can't figure out lol.
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forbiddenfuture
PostPosted: 06 June 2010 - 07:08:53 (339)  Reply with quote
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Best of luck to you. One last bit of advice, one cannot learn to be a DJ without DJing.
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thelws
PostPosted: 06 June 2010 - 17:41:36 (778)  Reply with quote
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Don't get me wrong lol. I'm not trying to cut corners. I still practice a lot and I take the game very seriously.

I just want to cut short the time needed to figure out things. (don't we all?)

It is really easier to follow advice from someone who knows the way than to find out things by yourself... practicing becomes easier and more meaningful when you know what skills/knowledge you want to polish up.

I could spend hundreds of hours trying to figure out everything myself if I have to. But I figure that asking is the better way... especially when you don't know what to look for like in my case.
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Igneous01
PostPosted: 07 June 2010 - 02:34:20 (148)  Reply with quote
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i really dont see what the problem is, theres so many different ways of mixing 2 tracks together.

for ex (the way i do it usually)

track is playing, second track is beat matched, i wait until the main part of the track (that has the lead) ends, then i press play on sec track and match them up, i cut lows on the sec track, bring the fader up, depending on what track it is, the bass usually drops after 32 bars (so 1 min) and then i cut the lows from the first track, bring back lows from second track (i use kill switches which are alot easier to keep the energy and smooth transition), then slowly fade out first track so it stays smooth


theres also the way armin sometimes does it :

track is playing, sec track is beat matched. on the last 48 bars you start the second track and bring it up a little quicker than u would on the first example, with the lows cut as well, then after 30 seconds, kill bass on first track, bring bass back on second, and you have a nice percussion mix for a transition. this is usually done when the track ur mixing in has alot of elements in its intro so u want to make sure it mixes smoothly


theres other ways of doing it as well, but so far ive only been mixing it like this and i havnt had any problems


gl
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Igneous01 trance is alot like soccer.... greatness only happens once every 4 years...96-00-04-08
RichardClairemont
PostPosted: 16 June 2010 - 10:19:36 (471)  Reply with quote
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forbiddenfuture wrote:
It is not necessary to mix in key, beat matching is the only skill you need ...


If I had it to do over again I would have learned to mix in key at the same time I learned to beatmatch. Might as well just go ahead and cover all the bases while you're a noob so that way those other more intermediate skills come more naturally as you progress.
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RichardClairemont Adios amigos
Indepth
PostPosted: 07 July 2010 - 14:39:32 (652)  Reply with quote
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Hmm, yeah this is all very methodical, probably to the point where if I was learning to mix myself, I'd find it not very much fun. Just mix and find stuff out for yourself..

there's no rule as to where to cue up in a track, as someone previously said usually you mix out of the remaining 1 minute and 30 secs mark but you can cue up much earlier than that and if the tracks sound nice have them running together for a while, it's all trial and error, some tracks will sound nicely together, other's won't.

as for the structure of a tune, practice early mixes with tunes from the discover label... they fit together like a jigsaw most of the time.
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Beadoleoma
PostPosted: 25 July 2010 - 16:35:13 (732)  Reply with quote
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Do you even listen to the music you play? The questions you are asking are things that could be answered by listening for what makes a track. It's great to ask questions, but if you listen to the music that you play with DJing in mind, things should make sense creatively. There is no textbook answer here, just have fun with the music happy
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Beadoleoma Starcraft II
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