THE Mixing Technique that Every DJ Needs to Know | DJ Tips Ep06

Whether you're a beginner getting to grips with mixing or a pro having to multitask a load of different things in the DJ Booth, this mixing technique is a great one to have in your trick bag. Have you ever wondered how to use the loop function to do a clean mix? I've explained it all here.. or at least I've tried to!


I know that I said this series was about everything that the mixing tutorials don't tell you, but this little golden nugget is worth breaking rules for! This series is all about DJing Tips, Tricks and Hacks to help you on your journey to being a mixing master. I've learned everything I know about DJing through trial and error over the years and I'm sharing those experiences with you here, for free, just so you don't have to go through the pain of figuring it out yourself!


Today we’re going to be talking about a ridiculously easy mixing technique. I'll try my best to explain it in written form, but I think it's much easier to understand from the video (scroll to the bottom of the page).

 

I call this technique the 'Loop & Go'


It's good for beginners as it really takes the pressure off when you’re practising and just getting used to beat matching and balancing the EQs. Because the loop keeps playing continuously, it gives you more time to make adjustments than when you mix and bring the fader up straight away. You can get the new track ready, cued up in your headphones, for when it's time to bring it in and do the mix with the track that is currently playing out.


I’ve used the Loop & Go many times at the club when there’s a lot going on- CO2, lights, people on the table next to the booth trying to get my attention, security coming over, tv screens being weird... the list goes on. As a guest DJ you probably won't ever have to deal with all of this but when you have a residency you have much more responsibility. This is a quick, reliable way to mix that is pretty foolproof and allows your attention to be taken elsewhere without sacrificing a decent mix. It’s how I’ve taught other people how to mix because it takes the pressure off getting the phrasing right.


In the video, I demonstrate in Serato using my Roland 2020 but the same theory applies for anything you’re mixing on/with.


STEP 1 - Select Track

You have one track playing and you need to mix in the next one. You select a track that has an appropriate BPM , Key & genre then load it on to the other deck.


STEP 2 - Cue & Loop

Go to the point in the track where you want to start mixing it in. If this is one of your first mixes ever you might want to just mix from the very start of the track. On a controller it might be easier to use a Hot Cue or you can just use the Cue button. Next you want to create a loop- either 1 or 4 beats are easiest. I would recommend 4 beats/1 bar though as this is easiest to align with a new phrase.


STEP 3 - Mix in the New Track (cued in Headphones)

The next thing you need to do is mix in the new track with the Fader for it down so that you can only hear it Cued in the headphones. You can use the Cue pad to count yourself in and then you press and hold the cue pad down to keep the track playing. It will stop if you take your finger off so you have to press the Play button to keep it going so you can move your hand away. I use this technique on CDJs a lot too and I think it was my friend Juilen Cossan (@omfgdude) who told me about it when I was first starting out.


STEP 4 - Bring the fader up & mix out of the 'old' track

When you get to the point in the track where you want to bring the new track in, bring up the fader and make any EQ/other adjustments. Release the loop when you don't need it anymore- this doesn't can be at any point in the loop. You can then start to mix out the other track.


In summary...

So, you’ve got the correct channel Headphone cued. Load the track & adjust the pitch. Then you’re going to use the hot cue to go to the point in the song where you’re going to mix it in. Set the loop. You’re then going to bounce on the cue button on the beat to get the tracks in time, then press & hold + hit the play button to keep it going. If it’s not quite right, no worries, use the jog wheel to adjust it or repeat the process. You then adjust the EQ and slowly start to bring the new track in at the right time. Release the loop when you want the new track to continue playing and you’re going to start to take the old track out.

 

When you’re literally just getting used to mixing one track into another just focus on getting the beats aligned. When you feel like you’ve got this pretty dialed, you want to start thinking about phrasing. Generally, you want the end of a phrase of the track you’re mixing out to align with the start of a phrase on the new track. As the majority of phrases are in multiples of 4, this increases your chances of it sounding like a good mix. Start off with a 1 bar loop for this, then increase it to 2 and then 4 bars.


There are so many different ways to learn mixing and this is one that I think takes the pressure off thinking about phrasing, and allows you to focus on getting the tracks in time with each other as well as the EQs balanced.

 

Let me know if you give it a try and have any questions. Also let me know if you want me to do any more videos explaining anything that I’ve mentioned in this video!


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