How to Mix Vinyl Record
VINYL RECORDS are very much in tune again, as much for their sonic quality as for their collectability. To get the best sounding results when pressing a record, you need to consider the physical limitations of the medium before you mix. Here are some tips for maximizing the sound of your record, the first time around. when pressing vinyl, you’ll trade off program length versus audio quality, so begin by determining how much music you want on each side of your record. An LP typically holds less than 30 minutes of music, and the width and spacing of the grooves plays an important role in the sound quality of a vinyl record.
Keep in mind that the volume level at which you can cut the tracks is proportional to program length. If you want the record to be loud, you need the largest grooves possible. However, wide grooves take up physical space, so you’ll need to keep the timing of each side short if you want maximum volume.
Basics of the Mix
Yes, DJing on vinyl these days might seem like a bit of a step backwards for most of the aspiring jocks out there, and for some even at bit antiquated. Vinyl still has a place in modern DJing, although it may be more of an enthusiast’s thing -- kind of like film is to the photography world.
Aside from just the cool factor, there are some hardcore fundamentals that one learns when learning to use vinyl that will truly make you a better DJ.
Mixing is the skill of taking two (or more) pieces of music and combining them into a single work.
The principal technique for mixing music is beatmatching, in which a DJ synchronizes the beats of two songs. Let’s take a quick peek at some of these basic components.
Beatmatching: Beatmatching is the act of matching the tempos of two separate tracks so that the beats are hitting in a synchronized fashion. This then allows the two tracks to be played together in unison and create the illusion of playing only one track. This is the fundamental idea behind mixing
The two songs are playing at the same tempo/BPM (Beats Per Minute)
The beats must be in phase – i.e., the rhythmic notes (bass drum, snare drum, etc.) occur at the same times.
Crossfading: Crossfading is a technique that creates a smooth transition from one sound to another. This audio effect works like a fader but in opposite directions, meaning the first source can fade out while the second fades in, and it all mixes together.
It's often used in audio engineering to fill in the silence between two tracks, or even blend multiple sounds in the same song to create smooth changes rather than abrupt ones.
DJ's often make use of the crossfading effect between tracks to enhance their music performance and to make sure that there aren't any sudden silent gaps that could annoy the audience or the people on the dance floor.
Crossfading is sometimes spelled cross-fading and referred to as gapless playback or overlapping songs
To perform a crossfade from the song on the left deck to the song on the right deck:
Position the crossfader to the extreme left so that only the song on the left deck is playing.
Beatmatch the two songs and align the right song with the left song at the point where you would like to perform the crossfade. (See the next section for tips on how to choose the crossfade point.)
When playback reaches the moment you wish to bring in the right song/deck, move the crossfader into the center position.
When playback reaches the time you wish to fade out the left song/deck, move the crossfader all the way to the right.
Choosing the Mix Point: The previous section explains how to perform a crossfade from one song into another, but it does not explain how to align two songs to produce a good mix. In order to choose a good alignment, it’s important to understand how songs are structured.
If you take a look at song annotations, you will notice that most sections are 8 bars or measures in length, or equivalently, 32 beats in songs with 4 bars per beat. There are exceptions, but most music you will encounter follows this pattern: songs are broken into 8-bar/32-beat sections. It is on those sections where you will want to fade in one song or fade out another.
So, when mixing, align the sections of the two songs and then fade in and out within those sections.
In addition to aligning songs in their phrase sections, there are some rules of thumb for selecting the phrase types during which to perform a crossfade. There is much flexibility on where you choose to do a fade, but you should generally avoid fading when both songs have vocals. Intros, Choruses, Breaks, Instrumentals, and Outros are the best sections to do a fade. Verses are almost always a bad time to do a fade.
Looping: Select the section of audio you want to loop (usually 2 bars/8 beats). Once you have obtained your loop section, you have some freedom to mix in your songs. You can essentially create your own break.
Cue Points: A Cue Point is a marker on the track that, when triggered/clicked, will take you to that position in the song. Serato DJ Lite has up to 4 Cue Points. Checkout for affordable Serato dl lite at our store link to purchase https://rockandsoul.com/products/pioneer-dj-ddj-sb3-portable-2-channel-serato-dj-lite-controller?_pos=2&_sid=d695962e4&_ss=r
Cue points are important because they can assist you in the location of the song.
What have we learned? If you want to be creative, you better have sound fundamentals. You have to put yourself in the mindset of trying new things. You have to practice so that new things become commonplace. And the most important thing… know your music.
Now get out there and mix.
Author - Afolayan Adewale