Club Mixing – The Next Level By: John Calvert

April 8, 2008 by Mobile Beat Staff Writer

If you have not read John Anthony’s Beatmixing 101, please read it. This article takes off from where he left off. This article is designed to demonstrate some more advanced mixing techniques used by the more advanced club jocks. Tricks such as flanging, stuttering, juggling, and basic scratching will be discussed. The article has been made in two parts the first part deals with CD and vinyl tricks and the second part deals with vinyl only tricks (scratching, backspin and so on). A scratch can be sampled but it is just not the same.
This is an audible effect. It makes the listener hear what sounds, like a guitar flange peddle, have been used. Playing two identical musical pieces almost perfectly synced up causes this effect. Two sources travelling through a single mixer would cause what is called phase cancellation. Where as, no audio would be heard at all. No format is 100% perfect so they wander off up and down a tiny bit. So when a DJ puts the same song on in the exact spot as the one playing, it causes a wave in the sound. There is no right way to perform this trick it just takes practice to develop the timing needed to pull this of.
The Stutter
This trick is performed almost exclusively by Hip-hop DJs. There are many forms of this trick. The basics behind this trick are putting the snare or clap of one song on the following beat of another copy of the same song. Then using the cross-fader in a back and forth slam to get the vocals to stutter on a word, be it forward or backward. This trick should be used in moderation. It can be annoying to a club patron to hear this trick in every song. They do not care that you have two copies of each song.
The Chase/Echo
This trick is almost like exactly like the stutter. The chase is an effect that works well with songs that the vocals are spaced just far enough apart to fit the line in again. With two copies of a song, place the second song so that the beat mach it is one line behind the first one. Also try to keep the second one’s sound level a fair amount lower than the first. The Echo is the same set up as the stutter. But the fade is brought across and the sound level is way lower so you hear a kind of echo on the sound system. Once again I’d like to state that this trick could get annoying real fast.
Back to Back/ Juggle
This trick draws attention to the DJ and can be overdone. This is a heavily used trick in hip-hop but works really well in any vocal style genre. The basis of this trick to repeat a parse over and over a few times forming a seamless loop of the parse. In the Days when vinyl ruled the earth this trick was to show how good you were at cueing. The advent of the DJ using CD players and MD players has made it become real easy to do. The ability to set cue points and have the cross fader automatically start the CD player at that pinot made this trick common place.
This ends the CD and vinyl part of the article. The reaming tricks can’t be reproduced with out some form of sampling in CD Players. There is nothing wrong with the sampling of scratching but it losses the feeling of live scratching.
Baby Scratch
This is the basis for almost all forms of scratching. It is basically opening the fader and moving the record back and forth over a short sample. Making the sound of a scratch. The speed of the hand and the sample determine the sound you get in result.
This scratch basically started the whole turntablist movement. Performing this scratch is essential to be a great scratch DJ.
Firstly, find the cut in point for your fader. On most mixers there is no dead point on the cross fader. On the scratch/battle mixers there may be a point where the sound cuts in.
Start with the fader turned off.
While slowly “dragging” the sample back-and-forth, cut the sound in quickly
and then quickly cut it back out
And then quickly cut it back in
Keep repeating the “cut in / cut out” motion while dragging the record. Your fader movement should look something like this; start with the fader turned off, stutter the fader over the cut-in point, finish the scratch with the fader turned off.
Alternate the speed of the “dragging” and fader movement to experiment and create new transformer patterns.
First, find the cut in point for your fader.
Start with the fader turned on.
Play the sample forward, just as you finish playing the sample cut the fader off.
Play the sample backwards and quickly turn the fader on at the start of the sample.
Keep repeating this same process over and over:
Sample forward
Cut off at end
Sample backwards
Cut on at start
Keep on practicing until you get a nice even “chirping” sound and hand movement.
This is a really basic trick. It’s simply grabbing the record and forcing it to spin backwards rapidly. Often times this technique is over used. The back spin is the great cop out of a mix gone array, that is to say, when a DJ messes up and can not seam to fix the mix the outgoing record gets backspinned out. If used at the proper time however it can add that little oomph a mix needs.
Stopping on a Beat
Sorry…I could not come up with a cute name for this one. This trick takes exact timing. It involves stopping a song right on the beat so it makes the classic breaking sound that record players make.
The Wind Down
This trick is used only once and a while. It’s just shutting the turntable off by the power switch and letting the song slowly grinding to a halt. Not many places or crowds will tolerate this practice repeatedly.
This ends Mixing 201. Thank you for reading it and hopefully it helps in some way as you develop your own mixing skills and techniques.

Mobile Beat Staff Writer (371 Posts)

This is the general editors account for Mobile Beat Magazine and Website. Who reads Mobile Beat online and in print and attends Mobile Beat events? DJs, VJs and KJs to start with, especially those who own and operate mobile entertainment services. They provide music, video, lighting and a myriad other entertainment choices for corporate events, wedding receptions, dances and innumerable other gatherings.

Filed Under: Mobile DJ Performance Tips