If you wish to become a professional DJ, you first need to master the skills of audio mixing. This takes time, and you should start learning the basics of audio mixing with a professional who has some years of experience in the field. As a beginner, you should understand what audio mixing is. It is the process of taking audio tracks and blending them naturally together. There are various processes used for blending this music together, and they are Reverb, Compression, and EQ. The objective of mixing tracks is to create the best out of the multi-track recording you choose. Here, you need to make some adjustments in levels, audio effects with time (like delay, reverb, and chorus) and panning. Every DJ needs to make sense of the tracks adjusted, making them relevant to each other.
James Haidak – Mastering the art of track mixing
James Haidak is a popular producer and DJ from Koh Phangan in Thailand and Amsterdam. He was born in Washington D.C., and discovered his passion for electronic music at a very young age. He decided to pursue his dream for music when at 17 years and bought his own Ableton music software to learn the basics of mixing, sound design, and production.
Mixing with different tracks
He says that a multi-track recording is more than one track, and these tracks are referred to as stems. When it comes to choosing tracks, there is never a right or a wrong number of choosing stems. The final result of all these tracks is called a mixdown, and this is the last step before the mastering phase.
Get the basics right
He adds, it really does not matter if you have been recording song tracks with pre-amps or microphones or have been using sample packs that are pre-recorded. If you want to be a good DJ, you should get the fundamentals correct. In order to be an experienced producer, you need to be in control of your artistic and creative talents that will take your music to the next levels. Over time you will become a skilled producer.
In order to get started as a beginner, he recommends you to keep in mind the following steps-
- Choose your mixing software
- Set up the audio mixing session
- Name the tracks properly
- Use color codes for different groups of tracks
James Haidak also gives you a final tip that creating a bus helps. Imagine a yellow-colored school bus. Picture this bus with different colors of sounds sitting inside. You can send many sounds to this bus (one track) and apply similar processors to every one of them at once. This comes in useful, especially if you are a beginner. You can even try out the same technique on another drum bus. This permits you to process all the drum sounds as a single unit. Treating them with the same reverb permits you to create the perception that every one of them is inside the same space. Likewise, you can set up separate buses for compression and delay as well.