Every smart digital DJ understands the power of being able to mix acapellas – vocal-only tracks – into their DJ sets. Whether your ultimate aim is to get better paid gigs, add a new DJing skill to your repertoire, make your mixes stand out from the crowd, or just to have more fun with your DJing, it’s an essential skill. Acapella Mixing Masterclass takes you step by step from complete beginner to being able to perform live DJ remixes, mashups and more using acapellas, with clear demonstrations that you can follow along with.
Acapella Mixing Masterclass is a complete video course, delivered online in full HD, viewable on your computer, tablet or smartphone, so you can learn anywhere. With “over the shoulder” screen recordings, detailed follow-alongs, plus downloadable supporting documents, it’s everything you need in one place. What’s more, pay once and it’s yours for life, so you can take it at your own speed and refer back to it whenever you want.
What you'll learn
- How to keep your acapella mixing as tight and professional as any studio-produced remix or mashup
- How to avoid lame, out of key, out of time acapella “mixes” like those of countless lesser DJs
- How to master song structure and keymixing for properly fitting, harmonically matched acapella mixes
- How to perform tricks with FX, loops, “loop shifting”, cue points, extra decks and more
- How to perform pro techniques like mashups, drastic tempo shifts and genre changes
- The secrets of where and how to use acapellas in your DJing (and where you definitely shouldn’t)
- How to master digital DJing’s advantages, like beatgridding, online acapella banks, multiple decks…
- How to deal with “problem” acapellas, so no acapella need be a problem any more to use
- Where to find the most sought-after acapellas, both free and paid for
- Our suggestions for “must have” acapellas, including a “top ten” list of absolute greats…
Full Course Details
As you begin the course, we’ll outline for you why our method is absolutely authentic and takes no short-cuts, but at the same time doesn’t miss out on all the cool tricks of digital.
- You’ll learn about different types of acapella that are out there and the differences between them, with examples
- You’ll get a Quickstart PDF and three MP3 beats that you’ll be using throughout the course, free for you to download
- You’ll learn how DJs are using acapellas to create new vocal tracks and how they can be used as a starting point for mashups
- You’ll discover how acapella use can make your DJing more creative and often unique
- We’ll give you an important briefing on the legalities of using acapellas in your mixes, so you can DJ safely with them
Remember record shops? And more specifically, the difference between “High Street” stores and specialist shops? That’s our starting point for this primer on how and where to start looking for acapellas in the online age.
- Our searches start with Google, and you’ll learn some cool tricks, including one where Google finds acapellas for you…
- You’ll learn how to trawl all the main music stores online for acapellas, with a trick for finding ones others will definitely miss
- We’ll show you how to leave the beaten path and start entering the world of free, semi-official and enthusiast acapella sites
- We’ll show you digital download pools – sites that specialise in providing exclusive DJ-friendly acapellas that others often miss
Unless you’re an old skool vinyl-style DJ, you’re going to want to prepare your acapellas by BPM and beatgridding them. We’ll take the fear away and show you how.
- You’ll learn how to BPM/beatgrid in your DJ software, and how to use the sample beats that you get with the course
- We’ll show you how to “transfer” the BPM from the original of a track to the acapella, sense-check the beatgrid and test the results
- You’ll learn several ways of BPMing an acapella should you not have the original and your DJ software can’t help
- Not all acapellas are taken from songs, where they follow an actual rhythm, so we show you how to use these in your DJing
We’ll look at the theory behind getting tracks and acapellas to work together, and show you two solid methods for making it all work.
- You’ll learn how to mix acapellas the “old” way, so that when we move on to automating it, you understand what’s going on
- You’ll learn the beats/bars counting tool for keeping acapella mixes in time, and how singing the song in your head can help
- We’ll show you how to use sync and beatgridding, so you can get tighter results than the manual method
- You’ll see how this frees you up to do more creative things once your acapella is “locked in”, with just a tiny alteration to the technique
You’ll now be at the point where it’s time to take the trainer wheels off, and start to try out some of your own ideas. We’ll give you a thorough understanding of structure and key in order to do this.
- Not got any idea about bars and beats? You’ll learn this so you can analyse the structures of your tracks and acapellas for “tight fits”
- You’ll learn common ways producers “break the rules” – and how to turn them to your advantage in your acapella mixes
- We give you a basic grounding in what you need to know about keys / harmonic mixing in order to mix acapellas harmonically
- You’ll get an introduction to the incredible Camelot and Open Key systems for key detection, to help you spot compatible acapellas
The biggest part of the course is a “cookbook”: Learn skills and techniques adopted by pro DJs when mixing with acapellas, and how to combine them with digital tricks.
- You’ll learn the overarching principles of what makes a great mashup, using a couple of particularly successful examples
- We’ll discuss the pros/cons of various different combinations of “known” and “unknown” acapellas and backing tracks
- You’ll learn how to set load-in and cue points, drop backing tracks in and out, and juggle with cue points
- You’ll master dealing with long gaps in acapellas, and how to use cues to “remember” points for perfect mixes
- We’ll cover mixing acapellas over breakdowns, using them to transition and looping backing tracks (including loop roll)
- You’ll learn how to change tempo and key with acapellas, and how to use echo, delay and filter for stunning mixes