Home Forums The DJ Booth trying to mix trance

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    Jim Dolecek

    I’m a starting out to dj and i’m trying to learn to mix trance, my question is since trance has a lot of breakdowns in it…..in a club setting do you do your mix before the breakdown?

    Alex Moschopoulos

    I’ve been mixing trance since 1997.

    How you mix comes down to your own style, but I’ll say the breakdown is big to the fans of trance. HOWEVER, you can make a set go to crap if you do one breakdown to the next. When it seems you’re playing the same tune over and over.

    My way has been mainly to mix in, play the tune, and then mix out on the last 2 minutes of the tune. I’ll usually edit tunes shorter if I notice they seem to go through the “main meat”, then repeat a second time. My goal in blends though is to not have “dead points”, where you just hear basic rhythms, but more to have one tune kick in when the other one is letting go.

    The real trick through is more in how you program your set. For me, I like to play epic/uplifting instrumental tunes, and toss in some vocal tunes to break up the potential monotony. At some points in the set, I’ll play in trance that is seemingly not the typical. Lately it’s been tunes that use 303 acid tweaks, or even ones that verge more on harder techno. From there, I’ll gradually bring things back to more epic/uplifting trance and finish it out on a good note.

    I’m adamant on tunes that musically work with one another. I don’t really do the harmonic thing, but more trial and error to find out in advance what works with what.

    I’d tell you to listen to sets and learn from that. Play as you wish and find your style. If you have more free time and ambition, try producing…even if it’s just mashups.

    Peter Lindqvist

    I’ve been playing alla sorts of electronic dance music since the 80’s. I don’t think you should think about it like you have to mix Trance in a certain way. Every track has parts that make them special. That can be a vocal, drop, break/build up…. or anything really. Those are the parts you want to be in the mix. If you take it to the next level, live gigs, there you really have to use the part of the track that makes people dance. If you mix your sets up with other genres the same rules apply.

    Anthony Lewis

    I agree with D-jam on all of his points. I play mostly progressive trance and tech trance and sprinkle in some techno. I prefer to mix towards the end of the track as trance have lots of layers of sounds that evolve over time and if you try to mix too soon in a track it could sound like a mess.



    I DJ Trance, I signed up to the forum to see if I can help you…
    I mostly DJ the uplifting 138 – 140 BPM style, as someone said before, with Trance it’s very important that the two tracks blend together harmonically, it won’t sound good if the melodies are not a good match / clash, I also do not completely rely on the detected key, even though two tracks have the same key it might not necessarily blend well (the key also changes if you change the BPM).
    There is usually a change every 16 bars in Trance (melody coming in / out etc) and it has a pretty standard formula, the best time to start mixing is when there 48 – 64 bars remaining, for example, if there is a final outro break down I would sometimes start the track there then once the beat starts again I would start bringing in the next track.
    With Trance I’ve always found that using a basic ‘bass swap’ works really well, so with the track you are bringing in, cut the low / bass eq completely, then swap the bass (bring bass up on new track, down on old track quickly) at either the next 16 or 32 bars change (this will depend on the track itself, so trial and error required) this technique sounds really good in the mix.
    Also if some part of the track is over powering whilst bringing in the new track I gradually cut a tiny bit of the hi or mid eq out before I do the bass swap to make it blend better if there are any clashes with hi hats etc.
    Then you can either move the crossfader gradually / turn down the line fader or gradually move the remaining eq’s down to kill for a smooth mix until the old track has finished, whatever style you prefer.
    It does not always work like that 100%, but I hope I’ve given you a basic guide to get you started!

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