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club DJ

If you mix live, you will use an active music collection. If your primary source is vinyl, your records should already be arranged in some order. The most logical basic sequence is already by BPM, with all active records of the same speed grouped together. Within each BPM group, you should now arrange records by keycode.

Live mixers normally DO NOT have any set program. They read their crowd and usually respond to requests. Harmonic mixing in this situation is sort of like shooting pool, in which successful tactics require that you select shots while considering your position for following shots. If you are in keycode 8, for example, and you want to get to keycode 10, then the best tactic would be to select a song in keycode 9. When records are arranged by BPM and keycode, selection is easy. Follow these procedures:

1. Prepare Labels: Using Alphalist and update information, DJ's would prepare a jacket label for each record in their active crates. (Your only vinyl challenge is to make labels. If you mix CD's, you probably already have a system to track individual songs. You would need to adapt your CD system to incorporate keycode information.) The label should include BPM and keycode information for each song (e.g., "122/7A") and should be placed on each record jacket in a consistent position.

2. Organize by BPM: Arrange records in each crate by BPM. All records with the same BPM would then be arranged by keycode. For example: 122/3A, 122/4A, 122/5A etc.

3. Select Harmonically: It should be simple to select a compatible mix from any given song. Since most current dance music tends to cluster in certain BPM ranges, it should be easy to find compatible mixes within a few BPM of your original song. For example, most current hip-hop is around 90 BPM. Most house music is around 126 BPM. Most Eurobeat is in the 130 BPM range.

ADVANTAGES: You will know instantly if potential mixes are harmonic. You will NOT waste precious time testing and rejecting mixes which may synch perfectly, but which are too sour to tolerate. You can quickly select compatible mixes and spend extra time in fine-tuning each mix.