Tuesday, 5 July 2011

House Be Boppin ..

A long time has passed since I've recorded a mix with the sole purpose of focussing on evolving what I've leant so far about the sounds of music and digital DJing.

I recall describing one of my earlier mixes as "Schizo" to a listener. Even though all the tracks were breakbeat, there was too much change of flow of which none were pleasant to the ear. I've had to pay more attention to how a mix begins, carries, and ends which means having a much better understanding of my track selection. I've since made good use of the star rating system and lately I've spent time re-categorising my track collection.

I was needy of sub-genre categorisation to ease and speed up my selection process when flicking through tens, maybe even hundreds, of tracks and cueing the next tune. So I've started to work through and sort everything by flavour. So now for example, instead of looking at all of my favourite tracks in each genre, I can sort by vocal and non vocal tracks to ensure that I don't get voice clashes which sounds awful at best. Better (or automated) control and less time thinking about track names, more time working on the blend. I also found that a lot of my tracks lost the assigned information after my last clean install so I'm having to go through each track to modify and get the ID3 tags written.

DJkit launched it latest competition to win a pair of Novation Dicers at the beginning of July. Entry is as simple as submitting a mix. The criteria is Summer Tunes. So whatever your take is on what a summertime mix set should sound like will be listened to and judged. Yes it's a difficult one to win because whoever determines the short list is ultimately in control of the winner. So to some people a mix might be the best they ever heard, whilst with others it might be the worst. Challenging!

With the competition in mind and some newly sorted tracks, I decided it was time to stop streaming every mix for a moment and get back to mixing 100% focussed on the music and not being diverted to check the thing it still streaming every 30 seconds. I dug into the newly formed house folder with new ratings and dropped eleven tracks in 35 minutes. Am I pleased? Getting there. I've submitted it for judging. I don't mind winning or loosing, it's the taking part that counts as well as being able to get back to recording a mix with nothing in mind but delivering as higher level performance as possible.

Must have been lucky, or just in the zone.