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
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