How to make a dj mixtape - live vs software

How to make a dj mixtape - live vs software play video
Written by: Dexxter Clark
how to make a dj demo mixtape?
In this video I`ll talk about mixing live versus mixing software.
What are the pros and cons of both methods, the best workflow and the best mixing techniques?
Let`s find out!

video transcription

There are 2 ways of making a mixtape:
doing it live and recording it and the other is in a other software program.

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In this video I’ll dive into mixing a live mixtape versus mixing a dj demo in software.
The up and downsides to both methods and some mixing techniques for DAWs.

And what has a pencil to do with a casette tape? The generation that grew up with cassettes know the answer.
For the ones who don’t, stick around till the end of the video.
Let’s take it away


For those who are new here
My name is Dexxter Clark and I do vlogs, reviews, livestreams and tutorials about DJing and producing.
Special shoutout to my Patreon supporters.

Everyone can make a mixtape by putting some songs sequential on a cd or digital file.
It started out as putting songs on a casette tape, hence the name mixtape.

But a DJ mixtape has it’s own set of challenges.
Tracks need to be in the same key and tempo to mix.
And sound only right when you mix them in the right spot
But I’m not telling you new stuff here.

The purpose of a mixtape is to let people hear how you dj.
A mixtape is good for 3 things:
showing of your mixing skills, [mixer]
showing of your track selection skills [hand for eyes en point]
and understanding a flow of a set. [flow]

for both methods you have to have a proper track selection.
search for songs that are a good match.
I like to make playlists when I find good combinations when practicing

rekordbox can give you suggestion: made a video about related tracks and track matches links in description and card above.
I won’t go into detail how to find good matches.

Recording recording a live set.
That can be from your own bedroom.

A live mixtape is created by a real human being with
real human emotions
on real dj equipment in a kind of live situation where things can go wrong.
you have the most connection with the mix and music and know best what is for the atmosphere in terms of songs and transitions.
I think you think you can hear that in warmth and personality.

the computer mix can feel dead and too perfect. you can miss the personal element.
downside: 50 song mix screw up at no 49, have to do it all over again.

For a live mix: make a playlist with all the songs in rekordbox
practice a try run transitions with this playlist
and write down songs and transitions in a mixlist [list write down]

now record. record function in rekordbox can help with certain dj controllers and pioneer devices. [RECORD FUNCTION RECORDBOX] [CDJ] [fader open] [usb cable in mixer] [usb cable computer]
I want to mention that that is a recorder from Reloop in the form factor of a mixtape.

if you are super good, you can make a mixtape in one run,
without writing anything down, everything on the fly and improvise.

In your DAW.
Mixing in your DAW is a bit controversial. A lot consider it cheating.
I am curious to your opinion. How many dj’s think it Is cheating?

With software you can do much more trickery and cool stuff. multiple songs mashups no problem.
You can add extra sound effects like risers, bass drops etc.
The possibilities a pretty much endless.

dedicated-mix-software would be quicker than a DAW, but on the other hand with a DAW you can do everything.
I tried Mashup by Mixed in key software, but when I tried it, there was a bug in the software that caused the tracks to run out of sync when playing, that where in synch when editing. Maybe they fixed it in the meantime.

There are 2 approaches
Every new song has a new track and mix between all the tracks.
or 2 tracks with al the songs. one is deack A and other Deck B and mix in between. [2 tracks vs mulitple tracks]

I think the 2 track approach is faster, and you use less system resources.
You have only plugins one 2 tracks in stead of 30.

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Some mixing techniques in DAWs are:
-of course the volume fade
-and the high/low cut filters

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use other effect plugins like echo, reverb, delay like you would do on a DJM mixer

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-use sidechain ducking from one track on the other.
you can even automate the sidechain input level to make the effect increase over time.

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-repeat certain sections, you can even make a buildup that way.
Place a riser underneath and you have the perfect tension builder

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-multiple songs mashup

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-take just the sections of a song you like. Cut the song up and just use the parts you want

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-do you have daw mixing tips for other djs, let us know in the comments below

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If you make a template in your DAW, you only have to set it up once, and you can re-use it next time.

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I made special step-by-step tutorials for Ableton, Studio One and Logic.
You can find links to those videos in the description below

When you want to release your mixtape, you can do that on soundcloud and mixcloud.
Although soundcloud is more popular, I had some trouble in the past that soundcloud deletes my mixtape.due to “copyright” issues.

Mixcloud appearently has struck a deal with licencees so you can upload copyrighted music without any problem.
Why soundcloud couldn’t do that, I don’t know.

Let’s go back to the pencil and the casette tapes.
Casette tapes had an a and b side.
If side A was full, you have to turn it around for side B.
When you where at the end of side B, turn it around and you are at the beginning of side A.
But if wanted to skip forward or backwards you had to rewind the tape.
A tapedeck could do that, but if you did not wanted to stick it in the tapedrive you could rewind of forward the tape with a pencil.
because the octogonal shape of the pencil fits perfectly in the gears of a casette.

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photo author dexxter clark
Dexxter Clark
Music Producer / YouTuber

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