I need some tips and feedback

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Member Since: May 11, 2017

Hello, my name is Melanie and I am new to this forum. I would like to appologise in advance if this is not the right place for my topic.
A friend of mine told that Redbull and Vola Open Air are sponsoring a Dj contest at www.voubs.com, and it is open for amateurs like me. So I am decided to give it a try and participate in that contest. The best 4 Djs are going to perform live at Vola Open Air 2017 in Bulgaria and this might be the chance of my life.

I have two mixes and I am wondering with which one I should enter into the contest. Or maybe I should start working on a new one.
Like most of the amateurs I am doubting myself and I need some feedback.



If there is someone who would like to give me some useful tips, I would appreciate it. Or an advice from someone with past experience with this type ot contests.

Thank you in advance!

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Since: Apr 03, 2002

May 11, 2017 11:50 am

Personally, I thought the first one was too busy and had elements at too many different levels and frequencies. Didn't enjoy it. The second I liked, it seemed to be a better mix and more musical.

That being said, DJ/Techno isn't really my thing, personally, but that is my take on it.

Since: May 11, 2017

May 11, 2017 12:53 pm

Thank you, I appreciate your feedback!

Since: Dec 04, 2007

May 11, 2017 07:04 pm

First off, I don't really have time to listen to a full hour's worth of music in one sitting, let alone 2. So I skimmeed through various elements in each mix to try to get an overall impression so I could provide some feed back and general rules of thumb.

First tip: ALWAYS check your mix in MONO! Many house and PA systems are set up to be dual mono rather than stereo setup. Mono compatibility is important, so that you make sure you aren't losing elements of the mix when it is played back in that situation. Often times a mix that sounds good in mono playback will sound really good in stereo.

2nd: Be wary of harsh frequencies and "mud" Harshness can occur in the mid range around 1000-1500Hz. The question is, how much of that audio information do you want, does it help the mix? Does cutting that EQ range help or hurt the mix? How much of a cut, and how wide? Harshness and fatigue can also occur if there is a lot of information in the sibilant range 5KHz to 8Khz. Overly bright can cause a mix to sound more fatiguing and hissy rather than silky smooth.

Mud can be present in low-mids around 400-800Hz. While that can provide a sense of warmth to a mix, it can also create a muddy muffled sound if there is too much information in that region.

So, treat individual elements/instruments as needed to get them sounding their best within the scope of the entire mix.

I agree the 2nd link is more balanced to my ears in general, and across my monitors. The first mix definitely seems "cold" and has a lot of mid range elements and information that kind of clash. You may need to see listen closely to how those elements are sitting in a mix, and separate them out via EQ accordingly so they're not butting heads within the offending frequencies.

3rd: Compression: Just don't overuse it, that's all I ask. I realize it is useful in EDM to add flavor, punch, and ducking to pump the beat, but overuse can just make things sound more squashed than they need to be. In more acoustic or rock music, compression works best when you don't notice it doing it's job. Though with electronic and EDM, you might use a little more. Ya know, keep it tasteful, not nasty.

4th: think about how sound waves propagate from a speaker driver. Lower frequencies tend to expand like a bubble in all directions. Mid frequencies tend to spread forward in wide bands/cones from the speaker. High frequencies tend to move forward like a beam, and are very directional. Think about how the elements of a mix are going to move from speakers in general, and how different frequencies are going to be heard in both a mono and stereo system, and how they're going to move through a room. That might help with the sense of space in a mix.

5th: And, as a mixer, I'm sure this has been harped on, and I and other engineers will continue harping it until we're blue in the face: If you don't have a treated mixing space, you're shooting at a moving target in the dark. Bass traps in the corners, panels on the back wall, behind speakers, and at primary reflection points. Try to aim for room symmetry if it's at all possible.

I don't know what your room is like or if it's treated, but if not, a bit of Roxul or Owens Corning can go a long way. I realize most of this is pretty generic info, but they are the rules of thumb I use in most situations.

Hope it helps.

Since: Apr 03, 2002

May 12, 2017 12:10 pm

Great feedback, J-bot...I hope coolo comes in, I'd like to read his take.

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