Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

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Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby brennan » Wed Jun 12, 2013 5:58 pm

I'm curious to hear what techniques other DJ's use when transitioning between tunes. This is in reference to vinyl only.

I've tried many different techniques but would like to hear how others do it. I play most major genres of JA music (ska, rocksteady, reggae, DJ and rub a dub) and transitions with JA vinyl can be a bit awkward at times as most of you know. While I do at least transition into tunes with similar BPM's I'm hoping for some new ideas to sweeten it up :)
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Rico » Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:57 pm

Take away the first tune, anbd put the second on the table.

Thats the way i do it at home and when im out to play with the soundsystem ;-)
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby dan i dubdub » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:51 pm

Like Rico says
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby jb welda » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:21 pm

or line up about a dozen or so tracks on the same riddim and start one up when the previous one finishes. this wont solve the problem but will cut it down to size.

also keep in mind the manner in which most Jamaican selectors "mix", especially if you take studio one for an example...there is no "mix" per se, its end one and bang start the next sometimes even cutting off the prior tune.

so you got lots of latitude there I would say.

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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Mick Sleeper » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:56 pm

My only advice would be: let most of a song play before you switch to the next tune. Drives me nuts when I hear about a minute of a song and then [wonk] we're on to the next tune, even if it's a smooth transition.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby dan i dubdub » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:31 am

Thanks for saying that Mick, 1 minute tunes bug me crazy. Reggae isn't really so much about mixing as it is about knowing your tunes and getting the sequence and timing right in your set. Earl Gateshead has some interesting things to say about this in his new blog, which I saw on FB (I can't get access here so can't provide a link).
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Living Bate » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:14 am

one thing I think works pretty well is cutting the bass on the tune that's playing, just before you play the next tune.....

it makes the next one drop a little harder, without spoiling the tune currently playing...
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby skunkride » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:24 am

As Living Bate say cutting the bass always help. Also never cut the intro of a tune, usually a crucial part for a tune to hit as it should. Many reggae selectors use siren/sampler/mic/delay which can help between tunes.

dan i dubdub wrote:Earl Gateshead has some interesting things to say about this in his new blog,

Here is the Earl Gateshead writing : ... 7201652010

This is my second attempt at writing a blog. I'm saying , what I think about DJing. it's called.


I've been DJing , for a mad length of time ......most people look blank, when I tell them about it......It's 33 years actually. It's difficult for people to get their heads around it. Most people,I talk to, wern't born when I started......... I've had, at least one, weekly DJ residency, for that entire time. No breaks at all. Most weeks, during that 33 year period, I spent at least 10 hours DJing in public. Often double that ........ That theory, that you have to do something, for 10.000 hours, before you're good at it...... I've just done a few sums. I calculate, I've DJ'd to people, for more than double 10.000 hours. 20.592 hours actually, and that's not counting practice and making tapes.

I'm not telling you about my past, because I think that you might be interested... I don't usually talk about it, I've seen the blank looks, on people's faces, when it does come up. Anyway, who cares? You're only as good as you were, in the last set you played. The ghosts of rooms past, won't help you, with the crowd, in front of you tonight. Those wild girls, who used to electrify the dancefloor, are visiting the grandkids this evening.... What happened years ago, isn't of much interest to tonights crowd, they're busy, living in their own moment. No.... I know my past doesn't matter. I'm telling you, because, I honestly believe, my background, has given me some insight into DJing. I know that, almost everyone, thinks they've got extra insight, into DJing. So I mention, the amount of time, I've spent doing it, in order to justify myself, for suggesting, that my insight, may possibly have some value........

To tell you the truth, I don't believe, that there's much understanding of what the DJ actually does. Like so much in music, it's a black art. There's magic involved. I find, that, even many DJ's. don't actually understand the forces, that are at work, when music is played. You're likely to struggle with this yourself, but remember,..... 32 non stop years!......... Music is aural magic, we don't even know, why we like hearing it. There's virtually no understanding, of what attracts people, to listening to music.

What I'm going to say next, may lose some of you. Whenever I've told people, I've seen them, look a bit, disbelieving. I rarely do tell, because I know it makes people uncomfortable. What is inexplicable, often disturbs people, and overall, perhaps understanably, they'd rather not think about it. But, I'd like you, to know the truth. So here we go.................... I've had my Tarot read, 5 or 6 times in my lifetime. Every time, I've had it read, the passage of time, has demonstrated, that the cards, have accurately predicted my future. Because Tarot, has been proved true for me, I have some faith in it..........Errrrrr I would like to now, draw a comparison, between The Tarot and DJing.............. Before cards are read, you shuffle the pack thouroughly. You then, hand them back, to the Tarot reader, and he/she lays out the cards, in the order,that you have left them. There are billions, of possible combinations, of the cards. The order, you shuffle them into, will be unique to you.........What I believe, is that everybody, has their own energy. I think, when you shuffle the cards, you put your own energy into them, and the order that you leave them in, in some way, reflects you entirely.

Likewise with DJing, only more so. There are millions, even billions of recorded tunes, in the world. Tunes, which very obviously, contain emotion, culture and attitude. The music, the DJ chooses to play. and the sequence. he/she plays it in, is one sequence, in trilllions of possibilities. I believe, that sequence, contains, the personal energy, of the selector. Because of the aural nature of music. That energy is spread to the listener.......So that, when listening, to the sequence of tunes, the DJ has chosen, the audience isn't just hearing the songs, but is subconsciously, feeling the heart of the selector. I know that's mad, but I know it's true too. Whether or not they enjoy what they hear, depends on, what they feel, coming from the selectors heart...........

I said before, no one understands, what makes music work, and it's true. The nearest we can get, to understanding why we like it, is that, it makes us feel something. Each piece of music, produces a feeling, in the listener. There is of course, a huge and subtle range of human emotion. An almost infinite range of mixed feelings........ When you feel something, what you feel, is related, to however you felt, directly before that. So, if for example, the feeling produced by the music is tension, (it's easier than you might think, for a DJ to create tension in a crowd, ) and the emotion, produced by the next song, is joy. That feeling of joy, will be amplified , it will be greater, than if the song, had been played in isolation, because it follows tension............. What I'm saying is, you'll feel more joy if you've just been tense, than if, for examle the prior tune had made you happy. If those kind of connections are constant, during the set, then the amount of feeling produced will increase steadily. (The crowd goes off)................................ The job of the DJ is to accumulate and amplify emotion, in the listener.


I say this to people, and they plainly, don't believe me. But I think, that in terms of the atmosphere created, and the energy, that spreads through the crowd. Then within reason, the order, that the selector plays the tunes in, is more crucial, than what you actually play.

It's my truth.

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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby lankou » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:10 am

DJ mixes, selector selects, it's as simple as that,imho.
Fully agree with the other posts, just fed up to hear juggling of 1mn tunes -if not less.
I don't care about perfect transitions, just don't want to hear JA music being played like rap,electro or r&b, too much harm has already been done in this regard. Let the music do the talking ! Cutting the bass can be a good option,which is far from necessary, though, esp. if you play older sounds. This comes from a person who' s more into vibes than pure technique. :wink:
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Ringo » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:21 am

I can't stand people trying to mix reggae, it really grates. Juggling on the same rhythm's OK, but never mixing different rhythms. A lot of people forget about the necessity of a little space in music, got to let it breathe, and the audience too. A good selector won't always hammer one tune straight after the last every time, that one deck original style still works, building the anticipation for what they're going to play next, thats why people like Shaka & Mikey Dread still hold an audience with that style. A few years ago I used to get kids only used to dance music thinking any space was a mistake, they'd look disappointed or shout "mind the gap", but people seem to be getting the hang of it more these days :D

I agree with Mr Gateshead about the order, but you've got to have the right tunes in the box to start with, selecting is about choosing which tunes to play (selecting starts in the record shop!) as much as what order so that you can guide the audience, slowing things down and then building up the excitement again.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby james19 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:01 am

A little bit of echo (if you have that facility on your mixer) between transitions sounds nice I think....
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby pinup » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:34 pm

james19 wrote:A little bit of echo (if you have that facility on your mixer) between transitions sounds nice I think....

Thats the one for me. Bit of echo, maybe a little blast from the siren, play the next tune.
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby underated » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:18 pm

So many options,
cut frequencies, add fx,tempo changes.
There are no rules for a set, ok the old ja vinyl is low vol & many tracks are laid back & chilled so why not liven things up ?

I really don't like the pull up thing though, to me that's so played out .

I can still listen to the old selectas playing the song followed by the version, must say though i prefer crazy mixes nowadays .
Listening too much to beatport dj's :)
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Re: Transitions when mixing JA vinyl

Postby Roman » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:54 pm

Instead of mixing reggae tunes - why don't you enjoy them instead? A selecta enjoys tunes he plays while a typical dance music dj doesn't. Big, serious and respected sound systems never do that so why shoudld we? Transitions are for the dance music like hip hop, house, d'nb' (perhaps even for some modern dancehall 2) etc but not for heavyweight roots reggae. Imo reggae mixes only sound good as long as they consist of tunes pon the same riddim. Like this one: But mixing different riddims doesn't work
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