Recently Mixcloud introduced new feature that automatically runs separate charts for every tag (progressive trance, melodic trance for instance). I decided to give it a try and check the very top mixes from weekly charts.
This is somewhat dissapointing. Mixes vary from “I could do that better” to “WTF is this crap”. Seriously, some seemingly popular podcasts feel barely mixed and just random. Today I launched 2nd “progressive trance” mix and was smashed my mainroom rumble at the very beginning. It hurts.
Maybe it’s high expectations, but if something is high on charts and many people enjoy it, I expect the mix of outstanding quality and not just random mock-up of everything author had on hard disk. Not sure what listens to it and why, but I’m sure there must be some real talents somewhere in the world. Or maybe they all got their own radioshows and give up online podcast.
On the other hand, the competition seems to be very poor. The Mixcloud is waiting there to be conquered 🙂 Will need to get some radioshow or even start a podcast someday. The world needs it.
On mixing in general:
As friend Lazarus said, DJ is not a glorified jukebox. It’s not about pushing play with random tracks and yelling “watch me, I am DJ!”. My WInamp can do that and suprisingly it does it pretty well compared to some DJs. It’s about providing consistent quality, an enjoyable experience for the listener. Especially when playing online, where no one cares if you are playing live and interact with public at same time or just have everyting prepared and tested. Internet is the good thing to show off your best.
What makes a good mix? First of all, the mix should be consistent. Abrupt style changes and swapping tracks by force is never pleasant to listener. The mix should grow and flow smoothly – have intro, the body and the finale. That’s why I often merge different styles – upifting trance is nice, but can’t stand it playing over and over for 2 hours straight. There has been alot of research that people are not able to focus on one thing for more that ~30 minutes. So they drop off if nothing changes in the music.
The music, in broader sense, is about combining predictability and suprise. People want to listen to their favourite style, but want also hear something new. They also need variety, but want to know when the drop comes. It’s all about balance, but balance is a product of planning and not randomness. Better have some idea in your mind before starting a mix, otherwise you could just start music player with “shuffle” option on.