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Any tips on mixing Techno?

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So long story short, over the last couple of weeks my ability to mix techno has hit the wall. My phrasing is all gacked up and my beatmatching is rubbish. I can mix all the other genre's and hoohaa's without any worries but i just cant seem to get the flow of techno back :(
Do any of you guys have any hectic pro tips or little thingomabobs  that you pay attention to or make sure you do when mixing this genre? Any and all advice is welcome!  

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that's bizarre actually but i guess it does happen. it's not overly complicated man. try mixing house and work your way into techno. the principles are very much the same so just keep practising. try not to over-think what you're doing either :)

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No offense intended with this reply, I am blunt like the back end of an axe. But like @LabRat stated, mixing Techno is not all that difficult. I'm going to make an educated assumption that you're perhaps not used to mixing tracks for more than 15 to 30 seconds?

Mixing Techno is similar in a way to mixing Trance where you are mixing 1min to 2mins to even 3mins depending on the tracks and what you want to do with them. Now, you do need to take this with a grain of salt because everyone is different and apply their own mixing styles to the genre they're mixing. Techno is one of those genres that you can have 3 or 4 tracks playing at once. Best person to watch live doing this is Carl Cox, which I would suggest you do. That would fix your phrasing issues. As for your beat matching, I can't answer that one. It is one of the most basic skills you need to hone on your own. Pay attention to the BPM you set your pitch fader to. Make sure they are accurate. Time and practise will show you that you'll be able to do most beat matching on the fly and it will become muscle memory.

I'm not sure if you will make sense of this, but I'll deconstruct how I mix two typical Techno tracks together.

Let's say that Track A is playing at a typical 128BPM and is in a D major key. Assuming that you're either using Traktor, Serato or Rekordbox; you will be able to see the waveform of the track giving you an indication where the breakdowns and main parts of the track are. Because I have been DJing for many years you can almost always assume (genre depending) that a track outro for a Techno track starts around the 2min30sec/2min/1min30sec/1min depending on how the track was produced. You'll be able to figure this out by looking at the waveform's or knowing your music (which all DJs should). From there you'll have your cue point to mix Track B from.

Now Track B is also at 128BPM, but is in an A-flat major key. If you know about how to key mix you'll know that these keys can be harmonious and sound natural provided that the tracks have been produced with an intro/outro staying in the one key (clashing keys are never good). On the incoming track I tend to look at the intro wave form and set cue points around the 30 second mark, 1 min mark depending what I want to do.

As Track A approaches my desired cue point, I hit play, make sure the track is beat matching with the fader B down in my headphones. Once that is all good, I mix the track in with all the EQs down and the fader up using the booth monitors to mix it all in keeping and ear for that beat wondering if it ever happens. Lets be honest it rarely happens with controllers unless the producer who made the track is a douche or the software has been configured incorrectly.

Last thing I will say to you is this though, reading all the advice is a great tool to put theory to practise, but being shown hands on what has been said ^ up here puts you hours ahead of learning on your own.

I hope that helps you mate, if you have questions I'm hanging around :)

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Thanks guys, no offense taken to anything at all, don't stress it :) 
I think @LabRat has a good point with the over thinking, I reckon i'm actually psyching myself out with trying really hard to think about what to do, rather than trust my instincts and the feeling of what I am doing. 
I feel as well that i may be impatient with my mixing of this genre. going for too many quick cuts and hard mixing rather than letting the tracks have time to breathe and dance together. 
I'll also watch some Carl Cox today at work because i'm lucky enough to sit on a computer for 8 hours a day :compress:
In terms of beatmatching @NitroMonkey You are very right. I think I'm going to start setting my Serato to "Library" view and mix without any visual cues so I can really understand and get the hang of proper beatmatching by ear. 
I'm going to have a Mix tonight keeping all of this in mind and will post the results for critique. 


Thanks for taking the time fellas, I really appreciate it 

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When I only had a controller, i used to leave it it in library view, pick the tracks i wanted to mix, and then turn the brightness on my laptop screen to 0 so i couldn't see anything. This way you learn to trust your ears properly.

 

Techno is straight 4/4, BPM varies depending on the style, but you'll generally get a constant kick, and it's pretty common to have a ride on the off beat. As opposed to house, where you'll have kick, then snare/clap on the 2. Key is to just focus on the kick. As @NitroMonkey said - the mixes are longer, generally 1 min+, with no real limit to how long, as long as the tracks work together. 

Find some stuff with dominant kicks and not too much else going on - learn to mix that without visual cues, and progress :thumright:

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9 minutes ago, Mitch said:

This way you learn to trust your ears properly.

THAT is something i have to cultivate. I'm always doubling back to adjust the beat when it's actually fine, just because i'm unsure or don't trust my ears . I'm keen to give it a crack and see what i can do :) 

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