Mix Tape Philosophy

The Ten K Mix Tape Philosophy

I have a very specific philosophy when it comes to producing a mix. I believe that a mix tape should be raw and unedited. Taking a bunch of tracks and using Ableton to make your transitions flawless is not mixing, it’s editing. When I produce a mix tape, whether I record it live or I mix it in the studio, you can rest assured that I produced that mix by using my skill set to blend each track. If I fuck it up, and I often do, I start over. Here are some of the most common questions I get about my mix tapes…

Are Your Mixes Flawless?

Hardly! My mix tapes, especially the live recordings, are never completely perfect. Much the same way your favorite band’s live albums dont sound like the studio versions. It does take a trained ear to find the flaws. I will not release anything that is clearly flawed.

Imagine…I am in a loud and crowded nightclub. I’m mixing – and I typically have no set list so I don’t really know what I’m playing more than a song or two ahead of time. I’m also running a mic, running lights, coordinating with the bottle service staff, taking request and talking with patrons, etc. At the same time I am mixing records to keep the dance floor packed and the vibe energetic. Studio mixes are always cleaner because I am focused on one thing. But even then they are probably not as flawless as my critics say they should be. To me, that’s all part of the vibe, all part of the emotion that a good DJ mix should produce.

Do You Edit Your Mixes At All?

I do some equalizing and general sound mastering to all of my mixes. I use a digital audio editor and make sure the bass hits hard and he highs are crisp and clear. I also add mixtape ID’s and drops depending on where that mix is headed. I do not make any track corrections or edit any of the transitions between songs after that fact. If I fuck up the mix, I delete it and start over.

Why Do You Add Those MixTape ID’s and Drops?

Those little clips included in my mixes are for identification & promotion purposes. Over my 20+ year career I have actually caught other DJs using my mixes in their club sets and claiming it as their own. I have had quite a few confrontations from exactly that scenario. I try not to be overbearing or obnoxious with it. But I will not release a mix that is not branded as my own. That would like writing a front page article for the newspaper and leaving your name out as the author. I dont want this to happen to me so I brand every mix I release in various ways.

Are You Live Mixes Really Live?

Yep! If I put ‘Live” on a mix then it was genuinely recorded live in front of a genuine nightclub crowd. I do record some mixes in the studio and I notate that on the cover art.

What Is A “Live Mix”?

A live mix is one that was recorded as it happened. There is typically very little planning or track programming ahead of time. I honestly turn on the recorder and let it run. I edit for optimum sound, tag the mix with my drops, and upload it. Any “Live Mix” I produce is a genuine recording of the live set I played that night.

Are Your Mixes Pre-Programmed?

Generally if I am going to produce a mix I have an idea of what I want to put in it. Sometimes it’s completely off the cuff or it is dependent on the club crowd I’m in front of. With mix series like my Work It Out series I do plan that mix a little more than others. I am looking for new and hot tracks with a dash of classic thrown in. My 3 Hour Non-Stop Party Mix, on the other hand, was completely driven by the huge crowd I was playing for that night.

Do You Produce Custom Mix Tapes?

The problem with custom mix tapes is that the music typically requested doesn’t mix well. In my experience, somebody wants a very wide selection of music and that gets hard to produce to my standards. Trying to go from a slow hip-hop track to an up tempo EDM track isn’t necessarily easy to do. I can produce a customer mix if you have a want or need for that. Get in touch.

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