There are many ways to create a mix but no other type of mix can compare to a mix that is created with turntables. A turntable mix is capable of creating a special vibe that no other type of equipment can emulate. Creating the perfect turntable mix takes skill. The amount of skill depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and whether or not your mix is created live in one take or is multi-tracked. But make no mistake that the greatest turntable mixes out there, are the ones created by DJ’s who possess turntablist skills defined by scratching, beat breakdown, beat juggling, etc., as well as superb knowledge of the music they’re manipulating.
Target Audience | Regardless of what method you use to create your mix, one of the first things you need to consider is who your target audience is so you can be precise in your music selection. This is necessary so your mix can have the greatest impact.
Live vs Multi-Track | A one-take recorded live mix can be near perfect with enough skill, preparation and practice. Veteran DJ’s have endured the painful task of recording their one-take mixes on cassette tapes, while multi-tracking has allowed DJ’s of any skill level to produce near perfect mixes. It is essential to know that excessive multi-tracking can effectively take away from your mix rather than enhance it. A perfect mix isn’t defined by zero mistakes. It’s actually more complicated than that. It starts with the right music selection, continues with seamless or proper transitions and it’s ultimately enhanced by the “funkiness” of the execution usually defined by the level of turntablist skill. In short, a mix must have soul to be perfect.
Classic vs New | The perfect mix usually gravitates towards music that has endured the test of time as it is the only constant that defines classic music. Nevertheless, a perfect mix isn’t defined by classic music alone, and while classic music usually results in more plays during the life of the mix, choosing the right songs still takes precedence. New music tends to be disposable, so be careful when trying to achieve a perfect mix with this type of music. A single song can derail your mix.
Turtablism | The comparison has been made that adding the right amount of turntablism to a mix is the equivalent to adding the right amount of seasoning to food. An excessive amount of turntablism can make you loose your target audience while a lack of it can make your mix sound generic and without soul. It’s not necessary to be 100% precise in your execution but you can’t be sloppy either as it makes your mix harder to listen to.
Delivery | There is no point in having a perfect mix that is forgotten. A mix works best when it’s listened to. It serves a need to both the listener and the DJ. Giving people access to your mix in the correct format will result in more plays so choose a format that reaches your target audience.