Mixing House Music and Distinguishing the Breaks in the Music

When it comes to mixing house music it takes some experience of knowing how house music is created. This simply comes with listening to it over and over again. Most house music we listen to uses a 4/4 measure. That means for every measure there are four bars and for every bar there are four beats.

For example most house music starts on the one or the first kick drum sound. From there you would count 1, 2, 3, 4 in sync with the kick drum and then you would repeat the count again starting on 1. You do this one time and you just completed a bar. You do this four times and you just completed a measure. This is a good frame of reference in order to start.

5 quick and easy steps to begin mixing house music

1. Start mixing by using duplicate records. In other words get two of the same songs and try mixing. It is much easier to start with two of the same records rather than two different records.
2. When mixing two different records use the same or close to the same BPMs.
3. Use your favorite songs to mix when starting out.
4. Slow the tempo down if the song is too fast.
5. Mark the record with a piece of tape to indicate the beginning of the beat.

Think of house music as Hiphop music just a little faster. By slowing the house music down with your pitch adjustment on your turntable it will make mixing the music a little easier.

Why?

Because when the music is slower you brain has a chance to process the music easier which allows you to mix songs easier. Your ear will adapt to the slower tempo enabling you to match beats. If you were to try to mix house music for the first time at it is normal speed you could easily get frustrated because things could be going to fast for you.

Matching beats is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome when mixing any genre of music not just house music. A beat is equivalent to one kick of a kick drum. Being able to match beats doesn’t start with house music it starts with a simple drum track. Just about any Hip Hop track that is about 90 BPM’s with a simple 4 beat pattern will do.

Practice mixing with a pair of the same record trying to match beats. Always try to catch the beat on the “1” or the first drum kick at the beginning of the verse not the intro. On your right hand turntable cue the record at the beginning of the verse starting with the kick drum. You cue the record by placing your finger on the record at the point where you want the beat to come in. On your left hand turntable play the same record from the beginning.

The platter should still be spinning under the record. Why? Because when you release the record you want it to match beats with the song from the other turntable in time. If you press too hard on the record while cueing it, the song will drag and the song will not play in sync. One record will play behind the other and you’ll get a weird echo effect or something worse.

When the song from the left hand turntable reaches the beginning of the verse (on the “1” or first kick drum) that is when you release the record from its cue point giving it a slight push so it does not drag. Continue to practice this method with your favorite records and you’ll be mixing any type of music you can get your hands on not just house music.