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37. Drum n Bass mixing

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

Why do I keep picking activities that require steady hands?!


With Richard Patterson

Richard and his wife Kirsty live on the same housing development as me but I normally end up bumping into him in random places. It was nice to chat to him and find out about his hobby without having to dash to work or a meeting as I normally do when our paths cross.


The idea with mixing is to line a song up to bring in over the top of another one and then fade the first one out. I was surprisingly not as terrible as I thought I might be. I was only slightly off with my timing and my tremor only nudged a few levers the wrong way a couple of times. I enjoyed it too, it was really satisfying getting the beats lined up and sounding great. Richard is a very patient teacher and I think this helped my enjoyment of it!

Things I learnt that can help you mix one track into another:

1) Beat matching

Most drum and bass music sits at around 174 bpm with any deviation from this being pretty minimal. This means that matching the tracks up is easier. It's all about finding a phrase within the track and at the end of the phrase bringing in your new track. I was able to nudge the track very slightly to get it in the exact place.

2) Cutting and fading the bass

Two heavy basses crunching together can all sound a bit intense and messy. By fading them in and out respectively you can avoid this and draw less attention to the mix.

3) Camelot pitch wheel

This clever little bit of software is the music equivalent of a painters colour wheel and essentially does a similar thing. It shows the pitch of a track and suggests other pitches that should be compatible.

I think i've developed a new style. I shall name it Shaky Break.

'Mixing music is just a hobby, but drum and bass is a passion. The genre has an ever-growing cult following, and with such variety within its sub-genres, it’s hard not to fall in love with.' Richard.


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