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DJ Mixing Different Genres - The Ultimate Skill Guide

With so many genres of music in the world - you need to be able to master them all to become a great DJ. Whether you're mixing hip-hop or house music, there are a bunch of DJ skills that apply to all genres. Although there are also many other techniques which are more useful for specific genres.

If you want to be an even more skilled DJ, you also need to learn how to mix tracks together that aren't the same genre - in the same mix.

This guide covers both of these topics. You'll learn some key tips for mixing specific genres, and also learn more advanced DJ tips about mixing genres for different styles of music.

Get ready to become a master of the dance floor!

TL;DR - DJ Mixing Genres#

  • Some DJ skills apply to all genres, others are more specific.

  • Master as many genres as possible to become a more dynamic and versatile DJ.

  • Learning how to mix between different genres provides a huge creative advantage.

  • DJ.Studio helps you to experiment with new techniques and perfect advanced DJ sets.

Tips for Mixing Specific Genres in DJ Sets#

Here are some tips for mixing specific genres. I added a little description of each genre to help categorize.

EDM DJ Mixing Tips#

EDM DJ Mixing Tips

EDM (or electronic dance music) is a broad genre that encompasses various subgenres like house, techno, trance, dubstep, drum and bass, and more. EDM is characterized by its electronic beats and is popular in clubs and festivals.

The term has become more narrow in recent years, referring to a high-octane type of dance music with tight production - from the likes of Avicii, Martin Garrix, and deadmau5.

Tips for mixing EDM:

  • Energy Management: EDM tracks often have dynamic energy levels. Pay attention to the energy of each track and plan your set accordingly. Build energy gradually with tracks that have melodic elements and lighter beats, and save high-energy drops for peak moments.

  • Key Mixing:¬†Harmonic mixing¬†is crucial in EDM. Mix tracks that use compatible keys to maintain a smooth flow. Software tools can help you analyze the key of your tracks and find suitable transitions.

  • Creative Effects: EDM allows for creative effects usage. Experiment with filters, flangers, and reverbs to add excitement to your transitions. Use effects tastefully to enhance the impact of drops and breakdowns.

Check out our full guide on How To Mix EDM!

House DJ Mixing Tips#

House DJ Mixing Tips

House music originated in the early 1980s in Chicago and has several subgenres like deep house, progressive house, and tech house. It is known for its repetitive 4/4 beats and soulful vocals.

Tips for mixing EDM:

  • Groove Focus:¬†House music is all about the groove. Pay close attention to the rhythm of the percussion and bassline. Use beat matching techniques to ensure your mixes maintain a consistent groove. House tracks work best when beat matched precisely.

  • Looping and Layering:¬†House tracks often have loops and repetitive elements. Use looping creatively to extend interesting sections of a track. Experiment with layering different loops and samples to add complexity and keep the audience engaged.

  • Track Selection:¬†House has many subgenres (deep house, tech house, etc.), each with its unique vibe. Be mindful of the subgenre and select tracks that complement each other. Transition smoothly between subgenres to maintain the flow of your set.

Read more: How to DJ Mix House Music!

Techno DJ Mixing Tips#

Techno DJ Mixing Tips

This genre of electronic music is characterized by its repetitive industrial beats and synthesizer-generated sounds. It often has a futuristic and industrial feel and is popular in underground club scenes.

Tips for mixing Techno:

  • Manage EQ:¬†Techno has tracks that can have a lot of power in certain areas of the frequency spectrum. For example, make sure you lower the bass track of a new song before you bring it in to prevent clashing low-end frequencies.

  • Blend Atmospheres:¬†Techno is atmospheric and often dark. Blend the atmospheric elements of two tracks for seamless transitions. Use effects like reverb and delay to create smooth atmospheric transitions between tracks.

  • Use Delays and Echoes: Techno mixes well with delayed effects. Use echoes and delays creatively to add depth to your mixes. Apply these effects to elements like hi-hats and synth stabs for a psychedelic vibe.

  • Experiment with Phrasing: Techno tracks often have long, evolving arrangements. Experiment with mixing in and out at different points in the tracks, considering the phrasing and arrangement, to create unique and unexpected transitions.

Check out our full guide on How To DJ Mix Techno Music for more advanced tips!

DNB/Jungle DJ Mixing Tips#

DNB/Jungle DJ Mixing Tips

Drum and Bass music features fast-paced breakbeats and heavy basslines. It has roots in jungle and is popular in the electronic music scene. Jungle is a variation of this genre which is more focused on breakbeats and has a less aggressive sound.

Tips for mixing DnB/Jungle:

  • Focus on Drum Work:¬†DnB is characterized by intricate drum patterns. Pay close attention to the drums and mix tracks during drum fills or breakdowns for smooth transitions. Beatmatching drum patterns precisely is essential for seamless mixes.

  • Double Drops: DnB mixes often feature double drops, where two tracks' drops are synced for a powerful impact. Practice double drops with tracks that complement each other in terms of energy and key for a crowd-pleasing effect.

  • Rolling Basslines:¬†DnB basslines are iconic. Use EQ to blend the basslines of two tracks, ensuring they work together harmoniously. DnB mixes often have rolling basslines, so use filters and EQ sweeps to create smooth transitions between tracks.

Pop DJ Mixing Tips#

Pop DJ Mixing Tips

Pop music refers to popular songs from mainstream artists that have a wide appeal and commercial success. DJs often play pop music to cater to a broad audience, creating a lively and familiar atmosphere at clubs, parties, and events. Pop tracks are known for their catchy melodies, relatable lyrics, and radio-friendly sound.

Tips for mixing Pop:

  • Focus on Vocals: Pop tracks are often centered around vocals. Highlight vocals by mixing tracks during instrumental sections or using a capella versions. Use EQ and effects to emphasize the vocals and create seamless transitions between vocal phrases.

  • Cross-Genre Blending: Pop music blends well with various genres. Experiment with blending pop tracks with EDM, house, or even hip-hop. Be mindful of the BPM and energy levels, ensuring smooth transitions between different genres.

  • Create Themes: Pop tracks can often be grouped by themes, such as throwback hits, recent chart-toppers, or specific genres within pop (e.g., pop-rock, electronic pop). Create thematic sections in your set to guide the mood and keep the audience engaged.

Remember, these tips are meant as guidelines, and your creativity and intuition as a DJ play a significant role. Practice, experimentation, and a deep understanding of your music library will enhance your DJ skills in these genres.

Transitioning Between Different Genres: Genre Mixing#

dj mixing between genres - open format djing

The following section explains some key mixing skills for helping you to mix between different genres in a DJ set. Mastering these skills will help you to become a more fluid and dynamic DJ, who keeps their sets fresh and exciting for the audience!

With these skills, you will feel like you are 'playing music' rather than just mixing certain genre. This brings a new level of musicality and expression to your DJ skill toolbox!

Use A capellas and Instrumentals#

Using acapella versions of popular tracks can help bridge the gap between different genres. You can mix the vocals of one track over the instrumental of another, creating a smooth transition between genres.

Similarly, instrumentals provide a neutral ground between genres. You can mix an instrumental version of a pop track into a dance or electronic track, creating a seamless transition.

Experiment with Key Mixing#

Mixing tracks that are in compatible keys can make transitions between different genres smoother. Use harmonic mixing software or tools to find tracks that are in the same or related keys.

Use Effects Creatively#

Use high-pass and low-pass filters to gradually transition between tracks. Cut the bass of the outgoing track while bringing in the bass of the incoming track, creating a smooth blend.

Apply reverb or delay effects to the outgoing track as you mix in the new track. This technique can create a sense of space and blend the tracks' energies.

Use Fast Cuts at Buildup/Drop#

Fast cuts involve rapidly switching between tracks at specific moments, such as the buildup or drop, creating a sudden change in energy.

DJs execute quick crossfader or volume fader movements to seamlessly switch from one track to another. This technique is effective for genres with contrasting energy levels, providing an abrupt but impactful shift for the audience

Fast cuts are ideal for transitioning from high-energy genres like drum and bass or EDM to lower-energy genres like house or techno. By cutting quickly during the buildup or drop, you can instantly change the mood, surprising the audience and keeping the energy of the set dynamic.

Use Echoes#

Echoes involve applying an echo effect to a track, creating a delayed repetition of the sound. DJs can manipulate the echo effect's timing and feedback to extend specific sounds or sections of a track. Echoes add a sense of space and anticipation, making transitions more immersive and dramatic.

Echoes work well when transitioning from one genre to another by providing a smooth bridge between tracks. By echoing out the outgoing track while bringing in the incoming track, DJs can create a gradual blend, allowing the audience to experience a seamless transition while enjoying the atmospheric effect of the echo.

Use Loops#

Looping involves selecting a specific section of a track and repeating it continuously. DJs can loop drum patterns, vocals, melodies, or any other element within a track. Looping allows for extended mixes, giving DJs more time to blend the looped section with another track.

DJs can loop a section of a track with a neutral energy level (such as a drum pattern) and mix it with a track from a different genre. By adjusting the loop length and manipulating EQ, looped sections can be seamlessly integrated with various genres, facilitating smooth transitions and creating interesting rhythmic combinations.

Tempo Change Transitions#

Tempo change transitions involve adjusting the BPM (beats per minute) of a track gradually or abruptly. DJs can increase or decrease the tempo of a track to match the BPM of the next track. This technique requires precise beatmatching skills to ensure a seamless transition.

Tempo change transitions are valuable when transitioning between genres with different BPM ranges.

For example, a DJ can gradually increase the tempo of a house track to match the BPM of a drum and bass track, allowing for a seamless transition between the two genres. This technique requires careful planning and practice to maintain the energy and flow of the set.

Hot Cues#

Hot cues are predefined points within a track that DJs can jump to instantly. DJs set hot cues at specific locations, such as the beginning of a buildup, drop, or vocal section.

By triggering hot cues, DJs can jump to these points quickly during a mix, creating precise and dynamic transitions.

Hot cues are versatile and can be used for various transitions. DJs can set hot cues on tracks from different genres, allowing them to jump to specific sections for smooth mixes. For instance, a DJ can set a hot cue at the start of a vocal section in a pop track and mix it seamlessly with a house or techno track, creating a harmonious blend between genres.

Each of these techniques offers DJs creative options for transitioning between different genres, allowing for diverse and engaging sets tailored to the audience's preferences and the overall vibe of the event.

Read the Crowd#

Observe Reactions: Pay attention to how the crowd reacts to your mixes. If you notice a positive response to a specific transition, consider incorporating similar mixes into your set.

Be Prepared to Change Direction: Sometimes, despite your plan, the crowd might not respond well to a particular genre transition. Be flexible and willing to change your direction based on the audience's response.

Practice, Practice, Practice#

The more familiar you are with your music library, the easier it becomes to find suitable tracks for transitions between genres. Practice mixing different combinations of tracks to discover what works best.

Don't be afraid to experiment with unconventional combinations. Sometimes the most unexpected mixes can create memorable moments on the dancefloor.

How DJ.Studio Helps Mix Genres Together#

dj studio carousel

DJ.Studio is a revolutionary new piece of DJ software that completely changes the game for DJs.

Rather than working like traditional DJ software, DJ.Studio offers a unique workflow that has several advantages over mainstream methods. It uses a timeline-style editing interface to make the mix creation process more productive and creative.

Not only is this advantageous in general for DJing, but it's also particularly relevant when trying to mix music with different genres.

  • Automix - The automix tool automatically beat matches and harmonically mixes your tracks - ensuring your mixes are instantly cohesive.

  • Powerful Transition Editor - The transitions system in DJ.Studio makes it quick and easy to make perfect blends from track to track.

  • Non-Linear Timeline Mixing - This new workflow means you can craft your mixes in more detail than ever before. And no need to worry about fixing mistakes in your recording!

  • Advanced Music Library and Integrations¬†- DJ.Studio connects with a bunch of other mainstream DJ software and streaming services to create an interconnected world of DJing!

DJ.Studio makes it super easy to seamlessly mix any genres together. It has a bunch of other features that make it an attractive choice for new DJs and seasoned professionals alike.

Watch this video to see DJ.Studio in action!

Summary#

Fuelled with these new mixing tips you'll be able to create more exciting and dynamic DJ sets than ever before.

Remember, first you need to master the basics, then you can learn how to mix specific genres. After that, you will easily be able to experiment with mixing different genres together.

After a bit of practice, this will all feel like second nature. One of the best ways to get your head into the more advanced techniques is to experiment with them on DJ.Studio's timeline.

Check out the free 14-day trial of DJ.Studio today!

FAQs About DJ Mixing Different Genres

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