I recently had a discussion with a couple of other DJs in a forum: We were talking about how to mix tracks with different tempos. Of course, almost never do two tracks have exactly the same tempo, but a lot of DJs are hesitant to mix tracks that are more than just a few BPM apart.
I think that mixing tracks with different BPMs is not only possible, but also a lot of fun – both for the DJ and the audience. It can make DJ sets much more dynamic and interesting.
I decided to make a little video to explain how to do this: Here are 5 ways to mix tracks with different tempos:
These are the methods that I explain in the video:
- Wide Pitch
Use the pitch fader a lot wider than you usually would. In the video, I pitch up one track by +12%, and it still sounds good. However, Pitching down that far usually doesn’t work that well.
Simple play one track until the very end and then start the next one. This works best with tracks that have a clear beginning and end – doesn’t work so well with most club versions.
Make a transition to a track that has half or double the tempo of the track you are currently playing. This works great with Drum&Bass-tracks (around 180 BPM) and many HipHop-tracks (around 90 BPM).
- Loop & Pitch
Create a short loop, change the tempo, make the transition. The example in the video is from my Speedbumps mix.
- Special tracks
Use a special production to change the tempo. The example I used in the video is from Seiji DJ Tools.
Update (July 11th 2013): Here are a few of my favorite tracks for changing tempo in a set: Dance tracks that are ideal for changing tempo in a DJ set