Mixing is a delicate art that requires a substantial amount of time to master. In this post I’m going to talk about mixing on vinyl.
Vinyl has always been a very unique standard that has stood the test of time. Now more than ever it is sought out by so many people.
Artists want their records on vinyl, music fans also want to buy albums on vinyl. You can easily see that there’s demand for vinyl.
Therefore knowing how to mix on vinyl is an essential skill to learn.
With that said, how long does it take to learn to mix on vinyl?
It may take you upwards of two years to learn how to mix on vinyl provided you practice daily and expose yourself to great educational resources that can help you to step your game up quickly. With that said, mixing on vinyl requires effort and is something you have to be patient to understand and grasp.
Most mixing being done these days is being done virtually thanks to software like Virtual DJ and the like.
Of course mixing on vinyl is a considered a greater art because all modern mixing stems from the rooms of vinyl records.
Let’s get into some things you’ll need to learn about mixing on vinyl.
Any work that involves music usually means that you need to have a good ear.
While you learn how to mix on vinyl, you’ll need to spend sufficient time listening to various songs and sharpening your listening skills.
You need to move from passive listening to active listening.
Ear Training takes time to build up and start to make an actual impact, so you need to be patient and just practice hard.
Knowing your records
You also need to know the records that you’re going to be working with.
This knowledge is needed in whatever mixing that you do.
Mixing is essentially getting two or more records to swiftly work together. Therefore, you need to work to know the records you’re dealing with through and through.
This will help you in getting to work with them collectively.
Understanding tempo and BPM
Tempo and BPM are basically one and the same thing.
It simply refers to the speed or pace of a given piece of music.
Tempo is usually given in BPM which is simply Beats per minute.
As you work with more and more vinyl records, you’ll get to know and understand tempo alot better. But it’s not really something that is very confusing. You can pick up quickly.
Music is different but song structure is all basically the same across genres.
Every song is supposed to have all of these or some of these things below:
chorus, verse, bridge etc.
These are the parts that make up a full record or song.
As you learn how to mix on vinyl you’ll understand how song arrangement and structure work together.
You’ll become acquainted with how all these parts come in at different sections of the songs. Which is vital and easy to pick up if you continously expose yourself to music.
There are many different different genres out there and you’ll need to understand and know these genres well enough.
For example, rap music is genre well known for sampling vinyl records and for its use of hard hitting kicks and snares.
Other genres like rock music music known for having lively drums and power electric guitars etc.
It’s details like these about various genres that give you an edge in mixing on vinyl, so you have to take the time to listen and understand various musical genres.
Mixing on vinyl heavily depends on your ear for songs with similar characteristics.
This is the skill that is developed in beat matching.
Songs may have different melodies but it’s quite common to find songs with similar drum patterns.
If you can match drums then you can easily mix certain songs or records.
Blending is another technique that you’ll learn. Like I’ve alluded to in the previous point, it’s fairly easy, with some practice to basically note songs that have similar characteristics.
In Blending, you’ll basically be transitioning from one song to another which is a skill that takes some practice.
You’ll also need to understand what pitch essentially means in records and how you can use to manipulate different records in your mixing.
Factors that determine how long it takes to learn mixing on vinyl
The time it takes you to learn how to mix on vinyl depends on how much effort you put into the craft.
Work hard and practice.
It takes 10,000 to be an expert in a field, so, put in the time.
The quality of the educational resources you’re using also matters.
Therefore it’s good to invest in the right learning materials.
YouTube is a goldmine for free educational resources.
Depending on how much you practice and how quickly you can pick up things. Learning how to mix on vinyl can take a year or two.