How To Record A Mix... Well, I certainly remember when you had to cover the top corner of a tape with celotape, put it in your hi-fi (haha - whoooo?!), connect it to your amp and mixer, then press record and play at the same time. This was usually after a few beers to settle the nerves as it was something you had to do with one take. These days, its so much different, even though some people still think you need a degree to do it.
Mixes can be something that gets you the gig that you have always wanted or the tool the gets your foot in the door. Personally, I like to record mixes as a bit of nostalgia; something that I can look back at at years to come and think "what the hell did i play back then?" or something to prove to my son when he's older, that I actually was a dj and could mix #nosync ;)... but yeah, potential promoters still on the odd occasion still ask for a mix to be sent over or maybe for you to do a promo mix for the night you've been booked for.
There are a few ways that you can do it these days - live or well, cut and pasted. Live is as it says, you record what you are doing in real-time and save it as an mp3/wav etc... or you could use a program like Ableton and paste the tracks together. Do you remember when you was younger and you heard your first Hed Kandi mixed compilation, thinking - these guys are amazing at mixing and it flows like a mother f*****... hmmm yeah, probably Ableton and Mixed In Key... Note, no shade towards Hed Kandi, Ive played at many of their events, it was just the first compilation that jumped to the front of my mind ;)
So whats the preference?
Well the easiest route if you arent a whizz with Ableton is to use a DVS like Traktor, Serato or Rekordbox, press sync and have a play, using the effects, cue-points etc etc. Now here's the point where you have to ask if youre cheating yourself or not, and by that i mean "can you actually beatmatch?" PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU CAN NOT BEAT MATCH AND YOURE LOOKING TO 'DO' OTHER DJ's OUT OF GIGS... If you do this and get to a gig with no sync function available, then you deserve to get thrown off the decks and put into the Paris Hilton category... VILE human being!! If you can beat match and you are creative with your mix, then this is a very useful way, as it is literally a case of pressing record on your laptop and it saves to the desired location... just remember to check your settings, so it saves the whole mix as one, rather than splitting it... then you will need something like Ableton to patch it all together.
Now here's the cool answer - The RELOOP TAPE. It looks like a retro tape and it records, but onto a ubs... see, its cool. Using this really does set the men above the boys... or women above the girls - Equal rights and all that. Literally, you plug it into the mixer, hit record on the unit and it saves to the usb, so if you have a 64gb stick plugged in, you could record a marathon set for daaaays! Its simple to set up, but one thing to make a note of is that it does require a mains connection, so take an adapter with you just incase all of the plugs are being used in the booth. I heard you say, "so if it records live, does this mean you can use it to rip vinyl?". Why of course it does... see.... cool ;)
Heres a link of a quick run through i did when i first got my hands on one.
This little handy menagerie also has another exciting feature, it costs less than £100... so it should be a staple of any dj really, as you know how annoying it is when you do a mix 'for fun' or are playing out and you surprise yourself on how good your tune selection or the tightness of your mix was... BUT NO ONE HEARD IT - here's your answer!