How Do DJs Mix Song Vocals?

  1. Isolated Vocal Tracks

    • When DJs mix vocals, they often start with an a capella song, or a special version of the song that contains only the vocal track. Isolated vocal tracks are often found on releases of singles, particularly singles released on vinyl records.

    Recorded Remixes

    • When a DJ is making a recorded remix for a CD or other type of music media, he most likely starts with professional recording software such as Pro Tools. Using Pro Tools and similar recording software, a DJ can speed up, slow down and change the pitch of vocals, as well as apply an endless array of audio effects plug-ins to the sound. A DJ will often use his own electronic music with an established artist's vocals to create club remixes of popular songs.

    Live Remixes

    • There are a few ways to mix vocals live as a DJ. These days, a lot of live remixes by DJs are not actually live remixes but recorded remixes already prepared by the DJ. If a DJ does a true live remix of vocals, he has to begin with a recording of an isolated vocal track. The DJ can then sync the timing of the vocal record to another record using two turntables. There is a recent trend of DJs working on a laptop, mixing digital files live using virtual DJ mixing software on a laptop. Virtual DJ mixing software ranges greatly in quality, and while you can pay top dollar for a good system, there are many perfectly viable free DJ mixing software packages available for download.

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  • Photo Credit Heather Bliss

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