Performing with stems and mixing them with mastered tracks

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Maxadax
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Performing with stems and mixing them with mastered tracks

Post by Maxadax » Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:43 pm

In my live set I want to perform with grouped stems of the tracks. At the moment I have a 'deck A/B' style setup, but 'deck A' is a group track with bussed stems of each of my tracks. I have 5 tracks; kick + bass, percussion, synths, misc sounds, reverb + delay. However, I want to use other mastered tracks in my set (which are on deck B) and this leaves my own tracks sound bad in comparison to the mastered tracks whenever I transition.

How could I make my tracks sound consistent to the mastered tracks? Is using a generous amount of bus compression acceptable? Or maybe should I simply turn down deck B to roughly match deck A? How much of a problem is this in a club?

Tarekith
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Re: Performing with stems and mixing them with mastered tracks

Post by Tarekith » Sat Dec 13, 2014 3:44 pm

Easiest option is to just turn down the deck B, though you might have to turn it down quite a bit to match. Otherwise you're going to have to use some kind of compression and or limiting on the output of the step track to compensate. I'd try the first option first though, much easier than trying to prep all your stems so they all combine at the same level prior to the limiter.

Maxadax
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:48 pm

Re: Performing with stems and mixing them with mastered tracks

Post by Maxadax » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:02 pm

Tarekith wrote:Easiest option is to just turn down the deck B, though you might have to turn it down quite a bit to match. Otherwise you're going to have to use some kind of compression and or limiting on the output of the step track to compensate. I'd try the first option first though, much easier than trying to prep all your stems so they all combine at the same level prior to the limiter.
So running through a bus compressor is to be avoided then? My only worry with turning down deck B to match is that my set will sound too quiet in comparison to the other, more 'conventional' DJs playing that night.

Tarekith
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Re: Performing with stems and mixing them with mastered tracks

Post by Tarekith » Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:18 pm

In general I'd say you want to avoid doing dynamics processing just for the sake of volume, instead of because you're material is too dynamic. Your call though, in a situation like yours any option is a compromise in one way or another. Just the downside of trying to mix music that's been mastered with music that isn't. You gotta get the volume from somewhere, so maybe try a few different options and pick the one that sounds best to you?

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