dctrud's Random Road

Occasional unimportant nonsense.

2020-05-06 - Seeing the Music

It's Wednesday evening, so that means I'm sat in COM on SDF, while listening to the excellent 33 1/3rd live vinyl mix show on aNONradio. I was wondering what to blog about today, and then one of the people in COM chat mentioned how they like DJ software as being able to see the music waveforms allows mixing music that you're not super familiar with.


I've recently gotten back into dance music vinyl, and I particularly enjoy the UK and Dutch trance from the 90s, when I was a bedroom DJ in my teens. Those trance tracks usually have pretty distinct peaks and drops, breakdowns. On a 12" vinyl single, especially if it's pressed loud with one mix on each side, you really can see the structure of the music if the light is bright enough. I might also need my glasses on, though!

Taking this further, are some of the DJ remix collections on vinyl. I've bought a few of these as they are a pretty cheap way of getting some of the 90s euro dance stuff that is not quite so commonly for sale in the US. These collections often have megamixes and things, which I don't want, but many do have the original versions of tracks... and they are sometimes mastered / pressed in an interesting way...

a DJ remix vinyl record

... The photo here isn't very good, but you might be able to make out what look like several bands of 'nothing' you'd see between tracks on an LP. They aren't nothing though... the track is still in full flow there. What they did is master the record so that the grooves get really spread out in the transition between parts of the track. You can visually see them as a mark of where the vocal comes in, or where there's a break etc. There's a key on sheet that comes with the vinyl, so you know what each section is - and you can find them.

And that's an example where you really can see the music.

Index of Posts