Tag Archives: Turntable Mixing

The Advantages of “Old School” Turntable Mixing

Traditional DJ Tturntable Mixing pic
Traditional DJ Tturntable Mixing
Image: pbs.org

With extensive experience in database administration, Duane Wardell most recently held a consultancy role with the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. A fan of old school sound systems and techniques, Duane Wardell enjoys mixing music using vinyl records.

Traditional DJ turntable mixing and scratching requires an extensive record collection paired with an excellent sense of rhythm to understand which beats mesh well together. Unlike newer beatmatching techniques that rely on synced devices and MIDI controls, mixing by ear is a highly intuitive process that keys into the actual mechanical properties of the turntable and the motion of the spinning platter.

Pure sound quality aside, a key advantage of the turntable is that beats per minute can be altered in subtle ways, particularly when a belt-driven turntable is in play. Variables such as wear and tear on the disc also affect the sound that is output. These fluctuations keep the DJ’s listening ear agile and attuned to what is actually being played.

Another turntable-specific tactic is scratching, which sounds best when it involves the actual wax being manipulated relative to the needle. While LPs are much bulkier and require more work to set up than a digital drive, the payoff is in the creation of authentic, non-reproducible sounds.