You know how you can browse tracks on sites like Beatport.com, and you get to preview a portion of the track? Well, those previews are just MP3 files that are split from the full tracks. Each preview is usually about 2 minutes, and you can get the URLs for an entire genre via RSS feeds.
So, you can use the Firefox plugin “FlashGot” to automatically download all of the MP3 files that are referenced in the “Top 100” House music RSS feed on Beatport. Then, you can run them through key detection software to get musical key info on them all.
Once you have those samples and key information on them, it’s possible to mix them together live, without ever having listened to the tracks beforehand. Here’s a recording of me mixing 8 tracks in about 10 minutes with this style:
[ Download MP3 ]
It’s a lot of work to keep the mix going, since the samples are so small. I’ve been pretty much warping the tracks in real time, figuring out where the phrases are, getting them sync’d up, and timing the drops. There’s a lot of room for error if you lose concentration, or if you just happen to get a track that doesn’t line up quite right. So having an emergency fallback to save the mix in these bad scenarios would be good..
It’s an interesting technique, for one because it’s free to get these track samples. That saves a lot of money, considering each track is normally either 1.99$ or 2.49$.. — also, the speed of mixing is a lot faster, so it really helps you develop your mixing skills, and forces you to learn recovery techniques.
Probably more on this technique in the future!