Founded in 1991, Ministry of Sound started as a London nightclub modeled after New York's renowned Paradise Garage. Today, it’s grown to be one of the important institutions in dance music. The club has hosted some of the world’s most beloved DJs including pioneers like Ellen Allien, Fedde Le Grand, DeadMau5,, and many more!
What’s more, Ministry of Sound has become a fully-fledged brand with worldwide events, a label, a publishing business, and even a fitness studio. In 2021 they celebrated their 30-year anniversary by bringing their entire archive of compilations and artist mixes exclusively to Mixcloud.
With so much experience in the game, the people behind-the-scenes at Ministry of Sound know exactly what a strong DJ mix sounds like. Whether you’re streaming from your home or recording a mix in front of a live audience, this tutorial is for you. Read on to learn about the Ministry’s top tips, tricks, and lessons from over 30 years of experience.
Know Your Tracks
Picking the right tracks at the right time is vital to a good mix. Make sure your track selection represents your sound, your brand, and what your audience wants to listen to. Spend some time seeking out new releases so your set sounds fresh and plugged in. Make sure each track complements and builds. If you pick the right tracks, even if the mixing isn’t perfect it will still sound professional. Remember you can directly tracklist your shows through Mixcloud, if you don’t know how to find out here.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Recording a mix can be stressful, so make sure you give yourself enough time to start again if you feel like you need to. Sometimes starting is hard and you either make a mistake or feel like it isn’t working, so give yourself enough time to feel you’re relaxed and can make amends if you feel like you want to. Don’t forget to practice with Mixcloud’s Unlisted Feature (available with a Pro subscription) if you’re planning to stream your set live and want to run-through your transitions in private first!
Let Each Track Play Out
When you’re recording a mix at home, it’s very tempting to chop and change the tracks and mix quickly. Just because there is no crowd there does not mean you shouldn’t honor the track's energy. Allow the track to play all the way out and honor the music you’re playing.
Check Levels Before you Hit Record
Simple yet sometimes overlooked – but ensure all your levels are right before hitting record. Nothing worse than finishing a mix, listening to it back, and hearing the levels are all over the place. Remember you can also use Mixcloud’s Unlisted feature to test out your levels, stream set-up, and practice your sets in private!
Master Your Mix
This is not essential, but it really does lift your mix to sound more polished and professional. If you have a DAW (for example Ableton CD mix, master buss chain, Izotope, or Landr). There are also many YouTube tutorials to help you master this. If you don’t have software, you can use free alternatives such as Landr. It just gives your mix that extra bit of glue. But if this isn’t in your budget, you can make your shows sound better by upgrading to Pro to access HQ Audio.
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