War of the sounds

Mixing Angela Rippon and Elton, we attempt to master the art of mixing, and fail spectacularly.

By: Nicola Robey,   2 minutes

Mixing instagramm

There’s nothing like a rummage through an attic to get Feeding off to sterling start.

My motive for cardboard box pilfering lay in two record turntables and a mixing deck urging me to master them. They’d been left with me over a year ago by a friend who’d gone away travelling, and they’d lain untouched, unturned and far from understood every since.

When I’d agreed to take them, I’d promised myself that I’d get to grips with the art of mixing immediately. I’d even come up with a couple of DJ names,  (DJ Robey Antis was high up the list). I’d even bought a couple of vinyls. See, the intentions were all there, the actions, however, were not.

But that’s what Feeding is all about. Pushing yourself to chase morsels of inspiration, the things that you put off in your day-to-day life because you’re working, or feel too guilty to indulge in your creativity when there’s hoovering to do.

And so, with dust motes setting off the occasional fit of sneezes, I leafed through the hundreds of titles in my Mum and Dad’s well-loved record collection. Alongside the usual suspects, your Pink Floyds and your Led Zepplins, lay a few wildcards; an Angela Rippon work out record with a photo on the sleeve of her prancing in a shiny leotard (hope that was Mum’s) and a War of the Worlds musical interpretation compilation album (definitely Dad’s). ‘I could use those’, I thought.

Mixing Feed

After triumphantly setting up the equipment, learning my lines from my phonos, my inputs from my outputs, and near deafening myself in the process, I got started.

With Angela on one side, and the warbling sounds of Elton on the other, I learnt how to cross fade; with one track blaring out strong whilst the other waited on the other side. Easy.

Next up, mixing. With the success I’d experienced so far, the cockiness was palpable. But then came the noise, and it was awful. Even my dog looked unimpressed.

After changing several records to find two with a similar beat and rhythm structure, the sound hadn’t got much better. Cue my back up plan. Youtube tutorials galore.

After several hours being talked through the intricacies of mixing by middle-aged Danish DJs, I still wasn’t much closer. Perhaps this had to do with the fact that I was mixing Fleetwood Mac with Dire Straits. Who knows?

I came to the obvious conclusion that mixing isn’t the sort of thing one can pick up in a day. It’s a fine and intricate art like any other musical talent. And one that I’d definitely not given my dues to.

Although I was far from my mixing goal, and my DJ name shall not be uttered for a couple more years yet, my Feed had pushed me to start something new. It had opened up a new project to pursue, and made me hungry for more.

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