Tips on Mixing Songs with a Large Speed Difference

by Alex Baker
Blending records of differing tempos can improve the quality of your mix.

Blending records of differing tempos can improve the quality of your mix.

Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images

The art of mixing is where many DJs express themselves. The more technical ability you have in this area, the more readily you'll be able to express yourself as you impress the crowd at your next DJ appearance. Being able to mix songs of differing tempos is one helpful skill you can hone to keep your audience's attention.

Slow One Song Down

By using the pitch control on your turntable or CD decks, it's possible to slow the faster of two songs down. You can choose to slow it all the way down to the slower songs tempo, or you can meet the slower song halfway just to ease the transition.

Speed One Song Up

You can also choose to use the pitch control to speed up the slower of the two songs. This is probably the better choice if you've got people moving on a dance floor. Speed the slower song up to the speed of the faster one or at least close enough to it to make for a smooth transition.

Cheat the Pitch Back

Once you have made the mix and the song has settled a little, you may want to move the tempo up or down a little by carefully nudging the pitch control. Take care not to do it too much or you'll jolt your listeners.

Use a Wind Down

A wind down is a DJ trick performed by turning the power off on your turntable or CD deck and letting the track wind down audibly. This is a great way to introduce a track with added hype. It's also a great way to clear the air and make way for a shift in tempo. Winding down a slow song and introducing a faster one can set the dance floor on fire if handled smoothly.


About the Author

Alex Baker is a journalist, blogger and copywriter. He's been published in publications like "Resource Magazine" and the "San Francisco Weekly." He's a staff writer for and contributes to and Swagger. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary arts from San Francisco State University.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images