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Mix Info:Mood set 2011 0903 part 8 2:58mins @128BPM Minimal Techno (90s influences)

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This is part 8

US2K Review: This minimal tech mix (which is part of a larger set of Dj Mood' s music) begins with a sustained whirring sound effect and two layers of percussion. Layer 1 is very abstract, with synthetic sounding tom electronic bass (or both played simultaneously), and white noise either with attack, release, sustain, decay adjusted, simply gated or side-chained to behave more like a snare, and another rhythm played with another electronic sound which resembles a tennis ball being hit.

The 2nd layer of percussion is a foundation for driving the mix, is most likely to be a more conventional 4/4 house drum loop including bass drum, snares, hi-hats, shakers, tambourines etc. with the bass frequencies cut via eq, a high pass filter or kill switch of some type. The laying of rhythms is very important, they are skilfully organised so the tom plays syncopations of the underlying house drum loop, if it were not so this minimal mix would become monotonous very quickly, instead the rhythm is almost hypnotic.

After 10s a fill on a high frequency clap followed by a long burst of lower frequency white noise (acts as a crash) introduces another of changes to the mix. The first is the bass eq of the underlying 4/4 house drum loop being allowed into the mix, the others are some new percussion alternating left/right of the stereo-field, which could either be "out-of-the-box" pitched electro glitch fx or a snare (s) flanged, distorted and possibly pitch bent to provide a sound which is both metallic and squelchy in its characteristics.

I nearly forgot an additional standard clap/snare is introduced to strengthen the existing accent snare which at this point has been weakened by the bass drum gaining its bottom end with the introduction of the lower frequencies. This pattern I regard to be the main drum pattern for the mix.

As the listener progresses to the 19s position there is a white noise based snare which plays a fill as the low frequency percussion instruments are dropped simultaneously to create a basic but functional bridge section. The cue point for the bridge has been created by the 1st white noise snare hit. The change is unusual, in theory is abrupt, but works unexpectedly well. At the 22s position all removed percussion instruments return, and the full main drum pattern for the mix has been re-instated sounding fresh once again.

The drum pattern remains interesting for a further 17s with aid from occasional wooden block percussion, and the whirring which has been heard since the the mix, "winding down" to a lower frequency. The descend of the whirr is used to “sweep-down” the listener to another bridge section.

The next bridge begins at the 48s position with all bottom end instruments and snares removed again as with the other bridges, but the difference this time is that the cymbals, shakers, tambourines are thinned out too. For a split moment only the tom and clap which now in isolation at times is clearly heard to be flanged and pitch effected and could have been the same squelchy/metallic instrument heard earlier (difficult to know with so much mix trickery taking place), and of course the whirr.

The whirr is used in conjunction with a tom fill to announce the end of the bridge this time when it varies in pitch again. After the bridge end at the 42s position, the drum pattern can be heard but with the synthetic tom reduced in volume & wooden block percussion now leading the rhythm. This new rhythm arrangement continues as the whirr is faded out to almost silence, & briefly faded in again whilst the frequency is changed at the same time in such a way to sound like a door creaking open, providing a cue point for all drums and rhythm instruments from the drum pattern to leave the mix, being substituted temporarily by some very subtle panning electronic (vox like in frequency) percussion.

The majority of the main drum pattern returns but after briefly hearing the bass drum, the listener is left to hear mainly mid frequency percussion instruments instead of previously the high frequency ones, but with standard clap, hi-hat/shaker and tambourine, significant parts of a 4/4 are now leading the mix.

As the new drum pattern progresses to the 1m 26s position, it becomes apparent some drum trickery was achieved with a filter sweep. The drum frequencies are ducking and rising subtly in much the same way the notes do on an acid synth.

The most common use of filter drum loops is of course in drum & bass but this minimal techno has benefitted greatly too. The technique means that a mix can be varied endlessly without actually changing the drum pattern in any way, if the producer wish that of course.

The mix continues from the 1m 26s position using a cut down version of the main drum pattern (main drum pattern 2). The tom is evident as before but the glitch fx, pitch effected/flanged snares, and wooden blocks are missing from, less interesting but works due to the late stage of the the mix. The rhythm proceeds to the 1m 53s position, with interest added to the mix with the use of a reverse cymbal at the 1m 41s position.

Shortly after the 1m 53s position, the full drum arrangement is briefly dropped and the `tennis ball hit` returns briefly for a very short duet with the tom which at this point acts more like a bass instrument. The short moment of duet adds enough interest to the mix to allow main drum pattern 2 to continue for a relatively long time for a further 27s, with the aid of eq and/or filter sweep at the 2m 6s to cut the bass and treble frequencies and again 17s later to give a ducking effect by gradually sweeping out different high frequencies.

As the drum pattern comes out of the duck at the minute 23s position either something very clever has been done with the sweep, or delay has been added to an existing percussive instrument or more likely, an additional shaker or hi hat has been added to the mix. The gives great improvement to mix at a point where it was starting to become monotonous, but further enhancements take place 12s after in the form of a brief additional snare drum to give a harder accent to the second beat of the underlying 4/4 bass drum.

Although it is removed as quick as it arrived because its duel purpose has been achieved at this point, which is to introduce some subtle atmospheric percussion to the drum pattern for the conclusion. The drum pattern is fresher sounding again and works until the entire mix ends by fading out, although it has to be noted this mix has been cut from a longer dj set and so the fade was originally to another mix within it.

Listening to this mix again four years later, it is not really that danceable to the wide audience but minimal fans might tap their foot to it. My final evaluation of this mix is includes the following factors, demonstration of general musical skill (9/10), use of sound effects, drum fills or well chosen musical cues for changes (10/10), Addictiveness or catchiness of melody (the drums actually play a form of percussive melody even though there is no melodic instrument anywhere is the mix 6/10), Variation of music in the form of melody changes, arrangement changes and instrument positioning (6/10), Use of sound effects, drum fills etc to add further interest to the mix (9/10), Wide audience appeal (5/10) , Sound engineering including use of equalisation, delay, reverb, filter sweeps, stereo-panning , compression, flange etc. (there is some very clever filter work going on in this mix 9/10). The final overall score to this mix is of 7 out of 10.

Dance/club djs will find some of the strong rhythms useful if mixed with more melody music, near the start of this track. Anyone who is a fan of listening or minimal techno with a 90s influence will really enjoy this mix if melody is not the most important thing to them.

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Mix Info:Fast Freddy 5:48mins @140BPM Commerical Electro / Tech Trance Hybrid

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samely met guetta!! and who is freddy then?

US2K Review: This mix begins begins with dance floor synth melody which sounds powerful enough to created with a bass and a lead playing the name notes or some other system of layering instrument notes, main hook 1 for the mix is forming. The synth is accompanied with four on the floor bass drum, and a series of percussive instruments are faded in, the first most likely to be a closed hi-hat and the second a cow bell or agogo. Also a string in the centre of the stereo field is also slowly brought into the mix reach full intensity at the 7 seconds play position before a vox "Come On, Get Up" is heard, and more additional percussion on an electronic tom-like instrument is introduced, and the first variety of main hook one for the mix is now fully formed.

A harmony for the main hook is faded in on roughly two instruments; one is a bell like sound, and the other a pad synth. The combination of these instruments is already very danceable but the listener is treated to yet another bass line playing a rhythm for the foot to tap to the hips to wriggle to. This theme continues to the eight seconds mix position before a whoosh/sweep sound and an atmospheric "Oh" (and possible an "ooh" or a flute instrument layered with it although this could be a musical illusion from the fx applied to it) vox introduces a major change in the mix, in the form of due to the structure, not a first bridge but a second hook chorus section.

A chorus is formed by removal of most the instruments except a bass line playing a variation of the main hook, the electronic tom-like percussive synth and a new delay/reverb treated higher pitched percussion sound right of the stereo-field. It has the very successful effect of raising excitement and anticipation for the listener, before another "oh" provides and opportunity an open hat to join the arrangement. After the hi-hat has been introduced a pad/string which has been equalised and panned so that it sits behind the rest of the mix slowly rises in intensity to the thirty nine seconds position.

After the forty seconds position a steam emission sound is used instead of a crash to provide a musical cue for all drum and percussion instruments to leave the mix and the opportunity for the return of main mix hook 1, by which time is evidently a verse. Interestly enough the vox from the chorus, "Oh" is used instead. Although there is a vox change, the percussion, synth, string concepts are mostly the same as that heard in the introduction verse, with the exception of a mid-octave harpsichord type synth playing a rhythm similar one of the bass lines earlier in the mix. This theme continues to the minute section before an "Oh" vox re-introduces the full drum pattern.

Once the drums return to the mix, other than the vox everything else is very similiar to the addictive introduction. The artist exploits this fact by rising the harmonising instruments in the same way making it seem as though the chorus is imminent, but its all an intelligent trick, because instead the verse hook is able to sound fresh again and continue for a few more repeats.

The verse finishes on another "Oh" vox at the one minute thirty six seconds position, after which a variation of the chorus hook (previously bass, percussion and vox) is heard. This time there is a a warm sounding pad and less hi-pitched abstract electronic percussion, an open hi hat is used instead, and the vox from from the introduction verse, "Come On Get Up" is used to drive the arrangement instead of an "Oh".

The music continues to the two minute mix position at which point the bass line which is leading by this points plays some repeats of part of its melody line and some intermitted sweepy/flanged/reverbed piano or guitar) sounds are heard panning left to right twice before a "Come On" introduces for the first time in the mix a right panned high octave reverb treated bass line.

the new higher pitched bass adds some extra intensity and excitement to the music, before the lower bass is left to lead again. This concept is repeated a few times each time creating more anticaption for the listener, before a short bridge section is reached achieved with bass line and percussion (possibly some higher frequencies have been cut with an equaliser or filter of some type).

A few split seconds later a steam emission sound and an "Oh" vox is used as crash to announce the verse again and after further repeats a flute-like or higher pitched square wave instrument is more evidently layered with "Oh" because it plays without the vox at least once, very clever, great results similar to layering an un-pitched metal bar hit behind a synth note, thickens and adds power to the sound.

The full arrangement verse including strings and drums continues to the three minute twenty five seconds position at which point an "Oh" announces the departure of the drums from the mix.

The strings take lead and the remaining instruments continue for two further repeats with the alternative "Come On Vocal". This concept readies the listener for an imminent change which takes place in the form of a very trancey/ravey saw tooth synth hook anthem melody line over a four on the floor bass drum and it is seriously an arm waving moment. Slowly the verse hook and its full drum pattern is faded in underneath the anthem melody.

Although a saw wave synth anthem accompanied with full triad chords would have provided a cliche crescendo ending which ravers love, instead keeping to the chosen structure once the verse hook has reached full intensity at the four minute thirteen seconds position a whoosh sound re-introduces the chorus bass line and percussion for the conclusion of the mix. To maintain interest for the listener lots of ideas from earlier in the composition are heard as the mix progresses, including panning fx treated piano/guitar notes.

The familiar ideas continue to the five minute six seconds after which a left panned high pitch sweep introduces a new theme which is a thinned out drum pattern (no hi hat and electronic percussion removed) and a chorus playing accompanied by a series of intermittent intense high octave rising string notes.

The string and bass concept continues for the final moments of the mix but with the lead bass line either treated with a very short delay or layered at two octaves to create a very think modern bass synth not that different to recent dance music artists have been known to use.

Unusual for this type of conclusion the bass drum continues to the end and a final snare is even heard before one last high pitched sweep finishes the mix at the five minutes forty eight seconds position.

My final evaluation scores for this mix which is a mammoth effort with so many “twists and turns” and subtle/less subtle variations, are: Demonstration of general musical skill including understanding of key, and natural musical cues for changes (10/10), catchiness/addictive qualities (10/10), use of melody, arrangement and harmony variation to add interest (10/10), use of sound effects, vox, drum fills etc. to announce changes and enhance mix appeal (10/10), sound engineering techniques such as panning, reverb, delay, equalising, compression and other sound effect application (10/10), one comment here is it did not make the music any less enjoyable but wondered why no reverb was applied to the steam emission crash sound.. A skilled dj could make this mix work easily on the dance floor even if they did not play the conclusion, although the fact the mix begins and ends in full musical arrangement could provide them a challenge. The wide audience appeal for this mix is ten out of ten

My final conclusion is this commercial quality electro / techno hybrid inspired by Paul Guetta and Freddie Le Grande is it is well worth a listen for fans of techno, electro, dance or trance music of any type.

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Mix Info:Dj Mood Set 2011_09_03 Part 7 2:31mins @126BPM Minimal Techno

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The rest of the set. More of my music by dj Mood here

US2K Review: This minimal techno mix begins with what sounds like a machine starting. This rises slightly in pitch as it fades in to form a sweep up to the seven seconds position. At the end of the sweep there a steamy sounding crash and an almost clock-work rhythm, formed from two types of tom, a bass drum, clap and a closed hat, and a higher note wooden block. The rhythm although mostly mechanical has a slight syncopation of the instruments which enables the mix to retain interest. Also the low tom drum does not just function as simply a percussion instrument, it also creates a bassline.

The beginning of every four to eight beats is accented by two electronic musical notes in descending pitch, from my ear it is highly likely to be simply the same note at high to low octave but difficult to tell without analysing the mix in more detail, but the fact the note is resolving itself it is either that or a note five notes up. This pattern continues to the forty seconds position, at which point there is an important change.

After the forty seconds position later this is the skilful addition of an additional "treble only" snare left and right of the stereo-field to add interest to the mix an announce a more important change. The sound effect which introduced the mix is heard very subtly to introduce an additional rhythm on a new high tom which immediately takes lead.

On its arrival in the centre of the mix becomes very addictive (well as much as percussion alone can achieve) , because the snare left and right is syncopated in the gaps of the new instrument. This continues to the one minute ten seconds position after which a single hit of a "steamy/hissy" sounding snare is heard centre-right of the stereo-field to add some intensity and variation to the mix.

After the steamy/hissy snare the mix continues with out but at the twenty six seconds position it is heard again (twice this time) to provide an intelligent method of removing the instrument that made the mix so addictive.
,br>After removal of the addictive instrument the composition resumes a theme not dissimilar to the mix introduction, this is only briefly though because another change is soon to happen.

At the one minute thirty five seconds position a tambourine is faded in which when it reaches full strength adds energy to the mix, and then when the mix is already very interesting the an alternative version of the introduction sweep is faded in quite loudly up to the one fifty four seconds position. The main difference with the sound this time is that it ends lower in pitch instead of high, so could be considered an upwards sweep. The sweep is used in addition to a last snare hit to introduce some further electronic pitched percussion right of the stereo position.

The newly note sequence creates an answering melody for the two notes which were used throughout the mix as an accent. The resulting musical arrangement indicates a climatic point for the mix.

The mix continues unchanged to the two minute six seconds point some white noise to play an intermittent answering rhythm for the existing pitched electronic percussive notes in the mix. After two repeats the tambourine leaves the mix, and the white noise then takes joint lead of the mix with a closed hi hat.

The final moments of the mix involve a very short fade in of the earlier tambourine to a higher loudness than heard before and if it was not already obvious to the listener, one last note rising version of the now familiar sweep effects is used to confirm the mix is ending.

The final closure of the mix is achieved with the entire musical arrangement is faded out cleanly to silence at the two minute thirty one seconds position.

My final evaluation of this mix is demonstration of general musical skill (10/10), catchiness (8/10), use of variation in melody variation, arrangement, sound effects rolls etc. to maintain freshness to the mix, use of sound effects and drum rolls to introduce musical changes ( 10/10), use of compression, equalisation, reverb , delay, stereo-position and after sound engineering effects or techniques (8/10), wide audience appeal (7/10). My final conclusion is this is a very competent minimal techno production and fans of the genre should enjoy it very much.

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Mix Info:Pita Pita 6:30mins @128BPM American Electro Vocal

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Some Amercian Electro for you! More of my music at soundcloud

US2K Review: This artist only requires promotion so there is no review

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Mix Info:JamieFor Amie Set Pt6 (Good Things on The Telephone) 3:35mins @130BPM Funky House

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More music at Jay Sissimo on Sound Cloud

US2K Review: This funky house mix which was originally part of a set by jay Sissimo starts immediately with a main theme, with a full drum pattern including hi hats, snare and bass drum, a brass instrument playing an improvised jazz melody, and a very confident but laid back sounding male vocal about sounds on the telephone and varying other adlib vox.

There is added atmosphere from the very quiet sound of people talking. Two seconds into the mix a bassline joins the arrangment. The overall theme is compelling to listen to. The mix remains this way up to the thirty seconds position, before the drum pattern and percussion and brass leave the mix providing a bridge section. The vocals continue and a few alternative brass stabs are played over the bassline bringing the hi hat back in.

Halfway through the bridge there is a moment where the listener is teased with part of the drum pattern three times to build some tension before everything leaves the mix except a long stab on the brass followed by a trill of notes at which point the lead instrument becomes most likely to be a saxaphone. The end of the trill is used like a drum roll along with a "whoo" shout to announce the return of the main theme.

When the main theme returns the male vocal is replaced by a repeating very subtle female vocal, and there are two brass instruments, answering the melodies of each other.

Around the one minute fourteen seconds there is a short drop of the drums and another "whoo" before the full drum pattern returns again. The mix continues with differing vox, exactly another minute before a sexaphone trill is used to assist the drums leaving the mix again before progressing further to a drum drop at the two minute twenty eight minutes position via a brass fill and another "whoo" ; this one is unexpected but works well.

At the end of the shout the main mix and drum pattern returns, with the brass playing intermittent stabs, allowing the bassline and drum groove to lead for a bit. This groove is funky enough to continue to sound exciting right up to the two minute fifty eight position. At this point there another series of shouts including a "come on" at which point the drums leave the mix again, almost returning immediately, this time with more percussion and a subtle jazz piano playing lower octave notes. The mix continues on in similiar fashion to earlier, eventually fading in the next mix in the set so it is impossible to know how the single mix originally finished.

Overall the musical ideas do not really change significantly but the subtle changes and, sound effects, various vox and occasional drum drops manage to retain listener interest.

My revluation scores for this mix are general demonstration of musical skill (10/10), use of melody variation to maintain user interest (9/10), use of natural musical clues, fills, vox, and sound effects to announce changes (8/10), general melody catchiness (8/10), use of mixing and mastering techniques such as equalisation, reverb, delay (7/10). My overall final conclusion is this is a quality Jazz Funk House mix well worth a listen to all house music, funk and jazz fans.

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Mix Info:Hot Standing 5:11mins @125BPM Tech Trance

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cold or hotplay!!!

US2K Review: This mix begins with a sample of a slightly gated or phased synth playing a mellow rhythm accompanied by at least one percussive cymbal and a squelchy acid bass synth with a slowly opening resonant filter which creates a sound similar to that famous "rising effect" used by Josh Wink. At the fourteen seconds position a whoosh sound introduces a four on the floor and a change of bass synth whilst the previous musical arrangement instruments have their levels reduced so that they are now merely heard in the background.

The mix progresses for seven seconds during which time the new bass line intended to take lead and new tom drums are slowly faded in, before a percussive synth sound effect is used to introduce an accent snare and indicate some other imminent changes in the mix.

The percussive sound effect is used again around the twenty eight seconds position to introduce dominant shakers and metal drums providing an addictive latin sounding groove. Over the next five four seconds, instead of relying on a melodic musical hook line, the mix uses a strong groove to progress the listener through a journey of interesting sound effects including some sweeping acid synth sounds and a variation of the introduction chords. Of the sounds my favourite has to be that occasional "game show" buzzer sound although over time the metal drums seriously make the foot tap. The slow process of taking leadership by the metal drums must be intentional by the artist because around the twenty five seconds position there is a subtle bridge where all instruments except the metal drums, shakers and underlying synth bass line are dropped down low in the mix.

At the one minute forty seconds position the bridge comes to an end at the point of a new high octave string being introduced whilst all other instruments except the bass line, kick and shakers are removed from the mix. The string plays the first "real" melody for the mix, which is more of an intense film score nature than something you would hum in the shower. This musical idea continues to the two minute nine seconds position whilst the chords from the introduction are slowly faded back in. Shortly afterwards another mix bridge section is encountered, introduced by a very abstract sounding synth line that slowly reduces in pitch transforming into to the "game show buzzer" effect again.

At the two minute thirty three seconds position after the sound has morphed from a lower frequency squelch to something a bit higher and brassy sounding and travelled right from left across the stereo-field like a speeding train, a percussive square wave lead which I initially mistook for a mallet instrument of some type is faded into the mix (instument sound is very much like popcorns' popcorn from the sixties which had to be early techno in my opinion). Also the mellow pad chords from the introduction are becoming audible again. By the time the pair of instruments are becoming strong enough to drive the mix the bridge is nearing its end.

At the end of the bridge around the two minute forty seconds position the kick drum has been re-introduced and the "pop corn" synth is realised to be playing a fairly powerful hook. The subtle click at the end of the "game show buzzer" sound effect is used as a natural cue point in the music to introduce the change in a basic, possibly accidental but nevertheless non abrupt manner and does not interfere with flow for the listener.

The new arrangement including "pop corn" synth progresses for a few seconds whilst an accent snare and other percussion is slowly faded in minus the high frequency shakers at first. Later the second accent snare of a four beat section is used to announce the return of the shaker around the two minute fifty seven seconds position. Many sounds from earlier in the mix our heard as the mix continues, including the percussive rhythm synth sound from the introduction.

Soon the dramatic string from earlier is re-encountered and somehow its intensity retains listener interest right up to the four minute five seconds position, at which point all drums and percussion except the shaker leave the mix, after which point even that instrument and other remaining s sounds are faded out except the "pop corn" synth hook which eventually becomes almost an eerie solo of the nature John Carpenter would have used a piano for, ok yeah there are other better artists such as Vangelis, Jarre or Oldfield who come to mind. We are definitely in paranoid robot or psyco killer territory by the time the mix finishes at the five minute ten seconds position. I would have loved to have heard this eerie solo sooner in the mix because I am a big fan of all the artists mentioned.

My evaluation of this mix includes the following factors, general demonstration of musical skill (9/10), musical structure (10/10), use of natural musical cue points, drum fills, sound effects to introduce changes (9/10), use of sound effects and drum fills to add interest to the mix (10/10), originality (8/10), catchiness/addictiveness for listener (10/10 despite the lack of a melodic hook for most of the mix there is something compelling about it due to the flow) , sound engineering including use of reverb, delay, equalisation, stereo position, compression and other mastering (8/10)., use of melody, accompaniment and arrangement changes to retain listener interest (10/10).

My final overall score is 10 out of 10 and my conclusion is that this is excellent tech trance highly influenced by listening genres of intelligent techno, it misses a special plus due to the fact that sound engineering quality is a little weaker than usual for this artist. I would still highly recommend the mix to fans of tech trance, intelligent techno film scores etc. I am sure a skilled dj could mix parts of this production into a more dance floor ready set too.

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