The Infinity Mix was the first mix I ever completed, 14 years ago. It’s still got a lot of tracks I enjoy, and is a blast from the past for me – it reminds me of putting it together, of the house I lived in at the time, of the different albums I’d bought, of the problems I had putting it together.
Back then, I mixed in Cool Edit Pro. When I first embarked on mixing what would become the Infinity Mix, I discovered that (wow, surprise) if two tracks aren’t exactly the same speed, then putting them together will start getting beat clashes. And this is really amazingly sensitive – even tenths of a BPM will start generating ugly thumping chaos within a couple of seconds. So I bought a separate BPM calculator program to work out the speed of each track and used time stretching to stretch the incoming track slower or faster until the outgoing track was faded away. That introduced artifacts – in the original mix you can clearly hear this going from The Third Rebirth into Everyone’s Future, where the cymbals go from being mushy to suddenly crisp. The pitch changes slightly upward too, but only really good ears will hear that. If I had everything lined up, I could just about finish editing two tracks together in the time it took to play it.
Now, I use MixMeister, which tells me the BPM of each song, the key it’s in, and seamlessly speeds up or slows down each track accordingly – while still keeping the pitch – between the outro of one track and the intro of the other. It’s beautiful. I can mix so fast I can get to the end of editing an hour’s worth of music in about thirty minutes, and so have time to admire my work and really make sure that each intro and outro sounds good.
The other thing that’s bothered me about the original Infinity Mix is that I had no way of recreating it short of going back and doing all that editing again in something like Audacity. Worse, the only original file I have is encoded in 128-bit MP3, using an old encoder that was fairly crappy. And somewhere in the process of moving the file around I got a chunk of weird data in the middle of it – about in the middle of Transamazonia.
And, of course, back when I edited it I had nothing to determine what key each track was in, and I just didn’t have the musical skill to pick each key, and to be honest I was so thrilled with being able to edit music together at all that I let the key go. A few times I had to search around a bit for a track that wouldn’t clash quite so badly with the previous track and would blend into the next track – which is why “Work My Mind” and “Moonwalk” are in the mix and are relatively short.
It’s not really a good example of my art.
So I started playing around with MixMeister one day, dragging all the tunes of the original Infinity Mix into one playlist and rearranging them by key. And then I started taking it more seriously – wouldn’t it be great to make something that was better than the original, that no longer made me cringe in some places? Hell yeah it would.
Now this was not easy. It’s always difficult when I have a set playlist – the Top Thirty mix and the various Creative Commons mixes I’ve put together have always been a bit clunky in places. The key just doesn’t match, or two pieces of music don’t blend together well, and I’m constrained to use those pieces and can’t substitute others.
I compromised a bit – I removed Transamazonia because I just don’t enjoy it any more, and I put in “Platform 9” by Quench because it was from the same era and it blended better than anything else in the mix.
But for the most part I also found that the same tracks worked together. It worked well to build up to the fast point in the middle and then have “Down In My Mind” as the reprise to slower speeds. It let me rediscover some of that music that had got a bit stale for me and realise that some of it was still a lot of fun.
Completed 20 Aug 2013
Total play length: 03:54:07
|2||The Grid||Shapes of Sleep||133.90||06:42|
|3||William Orbit||Adagio for Strings||Ferry Corsten remix||135.00||06:34|
|4||Severed Heads||Dead Eyes Opened||Original Mix||132.20||06:30|
|6||Union Jack||Lollipop Man||145.90||07:17|
|7||Union Jack||Red Herring||142.80||08:36|
|8||Salamander||Tempest||Union Jack Mix||145.80||07:10|
|10||Josh Abrahams||We Mess with Your Head||142.50||07:03|
|12||Headman||Work my Mind||145.50||06:00|
|13||Jones and Stevenson||The third rebirth||147.70||06:50|
|14||Itch-e & Scratch-E||Interference||153.00||06:51|
|17||Mijk's Magic Marble Box||Autumn||Personal Generator||148.90||07:53|
|20||Humate and Rabbit in the Moon||East||133.60||09:42|
|22||Itch-E & Scratch-E||The Point Of No Return||Mixed By Itch-E & Scratch-E & Sherrif Lindo||144.00||06:16|
|23||Marmion||Schoneberg||Man With No Name remix||140.00||07:23|
|25||South End||Fanatical||Otto's Gone Flying Mix||135.10||06:27|
|26||Itch-E & Scratch-E||Sweetness And Light||Sound & Suthers At The Controls||140.00||05:32|
|27||Union Jack||Two Full Moons and a Trout||140.00||07:58|
|28||Commander Tom||Are Am Eye||155.00||09:14|
|29||Pablo Gargano||Everyone's Future||147.90||07:42|
|31||L.S.G.||My time is yours||146.00||06:40|
|32||Aurora Borealis||The Milky Way||159.80||06:01|
|33||Final Fantasy||Controlling transmission||168.80||07:31|
|34||Boo Boo & Mace||Bring Your Mind Back Home||174.00||04:24|
|35||Frontside||Down In My Mind||155.00||10:51|
|36||Frontside||Down In My Mind||155.00||10:51|
|36||DJ Dan Efex vs J. Scott G.||Onyx||140.00||09:34|
|38||The Grid||Texas Cowboys||135.20||05:50|
|39||S-J||I Feel Divine||135.90||07:47|
|40||Quazar||Break Away||Deep Trance Remix||130.00||05:34|
|41||Ultimate Life Experience||Escape From Noise||137.90||06:56|
|42||Paul Van Dyk||For an angel||141.10||06:07|
|43||Cosmic Baby||Aquarius Orbit||135.90||06:15|
|44||Third Eye||You know||134.30||07:27|
|46||The Grid||Swamp Thing||134.80||06:40|
I welcome any suggestions, criticisms and recommendations for new music to listen to. I will consider doing specific mixes for people, but this is only a hobby. Hope to hear from you.