MixMeister is a powerful tool that assists in making professional playlists with little to no effort at all! For those who are interested in creating an effective playlist experience with beat matching (a DJ mixing technique), this is the podcast for you! My guest, Cassidy Vineyard Pflanz, was introduced to the power of MixMeister by noticing the incredible musicality of other colleagues’ playlists and has since created the MixMeister Bootcamp to help instructors learn all about it inside and out!
What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
What is MixMeister?
How & why to use beat mixing
Quickly prepare seamless playlists
Here’s the Complete List of Tips:
1. What is MixMeister?
MixMeister is software that gives you the chance to be really creative with your playlists. The software takes you beyond the traditional mixing/blending/crossfading of programs such as Spotify (I do still use Spotify and love the crossfade feature). There are three different levels of MM available for purchase. MixMeister Express was made specifically for the needs of fitness professionals.
2. Why should fitness professionals use it?
It allows you to infuse a playlist with your creativity!
MM has a rich and energetic feel in the classroom – It’s one cohesive musical journey.
You are able to control the energy in the room and avoid silence or weird drop offs in the music.
It gives you the chance to play with the juxtaposition of tracks (the placement and order of tracks within a playlist as well as the transition of one track to another). The arrangement of tracks in a class fascinated me when I first started taking spin classes. Unusual pairings and keeps clients guessing what will be next.
The software assists with creating professional quality playlists with beat-mixed and crossfaded song transitions – one of the secrets to creating a great mix is getting the transitions from track to track smooth and seamless. MM Express automatically handles this task or you can add your own tweaks and touches to get just the right sound for your class.
You can change the BPMs of a song (making it slower or faster), trim down long songs or lengthen short songs, even out volume levels of tracks (really useful if you are sourcing music from a multitude of source), all which keeps participants moving from one set of drills to the next
3. What kinds of fitness professionals can use it?
It is great for instructors who teach a beat based modality. You do not need experience with DJ software, creative process, or musicality to use this.
4. Why is that moment of transition between songs in a class so important?
The space between songs is one of those little things that make a huge difference. The connection allows the flow of the class to continue from one song to another and eliminate the possibility of the drop of energy that would happen with silence.
5. How does it make the play listing process easier/ faster?
There are many tools that help making a playlist quickly on MM. There are three main things you see on MM when you open the application:
Library of Music is arranged by song title, artist, BPM (beats per minute), Album, Time (located on the upper left of screen). This helps you organize your music selection to find songs that fit your playlist faster.
Playlist Section (located on the upper right) – this allows you to drag and drop songs from the Library section to start ordering and creating your playlist.
Workable section (located at the bottom) At the very top of this section you see time stamps – this can also be viewed as measures. In this section, you can see the musical events of songs (chorus, verse, or where something is happening in the music). This helps you prepare your cues for class more quickly based on their clear visibility.
6. What can you do with MixMeister that you can’t do with iTunes or Spotify?
You can shorten or lengthen a song to fit the length of your format/method/playlist.
7. What software is MixMeister compatible with?
MixMeister is compatible with iTunes – you can upload your entire library to MM! However, this is only for music that is downloaded to your computer directly. You are not able to use streaming services (Apple Music, Spotify) with MM. To get around this, Cassidy has used SoundCloud rather than directly purchasing music to download the tracks she wants to use for her playlists (Find her SoundCloud account link above and follow her!).
MM is compatible with both Mac and PC as well.
8. How easy is it to use? What kinds of things can you do with the software?
You can add all of iTunes library into MM Library. You have the option to manually add songs by dragging and dropping from iTunes into MM. Set up an automatic folder. MM monitors that folder and then brings in the new tracks. You can make powerful transitions with songs by beat mixing.
9. What’s beat mixing/why do I want to do that?
Beat mixing and cross fading creates a seamless playlist that takes your clients on a musical journey. Beat mixing is overlapping the outro (end of a track) with an intro (beginning) of the next track. This shifts the BPMs of the current track to the next. It builds suspense leading into what is coming next in the track. This keeps them moving forward, excited for what is to come. This is similar to a club atmosphere and what DJs try to to for their audience on the dance floor!
MM will automatically handle the transition from track to track or you can manually adjust the crossfade or beat mix. Always listen to the transition to ensure it makes sense with the musical events, vocals, as well as what you are planning to do for the physical workout (or drills as I call them).
– Ensure that the transition doesn’t cut into an important instrumental event (musical events as I call them – for example a chorus).
– Check that it doesn’t cut into predominate/important vocals.
10. What’s BPM?
BPM stands for “beats per minute.” This is the tempo, how fast or slow, the song is. This controls the quickness of your movement in a beat based barre or cycle class. Depending on the technique and control needed for the class at hand, you need to be aware of choosing a BPM that supports this and allows clients to work safely but also challenge themselves.
11. What’s your strategy when creating a playlist in MixMeister? What’s your process from sourcing music to playing your playlist?
Sort/search your library of music in MM for the song you would like to start with then simply drag and drop it in the playlist section on the upper right hand side. Continue doing this until you are satisfied with the length, which is indicated above the workable area on the left hand side. Pick a song that you like, give it a google search and download it, drag it into MM and then go from there!
12. Do you have any tips for those that are already using MixMeister that they may not be aware of?
Volume levels can be different from one song to the next, and as instructors we normally feel this and race to the volume knob to compensate for this. With MM, we can insure the volume levels are the same from one to the next. Its one less thing you have to think about during class.
13. How can I get MixMeister? How much does it cost?
MixMeister Bootcamp is an online boot camp that Cassidy runs. There is a 30% off coupon on the site that brings the cost from $69.99 down to only $49.99.
References in the Episode
SoundCloud: Cassidy Vineyard
MixMeister Boot Camp