How to mix from one to two in the exact beat

I have both my tracks synced to 126 BPM. But when I use the cross fader for going seamlessly from left to right or from right to left how do I know that I hit the same beat of that second track?

First of all you can enable sync lock by long clicking the sync button (yes, not really intuitive, I know).

To make it sound good, you also need to honor the time signature and align the downbeats (if you don’t know what time signatures/Downbeats are, you can find loads of tutorials on YouTube).
We don’t have Downbeat detection in Mixxx yet (but we’re working on it), so you need to count yourself and press play in the right moment:


I’m very new here and started with Mixxx 3 days ago. I’m not a dj at all but a musician (playing guitar in a band )but corona stops everything…So I’d like to do something else with music.

The video is nice but not simuIar to software. I have set both players to sync but if I play a track on the left and tap for sliding with the crossfader (in a split second!) to the second track it’s a lucky guess to sync with the beat of that track.

I don’t think this is the right way to do it…?

It sounds like you are trying to mix without headphones and without even looking at the waveform display.

Using headphones requires a soundcard that has at least two outputs (as in speakers and headphones, except that the headphones output of most laptops does not work for this).

Using the waveform, you can see a visual representation of the sound of each track, so you can accelerate or slow down the silent track so that you align the beats.

Also, as explained by hlzhs, you have a button called “sync” on the player, and also another button that looks like a magnet.
If you use both, Mixxx will automatically align the beats (but might not align it to the correct downbeat yet).
Note that sometimes, the beats are not correctly detected and manual correction is needed.
Generally, Mixxx does a good job, and it is going to improve in newer versions, but right now it’s something you have to know.

Hi JosepMa,

I’m Ray from The Netherlands.

Thank you for your quick reply. It’s obvious that it’s all new to me but I like to learn.

I don’t use a laptop but a heavy I7 desktop which is connected to a A&H ZED6FX mixer for all sounds coming in and out through a Behringer UCA202 with 2 KRK Rokit 6 studio monitors.
I don’t know if this is enough…

The waveforms are constantly in my sight but I can’t figure out how to move the crossfader for the seamlessy exact beat of the next track. I tried sync (set both bpm’s right) aligned both waveforms etc… So if both waveforms are aligned I still need headphones? (I don’t understand the use because of the alignment of the waveforms allready)

I studied some “manuals”on the internet and looked at videos, but they merely show a deiscription of the functions of Mixxx and not a clear and detailed process in steps how to start with two tracks and how to control this from left to right v.v.

The waveforms are constantly in my sight but I can’t figure out how to move the crossfader for the seamlessy exact beat of the next track.

First of all, I don’t think you need to worry about the Crossfader yet. If you beatmatched correctly, then both a fast cut or a slow transitions should sound good (at least if the melodies don’t clash).

I tried sync (set both bpm’s right) aligned both waveforms etc…

Did you enable sync lock, so that both sync buttons are always lit? A short click is not enough as this only sets the BPM but not the phase.

So if both waveforms are aligned I still need headphones? (I don’t understand the use because of the alignment of the waveforms allready)

Well, for proper DJing you always need headphones to prelisten the next track and check if it’s in sync with the playing track. But if you don’t have an audience you can also play around without headphones, but you’ll need them sooner or later.

For practicing, I recommend you use two house tracks with 4/4 beat and long intros (where you only hear beats, no melody or something). Load them to deck A and B, make sure sync lock and Quantize is enabled on both decks: Move the Crossfader to the center and both channel Fader to their top positions.

Then you can start playback on deck A and count the beats of the playing deck:

After 4 bars (16 beats, i. e. after you counted 1 2 3 4 - 2 2 3 4 - 3 2 3 4 - 4 2 3 4), press-and-hold the CUE button on deck B. Both tracks should now play in perfect sync. If you messed up you can just release CUE and try again (the track will jump back to the beginning). If it sounds good you can press play while holding CUE and then release CUE to let the track keep playing (you need a controller or the keyboard for that).

If that works, you can now practice to do that while the crosssfader is pulled to the leftmost position. You enable the PFL button on that deck, so that you can hear the track on the headphones but not on the main OUT. Adjust the Headphone Mix to listen to both the main output (deck A in this case) and the muted deck B. Then repeat the steps I explained above. While deck B is playing you can slowly move the deck channel Fader up to make a smooth transition.

I’ve allready found out how to lock sync by pressing this button until it stays blue. It looks intuitive and I have have been able to fill a crate with all 126 BPM dance songs but I’m running into things which I can’t figure out. Still I lock sync buttons. I should not worry about the crossfader but I’m eager to learn how to sync transition from deck 1 to deck 2. and v.v.

Sofar I haven’t use headphones because I don’t know how to listen with that to deck 2 if deck 1 is playing (which I can’t hear) Is my equipment suitable for that?
How I can listen to one track with headphones while the other track plays for the audience? I can’t use the crossfader for this.
And then: How do I know that a transition to another track plays in the same beat if this track not even is being played? (because I want ofcourse start this track also from the beginning!

I’m sorry for all my questions but this is the non intuitive part for me…(like some more…) I really want to understand the basics and expand from there in time.

BTW I have the Dutch version 2.4. If I hold my mouse above a function it explains in Dutch.
But I also see a version with 4 decks. Do I have the right one? (UPDATE! I found the 4 decks in SETTINGS!!)

Listening to an incoming track in headphones became a thing in the 70s, when a cue section was added to dj mixers.

Here is how it works: You cue up the incoming track at its first beat and wait for the appropriate time of the currently playing track to start playing it. This was first done with turntables and tape machines, which almost always needed some sort of slightly timing adjustment. CDs and controllers start playing instantaneously, but often still need a push or pull to get things into sync. How do you know they are synced? You listen to the program mix through speakers and the incoming track through headphones. If they sound synced, they probably are. Now start mixing in the new track. Many mixers/controllers have features to listen to the program mix in one headphone and cue in the other, or even fade in how much of one or the other depending on taste.

That sync assumes that the tempos are the same. Most modern produced dance music is fairly quantized. TRacks ripped from vinyl might waver a bit. Drums played live can waver a lot. Depending on the music you might always have to assume that the quantization might drift and some sort of adjustment be made, whether once over many measures, or even every measure.

In the vinyl days, when nothing was synced, I would cue, start, adjust the tempo, mix in, and readjust in the same motion, similar to Jeff Mills, but I was also playing techno on 3 decks. Other djs would spend half the time letting a track play in the headphones, making adjustments that they would have to repeat when actually mixing in anyway. These days, I’ll press sync to match the tempos, then push or pull with the jogwheel set to digital mode. I’d rather use the pitch fader, but mine is too short to be of much use, and using the jogwheels in vinyl mode is too sensitive for how I handle them, lest the beats jump too fast.

If you find that the time involved to confirm that the tracks are in sync doesn’t give you enough to mix before the tracks run out, make sure you aren’t using radio edits of songs. Music intended for djing is often even double the length, allowing for more generous intro and outro sections. Advanced users might also use looping and hotcues to extend certain passages.

If all oyu have is a stereo output sound card, no your equipment is not enough. With linux, it is possible to use the laptop headphone output, too, but the latency between external and internal soundcards will be so different so as to confuse a beginner, too.

Thank you so much! I think I got it now and by praticing (by good listening) it sounds quite seamloss transition from one track to another with the crossfader if I have cued all tracks during playing. I even started with 4 decks now!

But there’s still a problem with using headphones! If I send one track FOH then I can’t hear just only the other track through headphones. I gues this is due to routing but I can’t find the right routing to prelistening to that other track for adjusiting purposes.
I foud out that a mixer acts as a second soundcard. I have a stereo soundcard in my computer.
I use an A&H ZED 6 FX to go FOH at home but I also have an A&H ZED 22FX for larger venues. I guess the principle is the same. So how to do that with headphones?

You need a soundcard with at least 2 stereo outputs. 4 stereo outputs if you are mixing with external hardware, 2 stereo if mixing within the software. Then, you can independently monitor different tracks in the headphones than the foh mix. The ZED 6 does not have a usb connection, and ZED 22fx only a single stereo, so you will need a different piece of hardware, unfortunately

For getting started, you can also use your built-in soundcard for the headphone output and the extra soundcard for master out. Mixxx also has a knob to control the CUE/Master mix, so you can use your headphones to prelisten the next track, listen to master out or anything in between.

Using the computer headphone output works for general cueing of an incoming track, but the difference in latency to an external soundcard could be too much for beginners to smoothly mix

That’s why I pointed out that you can use the CUE/Master Mix knob. In that case you can even practice without turning on your speakers and just record your session to listen to it later.

OK hlzhs and Mixxx_Mlxxxermannnn, I think these are good options to start with. So I understand correctly I put my headphones in the green output on the pc for prelistening to the following track and at the same time use my ZED 6FX to send the actual track to FOH…?

Since this FOH also will be loud on stage, will this green headphones output provide enough volume since there’s no volume knob to control this? I have non experience in this matter…

BTW I’m working daily to gather a numerous number of dance tracks, organise them in BPM range and fill crates with a number of them for sets and then it’s practising, practising.
It’s really fun and mixing gets better and better with even sometimes turn the echo button on as an effect during a track…

Still I have to use my mixer for FOH. For this I have 2 QSC K12-2, 2 QSC K8 and 1 QSC Ksub. Together 7000 W of dance volume. So if there’s a need for a 4 stereo output soundcard for my mixer tthen so be it…

But it’s also a corona situation here in The Netherlands so I will have time to prepare myself for quite some time before being allowed to get on stage…!.

ah, i missed that. Not sure if I was doing something wrong, but I still found it hard to mix with just the headphones. The manual says that the right ear plays the master mix, but that is the ear I’ve used to cue for the past 22 years and for listening to telephone calls for even longer. It wold be cool if there was an option to switch it in software. Thankfully, external monitors isn’t an issue for me, as it is more comfortable to work the old-school way.

A new DJ might not have those workflows etched into their way of doing things.

I highly, highly recommend getting some sort of dj controller. I am using a very old numark mixtrack pro. The sound quality is not the greatest and some of the controls are too small, awkwardly placed, etc, but it works well enough for home use and 8 hour house parties. A decent dj controller (something with xlr main outputs) would be able to drive your sound system and the mixer controls will match what a normal dj mixer does. A bonus is the ability to almost never touch the computer when finding and assigning tracks to the decks.

I understand you strongly recommend this Numark Mixtrack Pro. But I would have to buy and to learn whole new equipment while I’m very familiar with working on my state of the art computer. And really: everything sounds awesome in my studio out of my KRK monitors and will even better sounding out of my P.A… But one started with the issue about the necessity of having headphones and that’s just the only thing that I can’t control now…

At this moment I can’t experience the convenience of listening through headphones for sliding the crossfader exactly to the other side matching the following track.

When I’m ready my aim on stage is installing the computer and lay my two 25" screens in about a 30 degrees angle in front of me on a big table, together with my big usb 22 channel mixer on the side. My whole P.A. will be in front of me.
Behind me there will be a 3 m wide truss, about 3 m high with my 2 expensive moving heads and my state of the art laser from laserworld (to begin with). I’m also busy with someone who can help me (?) with programming this lightshow through an Enntec Open DMX USB interface. So you undertand I still need the computer for this for matching in BPM with all tracks.

I have it all and also in my mind so I’m really working daily to this whole concept. Being a musician I know what I’m getting in to :sunglasses: :wink:.

But for now: how to solve the headphones problem? (I guess there will be more problems to solve in the near future…but one at the time). Switching by mens of software would be nice but I don’t think there is such a thing.
I see the big dj’s putting on their headphones on but they have professional turntables and Pioneer stuff and all other tecnical stuff is being done by an army of technicians for them behind stage…

Yes, providing you have good quality headphones that will organically block out some of the external sound. Be aware that once you allocate the internal soundcard (green output) to the Headphones section in Preferences, you will be able to control the volume with the Headphone volume knob. You can also control the output volume as usual using the normal volume control on your laptop.

OK but I will be fully occupied with keepings things in order on my full MIXXX-screen so diving at the same time into my computer for adjusting headphones volume knob is (TMHO) looking for trouble.
Since I use a mixer with headphones jack output ability I wonder if this can be used in one or another way. I will contact a local store In the Netherlands if they know how to do this.
I keep you posted! Thanks! :+1:

If you want to use the headphone jack on your an analog mixer, you need a soundcard with 2 stereo outputs and assign them to Deck 1 and Deck 2 in the sound preferences. Then connect the outputs to deck 1 input and deck 2 input of the Mixer.