POSTERITY

Posterity Demonstration

Description
It is a template for use in making DJ mix videos. As its name suggests, it is designed to be used for a long time. Previously, I had to make templates for long videos from scratch, and animations would have to be keyframed for each individual track, every time. Video production would take a very long time, but Posterity separates static elements from dynamic ones, and animations are now applied using presets.

Adobe Premiere is used in this case because Posterity requires using the Razor Tool and Rate Stretch Tool, which Adobe After Effects does not have.

Layers / Elements
Static elements include the placeholders for the Elapsed Time, Audio Waveform, Track Title, Social Media, and Track Indicator. These do not change and can be imported into each new project. Dynamic elements include the Waveform, Time, Track Title, and Background. These change for each project but I already have compositions that can produce them easily while I do something else like search for images.* The Title element is a Title object in Premiere that only requires that the track titles be pasted from a plain text file. Elements such as Track Progress are animated but contained as a Nested Sequence. I can treat them as a static element and scale them for the duration they are needed for using the Rate Stretch Tool.

Animation / Keyframing
Posterity still requires manual keyframing for two reasons:
1. Advancing the next track’s title in Track Title.
2. Aligning the next Track Triangle to Track Indicator.

Both animations occur at the same time based on music cues, specifically, the point when a track finishes transitioning to the next. Each animation takes 30 frames in a 60 FPS sequence. Ideally, each Background element is placed into the sequence first so I can use their positions in the timeline as a reference. Background elements are faded into each other using 30-frame presets.

Masks
The placeholders at the top, which are static elements, are used as masks for the Track Title and Waveform & Time Indicator in the sequence. The Track Title has to be completely keyframed and turned into a Nested Sequence before the Track Matte Key can be applied else the mask will not work. When done correctly, the space occupied by the dynamic elements (Waveform, Time & Title) will cause the placeholder to become transparent at those points, resulting in a clean look.

Posterity Workflow

Conclusion
Here is what the template looks like in Premiere when all the elements have been added. See if you can identify what each layer does! There is also an Extra layer for anything else I might need, and an FX layer for the particle composition I like using in my videos. Fade.png is a simple vignette that is present on the top and bottom of the videos and helps visibility of the dynamic elements against light Backgrounds.

*Simple After Effects compositions. They output video files that are then imported in Premiere and only require that the content be fitted into its appropriate placeholder. Rendering a black video in the background is fine because a mask can be applied to it later anyway or you can use a Blend Mode to remove it. (Under Opacity in Effect Control when the content is selected in Premiere.)

TWMIX-011

TWMIX-011 J-Core Remix!! 2.5

Listen on Mixcloud. Download from Mega.

There is a problem with continuity in that I decide to do things ahead of time when there are plenty of things that I should be working on that are several months late. For example, TWMIX-011 at this time of writing is already completed when we still have yet to release TWMIX-008 and TWMIX-010. Despite this, I still wanted to create a new J-Core Remix!! work but because of timing being right in line with Comiket 88 and towards the end of the Summer Anime season, I decided it to release it as J-Core Remix!! 2.5. I will ensure that next time, for J-Core Remix!! III, I will have fresh new bangers for everyone. Aside from this fact, it is structured exactly as you would expect, but it doesn’t build upon J-Core Remix!! II like TWMIX-006 or TWMIX-009 did. It features the remix of Signal Graph that I couldn’t include in TWMIX-005, and it has Anime bootlegs scattered throughout the set, but the emphasis this time is on technique, or in other words, exactly how I do this type of thing to begin with.

The video for TWMIX-011 shows a screen capture of the session in Traktor, along with a camera feed that shows my hand movements and information of the current and previously played tracks. I use all four decks on my controller this time, and the purpose is to be able to cue more songs in advance so that I have more time to focus on the current ones rather than constantly feel the need to load the next one immediately as I transition into the next song. I felt this was more useful than finding a way to use samples in my sets like Traktor seems to intend for you to do.

Pocotan’s “Seaside Girl,” was a track I’ve been wanting to use for a while now in a set, but it always bothered me how I wanted to include the outro but not have to play the entire track front to back. This time, I used two cue points and the idea was that I would immediately advance to the other point in the track upon hitting that cue point. If timed correctly, the difference would sound completely natural. Please decide for yourself if I succeeded at this. Once at the end, transitioning to the other track becomes very easy.

I feel the only real mistake here lies in the transitions to and from “The drug that took me to heaven – Spy47.” It is a track that was also in “The Best of J-Core Masterz,” composed of two disks, one containing full songs and the other that is a seamless DJ mix. The version I used was from the original “J-Core Masterz Vol. 4.” It is a track that is heavily concentrated in the mids and has a very dissonant sequence just before the melody, which is the only reason I bothered playing it to begin with. In the CD, the transition is simply a rough fade to and from the previous song. As for the outwards transition, that was my mistake as I began playing “Sweetness and Love – 3R2 Ft. DJ Mashiro” right on the cue point I was supposed to end on. The part just before the breakdown on the latter track has a break using the kickdrum that sound offbeat when both tracks are playing.

All in all, it helped me notice the importance of mixing in key, which I try out for TWMIX-008.

MAKINA INITIALIZATION II


In Makina Initialization II, I revisit the playlist from the original, and rework it into a new playlist containing new songs without the recording problems. By this point, I had purchased a Traktor Kontrol S4 and am learning to use all of its features, namely, its four channels. It wouldn’t be until TWMIX-011 that I use them all throughout the set, but the main point here is that because it is a full-MIDI controller, it interfaces directly with Traktor so I can record my mixes easily with the best quality.

Makina Initialization II only contains Makina tracks, but I also use Anime bootlegs, original compositions, pop music bootlegs, and arrangements derived from Touhou and Kantai Collection melodies. There is also an arrangement of “Mother Earth” from the Earthbound/Mother series. By this time, I realize I can mix a lot of tracks in a short amount of time, with the average song playing for less than three minutes. Consider this when I have the habit of using tracks in the middle of changing genres, or the inclusion of the very last song, which I may intentionally play from front to back.

Overall, Makina is a very fun style to play with, and I feel like I was able to show that in this set. Please give it a listen sometime.

PREEMPTIVE STRIKE

Preemptive Strike
Click the image to listen to it on Mixcloud.

Preemptive Strike is a rejected set that I sent to an online radio station that features UK-Hardcore mixes. Made to be around 30 minutes, it is all 170-200 BPM and features original, Anime bootlegs, and Bemani songs. I think it is a solid set, but there isn’t variety. This is an example of a requested mix because the radio station specified on how I should make it but I think it is good nonetheless. Overall it really just feels like the UK-Hardcore portion of a J-Core Remix!! that is on steroids and no track lasts more than two minutes and thirty seconds.

TWMIX-009

Like TWMIX-006, TWMIX-009 does not have a proper title and is meant to be an improved version of the former. In this set, I begin with an intro track that sets the atmosphere and then, I play a sequence of Hardstyle songs and use a glitch-hop track to transition into Freeform/UK-Hardcore. The trick used for this Hardstyle → Glitch-Hop transition is the same as the one described in the blog post for TWMIX-006. Notably, I also make a transition between “Ascension – Dustboxxxx” → “Helheim – Moro,” two 220 BPM songs which I somehow made work. As the BPM becomes higher in the set, it is more difficult to beatmatch tracks and errors become quickly audible when made. With this considered, TWMIX-009 contains the largest range in played BPM than any other mix we have released so far without counting the Speedcore track at the end. In typical J-Core Remix!! fashion, I include a closing track at the end that I play from front to back. Because of this, I consider this set to be my most complete and encompasses the most variety of music. At this time of writing, the video is still in production, but I shall see this set online sometime soon.

Edit: And here it is.

TWMIX-007

TsundereWorks and I mixed this live on Youtube for New Year’s on December 31st, 2014. It is a massive set, spanning over 100 tracks, and I don’t think the set list for it was ever finalized. As I began to write the post for this work, I paused for a few minutes, and asked myself, “Wait, what is TWMIX-007 again?” I had already forgotten about it. It was a set meant to be listened to and celebrated live, so I don’t really expect anyone to listen to something so massive after the fact.

If you still remember sets from when I started mixing, you might remember “A Little Bit of Everything & Friends,” which were two mixes I made consisting of miscellaneous Touhou and original House and Progressive Trance mixes in the 128-135 BPM range for easy listening. The theme was the same this time around, but in retrospect, maybe we should have enabled auto-sync, as mixing such a large set becomes unmanageable after the first 50 tracks and a few alcoholic drinks. Really, Gensou-Ange was the kickback of kickbacks. It was a genuine pleasure to celebrate with everyone who cared to drop by on Youtube. The night felt a lot warmer and much less lonelier with you all. I’d like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

When streams are broadcast live on Youtube, they are automatically archived. It didn’t take long until we received a copyright claim from Ultra Music, a major music label, for a track we played, “Plastik World – Masayoshi Minoshima Vo. Misawa Aki.” The track had previously been uploaded to my channel at the very beginning of its conception and never had I had trouble with it. The portion of the music that was in the claim was not a vocal, nor was it a melody. It was just a simple riff that resembled their alleged track. Knowing this, I appealed the claim, and it was rejected by the label. Any further action would require my personal information and risking myself a possible lawsuit for a cause we make no monetary profit from.

You can still listen to it on Mixcloud or download it from Mega.

TWMIX-006

TWMIX-006 is my personal favorite. I feel it is pretty definitive in showcasing my music taste and style as a DJ. There are a few imperfections, but they’re not the kind that will make you boo at the DJ, and walk out, I hope. When thinking of a new set, I would refer back to this one, listen to it, and sometimes go, “I would have set a cue point here instead / I would probably make this transition differently / Maybe this track would have fit better were it in this order,” and things of that nature. Then, I would take such thoughts and apply them to the current project. As far as music selection goes, it’s a bit of an odd hybrid between the J-Core Remix!! name and the Hardcore nature of HHHD if you happen to remember such a thing.

The set list is composed of J/UK-Hardcore songs that are both original and Anime song bootleg remixes, but there is also the addition of Frenchcore, Hardstyle, Gabber/Mainstream Hardcore, and Speedcore. TWMIX-009 was developed in the same way, but with improved playlisting. During this time, I discovered Lilium Records’ exceptional discography and decided to feature that, as well as include recurring artists from my previous mixes. The extended mix of Ryu’s “We’re so Happy” also made it in, and not only did the full video make it to Youtube, but free from Copyright Strikes and Content IDs. It’s a miracle.

Speedcore is an odd case. The composition is similar to that of any J-Core song, be it UK-Hardcore, Hardstyle, or what have you, but it has breaks where the kickdrum plays 16 times per bar, resulting in around 700 BPM. In practice, it can sync anywhere from 170-200 BPM, so it is actually not that difficult of a case to transition to and from it. Hardstyle is the difficult one in this case, because its BPM tends to be 150, so I use different methods to transition through it halfway into the set, when the current BPM may be 175 or more before it. For TWMIX-006, “Come on Over – Massive New Krew & DJ Myosuke” has the kickdrum hit near the beginning of the track at the breakdown of the melody which has a vocal sample, so I begin playing it from that point as I move the fader on my controller to signify the transition has started. I think it worked out well, but words don’t really describe how I did it. You should have a listen instead.