looking for a Mix-Gen program

Techno, ambient, trance, dub, jungle, etc. are entire genres which follow completely different laws from the rest of music and offer unique rewards for the listener.

However, like any other type of music, there is a great deal of crud out there. Bad Techno loses sight of theme, melody, harmony, or original sounds and degenerates into a pathetically dull thumping. In fact, your average techno CD or compilation is likely to contain a majority of time spent on really boring boom-tss-boom-tss.

I like to think of techno falling into 3 grades:

Good for active listening

OK for dancing to (if trance) or

falling asleep to (if ambient)


It immediately becomes necessary to condense techno into compilations and mixes in order to weed out the crud. However, grading is subjective and you've only got two options:

  1. Buy a CD compilation, which you rarely get a chance to hear before purchasing, and which is typically stuffed with tracks that record companies are trying to promote, which tend to be crud.
  2. Buy a DJ mix tape. Only available in a few places, but if you know a DJ with your tastes in techno, a reasonable purchase. However, there's still a lot of guesswork involved and it's usually a tape, not a CD.

Even if you borrow a whole bunch of CDs from a friend, or take the expensive route and buy a whole mess of CDs yourself, you're stuck with typically only a few really good minutes on each CD.

Faced with this situation, i had an idea... why isn't there a program to let you:

  1. Scan through a CD letting you indicate the parts you actually enjoy listening to,
  2. Automatically match beats and fade/mix those segments together,
  3. Write the output onto a CD-R (really cheap nowadays)

Presto, you've converted that pile of borrowed or expensive CDs full of crud into a beautiful, grade-A techno jewel.

I've looked at several software packages, but haven't found a good solution yet.  If you know of anything, let me know!

PCDJ ($200 for full version, lite version free with annoying ads)
mixman.gif (3098 bytes) Mixman StudioPro ($90)
"enables anyone to create and play CD quality music - real-time control of tempo, volume, pitch and panning, thousands of royalty-free loops and samples, import your own .wav files, export your mix as a CD quality digital audio file."  Emphasis is on creating, not editing existing music.
It can output to MP3, but it can't mix MP3 streams.

General audio editing:

cooledit.gif (2786 bytes) Cool Edit Pro from Syntrillium Software.   "64-track digital audio, editing, and mixing.  Lots of top-quality digital effects modules. Edit files up to 2 gigabytes in size."  Unfortunately it's very slow and laborious to cut and mix the audio sections you want.