I love to create my own workout music mixes. I create mixes not only for my workouts but for parties and special events with my friends and family. My primary mixing tools are an iPad mini with djay Pro from Algoriddim installed and connected to a Pioneer DDJ-WEGO3 controller. This is a bit of a labor intensive process. Now I know this is overkill for most people but I can make some great motivational music mixes this way and I enjoy doing it. There is one problem with this method though. Once you’ve worked out with the mix a few times you begin to memorize the song order and it becomes boring. How soon this happens varies but eventually you find yourself repeating the creation process again.
Thanks to Chris Lawhorn from the Run Hundred website I learned of an app called Cross DJ from Mixvibes that makes creating your own workout mixes that offer variety and only take a few minutes to create. Before I explain how to do this let me tell you a little about Chris. Not only does he have a website focused on workout music but he is also a contributing writer for Shape magazine and Huffington Post. I find his website very helpful in finding new and sometimes not so new music to use for my workout mixes. If you’re not a subscriber to his site you should consider it.
Setting Up Cross DJ
Mixvibes offers Cross DJ for Android and Apple iOS devices along with Mac and PC versions. The instructions I’m about to give you assume you have either the Android or Apple iOS version. They offer a barebones version for free but you will have to at least spring for the “Automix” tool. I didn’t think to remember how much the tool costs as a standalone add-on. I think it’s $3.99. You can buy all the added tools for under $10 but Automix is the only tool you will need for what I’m showing you here.
Now that you have the app loaded on your mobile device you will need to change a few settings. First, turn on “Auto-gain” and set “Sync mode” to 4 beats as shown in this graphic.
Next, you will set the “Automix” setting to 16 seconds and “Auto-sync” to on.
That’s it for the settings.
Choosing the Songs for Your Mix
Next you need to make sure the songs you want to include in your mix are loaded on your device. Yes, that’s right; you cannot stream the songs for this–you must own the tracks. Your song selections should all be close to the same beats per minute (BPM). You can experiment with this but I’ve found song selections within six beats of each other will work just fine. Now that you have chosen the songs for your mix; arrange the order or choose to shuffle them and then hit the “Play Automix” button. Cross DJ will do the rest. Change the order or change the shuffle and you will have a new seamless mix every time you hit play button.
How Do I Find the BPM of the Songs I Want to Use?
Well… you could just start playing the song and count the beats for ten seconds then multiple that number by 6. Another way would be to subscribe to Chris Lawhorn’s Run Hundred website. Chris posts the beats per minute for every song listed on his site. I use it quite often.
Starting this month I will post the beats per minute for any song I list in my Playlist of the Month and in any blog post that lists songs I use in my own workout playlists. My lists will not be as complete as the work Chris has done at Run Hundred but it will be an option for you to use.
I hope you find this useful. I’m finding I use Cross DJ for my mixes more and pulling out and setting up my Pioneer WEGO3 not nearly as often. If you listen to music while you work out give this a try. Sometimes it’s nice to bring out the your inner DJ.