MegaRengues Mix

This megamix is one of the reasons I wanted to start a blog about my mixing adventures.

I’m originally from Barcelona, Spain, but at the age of 12 I moved (for reasons that do not belong to this post) to the Dominican Republic.
After moving, I found out that there wasn’t much to do… and most of the time I was bored to death. One day I discovered, on the living-room’s coffee table, a weird looking cassette (not many Europeans know about 8tracks) which I inserted into a similarly odd-looking stereo.
The cassette was from a well known merengue band (I don’t recall which one right now) and I was immediately hooked. Both the rhythm and funny lyrics (those that I could understand) really made an impression on me.
From that point on, I was hooked on merengue.

Fast forward a couple of decades and everyone that lived the 80’s merengue era will tell you that those years will never come back. Those were the golden years; actually, that’s what the Dominicans call the 80’s: “La época dorada del merengue“.

One day, around 1996 I had the idea of creating the first megamix out of merengues from the 80’s era.
I knew it would be a huge task due to the way merengues were recorded at that time: a band playing without any respect to tempo or key. Merengues from the 80’s vary on both terms as the band “feels the moment”. I guess that’s why they are so special and touch you so deeply.

So, one day I launched my copy of Acid and started playing around with some basic ideas. Mainly, the idea was to overlay some of the most well known arrangements over heavy and well defined beats so that the megamix could be played at any time on any party or club.

Sometimes I laugh at myself at how naive I am.

After trying out about 10 different popular merengues I quickly found out that there wasn’t a single one that could keep the tempo for more than 16 beats. The differences in tempo were so significant that Acid simply failed to keep the tracks in-sync.

Unfortunately, not even today, almost 20 years later, Acid doesn’t support variable tempo beat-matching. That is, the ability to specify smooth tempo changes over a single recording.

The solution? To break the songs into small portions and to “manually” beat-match them to the background beat. A truly PIA task!

Here’s, for example, one of the samples in the megamix:

Mega-rengue-mix_sample01


Notice how the sample contains various sections. Each section is a cut in the original sample which allows, within Acid, to readjust the position of the subsequent section’s start time thus producing a near-perfect beat-matched version of the sample.
Although it sounds a bit weird, it actually allows the song to be in-sync with a background beat. This is how the whole thing sounds:

Mega-rengue-mix Acid ProjectNow imagine doing the same thing for 19 tracks and over a dozen over-dubs!
I guess that’s why it took me over 4 years to complete. Of course, I only worked on this megamix when I felt like it.

The end result is an Acid project with 104 channels, including beats, tracks, samples and effects for a 12 minutes megamix!
I must admit that I’ve never played it on a live set… but several local DJs have and the response from the crowd has always been extremely positive.

So, without further ado, here’s the megamix — I hope you enjoy it!

Xavier Flix – MegaRengues Mix

Format: 44.1KHz@16bit Stereo
Length: 12″16′ / 16.90MB
Includes:

  • Wilfrido Vargas – El Jardinero
  • Bonny Cepeda – Asesina
  • Alex Bueno – Quien Te Riza El Pelo
  • Jerry Vargas – Tus Ojos Mexicanos
  • El Zafiro – No Se Que Hacer
  • El Varon – Platano Maduro
  • Bonny Cepeda – Lo Que Mas Me Gusta De Ti
  • Aramis Camilo – La Varita
  • Bonny Cepera – La Fotografia
  • Tambo – El Pintalabio
  • Alex Bueno – Colegiala
  • Alex Bueno – Quiero Conocerte
  • Fernandito Villalona – Banana
  • Aramix Camilo – El Motor
  • Johnny Ventura – Patacon Pisao
  • Las Chicas del Can – T’a Pillao
  • Altamira Banda Show – Dime Lo Que Hacemos
  • Charlie Rodriguez – El Palacio
  • Fausto Rey – El Pajaro Herido

Download: MegaRengues Mix [16.85 MB]

And here’s the short (radio) version:

Xavier Flix – MegaRengues Mix [Radio Version]

Format: 44.1KHz@16bit Stereo
Length: 6″24′ / 7.38MB
Includes:

  • Wilfrido Vargas – El Jardinero
  • Bonny Cepeda – Asesina
  • Alex Bueno – Quien Te Riza El Pelo
  • Jerry Vargas – Tus Ojos Mexicanos
  • El Zafiro – No Se Que Hacer
  • El Varon – Platano Maduro
  • Bonny Cepeda – Lo Que Mas Me Gusta De Ti
  • Aramis Camilo – La Varita
  • Tambo – El Pintalabio
  • Fernandito Villalona – Banana
  • Johnny Ventura – Patacon Pisao
  • Las Chicas del Can – T’a Pillao
  • Altamira Banda Show – Dime Lo Que Hacemos
  • Charlie Rodriguez – El Palacio
  • Fausto Rey – El Pajaro Herido

Download: MegaRengues Mix [Radio Version] [7.33 MB]

  • Anonymous

    Hola hermano,como estas soy dj alfre de miami florida,te felicito por tu excelente mix,creo que debiste seguir con un mix 2 mix 3 etc,yo quiero continuar haciendo el vol 2,podriamos ponernos de acuerdo y crearlo,dejame saber mi email es djalfre@msn.com,saludos.

    • Hola Alfre,

      Gracias por tus comentarios — me alegra de que te gustara.
      Siempre tuve la intención de hacer más pero por razones de tiempo nunca continué con este proyecto.
      Creo
      que seria fabuloso que alguien lo continuara pues hay muchos temas
      (especialmente de los 90s) que se prestan a ser remezclados.

      Como
      te comento, la verdad es que ya no tengo el tiempo para dedicarme a
      realizar un megamix de semejante envergadura pero puedes contar conmigo y
      yo estaría dispuesto a servir de “consultor” si decidieras continuar la
      saga de los Megarengues Mix.

      • Djalfre

        Xavier hermano,como te va,oye gracias por contestar,dame tu email o tu messenger para estar en contacto contigo para ver si escogemos los temas y le voy dando forma a ese megamix vol 2,gracias mi pana,un saludo.

        • Antes que nada debo decirte que te había contestado mucho antes pero mi respuesta no apareció como tal sino como un nuevo post — hoy fue que me di cuenta y lo arregle.

          Bueno, me puedes escribir cuando quieras a morphx@gmail.com o xavier@xfx.net, pero preferiría que uses la de GMail pues esa me llega al celular.

          También, si lo prefieres, me puedes agregar en Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/xavier.flix

  • Hola Alfre,

    Gracias por tus comentarios — me alegra de que te gustara.
    Siempre tuve la intención de hacer mas pero por razones de tiempo nunca continué con este proyecto.
    Creo que seria fabuloso que alguien lo continuara pues hay muchos temas (especialmente de los 90s) que se prestan a ser remezclados.

    Como te comento, la verdad es que ya no tengo el tiempo para dedicarme a realizar un megamix de semejante envergadura pero puedes contar conmigo y yo estaría dispuesto a servir de “consultor” si decidieras continuar la saga de los Megarengues Mix.