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The art and tech of a DJ

Comments 38

  1. Also, for people who are miffed they didn't tell you what gear to buy….

    …there's a reason.  All the nicest equipment in the world is not going to magically grant you skills. A new guitar player doesn't need a $3000 PRS, because he sucks no matter what he's playing. 

    All anyone should really need to start is a basic digital-mixer*/controller and a laptop. All the advanced features are available in software (like Serato or Traktor), so you can learn what you "need" by gradually learning what features you'd rather manipulate with a controller (tempo, sample pads, channel switching, effects, etc)

    (be forewarned! what they sometimes call "mixers" are often not even audio-mixers, but just control boxes for software; a more-expensive proper mixer will have both audio/mic/digital audio + USB in/outs – the super-cheap things may just have USB)

    Even the entry level stuff i see is pretty feature-heavy.

    I would probably recommend one of the NI-Traktor control devices…

    http://www.amazon.com/Native-Instruments-Traktor-Kontrol-Interface/dp/B00DCP4O6Q/ref=pd_sim_267_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1ZVT9ZHD4DAKKVNTQ33T

    Particularly one with a cross-fader (Z1) instead of the sample-pads (X1), at least to start out.

    With that, you can learn the core skills of mixing and cutting, using the laptop itself for any special 'bonus' features, or by adding a simple/cheap additional midi-pad device (or real-time effects system like Korg KAOSS pad).

    That's the basic "2 channel-faders and a crossfader"-setup every dj has used for decades, and you'll learn that a lot is possible with limited inputs, and that sometimes the simplest tricks (like 'transforming' with the channel faders) are more interesting and dynamic than any button-mashing.

    People who start off with "too many buttons" are going to turn into DJ SuperAnnoyance in no-time.  A more-minimal setup forces you to listen, which is how you really begin to get better….letting the music dictate the ways you highlight things.

    Hope that helps

  2. For a while i had mixed feelings about all the new technology…i got out of Djing right about when Serato first came out, and felt it was too much of a time-investment to try and port all my records onto hard-disks

    Now I feel differently, and I think the fact there's a lower barrier-to-entry means people will just get more creative. 

    What new DJs will never understand?…. is lugging 6 crates of vinyl LPs up 5 flights of stairs at 4AM.  Or taping a nickel to your cartridge to prevent the bass from making your records skip.  🙂 but the tough stuff made you feel like you were earning it.

  3. They went through the tech part, but where's the art part? They should've taken a brief moment to talk about beatmatching (although, that's not something required in today's world) or talk about listening through hundreds of songs to find the ones you'd want to play, or even how to just mix 2 songs together.

  4. Ok, I'm going to learn to DJ now. Anyone got any tips or software suggestions for a beginner?
    Edit: I'm also thinking about getting a Maschine because I have some experience with those and I like finger drumming.

  5. Playing for a little over 7 years now, I thought this video was dangerously to being full of bullsh*t, just like so many other reports and pieces of advice out there – but then Shiftee said his line about how your music selection sets you apart from a monkey that knows how to beatmatch. Nice turnaround.

  6. Music:
    curl up – winternet
    Shiftee – Drop Top ft. Cakes Da Killa
    E.A.S.Y. – Like That
    Nadus – NxWxRk (Enferno's "Run NYC" Edit)
    E.A.S.Y. – Coming Around Again

  7. To those who know, what are the difference between this club DJs and the ones who headlining music festivals (Tommorowland, Electric Daisy etc) who are having their own albums. Are they all the same? On music genre? The way they're making music live/recorded? Are they both on classified under EDM. I just wanted to know. And also—is scratching still a thing

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