Month: December 2016

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How to DJ part 5 – the set up

turntable set up

Up top there you have a basic time coded turntable set up. It allows you the feel of vinyl and still have your music stored on a laptop or External Hard Drive . So you will have 2 DJ Turntables , Time Coded Vinyl a mixer, interface and a microphone. You will more than likely need a Microphone to start with. Most mobile gigs will have announcements of some sorts. Notice I haven’t talked about speakers that much. That’s because speakers will have their own section. Trust me they need it.

CDJ set up

As you can see the CDJ set up is identical to the turntable set up. The best thing about these set up is you can scrap the laptop if you need to and go analog. Hey Laptops can crash and external hard drives can freeze. Nothing wrong with having back up storage for your music and a b plan to the laptop.

controller set up

This is the basic Pro DJ Controller set up. Because you will have different connectors to connect everything I’ve added a connector diagram as well . the connectors

Make sure to check the back of everything you get to see how its hooked up and what cables you will need.

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How to be a DJ – the equipment speaker part 3

Buying the Equipment

Decide if you want to go analog of digital. If you want to go analog then go with whatever your music is currently store on. So if vinyl go with Pro DJ turntables or if Cds get some good Professional CDJs and a mixer. For those who want to go digital your budget will have to include the Laptop if you don’t already have one. A DJ Controller or time coded turntables. You will need an external hard drive to store your music on. Speakers to play the music with.

If the speakers are passive you will need to include an amp. If Powered speakers no external amp required. Now lets take a few to think about the speakers for a minute. You can build up to some good speakers they are not needed in the beginning. The reason being you may just blow some speakers in the beginning. Nothing like spending a lot of money on speakers and start feeling the mix a little bit too much and blow some expensive speakers because the drinks was flowing.

active speaker

The Big Speaker. 

 

A lot of us want the biggest speakers , the best highs and that deep base. We also think budget is the determining factor when buying speakers I say to that no that’s bs. Although budget is important but People you will have to carry those speakers. So before you ever buy speakers please take a look at the weight of the speakers. Also what about the car you drive? Nothing like getting big speakers and have to load them in a small car.  Yes all before you have made these mistakes.

If you have a regular size car you don’t want to try stuffing 18″ Subwoofer in your backseat. A decent pair of 12inch speakers will do.  You will not blow the place down but they will hear you. Your back will also thank you for it. Oh yeah get a hand truck as well. You want to include in your equipment the connectors. You will need official speaker cables. If you get power speakers the amps are in the speaker itself. Its great for quick setups but it does make the speakers heavier. Passive speakers you will need to find a amp to power them. These speakers are lighter as well.

The amp to speaker ratio I found this on the net , you will want to do separate research before buying speakers and amps

This means a speaker with a “nominal impedance” of 8 ohms and a program power rating of 350 watts will require an amplifier that can produce 700 watts into an 8-ohm load. For a stereo pair of speakers, the amplifier should be rated at 700 watts per channel into 8 ohms

The connectors are the most forgotten part about budgeting. Connecting to the amp if you go that route and speaker cables. You will need a microphone it doesn’t have to be a great one to start with but something that your guest can make announcements with. This is it you basic set up everything else is an enhancement to this set up .

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How to be a DJ part 5 – practice speakers

How to be a DJ part 5 – Practice speakers

 

To save you from the heartache that even the biggest name DJ has  get some inexpensive speakers to practice with.  There is a good chance that you will blow speakers. That chance raises higher if you are a drinker. The scenario is the same you have your setup in the basement or bedroom.

You are getting better at mixing and the music is sounding good to you and boom speaker static. Didn’t know you were in the red the whole time because all you want to do is turn it up. Turn down for what right? Hell no turn it down or get some practice speakers. The speakers are your money. Matter of fact all of your equipment is your money. I look at it as an investment. Trust me many DJ’s have a basement of blown speakers. To get around this just get a pair of practice speakers from somewhere. Play on your real speakers when you have a gig.

Showing DJ blown speakers

Your DJ pro speakers will be shoved in the your trunk and depending on the car your back seat. Try an get a mat or something so your speakers don’t move around. DJ pro speakers can and will fly around in your car or truck and depending on where the knobs are located  you can mess them up or short them out. If I load them in the backseat believe me they will be strapped in a seat belt like newborn babies.

Well newborns would be in a car seat but I’m sure you get my point.

You can ask many DJ’s around they will tell you about the sick feeling you will have after blowing your good speakers or messing them up during transport . Bungee cords are good to have as well. I believe I have some in the store but if not you can pick them any where.  You definitely will want to strap your dolly down to because that thing will fly around everywhere and knock up against all of your equipment.  I never put the laptop or controller in the back with the heavy stuff that usually rides up front with me. I will also hide the smaller speakers behind the sub woofers as the subs are heavy and tend not to move anywhere.

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How to be a DJ part 6 – knowing your music

Know your music. 

Knowing your music is simple but needs some extra steps to complete. Take some time out to sit and listen to what you intend to mix. You will want to categorize songs by energy level and feel to them.

If you hear a hit song ask yourself “why is that a hit”?. You will want to break the song down to feel and energy level. At the time of writing this Bruno Mars 24 karat magic has been sweeping the nation.

As an example of what I am talking about I will go over this song. 

To gain some insight of why its a major hit and see some of its power.

Ok so right from the intro I can tell this is meant to be a party song. Now as a DJ its my job to see if it lives up to what the composers are trying to do. Hey we all know its a hit so here I go.

The intro comes in and raises the energy quickly then drops into the song. The song hits hard from the start with “Put your pink rings to the MOON” right as the beat comes in.

The song has a light and airy feeling to it.  Feels like you can just flow freely while listening. The lyrics are just enough for the playas & hustlers to be ok with it.  The delivery is  so good that you can just forget the lyrics and just move with it.

music power quote

My conclusion for this song 

Conclusion is it will be around for awhile on the older crowd circuit. Its nice and airy with no real feelings except fun. A nice tempo and good delivery for parties. The beat gets you moving as soon as it drops.

I do feel that the energy that I feel drops a little towards the middle of the song. I would keep that in mind if I played this for people. Songs like this are replaced constantly. Even if this song is not a hit it still has the power to give good feelings.

This song’s core power. 

A great ability to move people with its tempo. Great at giving good feelings and lifting moods.

Know your music by its energy. The reason why we will get into later or you may just stumble on it before I get to write the next post. Any rate take the time to study all of your music.

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How to be a DJ: Music like food and I love food

Music is like food. 

music like food

There are times when you just want a certain kind of food. It goes well with the scenery or the weather. Here on the East coast it is freezing temperatures today. Most people love comfort food in the winter. It does something for them lol.

If DJs were chefs

Well in a way we are chefs. Instead of serving up food we serve up a healthy tray full of funk for ya. Riding this theme around the amusement park, its like funnel cake is good with roller coasters. Grill food loves the summer and spring. Whats a morning without eggs right? Ha

Order up.

Well its winter now and the comfort food of choice around my way is chili. People just love chili when it’s cold. Hey who am I to judge I am the chef right. Now lets say DJ’s are the chef. So a bad DJ wouldn’t know that the people wanted chili in the first place. They didn’t do their research.

A good DJ would know about the chili and have it served up hot for the people  boom “here is your chili”.

A great DJ would take that chili and remix the hell out of it.  Probably take some sour cream off the top and drop some cheese and paprika in it. You better believe it will not be regular chili, but it will be chili still.

music like food

The best of us. 

Would break down why people love Chili in the winter. They would dig deep into what is in the chili that gives good winter feelings. Not only that they would then reconstruct something base on their findings that may set the world on fire. They have just served a different dish but kept the comfort. No more chili in the world now. They have created something new.

Ha don’t believe it check out Kool Herc , Frankie Knuckles, Flash, all serving up something different after the break down.

Im out .

 

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How to be a DJ: Your first Gig

Your first Gig. 

Oh you have just got your first gig. You have been practicing in your basement. Perfectly constructing mixes for the enjoyment of your neighbors.  All of a sudden you get that phone call, text or email saying “Hey DJ Funk Nasty” “can you DJ a party for my mom for me”. She goes on to say that its her moms 50th birthday and that you will be a perfect fit. Welcome to the self employed, entrepreneurship, I get money for DJing club.

welcome

Preparing for your first Gig.

No problem here. I see that you are using your imagination about who will be at the party.  Realizing that since it’s Moms that means everybody will show up at this party. Moms love the kids so the children will be there. Moms sisters , friends and cousins have their nicest attire ironed and creased to perfection.  Moms brothers and his friends are at the liquor store getting the party favors.

The teenagers have invited a few of their friends that know moms because she has fed them over the years. Oooooh and I forgot that grandma and granddad will be there. Granddad loves “James Brown” and “the temptations””I know u wanna leave me but I refuse to let u go”.

Always ready 

preparing for your first gig

Who’s afraid Ha palllleeeeesse? You knew it would be a  variety of ages there. You prepared separate playlist for all the age groups.  Since you know that parties all have rhythms and at any time any one of the age groups can dominate the party. YOU ARE PREPARED !!!!!!!

Because you are prepared for any situation that may pop up. You are flowing in the mix in and out of age groups. Dropping hit after hit even got Granddad doing his best Temptations steps with his friends. Moms and the aunties wobbled and cupid shuffled so much they put their flats on.  The young kids danced to the latest dance song. The adults partied of the throwbacks you had lined up . The teenagers even had fun partying with the grown ups.

 

You are doing so good

When you look up and see all the people having a good time you notice someone in the audience looking at you. Oh its the woman who booked you to do the party. Oh and she is looking at you like this

Image result for im in love look

Thinking to herself how much she loves DJ Funk Nasty. You have just won a loyal client and a agent who will tell everyone about you.

Preparation

BigTy I’m out

 

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How to be a DJ:Planning the day of the gig

How to be a DJ. 

Oh so you have your first gig scored. The night before the gig you have set up all of your equipment. Tested your system to make sure everything is working properly and get in some last minute practice.

The great thing about setting up the night before is when you take it down you can pack it up right then.  The best thing about that is everything you need is right there in one place.  You will have the confidence in knowing you have done everything before leaving the house. Well unlike leaving the iron on or something.

From experience I can tell you when you get to a gig,empty your bag and boom

DJ planning day gig

You have forgotten a connector, a cable, the microphone or the headphones.  If this do happen get on the phone quick and call somebody.

Image result for i need help

Please help !!!!!!!!!!!!

Packing the car or truck. 

If you have sub woofers please pack those last so that they will be in the front when you unpack.  The laptop, controller, turntables never rides with the heavy equipment.  Keep them up close and personal with you and a nice seat belt arrangement for them. Packing the car will take around 30 mins to 1 hour depending on how much equipment you have. I like to pack before my shower just to stay fresh as possible. A dolly will be your best friend when unpacking at the gig.

On the way. 

Some of my mobile gigs are on the weekday and scheduled around rush hour. You will want to arrive as early as possible to your gig in case of an emergency. “you forgot something” . So you will need a GPS navigation services. Whether it’s waze , google maps or telenav pick the one you like. It makes a difference when navigating somewhere you have never been. They are priceless for avoiding rush hour traffic and making it to your gig on time.

3 ways THE ORGANIZERS CAN GO

Either they will be there when you arrive to let you in. Will meet you there when you arrive or will be late letting you in and starting the party. Either way you will be paid and you were on time. No sweat off your back. Hopefully you get there atleast 30mins before the schedule start if you have minimal equipment. An hour if you have the whole complete mobile setup. Oh the most important thing about time is that you will be in a different place and will have to adjust the way you setup from home. Factor that into the time then you are ready

djplanning first gig

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Wireless microphones

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