Tag: how to dj

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How to be a DJ – The beginning is the key

The beginning

I can believe that most DJ’s start off with the love of music first. Most of us sit around and listen to music all the time. I found myself always gravitating to where the music was being played. Whether it was changing the records for my father while he danced or pausing and playing cassette tapes for family parties. Then I had the fever so bad I bought a basic mixer for 20$ from the pawn shop then began mixing with 6 CD player on one side and a DVD  player on the other. The mixing was terrible but the fever was growing LOL. But because the mixing was terrible and parties still rocked I learned a few things later on. Oh the funniest thing is when I finally decided to use the Laptop to DJ I didn’t know anything about DJ software. I hooked the Laptop to the Mixer and on the other channel was the CD player lol.

I know terrible right but the love was still there and the parties was always live. Of course the parties at that time may be more nostalgic then anything. If I had recordings of the mixes I’m sure I would cringed and you would too lol. My point in all this is in order to be a DJ you don’t have to run out and automatically buy all the expensive equipment you can get your hands on. The first thing you can do is invest in a good attitude towards it. Majority of the time we all start off as mobile DJs which is just another way of saying you’re not DJing in a set club yet or ever it depends on your interest. I actually enjoy the Mobile scene a lot.

When you are on the mobile scene you are DJing for all ages.

Weddings that will be from age 20 and up. Family reunions and also high school reunions, House parties and cookouts etc. So let’s take a look at this. We have love for music right. We have good music and a lot of it that we want to share with the world right. Now go back and look at the Mobile scene and see how your music would fit with some of those crowds. This is one of the biggest reasons New DJ’s give up. They usually see the love they have and never take the time to understand that they will be of service to people. No need to spend a lot of money on DJ equipment to be in service to yourself unless that’s what you want to do. If you want to be in service of others take some time to think about it first. You may have to think about this mobile scene to see where you fit and then adjust your music from there.

Something to express

The first Grandmaster and mobile DJ – Grand master flowers

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How to DJ part 4: The Love

A lot DJs will tell you that learning the foundation and the roots is the key to being a successful DJ. They will tell you that you have to master the basics and practice hard to succeed. Although I do find that all those things are important, I find that it is the love for DJing that is hands down the most important thing for a beginning DJ to succeed.  So that is my question to you. Are you interested in becoming a DJ because this is what you love to do? If there were no accolades to gain, No crowd to rock, and no exposure is this something you would continue to do when nobody is around? If you do have the love continue on if not you may want to rethink this thing before you go out and buy equipment. If you take trip to any local pawn shop you will see they are full of DJ equipment for whatever reason. If you have this love it will guide you the challenges and the successes of being a DJ. The love of what you are doing will grant you the patience to practice your craft and grow your business. Understand this , you will not just show up to a gig and play your finest playlist so every will shower praises of the greatest DJ of all time your way. There is some tidiest task involved in your preparation for any gig including free ones.  If you are looking to convert cds into mp3’s that will take a lot of patience to do. If its your first time and you want to get DJ sofware well that will take time to learn as well.  Because I will not sugar coat anything about being a DJ on this blog, you will need this love to sustain you while reading it. There are many small mistakes that you can potentially make while getting started. So these post are post to prevent some and may at times sound a bit negative and may discourage you. The love you have will sustain you through it to get to the meat of the post.  You ever hear sports figures talk about the love they have for the sport. What comes to my mind is Michael Jordan, Kobe and Lebron talk about the love for basketball they have. Well that love is what got them up in the morning at 5:30 am to shoot 500 to 1000 shots everyday. It is this kind of love that will make practice not seem like work. The kind of love that you hear when artist talk about forgetting how much time they spent in the studio recording and walking out to the sun shining after spending a whole night recording. I may have gone a little overboard talking about this but my point is when the pitfalls and challenges come with DJing it will be this love that sustains you through it. It will be fun and it will be a whole lot of fun. The preparation will be no more than a necessary step to get to the fun.  Nothing more fulfilling then after all the work you put in seeing all the smiles and enjoyment of a party you performed at. Every now and again hearing someone “maaan you rocked”

That’s the love !!!!!!! You need more proof check my man Henry out. Sums up what the basis of spinning music for people is all about on the ground level.

 

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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 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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