What do I need? Where should I go? These are some frequent questions we hear from our readers. So you wish to be a DJ? You need to be center stage and have all eyes on you. You need to be an artist, but don’t know where to begin. We won’t go too much into the details, mostly because this is a very personal journey, but we can help you get started and provide you a few terms you should understand and skills you’ll need to learn.
Before we begin, let’s make one thing clear. This isn’t just a new adventure you’re embarking on, it’s a lifestyle change. According to additional reading, it doesn’t matter why you are interested in being a DJ since everybody has their own rationale. It’s a devotion to music that few people are able to understand, let alone match. Becoming a DJ is not for the faint of heart or introverted. , taking the slings and arrows of haters and fakers who think you’re trash or think they could do it better than you. You’ll need to manage some of the worst kinds of individuals who don’t see you as an artist, but as a tool to make them cash. If you can take all ofthat and still be yourself, you will find a career that is gratifying, challenging, exciting, and most of all fun.
Getting Started on Getting a DJ
First things first, what exactly does a DJ really do? Basically, you’re the person who plays the music at any venue. That’s as simple as it gets, but there is much more. There is the turntable master, the club DJ, the radio DJ, and the mobile DJ. You can specialize in a single, but a great DJ has to be able to work a variety of these disciplines. Should you decide that you just need to be a club DJ, that’s fine. Just bear in mind, this is your career. A basketball player that can shoot, but not be able to play defense, rebound, pass or dribble, is not going to make it onto any team. Becoming a DJ is just the same. If you can mix different types of music, and you can change your style on the fly, then you may open up as many opportunities available to you as possible. You’ll also need to be proficient with blending and production software. This will be possibly the most difficult part. Get intimate with the software. Learn what resources the software has to offer, and how they work — it will help you get accustomed to breaking down the songs.
You don’t need to use applications if you would like to go”old school”. Scratching the old vinyls to their inevitable destruction is an extremely respected form of the art, a lot of fun and the most difficult to master. It requires a little bit of talent and a ton of skill to become a pure scratch DJ, but everybody loves a good one. Software is available to help accelerate your workflow as a digital DJ, but your cool factor may not go quite as high. Being a scratch DJ is also very costly in both time and money, driving around town searching for the few plastic shops left is time consuming, but worthwhile. But spending $5 to $50 for a single record that only cost $8 on the day it originally dropped will really put a dent in the budget when you need to have a hundred of these.
How to Find DJ Software
It is possible to use a DJ laptop or desktop to control your equipment. Evidently, the desktop computer is to your home studio and the laptop will make you mobile. Mixing software is the digital side of being a DJ. You can use a library or playlist stored on your computer to add to the mixing so you can seamlessly fit beats, EQ, control the gain and Phase. Most software has a hefty documentation, be sure to read it and become familiar with the controls. You may need to experiment with some of those controls to learn what they can do and how they do it, but it will be well worth it in the end.
How the software works is fundamental in description, but in practice can get a bit confusing. The equalizer is truly just a volume control for different sound frequencies, gain control operates by adjusting the level of each channel, along with the crossfader is just what it sounds like. It fades from one channel to another. Beat matching permits you to adjust two different songs to play at exactly the same tempo and”stage” them together. Overall, we recommend just going for a particular program (read our finest DJ software guide for our picks), in particular the trial version to see how it is. It will take some time to learn and definitely won’t be easy, but once you’re ready to master or at leastlearn some ins and outs of software, you’re already ahead.
Buying the Ideal DJ Equipment
You can go high-end if you like, but the equipment costs can very quickly accumulate. To begin, all you really need is two turntables or CD players, applications (if you would like to go electronic), speakers, headphones, and a two channel mixer/controller. That’s the bare bones system you may need just to get started. Broken needles and mixer knobs will be a constant, and needles are not exactly cheap but the turntables should be bought new. Records will also make the list if you plan do go . If you choose to go digital, you still need turntables and a mixer, but you will also need the computer and software to go with it. The software can be cheap or expensive, so initially, you should probably save your budget and get a trial to start.
Speakers aren’t going to be a big problem early on, so it’s okay to get cheap ones when you’re just learning your skills. They will be the frame the people view your art through, so eventually you will want to get a fantastic pair. Your DJ headphones should be the over-ear style. It’s ideal to get used to this style early because when you work a gig, the noise of the crowd, the music and people trying to speak with you as you work will be competing for your attention. You want to be able to block out that noise and concentrate on your mixing. After all, this will be your job. The controller is going to be your best friend and should likewise be bought new if possible. Our beginners DJ equipment guide could be of use here, as it goes into far more depth for equipment especially for beginning DJ’s.
How to Learn How to Work Your DJ Equipment
Getting started with DJ’ing is all about refining your skills and in order to do that, you have to be comfortable with the controls. Let’s begin with the controller. An all-in-one DJ controller (read this guide for some fantastic beginner picks) is probably one of the easiest on the budget, although they can range from about $100 to above $3500. A DJ controller and a vinyl deck are essentially the same as much as how they operate, the distinction being that the vinyl deck really uses records. You don’t need a $3500 controller off the bat, or everprobably. With a few hundred dollars you can get all you will need to get started mixing and recording songs. Nowadays, newer controllers come with a LAN connection that will let you connect to multiple devices at once, which unites with software to permit you to access loops you’ve created, share music between the devices and sync them up. Slip mode lets you loop or scratch audio over another tune and the jog dial (or wheel) will let you scratch and scrub the audio.
Now on to the mixer, a DJ mixer is similar to an air traffic controller. It’s responsible for taking in all ofthe inputs and directing the noise through the equalizer. You also don’t need a computer to conduct a CDJ mixer, which will come in handy if you choose to be a booth DJ. The downside is thatthey are expensive though, about $1000. It controls the volume and noise frequency levels for each device and passes that seem out to the speakers. All mixers have at leasttwo stations, but a club mixer has several. Each channel has a frequency control and fader which are ultimately controlled by a master output signal that controls everything. The headphones are the way you sync and prepare the next track before you extend the audience in greatness. Since only you can hear this output, it will provide you some time to troubleshoot, find your next recording and be sure everything is ready to go.
Ideas for How to Be a DJ
Becoming a DJ is really all about connections, relations to other DJ’s, the promoters, the audience and even yourself. Go out and watch other DJ’s work. Most don’t mind and a few will answer questions if they know you’re serious about the lifestyle. See how they use the equipment, alter the pace and interact with the audience. Watch their technique, every DJ has different controls and different ways they control them. Do not pull your phone out and try to film them though. It’s a business, and with someone film you at work then place that movie up on their website so that they can make money is a serious issue. Always ask first, and don’t be upset or challenge them if they say no (remember, it’s all about connections). Frequent the clubs which play the songs you love first.
As your skills grow over time you can visit other clubs which play other songs you like so that you can diversify your options and make yourself more employable. Mingle with the crowd and get a feel for the atmosphere, pace of the songs and music they like. Most are professional, but beware because there are some shady ones out there also. Becoming a DJ means that you put on a lot of hats. Manager, promoter, technical adviser, social media manager, logistics manager and artist are just a few of the jobs you will have. Being prepared when you meet a promoter is quite important.
Be confident and prepared to over deliver. The audience is the canvas, your oxygen. It’s the reason you are there. Know your audience before your initial recording is synced up. They are already on your corner and they’ll be your support. Be in the life, show your face at the club. Promoters would like to know that you are in their club and you appreciate their audience.
Concluding Tips for Beginning to Be a DJ
The way to become a DJ is a difficult question to ask and is an arduous journey. It’ll be full of disappointing rejection and elating chances. We say opportunity because in the end, that’s really all you require. Getting lucky is also part of that. With so many DJ’s competing for just a few gigs, it’s an uphill climb. If it was easy, everybody would do it. Create a presence on social networking and create a following. Interact with them and let them get to know your personality and style. It’s a wonderful place to start.
Share your mixes on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat as well as YouTube. Let your friends share and help create a buzz for you. If you work hard and develop your skills, you will enable your talent to really shine. Be genuine. You don’t need to need to maintain a facade for your whole career. People can usually spot a faker when they see one. Being yourself is the easiest way to live, and people gravitate towards the actual.