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 want to earn the crowd move to your every whim. You need to be centre stage and have all eyes on you. You need to be an artist, but don’t know where to start. We will not go too much into the details, mostly because this is a very personal journey, but we can help you get started and give you a few terms you should know and abilities you’ll need to learn.
Before we start, let us make something clear. This isn’t only a new adventure you’re embarking on, it is a lifestyle change. According to more information, it doesn’t matter why you want to be a DJ since everybody has their own rationale. It’s a devotion to music that few people can understand, let alone match. Becoming a DJ isn’t for the faint of heart or introverted. It’s putting your soul out there to the world and saying”this is who I am!” , 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 deal with some of the worst types of people who don’t see you as an artist, but as a tool to make them money. If you can take all that and still be yourself, you will discover a career that is gratifying, challenging, exciting, and most of all fun.
Getting Started on Becoming a DJ
First things first, what does a DJ actually do? Essentially, you’re the one who plays the music at any venue. That’s as simple as it gets, but there’s much more. There’s the turntable master, the club DJ, the radio DJ, and the mobile DJ. You can specialize in one, but a great DJ has to have the ability to work a variety of these disciplines. Should you decide that you only need to be a club DJ, that’s fine. Just remember, this is your livelihood. A basketball player that can shoot, but be unable to play defense, rebound, pass or dribble, isn’t going to make it onto any team. Becoming a DJ is no different. If you can mix different kinds 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 have to be proficient with blending and production software. This will be probably the most challenging part. Get intimate with the software. Learn what resources the software offers, and how they operate — it can help you get used to breaking down the songs.
You don’t need to use applications if you want to go”old school”. Scratching the old vinyls to their inevitable destruction is a highly respected form of the artwork, plenty of fun and the most difficult to master. It takes a little bit of talent and a whole lot of skill to be 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 large. Being a scratch DJ is also very expensive in both time and money, driving around the city searching for the few vinyl stores left is time-consuming, but worth it.
How to Find DJ Software
It is possible to use a DJ notebook or desktop to control your equipment. Obviously, the desktop is to your home studio and the laptop will make you mobile. Mixing software is the electronic side of being a DJ. It will allow you to find the tunes in a visual demonstration, break them down, put two songs together, and mix and match as you like. You can use a library or playlist saved on your computer to improve the mixing so you can seamlessly match beats, EQ, control the gain and Phase. Most software comes with a hefty documentation, be sure to read it and get acquainted 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 is going to be well worth it in the long run.
How the software works is fundamental in description, but in practice can get a bit confusing. The equalizer is really only 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 allows you to adjust two unique songs to play at exactly the exact same tempo and”phase” them together. All in all, we recommend just going for a specific program (read our best DJ software manual for our picks), particularly the trial version to see how it is. It will take a while to learn and definitely will not be easy, but when you’re ready to master or learn some intricacies 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 add up. To start, all you actually need is two turntables or CD players, applications (if you want to go digital), speakers, headphones, and a two channel mixer/controller. That is the bare bones system you may need merely to begin. Becoming a DJ is expensive, you will want to start off frugal when it comes to some items, that way you can hone your skills and create your style without breaking the bank. 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, however you will also need the software and computer to go with it. The software can be cheap or expensive, so in the beginning, you should probably save your budget and get a trial to get started.
Speakers aren’t going to be a huge problem early on, so it is fine to get cheap ones when you’re just learning your skills. They’ll be the frame the people today view your artwork through, so eventually you will want to get a fantastic pair. Your DJ headphones should be the over-ear style. It’s best to get used to this style early because when you operate a gig, the sound of the crowd, the music and people attempting to talk to you while you work will be competing for your attention. You want to have the ability to block out that sound and concentrate on your mixing. After all, this is going to be your job. The controller will be your very best friend and should likewise be bought new if possible. Our beginners DJ equipment guide may be of use here, as it goes into far more depth for equipment specifically for starting DJ’s.
How to Learn to Work Your DJ Equipment
Getting started with DJ’ing is all about optimizing your abilities and to be able to do so, you’ve got to be comfortable with the controls. Let’s start with the controller. An all-in-one DJ controller (read this manual 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 far as how they operate, the difference being that the vinyl deck actually uses records. With a few hundred dollars you can get all you will need to begin mixing and recording songs. Nowadays, newer controllers include a LAN connection that will let you connect to multiple devices simultaneously, which combines 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 sound over another song and the jog dial (or wheel) will let you scratch and scrub the music.
On to the mixer, a DJ mixer is similar to an air traffic controller. It’s responsible for taking in all the inputs and directing the noise through the equalizer. You also don’t need a computer to run 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 two stations, but a club mixer has several. Each channel has a frequency control and fader that are ultimately controlled by a master output signal that controls everything. The headphones are the way you sync and prepare another track before you shower the crowd in greatness. Since only you can hear this output, it is going to give you some time to troubleshoot, find your next recording and be sure everything is all set.
Ideas for How to Be a DJ
Go out and watch other DJ’s work. Most don’t mind and some 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 crowd. Watch their technique, every DJ has different controls and different ways they manipulate them. Do not pull out your phone and try to film them though. It’s a business, and with someone film you at work then place that film up on their site so that they can make money is a significant issue. Always ask first, and don’t be upset or challenge them if they say no (remember, it is all about connections). Frequent the clubs that play the songs you love first.
As your skills develop over time you can go to other clubs that 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 their songs and music they like. Promoters are a mixed bag. Becoming a DJ means that you wear plenty of hats. Supervisor, promoter, technical advisor, social media manager, logistics manager and artist are merely some of the jobs you will have. Being ready when you meet a promoter is quite important. It’s a job interview, and you need to put your best foot forward.
Work in your sales pitch and have it memorized because just like any job interview, you don’t want to wing it. Be confident and ready to over deliver. The crowd is your canvas, your oxygen. It’s the reason you’re there. Know your audience before your initial recording is synced up. Remember, it’s all about connections. They are already on your corner and they will be your support. Be in the life, show your face at the club. Promoters want to know that you’re in their club and you love their audience.
Concluding Tips for Beginning to Be a DJ
How to become a DJ is a difficult question to ask and is an arduous journey. It will be filled with disappointing rejection and elating chances. We say opportunity because in the long run, that’s really all you require. Getting lucky is also a part of that. With so many DJ’s competing for only a few gigs, it is an uphill climb. If it was easy, everybody would do it. Create a presence on social media and create a following. It’s a great place to start.
Let your friends share and help create a buzz for you. If you work hard and develop your abilities, you will enable your talent to actually shine. Be genuine. You don’t need to need to keep up a facade for your entire career. Individuals can usually spot a faker when they see one. Being yourself is the easiest way to live, and people gravitate towards the real.