How can I get started on being a DJ? What do I need? Where should I move? So you wish to be a DJ? You want to earn the crowd move to your every whim. You want to be center stage and have all eyes on you. You want to be an artist, but do not know where to start. We won’t go too much into the details, mostly because this is a very personal journey, but we can help you to get started and provide you a couple of 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 are embarking on, it’s a lifestyle change. According to this, it doesn’t matter why you are interested in being a DJ since everyone has their own reasoning. It is a commitment to music that few people are able to understand, let alone match. Becoming a DJ is not for the faint of heart or introverted. It is 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 are trash or think they could do it better than you. You’ll have to manage some of the worst types of individuals who do not see you as an artist, but as a tool to make them money. If you can take all ofthat and still be yourself, you’ll discover a career that’s gratifying, challenging, enjoyable, and most of all fun.
Getting Started on Getting a DJ
First things first, what exactly does a DJ really do? Essentially, you’re the one who plays the music in any venue. That’s as simple as it gets, but there’s somuch more. There is the turntable master, the club DJ, the radio DJ, and the mobile DJ. You may specialize in a single, but a good DJ has to have the ability to work a number of these disciplines. Should you decide that you only want to be a club DJ, that’s fine. Just bear in mind, this is your livelihood. 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 no different. If you can mix various types of music, and you can change your style on the fly, you will open up as many opportunities available for you as possible. You’ll also have to be proficient with mixing and production program. This will be possibly the most difficult part. Get intimate with the program. Learn what resources the software has to offer, and how they work — it will help you to get accustomed to breaking down the songs.
You don’t have to use applications if you want to go”old school”. Scratching the old vinyls for their inevitable destruction is a highly respected form of the artwork, a lot of fun and the most difficult to master. It takes a little bit of talent and a whole lot of skill to become a pure scratch DJ, but everyone loves a good one. Software is available to help speed up your workflow as a digital DJ, but your cool factor might not go quite as large. Being a scratch DJ is also very costly in both time and money, driving around town trying to find the few vinyl stores left is time-consuming, but worthwhile. However, spending $5 to $50 for one 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 them.
How to Find DJ Software
It is possible to use a DJ laptop or desktop computer to control your gear. Mixing software is the digital side of being a DJ. You may use a library or playlist saved on your computer to add to the mixing in order to seamlessly match beats, EQ, control the gain and Phase. Most software has a hefty instruction manual, be sure to read it and become familiar with the controls. You might have to experiment with some of those controls to find out what they can do and how they do it, but it is going to be worth it in the end.
The way the program works is basic in description, but in practice can get a bit confusing. The equalizer is really only a volume control for different sound frequencies, gain control works 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 unique songs to play at exactly the same tempo and”phase” them together. Overall, we recommend just going for a particular program (read our finest DJ software manual for our selections), particularly 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 able to master or learn some intricacies of software, you are already ahead.
Buying the Right DJ Equipment
You may go high-end if you like, but the equipment costs can very quickly accumulate. To start, all you actually need is two turntables or CD players, applications (if you want to go electronic), speakers, headphones, and a two channel mixer/controller. That is the bare bones system you will need just to get started. Becoming a DJ is pricey, you’ll 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 hooks will be a constant, and needles aren’t exactly cheap but the turntables should be purchased new. Records will also make the list if you intend do go analog. If you decide to go digital, you still need turntables and a mixer, however you’ll also need the software and computer to go with it. The DJ turntables can be Vinyl or CD, but if you decide to go digital then think about going with a fully digital setup — this is the easiest way to go. The program 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’s fine to get cheap ones when you are just learning your skills. They’ll be the frame the people today view your artwork through, so eventually you’ll want to get a good pair. Your DJ headphones ought to be the over-ear style. It’s best to get used to this style early because when you work a gig, the sound of the crowd, the music and people trying to speak with you as you work will allbe 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 also be purchased new if possible. Our beginners DJ gear guide may be of use here, as it goes into a lot more depth for equipment specifically for beginning DJ’s.
How to Learn How to Work Your DJ Equipment
The multitude of buttons, switches, sliders and dials can be somewhat intimidating at first but as soon as you get an understanding of what they give you, they will become like your paint brushes. Getting started with DJ’ing is all about optimizing your abilities and to be able to do that, you have to be familiar with the controls. Let’s start with the controller. An all-in-one DJ controller (read that manual for some good beginner selections) is probably among the easiest on the budget, although they can vary from about $100 to above $3500. A DJ controller and a vinyl deck are pretty much the same as much as how they operate, the distinction being that the vinyl deck really uses records. With a couple of hundred dollars you can get all you 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 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 tune and the jog dial (or wheel) will let you scratch and scrub the music.
Now on to the mixer, a DJ mixer is like an air traffic controller. It is responsible for taking in all ofthe inputs and directing the sound through the equalizer. You also don’t need a computer to conduct a CDJ mixer, which will come in handy if you decide to be a stall DJ. The downside is thatthey are expensive though, about $1000. It controls the volume and sound frequency levels for each device and passes that seem out to the speakers. All mixers have two channels, but a club mixer has several. Each channel has a frequency control and fader that are allultimately controlled by a master output signal that controls everything. The headphones are the way you sync and prepare the next track before you shower the crowd in greatness. Since only you can hear this output, it is going to provide you some time to troubleshoot, find your next recording and make sure everything is ready to go.
Advice on How to Be a DJ
Go out and watch other DJ’s work. Most do not mind and a few will answer questions if they know you are serious about the lifestyle. See how they use the gear, alter the pace and interact with the crowd. Watch their technique, each DJ has different controls and various ways they control them. Study them and go home and practice those techniques. Don’t pull out your phone and try to picture them though. It is a business, and with someone film you at work then put that movie up on their site so they can make money is a serious issue. Frequent the clubs that play the songs you love first.
As your skills grow over time you may go to other clubs that play other songs you like so you can diversify your options and make yourself more employable. Mingle with the crowd and get a feel for the atmosphere, pace of their music and songs they like. Most are professional, but beware as there are some shady ones out there also. Becoming a DJ means that you wear a lot of hats. Manager, promoter, technical adviser, social media manager, logistics manager and artist are just a few of the jobs you’ll have. Being ready when you meet a promoter is quite important. It is a job interview, and you want to put your best foot forward.
Be confident and ready to over deliver. The crowd is your canvas, your oxygen. It’s the reason you are there. Know your audience before your first recording is synced up. Bring your friends with you. They are already in your corner and they’ll be your support. Be in the life, show your face in the club. Promoters want to know that you are in their club and you love 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 chance because in the end, that’s really all you need. Getting lucky is also part of that. With so many DJ’s competing for only a few gigs, it’s an uphill climb. Embrace that, embrace the challenge. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Create a presence on social media and create a following. Interact with them and allow them to get to know your personality and style. It’s a wonderful 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 want to have to maintain a facade for your whole career. Being yourself is the easiest way to live, and people gravitate towards the real.