What do I want? Where should I move? So you want 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 begin. 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 skills you will need to learn.
Before we start, let us make something clear. This isn’t just a new adventure you are embarking on, it is a lifestyle change. According to these details, it doesn’t matter why you are interested in being a DJ since everybody has their own reasoning. It is a devotion to music that few people are able to understand, let alone match. Becoming a DJ isn’t for the faint of heart or introverted. It is putting your soul out there for 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 can do it better than you. You will have 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 that and still be yourself, you’ll find a career that is gratifying, challenging, exciting, and most of all fun.
Getting Started on Becoming a DJ
First things first, what exactly does a DJ actually do? Basically, you’re the one who plays the music at any venue. That’s as straightforward as it gets, but there is somuch more. There is the turntable master, the club DJ, the radio DJ, and the mobile DJ. You may specialize in one, but a good DJ needs to have the ability to work a variety of these disciplines. If 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 take, but be unable to play defense, rebound, pass or dribble, isn’t going to make it on any team. Becoming a DJ is just the same. If you can mix various 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 will also need to be proficient with mixing and production program. This will be possibly the most challenging part. Get intimate with the program. Learn what tools 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 to their inevitable destruction is a highly respected form of the art, a lot of fun and the toughest to master. It requires a bit of talent and a ton of skill to be a pure scratch DJ, but everybody 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 high. Being a scratch DJ is also very costly in both time and money, driving around the city searching for the few vinyl stores left is time consuming, but worth it.
The Way to Find DJ Software
You can use a DJ notebook or desktop computer to control your equipment. Evidently, the desktop computer is for your home studio and the laptop will make you mobile. Mixing software is the electronic side of becoming a DJ. You may use a library or playlist saved on your computer to improve 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 get acquainted with the controls. You might have to experiment with some of those controls to learn what they can do and how they do it, but it is going to be worth it in the long run.
How the program works is basic in description, but in practice can get a bit confusing. The equalizer is truly just a volume control for different sound frequencies, gain control works by adjusting the level of each station, along with the crossfader is just what it sounds like. It fades from one station to another. Beat matching permits you to adjust two unique songs to play at exactly the same tempo and”stage” them together. Overall, we recommend just going for a particular program (read our best 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 when you’re able to master or learn some ins and outs of software, you are already ahead.
Purchasing the Ideal DJ Equipment
You may go high-end if you prefer, but the equipment costs can very quickly add up. To start, all you really 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 get started. Becoming a DJ is pricey, you’ll want to start off frugal when it comes to some things, that way you can hone your skills and develop 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 purchased new. Records will also make the list if you plan do go analog. If you choose to go digital, you still want turntables and a mixer, however you’ll also want the software and computer to go with it. The DJ turntables can be Vinyl or CD, but if you choose to go digital then think about going with a fully digital setup — this is the simplest 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 start.
Speakers are not going to be a big problem early on, so it is fine to get cheap ones when you are just learning your skills. They’ll be the frame the people today view your art through, so eventually you’ll 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 work a gig, the noise of the crowd, the music and people attempting to talk to you while you work will allbe competing for your attention. You want to have the ability to block out that noise and concentrate on your mixing. After all, this is going to be your job. The controller is going to be your very best friend and should also be purchased new if possible. Our beginners DJ equipment guide may be of use here, as it goes into a lot more depth for equipment specifically for starting DJ’s.
The Way to Learn to Work Your DJ Equipment
The myriad of buttons, switches, sliders and dials can be somewhat intimidating at first but once 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 in order to do that, you have to be comfortable with the controls. Let us begin with the controller. An all-in-one DJ controller (read this manual for some fantastic beginner selections) is probably among the simplest on the budget, although they can vary from about $100 to above $3500. A DJ controller and a vinyl deck are essentially the same as much as how they function, the difference being that the vinyl deck actually uses records. You don’t need a $3500 controller off the bat, or everprobably. With a couple of hundred dollars you can get everything you need to get started recording and mixing songs. Nowadays, newer controllers include a LAN connection that will allow you to connect to multiple devices at once, which combines with software to permit you to access loops you have created, share music between the devices and sync them up. Slip mode lets you scratch or loop audio over another song and the jog dial (or wheel) will allow you to scratch and scrub the audio.
On to the mixer, a DJ mixer is like an air traffic control. It is responsible for taking in all the inputs and directing the sound through the equalizer. You also don’t want a computer to conduct a CDJ mixer, which will come in handy if you choose to be a booth DJ. The downside is they 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 stations, but a club mixer has several. Each channel has a frequency control and fader that are allultimately controlled by a master output that controls everything. The headphones are how you sync and prepare the next track before you extend 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 all set.
Ideas for How to Be a DJ
Becoming a DJ is really all about connections, connections to other DJ’s, the promoters, the crowd and even yourself. Go out and watch other DJ’s work. Most don’t mind and a few will evenanswer questions if they know you are serious about the lifestyle. See how they use the equipment, change 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 these techniques. Don’t pull your phone out and try to picture them though. It is a business, and having someone film you at work then place that film up on their site so that they can make money is a significant 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 that you can diversify your choices and make yourself more employable. Mingle with the crowd and get a sense of the atmosphere, pace of their songs and music they like. Promoters are a mixed bag. Most are professional, but beware because there are some shady ones out there too. Becoming a DJ means that you wear a lot of hats. Manager, promoter, technical adviser, social media manager, logistics manager and artist are merely a few of the jobs you’ll have. Being ready when you meet a promoter is quite important.
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 first recording is synced up. Bear in mind, it’s all about connections. Bring your friends with you. They are already in 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 into their club and you appreciate their audience. They are looking for DJ’s that support them and what they are trying to do.
Concluding Tips for Beginning to Be a DJ
The way to become a DJ is a challenging question to ask and is an arduous journey. It’ll be full of disappointing rejection and elating opportunities. We say chance because in the long run, that’s really all you need. Getting lucky is also part of that. With so many DJ’s competing for just a few gigs, it is an uphill climb. If it was easy, everybody would do it. Create a presence on social media and develop a following. It’s a wonderful place to start.
Share your mixes on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and even YouTube. If you work hard and develop your skills, you will allow your talent to really shine. Be genuine. You don’t need to have to maintain a facade for your entire career. People can usually spot a faker when they see one. Being yourself is the simplest way to live, and people gravitate towards the real.