first club gig tonight: advice?
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default first club gig tonight: advice?

    It's not that glorious, my friends and I have organized our own gig at a local club let us use their facilities (hey, free promotion and good business for them)

    I'm playing a closing set, trance, progressive house/trance. Do you guys have any tips? Sound-wise, how to keep the volumes not too loud? How do I stay fresh and not get tired (have to be there at 8:30 for a sound check but not playing till 12:30)? How do I keep my hearing? How do I hear what I'm doing in my headphones? (last time at a house party I was next to a speaker and had to turn headphone volume all the way up - bad for hearing)

  2. #2

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    Wear ear plugs during everyone else's sets. That can be a big help. I have the same problem with having to turn up the headphone way too much, so it may be that my headphones don't dampen the outside noise enough, or maybe I'm too close to my PA.

    Are you bringing your own PA, or using their's? If they have a sound guy there to set you up, you shouldn't have a problem. Just make sure that you have enough head room in the main mixer to raise the volume for your final set. Basically what this means is that you want the volume of the sound system set for louder than you would ever need to go. That way you can control the volume on your mixer, and as you turn it up you will not have to worry about clipping the signal at your mixer. If you do start clipping the songs, but the volume needs to go louder, keep the master gain on your mixer low enough to keep the sound clean, then turn up the gain on the main PA (or have the sound guy do it).

    *A word of caution: I've ran into trouble with clipping and earplugs. When the very high frequencies get clipped, you will not hear it if you have ear plugs in. You will just have the crowd looking at you very funny, like you just put on a Garth Brooks album or something. If you do use earplugs on and off during your set, be sure to take them out for a moment when turning up the gain. So you can briefly check the sound quality.

  3. #3

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    Oh yeah, and limit yourself to like one drink. Just one to ease the nerves, but not to make you sloppy when you come on for the last set.

  4. #4

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    Yeah, don't go crazy on the drinks. And watch your levels... there's a tendency to start getting louder as time passes. Don't do it.

  5. #5
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    Watch yourself on the drinking. After you've done it a lot and get comfortable you might find out you spin better drunk, but now you need your wits about you.

    As said above, leave yourself headroom. I don't know about mastering levels of the music you're spinning, but older stuff is usually quieter than newer stuff, so it needs to be turned up.

    Make sure you have good headphones. If you have them on and you have to crank it to hear anything, get new ones. Trust me, this will improve your mixing astronomically.

    Before people start showing up, after you've got everything set up, put one of your great songs that you love on, that peak of your set, and go to the dance floor and walk around it. How does it sound? Would you dance to it? Does it need more bass? Are the highs too low? Where does the sound flange? Tweak a bit from there, turn it off, and have that drink. Also, coffee. Eventually the euphoria of spinning will hit you and you'll be good.

    There is a tendency to get louder, as said above. Try really hard not to. Compare your PFL levels, make sure they aren't too loud, make sure they line up.

    Um... my trick is to look like I'm having fun. I'm sick of those DJs that stand behind the decks, arms crossed, no smile, like they are god's gift to mixing. Have fun. Sing lyrics, fist pump, dance, jump around. I've found that when I am making a fool of myself in the booth people get a bit more relaxed and start having more fun cause, well, they can't possibly look stupider than me. :-)
    It's the FAQ. Read it.

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  6. #6
    Tech Guru Fatlimey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deviant_Tech View Post
    Yeah, don't go crazy on the drinks. And watch your levels... there's a tendency to start getting louder as time passes. Don't do it.
    Use your dynamics - breakdowns and beatless sections are a time to "reset" the volume. Plan to drop to silence and start back up with a "simple" track (a track made of only a few simple elements like a simple breakbeat or a single unprocessed mono lead).

    Layering overproduced sound over overproduced sound is what leads to "mushy" mixes. Think of it as clearing your sonic palette before the next course in the meal. If you listen to the truly great DJs working without the constraints of having to play just new tracks on a compilation, you can see them selecting their tracks based on:
    1. Tonality - bright&shiny vs. noisy&gritty vs. bass-heavy&dark.
    2. Tempo vs. Energy - sometimes a slower track with a bouncy groove carries more energy than a frantic cutup one.
    3. Simplicity vs. Complexity - sometimes the best thing is to it's good to drop out of a track and bring back just the kickdrum.


    OK, maybe a bit too much philosophy there.
    Just drop tunes the kids like, get the drunk girls to dance and the rest will follow!
    Last edited by Fatlimey; 04-18-2008 at 12:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Chilly's Avatar
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    Have fun dude.

    Try not to be too nervous. You were asked to do this gig for a reason.

    Be professional (this is more in line with other comments about drinking).

    And HAVE FUN!

    Good luck man.

  8. #8

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    heres my tips: all of them mostly said before

    1) get there early. do a sound check. play some of your favorite songs...see how they sound.

    2) take pics of your friends djn! and of the event!

    3) when its your turn to spin..lets the previous djs song play out until the end. if you want to announce your name and be a superstar...let that previous djs song play until the beat stops, and have somone announce your name and drop the beat.... i have seen this both work and also not work!

    4) headphone levels should just be just enough that it overrsahdows the dancefloors speakers....it would greatly help if you have monitor speakers so when your mixing you can really hear whats going on! whats coming through those monitors is whats coming out on the dancefloor.

    5) drink a redbull

    6) watch the crowd! if you play a song and the crowd aint feelin it you will know! adjust the music to the crowd!

    7) umm i am sure i left some things out....oh yeah when your done..make sure you pack all your gear back up...i have lost my firewire ( 4pin to 6pin) cord 4 times now!! cause i always forget to pack it!

    8) have fun! even if you trainwreck for a couple seconds the crowd will barely notice....however the other djs will!

    9) get the crowd hypeed up!! do a lil dance! do something....even though donald glaude looks like a funny duddy in the beggining of this video the crowd loves it!!

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...EZSw4QKx6Y20AQ

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  9. #9
    Mr. Golden EanGolden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewdelesion View Post
    Wear ear plugs during everyone else's sets. That can be a big help. I
    Thats a great simple tip. Always wear them when walking around and not djing in the club. Then your ears dont get acclimated to the noise and what you think is normal ends up being way too high for everyone else

    also dont forget to check out our DJ TT rules for setting up in the club:
    http://www.djtechtools.com/2008/03/0...-up-in-a-club/

  10. #10
    Tech Wizard
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    Thanks, fellas, a lot of good advice here


    Quote Originally Posted by DvlsAdvct View Post
    Watch yourself on the drinking. After you've done it a lot and get comfortable you might find out you spin better drunk, but now you need your wits about you.
    Hehe, that's true. I noticed that one drink helps me relax and pick better flow of tunes, but alcohol also makes me tired, so there's a tradeoff.



    Quote Originally Posted by Fatlimey View Post
    Use your dynamics - breakdowns and beatless sections are a time to "reset" the volume. Plan to drop to silence and start back up with a "simple" track (a track made of only a few simple elements like a simple breakbeat or a single unprocessed mono lead).

    Layering overproduced sound over overproduced sound is what leads to "mushy" mixes. Think of it as clearing your sonic palette before the next course in the meal. If you listen to the truly great DJs working without the constraints of having to play just new tracks on a compilation, you can see them selecting their tracks based on:
    1. Tonality - bright&shiny vs. noisy&gritty vs. bass-heavy&dark.
    2. Tempo vs. Energy - sometimes a slower track with a bouncy groove carries more energy than a frantic cutup one.
    3. Simplicity vs. Complexity - sometimes the best thing is to it's good to drop out of a track and bring back just the kickdrum.


    OK, maybe a bit too much philosophy there.
    Just drop tunes the kids like, get the drunk girls to dance and the rest will follow!
    I think you're digging at, perhaps, the most important part of DJing - set flow & programming. This probably deserves its own thread, what with the harmonic mixing and not. But the last part of what you said I think is key - get the girls to dance and the guys will follow. Then again, where do I draw the line between playing what I was like playing and playing vocal tracks that Armin Van Buuren plays and becoming his clone (because that's what everybody wants)?



    Quote Originally Posted by wgdavis78 View Post
    9) get the crowd hypeed up!! do a lil dance! do something....even though donald glaude looks like a funny duddy in the beggining of this video the crowd loves it!!

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...EZSw4QKx6Y20AQ
    That's pretty awesome that he dances like that, I actually have the same headphones as Donald (SONY MDRv6)

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