Booted from the "Booth"
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Booted from the "Booth"

    The other day I was at a party where they were playing pandora radio and after a couple of hours I decided I was going to plug up my pacemaker and try to get the party jumping. I start off doing my thing, starting with slower stuff (hip hop and latin jazz) that slowly gets faster towards house music. After a while one of my good friends came up to me and said we had to turn me off, and they plugged it into the lady gaga station on their PC. It was a little disappointing.

    I'll provide some back story, I have been mixing in my spare time for the last year and a half, I had never done anything for a crowd of people before, but I am good enough to not have obvious mistakes like beat matching and phase matching. Yet, no one really understood what I was trying to do, or what I was trying to play.

    What is the lesson I should take away from this? That I should be prepared to throw more lady gaga in to my mixes?

  2. #2
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    I guess the lesson is, judge the crowd and play what they want.
    If its a Top40 crowd they may just simply not like what you are doing even if its is musically better or whatever.

    A Top40 crowd will not think "ooh that beatmatching is good" they will think "i dont know this song therefore it is shit"

    If you cannot bring yourself to play Lady Gaga then dont play at parties/gigs where they expect it.

    Its very very very easy for someone to tell you that you can play cool music and top40 together and mix it up an the crowd will dig it. The fact is that is not always true.

    I do a gig where i have to play Top40 stuff, that is what they want but thay also respond to other stuff if i do it right. Its a good gig.

    I have another gig where the crowd will simply piss off the dancefloor if they do not know the song. (i do it for the money).

    Every credit for doing 'your thing' but you gotta know if 'your thing' is gonna work or just die.

    Sometimes you can be too good for a crowd. I guess you were just that.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru pilmat's Avatar
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    I like house and minimal, but I play them mostly for myself. At the parties I do, if you don't have the latest Lady Gaga or Madonna, they go sit in the kitchen! So I play a few Top40, slip in an appropriate house track, go back to the Top40, do a breakdown with a minimal bit, etc.

    Basically I'm trying to educate them. At first they didn't get it, but I'm easier on them now and they are getting into a bit of house!

    That first time everyone leaves the dance floor is a sickening experience! But you learn a lot from it.

    Phil.
    MBP 10.6; Itch 2.2; Novation Twitch; TP 2.x; MF Classic; Ultrasone DJ1 Pro
    Apogee Duet 2; Reason; Ableton 8; 49SL MkII; Maschine Mikro; Launchpad

  4. #4
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    i don't have any personal experience playing top40 shows, but if i was in your shoes if you have the opportunity to play that same venue in the future- find top40 songs that you like or can atleast stomach and play that. even if it doesn't allow you to really express your style, confronting the challenge will only make you a better and more versatile dj which will increase your worth to prospective contacts later down the road.

  5. #5

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    I find it helpful to seek out tasteful (or rather..."faithful") remixes of the original tracks... of course sometimes you just have to play the original.

    Karlos knows what he's talking about...that's good advice; read your crowd.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosferatu View Post
    I find it helpful to seek out tasteful (or rather..."faithful") remixes of the original tracks.
    +1

    Check out some of Jason Nevins' stuff, he usually has pretty good top 40 remixes.
    www.djstormeagle.com

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  7. #7
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    top40 remixes is the key for me...but i'm spinning electro la justice etc. and it's pretty easy to find remixes in that kind of genre.
    Stanton SCS3 System

  8. #8
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    All very true but, if you dont spin at a Top 40 nite you would be very surprised at what does and doesnt work.
    There are lots of EDM (boy do i hate that term) remixes of Top 40 tunes but you can bet that they will totally bomb on some dancefloors.

    Seriously, if it has to the Top 40 Radio Edits, suck it up or dont do the gig.
    Trying to "educate" can be a total waste of time on some crowds. Also, whos to say it is educating. I get a lot of Top 40 promos and the majority come with a remix pack by the usual suspects and a lot of the tracks are rubbish.

    Seriously guys, Lady Gaga - Telephone at a Top 40 nite fills the floor. Play the Crookers version and people stand around thinking what this crapola version and then you have a queue of women complaining that it isnt the "real version"

    Im not saying dont try playing the remixes, i am saying dont be surprised if it empties the dancefloor.

    BTW - most of the equipment in my signature was bought from money earned doing these bloody "Top40 nights"... blow me.

  9. #9
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    At least it was at a friends party and not paying gig...

    The best mixing skills don't mean anything if the songs dont resonate with the audience.

    Always try to get the girls dancing.

    Being a mobile DJ is tough, that same set could kill at a club setting where people go to hear that music. I'm not sure if you had that mix planned but maybe plan less and go with the flow more. Dont stay set on your playlist if it isnt working... and... some people have no taste for "good" music... haha jk

    Everyone who has worked as a dj has cleared the floor before, stay grinding!

  10. #10
    Tech Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by tads View Post
    What is the lesson I should take away from this? That I should be prepared to throw more lady gaga in to my mixes?
    Ahhh. It's a lesson which comes to every DJ at some point in their life. And it appears you have reached yours: "Exactly how much Lady Gaga should I stock up on".

    The simple answer to your dilemma is "the entire hard drive", yup, fill up your entire system drive, and fire off one Lady Gaga track after another. Problem solved.

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