Semi-Pro (hahaha) DJ Seeking Your Input
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  1. #1
    Tech Student
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    Default Semi-Pro (hahaha) DJ Seeking Your Input

    Hey there!
    Thanks for taking the time to read this. **If you're short on time, please skip to Questions** My name is Michael, and I'd like to start making the transition into the club scene this winter. I've been spinning for about 2 and half years now, and producing for a year as well. I live in Chattanooga, TN, which is 2 hours in between Nashville and Atlanta. I've been practicing at least 3 times a week since I was 15, and have played out 15-20 times at different private events/parties (to give you an idea of my live experience). *TO CLARIFY* Although I am young, I'm not an idiot. I actually got into DJ ing after buying DJ hero (haha not even kidding). I say that to tell you my motives: I love music, I love to dance, and I love to help people relax/have a good time. Haha, so now that that's out of the way, lets get down to business. I'm currently using a Vestax Vci-300, Vfx-1, and Serato Itch. The only major flaw of this controller is its low output compared to other controllers. I'm turning 18 December 9th.

    My Questions:
    1. Should I continue using this controller or upgrade to an s2 or s4?
    2. Should I join a record pool? I love crate digging to find those free legal gems that me and 5,000 other people may know about; however, do they work? Or should I play mainstream until I get some steam to brand my own sound? (even though I may not enjoy that type of music)
    3. Do you club DJ's enjoy your sets? I've seen deadmau5, kaskade, boombox, zedd, excision, fareoh, le castle vania, stephan jacobs, noisia, doctor p, madeon, wolfgang gartner, and eric prydz live. Now I know there's a huge difference between club sets and festival/show sets, but are they fun?

    Thanks again for your advice!

    Feel free to post links to your originals/remixes/mixes!

  2. #2

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    We don't know what works for you. If you like the vci-300, use it. If not, upgrade to something else. Research...

    Record pools can be a useful tool. Personally, I don't use one, So I can't help out much.

    Of course DJs enjoy their sets. If I no longer loved doing it, I would stop. No use in doing something like this is you don't enjoy it.
    Every gig I've ever played was fun. Sure they weren't big clubs or festivals, but I was able to share my love of music with other people, Which is a lot of fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by teambama View Post
    Check out what paris hilton is doing. You can learn a few things from her. She just started out as well....

  3. #3

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    1. Learn Pioneer CDJ gear. Or NI gear. Pios are pretty standard at clubs. NI is becoming a semi-standard concerning controllerism and personal setups, especially Traktor. Or Ableton Live, or something else.
    2. Me thinks record pools have 90% rubbish of quickly made remixes with no substance. You really need to specialize with your sound. Meanwhile Beatport, even with its current pricing, is reasonable concerning building your own playlist. Or start hunting down interesting remixes on Soundcloud and similar places.
    3. I don't anything about that, never played a festival. Suspect for those DJs it's the same business. Personally big festivals could generate a lot of cash but they are very impersonal compared with a small club setting.

    Anyway
    * You are 18 so that's a hindrance for many 21+ bars and clubs.
    * Learn as much as possible about EDM, this has now a 40+ body of music that is good to know inside out
    * You need to develop your own unique style as well as develop a following. No following - no decent gigs. Following could be based on production work, being one of the first to play and develop a new EDM style, taking part in a TV show (sorry but true) or something similar.

    And I still recommend teaming up with someone else as two people working together (or more) could have a much bigger impact than doing everything solo.

  4. #4
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    1) If you're trying to get into clubs, I would suggest investing in a set-up that you would see in a club (not an all-in-one controller). Also, maybe you havent thought of this or didnt think it mattered, but right or wrong, people that matter in clubs will judge you by your equipment. You would be surprised how many head promoters or managers DJ'd at one point in their career.

    2) Music really depends on what kind of gigs you are comfortable taking. If you only want to spin EDM or some off beat genre, then I suggest you just do what you do. I will caution you though, every new DJ and their momma spins EDM, so it's a crowded market looking for gigs.

    3) Of course I enjoy my sets. Seeing as I'm hired to entertain the crowd, I don't play all the music I would for myself/friends, but all the music I play I like, I'm comfortable playing, and I never feel like a sell out or anything.

  5. #5
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    Thanks again for the quick reply everyone!
    1. So to really sell the fact that I know what I'm doing I need to be comfortable with showing up with my usb sticks and/or cd's to rock the CDJ 2000s and the DJM 800 etc. Make sense. Like a quality check from the promoters to make sure I'm not showing up with a cracked version a Virtual DJ filled with 192k mp3's pulled from Youtube.
    2. I've had to spin some pretty shitty music at times (really selling out at first); however, as time went on I learned how to approach the dance floor more as a teacher. And by that I mean that I may not enjoy everything I have to cover over a semester, but I do enjoy my subject...and that subject is DJ ing.
    3. That's awesome. I've never been to a club before, but from all the youtube sets I've seen there actually seems to be a wide variety of sounds coming out these venues, which is very encouraging. For a while I was quite scared that top 40 was the only way to land anything

    So all in all, would you guys say I'm rushing it? Should I just wait and focus on producing/building an online following? There's really not a scene here in my town, which is why I was wanting to try to land some opening sets in ATL and Nashville.
    Last edited by Mehlano; 08-13-2012 at 12:03 AM.

  6. #6

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    Landing decent DJ jobs require some kind of guarantee from the promoter that people will show up -- i.e. you need a following. You could still do entry level things but most likely with no following you don't get the fun gigs.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Ross's Avatar
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    1 rule.

    Don't use the term EDM.

    You should be fine.
    Pioneer DJM 700 / Traktor Kontrol X1 / 2 x Technics SL1200MK5 / Traktor Scratch Pro 2.6.7 / Ortofon Concorde Nightclub MK1
    Audio 8 DJ / Sennheiser HD 25-1 II / Magma Traveler / IsoAcoustics ISO-L8R155 / KRK RP6 G2 / Vinyl

  8. #8
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    1) Use whatever controller you're comfortable using, whether it be the one you have or any other controller. If you feel you need to upgrade, do so, but if its not a necessity, don't worry about it.

    2) Dig. I am part of record pools, and it just doesn't give you the great satisfaction of digging and finding those gems. Now albeit the perks of a record pool is nice, flat fee, lots of music, great stuff. However, you're not gonna be pulling every song from these record pools. You're still going to be paying on beatport, or searching in SoundCloud for those banging tracks. Personal opinion, I pay for a record pool, but rarely use it. Digging makes the craft much more enjoyable.

    3) I enjoy a set every single time I play it. Always add you're on flare to things. I would recommend not to 'sell out' if you will due to trying to land your gigs. The moment you start playing stuff you don't enjoy, that is when the craft starts to lose its touch. I have been there and unfortunately I lost interest in it. Keep your own flare!!

  9. #9
    Tech Guru DJ SB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmniRoss View Post
    1 rule.

    Don't use the term EDM.

    You should be fine.
    +1

  10. #10
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    Hahahaha, roger that OmniRoss. Thanks again everybody!

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