How did you learn DJing?
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor Lundmark's Avatar
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    Default How did you learn DJing?

    Obviously, this is a huge topic so my take on this is to get to read your stories about how you first started with the art of digital DJing!

    I got the VCI-100, Traktor Pro and soon, the new FW, buttons/faders and overlay too. But absolutely no skills.

    I guess you've all been there. How come you went on to become a DJ or at least start DJing as a hobby?

  2. #2

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    read about it on the internet, bought the gear and banged my head on the wall until i could do it. there are plenty of good guides on the basics of djing lying around in the Internet

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor
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    Default Hehehhe.

    Used to listen to a lot of hip-hop and rap when I was younger (early double-digits), not realising until I was a bit older how they did what they did.

    Older sibling picked up some 1200s and I started buying records (primarily tunes that I enjoyed that couldn't be purchased on CD) that I'd play on the decks when not in the house.

    Started heading out to gigs and got more and more interested in what the fellas - and ladies - were doing behind the booth. So were others...who were more cashed up than I...who I hooked up with and had a mix.

    Played more than my fair share of house parties, and played once or twice in a local watering hole.

    Eventually became a desk-jockey (pun not intended) and while I could have probably afforded decks, didn't have the room to set them up. Bought a 2x VCI-100 to have independent control over 4 decks in TSP (which I got for free due to an ill eBay transaction; and I like my 4/4) and a VCM-600 which will eventually get attached to Ableton.

    And still learning.

  4. #4
    Tech Wizard
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    Starting working in a nightclub in Liverpool when i was 16, got interested through that. Bought some awful belt drive turntables and a 2 channel mixer off a friend and a few records. Picked it up pretty easy so i upgraded to a 4 channel mixer 2 stanton str-8 150 turntables and an Axis 9 cd deck. Shortly after i got into the whole Traktor/Ableton thing and now i try to mix them all up in my sets with a few midi controllers and a sound card. Played alot of house parties and bars/clubs in Liverpool and Leeds. Started doing Music tech in College then finally went to uni to study it which is were im at right now.

  5. #5
    Dr. Bento BentoSan's Avatar
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    I was producing for a large number of years (since i was about 13), i was following the art of djing for a long period but because of funds and the fact that i am quite a technically minded and driven person it never really tickled my fancy enough to save the cash.

    Then along came Moldover and Eans controllerism videos (right when this site first started), being able to use production techniques that i had learnt and put them into a djing style format really tickled my fancy, so i picked up a VCI-100. Going from a number of years of production to DJing was quite a simple transition. I put that article up on routing audio from Traktor to Ableton (which is one of, if not the most popular post on the blog) as part of my vision of this cross between djing and production, shortly after the forums opened up and i was the main contributor getting this forum off the ground: things really took off from there and the rest as they say is history.

    Now i teach those who have been djing far longer than i have how to do cool digital DJing stuff - still spins me out Just goes to show you that you don't need to start on CDs or Turntables - you just need passion, persistence, a love for learning and you will be well on your way.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru BradCee's Avatar
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    Started 10 years ago on a pair of numark belt drives and dodgy gemini mixer, moved on to citronic direct drives and numark mixer, then tt/cdj combo, then replaced the tt's with pioneer efx500s (one for each cdj - mainly for the 'echo feedback trick' which got used as makeshift samplers)
    Back in april moved on to vci 100 and mapped it to work as 2 decks and 2 samplers to carry on mixing in similar way.

    As for the learning, read a guide online and worked from there. The main part i picked out, and still remember, was to only move the pitch fader a small amount at a time. Pretty much worked around that - took about 18 months to beat match properly, used a red sounds bpm counter to help fine tune it

    Win 7 / 2x Reloop Contour / Numark M6 /Traktor Pro 2.5
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  7. #7
    Tech Mentor
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    I was in Japan when I learned how to DJ. Was at a trancey venue and I didnt feel like dancing that night (not into the glowsticking,love to see it done though) and I was paying attention to the dj's. I saw this one guy moving his hands this way and that and somehow I felt like I knew it was him manipulating the song and pulling off this crazy sensation of increased tension. I went up to him and said, I want to be able to do that, luckily he took me under his wing and he tought me everything he knew. That was vynil, digital didnt happen till after I got out of the Marines and picked up a RMX. Had to rethink somethings in terms of how I spun, was stuck in the mindset of vynil, beatmatch, transition, scratch, simple tricks. The possibilities of digital are endless. I then ran into DvlsAdvct at was known as Asylum Guild in NYC. Noticed he was a digital DJ and we hit it off, he mentored me on alot of stuff and pointed me in the direction of these forums. Since then, Ive been practicing and fucking around like crazy, nonstop reading about stuff or watching videos on the internet to the point that my girlfriend will pull me out of fantasy land lol.

    To me DJing is about expression and making people dance because of it. You need to be passionate and dedicated to making yourself better and better, with digital we can be unique. I LOVE IT!
    Silly DJ loops are for kids!

  8. #8
    Tech Guru belchman's Avatar
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    I've got this really cool 13 year old Kid tap me up on Youtube asking how to start. It's awesome when you get people that young (i started when I was 16, now I'm 18..)

    I started because my band split up, and I needed something to do! It takes alot of perseverance and geeky forum/article reading to get to grips with everything, but it doesn't take too long! If you're determined, you'll be able to do it.

    Getting creative and trying new things is also very cool, which takes a lot of time and effort, but is hugely enjoyable and a great feeling when you realise something works

    get reading fella!

  9. #9
    Tech Mentor TreTuna's Avatar
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    I had moved from Florida to Houston, TX. Was a freestyle dancer at the time, fluid, pop n' lock, etc... Started dancing out there in a crew at parties and events, and was always talking to the DJs about what we wanted, and the way they integrated the music really intrigued me. Met a couple of them, and one day they asked me if I wanted to know more about it. Ended up moving in with one of them that spun DnB, so I started spinning funky florida breaks (DJ Icey, Baby Anne, etc...) by learning off of him. That was about 9 years ago now. Mind you this was straight 1200s and a mixer, no digital anything.

    All i can remember is my roommate sitting there messing with photoshop while I was practicing and constantly going "The beats are off Tre, fix the tempo.... The beats are off... Come on... Fix that shit...... The beats are off, the beats are off.... the beats are off!" Which, of course, was annoying as hell when you're trying to fix them!

    Moved back to Florida and started a new dance crew that did hip hop performances, so I started mixing for our shows. Then got a DJ gig for a club that catered to everyone from 21-80+, so I started learning how to mix all the old stuff in with the new to cater to any kind of crowd.
    Tre Tuna
    DJ and Recording and Mixing engineer for live and studio sound
    Traktor Pro 2.7.1 | MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 2.5ghz 4gigs ram
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    NI Z2, F1, Machine MK I, RigKontrol 3 | Dicers | PadKontrol

  10. #10
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    Interesting stories guys, awesome.
    Well for me i'd been listening to music epecially dance music for over 16 years before meeting some of the crew from the original gathering aotearoa parties in 2004 ish. At this stage my brother was already playing around mixing a bit of drum & bass with some mates who were pretty shit really but at the time they were the "name" djs in town. At this stage i already had a good collection of over 300 discs of tunes and was mostly listening to mixes such as the global underground series. Murray Kingi (organiser of the gathering) gave me a poster of the crowd at the last gathering, and told me yeah, it was him playing. I wanted this bad! he hooked us up with a very early version of traktor and a dvd full of prog and we haven't looked back ever since. Things really kicked off for us late last year when we had a few biggish gigs around the place. Our first big outdoor flopped due to site permission being pulled at the last minute but things are defo in the pipeline for the future. Making a lot of contacts & friends round the place now, and helping out where i can.
    Started posting some mixes round the place in feb and stopped counting once we hit a thousand downloads. Have made some foreign contacts through our soundcloud group also, which was cool.
    This community has been a great help to the crew and me especially, until a couple of months ago i was the only midijockey round this hick town
    Acer E5 i7 2TB 16GB ~ 512GB SSD ~ WIN 10 ~ TSP 2.11 ~ AUDIO 6 ~ X1 ~ DN-X1600 ~ X1 ~ SPECTRA ~ TWISTER ~ ATH-PRO500 MK2 ~ AT2020

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