What's next for me as a DJ?
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  1. #1
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    Default What's next for me as a DJ?

    Hey guys! So I have been Dj'ing for around a year and a half - two year, and am wondering what I should do to take my play to the next level?

    I have been using a Pioneer DDJ-SB with custom mappings for Traktor (Just not a fan of stock Serato) Any who, I Was able to score a residence at a bar in my local small town playing Thursdays, and Saturdays every week. I have been with them Since around a year now and I enjoy it quite a lot. Mostly I play G-House, Deep/future, Baseline, minimal and some glitch when I can find a way to work it in. I am able to seamlessly mix tracks when within my comfortable tempo range, and can generally make a transition feel good when going down or up for a request or two.

    I have also played for local events with close to 200 people.

    I have some experience with CDJ's and did fairly well for first time using them at an event but was using a friends cds for music.

    I want to make more of a career out of this, as I am passionate about music, I have started dipping into producing a tad but am going to hold off until the new year when I pick up a MIDI Keyboard.

    Any advice on where to go from here?

    Thanks, Adanak

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    Why wait to produce? You don't need a midi keyboard to produce. Many people produce perfectly good tunes without one.

    If you wanna make a career, and a living, out of this, then you have to figure out how to monetise what you are doing. That means working weddings, aniversaries, birthdays, etc... in addition to the (I assume paid?) gigs that you already have.

    Time to put a business plan together.
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    I sold my midi keyboard and now use my laptops keyboard to play notes.

    Moral of the story, you don't need a midi keyboard.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heindrian View Post
    I want to make more of a career out of this, as I am passionate about music, I have started dipping into producing a tad but am going to hold off until the new year when I pick up a MIDI Keyboard.

    Any advice on where to go from here?
    As has been pointed out, there is not a "need" for a MIDI keyboard for music production.

    If you pick a DAW like Ableton, the Push2 controller is a FAR better investment than a MIDI keyboard.

    If you are looking to make a career in music, learning to play the keyboard is a good investment. Getting a large(r) MIDI keyboard and combining that with some piano lessons would be a good plan for the next year (or so). That will also improve any foundation in music theory, etc.

    Look at local community college programs in "music stuff" - performance, studio engineering, etc. Odds are good that you can take a number of classes without being formally enrolled in the program. These classes tend to be (relatively) inexpensive and offer live instruction and feedback from your peer group.
    Denon X1600, NI X1 Mk1 & Mk2, MF Twister
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  5. #5
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    or you can take the carnage route and pay someone to make music for you.
    Technics 1210 / Pioneer plx 1000 / Xone 42 / Adam a3x / UA apollo twin / Maschine mikro / Ableton live 9 / Maschine 2 / MBP Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015

  6. #6
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    I am aware that you don't need a midi keyboard to produce good beats, however as the only instrument I grew up learning was the piano I feel It would help alot when coming up with melodies and would overall just be a nice thing to have to play whenever I want as we no longer have a piano.

    The only problem with doing weddings, birthdays, ect. is that I live in a rather small town, and its rare people will actually hire a DJ for these events, possibly the odd summer weddings but other than that, options are limited in that sense. I hope to move down to the city within a year or two. I want to travel Brazil as the Bass House music scene down there is ridiculous right now and so many artists that inspire me reside there, then I would look to moving to the city as its a lot more pricey to live there and I doubt I would be able to save traveling money living there.

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard afshawn998's Avatar
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    the best thing I can recommend is getting to the point where you can play any genre possible. Ill be playing hip hop on Friday then I have to do a whole new set the next day with nothing but top 40 and edm. Know how to make the transistions from lower to higher and vice versa sound perfect. If you can play more then just minimal and what you stated above your much more valuable to the promoters. I hate country, despise it and im from Wisconsin. But, if someone needs country ill have it and know how to play it. I also recommend getting into instagram and social media if you haven't. Its the easiest way to keep in contact with fans and it also gets your name out. im fugly as shit but I still post pics of my sets so I can have a treasure trove of pics showing managers and promoters that I know how to rock the dance floor. You've already started out good by not being a 'laptop' dj. by that I mean hooking up virtual dj and hitting auto mix. I would highly suggest getting yourself a mentor in the surrounding area that knows how the scene works. Pick his brain. Ask how he made it to where he is. I have my own mentor. I annoy the living hell out of him but im eager to learn. I have my own apprentice that im teaching how to dj as we speak actually. Im no carl cox but theres no better feeling teaching someone a hobby that you love. So I can almost guarantee that these guys in your local area will help you out. but here are some rules.
    1. Don't be cocky- Don't be that douche dj. be very friendly and work with management. if they ask for hip hop. play hip hop. don't just go off on your own and play what you want. You will piss off your boss and you most likely wont be asked to come back. On the same topic. Be nice to your local dj friends. Don't be 'that dj' that is super cocky and everyone shit talks. If your friendly you will not only have more dj friends but you will also get offered more gigs because of it.
    2. Learn how to use any set up that gets thrown at you- Whether it be recordbox, traktor, or serato. If you get tossed behind a set of technics you best know how to use it. You become more flexible and worth more to promoters.
    3. Stock up on music- you never know what show will be tossed at you. it could be a latin night or a trap show. Make sure you have a solid library of music. my rule of thumb to have enough music in one genre to play for 6 hours none stop with no repeats. It takes a long time to build up the library so start working at it.
    4. Just have fun. Do what you love, and have fun doing it. You will have those nights were your playing music for 4 people. But there will be a time were you get a show for 400+ people and it will make the sacrifice and time spent so worth it. push yourself and it can happen.
    Traktor S8, Subpac m2, Westen um2, macbook pro retina, midi fighter spectra

  8. #8
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    I would steer away from going crazier with the "live" aspect of DJ'ing. Keep it simple: dig for the fresh tunes, learn how to keep mixing perfectly with the club gear and learn how to produce your own music!

  9. #9
    Tech Guru Patch's Avatar
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    The answer to your question, is, basically, keep being a BETTER DJ.

    If you're better today than you were one month ago, you're doing everything absolutely right.
    DJ'ing: 2x1200MK2, DJM 850, Dicers, F1, Zomo MC-1000, Sony MDR-v700, i7 Win 10 HP Envy
    Production: Ableton Live 8 and a mouse, Sennheiser HD400, Sony VAIO

    Click HERE to D/L Free Tracks from Soundcloud!!!
    https://www.facebook.com/Patchdj

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