Does anyone else struggle with just being ad vs. being a dj/producer?
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  1. #1
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    Default Does anyone else struggle with just being ad vs. being a dj/producer?

    Watup!! I feel like there is an unspoken rule that tells us that its not okay anymore to just being a dj and we have to also produce. I am not even sure why lol. No ego here, I suck at producing music, I actually can't do it, thats why its frustrating owning a push 2 and messing around in ableton only to get frustrated because I could have just been practicing up on turntablism or something related to just using my turntables. I dont even really enjoy doing it, maybe because I can't.

    What are you thoughts, does anyone else struggle with this?

  2. #2

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    im in your same boat. ive been mixing for about 4 years now. i absolutely love DJing. its now my biggest passion and hobby. i mix about 3 nights a week pretty consistently just for fun. i had a strong heading when i first started to get bookings for small but lit raves. but now that promoter no longer puts on shows leaving only small bass music promoters and high class club promoters leaving no place for a young tech house DJ (who doesn't produce) like myself.

    lately i find myself out growing my dj gear. im dying to expand to 4 decks but i just dont have that kind of money. its also hard to support the idea of expanding my dj gear due to the lack of bookings. i want to get better but for what?

    I've tried (a little bit) to produce but i always just end up making mashups for my DJ set lol i find it hard to maintain motivation. and just about every time i'll make a stupid 4/4 beat with some high hats, i think "damn i like that, i wanna DJ now"

    also part of being a dj is realizing that most of the top djs on the festival circuit can't dj for shit. kids would rather see a good producer than a good dj.

  3. #3
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    Default I hear ya

    Have the same thoughts - what i find to be working for me (kind of..) is foucusing mainly on djing but also leaving around 20% of my overall dedicated musical time for producing.
    it's not necessarily sitting and playing aruond with ableton - it's also watching tutorials and reading up relevant material which will help me get more creative and precise in the production.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru mostapha's Avatar
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    The way it is now, you absolutely have to produce in order to make it big DJing.

    Maybe it's becuase there are so many DJs. Maybe it's because it's so easy to get music...it's almost impossible to differentiate yourself from the pack just by the records you own and your technique.

    Unfortunately, that's also lead to a general decline in the quality of DJing itself.

    FWIW, digital dj tips is running their "how to make a track in 7 days" thing right now. It's all based on loops in Ableton Live, and it's insanely simplistic. But, it would work if you followed along right. The song you made wouldn't be good, and it would be a lot like everyone else's that did it, but you'd at least finish something.

    I'm not much of a producer either. The technical side, I get. The artistic side...much less so. I've finished a couple tracks years ago, but I never thought they were good enough to put out.

    Still...that's what you need to do if you want to have any real measure of success.

    All that being said, there's nothing wrong with doing something just because you enjoy it. I've spent a lot of money on DJ gear over the years, and I don't regret it. Most music gear (just like camera gear, painting supplies, or basically anything else artistic) get sold to people who want to do it just for themselves and never actually acheive any real measure of success outside of their own happiness. And, that's fine.

    The old joke is that Gigging guitarists use Peavey. Hobbyists who never play outside their basement play Two Rock. (for those that don't know, Peavy makes budget gear and Two Rock make really high-end boutique amplifiers)

  5. #5
    Tech Wizard Kepik's Avatar
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    8 year ago, I tried to get into production but was overwhelmed with amount of time and dedication it takes to really hone in on it. I stopped and tried to focus on turntablism more. Spent about 2 years into it and well, I'm not even half decent at it. I decided to re-invest time in production again and then in 6 months, I actually made some tracks. Although in hindsight, the quality was terrible. I didn't stop trying to learn more. Fast forward 5 years later, I'm still learning but I feel I've come to a point where I can at least make decent stuff and be somewhat proud of my work.

    Moral of the story, it will feel like a struggle. There is a huge learning curve from just DJing to production. What ever style you want to get into producing. Listen to it and dissect all the elements that goes into a track. There's the creative side and then there's the technical side (layering, EQ'ing, compression, distortion/saturation, etc.) which I believe is the hardest to nail down to get that polished pro-sound.

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor Stazbumpa's Avatar
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    The DJ/Producer is nothing new, I started in the raves c1992 and DJ's who made their own tracks were rife even then. Back then, I would say it was a 50/50 split between DJ/P's and pure DJ's, but even so a lot of "pure" DJ's dabbled with their own remixes on occassion. I make all my money off just DJ'ing, no production required, and I suppose it also depends on your definition of "making it big". Where I live, everyone knows me. Outside of that, not so much.
    My point is that to reach the upper stratosphere of DJ'ing, there's never really been a time when you *didn't* need to be a producer as well, it's just that now you don't need anything like the production skill, or DJ skill, you needed back then.
    Denon x1700, 2 x Denon sc3900, 2 x Technics SL1200, Traktor 2.6.something, Dell Latitude laptop and a lot of vinyl.

  7. #7
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    Certainly doesn't hurt to know production. It's the most direct way that you can promote yourself as an electronic music artist, especially if you're just starting out and nobody knows you.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    Just do what makes you happy. Anything else is not worth the time.
    - Equipment - 2X Technics 1200, 2X Audio Technica ATLP1240, 2X XDJ700, 2X XDJ1000 MK2, Denon DNX-1100, Mixars DUO, DJM750 MK2, NI Audio 10, NI Aduio 4, Serato SL3, 4X Shure M44-7, 2X Ortofon Pro S, 2X Numark Groove Tool, Maschine MK3, Samson Carbon 49, Roland SE-02, Novation Launchcontrol, TouchOSC, Nocation Peak, Arturia MiniBrute, Korg Volca Kick, MicroKorg (Classic), NI Komplete Audio 6

  9. #9

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