Gig dilemma
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Thread: Gig dilemma

  1. #1
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    Default Gig dilemma

    Got a bit of a dilemma right now, there's these parties that get held maybe once a month in my town that I really want to play at (as nothing else really happens around here), talked to the guy who runs them, no problems and he is gonna sort me out a set, However...

    They 'only use CD and vinyl' Which I can understand to a certain extent, but for me its gonna be really hard to take a step back to only using CD's as I got rid of most of my vinyl and would have to burn tons and tons of CD's as I am so used to having a massive amount of tracks ready in traktor.

    I really don't know how to basically say I need take my laptop in the booth, considering I haven't used turntables and CDJ's for some time, nor do I own them anymore and all my music is on my laptop, I really don't know what to do...

    any suggestions?

    oh, and if I could afford it I would get traktor scratch and an audio 8, but being a student that is never gonna happen!
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  2. #2
    Tech Wizard vondoom's Avatar
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    Default only "cds or vinyl"

    If you ever read some of Ean Golden's advice on starting a DJ career, he mentions that you should tell the promoter that you and your digital DJing skills are going to bring a serious crowd and help them sell lots of drinks. Sometimes, you just can't convince them. I use Serato (in my resident club), Traktor & Ableton (home & shows) AND CD's (at parties with the same kind of guys you're dealing with).

    Preparing your tracks and burning them to CD's takes a good day or two of effort but is totally worth it. These are a good idea to have just in case you run into a situation like the one you're dealing with now. I have arrived at gigs and been told, "no laptop DJs." I bite my tongue, rock a set (because most djs don't use cues for live remixing) and when they tell me great job I say, "it's even better when you let me use my laptop." The next time, they usually do. A lot of these old heads cling to old ideas and stigmas. I used to play in punk and hardcore bands and they have the same feelings about too many fx pedals, and certain types of equipment. Once your prove yourself to them, they can't say much.

    As for my CD creation workflow. I have 2 sets of 200 CD's with memory cards and cue points stored. If you're doing a 1 hour set you can get by with 200. I add 10-20 tracks and drop 10-20 tracks a month depending on how things are going with my digital sets. To make things easier I first run all the tracks through MP3gain, then burn them to CD and write on each single track CD the SONG NAME, ARTIST, KEY, BPM and then organize them in my slip pack by genre. If you have access to a CDJ, mark some cue points and save them on SD or MMC cards. Labeling, tagging and all this preparation will prepare you to rock the CDJs.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Tech Guru eastcoastams's Avatar
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    Running just CD's makes it so much more difficult to improvise, you know, unless you still have your book of a 1,000+ cd's , it's hard to always keep the crowd catered to... I'd definitely just go with it for the first gig, and if you kill it, ask him to let you do your own thing next time

  4. #4
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    How much are you getting payed? enough to put up with this nonsense? otherwise I'd be a bit eh about it.

  5. #5
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    I wont be getting paid for this gig, but it should hopefully lead to more (paid) gigs around the area I am in...

    I unfortunately don't have access to any CDJ's, nor can I afford even a cheap pair to rekindle that old flame!

    I think I shall just have to burn a fair few CD's, play a really simple set and just rely on good music choice to rock the crowd. I use cue points and effects quite a lot so it will be weird not having the option to mix that way. Hopefully I'll get another gig and convince them that I shall be able to play a better set using it!

    Thank you for all the advice, especially Vondoom, I think I will work out a similar work flow for burning CD's, it just all seems a bit much for a hour long set when I could just take my laptop and rock it ten times better...

    Whats weirder is that one of the guys that organises them used to rock a laptop and MIDI controller and was pretty awesome with it. So I don't understand why some people don't accept things that make life easier, I mean, after all, DJ's are just playing other people's music right?...
    http://soundcloud.com/jamesT

    Macbook/Hercules Steel/Audio 2

  6. #6
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    tell them controllers or nothing at all. Also tell the promoter you can act like you are using the CDJs if thats a big deal...

  7. #7
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    Back up a second.

    Not only are you not going to be able to use the tools which would make you look your best (and thus lead to future gigs), but you're not getting payed, which is not only hurting the other talented djs out there but will only lead to more gigs that don't involve getting payed.

    Did they explicitly tell you to use their cdjs/techs or did you just assume that? If they did, then walk away, because it's really just not worth dealing with people like that. If they didn't, walk away anyway and go find yourself a paying gig.

  8. #8

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    hold back on the controllerism hostility.

    this is apparently a big opportunity for you, in your situation. one of the only big nights in your area? yeah i wouldn't pass that up. it's good exposure and you'll meet a lot of important people, so i wouldn't go about this in a "controller or die" way. i'd try to explain to them that it wouldn't be a big deal. it doesn't take up much space, it's easy to hook in/unhook, and you'll rock it out a lot harder on what you're comfortable with. be professional!
    soundcloud.com/hpntk / soundcloud.com/freakstep
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru Nicky H's Avatar
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    I agree with hipnotikk

    This could be a big chance for you mate so just play on cd's - get your foot in the door first

    My advice, practice your set at home in traktor then when your happy burn the cd's in order - even number them with a marker

    Just take something a bit different in case the stuff your playing isn't doing it

    Good luck
    SC | MC

  10. #10
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    Prep for the cd route, but take the controller and tell them you have a couple of things you want to do that can't be done on the CDJ's. Just make sure you have something super awesome lined up for just a little bit that you can bust out on the controller. If they let you set it up that is. Introduce it to them a little at a time and maybe they'll be more open to it next time.
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