Advice Needed; First gig/Gear
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Advice Needed; First gig/Gear

    Whats up guys, long time reader of the forums and stuff, but never really posted until now.

    I'm mainly a House DJ. I've spun a couple dozen pretty big Kegger/House parties in my City and have released a few small mixes out on Soundcloud (www.soundcloud.com/CodesMcC, the mixes on here, though uploaded recently are nowhere even near comparable of my ability now). My current set up consists of a Numark Mixdeck and an Akai LPD8. I use Pioneer HDJ 2000 headphones.

    Software wise, I'm at kind of a cross roads. I know this forum is predominately Traktor based but I have been using Virtual DJ 7 for the past long while. Even though people view it as amateur and the "Sync" feature as bush-league, I've become most comfortable with it. I actually beat match with wavelengths and pitch bends and don't just hit the button to sync my tracks to the usual 128 BPM. I'm looking to transition over to Traktor but I feel it is WAY too late as the gig is a week away.

    The gig; I'm a bartender at a Bar here in my hometown, and am good friends with a few of the big promoters here. A small bar here is starting a house night and I got offered a gig to spin as an opener or closer. The resident DJ/other feature DJ is one well known in this area. The problem I have is, I'm used to spinning bangers and making the mix well. I've never really spun in a low-key opening spot. Do I just drop the type of songs I usually drop, or go for something more lowkey and fitting? I'm looking to not only impress the crowd but the other DJ's and promoters as well as it'll lead to other gigs (Thus me being skeptical about VDJ, etc)

    I guess, in short what I'm asking is a) what do I do in terms of software; stick to what I know and am good with, or cram and hope to learn something else b) How do I approach being the opening or closing dj? c) any other advice you can give.

    Thanks in advance boys.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
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    Well with a week to go I personally think you may have left it too late to change over now.

    I would do the gig with what you know and are comfortable with and then afterwards if you still want to change go for it but practise with it before going live!!

    As for approaching the gig if you are the opening DJ don't go dropping the latest biggest tunes. Theres nothing worse than seeing dj's playing the latest hits at 7pm. Start slowly and build it for the next DJ. Warm the crowd up slowly and play stuff that maybe people haven't heard but you know are good tunes. Thats how I always approached early DJ slots.

    If you are the closing DJ then you can go pretty much anywhere you want to as most people will be wasted by then!! I used to drop a few classics that would get people up but its up to you!!

  3. #3
    DJTT Tankard fullenglishpint's Avatar
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    What he said, but also if you're opening, don't play endless minimal electro. It sounds cool for a while, but after an hour of basically the same beat with a slightly varying bassline it gets boring as hell.
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  4. #4
    Tech Guru Conall's Avatar
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    practice with traktor and if your comfortable with it by the time of your gig then cool, if not then just use vdj

    problem solved

    edit: oh and that whole "dont play the latest bangers at the start of the night" shit is only really relevant if your playing mainstream shit, top 40, etc etc etc (well, where im from at least). you might play stuff thats a bit softer that u would at the end of the night but dont by any means hold back if theres a tune you think would be good to play at that time. Play what you want, if the DJ after you cant keep up with the pace then the night is programmed incorrectly...

    at least thats what me and pretty much all my friends think. the one thing i would stay though is just watch the volume, leave enough room so that it can be pushed up throughout the night.
    Last edited by Conall; 03-22-2011 at 07:08 AM.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    edit: oh and that whole "dont play the latest bangers at the start of the night" shit is only really relevant if your playing mainstream shit, top 40, etc etc etc (well, where im from at least). you might play stuff thats a bit softer that u would at the end of the night but dont by any means hold back if theres a tune you think would be good to play at that time. Play what you want, if the DJ after you cant keep up with the pace then the night is programmed incorrectly...
    Yeah the following DJ can drop the tone, kill the music following on (various ways) ... but nothing worse IMHO than walking into an empty room that you are going to be playing in 2 hours and the supporting DJ is playing the latest Tiesto chart bangers pitched up to +6.

    It'd be a bit like metallica warming up for radiohead.

    I would normally go with dubby b-sides to begin with rather than the "popular" mixes of tracks to start off and bring everything up to just below madness 30-40 mins before the main act.

    I was at a big gig recently which had 2 support jocks, both playing it pretty with tribal / prog tunes cool but pitched up to about +5/6.

    When the main act came on he opened with Dada life Dynasty Kaskade @ 0% and it almost cleared the floor... in fairness it was as much the main act's fault I reckon for not taking note of the tempo change before he killed the music.

    A good support jock's job is to hold the crowd and keep them interested from A>B main act is to get em from B-C and beyond.

    I'm not saying don't drop a few crazy tunes, just not the entire set ... punters get burned out too y'know.

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard
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    Appreciate all the advice guys.

    I think I'm just gonna stick with my guns and run VDJ or just go with CD's and no software. I was booked sorta last minute so I don't have a GREAT low-key house library. I'll have to work on building that (suggestions accepted, for sure)

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor bmo's Avatar
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    Play some chilled outhouse or older top 40 songs to open, there's nothing I hate more than an opener who plays the newest shit, or is playing a shit ton of big dropdowns. You're supposed to warm up the crowd and get them hyped for the main DJ.
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  8. #8
    Tech Guru
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    Please DON'T play bangers and the hottest material in an opening slot. There is no faster way to burn out your crowd, make the night end early, and not get booked again than doing this. If you've got to spend the rest of the time until the gig digging for 15 chiller tracks to add to your library, do it.
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  9. #9
    Tech Wizard
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    Thanks again guys for all the input.

    Looks like I might have to discover some chiller tracks.

    any suggestions?

  10. #10
    Tech Guru josh@firestorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zac Kyoti View Post
    Please DON'T play bangers and the hottest material in an opening slot. There is no faster way to burn out your crowd, make the night end early, and not get booked again than doing this. If you've got to spend the rest of the time until the gig digging for 15 chiller tracks to add to your library, do it.
    and if you open for a person who produces their own tracks - its up to them to play their material, not you!

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