DJing a School Dance
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  1. #1

    Default DJing a School Dance

    Hey DJTT,

    My friend and I are DJing our school dance in a couple of months, and are looking for some tips.

    First off, there is going to be two of us, so how should we go about that in terms of hardware and what not?

    Also, the DJs at our dances usually just play music straight and thats it, basically like using iTunes, what should we do to shake it up?

    Finally, I need some new hardware. I take traktor pro, and ableton and all of the software, but need new hardware. For this type of thing, should I be looking at an all in one controller and like an F1 or something to go with it? Any recommendations are much appreciated!


    Thanks all!!!

  2. #2
    Tech Guru ImNotDedYet's Avatar
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    What's your budget? S4's a good controller for Traktor, but may be out of your price range.

    School dances are all about getting people on the dance floor, not necessarily shaking it up. Make sure to mix in some slow songs on occasion, 2 at a time.

  3. #3

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    I think I could probably get an s4. My friend loves electronic, and I'm more of a rap/pop person, so hopefully we could get a good mix.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor 0Notice's Avatar
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    Well, I have mixed for a couple school dances and I would say try and keep it simple. Check out NI's S2 and S4 and see if you like how Traktor works.

    The first time I mixed for my school I tried really hard to put in some of the Disco and House I was into and it did not go over well. I quickly realized that it was so much more about what I was playing and that pleasing the audience would not only make them happy but it would also create a wonderful vibe that made my experience more enjoyable. So I would say focus on what people seem to enjoy and find a happy spot in between what you enjoy and what they enjoy. Or if you are me, start the Annual "Disco Dance" where you can play whatever you want to and people who are attending are expecting something a little more special. Actually, I genuinely miss mixing for my school dances. Make sure you have fun and remember its about the vibe you can create with the audience not just pleasing yourself. Good luck mate and lets us know how it goes!
    Mapping Enthusiast
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  5. #5

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    Thank you so much!!!

    One question though, what should I do in terms of actually mixing? Most DJs in the past have basically just played tracks straight no fx or anything. Should I try to just work in some filters and fx and loops and what not? or should I do legit mixing? I feel like doing real mixing would be too outgoing for this situation.

    THANKS AGAIN!

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    Tech Mentor 0Notice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bottumboy622 View Post
    One question though, what should I do in terms of actually mixing? Most DJs in the past have basically just played tracks straight no fx or anything. Should I try to just work in some filters and fx and loops and what not? or should I do legit mixing? I feel like doing real mixing would be too outgoing for this situation.
    Go with what you are comfortable with. If you want to mix and want to work on becoming a DJ I would say go for it if you want to sit back and just play tracks there is nothing wrong with that. I would encourage you to work on mixing and go for it. There are no rules against mixing for 20 minutes then playing a few tracks without transitions. Mixing doesn't make you a DJ but it certainly allows you to have expression and create a stronger experience for the audience.
    Mapping Enthusiast
    S4 | X1 | F1 | MF3D

  7. #7

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    Thank you!

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    Tech Mentor 0Notice's Avatar
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    No problem mate!
    Mapping Enthusiast
    S4 | X1 | F1 | MF3D

  9. #9

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    Don't overthink it either. I DJ my old highschool dances (6-7 a year) and those kids can be some of the toughest critics. For them, simplicity is key. Think lots of top 40s and songs they can sing along too. Song Selection > mixing/smooth transitions. It is very important to have a very wide and diverse music collection. Let the songs play out and let them enjoy tracks with vocals.

    These events are different than those of a nightclub. Kids are shy, afraid to dance, afraid of girls, afraid to look foolish, and with a lack of liquid courage, they can be timid. I try to avoid too many remixes, mashups, and instramentals. The best gigs have a nice mix of current electro/radio hits, and some older hiphop . Think Lil Jon, Nelly, Tyga those rap songs with instructions how to dance (Dougie, You're a Jerk, Cat Daddy).

    Of course you'll want to have fun with it, but if they don't respond to something, don't panic, take a deep breathe, and always have a banging track to bring them back on the floor (Baby Got Back, Get Low, Clarity).

    P.S. Get clean versions of tracks. My old school is a catholic one, and if F-bombs start flying I get the 3rd degree from the staff. Save yourself the headache.

  10. #10

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    P.P.S. - Sorry I got a little off topic. I personally would take an all in one unit to keep it all simple. I used a VCI-300 or a DDJ-S1 while running serato. It was simple, clean, and problem free. I tried taking my CDJ 850's and Xone 42 to show off all my gear, but it got annoying lugging it around. I have never used traktor, but if you prefer it, the S2 looks perfect since I doubt you will be using more than 2 decks at any time.

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