DJ/Producer Duos (How does it work?)
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  1. #1
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    Default DJ/Producer Duos (How does it work?)

    I've been DJing for the past few years by myself. Recently I've started producing with a partner who's done amazing things for the quality of my work. We have a great working relationship and we would like to continue working together. My strength is in melody writing, arrangement, and DJing while my partner is the engineering wizard.

    I love DJing, which was what pushed me to start producing, while my partner is a producer at heart. He does everything from hip hop to trance (our genre), and he's not really interested in DJing. I've never really been involved with a DJ duo so I'm not sure about the inner workings of these projects. I'm trying to figure out the best way of structuring things to make sure that we both get compensated fairly.

    Do promoters pay DJ duos double when they book them? Does the extra cost for flights and accommodation put them at a disadvantage compared to other acts? Is it possible for an act to have one member travelling and performing with the other producing?

    Also, in terms of marketing, what's the best way of working? I already have my own brand, website and 1000+ fans on my social media pages. My partner has never created a DJ identity, and both of us have never released any solo work. I'm reluctant to change my name, as I've put alot of work into my brand but I'd want to make sure my partner's contribution is recognized.



    Sorry for the long post, but I'm hoping someone on the forum can offer some advice

  2. #2
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    If your partner doesn't want to start DJing, there's several ways you could make this work:

    - start a live act, where the two of you perform your tracks live on stage

    - start a semi-live act, where you DJ and your partner adds stuff to the mix with e.g. a Maschine, Ableton, MPC, Synth, Sampler....

    - you DJ alone under your own name and make sure your joint project gets proper exposure and your partner gets a fair share of the performance fees

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor No Left Turn's Avatar
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    It's fine if your partner has no interest in DJing/performing live, as long as he is OK with you DJing under the same name. Many groups have done this before, the most notable to me is Pendulum. They originally had 3 members in the group, while only one of them (El Hornet) toured as the DJ. Obviously, this changed when they later formed a full band. Not a problem at all if this is the route you guys end up going.

    As for DJ duos, when it came to money, we typically agreed on one booking fee and split it between the 2 of us rather than charging individually. This isn't necessarily double your solo rate, it all depends on what you negotiate.

    For touring gigs, these tend to not happen as often as the local gigs because of the extra costs for flight/accommodation, obviously. It's a lot to invest for a single set especially when you compare how much of a bigger solo act the promoter can book for the same price as the two of you. That's always gonna a challenge. You'll need to put in a lot of work to distinguish your duo and make yourselves stand out from everyone else to make people want to book you.

    Promoting the duo should be much easier if you already have a solid social media presence. Creating a new identity does have its challenges, but if it's still associated with your solo identity and not completely removed then it shouldn't be that much of a problem to get people on board (I've done this twice now). Just because you're starting a new duo, that doesn't mean you have to kill off your other DJ name. You can still keep it and promote both simultaneously.
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  4. #4

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    I think this is an interesting and relevant topic since a lot of DJs who claim to be producers as well have been caught using ghost writers and people find this to be cheating. On the flip side if people know one person is the predominant force behind the creation of tracks and the other is going to perform the shows than I don't really see a problem with that as long as theres not false advertising. Two interesting links on the topc of DJ/Producer combos from a blog and a beatport post raise great points
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  5. #5
    Tech Guru 031999's Avatar
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    I Dj house, and funk and I swore since the beginning that I would never produce that kind of music, I wanted to make it strictly as a dj. And i'll say its more fun not to produce. I spend much more time just "listening" to music.

    Now I do produce New Age and some jazz, but I never play that kind of music out. i try to keep production and dj'ing separate.

    However I am looking for a partner for a new project i'm working on, that will be predominantly Disco and House. Someone that could handle some light production.

  6. #6
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    ironically, if you look at the swedish house mafia, one of them is mixing and the other 2 point fingers at the buttons in the sky.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 031999 View Post
    I Dj house, and funk and I swore since the beginning that I would never produce that kind of music, I wanted to make it strictly as a dj. And i'll say its more fun not to produce. I spend much more time just "listening" to music.

    Now I do produce New Age and some jazz, but I never play that kind of music out. i try to keep production and dj'ing separate.

    However I am looking for a partner for a new project i'm working on, that will be predominantly Disco and House. Someone that could handle some light production.

  8. #8
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    why don't you two gig together first?...worry about the rest later...
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  9. #9
    Tech Guru Kwal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithace View Post
    why don't you two gig together first?...worry about the rest later...
    When me and my buddy did the duo thing we did all of the little stuff like this first and it seemed great... Then we gigged and I was beyond frustrated with the way he handles himself behind the decks(especially drunk)... Was a joke. Took a real step back after that, I soon realized that he literally put forward no effort at that point so the duo is basically at a standstill right now....

    Do the gigging/producing first, then see if it's what you two want.

  10. #10
    Moderator keithace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwal View Post
    When me and my buddy did the duo thing we did all of the little stuff like this first and it seemed great... Then we gigged and I was beyond frustrated with the way he handles himself behind the decks(especially drunk)... Was a joke. Took a real step back after that, I soon realized that he literally put forward no effort at that point so the duo is basically at a standstill right now....

    Do the gigging/producing first, then see if it's what you two want.
    it's okay to agree with me...
    Weapons, not food, not homes, not shoes
    Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal

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