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Aspiring DJ -- Feedback most welcome!

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posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 01:22 AM
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I've been an amateur home DJ now for a while. My first big leap was to purchase a Tonium Pacemaker -- which is pretty much a 60 gig iPod with two "decks" and some effects.

I've been practicing with that for over a year. When my sister informed me that for her wedding she wasn't hiring a professional DJ and using an iPod I was outraged. So with 3 days to prepare, I purchased the Traktor software (the new Traktor S4 controller is what I want to graduate to, so owning the software only seemed natural).

I blew up the dance floor much to my ice-cold sister's dismay. I was thrilled! I had it packed and more and more people were getting down. My sister shut me down and asked for "more 80's pop please".

Anyhow, I've been messing around with the program and came up with a very interesting mix. I pitted two DJ's against each other. Deadmau5 and Sergio Lavr. I probably should call it a "Cold War Mix"

Anyway, Deadmau5 is huge here in the states, and Sergio Lavr is Russian. Here is my attempt of a "battle of sorts"

I'll try using the link thingie...

DJ DD "Cold War Showdown"

Enjoy! (I hope!)




posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 01:37 AM
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Originally posted by MystikMushroom
I've been an amateur home DJ now for a while. My first big leap was to purchase a Tonium Pacemaker -- which is pretty much a 60 gig iPod with two "decks" and some effects.

I've been practicing with that for over a year. When my sister informed me that for her wedding she wasn't hiring a professional DJ and using an iPod I was outraged. So with 3 days to prepare, I purchased the Traktor software (the new Traktor S4 controller is what I want to graduate to, so owning the software only seemed natural).

I blew up the dance floor much to my ice-cold sister's dismay. I was thrilled! I had it packed and more and more people were getting down. My sister shut me down and asked for "more 80's pop please".

Anyhow, I've been messing around with the program and came up with a very interesting mix. I pitted two DJ's against each other. Deadmau5 and Sergio Lavr. I probably should call it a "Cold War Mix"

Anyway, Deadmau5 is huge here in the states, and Sergio Lavr is Russian. Here is my attempt of a "battle of sorts"

I'll try using the link thingie...

DJ DD "Cold War Showdown"

Enjoy! (I hope!)


I commend your creative spirit and encourage you to continue, I would like to know exactly what you mean by a battle mix though, have you chosen your favourite mixes from each set & are playing them in sequence & unmixed comparing the 2 or something else?

Peace,
-Bob

P.S) if you're working live I got nothing to add but if you ever mix in the studio I suggest you use a DAW like acid pro, pro tools, reason record, fruityloops, etc.

I've mixed with Acid Pro before & I was able to do things like mixing 3 different dnb tracks to play together at the same time with another layer of acapella over the top from whatever song, you can cut the acapella word for word if you want and beatmatch to the millisecond.....if you want the capability to create mixes that in a live situation would require 6 arms & cyborg precision, studio mixes are the way to go...all up to what you want

edit on 17/6/11 by B.Morrison because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 10:32 AM
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Traktor, Ableton and other programs are for on the fly live re-edits and remixes. If we're talking about simple DJ'ing, nothing beats the feel and nostalgia of a pair of Technique 1200 turntables and a decent mixer ( I still use my 13 year old Pioneer 600 - the 4-channel mixer that became industry standard in the late '90s).

Although I've been basically retired from the national circuit for a while, I still buy music every week and practice constantly using Serrato and time-code vinyls to play my mp3s. Nothing beats an awesome mix. My friends still flip their lids when they hear it!

Do your own beat matching - it trains your ears.
Experiment with different styles of mixing - the songs will teach you how.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by MystikMushroom
I've been an amateur home DJ now for a while. My first big leap was to purchase a Tonium Pacemaker -- which is pretty much a 60 gig iPod with two "decks" and some effects.

I've been practicing with that for over a year. When my sister informed me that for her wedding she wasn't hiring a professional DJ and using an iPod I was outraged. So with 3 days to prepare, I purchased the Traktor software (the new Traktor S4 controller is what I want to graduate to, so owning the software only seemed natural).

I blew up the dance floor much to my ice-cold sister's dismay. I was thrilled! I had it packed and more and more people were getting down. My sister shut me down and asked for "more 80's pop please".

Anyhow, I've been messing around with the program and came up with a very interesting mix. I pitted two DJ's against each other. Deadmau5 and Sergio Lavr. I probably should call it a "Cold War Mix"

Anyway, Deadmau5 is huge here in the states, and Sergio Lavr is Russian. Here is my attempt of a "battle of sorts"

I'll try using the link thingie...

DJ DD "Cold War Showdown"

Enjoy! (I hope!)


With all due respect to you and your ambition, as a successful professional DJ for over 20 years, working in clubs around the world, I have some advice that you may want to condider, although you can tell me to sod off and mind my own business its your perogative.

If you truly want to be a successful professional DJ you will need to consider your audience and what your clients actually want NOT what you want. Using your sisters wedding to experiment your mash ups is simply unprofessional and counter productive to the success of her wedding and event, regardless of what you think.

I worked in venues where I could play and mix all the latest dance floor hits however, when you do weddings, birthdays, engagements etc., you need to change your style to suit the clients. Therefore, most weddings it would be suitable to play 60's 70's 80's 90's and current pop music, as well as some specialised music for the bride and grooms entrance (march of the mods) and other times like cutting the cake (congratulations Gliff Richard).

Wherever you work, whether in a club or doing functions, you must know your crowd. DJ'ing in a bedroom is different to entertaining a live crowd, you may have pleased a few people but I guess you pee'd off the majority and the most important person on that day - your sister - not you and your ego. If mash up beats techno, drum & bass or trance is your style, don't do weddings stay in your bedroom until you can get a gig that specialises for people who like the same music as you!

However, don't dismiss weddings and functions entirely as if you work hard and package your product well, you can make alot of money.

Alternatively, head for Ibiza and offer to do some free sets until you can get paid bookings, it won't take long if your good. If you don't want to travel, make some CD recordings of your work and pop them into the promoters or management team at your local clubs.

Good luck and i hope my opinion helped and didn't offend you.



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 01:09 PM
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My feedback... always leave a track listing! (OK, I don't always leave one for my mixes, but always do for the special ones that I put a big effort in making) I think it's kickass when you are listening to a mix and hear a song that is super awesome and you are able to hunt it down via the track listing, and then hunt down the record (ha.. I know no one really uses those anymore but me!) or mp3. That being said... what's the track playing at 10min?

Whoop!... DJ Mikey Bones



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 08:58 PM
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reply to post by Hongkongphooey
 


Thanks for the reply! Not offended at all -- I really value the input from people that have done the DJ gig.

I really didn't piss my sister off to terribly, she gave me all the music she wanted to hear (about 4 hours worth) and I basically did a "push and play" of a bunch of 80's music. One track she had though, was a pretty hard - hitting dance track that drew everyone to the dance floor, so I just kept the ball rolling for another 3 or so songs.

I made sure to play classical music for the cocktail hour, and Vegas-Style "Ratpack" (Sinatra ect) for the dinner service. I was also the MC -- having to announce which tables were excused to go to the buffet LOL.

For the cake cutting, both my sister and her husband had 5 specific songs they wanted (which I played) -- the same was with the Mother/Groom and Father/Bride dances...

Overall, my sister was VERY pleased that I stepped in 2-3 days before the wedding to do this ... she was just going to have an ipod on random. It was my idea (which I discussed with her) for the classical and upbeat vegas lounge music for dinner. It worked out awesome!

I completely understand about reading the mood of the crowd. Thats why I have so much music to choose from organized very well. Thats another reason I kept the dance music going maybe 1 song to many. I even had my 66 year old dad on the dance floor---ive never seen him dance and i'm 29.

Ibiza...*sigh* I've been to Barcelona and looked out at the Med and longed to go there


I'm basically trying to practice working the cross fader, beatmatching, sampling, looping...ect to be as technically perfect as I can before I offer to do small house parties and backyard stuff. I don't want to jump into the big-leagues by mis-representing myself to club owners. Perhaps if a club had an "amateur DJ night" I'd do it...

I go back and listen to some of the work I did about a year or more ago and I can't believe what daily practice has done! I'm still trying to decode all the features and settings in Traktor -- and I want to upgrade to the new Traktor S4 controller. I can't stand mixing using a trackpad! I want real knobs, buttons and sliders!

Thanks for the encouragement everyone -- it really is something I love to do!



posted on Jun, 17 2011 @ 09:01 PM
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reply to post by MikeyBones
 


Good call on the track listing...I'll start doing that from now on! In fact, I'm about to ditch Soundcloud for Mixcloud (they don't have a time limit, just a 100mb limit) -- and they require you to provide track lists!



posted on Jun, 18 2011 @ 04:12 AM
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reply to post by MystikMushroom
 


Sounds like you did quite a good job in all for your first gig, well done!

If you like the Traktor software, I would seriously look at the new Pioneer DDJ TT1 whilst I haven't tried it yet, it does look a neat piece of kit and knowing Pioneers build quality and functions, it would be the one to go for


DJ'ing has changed quite a bit since I retired, although I did have my own installation company and distribution company until about 10 years ago (doing gigs at the same time).

In clubs and my mobile, I used Technics SL1200/10's and either Formula Sound PM 80 or Ecler Mac series DJ mixers. Mics originally Shure SM 58 but in later years Audix OM -3 or OM -5 (great ics and probably the best value for money out there).

Loudpeakers always OHM Industries UK (excellent sound, great product) Amps: Always Ecler SPM never let you down, unlike many other amps.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 11:35 PM
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I took some of your guys' advice and did a new remix with a track list! I think it's actually one of my best to date.


I'm looking into PA systems and the new S4 by Native Instruments. I'd like to do house parties for a bit before I reach out to local clubs. I need to play more live shows and gain some kind of name, even if it is amongst my friends.

So here's the new mix complete with the track list! I hope you guys like it -- hot beats from the cold streets of Alaska!

DJ DD - #&^$ You Won't Hear in Alaska

Track List:

Mord Fustang - Milky Way (Original Mix)
Phunk Investigation - Wall of Sound (Original Mix)
Tiesto and Marcel Woods - Don't Ditch (Original Mix)
Hayley Parsons- Next Stop AU (Original Mix)
edit on 7-7-2011 by MystikMushroom because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 04:45 AM
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Good luck to you with the DJing, like others here, I also used to DJ. I played a lot of clubs in London and ran my own night. Actually thats a great way of getting started, put on your own gigs, get together with some friends find a small venue and get as many people down as you know, friends of friends, do a little promotion, hand some flyers out. Djing to a crowd is the only way you will improve. You need to get a feel for the dance floor, you need to know when to warm up slowly and when to whack it up a bit. Some of the most rewarding gigs can be starting in an empty club and building it up to a packed dance floor. But you should definitely consider doing your own little thing, it's how most of the people I know still DJing got started. You have to remember everyman and his dog wants to be a DJ, My brother is still going at it at the age of 34, he's reasonably successful, but still not enough to give up the day job.
The other way you will get gigs is, if you produce your own tracks. If you have the passion for the music, it's not too hard to start making your own tracks. Start off with a few bootlegs of tracks you like and work from there.

Here's a link to my brothers soundcloud with a few of our tracks and some of his mixes. Our latest track is a bootleg of another track, just rearranged and with some house beats underneath, simples.
edit on 8-7-2011 by woodwardjnr because: (no reason given)


soundcloud.com...
edit on 8-7-2011 by woodwardjnr because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 13 2011 @ 10:41 PM
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Thanks! I have a few tracks i've composed myself with my keyboard/synth...not to terrible, but not that great either.

I'm no keyboardist -- I'd like to have a friend that is a keyboard player do some loops for me!



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 07:22 PM
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I've come a long way since I first posted this thread. First of all, I ditched my soundcloud account. I decided to start my own podcast!

I also took the advice of the people here about posting the track listings. I also have an "intro" to my mixes. I didn't use it on my latest mix, but I will on future mixes.

Veteran DJ's -- I'm not cueing my music with headphones
I have to look at the waveform and do it all visually. The software I have won't let me play the tracks out loud and let me hear the other deck in my headphones.

I feel as if I am learning to ski on logs. Once I get real skis, who knows what I can accomplish! If I can visually look at tracks and determine when the cue points are, imagine what I could do if I could hear the other track in my phones!

I may also have verbal content before the mixes, and reduce them down to less than 30 minutes to include verbal commentary about the DJ world. I have a pretty nice mic (snowball USB with a full stand, shock mount and pop filter).

So here it is, the link to my podcast with all of my mixes. I think the intro I did is actually really good considering it took me less than 30 minutes to record and edit!

DJ DD's Mixtopia



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