Wednesday, 10 February 2010

10 tips for (digital) DJs

Just a few tips for any budding digital DJ's. Please feel free to express your agreement, disagreement or indifference by commenting.
  1. Play music you love and trust your own taste.
  2. Mix in key. Transitions between songs then become something to look forward to and relish rather than something to get over and done with ASAP. Harmonic mixing at it's best should almost create new music between songs and extend a tracks 'shelf life' or replayability.
  3. Be your own harshest critic. Listen to your mixes over to analyse how you could improve. Appreciate what goes right and be realistic about what went wrong or didn't work.
  4. Practice new techniques that could help you improve your mixes as often as possible. Keep learning all the time and refine the efficiency of your workflows. Try not rely too heavily on the same old techniques once you have mastered them.
  5. It's better to be safe than sorry if you're live. Don't experiment too vigorously and be judicious about what to maintain and what to stop. Sometimes pride can try and interfere with your decisions.
  6. Take criticism from others and be grateful they can even be arsed.
  7. Try and listen to other DJ mixes apart from your own. Not just from your own genre/s nor just popular big name DJs.
  8. Embrace technology if it will help you achieve your audio 'vision' but don't over-complicate things. Imagine what the perfect mix would sound like to you between two tracks and work towards it's rendition incrementally.
  9. Don't bother beatmatching manually - while it might be rewarding to you it adds no value for the listener. Grid your tracks and work with a master/slave tempo so you can perform higher musical value input to the mix.
  10. Use as high a quality audio interface as you can afford. Cheap analog conversion circuitry can contaminate your output to a PA.