On Djing...

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I am making my dj debut at my own farewell party early in June. Admittedly, there is little pressure on me to do anything other than inflict my own tastes upon others. However, I look to ILX for the dos and don'ts of djing, particularly as to any golden rules for opening and closing a set. I listen to lots of different music, and It's proving difficult to construct a set with any sort of consistency, and confine myself to one genre. I am also really concentrating on my first three songs - What qualities should these songs have?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 08:58 (eighteen years ago) link

horns, plenty of

pete b. (pete b.), Friday, 16 May 2003 09:02 (eighteen years ago) link

Well, I WAS thinking of playing "Bitch" by the Stones...

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 09:05 (eighteen years ago) link

first song should be friendly/accessible but perhaps also in contrast, possess an essence of 'warning' or menace - to symbolise your arrival, har...the only example i can think of right now is something like The Avalanches' 'Under Inspection'

stevem (blueski), Friday, 16 May 2003 09:11 (eighteen years ago) link

that would probably clear the dancefloor tho, unless you were playing first/early

stevem (blueski), Friday, 16 May 2003 09:11 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm still not sure if this place is going to let people dance, it's more of a bar. I was gonna play the Melt Banana version of "We Will Rock You" (as a statement of intent), but then thought better of it.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 09:16 (eighteen years ago) link

Also wanted to play "Energy Flash"!!

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 09:17 (eighteen years ago) link

If I had to dj tonight I would surely open with Motley Crues's "New Tattoo" followed by something from Notwist. It think it could give a nice shape to the first part of the set. But please don't write down those infinite lists...you won't follow the schedule and you will have wasted a couple of hours. what kind of venue is it?

francesco, Friday, 16 May 2003 09:33 (eighteen years ago) link

If it's not for dancing then don't confine yourself to one genre or be consistent - see, peasy!

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Friday, 16 May 2003 09:34 (eighteen years ago) link

That's what I wanted someone to say, Tom! ;)

what kind of venue is it?

It's actually a very long but narrow room with booths either side. The strip of hardwood inbetween could be used for dancing, were one so inclined. I'm not sure how London licensing laws about people "swaying rhythmically to a beat" may constrict us, or not.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 09:40 (eighteen years ago) link

So I could stick to my rule of thumb: there's nothing worse than banging music+ massive volume+small club = you're so free to experiment and entertain people in a sophisticated way: switching continuosly thru genres... in this kind of places I tend to perceive the thing as "what would I play to a group of friends in my house"... kind of relaxing...good luck

francesco, Friday, 16 May 2003 10:42 (eighteen years ago) link

play my 'Centraline Lounge mix' while you go to the toilet/bar

stevem (blueski), Friday, 16 May 2003 11:38 (eighteen years ago) link

All ILX0rs arew of course welcome, but it's going to be a bit messy.

And did I mention it's in Camden?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 11:46 (eighteen years ago) link

Nordic, it's the lounge bar innit?

call it chalk farm, it sounnds classier.

I really shouold sort out that place for yoink!

chris (chris), Friday, 16 May 2003 12:45 (eighteen years ago) link

????????


Spot on. My description was obviously v. accurate!

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 12:51 (eighteen years ago) link

How did you book it? I've been there twice to find it shut and the manager is never around whenever I call (admittedly not for a while now).

chris (chris), Friday, 16 May 2003 12:55 (eighteen years ago) link

Manager is hardly ever there, it seems. We went in and spoke to a very nice young lady with an accent. Seems there is no set rule as to deposit/fee/capacity, though someone recently blew the speakers there, so they were a bit edgy about deposit (originally asked £300!!). In fact, still waiting for manager to call back and confirm. We have to pretend it's a 21st birthday party so they can stay open late (?????).

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 13:00 (eighteen years ago) link

btw, the lady had an accent, that reads like I put one on to speak to her.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 13:01 (eighteen years ago) link

escuzze mee madam laaadie caan a av the privalig of a nite in ur cluub

james (james), Friday, 16 May 2003 13:39 (eighteen years ago) link

sorry i shall leave, btw play whatever you want, your party = dj's right to choose, personally i wouldplay disco to make ladies dance, get the ladies dancing

james (james), Friday, 16 May 2003 13:41 (eighteen years ago) link

Don't apologize, I love posts written in funny unplaceable accents. Ladies, yes. Disco, maybe, need more disco.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 13:44 (eighteen years ago) link

i believe james was adopting the accent of the sweaty fox

stevem (blueski), Friday, 16 May 2003 13:56 (eighteen years ago) link

the sweaty Pinefox?

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Friday, 16 May 2003 14:02 (eighteen years ago) link

I am finding "Male Stripper" by Man 2 Man meets Mann Parrish to be a real crowd pleaser in many different club environments at the moment. That could be a good one to kick off with, but where to go from there, that's the problem.

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Saturday, 17 May 2003 00:10 (eighteen years ago) link

Close with something brassy and deep. Open with something tart and sweet.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Saturday, 17 May 2003 00:32 (eighteen years ago) link

And in the middle, "Move Your Feet"!

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Saturday, 17 May 2003 00:35 (eighteen years ago) link

Don't know your crowd, but remember it's not what you have, it's what you do with it. Just don't get too drunk while spinning. A good DJ can play for the crowd and him/herself effectively if they gauge when people are movin' & shakin' or it's just headnods.

First three,

If you can scratch well(or not), here ya go:

1. Start it up with a sexy hip hop joint or a downtempo track. Nothing bangin', just sweet yet attention grabbing. Make it a track that people aren't exactly familiar with but you wanna make them curious. You must scratch/mix something with it you are sure of your abilities though.
2. Mystic Moods' "Cosmic Sea" is a massive cut to ease into as a second song. Flip it and mix/scratch with something comfy.
3. When the ridiculousness goin' off, the crowd should be into it, then really go into funky overdrive with something like "Theme from Blackbelt Jones" or your holy grail blaxploitation of choice. The party should be off to a good start at this point.

Then when they are getting drunk and frisky and ready to dance,"More, More, More" and "White Lines" are never disappointing spins.


Troll Archer, a Friendly Troll, Saturday, 17 May 2003 01:31 (eighteen years ago) link

"Windowlicker"!

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Saturday, 17 May 2003 02:37 (eighteen years ago) link

(nordique, got your email will reply at length soon)

try to keep it interesting, that's my only advice.

i opened my last set with the books' "enjoy your worries, you may never have them again" with robert ashley's "in sara, mencken, christ & beethoven..."... tried to keep it fun and strange.

closed with a bird songs record that i was messing with into the long intro to the colette no5 DFA mix of casiotone for the painfully alone's "baby it's you"... for me it's just something that makes my hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

gygax! (gygax!), Saturday, 17 May 2003 19:49 (eighteen years ago) link

the "don't get drunk" info is pretty good advice

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Saturday, 17 May 2003 21:03 (eighteen years ago) link

Damn.

Nordicskillz (Nordicskillz), Sunday, 18 May 2003 09:41 (eighteen years ago) link

Just hold off until you actually start playing so you don't get tired.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Sunday, 18 May 2003 16:12 (eighteen years ago) link

four years pass...

i really want to do this in some form or another and i think i have a potential foothold at an older gay bar in town. i know/am casual friends with the manager and i've asked him a few times about an empty monday night slot. he's been a little cool about it so far but encouraged me to come on a monday and hear what the later guy was playing. i'm not really hip to popular gay classics or anything but i think some italo and etc. disco wouldn't bomb? (crowd is older gay dudes and random hustlers.) the manager is an ex-cattle-showing country guy who probably wouldn't get too excited if i talked to him in playlist-ese, which is how i'm used to talking to people about music. but i really think the bar (one of the oldest landmarks in the city but kind of "uncool" now) might benefit from something a little more interesting than what it plays right now -- bring in a younger crowd, etc., but also keep its current clientele psyched to come out.

really my question is how should i make this happen? (obviously the first step would be to go there on a monday night and check it out and talk to manager; i haven't yet because of the holidays and assorted stress.) any things to say / pitfalls to avoid? i really want to dj somewhere, somehow, and right now this seems like my best bet.

in general though, how pathetic and gauche is it these days to do the mp3jay thing with an ipod? i think at this particular bar no one would really give a shit, but if i want to keep it up / do something else... i need to invest in a turntable and start buying vinyl right?

re general dj-ing advice: what's the best way for someone who likes music a lot and likes watching people enjoy music and has music he thinks people would enjoy to start playing enjoyable music for people in a public (or any kind of) setting? keep in mind i'm not very good w/ people or schmoozing but getting better and i feel like this is necessary for my future uh happiness. thanks

strgn, Monday, 31 December 2007 08:43 (thirteen years ago) link

do you have a laptop?

download traktor and use that.

gr8080, Monday, 31 December 2007 08:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Based on my experience I'd give two general pieces of advice:
1) Get used to people making ridiculous wishes for a tune, and generally not understanding you don't have every record they'd like to hear readily available in your bag.
2) Get used to people trying to hit on you.

I've DJed mostly in university student parties though, maybe your club is a more specialized setting so these things won't happen so often.

Tuomas, Monday, 31 December 2007 08:59 (thirteen years ago) link

I am a rock guy that came to the DJ game pretty late. It's a fucking blast getting to play my records for other people.

Here's a few quick tips:

1) unless you are going to do dance nights, you don't need to learn to beat match, scratch, or show off any other "skills"

2) FLOW is the single most important thing you can provide. Don't fuck with the audience repeatedly, even if you're playing adventurous music. At least use the "punishment/reward" concept if you must satisfy yourself

3) Don't be embarrassed to pick up a really cheap and useful book called "How do Dj Right". I read great reviews of it, and was blown away at how simple and correct its methodology is.

***

Other than that, yeah--don't use mp3s if you can help it. That's gay.

Nate Carson, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:01 (thirteen years ago) link

BTW, you don't need to own turntables unless you're going to do a lot of gigs at places that don't already have them. I do recommend investing in your own cartridges though. That will run you around $60 and will save your records from harsh needles on public decks.

Also, in case you didn't get it, my mp3 comment was a joke. I rely heavily on my vinyl collection because I don't beat match or whatever. So I fall back on two things: my great record collection and my immaculate flow.

:)

Nate Carson, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:04 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh yeah, one more thing I've learned: the more drunk the crowd, the less adventurous music the probably want to hear. If you're playing at some club centred around certain genre(s) it might be different, but in general clubs people just want to have a bit of fun and not expand their musical horizons too much.

Tuomas, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:08 (thirteen years ago) link

i've got good flow, thanks. gr8080, no laptop :(. do you think a cheap-ish notebook/laptop w/ traktor or whatever is a better investment for all-purpose dance-ish semi-weirdo dj-ing than a turntable in the future?

tuomas, i'm not gonna be too weird. if anything i'm too sensitive to crowd moods--that is, if i take advice from upthread and don't do it drunk.

strgn, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:16 (thirteen years ago) link

And Nate is correct about not needing specialized DJ skills: if it's not a dance or hip-hop club, people probably don't care shit about such tricks. Basically you just need to learn to use the crossfader and try not to follow one tune with another one in completely different tempo (no slow r'n'b jams immediately after a fast house tune). The only things people will notice are blatant fuck-ups, like accidentally pressing the pause button. Which leads to one more piece of advice - don't get drunk, even if your drinks are on the house. A few drinks might be good to ease the tension, but if you get too drunk the potentiality of such fuck-ups is very high.

(x-post)

Tuomas, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:18 (thirteen years ago) link

thx tuomas, good advice.

p.s. manager told me cds were the operating media here so i guess that would be best (though i think i can get away w/ an ipod since the mixing "booth" is like above and hidden from anyone and i could probably find a stereo in and bring some jacks). what i really need to do is check out the set-up tomorrow and see how they're mixing em.

strgn, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:22 (thirteen years ago) link

i'd stay away from using your ipod and use cds if you can. burn your best sounding files to cd at least.

gr8080, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:25 (thirteen years ago) link

ok thx

strgn, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:27 (thirteen years ago) link

if you're unfamiliar w/ the basics of using a dj mixer (or even if you are familiar but haven't used the specific type the bar has) see if you can drop in before they open and mess around for half an hour or so, so you can get comfortable with the basics of going from one cd deck to the next.

even if you don't plan on beat matching, the more comfortable you can get with compensating for volume variances between different tracks, minimizing dead air between tracks, perfecting your general flow, etc.

also, bring your own headphones if you have a pair with a 1/4" jack.

gr8080, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:32 (thirteen years ago) link

also, nate otm. at least stop by the book store and spend half an hour thumbing through "how to dj right".

gr8080, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:34 (thirteen years ago) link

ok. i'm not a total mixer n00b but i'm unfamiliar with dual cd mixers if that's really what they have. this is great advice + making me think about what i haven't actually thought about yet because i'm too self-deluded and arrogant. i'll check out the set-up tomorrow if i can and report back for everyone's reading enjoyment. and i've got to grab that book; it looks really really helpful. thx nate!

strgn, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:44 (thirteen years ago) link

dont forget to have fun, too.

dont get too caught up in pre-arranging your music ("i'll play this track and then this track and then this track...") the best part of deejaying, even at a bar w/o a dancefloor, is connecting with the room and seeing where they're at with regard to what you're playing and how that influences your next selection.

if someone makes a request and you have it, play it. if you don't have it, be honest, but use their request as a springboard to a different topic, musical or otherwise. if people are super annoying and complaining about what you're playing or making vague and non-specific requests, tell them that the next deejay plays the kind of stuff they're into and he goes on in an hour.

also don't listen to tuomas; if you get to drink for free take advantage of that shit! its a bar, not a dance club, right?

gr8080, Monday, 31 December 2007 09:59 (thirteen years ago) link

always play 'you make me feel mighty real' by sylvester.

haitch, Monday, 31 December 2007 10:04 (thirteen years ago) link

haha yes! sylvester will not be MIA

strgn, Monday, 31 December 2007 10:13 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah gr8080 i just need to check their set-up and make that work w/ what i have +++++ the flexibility axis. this place is definitely NOT a dance place. people are drinking, eyeing other men and occasionally playing pool. some nights the bar just plays an xm radio station. monday is 'oldies' night but god knows what that means (general '70s/'80s). if anything i need to educate myself on some mainstream (gay) shit from that era to keep the crowd alive. and i am NEVER one to turn down a free drink.

strgn, Monday, 31 December 2007 10:20 (thirteen years ago) link

I had a whole plan to start checking out a techno night downtown last week and see if there might be opportunities to get booked one week, but quickly realized it might be best to wait it out a bit.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 23:57 (one month ago) link

I like DJ Anthony, my grandfather's name was Anthony

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 23:58 (one month ago) link

he wasn't a DJ, but he did lead an all female concert band before the war: Anthony Bevi and His Ladies of Charm.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 00:00 (one month ago) link

now that's a good name imho

sleeve, Wednesday, 28 July 2021 00:01 (one month ago) link

yall thank you, "DJ Anthony" is great.

if someone does a weekly, weekday night thing that is a good place to start imo, but yes times are uncertain again right now.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 00:06 (one month ago) link

<3

sleeve, Wednesday, 28 July 2021 00:09 (one month ago) link

a voice from beyond ilx suggested "manthony" which i mean... definitely

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 01:34 (one month ago) link

LIKE

Heavy Messages (jed_), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 01:39 (one month ago) link

That's the one, babe.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 01:46 (one month ago) link

THUMBS UP, thx

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 02:03 (one month ago) link

Matt + Anthony, it's a no-brainer but kudos to the person who came up with it.

Heavy Messages (jed_), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 02:16 (one month ago) link

so my boyfriend is saying that he originally suggested it but i don't remember lol
vah!d suggested it on facebook.
it's perfect

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 02:27 (one month ago) link

i remember looking it up and seeing that there are a few manthonys out there but i think that matters to me less now

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 02:31 (one month ago) link

DJ Man Honey

Tim F, Wednesday, 28 July 2021 03:07 (one month ago) link

hahaha

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 14:48 (one month ago) link

now that i've hijacked this thread and made it completely about me, i might as well say that quitting drinking has probably been the best decision i've made in support of my modest little dj goals. there is no way in hell i could have done a tuesday night set from 11-1:30 and then done a 9 am training the next morning for my actual job with alcohol involved. and it was a lot more fun being totally lucid and present when i finally had a few dancers going at the end. mind you this probably doesn't apply to people who are in control of their drinking and i don't mean to evangelize but after years of struggling i finally feel straight-up relief about it instead of regret.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Wednesday, 28 July 2021 22:17 (one month ago) link

feeling that, the club soda and cranberry combo is a fave of mine when DJing (after I've had a few drinks, granted, but yr point stands)

sleeve, Thursday, 29 July 2021 00:10 (one month ago) link

Disheartened to learn this about piers Anthony after ignoring his existence after age ~15

xheugy eddy (D-40), Thursday, 29 July 2021 03:06 (one month ago) link

That was new to me too (never read those books). Anyway, that's great map!

I got a dm from someone who's planning on playing a new track I released at a festival in MN this weekend, and they're actually in WI and offered to help get me some gigs if I'm interested. So maybe I will actually do that even though I had given up all hope of doing that?

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 29 July 2021 20:01 (one month ago) link

awesome

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Thursday, 29 July 2021 20:09 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

i hope ppl don't mind too much that i post in here about my djing stuff. it helps to lay some things out here and i've gotten really helpful feedback...

anyway so a party has come together for sep 3. i'm doing a fundraiser for the mutual aid org here. one of the djs is doing the sound and giving me a great deal on it. i'm going pretty bare-bones on the production. sound, ttables, cdjs, that's about it, no lights or anything. bar patio out back, hoping weather cooperates, if not we can move it indoors no prob. the sound guy / dj has worked with the venue many other times and knows all the ins and outs of setting up there. he's djing last, i'm warming up. the middle dj is a big name who just got his tonsils out a few days ago and texted me today to let me know he might not be in shape to do it, though he wants to stay on the bill for now and thinks there's a good chance he'll be up for it.

my sweet boyfriend made a handmade flyer that we took pictures of for the social media graphic :). everyone is pretty psyched for it. i think i'm going to meet / talk to some left-y young people from this which is a big plus, if my social anxiety doesn't sabotage it too much lol.

i'm telling djs to aim for like soulful house with a message. i'm debating whether or not to go full jesus with my selection but will just have to feel it out while it's happening.

i'm going to ask the mutual aid org if they can provide a volunteer to collect $ at the door and work a cash drawer.

i'm having some anxiety about not thinking of everything just because i've never done this before. so i thought i'd just post about it here and see if anyone thinks i'm missing or forgetting anything?

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Tuesday, 24 August 2021 02:20 (three weeks ago) link

don't forget to enjoy yourself :)

sleeve, Tuesday, 24 August 2021 03:55 (three weeks ago) link

Hi map. Really sorry I didn't reply to you upthread.

I started "DJing" way back in the early mid 2000s, although what I was really doing was putting together often very complicated mixtapes using a pirated version of Acid Pro and then playing them out at parties and the odd club night. People in my little town were new to the idea of digital DJing back then and weren't the wiser, plus it meant I could mash together a very wide range of genres in a creative way, a bit like Soulwax used to do with their 2ManyDJs albums.

Around 2006 I realised it was very possible for me to put on a small night above a pub and get my friends to come down. Often I gave slots to people I knew who had never DJ'd before but still had good taste in music. Because it was only a small town, I couldn't be fussy about remit and so we encouraged a cross-genre blend where we could. The first time I heard dubstep played loud was at one of my own nights.

The night got bigger and we moved to a much larger club. I realised I needed to get live acts involved to draw a crowd, and one time we even got Damo Suzuki and DJ Scotch Egg to play (it ruined me financially but I count it as a lifetime achievement). Various people I knew got involved, including photographers and even a VJ who set up an interactive projection thingy.

By the time we'd moved to yet another venue, the smoking ban had come into place and casual punters were more inclined to go to pub gardens. So we introduced a concept or theme for each night: a Victorian ball, a night where everyone wears their clothes back to front and you have to look at the flyer in a mirror to read it etc...

It was a lot of fun, but by 2012 I was done. It was exhausting me mentally and financially as I rarely broke even and I was working a day job and commuting into London. Still, it was really popular and well known in the local community as a fun, creative night where you didn't know what to expect next.

In 2015 I moved to Bristol, the kind of city where there are tons of venues and everyone is a DJ. I was keen to get involved in the music scene and luckily got introduced very quickly to people who DJ'd and put on nights.

I got invited to play a few pub gigs, nothing big. But soon realised that my "Acid Pro mixtape" trick I'd been getting away with for years just wouldn't wash any more. So I bit the bullet, invested in a Pioneer controller and taught myself how to use Serato. Thankfully the theory of beatmatching and cutting is roughly the same, only you do it in real time and perhaps can't chop beats up in quite the same way.

It took a short amount of time to get to grips with things but still I had a hard time convincing anyone to give me a gig. Because I don't specialise of have a signature sound, it's hard to market myself.

I noticed Bristol didn't really have much in the way of a postpunk night, so I convinced a pub to let me put one on. SCIENCE! (as it was called) had an open remit so long as it was alternative music falling between 1978 and 87.

Had a great few nights of that, with everything from punk to disco to hip hop being played, although I can't say it was a roaring success exactly. Despite plenty of acts, Massive Attack included, having been forged in this era, Bristol audiences seemed to be nonplussed by it. I had to explain to a lot of people what "new wave" meant, which was strange but then I think Bristol is a nineties city at heart, and most people are into D'n'B or whatever bassy dub sound is popular in dance music right now.

SCIENCE! lasted until the pandemic, but it felt like it had run its course. I was running out of new music to play and was getting tired of retrospection.

I got this strange idea for a conceptual nightclub. It wasn't meant to be a real thing, just a daft idea I'd had and started applying to various chill out and Balearic mixes I'd been making for my own listening. At the same time, my friend and I were occasionally playing at this "audiophile" bar on Saturday afternoons, just gentle eclectic stuff for people having lunch or daytime cocktails, but mostly just playing to the barstaff.

Club Stoic (named after a "philosophical nightspot" in the Nintendo RPG Earthbound) evolved from this. I'm still not sure what I'm doing with it exactly, but basically it's an outlet for anything from eclectic/chillout to more housey, dancey sounds. The flyers are always high concept: I recently made an online flyer based on old BBC Micro text adventures.

Over lockdown, to keep myself entertained and to help keep on top of new music, I started livestreaming a show on Friday evenings from my bedroom. Basically me and my partner getting drunk while I span tunes and talked on the mic occasionally. Mostly just for my friends and anyone else who wanted to get involved. It was fun.

Just before lockdown, I started a Facebook community to discuss new music from around the world. Terrain is a Facebook group first and foremost where we discuss and share everything from Afrobeats to K-Pop and Latin bangers and stuff from further afield. Most people on there are artists and DJs so naturally after 18 months of lockdown, I decided to turn that into a night too. It's early days yet, and we have our first not-free entry night taking place in October.

So that's my story. I do this all for fun. I sometimes get paid a few quid to play, and I absolutely love playing out: it's literally my favourite thing to do. At 40 years old, I'm not expecting to make a living from it or even get much recognition, but it keeps me in beer tokens and off the mean streets.

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Tuesday, 24 August 2021 09:31 (three weeks ago) link

hey, thanks for sharing, that's an interesting journey.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Tuesday, 24 August 2021 14:49 (three weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

Manthony is good, but ultimately make me think of "Romanthony," which isn't a bad thing.

I want to start DJing again.

I've also been doing live improvisations for the audience of my husband and dogs using this software, and it's been making me feel awesome: https://www.olympianoiseco.com/apps/patterning-2/

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 10 September 2021 16:29 (one week ago) link

that sounds very rewarding, glad it's making you feel good.

i've adopted "bring u up" in my last few sets tbh.

my first party was pretty good! the mutual aid org made more money than they thought they might and the sets were all really good. turnout was better than expected.

already making plans for another one in november. i like the fundraiser model. need to find another good organization and two other djs i like (which is hard here haha, though there are lots of new folks i haven't seen yet).

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 16:52 (one week ago) link

Glad to hear it went well!

I might try to spend the winter working on music stuff more seriously.

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 10 September 2021 17:25 (one week ago) link

After a long while of feeling underappreciated and underbooked, I suddenly have heaps of gigs coming up, including a monthly residency at one of the cooler pubs in town, a club night I'm putting on, and another little gig in a cocktail bar. All the promotion is hard work, mind you, but as a bonus I seem to be getting much better at design now I'm making all these posters and social banners.

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Friday, 10 September 2021 18:29 (one week ago) link

i'm really itching to DJ in public again soon but i'm so terrible at self-promoting and LA is a particularly daunting place to try and get a foot in the door. someone i kinda know is throwing a weekly gay party at a bar with a rotating DJ situation but it seems very Extremely Cool/Fashionable LA Queers and i feel like i'd maybe be out of my element a little? (this is also probably a personal hangup/me projecting for all i know lol)

and anyway before i do that i'm looking to upgrade my tech - currently using a super-basic numark controller that i feel like i've outgrown. not sure i can justify dropping super-fat stacks on CDJs atm so i'm looking into something like pioneer DDJ FLX6 since it works with serato, which is what i use to mix at home - anyone have experience using this controller?

donna rouge, Friday, 10 September 2021 20:05 (one week ago) link

Bring WAY too many tunes - you'll need them because as you play, you'll change your mind about how it's supposed to go and you want to e equipped....watch the crowd....don't play too loud - leave a a bit of headroom for chat. Bring lots of formats (cd/vinyl/mp3/digital) because shit always breaks down when you least expect it...don't let people leave liquids near your set-up....bring a solid center adapater for 45's if needed....bring your own headphones with proper connections for the mixer...

^TwIn*InFiNiTiVeS^, Friday, 10 September 2021 20:24 (one week ago) link

Related, but how do people deal with not being able to practice on CDJs and then all of a sudden using them on a gig, if you're not playing gigs all the time? I have a lot of anxiety about this.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 10 September 2021 20:26 (one week ago) link

I've definitely wondered what mixing on quality CDJs are like versus my little Pioneer DDJ-400 controller. Actually have had anxiety dreams recently about DJing at a club and having technical issues with the gear even though that is something that is not at all currently in my future.

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, 10 September 2021 21:42 (one week ago) link

Haha same

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 10 September 2021 21:47 (one week ago) link

i feel like having a rekordbox-based controller is half the battle. everything important gets moved over to the cdjs - your grids, hotcues, playlists, etc.

i got the xdj-rx2 because i felt like the touchscreen was really going to be useful for beatmatching, but when i figured out you could sync with cdjs now (not sure how long that's been a feature tbh) it was a total godsend. so not sure that the touchscreen is that useful. dr that controller looks ideal for the price point and confidently working with cdjs.

the main things i need to know with the cdjs are track browsing, the "perform" menu (for hot cues) and the sync buttons. also knowing that when the synced track is playing at a different bpm than the track bpm, you have to move the tempo slider to match the playing bpm before you can change it!

what i'd like to get better at technically at this point is mastering a few other types of transitions, doing that thing where you cut the levels on the outgoing track for a beat to "show" the new track coming in, stuff like that.

all the cool kids here are playing vinyl sets. i've been asking one "friend" who "loves" me to dj at one of the many events he throws for a few months now to silence. i don't know if it's because i'm not playing vinyl? no response at all seems super disrespectful to me, like at least give me a reason or some lip service or whatever? i know he likes a certain vein of what i play.

xp the CDJs really don't make that big of a difference! it's all about the mixer. speaking of which, i played recently on a Xone and jesus christ i love the sound on those things. my long-time dj friend who has been playing on pioneer mixers for years sounds really good on them, so i guess i haven't really learned how to sound good on them yet but i am not a big fan of how they sound at the moment.

on a related note, i also asked another dj to play the fundraiser we did and nothing, nada, silence. this to me is so weird! i feel like people who do that show me they aren't worth working with.

dr: ask your friend! just go for it and pretend like you know everything. you know the most important stuff, which is great music.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 21:56 (one week ago) link

music people are flaky af in my experience and i try to just let it roll off and not think about it so as to avoid becoming grumpy and resentful, but it's nice when you find people that are dependable. i always respond to direct communication although sometimes people forward just like a cryptic post about an upcoming event and idk what they're saying to me so i ignore it

i haven't played on a controller i liked very much, CDJs just feel way better to me, but that's how i learned so of course i'd say that. vinyl is cool but the association between vinyl and clout and the obvious gatekeeping vibe around playing vinyl is so corny

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Friday, 10 September 2021 22:13 (one week ago) link

I picked the DDJ-400 specifically because I felt like working with Rekordbox would be a better choice if I wanted to eventually do gigs. Do any clubs use non-Pioneer decks these days?

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:18 (one week ago) link

using rekordbox to prepare to play on pioneer decks is def the right choice if you want to play out

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Friday, 10 September 2021 22:24 (one week ago) link

xxp i agree with all of that. i'm trying hard to get better at detaching from lack of communication and things like that because it was making me really bitter for a few years there. it's also a big part of the reason why i'm starting my own thing now - and god does it feel good to be doing that instead of hitting dead ends and not playing anything for months at a time. i was very close to asking this friend (the one who's silent whenever i ask about djing at one of his events) to dj at our next fundraiser we're going to do, because he plays good music, but i deleted the message at the last minute because i realized that working with him would be a real bummer and a slog. it feels a little weird to be avoiding the guy doing every event in this small city, but i just don't like him, like at all! lol. civil frienemies is the way it's got to go.

on vinyl - yeah, sheesh, it's gotten a little ridiculous. also pressing quality is uniformly shitty for new releases right now, it's expeensive as fuck (another gatekeeping aspect), the shortages are real so artists who want to put stuff out are facing insane backlogs, etc etc. cdjs and uncompressed audio are the way to go imo. though one thing i LOVED about traktor was how flexible the master tempo was - you could transition from 124 bpm to 100 bpm and make it sound really good. that's a bit harder to do on cdjs afaict.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:28 (one week ago) link

Bring WAY too many tunes - you'll need them because as you play, you'll change your mind about how it's supposed to go and you want to e equipped....watch the crowd....don't play too loud - leave a a bit of headroom for chat. Bring lots of formats (cd/vinyl/mp3/digital) because shit always breaks down when you least expect it...don't let people leave liquids near your set-up....bring a solid center adapater for 45's if needed....bring your own headphones with proper connections for the mixer...

― ^TwIn*InFiNiTiVeS^, Friday, September 10, 2021 1:24 PM

speaking as someone who has DJd on radio and in public for decades, this is A+ advice all around

sleeve, Friday, 10 September 2021 22:38 (one week ago) link

also, bring tape for running cable connections across a floor with foot traffic

sleeve, Friday, 10 September 2021 22:39 (one week ago) link

tape, yes!

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:40 (one week ago) link

i used to say bring a flashlight but now that every phone has one...

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:40 (one week ago) link

also, consider bringing scissors to cut the tape if you're as manually challenged as i am

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:41 (one week ago) link

get someone to teach you how to wrap and unwrap cables. i still can't really do it very well.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:41 (one week ago) link

love all the advice, this is very helpful!

Mr. Cacciatore (Moodles), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:42 (one week ago) link

This is a big problem I'm encountering again and again and yet haven't found a real solution for. I use a Pioneer DDJ-SR controller and Mac running Serato at home. Often I'm invited to play at places where I'm expected to bring a USB and plug it into CDJs. As well as not having much experience on these, it's touch and go whether my files will appear with any track information when I plug it in, even if I go through the ballache of analysing the tracks in Rekordbox before I go out. There's even a free program that's supposed to help with this, but I've watched a bunch of YouTube tutorials and I'm still confused about a few things

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:43 (one week ago) link

hmmmm i used to have that problem! tracks would show up in alphabetical order by file name or something like that. no playlist order at all. a real nightmare. i'm pretty sure it eventually started working when i switched to a pc laptop :(. if i remember right, it was something to do with the way the usb key was formatted. but i think i reformatted it as fat32 and it still gave me the same issue.

you know what, now that i think about it, i think what finally solved the problem was getting a new usb drive and formatting it to fat32 right out of the gate. sorry, my memory is kind of fuzzy on this, no idea if it would actually help solve your problem.

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 22:59 (one week ago) link

my advice would be to try getting a new usb key (if you haven't done that already)

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 23:00 (one week ago) link

(all my playlist info would be gone and tracks would show up alphabetical by artist name. it happened a few times, so i actually went to the trouble of inserting a number in order before the artist name to designate the order it should show up on the cdjs, replicating the playlist, so now i have a bunch of tracks that are like 48Carl Craig etc. because i'm too lazy to clean anything up)

Linda and Jodie Rocco (map), Friday, 10 September 2021 23:04 (one week ago) link

Yes that's what would happen to me. All in filename order

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Friday, 10 September 2021 23:07 (one week ago) link


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