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 (nineteen years ago) link

horns, plenty of

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

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

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

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

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

Also wanted to play "Energy Flash"!!

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

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

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


Spot on. My description was obviously v. accurate!

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

i believe james was adopting the accent of the sweaty fox

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

the sweaty Pinefox?

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

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

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

And in the middle, "Move Your Feet"!

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


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

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

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


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

do you have a laptop?

download traktor and use that.

gr8080, Monday, 31 December 2007 08:54 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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 (fourteen 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.


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

ok thx

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

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

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

haha yes! sylvester will not be MIA

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

this thread is great and inspiring <3

brimstead, Friday, 20 May 2022 17:55 (one month ago) link

It's always such a weird dilemma for the digital DJ starting out...CDJs are expensive and you don't get the chance to practice on them at home, but it's not cool to use a laptop/controller in a club with CDJs. Not that it's rocket science, but the little things can trip you up in a high pressure situation.

I might actually have the possibility of a couple gigs in the fall, and already that's the part that's stressing me out (pretty much just that).

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 20 May 2022 18:04 (one month ago) link

one of the first times i used the nicer cdjs i took out the wrong usb stick to put mine in and cut the music entirely (no emergency loop function at the time.) the music resumed quickly and it was early warm up hours so no one really noticed but i still found it mortifying

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Friday, 20 May 2022 19:58 (one month ago) link

Re clunky mixing/beatmatching fails - I saw Hieroglyphic Being play once and I have never heard a DJ clang so many mixes but because his selection was so good it didn't matter at all

paolo, Friday, 20 May 2022 20:01 (one month ago) link

I was at a wee night a couple of months ago and Fergus Clark of 12th Isle (fairly well known DJ in Glasgow) was playing b2b with another guy. As far as I remember they weren't actually mixing, just playing records from start to finish, including dance tunes that would normally be mixed. Worked out fine for them

paolo, Friday, 20 May 2022 20:03 (one month ago) link

Does Hieroglyphic Being still play out on iPads? I remember hearing about his iPad dj setup (or maybe it was live/dj hybrid) years ago and it sounded kinda genius.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 20 May 2022 20:16 (one month ago) link

Dunno about that but he'd do a thing where he'd play acid tunes and then play them backwards on the CDJs (I think). It was wild!

paolo, Friday, 20 May 2022 20:42 (one month ago) link

not saying it's any less cool now, but ron hardy was doing that in the 80s, but with vinyl :D

RYMsnitch, Sunday, 22 May 2022 09:16 (one month ago) link

Yeah, hen I saw Jamal Moss was DJing quite a bit a decade ago he talked a lot about channeling Rob Hardy’s style of DJing and purposfully NOT beatmatching and instead trying to hit a mood.

Chewshabadoo, Sunday, 22 May 2022 16:07 (one month ago) link


Chewshabadoo, Sunday, 22 May 2022 16:07 (one month ago) link

I never saw Moss do a DJ set, but christ I saw him do a live hardware set in 2013 and it was unfuckingbelievable, my husband and I were losing our minds.

Dam-Funk I’ve seen DJ several times, about a decade or so ago, and I swear that guy just doesn’t know how to best match because it’s clear that he’s trying but every set was trainwreck after trainwreck

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Monday, 23 May 2022 01:32 (one month ago) link

I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing Moss live once, perhaps about 5 years ago, and he had the dual-iPad set up then – it was absolutely incredible, raw, acidy, and also upbeat with catchy italo-esque hooks going through the mangler.

Chewshabadoo, Monday, 23 May 2022 08:39 (one month ago) link

not saying it's any less cool now, but ron hardy was doing that in the 80s, but with vinyl :D

― RYMsnitch, Sunday, 22 May 2022 10:16 (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

Crikey. How would that work? Do you get turntables that play backwards or would he just do it by hand?

paolo, Monday, 23 May 2022 09:59 (one month ago) link

I don’t know if Rob Hardy used this technique of putting the record upside down, but Claude Young used to do a bit of showboating this way:


IIRC Ron Hardy also used reel-to-reel tapes which would play backwards much easier?

Chewshabadoo, Monday, 23 May 2022 11:25 (one month ago) link

Nice, according to this youtube description: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEobDkQzgc0 - the technique shown in that video above seems to be how he'd have done it

RYMsnitch, Monday, 23 May 2022 22:17 (one month ago) link

A Ron Hardy trademark was playing records backwards. He did this by mounting the turntable headshell upside down to the tone-arm, placing a cylinder on the platter, putting the record on the cylinder and by removing the tone-arm weight, pushing the now upside-down needle into the underside of the record. The platter spun normal, but the record played backwards.Many have said this never happened,but here it is.Track starts around 3.20.

RYMsnitch, Monday, 23 May 2022 22:18 (one month ago) link

I remember hosting a basement party in Boston in 93/94 where someone did this. Pretty rad.

DJI, Monday, 23 May 2022 23:44 (one month ago) link

just found out the pride retro party i'm djing tomorrow night is sponsored by a defense contractor 🤦. the bar is also kinda douchey.

not going to back out now but kind of a bummer. i love disco and it's the perfect excuse to play it. hope the vibes aren't too off.

i got asked by another gay bar to do their thursday nights! the manager is very sharp and i've always wanted to dj there, so excited about that.

tomorrow i'm djing for 8+ hours 😅, 2 separate gigs.

this week i have gigs thursday, friday, saturday and sunday. i'm just going to do my best and ride it out but it's a little overwhelming i guess.

also gotta manage anxiety about my day job.

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Saturday, 28 May 2022 20:39 (one month ago) link

just found out the pride retro party i'm djing tomorrow night is sponsored by a defense contractor 🤦

i think this explains why the ut4h pr1de c3nter has been so weird about marketing it + not including me in the promo.

feels like you have to eat a little shit starting out if you want to do this. true of just about any job i guess.

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Saturday, 28 May 2022 20:48 (one month ago) link

this is all so awesome, congrats map

thinkmanship (sleeve), Saturday, 28 May 2022 21:54 (one month ago) link

I've had a few gigs hijacked by sponsors that didn't want an LGBTQIA2S+ person top billing something they were paying for. Totally understand. I'd tell them to eat shit at this stage in my life but don't blame you for wanting to break through if you can.

Xii, Sunday, 29 May 2022 03:45 (one month ago) link

thanks sleeve. xii yeah i mean it's explicitly a gay party so that part is ok thankfully otherwise i'd really be uncomfortable.

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Sunday, 29 May 2022 03:56 (one month ago) link

if it makes you feel any better, i was once asked to work a book event for a famous author and said yes since it was double pay— basically 50/hr, 3 hrs. Guess who had to hand books to Madeleine fucking Albright to sign for an hour?

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Monday, 30 May 2022 12:13 (one month ago) link

(I didn’t know it was her before going in, and I certainly wasn’t smiling and joking with her during the signing)

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Monday, 30 May 2022 12:14 (one month ago) link

holy shit tabes

how’d your gigs go map??

donna rouge, Monday, 30 May 2022 15:11 (one month ago) link

omg tabes that is wild!

thanks for asking dr, u know i was gonna go on about it itt any way ;)

my afternoon tea dance was one of the better ones. we had to move inside into this grimy basement room because of the weather but maybe 20-25 people came through, a success in my book.

the retro party was a success overall i think? it might be the biggest party i've done and was kinda stressful but i didn't make any big mistakes and kept the energy up as best as i could. people seemed to be having a good time. maybe 100-150 people in the room at the peak? big moment of everyone dancing to "rhythm of the night". requests for 90s hip hop i had to turn down because i didn't have any except for "shoop".

for a number of reasons though the party was kind of ill-begotten - lots of boring details involved. the defense contractor aspect wasn't visible at all. but the venue is just one of these that is in it to rake in as much money as possible and has a really corporate vibe.

around 11 pm i hear this guy yelling at me from my side up in the booth, "what are you doing? you need to play something else, you need to switch it up." he has a staff shirt on and says he's the bar manager. i say "i'm sorry, this is what i have, i don't know what else to play." he's like "no no no, you need to pick things up, this is not working." i look at him for a second and something clicks in me. n.b. i'm playing disco remixes, stuff like joey negro's remix of thelma houston "i'm here again" and people on the floor are loving it. so i yell back at this guy "get out of my face! what are you going to do, fire me? do you want me to stop playing music, is that what you want?" he has this shocked look on his face and steps down from the booth without saying anything! still kinda feeling the adrenaline from that lol.

so yeah, people seemed to really enjoy the music but i was a bit of an anxious mess during the whole thing even though i was performing as best as i could. i hope there's no drama about the above exchange resulting in them not wanting to pay me. overall really bad communication between the venue and the pride organization putting on the party - everything really felt "left to the wolves" so to speak. people i put on the list were not on the list, stuff like that. going to avoid playing at this place again and i'm sure they will be avoiding me as well.

on to next weekend when i have gigs 4 days in a row, i really really hope none of them are as stressful as last night.

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Monday, 30 May 2022 16:32 (one month ago) link

the other thing i experienced last night was dj worshipping young men. there were two dudes up in the front for an hour who did a lot of staring at me with admiring expressions and whenever i would mix into a new song they were like enthralled, like "you're killing it" vibes. which was cool but a little weird honestly!!! haha. like they had these hungry looks on their faces? just a young dude bro into djs vibe that i can roll with but isn't like my bread and butter i guess, idk if i'm describing this adequately.

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Monday, 30 May 2022 16:46 (one month ago) link

getting so much vicarious thrill from you shutting down that prick bar manager

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Monday, 30 May 2022 16:52 (one month ago) link

the whole cult of mixing thing is so funny to me, like it's got to be one of the least demanding "musical performance" skills out there, it is SO EASY and just takes a basic understanding of song phrasing, i'm talking digital djing here, you don't need to manually beat match any more, just do some preparation beforehand, and then squeeze in / squeeze out the eqs. people are always like "how did you learn?" and "i'd like to learn how to do that" and i always say it's the easiest thing in the world, the only real challenge / art is knowing your music and knowing when to play it.

xp haha! i'm glad! i'm pretty proud of myself honestly :). like, you don't own me, i will yell back at you you jerkoff!!!

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Monday, 30 May 2022 16:54 (one month ago) link

totally, it feels funny when people are fascinated by the DJ and stare at you and ask questions about the actual mixing b/c it's like people watching a magic show and they can't stop looking at the distraction from the sleight of hand that is actually just having developed your taste and understanding how to play the right thing for the time and place

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Monday, 30 May 2022 17:00 (one month ago) link

yessss way to stand up to that manager!!

lol i have never had adoring young men observe me behind the decks but i’m so fascinated by that behavior. it kinda reminds me of this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umarell

donna rouge, Monday, 30 May 2022 17:23 (one month ago) link

(also if stirmonster is reading this thread: loved your guys’ set on saturday!)

donna rouge, Monday, 30 May 2022 17:24 (one month ago) link

ha, that Umarell link is amazing, very Italian behavior imo

thinkmanship (sleeve), Monday, 30 May 2022 17:27 (one month ago) link

lol map

DJs: piano-dropping moments

Tracer Hand, Monday, 30 May 2022 17:30 (one month ago) link

a drunk lady once demanded that i play prince while i was playing prince (an incredible dimitri from paris remix of prince but still,) then announced that the track i was playing "sounds like music to flick my bean to"

karl...arlk...rlka...lkar..., Monday, 30 May 2022 17:37 (one month ago) link

I'm very convinced the skill of DJing is far more tied up in song selection and sequencing rather than the mechanics of mixing. That said, the mixing part is where I have the most anxiety about getting it just right even though 99% of people won't notice either way.

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Monday, 30 May 2022 19:24 (one month ago) link

wow dr umarell ... fascinating! haha

karl that is solid gold

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Monday, 30 May 2022 20:05 (one month ago) link

gotta find that remix now 😀. dimitri is always high quality.

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Monday, 30 May 2022 20:07 (one month ago) link

oh wait i know that one!! yeah it's bomb

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Monday, 30 May 2022 20:07 (one month ago) link

tracer it's good to be aware of that thread i hope to be bumping it regularly

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Monday, 30 May 2022 20:10 (one month ago) link

my set with c0lin aka _jed got postponed at the weekend, due to unforeseen issues at the venue, pretty gutted about it to be honest. We're hoping to reschedule within the month though.

I had a five min playaround with a club system on Friday night before I was working cloakroom at a venue, and it was quite intense. I had done a lot of prepwork on rekordbox setting up Memory Cues, lining up beatgrids, etc, but when I plugged in my USB it was not happening for me. I had did everything you're meant to do - create playlists, save in an order that suits (I know some people prefer to have planned setlists but I sort by BPM across a few different playlists), then export to device. I know my USB works cos I plugged into my boyfriend's laptop and it loaded up exactly the way I would want it to. In that venue the equipment is a bit older - it has actual CD drives so you can bring physical music.

I'm hoping the venue we're actually going to be playing at doesn't give me the same stress because I'm quite reliant on the sync button. I could probably manage to cue something up and blend for eight bars because my first ever bit of equipment was a rudimentary CDJ mixer from Gumtree with no digital features and I learned the very basics on that. But confronted with the physical difference of playing at home to playing in front of massive speakers, as well as the pressure to be competent to a paying crowd who aren't your same dozen pals who come sit in your house every few weeks, it would be better for my nerves to have one less thing to worry about.

That all said, this is just me getting in my head. The vibe at _jed's tea dance is much more about good music than skills (as it should be) and I'd rather just do soft fades than risk the galloping horses trainwrecks. _jed was actually reminding me about a time I saw him play out where he fumbled and didn't have a track loaded up in time and how nobody cared, and he's right: all I could remember was how good it sounded on the dancefloor when it finally came on.

boxedjoy, Tuesday, 31 May 2022 20:55 (one month ago) link

very happy to hear that donna - we had a blast! sorry not to have got to meet you.

stirmonster, Tuesday, 31 May 2022 20:57 (one month ago) link

to boxedjoy:

so did the usb tracks not show up on the cdj displays at all? or you could see them and play them but there was no sync feature on the older cdjs?

you should be able to find out what make and model of cdj the venue will have, i'm sure jed knows or someone at the venue can check. i'm not sure when sync was added to the cdjs but most newer models have them (eg past 5-10 years). from there you can usually find the manual on the pioneer web site or just google for info.

is it an option to plug in whatever your current setup is into the mixer? that works ok if there is desk space, an extra channel on the mixer, and you aren't doing b2b imo.

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Tuesday, 31 May 2022 21:07 (one month ago) link

I really love stumbling on those moments where different keys come together in unexpected ways. Like one track is in A min and the next track is in C min, but the bass line from track 2 playing under the melody of track 1 makes it sound like everything suddenly shifts to C maj for a few joyful moments before plunging back into the darkness.

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Tuesday, 7 June 2022 16:12 (three weeks ago) link

Oh shit, I need to note keys on the sleeve & not just BPM!

war mice (hardcore dilettante), Tuesday, 7 June 2022 23:50 (three weeks ago) link

To be fair, this kind of stuff is probably way easier to achieve in the digital realm than with vinyl

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Wednesday, 8 June 2022 00:13 (three weeks ago) link

i was asked to fill in last night at the gay club where i'm doing thursday nights now. thursday nights are generally very chill there, but last night was nutso.

the floor was packed from 9:30 to close. i had to pee by 11 and didn't get a chance to go until 1:30 😬.

this place loves their requests. i had to turn most of them down as i just don't have them. quite a few i'd never heard of. at close about 10 people flashed me their phones requesting "believe" by cher over literally 15-20 minutes and i kept having to tell them i didn't have it. kind of an egregious blank on my part for the gig that i'm correcting this week. but i still saw a lot of happy faces on the dance floor and got compliments.

got one woman barging into the booth, grabbing my shoulder, holding her drink above my controller. i had to do a hard "no" on her - "i don't know you, don't touch me, your drink is above my controller, and no i'm not taking your request" lol.

this kind of gig is what makes charging $50 / hour or more a no brainer. a challenge to make the music sing when you're trying to do a service job as well.

the cat needs to start paying for its own cbd (map), Sunday, 19 June 2022 20:13 (one week ago) link

That kind of entitled behavior is a nightmare

Muad'Doob (Moodles), Monday, 20 June 2022 00:36 (one week ago) link

barging into the DJ booth, monstrous behavior imho

doing a happy hour this week and then another record store gig next sunday. i popped in there today to buy some records and the clerk who was there when i played last time told me he really liked my last in-store set :)

also i just found out about this bar that books lots of DJs who play stuff that’s kinda in my wheelhouse - thinking of reaching out to them to see if they have any weeknight slots open. couldn’t hurt!

donna rouge, Monday, 20 June 2022 01:44 (one week ago) link

happy hour tonight felt a little underwhelming. i didn’t feel super prepared going into it and my mixing was sorta sloppy (for various reasons). i ended up DJing five hours instead of the usual three (the DJ who goes after me had to cancel so i took over for them) and by the end of the fourth hour i was pretty much ready to leave. all the gays who came for the happy hour had cleared out by then so i was playing 122bpm bangers for like six seated ppl. an australian guy brought me some water tho, that was nice. and the chef who works at the bar seems to really like my stuff, he said next time i dj’ed there he’d be into doing a b2b kinda situation.

i’m still excited for my record store gig on sunday though, i’ve been buying a lot of disco 45s lately and i’m excited to play some of them!

donna rouge, Friday, 24 June 2022 07:25 (one week ago) link

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