Things That Don’t Actually Make You A Better DJ

Things That Don’t Actually Make You A Better DJ

One of the funniest (yet frustrating) things about many DJs is their incessant ability to invent things that they think make someone a “real”, or “better” DJ.

It seems like we would have a whole lot more good DJs in the world if we spent more time focusing on things that matter.  Things like observation, intuition, crowd-reading, programming, moods, empathy, music theory, marketability, and so on.

Yet, most people spend their time complaining about the myths listed below.  Here’s a list of things that don’t inherently make you a better DJ.

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Why Pioneer is Making Turntables Now

Why Pioneer is Making Turntables Now

Originally teased at this year’s Musikmesse, Pioneer’s new PLX-1000 turntable is a no-frills, but seemingly solid, analog unit which is clearly geared towards filling the Technics gap.  Pioneer calls it a celebration of 20 years in the DJ industry.

The PLX is not something I’ve covered so far, but the comments on other blogs show quite a reactionary mixed bag.

While some people are stoked about the idea of a Pioneer-branded analog deck, an equally-sized market segment are skeptical at best.  Reactions range from “thank god” to “Pioneer is for sheep”.

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Are 3D-Printed Records The Next Big Revolution in Music?

Are 3D-Printed Records The Next Big Revolution in Music?

Vinyl records have been making a strong comeback to the music industry since 2006.  The reasons are many, but they primarily break down into two: people’s resonance with collecting something tangible in order to establish a sense of “ownership”, and their perception that it sounds better.

Of course, as a DJ, there is also the tactility (being able to “feel” the music, especially as a turntablist) and the plain-old coolness factor.

The 3D printing revolution, while still in its infancy, is showing constant proofs-of-concept regarding the technology’s usefulness.  It only makes sense that it would intersect with the vinyl resurgence.  The first prototypes are already starting to pop-up.

But how do these first runs hold up on the practicality scale?  Is this a novelty item, or the first step in yet again revolutionizing the distribution of music?

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Numark’s NV is an Example of Where Controllers are Headed

Numark’s NV is an Example of Where Controllers are Headed

Today, Numark has officially announced a new piece of gear which further closes the gap between those that hate having a laptop in their faces, and those that can’t deny the benefits of computer-based mixing.

Meet the Numark NV for Serato DJ.  This new controller isn’t terribly different from Numark’s other offerings, with one big exception: it boasts two full-color, high-res screens onboard.  It offers full control over the Serato DJ software, includes the performance pads and touch-sensitive knobs that you see on the NS7II.

Numark started teasing this idea a few months back, and they’ve finally made it official.  And it gives a good indication of where DJ gear companies’ heads are at right now.

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The “Secret” to Good Beat Juggling

The “Secret” to Good Beat Juggling

I have a confession to make… I hate most beat-juggling routines.

It’s not that I’m a snob (and don’t ask me to do it any better).  I just think it almost never sounds good.  I realize that the point is to impress, but I often simply find myself annoyed.

World champion Vekked is one of the exceptions to my rule.  Watch the video below, and then read under that for the “secret” to his meticulously-performed routines.  (P.S. – if you find yourself impressed, you can give him a 5-star vote via this link, as this is a DMC submission!)

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How “Choice Overload” Can Ruin a DJ

How “Choice Overload” Can Ruin a DJ

Back in 1995, a professor of business at Columbia University conducted a case study in a California gourmet market.  The professor and her assistants set up a booth which served 24 different samples of Wilkons & Sons jams.  However, every few hours, they would reduce the number of choices to 6.  On average, each customer tasted 2 jams regardless.

60% of customers were drawn to the larger assortment, while only 40% checked out the booth when 6 samples were present.  But here’s the interesting part: 30% of people who went to the “small assortment” booth actually ended up buying some jam.  The number of customers that ended up buying after visiting the “large assortment” booth?  3%.

Three percent.

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On Deep House and Bud Light

On Deep House and Bud Light

Do you remember your first beer?

I can’t say I remember the moment specifically (heh), but one thing I do know is that I wasn’t sipping on some fancy microbrewery’s unfiltered cask ale, with a perfect head barely touching the top of a dimpled pint glass.  I was drinking a Bud Light, or some other such mass-produced generic nonsense.

My intention was not to enjoy the aroma of the brew, to taste the balance of hops, to comment on the color or mouthfeel of the beer.  I wanted to dip my toes into the “beer experience”… that is, to try out this whole getting drunk thing via the most reasonable means (the one being utilized by my friends).

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13 Bite-Sized Facts About Being a Modern DJ

13 Bite-Sized Facts About Being a Modern DJ

Crate digging is not dead, and it’s nobody else’s fault if you are too lazy to search deeply through a larger & more accessible music pool.  (tweet it)

As a DJ, “success” is typically about doing more of the things you know you should do, rather than learning the “secrets” you don’t know.  (tweet it)

Don’t fear the equipment or the approach of the modern DJ.  Only that which can change can continue.  (tweet it)

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Three Cheers for the Passionate DJ

Three Cheers for the Passionate DJ

Three cheers for the DJ with an unending supply of curiosity, who doesn’t ever cease looking for new ways to present beautiful music to a captive audience.  A person who is willing to acknowledge that there is always more to learn, regardless of how skilled or established they are.

Hats off to the selector, who realizes that it’s not just about how he or she plays, but about what he or she plays and in what context.  The DJ who prefers not to put ketchup on a steak, but to make a better steak.  Output matters.  Content is king.  Context is god.

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[Video] Tips for DJing Shows That Are Event-Driven

[Video] Tips for DJing Shows That Are Event-Driven

Hey folks!

I often play gigs that are, as I describe them, “event-driven”… that is, they require me to react to certain things that are happening in the venue.

For example, I often play fashion shows for a friend.  In these shows, they have 10+ designers who all want to show their particular lines of apparel.  So, the show is broken off into segments, as the announcer comes in, describes the next lineup and who designed it, etc.

Another time I utilize the tips in this video is when I’m playing an online radio stream.  Sometimes, I like to interrupt the music to say a few things (interact with my online audience, etc.)

I like to keep music going, but I like the music to seem to “react” to what is happening around me.  Here is a very simple way to accomplish that.

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