Your Questions: How Do I Handle DJing With A Vocalist?

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DJing with a vocalist Pro
Last updated 11 April, 2018

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If you aren’t totally up to speed with the way the mixc channel works on the equipment you usually DJ on, make sure you are before you attempt to perform with a vocalist. Pic: Nerdy DJ

Digital DJ Tips reader Main Event writes: “I have a couple of gigs coming up where I am playing the music to accompany a vocalist. I imaging there must be proper communication between myself and the vocalist. I would like to be properly prepared so that everything goes off smoothly and as professionally as possible. Do you have any tips for me?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

The vocalist will almost certainly have his or her own tracks they wish to sing over. Your main concern will be how they are going to give those tracks to you, and making sure that you can mix into and out of their music no matter what format they’re presented to you in.

They may bring them on a USB drive and wish you to play them in your DJ software direct from that. So do you have a spare USB socket? They may bring an iPod or equivalent and wish to plug directly into your controller or mixer. Do you know how you’re going to do that?

They will also need to plug their microphone in and you’ll need to make provision for that. Whether they plug in to the venue’s mixer as well as you, or whether you plug them in through your equipment (ie DJ controller) doesn’t massively matter, but if they expect you to provide a little reverb for their mic, that’s something you’ll need to be ready to take care of.

To be sure of all of the points above, the single best thing you can do is get their phone number and give them a call. This is a basic professional starting point for any DJ who is being asked to integrate with singers, musicians and so on. Double check set times, technical details, what music they’ll be singing over, and think it all through, discussing with the client and the singer anything you’re not comfortable with.

I hope it goes well – such events can be great fun!

Have you DJed with vocalists? Any tips you’d like to pass on? Please do so in the comments below.

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