September 8th, 2013
Playing rare disco, Pink Floyd-esque rock, off-kilter techno and “anything else danceable”, DJ Harvey is an example of a DJ who’s made his mark playing what the hell he wants. You have to find your own audience and sound to pull this off, though
Digital DJ Tips reader Peter writes: “I’m a middle aged man who’s music taste goes from country to rock to metal, to doo-wop, to today’s popular music.
“But I have never mixed music before and worry that my taste in music will hinder my abilities to properly learn to do so. Do you have any suggestions for a true beginner?”
August 18th, 2013
The Numark DJ2GO may be basic, but if you combine it with a good keyboard mapping, and a sound card, you can do almost anything.
Digital DJ Tips reader Jack writes: “My main problem at the moment is that I have probably the most basic controller in the world (Numark DJ2GO) which I use with Virtual DJ Pro. Basically all I can do is mix songs together and adjust volume levels! I do have a small USB sound card so I can use the headphones monitoring functions as well, but that’s about it.
“The problem is that I feel I don’t have the ability to do much due to the limited options on my controller, and while I can think of nothing better than playing dance music and creating filter sweeps to mix between songs, I just don’t have the money to buy something that will give me that option. Can you advise anything?”
August 8th, 2013
by Greg Davis
Ready for your first show? Here’s some time-won tips to help you ensure it goes off without a hitch.
Your palms are sweating and your heart is racing. You could cut the nervous tension with a knife. The club is full of expectant people who all want to see what you can do. All eyes are on you as you step behind the decks and prepare to pull off what just a short while ago might have seemed impossible to you.
It’s your first gig and as far as you’re concerned, everyone in the club is wondering the same thing: “Does this guy know what he’s doing?”
March 24th, 2013
Everyone’s happy, the floor is full. So what do you play next? That’s where art and science meet, and it cuts to the heart of what DJing is all about.
Digital DJ Tips reader Robert writes: “Was curious as I’m trying to get a better grasp of DJing. Is there a method you use when grouping songs together to play, to make sure they go together? Is there any software out there that allows for you to go through your library and say ‘this would go well with this?’ or maybe ‘consider this one with this?’
“What I’m trying to create is mini five-song sets that go well together. Do you think that is a good idea?”
October 13th, 2012
Like many, this controller has two physical jogwheels and two channel faders. So, our reader wants to know, how can such controllers operate four decks?
Digital DJ Tips Read DJ Rekka writes: “I am a complete beginner, and trying to decide which controller to go for, and I have what may seem a silly question. Where DJ software has four decks but a DJ controller has only two jogwheels/pitch faders (which seems to be the case even on those that have four sets of channel faders), how can you mix four decks using it?
“I guess what I’m asking is, what happens when, say, you slow one deck down all the way with the pitch fader, then switch to another? Is the new deck (the one that you’ve just switched to) going to play as slow as possible too, because the pitch fader is all the way down? And what happens when you move the pitch fader, and switch back to the original deck? Will it “jump” to where the pitch fader now is? I’d like to be able to mix four decks when I get my controller, but I’m really not clear how this works.”
September 30th, 2012
It’s all about the music! Our reader’s best DJ nights so far were when he simply playlisted iPod music, but nonetheless where he got to play the music he really loves.
“How can I DJ the music I love?“, wonders Digital DJ Tips reader Steven. Here’s his story: “I ‘DJed’ the youth dances at my church back when I was, like, 14. I was a ‘program DJ‘ – I would set up a playlist on my iTunes from the new indie dance-rock stuff I owned.
“I would press play, and hop off the stage and dance with people, running back up to see if I needed to change the list or add a slow song. My tracks were not radio hits, but just the stuff I was listening to. It turns out, learning some years after the fact, that the girls idolised me. They all wished that they could hang out and meet me! And as far as I was concerned, the dances were a success.
September 22nd, 2012
Pic: Big Basha
Digital DJ Tips reader DJ-eZ writes: “I run Virtual DJ, and it shows wildly varying BPMs on different dubstep tracks. I also hear on the radio house music and pop music that has dubstep elements. Again, there seems to be no fixed BPM range like with house etc.
“My research shows that there’s also a debate about whether dubstep should be classified at 70BPM (on the kick drums) or 140BPM (on the hi-hats etc.). What’s right? And should I be concerned about this?”
September 19th, 2012
Serato ITCH with the Pioneer DDJ-S1: A relatively pain-free route into digital DJing for CDJ users.
Serato ITCH is a famously easy DJ program to use, which is one reason why many DJs prefer it to more complicated programs. The ethos seems to be to strip everything back and down, leaving you with just what you need to get the job done. Its “closed architecture” means that there’s no remapping or tinkering with most of its settings, either – the software is tied closely to the hardware it works on, with everything predetermined for you by Serato and the various DJ controller companies’ engineers.
Having said that, though, there are best practices, smart ways of working, and even a couple of hidden “Easter eggs” that you can employ to improve your DJing using Serato ITCH.
September 18th, 2012
by DJ Tobander
Spend less time with your head in your tune lists and more time mixing and interacting with your crowd by using this ‘night stages’ method of music organisation.
As DJs switched from using physical vinyl/CDs to digital files, they had to find new ways to organise their music so as not to get lost in new, often wider collections. It’s a problem all new digital DJs struggle with at one point or another to this day.
The trouble is, there are no best-practice guidelines out there for how you should organise your music library. Today I’d like to explore the importance of having some kind of system, look at some of the alternatives, and show you a method that works for me.
September 15th, 2012
The beach bar where I play every summer season, here in the south of Spain.
Digital DJ Tips reader Ben writes: “Hello Phil. I’ve noticed you frequently mention that you have a gig DJing at a beach bar, which I guess is akin to a lounge-type venue. I am getting on in years and moving past the club/rave scene, focusing more on my new family and career, so this sounds appealing to me.
“However, I can’t seem to find much info on this type of gig. What can you tell me and your other readers about it in more detail? How long are your sets? What type of music do you play? What kind of crowd does this sort of gig draw? How does one go about finding a lounge event? I live in northern Ohio just off lake Erie so in the summer it is very beach oriented.”
September 10th, 2012
by Forced Hand
You work hard enough to make sure people come to your event, so here are tips and tricks for making sure that event goes well.
I currently run sound for a young, successful monthly club in San Francisco, which is growing in popularity mainly because the team behind it works hard on making sure everyone has a good time.
If you’re a DJ wanting to promote your own night, it very much pays to understand where you should put your efforts, in the same way this team do. So today I offer you five tips to help you grow your fledgling event – tips I picked up both by watching others and from when I promoted club nights myself.
September 9th, 2012
Polish DJ Wika Szmyt is 73 years old and still loves to rock the 1s and 2s. Today, our reader wants to know how to DJ at a party whose age group goes up to 75…
Digital DJ Tips reader DA Willis writes: “I am DJing a benefit christmas party, where there will be at least 75 people ranging in ages from 35 to 75. I will be playing music from the 50s, 60s and 70s and some hits from today’s music.
“How would you set up music for the night? It runs from 7pm to 12am on a Saturday. The ultimate goal is to get everybody on the dancefloor through out the night. What is the best set to put together to accomplish this?”
September 4th, 2012
by Alan C
DMC champ DJ Unkut has a mastery of Traktor that lets him perform at the top of his game. You should strive to do the same with your DJ software.
• The author of this article, Alan C, is the founder of TraktorTips.com, an online resource and community for Traktor users. Learn how to DJ with Traktor using our How To Digital DJ Fast online video training.
Just by getting to know the ins and outs of the software you DJ with, you can improve your performances immeasurably. Too many people fail to learn the intricacies of their DJ software, and thus they miss the chance to use it fully and ultimately DJ better. So Traktor users, let’s learn something new…
September 3rd, 2012
News & Opinion
The seven deadly sins apply to DJing, too! Read on and see if you’re guilty of any of them…
I recently read a post on a completely-unrelated-to-DJing website based around the “seven deadly sins”. It occurred to me that the “seven deadly sins” can be applied fair and square to DJing too.
So here they are: The “seven deadly sins”, as they apply to DJing. See if you recognise yourself in any of them – and if you can say that you don’t, please treat this as your opportunity to wise up to avoid falling into one of these ungodly traps! (If you want to make sure you get off on the right track from the start, take a look at our How To Digital DJ Fast video training.)
August 20th, 2012
by Chris Cartledge
Production is more accessible than ever and people who are already DJs have a distinct advantage. Here are five tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes when taking your first steps.
As Phil quite astutely pointed out in his production mini-series over the last week, the biggest of the big-ticket events nowadays aren’t for DJs, they’re for DJ/producers.
But the unfortunate truth is that a lot of these acts are simply studio producers who have used the changing landscape of the DJ booth to masquerade their way inside it. And producers who get into DJing tend to be major proponents of the “press play” brigade. Quite simply, often, they’re not very good DJs. That’s where you come in…
August 17th, 2012
News & Opinion
DJing is about more than huge LED screens, costumes and sparkly outfits, as Paris Hilton probably learned recently.
Socialite Paris Hilton’s debut as a DJ unleashed a firestorm all over the internet. Most of it was negative, a tiny bit was positive, but overall her debut was as we pretty much expected: Mainly flash, little substance.
It’s been a few weeks, and recently the thought hit me to explore what I would actually tell someone like Paris Hilton if she were to ask me how she could be taken seriously as a DJ.
August 15th, 2012
News & Opinion
The guide has all you need to make an informed choice when it comes to choosing a DJ controller. (Click to see this sample.)
“Which DJ controller should I choose?” is the most commonly asked question on Digital DJ Tip’s forum, in our email inbox and in our website comments
And if you’re trying to work out which DJ controller is right for you and you don’t yet have a copy of our unique, free DJ Controllers: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2012 162-page PDF book, you’re missing out on one of our most valuable resources designed to help you in your choice.