Digital DJ Tips is here to help you learn to DJ – it’s right there in the masthead. From our hundreds of posts this year, here we’ve collated the ten most popular DJ training articles, as ordered by your likes, comments and number of times read. If you’re new here and you want to give yourself a crash course in some of the things digital DJs are getting good at right now, why not shift-click all 10 of them, sit back with a coffee (or a beer), and catch up on the lot in one go? Hint: there’s as much action in the comments as the posts themselves…
Our Top 10 Training Posts 2012
10. 5 Modern Skills Every New DJ Should Have
An original post from guest contributor Johnathan C, which focuses not on the usual skills (music discovery, mixing technique, programming and so on), but rather on skills specific to DJs today, and especially DJs using digital DJ gear.
He focuses on Midi controllers, online networking, remixing and mashing up tunes, being proficient using the wide range of DJ gear available today, and avoiding screen gazing in favour of putting a bit of performance back into your DJing.
Go to article: 5 Modern Skills Every New DJ Should Have
9. Why Does Everyone Use Macs For DJing?
The ubiquitous glowing Apple behind the DJ booth can polarise DJs like nothing else. Will this argument ever go away? Are Apple Macs really better for DJs than PCs? Why do so many pro DJs seem to use Macs in preference to PCs?
What new digital DJs really want to know is: Will I be able to DJ reliably on a PC or do I need a Mac? Is it worth spending the extra for a Mac, or am I best spending the money on a better controller or something else? Does it truly matter, or is it all just “cool” factor? All these questions are dealt with throughly here.
Go to article: Why Does Everyone Use Macs For DJing?
8. The Four Type of DJ: Which Are You?
Mobile DJs, DJ/producers, bar DJs, guest DJs, resident DJs… all have subtly different jobs and different constraints on what they do or don’t play. But no matter what kind of DJ you are, you are going to fit into one of our four universal categories. This post is where we first introduced our useful “DJ quadrant” approach to DJing.
It is possible to move between the categories in the quadrant (often on the same night), and there’s one category you absolutely, absolutely want to stay out of – whatever kind of DJ you are! This post will have you being mindful about exactly how you relate to your music and the crowds you play to.
Go to article: The 4 Types of DJ: Which Are You?
7. The 7 Deadly Sins of DJing
A fitting number seven in our list. In this post, we take an original look at the biblical seven deadly sins, and imagine how they might apply to DJing.
It is a righteous exercise: We cover “gear lust”, the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, how to treat other DJs, why you can get head really easily by just putting the hours in, why being original is always better than copying other people, and several other mistakes to avoid if you want a successful and fulfilling career as a DJ.
Go to article: The 7 Deadly Sins Of DJing
6. 5 Mistakes New DJ/Producers Always Make
Being a DJ/producers is not only desirable nowadays in the competitive DJ markets, it’s also easier for DJs to make the leap, because unlike many producers, DJs instinctively understand what dancefloors want/need. It’s just a case of working out how to translate this to your own productions.
Writer and music teacher Chris Cartledge (producer of the OD Total Music Production video training course, which we wholeheartedly recommend if you want to make the leap from DJ to producer) covers pitfalls like using effects like a DJ not like a producer; producing with your “DJ ears” on; getting your gain staging all wrong; and failing to break away from presets and bought samples.
Go to article: 5 Mistakes New DJ/Producers Always Make
5. 10 Hidden Serato ITCH Tips & Tricks For Better DJing
Everyone likes an “Easter Egg”, a smart new way of doing something simple, or just something they can dazzle users of the same software with given half a chance! No surprise that two of our software tips posts made it into this list, the first of those being this one for Serato ITCH.
From hiding your track names from prying eyes, to activating the software’s hidden built-in one-knob filter, to a cunning way to get a “loop roll” effect… if you’re a Serato user, you should definitely check this one out.
Go to article: 10 Hidden Serato ITCH Tips & Tricks For Better DJing
4. 5 tips for using CDJs for the first time
The first of two CDJ-related entries in this year’s list, which goes to show that many of our readers have aspirations beyond simple DJ controllers and want to branch out and learn to use “pro” club gear as well as home / prosumer DJ controllers – something we thoroughly encourage.
In this post, from back in February, we cover organising your library for CDJ DJing, how to “pretend” you’re using CDJs while practising on your DJ controller, and how you an get a headstart by simply studying online manuals for pro DJ gear – plus much more.
Go to article: Using CDJs For The First Time: 5 Tips For Controller DJs
3. 10 Hidden Traktor Tips & Tricks For Better DJing
Alan C of Traktor Tips wrote this excellent guest post for us, about the program that 75% of you ultimately decide is going to be your software of choice as a digital DJ.
From cutting the clutter, to stopping yourself accidentally turning the tune that’s playing off, to taking full control of Traktor’s output routing, here are ten tips at all levels that will help you to make best use of this powerful program.
Go to article: 10 Hidden Traktor Tips & Tricks For Better DJing
2. Are CDJs Better Than Midi Controllers?
New DJs are faced with a choice. What should they learn on? Should it be a modern DJ controller (small, cheap, capable), or old-style CDJs and a mixer? What if you choose the former but then want to transition from bedroom to club, controller to DJ booth?
In this post, we look frankly at what you should expect from learning to DJ along both routes – and why, ultimately, the best DJs can DJ on either (and on software only, and on vinyl…). As you’d expect, there are some strong opinions from the community in the comments too.
Go to the article: Are CDJs Better Than Midi Controllers?
1. The One Mistake Nearly Every New Digital DJ Makes
We have spent time practically ever day since we launched Digital DJ Tips privately answering emails from the community, away from the website, and one question is asked more than any other: Which DJ controller should I buy?
Having written hundred and hundreds of replies to this question, something dawned on us: Everyone is asking the wrong question! This was a eureka moment for us, and transformed the way we answer that question.
We go into in properly in How To Digital DJ Fast, but in this post we explain why that question is wrong, and what you really should be asking. It obviously resonated with the community, as it was our most-read training post of 2012.
Go to article: The One Mistake Nearly Every New Digital DJ Makes
• What was your favourite post on Digital DJ Tips in 2012? What would you like to see us cover in 2013? what are you struggling with right now, as you read this? Please let us know in the comments below!