How To Make A Great DJ Video: Contest Winners
Almost a month ago, Ean challenged our community to use his guide for making incredible DJ routine videos in a contest. We’ve gotten tons of videos to watch, and were excited at how many of you were willing to step out of your comfort zones and go for it! Recording yourself and presenting it to the entire internet for criticism is not an easy thing, so kudos and congratulations all around. Onwards to the winners!
A QUICK REMINDER OF THE RULES
For this contest, we judged each video based on the core concepts that Ean outlined in his original video:
- Musical Arrangement
- Audio Quality
- Performance Engagement
- Video Quality
- Simple Clean Editing
We’d also like to note that we paid very little attention to the YouTube ratings, as we’ve noticed when we’ve been running video contests, we see a number of people unfairly get disliked simply because they’re the competition. We watched every single video, regardless of rating!
FIRST PLACE WINNER
DJ Fry Ups’ 4AM Live Performance
What We Liked: With a very well-constructed musical arrangement, and a performance that had us watching each button press to see his actions, Fry Ups’ combination of Traktor and Ableton in one remix routine is a clear winner. The screen capture cleanly matches each new element that’s introduced, focusing in an allowing the viewer to see what the performer is doing, even going so far as to label everything that’s happening with a helpful “Left Hand” “Right Hand” description bar at the bottom.
Fry Ups also gets bonus points for including live performance on top of traditional DJing, using Ableton as a base and layering additional elements from Traktor, Maschine, and Massive. Showing viewers something they haven’t seen before or don’t see very often is a quick way to the top.
Constructive Criticism: This video could have used a touch more editing: cutting into a single shot or a different style of split screen can really break up a video, as viewers don’t always want to have to be scanning the entire screen to figure out what to focus on.
RUNNER UP AND DJTT CROWD FAVORITE
Spencer Baird’s Levels In Paris
What We Liked: With one of the most-watched videos in the contest, Spencer put together a well-rehearsed routine of a solid mashup, layering original effects (everyone really liked the Beatmasher 2 + Transpose effect) to create a live mashup routine on the Traktor S4. His videos shows off all the necessary angles and is complemented by screen capture that reveals the important stuff – especially key to understand what effects combinations are in use.
Constructive Criticism: We’d liked to have seen a bit more variety in the routine itself- once into the second half of the video, the viewer has seen almost every performance element. This could be applied to the track selection as well – since these tracks are extremely well known, the video could be fresher with deep cuts.
HONORABLE MENTION WINNER #1
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Underwaterrobots’ Lady Gaga vs. Skrillex Mashup
What We Liked: The routine here takes two very known tracks and mashes them up – but with multiple sections of performance, it’s deserving of one of two honorable mention places. Watch the video and note how there are sections of buildup, cue juggling, effects, which allowed him to show off his skill at each individually.
Underwaterrobots wasn’t afraid to have fun in his video – dropping in an Anchorman clip and slicing in his video doppleganger to yell “OMG!” at the first drop. It breaks up the video well and makes you want to keep watching! The video also featured some of the cleanest video editing we’ve seen, cuts were well timed, with a smart amount of screen capture being shown at appropriate times, and a strong main shot with great lighting.
Constructive Criticism: We’re pretty sure this video could have been shorter and just as good – cutting down the overall length of a video to leave the viewer wanting more is a great way to build return fans. Also, we’d again like to see more track variety (this was a reoccurring theme throughout the videos – we know you all have secret tracks you love, show them off!).
HONORABLE MENTION WINNER #2
Ghztomash’s Arcade Warrior
What We Liked: With a unique shooting location and a unique controller, ghztomash made a video that had us watching closely the entire time. He’s using a controller built out from a Midi Fighter to control a combination of Mad Zach’s sample packs and his own samples in Ableton.
The routine is compelling, with him playing the beat live the entire time, as well as some great effect builds using the analogue-style controls on his controller.
Constructive Criticism: We want to see exactly what’s happening! This would have been a great video for screen capture, and more use of the second angle (even consider going fullscreen with it) would have made this a knockout video.
SO MANY MORE
As we mentioned, we watched every single video entered. You all are extremely talented folks, don’t stop making mixes and videos! Here are a few of the more unique videos entered in the contest that we wanted to make sure everyone saw as well – some great stuff in here!
Limited Tools: Jordan Reifkind rocks out on just a dj2go and a keyboard mapping – not an easy task, and he’s just 11 years old!
Collision Mapping: One of our community’s most popular mappings gets a performance video!
Flute + S4: Real instruments jamming with Traktor is always cool to watch.
Thanks again to everyone who submitted their videos, and stay tuned for the next DJTT contest that we’ll be starting within a week! If you’re one of the winners, we’ll be contacting you shortly on YouTube – check your messages.