Written By: Alexander (HedgeHog)
Party-pictures by: Michael Andrew Martin
Editing and Article Structure by: Ean
After four years of steady growth here at Dj TechTools, everyone decided it was about time for a first official meeting of the DJTechTools community in Europe. This entry is a report about the event from the perspective of everyone involved and may also give you a few tips on how to throw your very own first epic party.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Since most of the DJTechTools-members are DJs (surprised?) throwing a party was given to be the best way to meet them in real-life. It was first proposed to hold the party in Berlin 10 months ago on the forums. I was instantly on fire regarding the idea and since I’m near Berlin on weekends – eventually took over the planning.
1) Get the German Dj TechTools community together for dj sets and a real life meet-up
2) Give some of the less experienced guys a chance to play
3) Expose more people to the world of djing beyond turntables and CDJ’s
Everyone told us to start small, so we planned to have around 300 people at the party which seemed realistic. Well…in the end the event ended up much bigger with over 1000 people at one of the most famous clubs in Berlin- Tresor! In typical TechTools fashion, it was decided in a poll that the event should be held in the summer. Ean linked me to Native Instruments, which linked me to a local promoter. Luckily for me the promoter knew venues, people to talk to and how to run a successful party.
If you have no clue how the business works. Seek advice from someone who does or find a promoter who knows the scene in the city where your event shall take place. They often get discounts from hotels or can negotiate better conditions with clubs because of their regular business.
The promoter helped out big time and was able to claim the famous club, Tresor on a Friday-night. On the one hand that was very cool, because it is such a well-known club, on the other hand the Tresor is way bigger than what we initially planned. Its maze-like structure needs at least 900 people to not look empty. That made it necessary to have at least one well-known headliner to drag people in.
Improve your monetary situation by adding sponsors to your event. These can be family, friends or companies and it will take a lot of stress off you- the one guy responsible if the parties goes broke. Be prepared to explain what you are offering in exchange for sponsorship- for example, booking a dj on the companies artist roster.
I was looking to book one locally known DJ and another one with some mad controllerism-skills so we decided to fly in the current DMC Champion DJ Shiftee and Boyz Noize Records’ Strip Steve. Native Instruments was super kind to help us out with Shiftee’s flight, but sadly that single detail ended up busting the budget because it was a lot more expensive than what we planned for.
Start as early as possible to book artist, hotels, flight etc.! You should do that at least two to three months in advance. Besides lower prices you’ll have enough time to negotiate better deals and the artists will be more likely to be available.
When all details got finalized, it left only 3 weeks to promote the event but we still pulled everything together. There were flyers (thanks to Controlled Demolition), and a post on my blog to galvanize traffic. Both Native Instruments and Numark wrote about it on their Facebook-pages and DJTechTools had a large banner on the sidebar. I also contacted two big radio-stations in Berlin. One mentioned it a dozen times in their event-hints and the other one, namely Radio Fritz, invited me and Shiftee for an interview followed by a short performance of Shiftee. That was great promotion for the event and what DJTechTools stands for in general. You can watch listen to the interview and his performance here:
Although our promotion was somewhat weak I still believe that these two radio-stations dragged in a lot of the 850 paying guests (plus around 200 on the guest list) to the Tresor that night. Some regular Tresor-visitors told me that the crowd that night was pretty different from the one who comes to regular Tresor-parties suggesting that most of them were TechTools driven!
If your event (or lineup) has an interesting twist, go after local radio-stations or magazines. That is great promotion and usually for free.
Midi-Fight club was very lucky to have an open-minded crowd which gave us a great time despite of the wide diversity of genres played. Instead of telling you how great it was, just see yourself:
Thanks to “Honestly Who”for putting together the video with footage collected through to the party.
A few things didn’t work out quite well. The party was a big success but I ended up losing a little money due to Shiftee’s flight and wasn’t able to reimburse most costs of the DJTechTools-members. There also was some trouble with the hotel (I’m still wondering which DJ-pair claimed the band-suite and didn’t notice this one was actually for four people). Besides those few hiccups everything went smoothly
You may be the big shot at that night, but don’t act like one! Bring bartenders, security and nightmanager on your side. They can make your task even more cumbersome than it already is.
WHAT ABOUT THE DJS?
I asked all DJs for their impressions of the party, remarkable events and their setup. Here’s what they said:
“I was the opener on the Globus Floor hitting a Videomix with Virtual DJ. Even though I opened, the floor was filling up quickly. One hour into my set the crowd totally went with me, dancing their butts off or enjoying the Videomix. For the first time I understood the benefits of crowd-control and bar-rotation. I really want to point out how much this article helped me with this.
Setup: Samsung R780, DJ-Tech i-Mix Reload, Korg nanoPad, Virtual DJ (Videomix)
“Although I opened on the +4 Bar there was already a good atmosphere at 1 AM. Sadly the PA wasn’t powerful enough. I had to push the mixer into the red in order to keep a good volume-level. Meeting all the guys I normally only talk to in the forum was a fun experience. I also liked the diversity of EDM-genres which were played that night.
Setup: MacBook Pro, Audio 8 DJ, Vestax VCI-100, Korg nanoPad (for Cue-Points), Korg nanoKontrol (for effects), Traktor Pro
“This was my first time playing a true Berlin club. The crowd was super into it, and some people stayed until 10AM dancing. I realize for Berliners that’s nothing, but for a New Yorker like me, that’s impressive. It was incredibly refreshing to see the atmosphere of the night and the attitude’s of the people. No pretentiousness, no “look at how cool I am” or “you can only get if you’re a model or you buy a bottle.” It was all about the music, and I loved that! I realized after my set that I was DJing the whole time with my fly unzipped”
Setup: Macbook Pro, 2x Technics 1210 MK2 (timecode), Xone:92, NI Kontrol X1, NI Maschine as Midi-Controller, Traktor Scratch Pro
“Since I didn’t really get to play, I had plenty of time to look around. The sets were pretty clean, but I didn’t see any MIDI-Fighting except for a few cool bits by Shiftee . Strip Steve had to borrow my headphones because he didn’t bring his own. The best thing about the night was meeting the people involved, and the hotel.”
Setup: Macbook, IBM W701, RME Fireface 400, 2x vestax pdx3000, Ecler Evo5, Akai APC80, Akai LPD8 Although bringing that much stuff he sadly didn’t get to use it…
“I enjoyed playing and the crowd was amazing; they really came out to party! One thing that stood out for me was that in the middle of my performance, I got some latency problems. There were a lot pops and crackles. After putting my pokerface on, I
killed the volume, increased the latency and put the music back on. Right after the music
kicked in, the crowd went wild! In a strange way the latency problems indirectly
contributed to the ambiance. For me, this was an experience I will gladly remember.”
Setup: Macbook Pro, Vestax VCM-600, Evolution UC-33e (for effects) routing Traktor Pro through Ableton Live (4 Traktor decks and two sample and loop-decks)
I did a back to back set with one of my DJ mates from Copenhagen. We are used to play together at clubs, but had never played at a Tresor-size club. We were looking forward to the evening, especially because the Berlin crowd traditionally digs the kind of music we play – deep and heavy techno. The crowd totally fulfilled our expectations. We started with easy going Techno, but the crowd kept asking for harder tunes. Finally our hardest techno tracks, seemed to satisfy them. Everyone was filled with energy from the hard pumping beats. What a crowd, what a place, what a party! “
Setup: MacBook Pro, Ecler Evo 5, 2x Technics 1210 MK2 (timecode), Traktor Scratch Pro
“We began to set up our stuff when the nightmanager told us that he´s going to close the +4 bar. I was pissed and so were Eric and Controlled Demolition. Luckily Hedge shared his timeslot with us. So we had an hour to rock the Globus floor. We started with some Dubstep but have been told to switch to Electro later into our set. We joined the Restricted-guys for another hour and headed back to the hotel. All in all I have to say that I had a nice time to finally meet some of the djtt guys.”
Müller: Asus Eee PC, NI Audio Control 1, NI Kontrol X1, Behringer BCD-3000, Traktor Scratch Pro
Graf: Sony Vaio Notebook, NI Audio8DJ , Vestax VCI-100SE, Traktor Scratch Pro
“The +4 bar was closed down without my permission which caused Controlled Demolition and Müller & Graf not being able to play. I shared my spot with the latter ones, but messed up dealing with Controlled Demolition, which I still regret. Honestly Who, Shiftee and I went to a bakery for breakfast with some tasty DJ-talk. When we went back to the Tresor at 8AM I was very happy that Restricted Sessions finally arrived and were already spinning their Trance-set. It was really mind-blowing to see that there were actually more people in the Tresor than before going to the bakery. The most hilarious thing I noticed was one guy who did stretch-exercises on the dance floor ALL NIGHT long”
Setup: Thinkpad T61, Vestax VCI-300 (for 4-deck control), Vestax VCI-100 (for effects), Akai MPC-1000 (for added samples and loops), Traktor Pro, Alesis Palmtrack to record the sets
”We had a long way to go from the Netherlands. The DJ gear was installed on the backseat of the Volvo and beats were blazing through the car stereo. After chasing 3 hours through Berlin (who knew there are like 31 Köpenicker Straßes in Berlin?) We made it to the Tresor 20 minutes before our set started. We have been told by the staff, that 30 minutes into our set, they would judge whether to close down the Tresor-floor or our Globus-floor. They shut down the other floor. We would never have expected Tresor, which is the stomping ground of minimal & techno to open up their warm arms and welcome us as a Progressive act as that they did.”
Setup: MacBook Pro, NI Audio4DJ, A&H Xone:92, Behringer BCR 2000, Midi-Fighter, Traktor Pro
So you couldn’t make it? There is no need to be sad. We recorded all but two of the livesets. You can listen to and download them in our custom Official.fm-player (formerly Fairtilizer) below.
A WORD OF THANKS
Thanks to everyone involved (especially the DJs and sponsors) for making this party possible. There might be another Midi-Fight-Club in 2011. Become a fan on our Facebook-page to receive the latest updates! I’ll soon set up www.midifightclub.com as well.
With several hundred thousand TechTools fans worldwide, I am not surprised that a big group came out for the first midi-fight club. Our biggest fan centers are the US, Germany, Netherlands, UK and South America. If your interested in putting together a Dj TechTools get together in your town- get in touch with us! – Ean