You Can Be a Pro DJ

Many, many times I have heard people say: “gosh how did you become a professional dj? That must be so hard!” Or other djs complaining that they could never go full time because the competition is too tight. Well, I can tell you first hand that its not hard to make money, get gigs and even go pro. Naysayers might point out: “Your just lucky or you have special talent- not everyone can get the gigs you have gotten”. Nope, wrong on both accounts. I am not lucky and not even that “talented”, just terribly persistent and painfully stubborn. You see by putting yourself in the frame of mind where you can accept the possibility of easily making good money by doing something you love (sharing music with others). You have taken the first and most important step to making it happen.

We can go into the specific nuts and bolts later but the the first step is believing that its possible for you. After that its a downhill ride to successful and rewarding gigs. Why am I bringing this up? because this is an exciting time for djing when a lot of new people are picking up the craft and exploring the possibilities. Dj Tech Tools can give you the tools you need to make your sets sound inspiring but only you can give your self the confidence you will need to succeed.

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  • dj laptop stand

    dj laptop stand

    Make sure it fits – Make sure that the stand is going to fit your laptop. Sure, many laptops are the same in size, but your screen could vary. Also, if you have a netbook, these are going to be quite smaller than your other computers. Many stands are going to have the dimensions, so make sure that you look into it.

  • SLMPCKNS

    Definitely. Let’s all think and grow rich. 😉

    I just finished that book by the way. It’s amazing.

  • FRGus723

    Well I must say it takes a certain type of person like yourself to do what you do. I'm sure you have plenty of stuff you could be doing but you, like me, get some satisfaction out of helping others.

    Your type don't normally exist these days and it is much appreciated by all who use this site. I can personally say you have responded to every request I have ever made and rather quickly to boot.

    Thanks again for being our teacher.

    FRGus723

  • Ean Golden

    [quote comment="17065"][quote post="227"]let me ask moldover if he will write a tutorial about ableton for us. [/quote]

    Did he ever do this for you? It would be really nice if someone could write a short 5 or 6 page Ableton Mashup tutorial on how to set up the software with Reaktor, how to create your clips and then some info on how he mixes his music and then people could forge there own way through.[/quote]

    nope, he does not seem very interested in contributing or sharing with this community. WE have offered and invited many times but they are always ignored. Moldover seems to be intent on doing "his own thing" and does not feel that we are compatible with whatever that is.

  • FRGus723

    [quote post="227"]let me ask moldover if he will write a tutorial about ableton for us. [/quote]

    Did he ever do this for you? It would be really nice if someone could write a short 5 or 6 page Ableton Mashup tutorial on how to set up the software with Reaktor, how to create your clips and then some info on how he mixes his music and then people could forge there own way through.

  • Ean Golden

    preach it brother, preach it!!

  • jdt

    Heck, any club that won't let you plug in your own gear probly isn't worth playing at anyway… unless they are gonna give you rehearsal time on their equipment.

    Like… " Sure we'd like to have B.B. King do a set here, but we don't want him playing that old damn guitar of his!".

    Peace,

    jdt

  • Vic

    Hi Ean,

    I'm just getting started with Djing and I'm planning on buying a VCI-300, primarily because I think that 'laptop djing' is the future. I would love to get myself 2 cd players and a mixer but damn they're expensive. How can I convince a club/bar/lounge place to let them use my own stuff, since they usually already have dj gear set up.

    I mean:

    – Hi want me to play tonight?

    – Sure, drop in later today

    – Can I bring my controller and laptop?

    – Ehm, we already have a dj setup?

    – Oh. Well, then I cant play.

    …Thats kinda lame…

    Help me out!

    Regards

    Vic

  • Mr flexxx

    hey ean,

    i been deejayin for a while now and cant believe my luck that i get paid for it. i gotta say though for anybody startin out u need to be flexible with ur selection and remember ur there to entertain a crowd.

    i used to be an rnb deejay, but since i went digital(i use a vci) my musical tastes have widened and i'm more imaginative.

    i'm definetly gonna get the book cant beleive i never thought of writing it 1st!!!

  • Ean Golden

    Fatlimey summed it up really well! You can also ask yourself the following question. Do I want to layer 3 or more sounds together 25% of the time or more? If the answer is yes then Live is your program.

  • Jonny Pez

    Great response Fatlimey, I think your absolutely right about the differences between the two programs. When I bought Live I wasn’t even thinking about acting as a club DJ. I was thinking more on the lines of Prefuse 73 or RJD2, who oddly enough don’t use software.. but their sample based creations are inspiring. The biggest question in my mind is how to move from the studio to the stage without touching a mouse every five seconds.

    Kid 606 put out a mix album “The Action Packed Mentalist…” which I thought was a great blend between mixing and performing. Though his hardcore/noise style is a bit heavy for most, you can really appreciate the amount of control he has over these songs by completely transforming them into his own style. Plus I think some of the tracks are just brilliant.

    I’m thinking now that Live might be great for creating your own remixes and dj tools, and then perform in tracktor for continous yet flexible sets.

    There is more to be discovered as far as I’m concerned.

  • Fatlimey

    Ableton Live DJing is *all* about the preparation. I’m not sure it’s even possible to take an arbitrary MP3 and drop it into Live while playing and have good results – the instant scanning and fallback vinyl techniques that Traktor has will get you out of almost any bad situation. I’m sure there are Live masters who can handle it, but I sure can’t.

    Having said that, Traktor is about playing, matching, looping and adding FX, essentially playing out tracks in a linear fashion with embellishment. Ableton Live is about cutting up tracks, reordering sections, using mad VST plugins, adding effects, looping, layering, inserting new elements and *intermeshing* the tracks with other sound sources. It’s far more intense and expressive, but it takes a lot of offline setup to reach that point. When you have a well organised library of predigested tracks that you can drag’n’drop into a Live set, things get really interesting.

    Both tools are good – I’m sure using the Loop Library in Traktor, some good cue points and better controller mappings you can do some of the cutup, re-ordering and layering that Live can do, but Traktor will have limits that Live doesn’t. But IMO, limitations are a good thing for creativity – it’s easier to be creative inside a fixed space than it is to start with a blank, endless sheet of paper and create with only a vision.

    Ableton Live is what you need when Traktor starts putting limits on what you want to do.

  • Jonny Pez

    I would love to read a detailed article on Moldover’s setup. I know my setup wouldn’t be the same (I’m not going to duplicate his custom controller for starters), but it would be extremely helpful to see a controllerist fully working setup and playing methods.

    I can see pieces of the puzzle, but not the whole picture.

    Thanks for the link Xsquizet, I’ll be checking it in my free time 😉

  • Xsquizet

    I have been messing around with ableton myself and if you visit abletonlivedj.com its alot of information on there. they even got the smart mixing on the forum and stuff. I am only in the shallow waters of ableton with my trigger finger but I am going in a little deeper. Once you learn to warp your tracks and set up your controller you are well on your way. But just keep practicing. I love ableton.

    And Ean I feel you I watch alot of my favorite dj's and I see how they pick good tracks. I am still learning on picking good tracks myself. I have train wrecked on one of my gigs I played a song I wanted to hear and not what the crowd wanted and everyone left the dance floor worst feeling ever. So now I am just trying to learn from that and do better.

  • Ean Golden

    <blockquote cite="#comment-1212">yea i always have a hard time letting the record play cause i am just eager to mix in the next track lol

    To be honest- this is the hardest part of djing. one that even I still work on. If you watch 20 year vets play, notice how they will play good tracks and just let them work. You tend to do less and less with time.

    <blockquote cite="#comment-1213">Ean, I know you favor Traktor, but since I've already paid for Ableton Live I was wondering if you have ever played with the software, and if you had a recommended setup.

    let me ask moldover if he will write a tutorial about ableton for us. Ableton is a software in which you will have to craft your own way of playing music. There is not cut and dry method as it was not intended for djing. So everyone figures out their own personal work-arounds.

  • Jonny Pez

    Ean, I know you favor Traktor, but since I've already paid for Ableton Live I was wondering if you have ever played with the software, and if you had a recommended setup. It seems like the possibilites are endless and that makes things a bit overwhelming. I like what Moldover has done in his videos, but how he has two keys triggering the same clip in different modes (gate and trigger) seems impossible to me. I guess I'm looking for a more detailed explanation of how one can be a controllerist and use Ableton Live effectively. Is there anyone else in the same boat, or am I overlooking something obvious?

    Sorry if this isn't the place to ask, but I can't find an contact email on this site.

  • Xsquizet

    yea i always have a hard time letting the record play cause i am just eager to mix in the next track lol

  • Jonny Pez

    Ean, I'm backing you 110%! I'm a total advocate of this 'law of attraction' mindset… and I think that if you really want to make it you wouldn't be a lazy playlist dj, because that would be just way to boring.

    I have a hard time letting the record 'spin'… I want to be physically involved in my set.

  • Xsquizet

    I agree with you a hundred percent Ean, I have had 4 paying gigs in 2007 and beginning of 2008 and the pay is going up (did my first gig for 50 bucks lol) and my name is also getting out there. I am very persistent and will not give up at my dream of playing shows and festivals. I have asked many of dj's for advice and even moldover and they all said the same thing to me. Practice and pay your dues. Get in there and work hard. I know I am destined to do this and I know that I will make it in this industry.

  • Avelin

    With this post i agree and not agree with ean! First why i agree. It is true that only hard working people succede and that talent is just 10 percent of success. Best example is soccer. Second why i dont agree with ean. I live in Croatia and here electronic music is in beginning stage. Not many people listen that music but those who listen are very quality audience because they understand that music and expecting alot from DJ. Also in croatia there is many dj, some of them are really good but others are disaster because they live in part of europe where 80% of people are listening turbofolk. That DJ’s who are good they can only play in country’s around croatia, slovenia, serbia and maybe in italy. This is because in big clubs in world only DJ’s from UK, Germany, Italy, France or USA can play. This is because people in that country’s won’t listen some dj from little country’s. So DJ’s from small country’s never will be famous like DJ’s form leading world country’s. That was always like that and will be! that is very sad but it is like that!

    p.s sorry for my bad english. 😀

  • mohan

    I agree with this and would like to take it one step further, to say that it has become TOO easy to become a DJ. I have been a DJ for about 10 years now, and there are kids who can afford to just drop 2-3k USD on the newest tech and consider themselves DJs because they can make a play list in iTunes. It is going to make competition a lot tougher, and produce a lot more bad DJs.