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What do I do before the gig?

Discussion in 'General DJ Forum' started by kahlheins, Apr 3, 2011.

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  1. DJ MAD NL

    DJ MAD NL NI Product Owner

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    173
  2. Mayniac

    Mayniac NI Product Owner

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    87
    Some great advice all round and, for a beginner, mixing in key may be a little complex (although certainly something to consider for later on). I must admit, i dont use a program to determine Key yet (although am certainly thinking about it for certain genre's of music).

    Getting a simple Playlist together though is probably vital, dependant on the length of your set and the genre of music you decide to play. I only say this as it is good to know what your good tracks are and have a fair idea of what you might like to play (this depends on knowing beforehand what genre of music your audience is into and wants to hear and, at house parties, you would probably know this already).

    It also helps if there are other DJ's playing as they may play a track before you that you wish to play, so I like to put in a few remixes of that track, just in case. People love it, especially if it's a popular track of that genre.

    In the end, juts make sure you can beatmix. You dont want to trainwreck in public and, unless youve made sure all your tracks are "beatgridded" properly (another reason to have a playlist, ensure they've all been beatgrid in advance) and youre using sync. But having tracks sync'd doesnt make a good mix. KNOW THE MUSC. Know where the breaks are, the vocals, the peaks of the track, does it repeat the "chorus", do you want to play the repeat or mix out of it into another track etc etc

    Above all, enjoy it and have fun and good luck!
     
  3. djjasoncarroll

    djjasoncarroll NI Product Owner

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    354
    What did djs do before mik they used there ears mik has a success rate of 65%-80% e.g I've a radio cut of sexy bitch and the ext radio 10b ext 10a, best thing you can do is has a good selection of tracks know what your people want.

    I've worked in square mile in london for a while and as I know that the middle class prat insurance broker gets his rocks off to a certain style of song, have yourself a safe list grab a few songs that are big at the moment if your playing amongst your friends you'll know what they like, play good remixes of such songs if you have them, one other thing enjoy the moment you'll blink and you will miss it even after 10 years it's the fastest part of the week for me.

    Enjoy and good luck do a pre check of all your gear before you leave make sure all your bits are in the bag
     
  4. WooDz

    WooDz Forum Member

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    57
    Kahlheins, I'm sure your first gig isn't going to be in a bursting at the seams warehouse packing 5,000 people. It's important you do a good job but don't worry about screwing the odd track up. People going to this gig are there to hear house music and not see you, so take a back seat, chill out and don't take it so serious. Play what you feel and try and read the crowd. Play at least original minimum encoded 256Kbs MP3s and not 128kbs MP3 resampled to 320kbs and don't let anyone try to hustle in on you and your gear.

    Mix it up a bit, blending Electro with minimal, deep, funk or fidget or even an old 90's anthem speeded up to 128bpm. Hearing one genre all night gets monotonous. I suggest you should make playlists for these different genres so that you can pick with confidence when pushing or reacting to the crowd.

    Where to mix and when... You can't really teach that but an easy way to keep the energy on the dance floor is to mix the Drop of the 2nd track just at the point where the break-down of the 1st track happens. Don't do this for every track because the crowd needs a breather from time to time.

    You can make some good build-ups by adding cue markers.
    So you have your tracks beat gridded
    at the point of a break-down place a cue point. now count back 16 beats and add another cue point.
    At the point of the drop also add a cue point and do the same as above count back 16 beats and add another cue point.

    For each track you now have 4 cue points or better put, 4 guide markers. It also means you can start tracks not just at the beginning but halfway through a track and then at the end of the Phrase (which is normally 16 bars with house), you can just jump back to the beginning of the track or back the break-down point. If You've loaded another track and cued it correctly, you could also start mixing that track at the same time you hit the hotcue. Mixing this was means you're now re-mixing a track on the fly. Your Dj set has stopped being a linear affair of playing tracks back to back end on end.

    Just add the odd high-pass filter from time to time to smooth the transitions out and build tension before the drop and the crown will think it's David Guetta behind the decks. :)
     
  5. Fzang

    Fzang Forum Member

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    316
    You need two playlists, like this:

    "Your music"

    "Mob music"

    The first playlist can be anything and everything. The second is for cheesy, overplayed yet effective mainstream music everyone is expecting. You know you're going to get requests for the currently most popular songs. Just don't play MTV for 2 hours straight, or it's going to get boring.
     
  6. kahlheins

    kahlheins NI Product Owner

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    231
    Thanks for all this great advice!

    @ Woodz:

    I dont fully understand what you mean.
    If i set those cue points, do you mean i shold play Track 1, and at the first cue point (16 beats before the breakdown) i should mix in Trak 2 at its first cue point (16 beats before the breakdown), so that the breakdown is at the same time?

    And to create playlistst like

    Mainstream
    My own beats
    Warmups
    etc

    are probably a good idea
     
  7. scrambled_egg81

    scrambled_egg81 NI Product Owner

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    527
    One of the "tricks" that I've used for years now is use the "Comments" section for each track to put the names of other tracks that blend really well with it. It's not really planning, per se, since I still pick & choose on the fly, but I use the track name along with certain catch phrases like "trancey boost" or "deep & heavy" to describe how the transition between tracks works. Really helps with the flow of your set once you start linking a majority of your tracks.
     
  8. Fzang

    Fzang Forum Member

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    316
    I record my findings and put them on soundcloud, lol.
     
  9. Rubbish Rhino

    Rubbish Rhino Forum Member

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    65
    As people are saying, it all depends on the crowd. I tend to find that people don't have the same dancefloor mentality at house parties. They just want to chill, get drunk or otherwise, and chat with friends. Your music is just background ambience in this case and the music should reflect that. Obviously if you get there and they're really up for it go ahead and play the heavy stuff. I played a house party at new year where my mate pretty much got booed of the decks for playing heavy trance music. I went up and played some hip hop and ended up on Squarepusher and everyone was happy. I was quite surprised to be honest but it just goes to show it's not all about technical skill (I can't beatmatch Squarepusher to save my life!), it's just about reading the crowd and trying things out.

    Have a good time with it mate :)
     
  10. kahlheins

    kahlheins NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    231
    Yea, thats probably right.
    Ill just ask some friends who will be there what they want to hear of me.

    I will collect like 5 songs of each person and than i will set up a playlist and add some songs that fit into the whole genre and general style.
     
  11. Mayniac

    Mayniac NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    87
    This is a really good point and do ask your friends what they'd like to hear, then at least you know you'll be on the right track. Dont forget though that they'll all (probably) have different tastes. In general (as is pointed out above) crowds tend towards more commercial styles though and its the crowd you're playing to, dont forget it or you'll get lynched. I played at a friend of my brother in-laws (who is gay) not long ago and all they wanted to hear was Lady Gaga, more Lady Gaga and Britney (shiver). Sad to say i knew this would be this case and went prepared but still threw a few other housey/dancey tracks in there for them.

    Know your music

    Know your crowd
     
  12. soulguru

    soulguru NI Product Owner

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    312
    Never plan your music....but know your songs.
    Just get out there and play...have a couple drinks to settle the nerves.
    then play your azz off...Always think about the next song..mistakes will always happen.:cool:
    The more exposure the easier the next gig will be.
     
  13. D_G_

    D_G_ New Member

    Messages:
    16
    I'd suggest in the very early days planning your music is a actually good idea. Don't plan on sticking to that plan just have it as a back up.

    If you've not played out before what are you going to do if you 'freeze up' or get 'stage fright'? Having a set that you know means that if things start getting a little much you can just go with that until you get back into the flow.

    Hopefully you won't need it, and you certainly shouldn't use it if you don't have to.
     
  14. Rubbish Rhino

    Rubbish Rhino Forum Member

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    65
    Spot on advice. +1 to that ;)
     
  15. kahlheins

    kahlheins NI Product Owner

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    231
    The gig i was supposed to play at was cancelled but instead i played on a party of 90 graduating students, was really good.
    I didnt plan it at all cauz it was kind of spontaneous (they told me i could play there 2 hours before i had to be there...) but everything worked out.
     
  16. Wally-G

    Wally-G Forum Member

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    81
    have a few tracks that you know go well together for when you first start so even when your nervous you'll be able to mix them ok knowing that they sound ok ,then just go with the flow read the crowd and enjoy the experience,thats the most important bit enjoy.the more you play out the better you'll get just practice and learn your tunes so you now where all the drops and breakdowns are
     
  17. Mayniac

    Mayniac NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    87
    Sounds good! What did you play?
     
  18. kahlheins

    kahlheins NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    231
    I started with some older mainstream commercial (like "sexy bitch"/ "We no speek americano") to get some attention, than i tryed to switch to some more uncommercial house music but the people just thought it was good as long as some commercial mainstream songs were inbetween. I stayed playing this for a while, than i switched around 1,5 hours before the party was over to the songs everybody expected as a highlight (i have to say, im from germany, but ull probaly still know "die atzen"), like "Disco Pogo"/"Strobopop"/"Whos that chick"/"Keep on Rising remix" etc.
    In the end, i played reggea/pop/rap for the last hour cauz everybody started to chill out and people asked for it, songs like "Black and Yellow"/"Drop the World"/"Dove of peace" etc. Inbetween i played some music people asked for that were more unusual for a dj, like "Bayern" by "Die toten Hosen". But everything fitted in.
    I think the tracks were all suitable for the gig and many people came up to me and said good choice of music.
    There were people with 100 different tastes of music and i think everybody got what he wanted wothout annoying other people with music they dont like.
     
  19. WooDz

    WooDz Forum Member

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    57
    Well done on a good night..
    can't believe you didn't mention 'Pumpen'...
     
  20. Mayniac

    Mayniac NI Product Owner

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    87
    Sounds like you did well! Congrats :)
     
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