Back in March I decided I was going to start looking at going to University and realized that if I did so, I wouldn't be able to play in the band that I'm currently in anymore due to it being just too damn far to travel. So I started looking for some other means to vent the musical tension that tends to build up over time.
I was introduced to DJ'ing through a mate who plays in a few clubs in our local scene. At first I wasn't too keen on the idea of playing other producers music to a crowd and getting any sort of credit for doing so, but after a while of watching my mate and a bunch of other DJ's play a few sets, I realized that DJ'ing was much more than just dropping banger after banger, and more about trying to set a vibe in a room, read the crowd and swing with their mood accordingly. A sort of meta-game within the "performance" that I found fascinating, a favourite party trick of my mates was betting that he could send half the dance floor to the bar (which the club owners/promoters sure do appreciate) by playing a certain track, and then almost immediately bring them back again with another, the smug bastard. Another thing I was told about was the 1+1 = 3 mentality, basically meaning you could play two tracks individually, but by mixing the two together you could create something with an entirely different feel or pace about it.
Knowing that it was possible to create something original, I thought fuck it, I'll give it a go. So I bought this guy -
After figuring out how I wanted to DJ, I bought the VCI-100 in combination with Traktor 2.0. I read numerous arguments for the different avenues there were as far as how you could DJ (including those both for and against the now beaten to death Sync button argument) and Midi Controllers offered the customize-ability I was looking for. Essentially you can map the buttons, platters, sliders and knobs to do whatever you want within the software you are using.
So since then I've been jumping from genre to genre, flooding myself with a ton of music that I was totally unaware of coming from a background were guitar,bass, drums and vocals ruled the roost.
After about 3 months of practice I recorded my first routine, which I'm still absolutely chuffed with to this day -It's a combination of two tracks - Where'd you go by Fort Minor, and All through the night by Emancipator. A dramatically different feel to the song if any of you have heard the original Fort Minor track.
I've added 2 other controllers to my set up since then -
The one on the left is a Midi Fighter Classic and on the right a Midi Fighter Pro. I use the Classic as an effects board at the moment and the Pro for Cue point juggling, loop recording, beat slicing and misc other effects using the faders at the top.
I recorded a pretty funky bootleg a few weeks ago using the Midi Fighter Pro (Pinky) -It's a remix by Luminox of Bingo Players "Rattle" with a Destiny's Child (bear with me) accapella sliced and sampled over the top. You've probably noticed by now that due to my complete absence of creativity, most of the titles I give these mixes are just shitty plays on the original song names.
Now almost 8 months after I started I feel that I'm ready to start playing to crowds, I'm lucky enough to already be somewhat connected to a lot of promoters who I've worked with while playing in the band, so thats a fairly difficult hurdle swiftly dodged. One of my friends even made me the sweet logo thats at the top of the post!
These are my two latest sets that I'd most likely send to some of the promoters should they ask to hear my noise. (so to speak) My mixing, EQ'ing, beat matching, choice of songs is far from perfect, but I think fine tuning these things in a live in environment would be one of the best places to learn.
A couple of resource's I've used extensively over the past 8 months -
Youtube in general is a fantastic place for tutorials on different techniques or just to watch other DJ's jam.
You'd be surprised how much free music producers put up on here. I got into Trap music a month or so ago and now have a catalogue of 100+ tracks, not one of which I've had to pay for.
Cheers for reading!Hope you enjoyed the brief insight into what I'd call probably one of the most eye opening musical experiences that I've had in my life (The first and last time I'll use that line). Never before have I fell in love with so much music in such a brief period of time, the rate that some of the producers throw out new tracks is overwhelming.
This is my setup as it is today -