DA’s DJing Made Easy: Tech Edition

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Here at Dancing Astronaut, we strive to provide our readers with the best in all things EDM. We realize that much of our readership consists of DJs/producers and we have decided to write a weekly editorial that caters to those people. This column is a continuation of the original “5 Tips” editorial and will feature a new topic each week. 

For the first week of DA’s DJing Made Easy, we have decided to focus on the technological side of the craft—because let’s face it: nobody can DJ without some sort of equipment. Be it the purist form of DJing (a two-channel mixer, turntables, and vinyl records) or the more modern practice (laptop and CDJs), everybody uses technology to perform. So, it should come as no surprise that our first tip is to get to know your equipment.

We realize that this might seem a bit obvious, but equipment troubles are often the first thing to plague a novice DJ. By knowing the ins and outs of your equipment, you can be prepared for anything that might go wrong. For example, just because a CDJ stops working, doesn’t mean the music has to stop too — if you know what you’re doing, of course.

With the amount of DJing technology on the market, buying equipment can be overwhelming. The options are seemingly endless, so it’s important to do your research and know exactly what you’ll use your gear for. Most current EDM DJs can be seen using Pioneer CDJ 2000s with a Pioneer DJM 900 mixer, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options out there. Find a setup that you like and stick with it.

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The easiest way familiarize yourself with new equipment is to simply practice at home. You don’t need a massive sound system and a club atmosphere to DJ; in fact, I spend more time practicing at the studio than I do playing out. It is an easy, stress-free way to learn new techniques, acquire new skills, and even learn the limitations of the equipment you are using.

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There’s a big debate in the industry about software — is it cheating or is it not? Software is a tool that makes our lives easier, and in the same way that computers have replaced typewriters, I don’t think it’s bad for software to help make DJing easier. Anyways, there are many different DJ softwares out there and I have personally used three different ones throughout my career. Serato Itch and Scratch Live are great if you are just starting out, while Traktor can be a little overwhelming to an inexperienced DJ. However, Traktor allows for the use of many more FX and even has an auto-sync feature, which enables the computer beat mix for you. Again, do your research and find the right solution for you before dropping any cash.

DJing is an art form — it’s something unique to every single person that tries it. Make sure that if you are just getting into it, you know what you want to do and what you need to do it. Start small and see what happens, because it can turn into a very expensive hobby otherwise. Finally, practice makes perfect; the more time and effort you put in, the more you’ll ultimately get out.

Thanks for reading, and tune in next week for another edition of DA’s DJing Made Easy!

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