Diving into the three main parts of what a DJ needs to concentrate on which are Music, Skill, and Promotion, in part two of the Art of the DJ we will be looking into the DJ Music.
It will be easy enough to say that as a Dj, Music is the most important aspect of the job and you wouldn’t be able to do the job with out it. In this post, we are going to take a deeper look into the music of the DJ by breaking it down into sections.
Amount of DJ Music
I have a range of music taste, at home my listening music taste go from country to hip-hop to house, I like to listen to different things and there is a lot of music in the world. As a DJ, this is not very helpful as you cannot take all the music with you and most of it will not be needed. This is where knowing what kind of DJ you are and you music library preparation is very important.
The issue that you will have with the amount of music to carry is the space that it will take up on your computer, there are two options with the amount of space you use for your music
- Use your laptop memory only, all new goes on to your laptop and keep a back up of your library and creates on another device.
- Pros to this are that when you are traveling you only have to carry your laptop with you, knowing that all your music is on the one device.
- Cons to this are that your laptop will run out of space eventually, and you will have to delete tracks from your current library to fit in new material.
- Another con, if your laptop died or got corrupted your music library will also be gone with it.
- Use an external drive to keep all music on, allowing to take your entire music collection if needed, take bigger files such as music videos.
- Pros to this are that you are able to take a lot more music with you.
- Cons to this that it’s another piece of hardware to travel with.
- Another con is that, if playing from a hard drive there is always a risk of it getting disconnected while playing a gig will cause the music to stop.
DJ Music Quality
The quality of your music is a very important factor when getting new tracks. I have done a post “what your bit rate like”, where I talk about past experiences on finding the importance of bit rate quality.
Where to get your DJ Music
Before I started djing I was a music fan. I would have loads of CDs of music which I started to use once I started playing. Then came the time that I wanted to cut down on the amount of cd’s I was carrying. So I would rip the original cd’s onto iTunes, mix and match the tracks I wanted to use and burn it onto a cd.
During this time was the start of me building my own library of music. Nowadays there are much easier and quicker ways of getting music rather than ripping CDs onto your computer.
- The first way and the way I still use from time to time is iTunes/Google Play/Beatport, guaranteed good quality and if you are just looking for a few tracks from an album then it can work out well in price. however buying multiple tracks for 69p or 99p each does add up and will end up being more costly than other options.
- Another way is to get music from another DJ or friend. You may be lucky enough to have a friend that has a big music collection that they don’t mind sharing, or a DJ friend that could send you tracks that they want you to have to back up their collection and share with you. inexpensive in cost but the trouble will be to find someone that is willing to agree to this.
- Illegal Downloads, It would be foolish to pretend that this option isn’t there, there are many sites which allow you download new and old tracks with out cost and there are also youtube and SoundCloud downloaders that will copy, convert and download any song in a mp3. The downfall to this is obviously illegal, you may get DJ voice overs on tracks which as a DJ you do not want that happening in your mixes or sets and lastly, these downloads will almost not be good quality tracks, with low bitrate. which means they may sound good in headphones but playing out loud on professional/Club sound system you will hear the difference.
- Lastly DJ-pools – a place where new music is made available for a monthly fee. Dj pools have been around for ages….However thanks to the internet, DJ remixes and the amount of new music coming out we now have more choice, more variations and competing prices on dj pools.I would personally say using a Dj pool is the best way to build a music collection legally as you are paying a monthly fee to download tracks.Dj pools nowadays, not only give you the option of the original track but it will not usually be after to get the clean version, instrumental acapella and other DJ remixes….and professional of the track. Which compared to iTunes is a much better deal.