The Ever Changing Role of the DJ

Robot DJBeing a DJ is not what it used to be. Technical advancements have made it a different game altogether. Sure, it’s an advantage to have the basics; a love for music, good sense of timing, an almost eerie sense of knowing what it takes to rock your listeners. Nonetheless starting off as a DJ is a different enterprise than it was just a few short years ago.

Spinning and mixing sounds from mechanical turntables was no easy task. Learning the art and discipline of being a DJ was akin to mastering complex riffs on a guitar. It took time, effort and skill to get really good. No longer does the DJ have to seamlessly meld two recordings, matching beats and different keys by ear, to get the sound of a professional.

The art of pruning sounds from scratch that complement each other was like running a tree service, knowing which branches to keep and where to direct the new growth of music. The days of mixing “ones-and-twos” in your bedroom on Technics 1200 turntables has gone the way of the last century.

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Basics to Becoming a DJ

Cool DJ

Becoming a good DJ takes hard work and dedication. It is a skill that needs to be learned and developed. Someone can come to the field with a great sense of timing and intuition, but those gifts have to be honed. Not only the mechanics of knowing how to mix are in play, but the innate ability to sense what an audience needs is crucial. This is what sets a great DJ apart from the others in the game.

My good friend Paul Maddalena used to help me do custom audio visual work on the side and he taught me a lot about using proper equipment to get the best sound quality and acoustics in different rooms. Being a decent DJ isn’t difficult, but the better you become and the more sophisticated your equipment, the more likely you are to get a reputation and higher paying gigs. Don’t get me wrong you don’t need to have the most expensive gear on the planet, but having a versatile deck that gives you flexibility and options is something to aim for.

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DJ Fans and Financial Recognition

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Have you given a shout out for your favorite DJ? The annual DJ awards programs usually take place in the Fall, and they look forward to hearing from the fans. So make your voices heard. The financial recognition, which can be huge, is actually becoming secondary to fan recognition. Ego has never played much of a secondary role, but now it is taking over first slot, – as well it should.

Awards season is the one time of the year when fussing and being fussed over is completely expected. Naturally, they have the best food service Niagara has to offer, accommodating the pre-award formalities. And like the Oscars and the Emmy ceremonies there are after parties that would rock your world. After all, they have a distinguishing audience.

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What Makes A Good DJ?

deejay-Nelson

What makes for a good DJ? Knowing your audience is number one. If you are playing to a twenty-something crowd you have to know what they like even if you, yourself are fifty-something.

A DJ that delivers the best is one who gets behind whatever music he or she has been requested to play. Personal preferences are the gift every DJ wants to spin, but not always the popular choice of the listening group.

The listeners may be in their sixties and seventies, and they don’t really want a constant diet of Taylor Swift, but could groove all day to the Stones. A good Disc Jockey gives the crowd what they want. It’s like the best concrete paving Hamilton ON has to offer, but composed by a masterful DJ who can put a top coat on things, but must remember what’s underneath. Play to the depth of the listening audience and keep it smooth!

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