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Exploring EDM Subgenres: The European Scene

Posted By — January 13, 2017

When you think of EDM right now, some of the first people to come to mind might be European DJs like Tiësto, David Guetta, Hardwell, and Armin van Buuren. DJs from all over continental Europe have played a major role in shaping many EDM subgenres, and remain a dominant force in the world of dance music today. How did European genres become so dominant in EDM? To find out, we need to go back to Germany in the late 1960s.

The Rise of the Synthesizer

In 1967, a German musician named Edgar Froese founded the group Tangerine Dream. Their groundbreaking second album, Alpha Centauri (1970) was a merging of space rock and electronic music that relied heavily on the sounds of keyboards and synthesizers. That same year in Düsseldorf, the band Kraftwerk was founded as an experimental rock band. By 1974, their sound had changed to embrace synthesizers and drum machines.

Kraftwerk’s albums Autobahn (1974), Trans-Europe Express (1977), and The Man-Machine (1978), as well as Tangerine Dream albums like Alpha Centauri (1970) and Phaedra (1974) became important influences for a number of early American house and techno pioneers, and laid the foundations for the rise of electronic music all over the world.

Euro Disco

The [...]

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2017 DJ Tips: 3 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Curve in 2017

Posted By — December 30, 2016

Hopefully by now you’re recovering from all of your holiday parties and taking some time to get ready for the year ahead. Or maybe you’re preparing to play a great New Year’s Eve set in a few days. Whatever the case, taking some downtime over the holidays is a good way to reflect on what’s changed over the past year and to prepare for what will change in the year to come. It’s safe to say that the world of electronic music has changed a lot in 2016, and will probably change even more in 2017, so if you’re looking for some 2017 DJ tips, here are a few predictions for what the next year will bring.

Prepare for More Diversity in EDM

While EDM hasn’t quite gone the way of disco yet, the charts are telling us that audiences are ready for more diversity in dance music in 2017. With blockbuster movies about EDM starring the likes of Zac Efron, and celebrity DJs charging $1,500 for ultra-VIP tickets in Vegas, it’s safe to say that EDM has not only broken into the mainstream, but become a culture of excess. And while there are plenty of underground scenes still [...]

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How to DJ Techno Part 3: Advanced Tips and Tricks

Posted By — December 16, 2016

Because of its minimalistic structures and repetitive patterns, techno gives DJs lots of room to play around, making this one of the most creative EDM genres to mix. So if you want to know how to DJ techno, especially at a professional level, having some advanced techniques in your bag of DJ tricks is a good place to start. Here are some skills and techniques that would be useful to anyone who wants to learn how to DJ techno.

Know Your Effects

While every DJ has their own style, most techno DJs these days rely heavily on the use of effects like EQs, filters, and delays to create smooth transitions, interesting cuts, and rewarding build-ups. For example, filtering tracks during transitions by taking out the low end of one track and the high end of the other is a great way to cut out the muddiness that often occurs when mixing two tracks together. It also creates a sense of anticipation as your audience waits for the filter to finally come all the way off of that second track so they can hear it in its full glory.

EQs can be wielded in a similar way during transitions. For long transitions, [...]

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5 DJ Performance Tips to Improve Your Live Gigs

Posted By — December 2, 2016

When preparing for live sets, performance technique is often one of the last things DJs think about. But even though DJs don’t inhabit the same space as, say, a live rock band, that doesn’t mean things like stage presence and audience rapport aren’t important – in fact, having a good stage presence can help set you apart from other DJs who are technically proficient but have no idea how to engage an audience. So in the spirit of improving your live gigs, here are 5 DJ performance tips that will help you play better in front of an audience.

Know Who You’re Playing For

Not every DJ is deadmau5, and not every DJ gig is in Hakkasan. On the contrary, most of the sets DJs play will be in local clubs or other alternative venues, and the stunts that work in big Vegas clubs probably won’t help you much if you’re playing at a backyard pool party in your hometown. There are, however, other techniques you can use to engage your audience at these smaller venues. So before you start to think about what your performance will look like, get an idea of what your audience will be looking for; all [...]

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Losing the Cables: Is a Wireless DJ System a Good Idea?

Posted By — November 18, 2016

Whether it’s setting up for a club gig or setting up your home DJ system, we’ve all had those moments when we’re about to lose it if we have to deal with another stupid audio cable. These days, with consumer audio moving towards cable-free systems (or at least the iPhone 7 trying to get us all there), it’s tempting for many DJs to consider transforming their own rig into a fully wireless DJ system. But just because Apple is going in one direction, does that mean we all have to follow them? Here are the main arguments for and against setting up a wireless DJ system.

The Arguments for Going Wireless

Arguments in favor of a wireless DJ system have a lot to do with simplicity and portability. Without cables, your setup time is quicker, and you can bring your DJ rig with you anywhere you go without worrying about having to plug everything in. You also don’t have to worry about dealing with all of the different types of cables and adaptors that can be a headache to manage. With the advances made in wireless audio technology lately, you can find everything from wireless DJ controllers to wireless speakers and [...]

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