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Understanding EDM Subgenres: A Brief History of Jamaican Dub

Posted By — August 12, 2016

If you’re a DJ who’s interested in house, garage, jungle, grime, or almost any other EDM subgenre, it’s hard to understand the music that’s being produced today without first understanding a bit about the history of Jamaican dub music. This movement has had a huge impact on dance music culture in Jamaica and around the world, and it all began by accident. Here’s a brief introduction to everything you need to know about the EDM subgenre known as Jamaican dub.

The Sound System

In the 1950s in Kingston, there weren’t many music clubs. Instead, DJs traveled around with their own generators, turntables, and sound systems, creating their own music clubs or “sound system” parties in the streets. Competition soon became fierce among sound system operators, as these parties were one of the best ways to make money at the time. This meant that in order to attract audiences, a sound system party had to promise fresh music that no one else had.

The Dubplate

In order to ensure exclusivity for their sound system parties, two of Jamaica’s biggest DJs, Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd and Duke Reid, began producing their own one-off singles, or “dubplates.” A dubplate was an exclusive one-time pressing of one [...]

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The Top 10 Beginner DJ Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Posted By — July 29, 2016

Becoming a great DJ is not something that happens overnight – it takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and also involves overcoming a lot of mistakes, especially when you’re just starting out. At the same time, every new DJ shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel; there are plenty of people who have gone before you and made mistakes along the way, so why not learn from their experience and avoid making these same mistakes again? If you want to set yourself apart as an experienced DJ rather than a newbie, here are the top 10 beginner DJ mistakes to avoid.

1. Not Giving Yourself Enough Time to Set Up

Not knowing how long it will take you to set up is a classic newbie giveaway. If you don’t know how long it takes to set up your gear, practice doing it at home with a timer on. Then double that time (at least) to account for the time it takes to figure out how everything works in an unfamiliar venue, plus the time that will be added from the constant interruptions of staff and patrons trying to talk to you. You’ll also want to leave some extra time [...]

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How to DJ Downtempo Sets Part 3: How to Get DJ Gigs Playing Downtempo

Posted By — July 16, 2016

After you’ve learned about the history of downtempo music, and started experimenting with playing your own downtempo sets, you may be wanting to move up to the next level by learning how to get DJ gigs as a downtempo DJ. Getting gigs as a downtempo DJ is much the same as getting gigs as any other type of DJ, although there are some twists thrown in, as downtempo DJs don’t always fit people’s expectations of what DJs should do. So if you love downtempo music, or even if you’re thinking of pursuing downtempo gigs as a supplement to your regular gigs, here are some tips on finding work as a downtempo DJ.

Find the Right Venue…

The most important thing to remember when it comes to getting downtempo gigs is that not every venue will be the right one for you. In fact, many of the venues that other DJs regularly play at will be off-limits to you because your music is too low energy. That being said, there are other venues where a low-key vibe is exactly what’s needed, and those venues are the perfect places to start looking for downtempo DJ gigs.

By Looking in [...]

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Starting Your Own DJ Podcast Part 2: How to Get Your DJ Podcast on iTunes

Posted By — July 1, 2016

With everything that’s involved in making a DJ podcast, the creation part is the part you’ll want to spend the most time on, as this process is what will set you apart from other podcasters and help you build your DJ career. At the same time, once you’ve made your podcast, figuring out how to distribute it can be equally as time consuming, especially if you’re not familiar with how podcast distribution works. So to help you get started with distributing your podcast, here’s a quick guide to getting your DJ podcast on iTunes as well as some other important podcast feeds.

Sharing Your DJ Podcast on SoundCloud and YouTube

While iTunes is the main place people go to find podcasts these days, it’s worth noting that there are other, simpler distribution platforms that are gaining popularity in the podcasting world, namely SoundCloud and YouTube. There are two main advantages of using these mediums. First, that they’re simple to use; all you have to do is create your audio or video file and upload it using a descriptive title, making sure to include any relevant tags. Second, these services will host your podcast for [...]

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How to Record DJ Mixes: 3 Easy, Sure-Fire Methods

Posted By — June 17, 2016

Whether you’re hoping to improve your DJ skills, get more gigs, sell mixtapes, or make a DJ podcast, learning to record your mixes in an essential skill any DJ should master. In order to master this skill, it’s important to understand how to record DJ mixes in a way that’s easy to set up, simple to operate, and yields clean recordings as the end result. Depending on the equipment you use, there are several options for how to record DJ mixes; we’ve broken down your main options into three categories here, and also provided some basic instructions on how to get your recordings set up and sounding great.

Recording Your Mixes with DJ Software

The simplest option when it comes to how to record DJ mixes is to simply use your DJ software to record your mix. This only works, however, if all your audio passes through your laptop when you’re mixing. While not all DJ software gives you the option to record, most newer programs have some sort of internal recording capability. If your software gives you this option, make sure you adjust the recording level to make sure you’re recording clean audio (i.e. not clipping the meters [...]

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