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How to DJ House Music Part 3: How to Plan a House DJ Set

Posted By — January 15, 2016

So you understand the basic philosophy of how house tracks are built, you’ve mastered some basic moves, and maybe even learned some advanced house DJ tricks? You’re on your way to becoming a great house DJ, but before heading out on the dance floor, you need to answer one more crucial question: which songs are you going to play? House music is all about flow and energy, so even if you have the best moves in the world, you’ll fall on your face if you don’t understand how to plan a house DJ set that makes people want to dance. Here’s what you need to know about song selection and set planning before you play a house DJ set.

To Plan or Not to Plan?

Discussions surrounding how to plan a house DJ set can get controversial pretty quickly; some people will tell you that you need to plan your whole set from start to finish to avoid messing up in front of everyone, while others will tell you that any type of planning equates to cheating. So how much planning should you do? The answer will depend on your personality and how you like to work as a DJ.

Most [...]

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How Play a Great New Year’s Eve DJ Set

Posted By — December 31, 2015

If you’re a DJ and you’re playing a gig on the last night of the year, no matter the venue, go ahead and congratulate yourself. The new year’s eve DJ set is a coveted slot, so whether you’re playing in front of thousands of people at a Las Vegas nightclub or 25 people at a local steakhouse, this is a big night for you. Because New Years Eve is such a big deal, tonight more than ever, you’ll want to bring your A game. So to help you ring in the new year in style, here are some tips to help make your 2016 New Year’s Eve DJ set your best gig yet.

Safety First

Because this is one of the craziest nights of the year, you can be sure that something at some point will go wrong. To help avoid total catastrophe, bring as many backups as you can: First, make sure you can easily switch to a backup system as quickly as possible should something happen to your main DJ rig. The same goes for your music – whether you’re using vinyl or MP3s, make sure you have more than one copy of your songs on hand [...]

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The Best New DJ Gear to Put on Your Christmas List

Posted By — December 18, 2015

The holidays are here again – a time to celebrate with family, drink way too much eggnog, and hopefully unwrap some cool new DJ gear. So if  you’re counting on any of your family and friends to be last minute shoppers (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) there’s still time to put some fun toys on your list. To make the process easier for you, we’ve scoured the year’s new releases from top to bottom to come up with the best gifts for DJs in a variety of price ranges. From DJ controllers to bottle openers, here’s our take on the best new DJ gear to include on your Christmas list.

Stocking Stuffers

Native Instruments iMaschine 2 App

While an app isn’t exactly something you can fit in a stocking, it makes a great affordable gift for any DJ with an iOS device. With even more features than the first version, the iMaschine 2 transforms any iPad or iPhone into a powerful music making tool that you can carry around with you wherever you go.

Technics Bottle Opener

This one really needs to explanation. No other gift so concisely says “hey, I’m a DJ, and I also love beer.”

Under the [...]

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How to DJ House Music Part 2: Advanced House DJ Tricks

Posted By — December 4, 2015

Last time we talked about house music on the blog, we discussed the basic philosophy behind house music, as well as some of the basic techniques you’ll need to get started. Now that you’re in the right headspace and you’ve been working on essential techniques like beatmatching, we can explore some more advanced house DJ tricks that incorporate elements like EQ, looping, and effects.

EQ Your Fade Ins / Fade Outs

Once you’ve got your basic slow transitions mastered, you can start playing with EQ settings to make your transitions sound even better. Rather than simply fading from one track to the next, try slowly turning down the bass EQ on your first deck while you bring in the bass EQ on your second deck. This will make it sound like one bassline in slowly dropping out while the other comes in. This is the most common way to use EQ for house transitions, but of course you can experiment with using EQ in different ways as well. Try bringing down the high end on one deck while you bring up the high end on the second deck, or mix it up and roll down the low end on one [...]

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Deep-Electro-Trance-Acid-Beat? Understanding the Basics of EDM Genres

Posted By — November 20, 2015

Have you ever listened to a new track and looked at the genre tag and thought “there’s no way that’s a real genre?” Genres, subgenres, and derivative genres are proliferating at an almost alarming rate these days, and it can sometimes feel overwhelming for the beginner who wants to understand what electronic music is all about. If you want to be successful as a DJ, however, it’s important to understand what all these EDM genres mean and where they came from. So to help kick off your journey of discovery, we’ll start this multi-post series by exploring the basics of where the most popular EDM genres come from and what defines them.

Why EDM Genres Matter

Does it really matter if you know the difference between techno and tech house or dubstep and drumstep? If you want to be taken seriously as a DJ, it does. That way, when someone asks you what your favourite trance song is, you won’t play them an Avicii track.

Exploring new genres and subgenres and subgenres can also be a great way to get inspired. If you’re getting bored with your current setlist, just start exploring some new crazy subgenre, and you’re bound to find something that [...]

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