We’re all online in one way or another. It’s definitely a necessity for anyone working in a creative field of business; including DJs. You probably already have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but are you maximizing your time on them?
We’ve compiled some general knowledge and tips about getting started with your digital identity. This may seem like common knowledge to some, but implementing it all in a cohesive manner can sometimes be tricky.
Things you need to start your profiles:
- profile picture
- some sort of ‘logo’
- a number of remixes/mixes/mixtapes
- album art for every mix/remix
- one sentence about you and/or your style
Strengths: You can post a variety of different media that is easily viewed by a large extended network.
Weaknesses: If you have separate personal and persona pages, keeping active without burning out or spamming your network can be difficult.
Tip: Use this as your central hub for everything you do online. FB’s capacity for conversations as well as media (audio, video, photos, etc.) make it a great place to collect everything related to you.
Strengths: Arguably the best medium to have conversations with your network.
Weaknesses: While being one of the best at connecting people, can oddly also be one of the most un-personal mediums to put yourself on if not done correctly.
Tip: Use twitter the same way you would text or chat with someone. Sure, you can post links to your stuff, but use this as a platform to give your DJ persona a voice.
Strengths: High quality audio streams that integrate very well with other platforms.
Weaknesses: The tiered account system has upload time limits, so unless you want to pay it doesn’t really work for uploading multiple hour-long mixes.
Tip: To avoid running into your time limit create teaser mixes of your longer DJ sets and/or mixtapes. Post a link to wherever the full length mix can be streamed or downloaded.
Strengths: You can upload as many hours of mixes as you want, all for free. Also can tag and timestamp your mixes with buy links for the artists.
Weaknesses: Not as widespread among non-DJs/producers as some other platforms. Player doesn’t integrate with other sites very well.
Tip: You can use your Mixcloud account as your ‘reel’ to solicit to new promoters and clubs. Make mixes across different genres and tag everything properly so that people know what they’re going to be listening to.
Strengths: HUGE user-base, excellent social features, and great integration with almost every site on the web.
Weaknesses: Since it is so big, cutting through all of the noise can require a bit more work than some other sites.
Tip: Create videos from your mixes and remixes using After Effects, iMovie, or whatever video editing software you have. Even though the audio is the primary concern, give people something to look at on the screen. There are many tutorials on YouTube about how to do this…
Strengths: It integrates perfectly with all other Google products.
Weaknesses: Everyone spends their time on FB and Twitter, not G+.
Tip: Use this in a similar capacity to FB, but focus on it as a tool for SEO. Use as many links as possible to your other sites. This means posting YouTube videos, FB photos, Cloudcasts, everything. The more links you can make the better.
- Try to use the same email account to set up all of your social media profiles.
- Make posting a daily habit. You should say something on at least one of your profiles every day.
- Respond to all comments and direct messages from fans.
- Use similar, if not the same, photos and logos across all profiles to create a clear brand.
If you want to learn more about DJing and gear we highly recommend you check out our online DJ School.
Auto-sync; friend to new DJs, source of much disdain to veterans. Most DJ software has it as a feature, but when is it appropriate to use? There are a lot of strong opinions regarding the ease with which the inexperienced can get on stage with nothing more than an iTunes playlist and some DJ software and call themselves a DJ.
The first thing to consider when debating whether or not to sync is the software and hardware that you are using. Obviously, if you are using nothing but vinyl there is no sync option, so you better practice your mixing chops. For better or worse, this seems to be a dying trend among young DJs (at least in North America) and the subtle skills required to effectively spin an entire night in this fashion might soon become a thing of the past.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Ableton Live DJ. One of the main features that draws people to use Live is its unique ‘warping’ function. Warping is essentially mapping all of your audio to a beat grid so that you can play anything in your set at any tempo and it will all stay in sync and in key. Since syncing is an inherent feature of Live, those who use it must find creative ways to perform live beyond the standard two deck mixing style.
In between these two lie the many different ways that DJs spin with Serato, Traktor and the like. Whether using virtual vinyl or CDs, many DJs are using this style of digital/analog setup. So, the question remains; when and where do you use auto-sync?
1. New DJs
While it may seem like a no brainer to learn how to properly mix before you ever get on a stage, this is not always the case. For all of you young DJs who might jump into the deep end in front of a crowd a bit too early there are certain times when it is acceptable to use auto-sync to get you out of a bind. If everything is happening too fast and you need that next track RIGHT NOW, but it’s not quite ready, a little help in this area can go a long way.
2. You’re too drunk
Let’s get something straight, most professional DJs take their job seriously and they act accordingly. That being said, everyone has a few too many now and then and auto-sync can be a lifeline in these situations. No one in the crowd can see exactly what you’re doing on stage and most would rather not hear the dreaded ‘shoes-in-a-dryer’ disaster of an out-of-sync mix, so in these cases it might be best to accept a little help.
3. You’re using multiple tracks and/or loops
If you’ve gone beyond the basic two-deck style of mixing and are now incorporating a third or fourth deck into the mix, most would say it is acceptable to use some measure of auto-sync. If you are only using two pieces of hardware (i.e. turntables) you will most likely be running the extra tracks straight from the software, so they will have to be synced since you have no physical control over them.
4. Other crazy things
If you are using external synths or effects, playing along with live musicians, or improvising original music on stage you might also want to use a sync function. How you do this will be completely dependent on your particular setup.
A good rule of thumb for using auto-sync is this; only use it if it helps bring your performance to another level. If you have to use it to cover up sloppy mixes or rely on it as a crutch for basic two-deck mixing, then you might want to go back to the drawing board.