Saturday, April 6, 2013

In the mix - adventures of a DJ....including EXCLUSIVE DOWNLOAD!

Hello party people!

Time for an update about all the things going on in my world of music and life. I ran across this picture on Facebook recently, and it seems pretty accurate.

My DJ experience has pretty much matched the description in the picture. Back in the day, I handed a promoter a mix tape (yes, an actual tape), and mumbled something like "Uh, I'd love to spin at one of your events or something, um, yeah, so, great" and maybe I'd get a gig, or maybe not.

But today, the situation has changed. DJ's do many, if not all of the extra duties listed in the picture. Ran across some of these in our last event at The Electric Maid, and thought I would share what I learned.

First, communication is key. Some of our DJ's and bands that were playing had good communication styles, stayed in touch, and were easy to get ahold of. Others were more difficult to get a hold of. And sometimes, the organizers (including me) just did not do a good job of reaching out to them. Lesson learned: never underestimate how valuable clear communication is. If you are an organizer, think about what would you want to know if you were performing at the event?    Then, clearly communicate that to the people on the bill. A simple email of 'Who What When Where' will generally suffice. Performers usually need to know when they should be there, what they should bring, when they are scheduled to perform, who their on-site contact is, if they are going to get paid, and how much, etc. Don't take this stuff for granted. Why leave more things to chance when you don't have to? Pre-organizing like this lets the magic happen during the performances, and not in the set up. Everyone has a better time that way.

Second, how may acts should you book? For our last event, we had 2 live acts, and 5 DJ's. It was more like a mini-festival than an EDM night! Nothing wrong with that, but some things we experienced were eye-opening. One of our acts needed to make a second trip for additional equipment, which delayed them going on. Not the end of the world, but how do you handle it? You can change the order of the lineup, or cut their set short, or cut time out of other performers sets, or cut the performer from the bill altogether. All of these have pros and cons.  For 5 DJ's, we had an enormous amount of equipment on stage. Luckily we had a large table, for all the controllers and laptops. Also, we had to consider transitions. Ideally, you do not want dead air while you are ripping out the cables from one controller and plugging them into the next controller. This means you need either: an on-stage mixer that 2 or more DJ's can plug into at the same time, or, a DJ with a 4 channel mixer that the other DJ's can jack into when it's their turn to mix. Much thanks to DJ Chucklez and his wife who really came through not only as our headlining DJ, but with sound and lighting logistics!

2 live acts and 5 DJ's is a big and cool event, but next time the key will be to tighten up the communication and coordination!

AND as promised, here is an exclusive download available only through this blog! I recorded my set, and want to share it with you. It's a multi-genre exploration and contains a dance vibe you simply will not hear any where else. Enjoy!

Click here for FREE and EXCLUSIVE mix!

Coming up on Saturday 04-27, Dancekraft is at The Looking Glass Lounge in DC! DJ Phaydn is headlining so you will NOT want to miss this incredible night of music.

No comments:

Post a Comment