Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When a DJ "cheats" by DJ Nando

Is it ever ok to use a pre-mixed CD or a pre-programmed DJ Set using software like Ableton Live at one of your DJ performances? This has been a burning question for quite some time and here are my surprising thoughts on the matter.

YES! In certain situations, it may actually be acceptable to "perform" a preprogrammed DJ set. There are an endless number of scenarios where you may have to opt for resorting to a prerecorded set and I'll outline just a few. The main thing to keep in mind is that ultimately, it's your skill and reputation for delivering consistently good performances that is on the line and in some extreme (and not so extreme) situations, this may be the best option for you.

Acceptable situations, in my honest opinion include:

1. When you have worked hours and hours on programming your set only to arrive to the venue and discover that they have not provided the minimum acceptable grade of equipment you requested. Let's face it, nobody still uses Denon DN-1800f dual cd decks, and if the venue has them installed, I would just cue up one of my mixes on my iPod on and hit play while going to the bar and using those 2 free drink tickets you probably got from the promoter.

2. When it is a large "concert" venue which has not provided you adequate DJ Monitors/Stage Monitors. The PA's at these venues will undoubtedly have a 1 sec. or greater delay built into their system to protect their concert PA sound system from knuckleheads that like to run everything into the "red". Trying to beatmatch live while listening to the echo of what you just played is nothing but a horrible trainwreck during each transition.

When you are the MAIN HEADLINER at a massive indoor/outdoor event. The promoter has obviously paid you a disgustingly large sum of money for your "DJ act" as some superstar globetrotting DJ and does not want you to disappoint the 1,000+ people who paid good money to hear and see you perform with your cool "pyramid" and "rubiks cube" LED lighted DJ booths. Ableton Live can not only control your music, but can trigger your lightshow precisely when you want it.

When you know you only have a short amount of time to perform and setting up your laptop, midi controller, external sound card, and rewiring the dj booth would take longer than the time you are allotted to play.

Unacceptable situations include:

1. The venue/bar has adequate equipment and decent monitors. Nobody wants to watch you fist pump and dance behind the decks while holding a beer in one hand and your hands "tweaking" the knobs on the mixer when it’s obvious every other DJ before you was actually beatmatching, and doing it well.

You have a minimum of a 45 minute set. You should arrive early enough to setup your gear and listen to most of the previous DJ's set so as to not repeat any of their song selections and get a feel for the "vibe".

When both 1 & 2 are met, AND you are getting PAID!

Please comment with your opinion and feedback!


Sheriff Nando


JDLP said...

Nice one Nando..

I'm always curious to see what DJs think about this. I play some of my mixes early when I'm setting up.. something loungy to set the mood.

Also you need a good mix when you are switching djs.. When they are doing the digital thing... guys are unplugging wires, etc.

Also if the night is slow.. why stand up there when you have a mix that would be perfect for that occasion. (My buddy Uncle Milty put me on that) I call it "Auto Pilot".

These views are strictly my own & are from an Older DJ guy. Are feet get tired LOL! : D

DJ Nando said...

Yep, we're on the same page here. Also, as someone pointed on on Facebook..

It's also ok when you need to take a pee break.


Yvonne said...

Venue owners - GM's - & Promotors gotta read up on this huh?
Nando - no Drinking, no need for Pee breaks LOL