Becoming a DJ is not an easy project. There are so many requisites and factors that need to be taken care of that it can become overwhelming; especially if you've never done this kind of thing before!
Even though I've been DJing for five years now, I feel there's still plenty to learn. The only thing that's changed is that I've learned a lot about what NOT to do. The point here is: it's not an easy task, but with enough work and passion... anything can be done!
If you're reading this article to get ideas or inspiration for your next party, then I wish you all the best! Let me just spit out some of the most important things you'll need to get from this article.
Find an affordable DJ controller and laptop that suits your needs. (I've heard good things about "Pioneer DDJ-SB")
Learn some basics on how to use your software. For instance, learn how to mix songs properly by adding effects and applying blocks.
Learn how to read the crowd, understand their energy levels and play music accordingly. (Tip: always keep an eye on your audience!)
You'll need song requests to make a good show; get some ideas from my article "how to DJ using only Android mobile phones". Use a smartphone apps to get some requests from your audience.
If you're going to perform on a stage, then make sure the venue is soundproofed and that there's no leaking sound that will affect the nearby areas (hotels and apartments). Don't be afraid of asking for an extra fee for every person in attendance (of the venue), because you're going to put a lot of effort and time into making an awesome show.
Make sure your audio cables are tested frequently; use a multimeter tester at least once every two weeks. Visibly check for any loose ends on each cable (and tighten them) after every 4-6 hours of use.
Save money for repairs and replacements! You'll be spending money on new pad surfaces, new software (or upgrades), and batteries... but the most important thing you should save up for is to get medical insurance in case something happens. I've seen several DJs who have either lost a finger or even their lives because of pre-mature wear caused by playing on stage too much.
Join a local DJ network and get in touch with other Djs; this will help you learn new things and share the knowledge that you have already acquired. (Tip: contact the biggest events organizers in your city to get some free tickets or even paid gigs.)
Get a solid backup plan! Losing your computer data, DJ controller or even software is one thing you should always have an alternative for. (Tip: make sure you have "backup" files on other storage locations such as external drives and discs.)
Learn how to do "live cuts". It helps keep the audience engaged and can make things a lot more interesting. (Tip: don't cut songs while there's an amazing break in the music playback!)
Have some sort of routine, it will help you remember to do everything from taking your tablets to putting out any fire that starts on stage. Always have safety goggles with you -- I've seen artists not wearing them and ended up in the hospital because of that.
Practice as much as possible, even if it's in your spare time -- it will help you relieve stress and improve your skills! I recommend setting a routine for yourself; every time either you get home from work or school, you should take some time to practice before doing anything else.
Learn some basic patching: if you're going to do live edits, then make sure you save those edits on a separate deck or controller. You'll need to have a backup of your original unedited song just in case things go wrong and the track gets deleted! (Tip: use a USB stick to copy the original track from your DJ software onto it.)
Find a good mentor -- someone who has more experience with being on stage, performing, and mixing songs like you. (Tip: make sure to get their permission before asking them questions about how they perform!)
Remember that the most important thing for any artist is their audience and that you should always respect them. Always have at least one person testing out your mixes, even if you're with friends -- they can give you some constructive criticism so that you don't end up embarrassing yourself on stage. (Tip: make sure to play "test" songs that aren't very well known.)
Have fun! But most importantly, always be careful when handling your equipment and mixing music. I've seen a lot of people ended up in the hospital because they were multitasking on stage or paying too much attention to their smartphone!
Using these tips, you can learn how to become a DJ just as well as all the other professionals in this industry! I hope that you have fun with your new cosplay and enjoy your upcoming show!
Good luck, everyone!
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