I’m feeling very blessed today as I sit and write this. Yesterday, the team and I made the 4-hour journey to London for the DJ City x Beatsource Link Up event. You may have heard about this from my previous email or our Off The Record podcast, but if not, this was ultimately a DJ networking event we had been invited to speak at.
A lot of what we do is online, so it’s always a blessing whenever we see any of you in person. Putting faces to the emails and course comments is so great. I got to hear from many Crossfader students and followers, and there was so much kindness shared by everyone I spoke to.
I’m so grateful to have met two amazing women showing this industry how to take ownership and make a name for themselves. One is this legend, all the way from Australia. Shout out to Coco for the awesome videos! It was great to meet you in person!
|Follow Coco Here|
The other is Annabel, somebody we have followed since she started streaming only a few years ago. She’s touring all over, playing guest sets, and killing it! It was fantastic to meet you in person, too!
|Follow Annabel Here|
I’d love for everyone to show these two some love on their socials.
If you’re reading this now and you attended… thank you! If you weren’t there, don’t worry; we are keen to roll this out and provide more experiences like this again!
As well as networking and getting to hear and share stories, we were asked to host a panel alongside DJ Tech legend Mojaxx and Jack Canham, the ultimate Product Planner for Pioneer DJ. We were discussing The DJ’s journey and the role of Technology.
There are so many touchpoints for DJs when it comes to technology. If you have ever played on a DJ controller or used streaming, STEMs, or CDJs, there is so much at play. This tech is ever-evolving, and with it brings some problems andsome opportunities.
There are many hurdles to overcome before DJs even begin mixing. From learning 100s of settings to understanding connectivity, knowing how to source, stream and store music, even laptop capabilities to access various features can be a limitation! DJs must learn more than ‘what sounds good.’
Even as a working DJ, new technology brings hurdles, learning things like DVS and HID mode. How to move from using a controller with various smart faders and features to living without them in the club.
Future of CDJs
We discussed with Jack how long it takes for Pioneer products to go from conception to market. Some take up to 7 years! Think about that: having to predict the future whilst making sure new technology works for a magnitude of DJs all needing different things without deterring too much from the technology that DJs know and love now! For reference, the ‘Pioneer DJ PLX-CRSS12’ was being worked on during COVID! Mind blown! However, what was great to hear and one of the key takeaways was to be vocal and to share your opinions with them via forums and directly. They do listen!
Most new DJs now begin their musical catalogue by signing up to a streaming service such as Beatport or Beatsource, but that leaves DJs without music in the club if they choose to mix with a USB drive. Only recently have Pioneer DJ rolled out Beatport as a direct integration into their CDJ-3000s, in a primitive way so far—something I would not want to rely on for all my gigs.
Therefore, the hardware technology needs to catch up with the music streaming technology, creating problems for some DJs.
|Beatport CDJS Article|
On the flip side, we discussed how technology has also unlocked creative potential in DJs by introducing STEMs technology, where we can isolate parts of songs, such as vocals and instrumentals, in real time. We poked at Jack for answers to whether this is coming to the hardware in standalone mode. Unfortunately, we got no confirmation other than ‘It is something we’re working on.’
Another piece of technology to be aware of is AI in the DJ world. Right now, you can ask Chat GPT to write a story, create artwork and answer some of life’s biggest questions. Very soon, I am sure we can feed it ten songs and ask it to mix them in the style of ‘your favourite DJ.’
This is something to be hyper-aware of as a working DJ. If it could create the perfect set from a prompt, where does that leave the physical DJ? I’m not here to tell you AI will replace us all, but I am here to ask you to think about what’s to come and how you can harness the power of it rather than push back on it
We had many other great conversations about getting gigs, social media and content creation, music discovery and more. Keep an eye on our socials for panel clips in the coming week.
A note about dealing with the unexpected!
If you read my last email, you would know doing a panel like this was new for me (I had only ever done it once before). The day didn’t go quite as planned; it was boiling, extremely loud, and, to top it all off, we had dodgy mics! But we made it work and delivered the content we hoped to share.
It made me think about the unknown obstacles we all face as DJs.
No matter how much you prepare, there are always circumstances you can’t anticipate. Being adaptable and confident in your ability allows you to handle all the unplanned situations that arise during your career.
Be ready to think on your feet and flow with the situation. If dance floors are not feeling your thoroughly rehearsed pre-planned set, try playing a different song or genre to test the water. It’s always worth a try to see what happens! If some gear is missing a knob, doesn’t work as expected or is something you have never played on before, keep it simple and work with what you’ve got.
What I’m listening to:
Hudson Mohawke – Wait A Minute -Basically…. rave meets glitchy electro meets bassline. It’s mad but addictive to listen to.
Tiga, Hudson Mohawke, Elisabeth Troy – Ascending Into The Clouds-Excellent vocals! Makes me want to be in a mad warehouse rave!
FETISH – Trench– If you listen to our podcast, you will know I’m known to arrive out of breath and sweaty from a lunchtime spin class. This tune came from one of those classes. It’s a 100 BPM banger with a filthy drop! What more can I say?
Supershy, Tom Misch, Vula – Take My Time-Lastly, this one will lift anybody’s mood! Summer vibes, feel-good, catchy rhythms! If you like Basement Jaxx, check out the rest of the Supershy album!
WaterMinder – It’s simple: track your water intake! I have this set up as a widget on my phone and tap every time I have a glass or bottle of water. It totals what I’ve consumed during the day and helps me keep to the daily goal. Don’t underestimate how much your mood and energy levels can change by simply hydrating enough daily!
We’re here to support you!
We hope these tips have pointed you in the right direction. Even with this knowledge, be prepared to make plenty of mistakes and fail a few times. It’s all part of the journey and will give you valuable experience that will make you a better DJ. Ultimately though, success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s about putting in the time and dedication to achieve your goals.
But there are ways to speed things along! As well as our Complete DJ Package, designed to help you achieve your DJ dreams fast, we offer a range of comprehensive beginner courses to take your skills to the next level!