To Deejay or Not: Tutorial Part III


Parts I and II we discussed some Deejaying skills and we shared some

great advice to assist in taking your skills from the club / streets to

the radio. In Part III we'll discuss the Pros and Cons of MP3s and

making the transition from DJ to producer. 6. The emergence of MP3s - These days, MP3s are

what drives the industry, and it's a lot easier and quicker to receive

music and keep it organized. However, if you've never had the

experience of playing vinyl on turntables, you really missed out. I'm

not gonna lie, transporting heavy crates of records all over the place

can be a major nuisance, but there's no substitute for the experience

of going out to the 12" store and buying your brand new vinyl. It was always

exciting incorporating the new records into the existing collection and

then hauling them with my turntables, amps, and speakers to a party. My partner Turntable Chuck (who spun with me at WPGC and at several

clubs, and parties) and I would roll up to the radio station and the clubs or

parties with about 9 or 10 crates of music. Today the new wave of

mixing with MP3s is a lot more efficient but, to be honest, there's

nothing like the feeling of looking at the club atmosphere and feeling

the crowd's mood then searching through the crates and suddenly

improvising by physically pulling that next vinyl record, throwing it

on the turntable, and driving the crowd into a frenzy. We used to have

records all over the DJ booth at the end of the party but the whole

vinyl experience was, and still is "Priceless." The Pros and Cons of using MP3s:Pros:a. You have the ability to get your music instantly - No waiting for those UPS or Fed Ex packages.

Also, vinyl takes weeks to be pressed-up whereas with MP3s, you can

play the song as soon as you receive it. b. They are easier to transport - No heavy cratesc. You can access the music quicker - Pull up requests in a click of the moused. You can better organize the music - Folders of different play lists and genres

Cons:a. A computer crash or interruption can be disastrous- I've

heard horror stories about laptops crashing and people losing tons of

music. If your computer crashes at a party you're done, unless you have

a back-up.... (Always have some CDs or vinyl just in case) If it gets

turned off or unplugged, you have to sit there and wait for it to

reboot. What if a drink is spills on the laptop, then what ? b. Using MP3s diminishes true Deejaying skills - There's

nothing like searching through the crates, improvising to find the next

12" to throw on.c. They offer no collector's items - having a

piece of vinyl is like having a work of art, MP3's don't have a

physical 12 inch jacket with artwork credits and information about the record. 7. DJ to Producer, Making the Transition:

Although it's easier for a DJ to make this conversion, it's still not

as easy as it may seem. DJs generally have a great ear for hot songs

and we know what records pack the dance floor, but creating those songs

is a totally different process. There are so many aspects to producing

like: using the right equipment, finding the right sounds, sampling,

re-creating, EQing, mixing, mastering etc. It really takes time and

practice to sharpen your skills to compete on a professional level. Being a DJ has it's advantages in the production game. One

advantage that the DJ has is constantly being in a party environment

and witnessing first hand what the masses are feeling. Another plus is

the mass access to new music and instrumentals for dissecting and

analyzing. Also, DJs have better access to artists and label personnel.

The regional promotion rep will generally reach out to radio DJs, club

DJs, and record pools for feedback. If you have some hot beats that you

think will fit one of their artists, send them. (Be careful with

sending sample heavy tracks to a bunch of people because those ideas

are easy to duplicate) The rep is generally with the artist during the

promo tour so if they like your beats, they'll more than likely have

the artist or management give them a listen. Networking, constant

grindin' and quality product will lead to opportunities, you just have

to make the best of them. Another way to bring some attention to your tracks is by putting

popular acapellas over them. Put your own mix together and try it out

at the club. If the people are feeling it, let the label know, send

them the MP3, and get their opinions about it. If it's really hot they might use your

version for an official remix. Maybe they'll like the track and express

interest in using it for another song, or they might ask you to send

some other tracks they can check out. The key is to get their attention and MAKE THEM LISTEN !!!!!! This

concludes Part III of the DJ tutorial. We'll be droppin' more knowledge

and DJ interviews in weeks to come. Also, for info on my forthcoming

book, classic clips from our radio show as well as updates check out: out this knowledge from DJ Toomp