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 So You Want To Be A DJ?

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Posts : 1260
Join date : 2011-08-31
Age : 60
Location : North Carolina

PostSubject: So You Want To Be A DJ?   Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:11 am

One of the questions we often get asked is what do you need to do to become one of the DJ’s. This will be general overview of what you need.

First, you need a music library. The more songs you have, the better. They’ll need to be in MP3 format to be streamed so if you have a stack of CD’s sitting there, you’ll need to rip those into MP3’s first. Google is your friend in that regard as there are tutorials that will show you how to do it. Just be prepared to spend a lot of time ripping those CD’s as it can be a time consuming process. You can also buy music and download it already in MP3 format from sites like Google Play, iTunes, etc. I’m not going to start a debate here about whether or not you should download music for free from certain sites, that’s between you and your own conscience. I’ll just say MY personal rule is that I generally buy my music to support the artists. Enough on that…

Second, you need a radio station. MyRadioStream - - is the place to go for that. They offer free internet radio stations that are pretty straight forward to set up. They also offer a pay service that will get you support, remove the commercial that plays when people first tune to your station, let you broadcast at a higher bit rate, etc. Again, that’s up to you whether you wish to pay for it or go with the free station.

Third, you’ll need a program that can connect to your station and stream the music to it. It will have to have the capability to connect to a Shoutcast station. Here you have several options. The “big boy” on the market is SAM broadcaster - I believe this is the program used by Will and Brad. Just be prepared to spend some money if you want to use that program. It’s not cheap. Another alternative is the open source DJ software called Mixxx - Mixxx is very similar to SAM with one big exception – it’s free. It’s a solid program though that has almost all the features of SAM with dual virtual turntables, fade in & out, mic connections for doing mic breaks, etc. Plum and I use Mixxx and I happen to think it works quite well. You can also use a music player like WinAmp, VLC, etc., basically any program that can connect to a Shoutcast server (which is your radio station). Pixie uses one of these programs to do her show but I forget which one. Hopefully she’ll reply to this topic and tell us about her setup.

Fourth, you’ll need time. There’s a lot of prep work that goes into setting a show. You’ll need to setup your playlists in advance so everything is ready to go. You’ll also be busy during the show as you’ll probably be getting requests and modifying your playlist on the fly. You’ll never know in advance how active the audience will be. Some nights I get no requests at all. Other nights I get flooded with requests for songs that people want to hear. Expect to be busy!

Fifth, Patience! It will take you a while to get your routine down. It's a lot to learn and deal with, especially when you're trying to monitor everything and then requests start coming in. Remember, only deal with what you can handle. Don't be afraid to tell people you're too busy to take requests during the show but if they'll mail you their request, you'll try to get it for your next show. You'll also have to deal with complaints about what songs you play, what styles you play, etc. Remember, you can never please everyone. Focus on what the majority of your audience likes. I mean hex, people complain all the time when I play Hayseed Dixie but I play it anyway! MUWAHAHA... it's MY show darn it!

Other than that you need a solid computer that can handle all the music in the background, especially if you’re going to be in-game while you do the show. You’ll also need lots of hard drive space to store your music on. A good quality headset and mic is another thing you’ll probably want. If you’re going to do mic breaks it’s a must have. You can do a show using just your computer speakers but for mic breaks you’ll need a headset to prevent feedback.

There we go, that’s a high level view of what’s needed to DJ. If you’re serious about doing it then you’ll need to talk to Strix or Myron for more details and to help you set everything up. Also remember to coordinate with Strix or Myron as to what day & time to do your show.

I hope that answers some of the questions people have and as always, ask one of us for more information!
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