Professional Tips For DJing

Professional Tips & Techniques For DJing

So you think you have a good taste in music and a knack to mix soundtracks and make audiences groove to your tune? But you’re not sure whether it is good enough to navigate through the grueling music industry and emerge victorious (read a successful DJ)? Well every famous DJ once started with that very same dream that you’re having right now, of playing out your music to the world. What separates them from you is the constant dedication they showed towards their passion, not stopping at anything, very least the prospect of failure. It is indeed hard for a DJ to make his/her mark in this very competitive space, for there are a lot of talented folks out there vying to occupy that same spot you have been dreaming of. Well, fear not for there are a number of ways you can up your ante by following some basic tips and guidelines of becoming a better DJ.

Well, first and foremost, you have to understand that being a DJ means playing for the audience. Of course it is the love and passion which you have for music that got you interested in DJing in the first place, for this profession lets you play with different music genres and experiment with songs by mixing them and creating new tunes and beats out of existing ones. But over indulgence in your own self while forgetting to play what the crowd wants can turn out to be pretty unforgiving for your DJing career. It is really important to therefore create a playlist which resonates well with the present crowd, for they have come at a place having spent money and expecting good lively music to dance to.

There is no denying that practice makes a man perfect, and the same can be applied in the world of DJ as well. Practicing with professionals, however, is a different game altogether. It allows you to learn from their techniques and playing styles, making you better with each passing day. It is therefore advisable to find professional help and go for DJ Lessons Los Angeles residents; there is some good news for you on this front, as there are numerous professionals in and around the Los Angeles County area that provide professional DJ lessons. Learning from experts is the best way to go about it, as they can provide deep subject knowledge and give valuable insights taken out of their own professional experience, and this is vital for understanding the tricks of that particular trade.

So young aspirants, prep up your DJ gears and go seek that mentor who you think can enable you to become the master of music you one day hope to become. And if you ever need some help tracking them down, takesessions.com offers a great platform that can hook you up with DJ lessons in Los Angeles.

Top 9 Hidden tweaks & tips for Ableton

Remove Stop Buttons

Is your session spiking and need a bit of help? Ableton by default launches empty clip slots and that directly effects your CPU. By turning off these slots, we can focus on the clips currently added.

Multi select the unused clip slots and if you right click you should see “remove stop button” or press Command+E (Ctrl+E).

Arrangement Moving

Clicking in the Overview at the top of the Live interface jumps the Arrangement View to wherever you click, at its current zoom level. You can also shuttle the view window along by its own length by holding Cmd/Ctrl-Alt-Shift and clicking either side of it. Double-clicking anywhere zooms out the Arrangement View to show the whole project.

Play From Current Position

This is a great little tweak that is perfect for those making slight adjustments to a wave or  midi arrangements. If you want to playback your playhead from where you last left the pisition, simply hold down the Shift key when hitting the spacebar.

Fine tuning

Most people will know this trick, but it is a great one

For better precision of Abletons paramters, hold down Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) and the mouse to make your manual adjustments just by dragging your mouse.  

Enable Hi Quality for EQ Eight

To enable Hi Quality, simple right click on the the title of EQ Eight and make sure it is checked.

Before it is added into the EQ Eight,  the audio is oversampled by a factor of 2 which means the sample rate is doubled. The equalization is calculated then the resulting audio is downsampled by a factor of 2.

So what this means is you will hear a bit of a difference in your higher and mid EQ.

Custom Metronome

The metronome that you are so used to is actually 2 samples located in the resources folder of Ableton. These 2 files are labled Metronome.wav and MetronomeUp.wav and are played consecutively when turned on,

To access these files and customize them, follow these instructions:

On Mac OS X: Applications/Ableton Live 9.app/Contents/ App-Resources/Misc/Metronome/Samples

Windows: C: \ProgramData\Ableton\ Live 9\Resources\Misc\Metronome\Samples

**Before making changes to these files, it’s important to backup your current files.

Now simply copy over your new samples over using the original names of Metronome.wav and MetronomeUp.wav

Hidden Features with options.txt

Instructions

The tweaks we are going to make will enable the following:

  • Display plugins/devices on all tracks in clip view
  • Enable a “Map Value To Siblings” feature for copying all values and/or macro assignments to multiple clips simultaneously
  • Auto-select all available plugin parameters
  • Auto arm tracks on selection

First part is creating a plain text file called options.txt and adding this snippet of code in there:

-ShowDeviceSlots
-EnableMapToSiblings
-_PluginAutoPopulateThreshold=-1
-EnableArmOnSelection

Adding to your Directory

Insert the following text file into your preferences folder of Ableton.
  • Mac OS X: Macintosh HD:/Users/[username]/Library/Preferences/Ableton/Live 9/
  • Windows: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Ableton\Live x.x\Preferences\

**Make sure you have hidden files enabled. This is important as Windows & Mac will not show you these files by default.

  • Mac OS X: Hold the “option/alt” key and open “Go > Library” from the Go menu bar which will let you search through the whole computer with hidden files.
  • Windows: On Windows Explorer, click “Organize” and find the option “Folder and Search Options” then “View”. You should then see “Show hidden files and folders”, make sure this is checked.

ShowDeviceSlots

Instantly see all of the effects added to a channel and be able to turn them on & off individually.

How to enable: On the bottom right of Ableton you should now see a plug icon.

You should then be able to see each tracks effects added.

EnableMapToSiblings

It gets frustrating having to build a new drum rack and having to add a value to each sample one at a time. Every parameter also has to be done by itself, so is there a better way? Yes.

Using the new Enable Map to Siblings, you can copy your value and add it to your new sample. Once you click Map to Macro, you can right click again to see “Copy Value to Siblings”, or click alt to add it.

Enable Arm On Select

This is a great feature for live performers. It simply arms a track when you select it.

Auto Populate Threshold

Ever used a big plugin and felt overhwelmed by all of the possible options?

The Auto Populate Threshold will allow you to view all parameters of your plugin and be able to make easy adjustments.

Getting Affordable Piano Lessons in Los Angeles

In the world of music, nothing can beat the melodious sound of the piano. The Piano is the basic instrument that introduces you to greater possibilities of creativity. If you live in the Los Angeles, you can find at least one piano concert every evening. Learning a new skill and enjoying the music are the greatest pleasure. However, learning a musical instrument demands basic knowledge about musical language and notes. It is very hard to find a good instructor to get the affordable piano lessons. Basically, a good instructor will first introduce you to the notes and keys of the music and will prepare your ears for the music. A good and talented instructor can make your musical journey smoother and thrive.

Basic interests when obtaining affordable Piano Lessons

Playing piano involves many technicalities, which cannot be taught from online or YouTube. To know the instrument, you require the right person who can set up you to the instrument and teach you the every single and basic technicalities. As a beginner, you need to learn many things. You’ll likely start with accurate posture, layout of the piano keys, and very basic music theory. From there, you can move onto sight reading, dynamics, advanced theory, and maybe even composing your own music.

affordable piano lessons

There are many factors play a vital role while choosing reasonable piano lessons and an instructor. The right trainer finds out the exact ways to teach an individual student according to his/ her individual interest. You just need to understand your interest and that includes which genre you are interested in and in which genre you can go a long way. These can range from Ballads, Pop, Blues, Jazz, etc. and sometimes it can make a difference. He/She will also find the area where you need to progress, so you can focus on having fun during your training sessions. A teacher with knowledge and many years of experience can make your learning to better and result-oriented.

Qualities of a good and capable Piano Instructor:

An instructor can mold your future with his skills, experience and knowledge. It is extremely important to seek out some essential qualities in your instructor.

  • Experience: Having good experience in the teaching and performance is important. Moreover, his good reputation can boost up your musical career. In affordable piano lessons, experience matters a lot.
  • Enthusiasm: After the experience, his/her interest and passion are also essential factors. Enthusiasm towards various subjects is important to receive great motivation.
  • Endurance: High-level of patience or endurance is an extremely important factor of the teaching. A beginner will ask a thousand of questions and that time a teacher or instructor should show his/her tolerance level to answer all those questions with the equal passion.
  • His/her piano: The condition of the piano will describe the entire story about his experience, passion, dedication, etc. Hence, when you search reasonable piano lessons, always consider this point as well.

Finding the solution for all above-mentioned points is extremely important if you want to get the most excellent, prolific and affordable piano lessons in the city.

Find your class and Piano Instructor

If you are fed-up of searching reasonable piano lessons, then you will surely turn to us. There is no reason to worry about getting an instructor for your piano lessons, since we offer 3 different ways to do so.

We have a smooth process to get the services. Our home page provides you with a list of instructors that are right around your area. You can fill out a form and have one of our piano instructors get back to you, or give us a call at (424) 278-4961. This minimal fee will enable you to get the expert guidance while learning piano.

Many people, particularly adults, don’t find the time or opportunity to travel somewhere to take lessons. In that case, most of our piano lesson providers offer on-site or private sessions at your place, within your comfort zone. This way your instructor will understand your interest and temperament, so that he/ she can provide you the right lessons with correct techniques. You will grow more when you get individual attention from the audience.

Looking for DJ Lessons in Los Angeles? Don’t Leave Home!

You have a keen interest in electronic music? You want to be a DJ? And don’t know where to start? All you need to understand the steps to fulfil your dream. You may find it daunting when you looked for becoming a DJ. There are many equipments, techniques and knowledge of music involved in DJing. You need to get your feet wet and taste the water first. You can get your personal DJ equipments and start practicing by your own. Numerous free DJ mixing softwares are available online for amateur and professional DJs. Beside practicing yourself untrained, it is always best to get trained from experts. In this way you will enlighten with the underlying facts and challenges. If you are living in art-rich town like Los Angeles, there is no need to worry about professional training, as the town offers numerous options.

Learn DJ Lessons in Los Angeles

What all need to understand before starting

Before everything else, the first question you need to ask yourself is if DJing is for you. Most of the time people misunderstand the job of DJing and get into it because they love music and by seeing the glamour of the job. However, the original scenario is much more different and difficult as well. You can try playing DJ equipments in a local community centre or if a friend owns any. If you enjoy playing it, then you are on for DJing. Now you need a rich collection of music and ear of music. DJing is all about mixing and modifying multiple tracks together. Start collecting different music and buy DJ equipments for personal practice. The main options for DJs are: Turntables and a mixer (possibly with a DVS), CDJs (Compact Disc Jockeys) and a mixer (possibly with a DVS), and Laptop with software (alongside a controller or on their own). However besides that, you need to have basic music education to understand different music and to develop sense of rhythm.

Start your journey with expert guidance

After everything, you will surely need proper guidance to understand the practical and professional route become a DJ. If you are located in Los Angeles, you need not to worry about finding the right guidance, who can show you the way. Courses, like in Takesessions, offer private DJ lessons at your place in Los Angeles. There is no need to go out from your home, and you will get individual attention in your comfort zone. The trainer will take care of your interest and will provide training accordingly. They are specialised in the profile and recognised professionals in the industry, who can guide you through the fact and scenarios of the industry. You will get to know about the exact job profile, inside stories, latest software and equipments. There you will study the technical terms related to the DJing hardware and software and study music theory in general.

A strong understanding of musical terms and concepts is what first you need to enter into the field. Practical skills are also important to determine the quality of your performance behind the decks. Your skill set will increase your chances of being selected by leading event managers and venue organizers. DJ technology is also constantly developing. For all these professional expert guidance is the answer.

The 10 Edges of Music Lessons

10 Edges of Music Lessons

Learning to play, perform, and understand instruments will help you or your children amplify the skills desired for social intelligence, as well as academic intelligence.

  1. Academic Skills: Music and math are directly related when it comes to measuring scales, following the beat, and creating patterns of rhythm. By synthesizing the basics of math and music lessons at a young age, children will strengthen their short term and long term memory.

 

  1. Physical Skills: By physically involving more than one body part, learning to play an instrument develops a person’s motor functions. For high energy individuals, music which involves different actions simultaneously develops ambidexterity, coordination among body parts, and prepares youth for other physical activities in the future.

 

  1. Social Skills: Many music lessons for young children begin in group settings, this initial interaction will enable them to grow comfortable in large social groups. Even smaller lessons, or one-on-one instructions will build team-work, and communication. Melody building takes a group, and those with a background in group exercises have more success in the workforce.

 

  1. Behavioral Skills: By learning to play an instrument at a young age, an individual learns about long-term goals and gratification, watching themselves grow in talent. The grace and discipline needed to not only play an instrument, but hold one correctly, teaches individuals about patience, focus, and attentiveness.

 

  1. Confidence Skills: By learning how to give and receive criticism in both social recitals, or one-on-one lessons, individuals learn how to turn negative feedback into positive change, building on their confidence. This specific skill is needed in every professional field and developing it early gives individuals a step up, above others.

 

  1. Global Skills: Music comes from different cultures around the world; by learning these various chords, beats, and songs, an individual opens the possibility to learn about different cultures as well. It is vital to become familiar with the globe at a young age because it breaks down closedmindedness.

 

  1. Language Skills: Musical notes and measures are a language of their own and by learning to read them at a young age a person develops the skills to learn other languages faster and easier. To retain these other languages is difficult, but by encouraging daily practice in music, it will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning.

 

  1. Psychological Skills: By learning to play an instrument a person also learns how to calm their nerves, either from shaking, or, from over thinking negative situations. Playing music also helps to calm and relax an individual; exercises in keeping a rhythmic breathing has helped many in anger management.

 

  1. Test Taking skills: Many tests involve memorization and critical thinking; when leaning to play an instrument individuals overcome these steps by memorizing sheet music, and having to always remember what comes next. Statistics have shown that children who play instruments received 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math SAT scores.

 

  1. Creative Skills: Music works off of the imagination and by fine tuning a person’s ability to play an instrument, using their imagination can become a corporate tool which allows them to solve problems thinking outside the box. This prepares individuals for a realistic 21 century economy and workforce that values artistic careers.

Social Media’s Goal In Your Musical Journey

Social media has always been a huge part of an artist’s success and your content needs to be relevant and interesting. It requires consistency and sometimes not worth the time put forth. That’s why when it comes to promoting your music or creating your fan base you have to understand how much time to put in.

The Big Myth Of Social Media

People tend to believe that an online following will always amount to a real fan base. It’s not until you release quality work that people take you seriously. A great way to get quality followers is to submit your music to music blogs dedicated to helping get your music out. The best type of follower is one that comes to your page on their own with no advertising, right after word of mouth.

Your social media accounts are meant to entertain people and make them feel they are a part of your journey while promoting your work. That is where you need to understand your marketing push and follow an important rule called the 80/20.

The 80/20 rule means 80 percent of your content should be your work, interesting content, funny posts, etc while the 20 percent is to promote your work. Remember, the moment a follower feels they are being forced into a product is when they will have a negative perception.

The First 5000.

Social media has definitely changed the way we market our music to consumers and is about building a story someone can follow. Artists need to look beyond the numbers to get a clear sense of what’s going on and focus on entertaining the users. The goal of social media as an artist is to build your true following, which usually consists of the first 5,000 followers. These are the people that have been with you since your early inception and will support you through your journey.

Your mission is to satisfy and lead these people to share your music with others. They believe in you and are quick to spark a conversation about your newest release. This can help you when it comes to your transition in your next goals. 

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin.

Work smart, not hard. Being on all social media channels doesn’t mean you are being productive. Every channel requires a different type of content and surely you don’t have enough to fill 5 different ones and keep it interesting. Amature artists need to focus on creating great music and picking 3 of their main social channels. If you have under 10,000 followers that are engaging with your posts, you are considered an amateur artist. Most artists I talk to are afraid of missing out on new followers, yet don’t realize how inundated and boring their content can be. Keep things minimal, it will keep you with a clear mind.

Understanding Your Social Media.

You should have one main music outlet such as Soundcloud or Youtube to release your music and gain valuable feedback. This is where you should send people when they ask about your music, not your Facebook. This is also now the standard way you should submit music to blogs, attachments take too long to open for most.

Think about using Facebook to build your followers as it’s still a reliable channel even after their cut to organic reach. Use it to update your fans on upcoming events, news, and interesting information about you. You can pay to promote your most engaging posts and have it shared with friends of friends or a custom segment. Facebook videos have also gone up by 26% and are expected to rise so take advantage by creating appealing content.

Instagram is also good if you have premium content to share with people. Some great posts that work are video clips of you playing a set, or at home creating a track. Try to mix it up with your lifestyle content, even if it’s you getting an ice cream with a friend. You want to be relatable to your audience and your wall should reflect your message to help you gain followers.

Reddit is amazing for getting your music heard and getting people’s honest reactions. Not keen on being a community to sugar coat things, they are perfect in getting tips on improving your work. They also have a sub channel with Plug.DJ where users can listen and curate music together.

Have You Thought Of What You Want?

This seems like a no-brainer, but I don’t know how many times I’ve asked this to artists just to hear them say, “I want to DJ at EDC”. Stop right there, let’s think about this. There are so many steps before you could ever perform at that level, and a contest you win to play a 5 pm set won’t cut it. It’s important to write down your goals for being in this industry and your social media should reflect that.

Your social media isn’t just for getting your fans involved. If you are a music composer, it’s not necessarily how many are following you, it’s who. Sometimes you need just that right person or blog to stumble on your page for you to get the right exposure. How do you think artists gain notoriety? It’s definitely not that promoted post from “Dj Sizzy” of a cat falling off a bed (don’t be that guy.) Share content that separates you from the average artist.

If you haven’t made it yet, it’s the journey that people like to watch. I might go off subject here, but it’s to make a point. Why do you think they called the movie Rocky? Did you know that his coach retired with a record of 72 Wins with 70 KO’s and 1 loss, no: Why wasn’t the movie based on him Because he wasn’t the underdog and people want to follow the guy that has a story to tell. Show people you’re passionate, but make sure you know what you want.

Your Skill Is Your Strongest Attribute.

Let’s face it; the most important thing is the quality of your track and your skill. All of the expensive equipment in the world won’t be enough to hide behind your work. If I have learned anything being in this industry, is that there is never a time to stop learning. As an instructor for 7 years, you truly see the dedication professionals put into their art. I have taught producers whose work has been seen in motion pictures, but they start a session like a beginners student. Some have their interns create note sheets based on lectures and manage to spend time watching videos on their own time. They understand that their knowledge of music is what controls their ultimate success.

Remember that social media is just a part of your overall success. The skills you acquire are your fuel and the business behind the music is the fire that keeps it going.

The 5 Common Mistakes Of Amateur Djs

1. It’s really easy being a Dj

How can something be easy if it’s an art and is meant to move you. Not everyone has the talent to move an audience, we are like composers. Your goal is to read the audience and reflect it in your music. Never allow anyone to make light of your work, and diminish the hours you put in. I see this happen often and even relates to how much Dj’s are willing to take to perform. Something that is creative has no tangible value so it is what you and others are willing to value it. Always be proud of your mixes and experience you have.

2. More focused on the promotion side than building relationships

So this one I feel is true but to an extent. The music industry is unfortunately hard to be in and definitely requires you to build relationships. You have to do this genuinely though because these are the people that help you get noticed. Talent can only get you so far and you have to put in time in building your fan base. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t build demand with your production. Promoting plateau  at a certain point if what your promoting isn’t quality work.

3. Believing there isn’t much of a skill curve

Ok, this one always gets to me because Dj’s think they learned all of the tricks of the trade. This is for those who never put in the time to understand production, music theory, spectrum’s, phrases, midi, and more. There is so much to being a dj and everything you learn will reflect in your mix. Remember that your audience doesn’t understand what you’re doing and they make a subconscious decision to dance. Every second of your mix directly affects your audience’s feelings towards the music, and to you as a performer. By the way, has anyone figured out who the girl on the cover image is?

4. The business side doesn’t interest you.

Some people join the music industry because it lets them express themselves but never learn the business behind it. You’re in a cutthroat industry and people won’t blink twice in treating you unfairly. Any contract you sign can set you up for problems way into the future of your career. Every Dj must have some knowledge of the business side to be effective, and quite frankly taken seriously.

5. Downloading massive playlists

Ok, you know who you are.. I never understood why Djs pay or download huge gigs of music. Do you know if every track you are getting are high quality 320? Even then, will all of the tracks be ID3 tagged properly or even fit your form of mixing. Djing is about telling a story, and just downloading boundless tracks will ruin the journey. It’s quite fun going on different blog sites to find music or even from Youtube. This helps you really understand what type of music you are into and organize everything accordingly.

Importance of Having an Instructor In Your Musical Goal

Music is filled with stories of artists and their songwriters, but what isn’t told as often are the relationships between musicians and their instructors. These are often more grounded as a foundation for the creation of sound, and as such, needs to be shared. In fact, some studio musicians tell tales of life-long trust and mentorship with their teachers. The support combined with the business knowledge is carried with them throughout their musical career. As a musician, most people don’t understand the dedication it takes to practice and the benefits from having a private instructor. They will be your biggest critic at times and guide you the right direction. What is even more important, is to have an instructor who is experienced in the industry themselves as a performer. Finding the right person to fine tune your musical talent is what makes the process so special.  Musicians who are there to make it tend to have a mentor to guide them. You can see an example of this here.

Instructors have to uphold a certain skill level to teach, but what about giving business advice. Shouldn’t the instructor also understand where you want to be in the future and plan accordingly.

Not every teacher is created from the same cloth. Each has their own nuanced approach to lessons, based on their expectations and relationship with the student. One instructor might insist on tight, daily repetition of scales in a guitar lesson before moving on to more advanced techniques. Another might rely on the Suzuki method of listening rather than using sheet music for voice lessons, while a third might spend weeks without the student picking up an instrument in order to focus on theory.

Once your goals are expressed and you have met the right instructor, it’s about keeping each lesson focused. Your sessions will be able to put you into a setting you might find uncomfortable. A jam session in your home can change when you are in front of a crowd and the nerves can catch you by surprise. Confidence isn’t something you just have when it comes to music, you have to earn it with practice and an audience. An instructor who has been through this will test you

 

Each student is different and the instructor has to fit that relationship. Take Sessions takes this concept to heart.