In our previous article, (save me the flashy grammatical intros writers and bloggers use, I will get down to business on this one.) we spot lit how and where to buy your first DJ gear and I promised to illumine you on how to be a DJ, but first we will look at how to connect/use your gear. Relax; get something to drink as I take you through my process which is very similar to every Pro’s. You ready? Let’s go.
First, the equipment: what was your preference? You know better but we are going through the basics if you have a Mixer, two CD players, laptop or a pair of turntables, RCA cables and the basic connectors like power cables all set. Now, you are going to set up your equipment on a flat surface/table not the floor or wet surface – you know the risks so use some common sense or I will not be responsible for the bizarre outcome, find the in/outputs on the back of your mixer that the source/device (CD players, turntables or laptop – these also have out puts) you are willing to connect need to plug into. If your mixer is a two channel then you will see the input (phono or line) ports at the back then plug your players in the ports. Remember, do this before you power up or connect to a power source.
Second step, make sure all your connections are set according to the manuals provided and which you must have read unless you bought some Chinese knock off products, these cheap or fakes usually don’t come with any instructions since all you have to do is guess. You need your headphones or speakers which should either be self-amplified or buy an amplifier if you have none. Connect your master/main output at the back of the mixer to the sound system in/aux in if you are using RCAs (those red and white or blue and white cables) but if your mixer has XLR cables then that’s a different story.
Level your volumes to 3 (standard) for starters unless you happen to be deaf and you have sound proof installed in your club, house or studio, this helps avoid clipping (too much sound). Remember, it is your first time to connect your equipment and we cannot rule out excitement when those colored lights flash but you need to maintain some common sense and follow the steps of the basic setup and check out the link provided here depending on what equipment you settled for.
Now that you will figure out how to set up, let me shed some light on how to be a Dj since we delineated the different types of Djs in our previous article. Djs play recorded sound/music for an audience at a party, club or on radio but for them (pro Djs) to do so well, they go through a few steps like:
- Sorting their music and grouping it in crates or playlists depending on genre or trend. This can only be done after research on what’s out there/topping the charts but with a clear MINDSET since not all that is out there can be played.
- Meditating and planning out their gigs. Most pro DJs have agents or a team of people who help them prepare or work through items like music, networking and marketing among them. You can find those within your family and friends since one or two could possess that skill you need like designing a t-shirt, CD cover, flier or fixing your equip to downloading the latest hits… look around if you really know how to pay attention.
- Doing their homework by getting to the venue an hour before the event- recon it is.
- Dressing well, SMILE, look neat, fresh and lively (positivity is a requirement or else your crowd/audience is going to smell that bad vibe through your musical moods which will be projected out there). Skill set will not save you if you are poorly mannered.
- Networking with other Djs and artistes since the industry has everybody (different abilities) but you are not everybody but everybody is somebody.
- Practicing all the time and before a big gig. This may sounds awkward but practice simply makes perfect and experience is built on doing the same thing over and over learning when that particular mistake keeps popping up. This has helped me know my strength and weaknesses and knowing what to and when to do it. No one will teach you how to be creative but practice will do.
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