Have you been a DJ for years and do everything to improve your skills? That’s good, keep going.
If you are still looking for faults to eliminate, here is a list of 7 things to NEVER do that could help you in your asceticism.
1. Try out things you’ve never tried
You’re right in the middle of your set and all of a sudden you’re like “maybe if I do that, it’s gonna be cool”. NOPE. Apart from the fact that an improvised part can always be cool, you should know that in any improvisation there is a lot of planned or preparation.
When you are on stage you have to know what you are relying on and have an idea of what it will produce. Trying stuff on stage means poor preparation. If one day this happens to you, hold back, remember what you wanted to try, and try it at home. If that works, you are ready for your next gig.
2. Play tracks that only you on Earth know
We agree on the fact that playing rare things is always good in a set, it gives it value if the track is worth it. On the other hand, the crowd may not necessarily want to be the guinea pig of your last experiments or the great track your buddy did yesterday at 4 am after his third blunt.
3. Drink more than you should
This is already advised that I gave you in a previous article and which also has its place here. I have already seen two guys in a bar in Montreal literally empty the dancefloor because they were tripping drunk on their failed mix. They were the only ones happy and didn’t care because some customers had them the right way. Share the music rather than the shots!
4. Overuse sound effects
Sound effects are particularly in vogue and especially mashing, an effect which consists of repeating bits of tracks, or in mixing them. Like all effects, it’s interesting when you use it sparingly or, at least, in a relevant way.
This remark is also valid for those who remove the bass, wait, then put it back on by repeating the action a little too often. Effects are made to energize the mix and not to appear in the foreground: they punctuate it, embellish transitions and add meaning to your musical discourse. Take the time to work on them.
5. Change track every 20 seconds
In the same vein, there are many factors that sometimes lead a DJ to change tracks much too quickly. It can be the desire to do a sort of medley when it comes to hits, a technical demonstration when you want to show WHO WE REALLY ARE, the desire to go through a very large selection of tracks, or, more often a lack of perspective that makes 20 seconds seem like 20 minutes.
A short passage of a track can often be justified when it is an element (a loop, a phrase) that one wishes to integrate in a relevant way in a mix. On the other hand, a series of sentences stuck to each other like a musical patchwork may disappoint your audience. Don’t be impatient: let your tracks live, if you’re bored,
6. Continuously turn up the volume
This is probably the most common mistake. We all tend to want to turn up the sound a bit when we drop the climax when the kick finally comes back after the long climb. The more you repeat the operation and the more you get to the gain stop, at the risk of saturating the mix.
The solution? First, you have to leave yourself a little margin at the beginning, then you have to take advantage of the quieter moments to slightly reduce the sound. Finally, the best way is still to resist temptation.
7. Ask people how they are doing on the microphone
No, really, never do that.
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