Pioneer releases DJM-S7 Scratch Style 2-channel Performance DJ Mixer

(TORRANCE, CA) January 19, 2021: Today, AlphaTheta welcomes a new addition to its range of Pioneer DJ mixers: the DJM-S7. This new 2-channel battle mixer offers the freedom of a customizable setup, empowering artists to integrate their unique style to every performance. The DJM-S7 enables free use of the Serato DJ Pro and is a Hardware Unlock device for rekordbox, delivering artists the performance features of both applications.

The DJM-S7 inherits the clean design from the DJM-S11, complete with a large load button and 16 performance pads (8 per deck) to easily select tracks, samples and features. The new mixer is equipped with all 22 Beat FX from the DJM-S11, along with effect levers to engage Beat FX and software effects. Independent pad modes (for example, you can trigger Hot Cues on Channel 1 and use Beat Roll on Channel 2) offer new ways for artists to manipulate effects, and the Magvel Fader Pro delivers slick and stable crossfader performance.

 

Artists can now wirelessly play audio from mobile devices with the DJM-S7’s Bluetooth connectivity. This means artists can play loops to scratch over or even trigger one-shots from another device and route them to the master output. The mixer also features the Pioneer DJ exclusive Loop MIDI function. Loop MIDI enables the use of effect levers to send MIDI messages to Serato DJ Pro and rekordbox, providing artists with an exciting way to rhythmically control performance features.

 

The DJM-S7 inherits a number of DJM-S11 Serato DJ Pro key features such as Combo Pad mode, Scratch Bank and Gate Cue.

 

The DJM-S7 is available now at a MAP of $1,399 USD. Watch the introduction video or find out more about the new mixer.

 

The DJM-S7 includes the use of Serato DJ Pro and rekordbox performance features, including DVS control of both applications. Artists simply connect the mixer to a PC/Mac running the latest version of Serato DJ Pro (updated version of Serato DJ Pro and rekordbox available from 28th January 2021) or the latest version of rekordbox to unlock the software. rekordbox Creative Plan subscribers can take advantage of advanced features such as Cloud Library Sync for seamless music management across multiple devices and Edit Mode to create custom versions of your downloaded tracks to make performances truly unique.

 

Clear Hardware Interface: Perform Instinctively

With a clear layout, the DJM-S7 invites artists to perform however they choose and allows personal style integration into every performance.

 

 

Magvel Fader Pro

We’ve enhanced the feeling of the new Magvel Fader Pro fader by boosting the rigidity of the knob mounting shaft in the vertical direction by 30 percent, allowing artists to scratch with confidence.

 

Large Performance Pads

The DJM-S7 features eight large, easy to hit performance pads on each channel making it easy to rapidly trigger Hot Cues and samples. Aside from performance pads, the mixer also includes independent pad modes, allowing the simultaneous use of two different features on each channel’s pad sets.

 

Large Effect Levers

Now, artists can twist sounds on the fly by adding effects with the large levers. The DJM-S7 features all 22 built-in Beat FX from the DJM-S11 to spark software effects creativity in Serato DJ Pro and rekordbox. The new mixer’s OLED display makes it easy for artists to change assigned effects and quickly glance over the effect name and beat value.

 

Bluetooth Input: Wirelessly Add Audio From Your Phone to Your Performance

Artists can now pair their phone with the DJM-S7 via Bluetooth to drop sounds directly into the set, play loops to scratch over, trigger sounds from instrument apps or use a music app to play an audience requested track. In the case of a rare and untimely laptop failure, a secondary Bluetooth connected mobile device allows for a quick backup until you get things up and running.  Artists can directly play sounds through the master output or either of the channels and use the dedicated knob and fader on the front of the mixer to adjust the level.

 

Loop MIDI: Automatically Control DJ Software Functions with the Effect Levers

The brand-new Loop MIDI controls various functions in DJ software by repeatedly sending a MIDI signal to the software in a set beat cycle. For example, artists can create a buildup by gradually shortening the beat cycle of a snare sample which is playing in a loop.

 

After using the mixer’s beat buttons to set the length of the loop, artists can switch on the effect lever to trigger the relevant feature. Functions including Hot Cue, sampler, and key shift-up are preassigned to the FX Select buttons allowing Loop MIDI use without first assigning features.

 

Built-in USB Hub: Directly Connect Your External Devices

Streamline your setup with the DJM-S7. During back-to-back sets, artists can plug in two CDJs to use HID mode and connect two laptops via the dual USB-B ports to smoothly transition to another DJ. (Serato DJ Pro will soon introduce official support for the CDJ-3000.)

 

Scratch Bank: Rapidly Access Your Sounds from Serato DJ Pro

The DJM-S7 allows artists to instantly load scratch samples from four banks assigned in Serato DJ Pro at the tap of a pad. The new mode also enables artists to load from a specified start and quickly drop in full tracks during a routine.

 

Combo Pad Mode: Use Up to Two Serato DJ Pro Modes Simultaneously

With Combo Pad mode in Serato DJ Pro, artists can simultaneously use two separate modes on each deck (that’s four modes in total for both decks!), e.g., Hot Cue and Sampler.

 

Plug and Play: Use Serato DJ Pro or rekordbox Freely

The DJM-S7 automatically unlocks Serato DJ Pro and rekordbox Performance mode, including DVS control. Artists simply connect the mixer to a PC/Mac running the latest version to begin mixing. Serato DJ Pro includes the expansion pack voucher (Pitch ‘n Time DJ) enabling key shifting and syncing with pristine audio quality.

 

 

 

 

DJM-S7 Specifications

 

Software rekordbox (available in version 6.5.0, coming from January 28, 2021)

Serato DJ Pro (available in version 2.4.5, coming January 28, 2021)

Bluetooth Audio Input Version Bluetooth standard version 5.0
Supported Codecs SBC, AAC, Qualcomm® aptX™, Qualcomm® aptX™ Low Latency
Maximum Communication Distance Approximately 10 m* in unobstructed circumstances
Frequency Response 20 Hz – 20 kHz
S/N Ratio

 

110 dB (USB)

103 dB (LINE)

88 dB (PHONO)

80 dB (MIC)

103 dB (AUX)

Total Harmonic Distortion 0.003 % (USB)

0.005 % (LINE)

Input/Output Terminals

 

 

Inputs LINE x 2 (RCA)

PHONO x 2 (RCA)

MIC x 1 (XLR & 1/4-inch TRS jack)

AUX x 1 (RCA)

Outputs MASTER x 2 (XLR, RCA)

BOOTH x 1 (1/4-inch TRS jack)

HEADPHONES x 2 (1/4-inch stereo jack, 3.5-mm stereo mini jack)

USB USB (Type A) x 2

USB (Type B) x 2

Power Supply AC 100 – 240 V, 50 Hz / 60 Hz
Power Consumption 24 W
Maximum Dimensions (W x D x H) 267.0 x 397.4 x 107.9 mm / 10.51” x 15.65” x 4.25”
Weight 4.5 kg / 9.9 lbs
Accessories Power cord

USB cable

Warranty (for some regions)

Quick Start Guide

Precautions for Use

Serato DJ Pro Expansion Pack voucher (Pitch ‘n Time DJ)

*Transmission distances are a guideline. Transmission distance may change depending on the surrounding environment.

 

For rekordbox specifications, visit the official website: rekordbox.com

 

For Serato DJ Pro specifications, visit the official website: serato.com

 

* Disclaimer: Specifications and price are subject to change.

* rekordbox™ is a registered trademark of AlphaTheta Corporation.

* Serato DJ Pro and Serato DJ are registered trademarks of Serato Limited.

* Mac and macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

*Qualcomm aptX audio is a product of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd.

*Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries, used with permission.

*aptX is a trademark of Qualcomm Technologies International, Ltd., registered in the United States and other countries, used with permission. *The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by AlphaTheta Corporation is under license. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.

* Other product, technology and company names, etc. mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

 

About AlphaTheta Corporation (former company name: Pioneer DJ Corporation)

AlphaTheta Music Americas, Inc. is the subsidiary of AlphaTheta Corporation responsible for sales and marketing in North, Central, and South America. For more than 25 years, the Pioneer DJ brand has been a market leader in the design and production of innovative DJ equipment and software. The company works closely with DJs and clubs to deliver next generation products that inspire and shape the global dance music community and has recently launched a new range of musical instruments for production and live performances. Its portfolio includes brands such as TORAIZ, Pioneer Professional Audio and Pioneer DJ Radio, as well as social platforms KUVO and DJsounds. AlphaTheta Corporation is a privately held company headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is led by President and CEO Yoshinori Kataoka.

 

Website: http://www.pioneerdj.com/

Stay up to date: http://www.pioneerdj.com/news

 

Social Media:

  • Facebook at com/pioneerdjusa
  • Instagram at com/pioneerdjusa
  • Instagram at com/toraizglobal
  • Twitch at tv/pioneerdjusa
  • YouTube at com/pioneerdjglobal

Contact:

Daniel O’Connell, 212.660.2555, Daniel@brand-definition.com

 

Pioneer DJ Releases New DJM-S11 Professional 2-channel DJ Mixer

From Pioneer: 

(TORRANCE, CA) October 15, 2020: Pioneer DJ, the innovative leader in DJ technology today announced its new DJM-S11 professional 2-channel, 4-deck battle mixer. Enhancing elements from its popular predecessors, the DJM-S9 and DJM-909, the DJM-S11 offers a host of new features helping DJs perform freely within Serato DJ Pro or rekordbox.

When scratching and making mash-ups on the fly, every second is priceless. The DJM-S11 mixer’s new 4.3-inch customizable touch display delivers all the information needed to make a seamless mix on the spot. DJs can browse tracks, check on playback positions and waveforms, and dynamically change the music texture by moving their finger across the Touch FX screen. The Touch MIDI feature enables artists to trigger functions in the DJ software. Together, these new features allow users to stay focused and keep their eyes on the mixer during their performance.

Packing more sounds into sets can differentiate between a good crowd reaction and a great one. The new DJM-S11 Deck 3/4 Control feature allows DJs to play up to four tracks at once. The additional decks appear on the touch display with a selection of controls so they can browse and load tracks, adjust EQs, set loops, trigger Hot Cues and more.

Serato DJ Pro users can use the Deck Move feature to move tracks from deck one to four, and deck two to three without a break in the music. This frees up the main decks and allows preparation time to drop in the next track. With the new Dual Deck control, users can use one fader, knob or control vinyl to manipulate tracks loaded on decks 1&3 or 2&4— this means you can scratch two tracks at once, add effects, or adjust their volume simultaneously.

The mixer’s redesigned look also delivers a more intuitive feel, new controls and improved sound performance.  Its Performance Pads are larger and the Magvel Fader Pro has been strengthened to give you more stability when you’re scratching. One of the most prominent new DJM-S11 features, Smooth Echo, allows users to automatically engage echo when moving the faders, or hitting thetrigger pads. Improved sound performance delivers clear, powerful audio—reflecting every performance nuance.

Every DJ is unique – and so is their setup. The DJM-S11 allows DJs to effortlessly play any way they like. The unit’s built-in USB hub enables users to directly connect with CDJs and the DDJ-XP2. The new mixer is also compatible with Serato DJ Pro and rekordbox. Simply plug and play, no license keys required. Want to use another DJ application? Each fader, knob and button is fully MIDI mappable.

hose looking to add a distinctive look to their setup can choose the limited edition DJM-S11-SE. This exclusive special edition variant inherits style elements from the 2004 classic, the DJM-909.

The DJM-S11 is available from local dealers today at a MAP of $1,999. Watch the introduction video or find out more about the new DJ mixer below or at pioneerdj.com.

The DJM-S11-SE is also available today at a MAP of $2,099. Find out more about the special edition of the mixer.

DJM-S11 Feature Details:

4.3-inch Touch Display with High Frame Rate: Reference Tracks and Settings, and Trigger FX

The high-frame-rate color touch display on the DJM-S11 shows everything from waveforms to BPM information, allowing DJs to concentrate on what their hands are doing or look up to see how the crowd is reacting to the performance. It’s perfect for browsing tracks and it’s customizable for any preferred layout style.

The Touch FX screen can control two effects simultaneously by tracing one finger across the surface while the other hand is scratching with the crossfader, or finger drumming on the Performance Pads. The FX Setting screen allows users to save four sets of effect types and parameters, then instantly call them up in different scenarios such as battling, mashing up tracks or playing a club set.

Touch MIDI offers four pages of presets that enable control functions in the DJ software without touching the laptop. The controls are also custom MIDI mappable, enabling unique, custom setups.

Industry-first Smooth Echo: Trigger the Customizable Echo with a selectable Fader/Pad

Users on rekordbox or Serato DJ Pro can assign the Smooth Echo effect to their choice from a selection of controls, such as a fader or pad. Then, with a Smooth Echo dedicated button, the echo will trigger as soon as the relevant control is moved. With changeableparameters for the effect, this new feature allows DJs to create sounds while scratching or finger drumming.

World’s First Deck 3/4 Control: Play Up to Four Tracks and Easily Create Live Mashups

Deck 3/4 Control—an industry-first feature—offers two extra decks, accessible via the touch display, allowing DJs to pack more sounds into their sets, and play up to four tracks simultaneously. These additional decks include a range of controls such as EQs, Hot Cues, pitch bend and more, making it easier than ever to create live mashups of multiple tracks.

When combined with Serato DJ Pro, DJs have access to two powerful additional features, Deck Move and Dual Deck control. Deck Move enables users to reassign tracks from deck one to four, and deck two to three without interrupting the sound. This frees up the main decks to start playing the next track or scratching a new sample. With Dual Deck control, users can adjust the volume and effects parameters for two decks at the same time, or scratch two tracks simultaneously.

Enhanced Design, Low Latency and Larger Pads: Perform More Intuitively Than Ever

The DJM-S11 enhanced design allows DJs to easily navigate around the clean layout and feel the low latency mixer respond to the performance. The Load button is now larger than the one on the DJM-S9, allowing for quick track selection. The eight Performance Pads are larger as well, making them easier to hit in energetic battles.

Scratch Bank: Rapidly Access Sounds from Serato DJ Pro

The new pad mode Scratch Bank enables users to instantly load scratch samples from four banks assigned in Serato DJ Pro by simply tapping a pad. Performers can load from a specified start point too, which is useful when dropping in full tracks during a routine. Activate Combo Pad mode in Serato DJ Pro to use up to four different pad modes simultaneously (two modes per channel, four pads per mode) and combine more features.

 High-quality audio: Crystal-clear Sound, Faithfully Reflects Every Performance Nuance

Under the surface of the DJM-S11 is a host of premium audio technology ensuring every detail of a performance is heard loud and clear. With studio-quality 64-bit mixing, dithering processing inside the DSP, low-jitter clock circuit and 32-bit high-quality D/A converter in the master output section, the mixer inherits a high-density, raw sound from the industry-standard DJM-900NXS2.

Improved Magvel Fader Pro: Feel Supported When Scratching

The new DJM-S11 features an enhanced feel for the Magvel Fader Pro. This means users can scratch with more confidence, while the tougher coating around the crossfader area reduces wear to the top panel – preserving the mixer’s fresh look.

 22 Built-in Effects Including New Beat FX: Add Texture to Tracks

DJs can spice up their sets with 15 Beat FX from the DJM-S9, plus seven new ones including Channel Fader Pitch and Helix. Users can instantly trigger the effects saved in four FX Banks and edit them via the touch display whenever needed. While using one of these effects, users can also trigger up to six more from the DJ software to create sounds never heard before.

Direct USB Connections: Ditch the Hub

There’s no need to use an external USB hub with the DJM-S11. Simply plug DJ controllers and other devices into the dual USB-A ports to use them. Two CDJs can be connected to use HID mode, and the mixer includes two USB-B ports allowing two laptops to be connected simultaneously for smooth DJ changeovers.

Plug and Play and MIDI Mapping: Use Serato DJ Pro or rekordbox for Free

The DJM-S11 unlocks both Serato DJ Pro and rekordbox Performance mode when connected to a computer running either application – with no license activation key required. A voucher for the Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ Expansion Pack is included, which enables key shifting and key syncing with perfect audio quality. And with the advanced MIDI mapping, users can assign every button, fader, and knob to control various features and functions in rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro.

DJM-S11 / DJM-S11-SE specifications

 

Software rekordbox

Serato DJ Pro

Frequency Response 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (USB, LINE, MIC, AUX)
S/N Ratio

 

115 dB (USB)

105 dB (LINE)

90 dB (PHONO)

80 dB (MIC)

90 dB (AUX)

Total Harmonic Distortion 0.003 % (USB)

0.005 % (LINE)

Input/Output Terminals

 

 

Inputs LINE x 2 (RCA)

PHONO x 2 (RCA)

MIC x 1 (XLR & 1/4-inch TRS Jack)

AUX x 1 (RCA)

Outputs MASTER x 2 (XLR, RCA)

BOOTH x 1 (1/4-inch TRS jack)

HEADPHONES x 2 (1/4-inch stereo jack, 3.5-mm stereo mini jack)

USB USB (Type A) x 2

USB (Type B) x 2

Power Supply AC 100 V, 50 Hz / 60 Hz
Power Consumption 30 W
Maximum Dimensions (W x D x H) 267 x 452.2 x 107.9 mm / 10.51” x 17.8” x 4.25 “
Weight 5.2 kg / 11.46 lbs.
Accessories Power cord

USB cable

Fader bumpers (A x 4, B x 2)

Serato DJ Pro Expansion Pack voucher (Pitch ‘n Time DJ)

Certificate of Guarantee

Quick Start Guide

 

Visit rekordbox official website for its specifications: rekordbox.com/

 

Visit the Serato DJ Pro official website for its specifications: serato.com/

 

* Disclaimer: Specifications and price are subject to change.

* rekordbox™ is a trademark or registered trademark of AlphaTheta Corporation. rekordbox is a registered trademark of Pioneer DJ Corporation.

* Serato DJ Lite, Serato DJ Intro, Serato DJ Pro, Serato DJ and Scratch Live are registered trademarks of Serato Limited.

* Mac and macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

* Other product, technology and company names, etc. mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Website: http://www.pioneerdj.com/

Stay up to date: http://www.pioneerdj.com/news

 

Business Smarts Begin with Big Hearts

By Frank Smith:

“Due to COVID-19 I need to…” We all know what comes next in that dreaded email. One of two words that no event professional wants to hear. “Reschedule.” Or even worse. “CANCEL!”

Event professionals all over are hearing from their clients that have events scheduled during their state’s restrictions. Some are even hearing this for events scheduled way after their state restrictions are set to end. Due to their fears. Due to the safety of their guests traveling from out of town. Due to guest count limitations. Regardless of your opinion of COVID-19, these are concerns that we should all empathize with.

Then the internal debate rages on. Should I allow them to reschedule? Charge them a fee? Give them a refund? Can I afford to give them a refund? There are two goals here: to be as accommodating to the client as possible without giving away the house and keeping your business afloat during this time. Work with your client as much as possible and collaborate to come to a conclusion that makes sense for everyone. Here is what I am doing with my bookings. The policies I created came after speaking with a large group of event professionals to figure out what others in the industry were doing.

“Due to COVID-19 I want to reschedule.” 

The client that wants to reschedule while your state’s government restrictions are in place: I am going to allow them to reschedule. I have determined the timeframe for the reschedule to happen is one year from the original date of the event. What am I doing to keep some cash flow moving into my business for expenses in lieu of these rescheduled events? I am requiring that client’s pay 25% of their fee on their original payment due date and the other 75% of their fee is moved to a new due date based on their new event date.

More challenging is what to do for a client that wants to reschedule after your state’s restrictions are set to end. Whether you will allow these clients to reschedule is up to you. My clients in this category have two options. They can either reschedule prior to the beginning of the 2021 peak wedding season on any day or on any Friday/Sunday during peak wedding season but still within a year of their original date. These clients are then subject to the 25/75 breakdown mentioned above to keep the cashflow needed to pay my operating expenses. The next option is if they choose a peak wedding season Saturday that is also within a year of their original date, they incur a rescheduling fee. I have spoken with multiple clients about this and they have been very understanding. This fee potentially turns into a credit towards their original fee if the date ends up becoming unserviceable due to restrictions in my state.

“Due to COVID-19 I want to cancel.” 

What do you do for the client that wants to cancel and their date falls during your state’s government restrictions? I am allowing them to cancel and providing the client a full refund, deposit included. I made the decision for my business based on my ability to sleep at night and will take a hit to my pocket. Everyone is going through the same thing and no one caused this issue. I completely understand some businesses will make a different decision. I would suggest that you have your contract reviewed by your attorney before making any decisions because your contract may make this decision for you.

If the couple wants to outright cancel and their event falls after the state restrictions have been lifted, I review with them what my regular cancellation policy states, inform them that without an extension of the state restrictions that the policy stands and they are held liable to the agreement from the originally signed contract.

You will have to determine the dates, timeframes, percentages and fees based on your state’s restrictions and the businesses expense projections.

Other factors to consider when making your COVID-19 policy is to consider the venues and vendors. See what they are doing and if you can align your policy with them. Especially with what the venues are doing. Attempt to minimize your business expenses so you can sustain your business longer. Reassess your pricing and readjust your deposit breakdowns. Have your attorney review and update your contract to make sure you are protected in the future.

The key is to remember that our clients don’t want to be stuck rescheduling or cancelling, just as much as we don’t want them to. Work with your client to make the best of this situation and to protect your business for the future!

Frank Smith is the founder of Prime Time Event Group serving the Central Virginia area since 2012. As a premier Event Host and DJ, Frank has been a part of over 350 events during the company’s 9 years in business. Find us online at PTEventGroup.com or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @PTEventGroup.

Getting creative with cocktail & dinner playlists

By Jim Weisz

I have a confession to make. For the first few years I was a DJ, my go-to for cocktail or dinner music was popping in a Kenny G CD and letting it just play through. I thought I had a taken my programming to the next level when I switched to Kenny G for cocktails and Michael Buble for dinner. How innovative! I cringe looking back on that.

For the last 5+ years, possibly my favorite time of the evening to program is cocktail and dinner music. I realized that that pre-dancing music can play a role in the overall success of the event. I’ve come to enjoy finding a playlist for those times that engages the audience, whether it’s toe tapping, head bobbing, silently singing along, or just enjoying the music, even if they don’t know the specific songs I’m playing.

Being in this business for the last 20 years, I’ve talked to plenty of DJs who have a set dinner or cocktail playlist that they play for every wedding. While that makes it easy, I personally love building a playlist based on that specific couple’s tastes.

When I book a couple, I set them up with a client account through DJ Intelligence to fill out planning forms. On the reception planning form, they give me an idea of what they want for dinner & cocktail music. Here are some examples of what I offer to them for styles:

– Older Lounge (example artists: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Nat King Cole)
– Newer Lounge (example artists: Norah Jones, Ingrid Michaelson, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz)
– Soft Alt Rock (example artists: Lumineers, Imagine Dragons, Mumford & Sons, Twenty One Pilots)
– Coffeehouse (example artists: James Morrison, Eric Hutchison, Joe Purdy, Ray Lamontagne)
– Texas Country (example artists: Stoney Larue, Wade Bowen, Josh Abbott Band, Randy Rogers Band)
– Jazz (example artists: Miles Davis, Etta James, Louie Armstrong, Nat King Cole)
– Upbeat (various artists & genres ranging from the 60’s to today)
– Custom (please provide a list of some artists or songs you would like)

Those are just the sample categories I offer, you can of course create your own options. I have a crate with a bunch of songs for those styles and then I create the actual playlist at the wedding. That way, no two weddings are the same. While I’m the only person who is at every wedding I DJ, I think couples these days want their wedding to be unique and not cookie-cutter. I’ve had quite a few tell me they appreciate that I’m building the playlist for their wedding.

In addition, I’ve found they also really like that I offer a fully custom option. I know that because quite a few choose custom, where they give me a pretty good list of artists or songs to play. Sometimes, they even ask me to just combine a couple of genres. For instance, I had a wedding that wanted a combination of Classic Country & Broadway showtunes for cocktails & dinner. That may sound like a trainwreck, but I heard several guests commenting on the music, and not in a bad way. It was them saying they could tell this playlist was created for the bride & groom since he was a big fan of Classic Country and she loved Broadway.

With some creative programming, you can take what could be a boring portion of the evening (for both you & the guests) and turn it into something fun and entertaining. It’s your job as the DJ to make that happen!

 

Jim joined Promo Only in 2018 and has nearly two decades of experience as both a mobile DJ and in the promotional music industry. He has a bachelors degree in broadcast communications and had a very brief stint in radio working as a producer for a syndicated show. He’s also a co-owner of Projectorgram, a company who creates digital gobos for DJs and lighting companies. He lives in Dallas with his wife and their 3 baseball-loving boys.

Separating the winners from the losers

By: Ben Stowe, CTS

The current global COVID-19 (SARS-2-CoV) situation will undoubtedly reshape our world.  As has happened at every reshaping point in history, there will be winners and there will be losers.  Some of the most powerful companies of our time were either formed during these moments, or they survived them.  Whether you will be a winner or a loser will largely depend on your actions.

There are several ways you can lose in a situation like this.  Obviously one way is to spend foolishly, but thats not to say that you shouldnt spend at all.  One of the other ways you can lose is to spend too little.  Companies that hunker down” can disappear from their marketplace and have a hard time recovering when business returns to normal levels.  They can also put off necessary upgrades and maintenance and find themselves woefully prepared for the future.

This brings us to the winners. The winners will have a strategic plan and will proceed with it.  Warren Buffet said, “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.”.  What you do with your entertainment business is no different.

If you are patient and are prepared for prosperity, you will be a winner.  Improve your marketing.  Update and upgrade your equipment.  Perform maintenance.  Improve your knowledge.  Its been said that you should dress for the job you want, and this isnt much different.  Dress your business for success.

Because we know cash flow is a challenge for many of our customers right now, were doing what we can to help.  Were offering 24 months 0% interest financing AND some special pricing.  Part of our strategy is to help you win.  The result of that is that our customers are the winners.

 

Were in this together.

 

About Ben Stowe:

As an award-winning and nationally recognized dealer of audio, video, and lighting integration services, Ben prides himself on the quality of the 300 top manufacturers NLFX Professional represents almost as much as the customer-first approach his elite staff of professionals bring to every purchase. For more info visit https://www.nlfxpro.com/contact-us/

Stop Being Linear!

by Tony Fernandez

Allow me a slight prologue: If you think you know “all” there is to know about music, programming, creativity, and mixing, you can do yourself a favor and move along. On the other hand, if you would like (at minimum) to gain new perspective, if you’re really trying to seek a way to improve yourself as a DJ, stick with me because we have ground to cover.

Let me say off the top, I embrace and encourage the diversity of how different people can take random tracks and orchestrate a fluid musical journey. It is a skill that takes time to hone. It is a skill that few can turn into an art. It truly encompasses what it is to be a DJ. And the beauty of it is there is no singular way to achieve that journey.

Having said that (here comes the other shoe), there is a habit most DJs could do without: If you want to get to the “next level,” you need to stop approaching DJing in a formulaic and linear way and develop a more fluid approach to your track selections.

IF you’re asking the same worn-out questions — what song or songs follow up after XYZ? what are your favorite 3- song or 5-song blocks? what playlist do you have for ABC event? — you’re NOT being Zen, and to be candid, you’re not even in the zip code of being Zen; there are four levels to achieve enlightenment; if you’re asking these types of questions, you’re in the basement.

It occurs to me there is a tipping point when it comes to how a DJ musically executes a set and most fall on one side or the other of that precipice. It also seems to me that the majority of DJs fall into the linear camp instead of the non-linear camp.

Being a DJ, specifically, programming music, isn’t a linear activity. There is no recipe. You don’t start at Step 1 and when you reach Step 10, Step 12, Step 243, etc., and automatically have a packed dance floor.  When you take programming and put it through the prism of linearity, your presentation ends up becoming flat, predictable, or worse: bland, because EVERYONE is doing the SAME thing.

Let’s be real. We ALL have access to the same tracks. We all subscribe to the same record pools, we all subscribe to the same remix services, we all make the same purchases from retail music services. Content, by and large, isn’t the problem.

What IS the problem is DJs aren’t taking the time to learn the music at their disposal. I blame the internet for the most part. While on one hand the ‘net is an amazing tool that brings information to you in milliseconds, on the other hand, when you reduce creativity, innovation, and demiurgic action to a Google response you turn DJing into a paint by the numbers activity.

So what do you/we do to change that up? Well, there’s the rub, boys & girls. There is no single answer. I can tell you what has worked for me: I immerse myself in what I do.  I listen ALL the time to music, stuff I like, stuff I don’t like, stuff I know, stuff I think I know, stuff I have no clue about. I listen, seek, search, hunt and try to discover those hidden gems: straight edits, extended edits, remixes, bootlegs, mash-ups, re-drums, etc. Then, once I have gathered my little gems, I figure out what’s going to work and what isn’t.

My approach is different.  Not because I just want to be different, but because I HAVE to be different than my friends, colleagues, peers, and my competition.
I’ll readily admit that I’m not a Zen Master (yet).  But I know I have a command of my music and I will achieve a connection with my dance floor because my approach is fluid. If I were to operate in a linear fashion, I will be doing a disservice to the patrons, not to mention, driving myself crazy.

So come on, kids, stop painting by the numbers. A little effort goes a long way. By all means find your workflow and find your direction. Find what works for you. Find your path to being fluid and enlightened.

That little kid in you will love to get out in to the sun and your crowds will like it, too.

Keep ‘em spinning.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on Facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

THE “DJ DIET”? Do you need one?

By DJ Rachel Lynch

NAMM 2020 means the most prominent manufacturers have cooked up new tech tools that have the industry salivating. Social media has been on fire with “delectable” innovations like the DENON 6000/6000M, Prime GO/Prime 2, Pioneer DJMV10, Chauvet GigBar MOVE, RANE Seventy, and the Electro-Voice EVOLVE 30M. In response to the release of this technological buffet, the internet has been seasoned generously with sneak peeks, reviews, blogs, and attractive advertising.  DJs are known to have an insatiable appetite for buying new gear, but maybe it’s time for a “DJ diet”?

 

  1. Is this purchase focused on the customer?

Most agree the only people who REALLY care about gear and specs are other industry professionals. In truth, clients don’t care about the “ingredients” (brands); all they want is the finished product to “taste good” (overall outcome). Before binging on new gear, focus on upgrading elements that genuinely enhance the guest experience. If your current setup is tidy, professional, and producing happy customers, consider holding off for something more meaningful like pizza or investments that uniquely elevate your “wow factor.”

 

  1. Have you REALLY outgrown your current gear?

I often encourage DJs to invest in things that make their job safer, faster, or more profitable. To help determine if an upgrade is necessary versus a “nice to have,” evaluate if you’re meeting the client’s expectations and how easy is it for you to accomplish those expectations? If you find yourself frequently turning down work because you cannot accommodate a request or are struggling to execute a task with the gear you currently use, then it may be time to upgrade or invest in something new. Otherwise, it may be a new toy rather than a vital tool.

 

  1. Have you mastered what you currently use?

That shift key on your controller unlocks another layer of features. If you didn’t know that, this paragraph is for you is for you! Mastering DJ hardware and software takes time and practice. With that said, professionals should develop the technical know-how to maximize the full potential of their gear. It is not uncommon for DJs to prematurely upgrade because they didn’t understand what they purchased in the first place or did not take the time to explore all the existing options. Before reaching into your wallet, make sure you intimately understand all available features with your current setup. Get comfortable with the strengths and limitations to determine if this would be an actual upgrade or a lateral move to something similar you’re already using; new doesn’t always mean better or different.

 

  1. Upgrading won’t make you a better DJ.

Buying new stuff often feels like the quickest way to improve, and while there may be some truth to having extra features and tools to attain a professional edge, it’s not going to ensure your stardom as a music festival headliner. The truth is that new speakers won’t mask poor music choice or the inability to read a crowd. Experience is the best teacher, not expensive gear. Upgrading may be a temporary motivator to put in additional time behind decks, but buying new tech won’t fix fundamental shortcomings. Learning and progressing as a DJ can be done on almost anything. Want to be a better entertainer? Focus on the basics and expand your creativity through experimentation.

 

  1. Have you budgeted for this expense?

Budget means spending with a purpose. Understanding the purpose of a budget gives more freedom and flexibility to purchase what you NEED when you actually NEED it. Make sure your budget doesn’t turn into a fad diet, meaning you have good intentions that fade away with every temptation that crosses your path. Proper finance management is essential for good business, and it is easy to do if you set realist goals and stick to them.  If you have unexpected equipment failure and haven’t explicitly set aside funds for anticipated upgrades, consider de-cluttering and offsetting some of the cost by selling older gear that’s collecting dust. Prioritize expenses and goals to eliminate frivolous purchases.

 

Technology is evolving faster than ever. This progress is a big win for the DJ industry; however, it can be overwhelming and confusing to know when to purchase the next best thing. With the constant pressure to streamline our workflow, maximize convenience, and blur the boundaries between DJing and producing, upgrading often seems like the right thing to do.

 

It’s easy to get caught up with the tech whirlwind and obsess over insecurities of not having the newest gear available. However, before opening up your wallet, I suggest an honest self-check to help determine if this upgrade is worth spending your hard-earned money or mere indulgence.

 

Fun, creative, and ambitious, DJ Rachel is making her mark as one of the top mobile DJs in the tri-state area. Her diversity as a DJ allows her to play at events that include MetLife Stadium (for the New York Jets) and serve as opening act for George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic and Gloria Gaynor. For more info visit: facebook.com/DJRachelRLynch

Serato: 20 years of changing the game

From Auckland, New Zealand:

Lace up your best trainers and crack the champagne – this year we’re celebrating 20 years of Serato and ‘The Power of Music’.

On the eve of the new millennium, two computer science students from New Zealand created Serato, a company that has since revolutionized the global digital DJing scene with a winning combination of out of the box thinking, hard work and an unpretentious attitude.

“Right out of the box Serato was a game-changer. Here’s a company who came out of nowhere with the Willy Wonka Golden Ticket, and all of a sudden they’re the industry standard…they dominated the whole system.” – DJ Z-Trip.

Like anything of significance though – it’s never a single entity that’s responsible for that groundswell. It’s a collective force of talent – innovators, artists and dreamers.

For our 20th, we’re celebrating these individuals and our collective journey with commentary from the likes of ​Roni Size, DJ Z-Trip, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Rich Medina, Mix Master Mike, DJ Spinna, A-Trak, DJ Jazzy Jay, Kayper, Kenny Dope, DJ Revolution, Grand Wizzard Theodore, Natasha Diggs, DJ Miss Milan, Just Dizle, DJ Shintaro, DJ Stef Nava and many more.

A documentary to sum it up

This three-part documentary chronicles Serato’s extraordinary path from humble beginnings to the international music brand they are today.

Episode one is the inception story: how Serato became the leader in two industries in just six years. ​You can ​view this incredible story right now on their YouTube channel.

It’s been an absolute pleasure – here’s to the next 20 years.

Limited Edition Box Set:

It seemed only right to produce both something tangible and digital to celebrate our 20th year. Along with our documentary, we’ll be releasing a limited edition anniversary box set. This will include:

  • ●  2 x 20th Anniversary Serato Control Vinyl, with the iconic NoiseMapTM within each groove.
  • ●  A 20th Anniversary photograph book tracing the story of Serato from 1999 to 2019.The box set is available for purchase from the ​Serato online store​ and selected retailers worldwide.

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For all press enquiries please contact ​press@serato.com

Would you play here?

By Tony Fernandez

The premise: Would you DJ at a venue that had everything laid out for you? All you have to bring is your headphones and your skills.  Gear is in the booth.  Computer is in the booth. Drinks are in the booth.  You get it.  However, there’s a catch (there’s always a catch) — you can ONLY play from the club-provided library.  You can NOT incorporate any of your music.  NO jump drives, no external drives, no streaming.  You play with what they give you.

On the surface, I get it. It does sound accommodating.  It sounds simple enough.  Even challenging.  And most DJs do like a good challenge.  A lot of DJs are of the opinion that this experiment wouldn’t be a big deal.  It would even be fun.

Can you tell where I’m going with this?  I have been in this exact scenario. I was not a fan.  I didn’t last long in the venue that had this system in place.  (More on that later…)

The largest problem with this setup is that you have no control over the most important piece of the puzzle:  the music library.  We all have our own way of organizing tracks.  We all have mixes and remixes that complement our “normal” tracks.  More importantly, we all know WHERE those choice mixes are on our drives.  If you walk into a construct like this, it’s a VERY tight sandbox.  Sure it can work for a night or three.  However, after time, it’s going to be suffocating because if the library isn’t keeping up with the demands of the night, well, to be redundant, it’s going to be suffocating.

What’s (kind of) is that I keep seeing scenarios creeping into the DJ world where alternatives are being developed to make the aspect of DJing “easier.” Not easier for the DJ, but easier for the people who have to deal with/hire the DJ.  So not only are there venues that are setting themselves up with complete turnkey systems and libraries  — did you know there is a company that is marketing a system to bars and clubs where a projector shoots an image of a DJ and the club can stream a mix from a library? In the end you get a projected DJ “playing” a set.

You don’t have to worry about AI taking the job from DJs some day in the future, it’s happening now.

So what can you do about it?  Be yourself.  KNOW your music.  Know your crowds. Know how to put those three things together and you’ll have a job that no one will take away from you because no one else or nothing else can be like you.

Okay, it’s later… So I was hired at a local club.  I was covering for other DJ’s nights off.  Things went well.  I was asked to become a regular.  I said yes. After about three months of filling in and regular residency I was presented with the “system.” Play ONLY from the club’s library.  I didn’t. The club’s library was, like, three months behind and guess what people were asking for — new stuff!  I kept bringing my library in to complement the club’s library.  After about three weeks of being insubordinate, I was fired. Rightfully so, may I add.  I did my job quite well but they didn’t like the fact that I was doing it with outside tools.

Fast forward three weeks: I get a call from the manager that fired me.  They needed a fill in.  I said sure. No hard feelings.  I come in and as I’m getting ready in the booth the manager proceeds to tell me that he heard about my night last week.  I did a 15-year anniversary party for a venue a block away. Ended up being on the outside patio. It was as great night.  Still can’t believe the cops weren’t called because I was BLARING the sound rig.  350 people on a patio that held 250.  Manager tells me that on Monday (after the patio party) the owner tells the bar staff that they should hire the DJ that was at the patio on Saturday.  Manager tells the owner… that’s the DJ you fired for bringing in the outside library.  You already had him here.

Moral of the story? I knew my job better than the guy that was paying me. I have no regrets about being fired.  Yes, I’d do it again.  I know my job. I won’t put myself in a scenario where I’m micro-managed to ONLY play THIS.  Being a DJ is fluid and non-linear.  If others can’t see that, I’ll keep on looking for those who can.

I’m going to keep stuffing my library with what works for me.  Hope you do the same.

Keep ‘em spinning.

Based out of Richmond, VA, DJ Tony Fernandez has been a DJ, Remixer, Producer, Musical Soothsayer and Audio Gear Oracle since 1980. Find him on Facebook. Email djtonytf@gmail.com

DJ Rachel’s VirtualDJ Update Review

By Rachel Lynch:

VirtualDJ has always struggled to sit at the “cool kids” table despite being the most used DJ software in the world. With 113 million downloads, it leads the industry with the lowest crash ratio among all programs and is continually pushing boundaries with innovation. Most agree the brand is plagued with an “amateur” stigma; however, VirtualDJ 2020 has come out with its gloves off and is commanding the respect it deserves. With its recent makeover, DJs who once scoffed at the program are now giving it a harder look. For the past 20 years, no DJ software has come close to the reliability and bold features of VirtualDJ, and this update is bringing it back to the top where it belongs.

Vocal critics felt previous versions were unsophisticated and dated, typecasting it as “mobile DJ only” software. While this couldn’t be farther from the truth, the refined and flatter interface challenges this stereotype head-on. VirtualDJ 2020 has visually matured, addressing one of its most considerable shortcomings. Gone are the gaudy graphics and skeuomorphic designs. Everything now is sexier and elegant with muted iconic red and blue decks along with four streamlined default skins. Users can easily choose to display what is crucial to their workflow by selecting which interface (Starter, Essentials, Pro, and Performance) works best for them. Additionally, a DJ can customize any interface with an abundance of choices to make their experience personalized. The update is like buying a new pair of shoes that already feel broken in. Long term users will feel right at home while the newbies will learn and love the updated look. The modernized skins offer the same utility you have come to expect from VirtualDJ but in a more professional layout.

This update also takes mixing to a new level with its integration of Beatport LINK and Advanced Harmonic Mixing feature. To start, DJs can refine their sets with the ability to play multiple tracks at the same time in compatible harmony. This means the listener won’t have to hear DJ blends that sound like someone is smashing random keys on a piano. VirtualDJ 2020 allows the user to autocorrect the opposing deck (if mismatched) within one semitone (up or down) without distorting or affecting the fidelity of a track in an obvious way. As a result, DJs can expand their creativity and song sections to choices that otherwise wouldn’t be compatible. Also, VirtualDj has expanded its streaming arsenal with the addition of the flagship service Beatport LINK. With over seven million tracks available and curated playlists, DJs now have an additional music platform to rock events from start to finish. Sketchy Wifi? No worry. Beatport LINK PRO ($39.99/mo) and PRO+ (59.99/mo) provide limited offline “locker” storage for tracks to be accessed should the internet connection fail. This integration is an excellent addition for those needing a variety of music on the fly.

It is no secret that VirtualDJ is known for taking risks on unique features before other programs adopt them. In the most recent update, Event DJs now have even more flexibility and freedom to interact with their guests and inject personalization with ease. The Event Scheduler in a revolutionary timeline management tool that allows the user to manually automate VirtualDJ functions in sequential order by writing mini bits of script (sounds scary, but it is super easy). A DJ can now schedule an array of actions to happen at specified times as needed throughout an event. Here are a few examples of how someone might use this new feature. A DJ can schedule a cocktail hour playlist to start 6:00 PM (in a different location) while they are packing up their ceremony rig. There is no need for the DJ to rush over to cocktail hour to start the music since the Event Scheduler starts the music on time every time. A DJ might choose to delay the start of a song while they walk out onto the dance floor to make an announcement, or a business can use a playlist with intermittent scheduled commercials. On New Year’s Eve, a sequenced countdown can be scheduled with complete accuracy. The only limitations are the DJs imagination.

VirtualDJ 2020 is designed to cater to every type of DJ out there and will continue to push boundaries as the leader in innovation. With its sleek interface and abundance of powerful features, its well on its way to winning over the skeptics.  The grownup design is intuitive and intelligent. If you haven’t updated yet, make the jump. Their world-class programmers have always focused on the DJ and their individual needs and this 2020 update continues with that tradition in offering features and updates that every DJ should be excited about.

 

Fun, creative, and ambitious, DJ Rachel is making her mark as one of the top mobile DJs in the tri-state area. Her diversity as a DJ allows her to play at events that include MetLife Stadium (for the New York Jets) and serve as opening act for George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic and Gloria Gaynor. For more info visit: facebook.com/DJRachelRLynch