The Emotionally Intelligent DJ (Part 1)

By DJ Rachel Lynch

After years of trial and error I became frustrated with my stagnant business. Customers slipped through my fingertips, as my competitors seemed to book gigs with ease. I have always been a responsive, polite, and talented DJ.  So, why was it so hard to make that sale? What was I doing wrong? Something needed to change, and I realized it was me. My “a-ha moment” came from a casual conversation with a respected colleague. We challenged each other, with some humorous DJ related role-playing, to simulate a sales call. After a few chuckles and some painfully awkward dialogue on my end, I realized what the problem was: I was “corporatized.”

This exercise had highlighted the fact that I had carried over robotic habits from my day job into my DJ business. By being so laser-focused on professionalism and efficiency, I was treating customers like contracts and profits, rather than friends who I would be celebrating.  My communications were sterile, filled with information about services and pricing. There was no personality, humor or warmth in my messages. This was very hard to swallow, but I realized that I had adopted the tone of an office worker, not a caring DJ who people trusted with their once in a lifetime event.

The significant change I made, was to stop running my business like a business. Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this comment, but understand that I’m not dismissing the importance of basic economics and sensible business practices. However, I am suggesting developing a business plan around Emotional Intelligence.  Emotional Intelligence is the driving force behind connecting with customers, and earning their trust. It is a trait where most fall short, and it is often overlooked in most professional settings. In an industry that is highly competitive and sales driven, personal touch matters.

Understanding your motivation is key.

When a client front-loads you with questions about pricing, it’s easy to focus on the finances. However, to be persuasive, bookable and sought after, a DJ must focus less on the economics of DJing and strive to build meaningful relationships with their customers, the community, and DJ industry contacts.

Profits will come if people want to connect with you. It’s that simple.

The takeaway? If the foundation of your business model is to make more than you did last year, by crunching numbers and budgeting for the latest and greatest gear, clients will run in the other direction. I’m living proof.  I am energized, busier, and more connected than ever, due to the changes I made to become more emotionally intelligent with my business.

Next month: Rachel’s 10 Steps to be more emotionally intelligent with your business!

Happy mixing!

Fun, creative, and ambitions, 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 https://www.facebook.com/DJRachelRLynch/

Digging for Diamonds

By Tony Fernandez

Through my travels on the web and through the various DJ pages, I keep seeing a recurring thought: The state of music, specifically current music, is at an all-time low. If that isn’t enough, that state of mind puts DJs into the frame of mind of: what are the good songs that should be played? The stuff out now is crap… blah, blah, blah….

I gotta tell ya, I really have no sympathy for the DJ who can’t figure out where to get “good” music. Let me explain my position before you flame me…

A long time ago in a galaxy not far away, there were these things called record stores. These record stores would have music on physical formats that people would purchase. DJs, at least the proactive DJs, wouldn’t go to a “regular” retail stores where troglodytes would buy their music. Nope. DJs would go WAY off the beaten path to find outlets that catered to them.

In these establishments is where bonds were formed, deals were made, fortunes found.

Now I’m not really going to wax on about record stores. That’s not the point. The point I’m trying to elucidate is: if you are lacking “good” music, go find it. It’s out there. Nothing worthwhile is just going to drop in your lap.

With the dawn of the digital age, record stores met their demise. As such, music is currently traded around, downloaded, and acquired in the digital scheme. That scenario, I think, has made a lot of DJs lackadaisical, complacent, passive and downright lazy to a fundamental aspect of being a DJ…

You have to dig to find that diamond in the rough. You have to put a bit of effort in your musical acquisitions. There is absolutely no reason to be obsequious in this aspect of your job. Make the time. It’s part of your job.

Just because you keep up with charts, subscribe to record pools and/or remix services doesn’t absolve you of keeping up. You really can’t just sit back and expect format radio to break the next “hot” song.

If you haven’t figured this out… format radio isn’t in the business of breaking music. Format radio is in the business of selling advertising time, to make money. They use music to do that.

You can’t just wait for your inbox to give you a notification that your downloads from the pools/remix services are ready and you’re good to go.   It’s not the job of record pools to pad your hard drive. Pools are at the mercy of the record labels and their release schedules.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of tracks that radio, the charts, the pools, the remix services are NEVER going to pick up on, play, or release. It’s incumbent on you to seek those out. To at least listen and see if something new and different is worth playing it or your crowd.

I also realize that people are creatures of habit. They like familiarity. They like things they know. They like things they’ve heard. I get that. I’m in no way saying that DJs need to play unreleased, white label, bootleg versions of songs to be cool or relevant. The vast majority of DJs play to the general public. As such, we need to keep our music programming recognizable. I do get that.

Since music now is in a digital medium, we ALL have access to the SAME tracks. (Pretty much…) We all are drinking form the same fountain, as it were. Because that’s the case, we need to set ourselves apart. Finding new music and/or remixes to current / popular music is an aspect that DJs need to take advantage of. There is good music and good remixes out there. Just don’t expect it to fall into your hard drive.

Keep ‘em spinnin’ and dig around a bit. You’ll never know what you might find.

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

Bedroom to Main Room: Pioneer Introduces the XDJ-RR

Make the transition from playing at home to performing at parties, bars and eventually clubs with Pioneer’s new XDJ-RR 2-channel all-in-one DJ system for rekordboxTM . The system inherits all the basic features from their club-standard NXS2 set-up and packs them into a lightweight, portable body that’s easy to take to parties and gigs as you progress through the DJ ranks.

The XDJ-RR offers you flexibility, so you can practice and perform however you prefer. It’s compatible with our professional performance application rekordbox dj (license included) but if you don’t want to use a PC/Mac, you can export your rekordbox-analyzed music to USB storage devices, plug them into the controller and play tracks directly from them.

Keep an eye on all the information you need thanks to the XDJ-RR’s 7-inch full-color screen and use performance features and FX inherited from the NXS2 set-up – such as Hot Cues, Slip Loop and Beat FX – to craft unique mixes on the fly.

Unleash your creativity with the XDJ-RR and follow your dreams from your bedroom to the club.

A license key for rekordbox dj worth $129 is included with the XDJ-RR so you can plug it into your PC or Mac straight out of the box and start mixing. If you already own rekordbox dj, upgrade to the latest version to use the XDJ-RR.

To help protect your XDJ-RR on the road, the DJC-RR BAG will be available from October (EMEA only). The high-quality bag is perfectly sized to snugly fit the all-in-one DJ system and features a Durashock molded body and ballistic polyester to prevent damage from knocks and vibrations.

The XDJ-RR will be available from mid-September at an MAP of $1,099.

 Watch the introduction video or find out more about the all-in-one DJ system.

KEY FEATURES OF THE XDJ-RR 

  1. Layout and features from club-standard NXS2 set-up

The XDJ-RR inherits its layout design and many of its performance controls, features and FX from our flagship CDJ-2000NXS2 professional multi player and DJM-900NXS2 professional mixer set-up. You can play rekordbox-analyzed tracks directly from USB storage drives or connect your PC/Mac to the XDJ-RR and use rekordbox dj – our professional performance application. You also have the option to use Link Export mode.

  1. Dual USB-A ports and single USB-B port

Connect your PC/Mac to the USB-B port at the rear of the XDJ-RR and plug USB drives into the dual USB-A ports on the top of the system to ensure seamless handovers between DJs.

  1. 7-inch full-colour screen

Browse and select tracks quickly and intuitively via the 7-inch full-colour screen, using the GUI design and large rotary selector from the CDJ-2000NXS2 multi player. Get a quick visual reference of track information such as playback position, BPM and waveforms for more accurate mixing and scratching.

  1. Performance controls

Enhance your sets using dedicated controls for performance features:

  • Hot Cues – mark various points in your tracks and instantly play from them by hitting the Hot Cue pads. Create live remixes by triggering Hot Cues in unique sequences.
  • Beat Loop – loop a section of a track and the XDJ-RR automatically sets the loop-out point based on the BPM. You can chop up loops on the fly for even more creative performances.
  • Slip Loop – switch on Slip Loop and tracks keep playing silently in the background when you’re scratching or using other performance features. Then, when you’re ready to drop the track back in, it plays from exactly the right place.
  • Beat Jump – easily change the way a track develops by jumping backwards or forwards by the number of beats you choose.
  1. Mixer section with professional FX

Perform smooth, precise mixes using the EQs and channel faders, which feature curves equal to those on the DJM-900NXS2 professional club mixer. You can spice up your sets with FX also inherited from the flagship mixer:

Beat FX – change the sound in sync with the beat:

  • Echo
  • Reverb
  • Flanger

Sound Color FX – add texture and tension by simply turning the knob:

  • Filter
  • Noise
  • Dub Echo
  • Pitch
  1. Lightweight and portable

Take the XDJ-RR wherever you want to practise or perform thanks to its portable design. It’s compact and weighs just 5.2 kg – almost 4 kg (43%) less than the XDJ-RX2 – making it perfect for carrying to your next house party or gig.

Other features

  • All-in-one design enables simple and speedy set-up

Connect the XDJ-RR to a power source and your speakers or sound system and you’re ready to perform. There’s no need for cables between the player and mixer sections.

  • External audio input

Play music from external sources or mobile devices thanks to the AUX input.

  • Link Export mode for rekordbox

Connect your laptop directly to the XDJ-RR with a single USB cable and play the tracks in your rekordbox library without exporting them to a USB drive.

  • Includes rekordbox dj license key

Activate the rekordbox dj license key (worth $129) bundled with the XDJ-RR to use our professional performance application. And, if you add the DDJ-XP1 DJ sub controller to your set-up (available separately), you can unleash even more of rekordbox dj’s features – for example, by using the 32 Performance Pads to trigger extra FX – and bring more creative flair to your performances.

XDJ-RR Specifications

Frequency characteristic 20 Hz to 20 kHz (USB, AUX, MIC)
S/N ratio 112 dB (USB)
Total harmonic distortion 0.003% (USB)
Input / Output terminals Inputs AUX x 1 (RCA)

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

Outputs MASTER 1 x 1 (XLR)

MASTER 2 x 1 (RCA)

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

USB USB (Type A) x 2

USB (Type B) x 1

Dimensions (W x D x H) 625.0 mm x 388.5 mm x 74.2 mm
Main unit weight 5.2 kg
Accessories Power cord

AC adapter

USB cable

Instruction manual (Quick start guide)

rekordbox dj license key card

 

rekordbox system requirements

Compatible OS Mac macOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)

macOS Sierra 10.12 (updated to the latest version)

OS X 10.11 (updated to the latest version)

Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack)
CPU Intel® processor CoreTM i7, i5, i3
Memory 4GB or more of RAM

 

Website: http://www.pioneerdj.com

The Big F. U. (How do you “Follow Up” with your potential clients?)  

By Mitch Taylor

Just because you book the client doesn’t mean you don’t speak to them again until it’s 2-4 weeks before their event. After all, the sales process doesn’t stop after you make a sale.  It’s a continuous cycle that is ever evolving and yet the steps have remained the same since the beginning.

The only thing that has truly changed is HOW we communicate to our clientele with our delivery methods.

For many of us, that’s the frustrating part. We have to manage SO MANY different platforms today. Instagram, Facebook Page, Facebook, email, internet, text…it’s overwhelming. You can’t force a client into having the communication only where YOU want to have it; today’s client isn’t like that. They want to communicate in the manner in which is most convenient to them. What to do? Save scripts.

If you travel a lot like me, this is an invaluable way to be sure you’re getting back to people in the voice you want to get back to them in and in the medium they wish to communicate. You can’t be trying to figure out what you want to say to a client when you’re traversing gates at an airport or at your kid’s evening game. Speed is the name of the game in communicating with today’s client so you need to setup some ways to stack the deck in your favor to quicken your response time.

My method of choice for this is Google Drive in folders in my business.

I have a parent folder in my Google Drive for my business called Taylored Weddings (simple, right?). From there, I have folders for the six facets of our business: 1. Marketing. 2. Sales. 3. Operations 4. Planning 5. Production and 6. Performance. In my sales folders I have the scripts I created that allow me to have a faster response to a client so I can just go into my sales folder (which also has subset folders for each step of where a client is in the process (Booked, Pending, Active Lead, Followed Up, etc), copy and paste the appropriate response with a quick personalization to that client to freshen it up, and then send.

The end result is happier clients (you got back to them fast!), and a more productive you (GO YOU!)

Thoughts? Share them!

More than just a DJ

By Rachel Lynch

As a DJ who has reached a pinnacle in their career after 13 years, my view of ‘what a DJ is’ has shifted 180 degrees from when I started. Looking back, I had no idea about the extra skills and flexibility needed beyond the decks and turntables to make it in this business. Even though technology has eased some of the burdens of being a mobile, DJing in 2018 is a job that requires wearing more hats than ever.

The Salesman:

I’ve always thought of myself as a terrible salesperson. In fact, every job I have ever held growing up has avoided two things, sales and math (the kind of math I was told I would need growing up and never did). When I decided to become a DJ, I figured it would be a safe way to avoid both. To my surprise, years later I have realized I couldn’t be more wrong. Selling your services is one of the most essential skills to develop as a DJ. One of the most significant changes I made to my sales approach was to stop selling “equipment and years of experience” and start focusing on selling “me and my value as a DJ.” In the absence of value, everyone shops on price. The key is to show them why having YOU as their DJ will positively impact the total experience they are seeking. Personality, charm, wit, kindness, dependability, and approachability are more important than the number of watts on the back of your powered sub. I wish I had embraced this earlier on (and wasn’t so stubborn on doing what I thought DJs did). Sales are a part of what we do.

The Marketing Manager:

Before social media took the world by storm, DJs relied heavily on promoters, the Yellow Pages (I’m dating myself now), word of mouth, business cards, and other less interactive platforms to get their brand out there. While it can be epically overwhelming for those intimidated by technology, it is now the task of a DJ to be involved with selecting the appropriate social media channels for their customer base. I’m not here to tell you how to market but rather why you need to. Word of mouth will always be the best advertising, but unfortunately, DJs working in the current climate will need to do their own promotions, ads, flyers, videos, and social media management if they want to be recognized as a player in this arena. Luckily, there are a lot of great apps that make creating promotional content a breeze. Some of my favorites are Canva, Clips, iMovie, Spark Post, Spark Video, LiveCollage, Grammarly.

The R&D Department:

Music today is being pushed out at an astonishing rate from multiple sources (YouTube, curated Spotify lists, SoundCloud, and other music-related apps). Acquiring music is instantaneous and audiences are becoming more and more savvy about finding the music they love; it’s no longer about what local radio is pumping out. Add shows like X-Factor and The Voice, and music is now so tangled in pop culture that DJing is not just about music anymore; it’s about what’s going on around us, too. Do your homework (unlike you did in middle school) and dedicate some time each week to do some pop culture searches and news. It will keep you fresh and current. Trust me.

The IT Department:

While technology has made DJing much more portable, it has also required DJs to master the tech arena as well. From DMX programming, web design, correctly setting EQ values, to firmware updates and wireless technology, a DJ is also their own personal tech department. Mastering this means research, rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. Technology is only going to move forward, and we have to, too.

DJing in 2018 is much more complex than two turntables and a microphone. So for those who are just getting started, be prepared to grow and learn in ways you never thought you would.

We are more than “just a DJ.”

Happy Mixing!

Fun, creative, and ambitions, 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 https://www.facebook.com/DJRachelRLynch/

ADJ Releases myDMX-RM, A Powerful New Standalone Interface For myDMX 3.0

ADJ is pleased to announce the release of its new myDMX-RM lighting control interface that not only acts as a hardware dongle for the myDMX 3.0 software but also offers internal storage with 16 programmable trigger buttons. This makes the unit ideal for use in a wide variety of situations where simple, standalone lighting control is required.

myDMX is ADJ’s extremely popular multi-platform DMX control software / hardware system (Windows and Mac OSX compatible) that offers an easy-to-use interface, powerful features and an affordable price tag. Featuring a large library of fixture profiles – as well as a custom Profile Editor – it is easy to setup myDMX to control any DMX-compatible lighting or effects equipment. An intuitive interface and powerful features (including a drag-and-drop effects generator) then make programming and controlling complex shows a breeze, while the latest version of the software – 3.0 – also includes additional useful features such as Blind Editing (the ability to change scenes without outputting DMX) and the option to playback multiple scenes at a time.

The myDMX-RM is a robust 19” rack mountable interface that connects a computer running the myDMX 3.0 software, via USB, to a DMX-controllable lighting rig through a standard XLR connection. Out of the box, the unit allows use of myDMX 3.0 Express Mode, which includes all of the standard features needed to setup, program and control a lightshow. It is then possible to upgrade the software (via store.dmxsoft.com) to unlock advanced features such as a 3D Visualizer, MIDI control and ‘Easy Remote’ smartphone/tablet control app).

Through the software it is also possible to assign lighting programs to each of the myDMX-RM’s 16 trigger buttons. These programs are then stored on the device itself and can be recalled, simply by pushing the button, even if the computer running myDMX 3.0 has been disconnected. This makes the unit ideal for use in situations where it isn’t possible to have a lighting operator constantly on hand, for example in a bar, school or event venue.

It is also perfect for use in venues such as lounge clubs where a lighting operator will arrive part way through the day’s operating hours. The venue manager can easily select a pre-programmed ‘warm-up’ Scene, using one of the myDMX-RM’s trigger buttons, when the venue opens. Later, when it’s time to transition from a bar atmosphere to full-on dancing, the lighting operator can hook up their laptop to the interface and seamlessly assume full control of the rig.

Likewise, the unit is ideal for small clubs that can’t justify the expense of a designated lighting operator. The myDMX-RM can be pre-programmed with a variety of different looks and effects which can then easily be triggered by the DJ to complement their musical mix.

Finally, the myDMX-RM can also be used by lighting designers and operators to provide a level of backup against a computer crash. When controlling a rig from myDMX through the myDMX-RM important scenes can be stored on the unit’s internal memory so that if the computer running the software crashes, or stop functioning for any reason, changes to the lightshow can still be made using the RM’s trigger buttons while the computer issue is resolved.

The myDMX-RM’s 16 trigger buttons are all backlit, to provide a simple visual indication of which stored program is currently running. On its back panel, the unit also features both 3-pin and 5-pin XLR sockets meaning that it can easily be connected to any DMX-compatible lighting fixture. The unit allows control of a full DMX universe (512 control channels) in both its Live and Standalone modes, while multiple interfaces can be ‘stacked’ to allow control of two or three universes of DMX channels from a single myDMX program.

“myDMX continues to be extremely popular with many different types of entertainment lighting users”, comments ADJ USA’s National Sales Manager, Alfred Gonzales, “but the new myDMX-RM will open it up for even more potential applications. It’s convenient 19” rack-mount casing and flexible standalone function makes it ideal for installation in a wide variety of venues that need the ability to very simply switch between a variety of pre-programed lighting looks. I’m sure it will appeal to many installers who will be able to go in to a venue, setup an impressive lightshow for their clients, program it using their laptop and then leave just the myDMX-RM to provide the flexibility of selecting different programs without the need for a dedicated computer or for staff to learn how to use the myDMX software.”

Its combination of a tough rack-mountable case, powerful internal memory and flexible trigger buttons make the myDMX-RM the ultimate myDMX 3.0 dongle. It is sure to not only appeal to existing users of the software but also open it up to many new users who have a need for a standalone DMX interface that offers the flexibility of a fully-featured software control solution.

For more information on the ADJ myDMX-RM, visit:
http://www.adj.com/mydmx-rm

Click here to get a full demo video of the myDMX-RM:

For more information Contact ADJ:

ADJ USA – Tel: 800-322-6337/+1-323-582-2650 • info@americandj.com

ADJ Europe – Tel: +31 (0)45 546 85 00 • info@americandj.eu
ADJ Mexico – Tel: +52 (728) 282 7070 • ventas@americandj.com

Web: www.adj.com

DJM-REC recording app for iOS now supports SoundCloud music streaming platform

Pioneer’s DJM-REC recording app for iOS is now compatible with SoundCloud, the world’s largest open audio platform. You can now upload your mixes directly from DJM-REC to SoundCloud, and effortlessly raise your DJ profile.

DJM-REC is an app for DJs, which enables easy recording and sharing of mixes for effortless self-promotion to global audiences.

It offers everything you need: simple connection, high-quality audio recording, and easy online sharing and streaming using DJM series mixers1 equipped with the send/return feature.

In addition to the new SoundCloud support, DJM-REC enables you to easily upload your recorded mixes to cloud services such as Mixcloud and Dropbox. You can also live stream your mix effortlessly via YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram and Snapchat via DJM-REC.

Try DJM-REC free for 30 days with full access to all its features. To continue using the app after the trial period, you can upgrade to the paid version for $9.99.

1 DJM-REC is compatible with DJM-series mixers equipped with the send/return feature (i.e. the DJM-TOUR1, DJM-900NXS2, DJM-750MK2 and DJM-450). To use DJM-REC with the DJM-TOUR1, DJM-900NXS2, DJM-750MK2 or DJM-450, update the mixer’s firmware to the latest version. https://www.pioneerdj.com/en-us/support/

* Disclaimer: specifications and price are subject to change.

  • DJM-REC is available in English only.
  • SoundCloud is a registered trademark of SoundCloud Ltd.
  • iPad and iPhone are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the US and other countries.
  • App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
  • YouTube is a trade name or registered trademark of Google LLC.
  • Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.
  • Periscope is a trade name or registered trademark of Twitter Inc.
  • Instagram is a registered trademark of Instagram LLC.
  • Snapchat is a registered trademark of Snapchat Inc.
  • Mixcloud is a registered trademark of Mixcloud Limited.
  • Dropbox is a registered trademark of Dropbox Inc.
  • Other stated company names, product names, technology names, etc. are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
  • It is the responsibility of DJM-REC app users to follow copyright protection laws, rules and regulations, as well as international treaties designated in the country where the app is being used.

 

 

 

C’mon, Man!

By Glen Ervin:

 Assumptions: We all make them all the time. It’s how our brains function, the result of millions of years of evolution (one would assume) during which pretty much everything was trying to kill you. Good times. Problems arise, however, when we confuse our assumptions with reality despite clear evidence to the contrary.

The pipe and tweed crowd refers to the habit of hoarding preconceived notions as cognitive bias, and have come up with some pretty catchy titles to describe its symptoms.

Some you may recognize: the Bandwagon Effect, Confirmation Bias, Cheerleader Effect, the Dunning-Kruger Effect, aka all the other kids are doing it, I’m just here for opinions that agree with mine, five girls in skimpy skirts are better than one girl in a skimpy skirt, and way too many idiots have an inflated opinion of themselves, respectively.

Others less well known have no doubt spread your way.

Maybe you’ve caught an earful of the Sharing Music Doesn’t Hurt Anyone Bias. That’s the shell game some DJs play where they convince themselves that taking caviar off the table of rich recording artists is no big deal while conveniently ignoring the fact that everyone from secretaries to songwriters to how much DJs can charge for their events is negatively impacted by music piracy.

Or maybe it’s the Music Is Free Effect, Real DJs Don’t Use Sync Bias, Real DJs Beatmatch Effect and, my personal favorite, the I Have More Songs On My Hard Drive Than You Do Bias that make you back away from the keyboard and voice the only reasonable response available…

C’mon man!

If you’re in a place where you think you’re entitled to earn a living by ripping off artists and driving down prices for other DJs. Or need to build yourself up by tearing other DJs down, that’s… a choice.

Just know those of us who strive every day to make our best better and value the music that makes doing what we love for a living possible are rolling their eyes.

And while we may not always say it out loud, we’re thinking it…

C’mon man!

After being turned out to pasture following a 16-year club residency, Glen Ervin finds himself gainfully employed as Promo Only sales manager, media consultant and staff writer.

Pioneer’s New DDJ-400: Club-standard layout & new Tutorial feature

If you want to try DJing at home and see how far you can take it, Pioneer has created the perfect controller to learn on: the DDJ-400. Made for dedicated use with their professional performance application, rekordbox dj (free license key included), the 2-channel DDJ-400 is designed to help you get the most from the new features coming to the software with the release of rekordboxTM ver 5.3 today.

The DDJ-400 is the ideal piece of kit for first-time DJs. Its controls enable you to easily learn the basics, plus it’s packed with features that will help you develop your skills. The controller is compatible with the new Tutorial feature in rekordbox dj, which explains basic equipment operation step by step. Even if you’ve never ventured behind the decks before, you can learn how to DJ.

Thanks to the lightweight and portable design, you can take the DDJ-400 to friends’ houses to practice together or bring it to parties and small venues to perform. And if you want to take mixing to the next level, you’ll feel at home in the club DJ booth because the DDJ-400 inherits design traits from our professional range. The layout of dedicated play/pause and cue buttons, Beat FX, CDJ-style looping controls and more is inherited from our NXS2 set-up.

The DDJ-400 will be available from late June at an MAP of $249. Watch the introduction video or find out more about the controller.

A license key for rekordbox dj worth $129 is included with the DDJ-400 so you can plug it into your PC or Mac straight out of the box and start mixing. If you already own rekordbox dj, upgrade to the latest version to use the controller.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-400

  1. Club-style layout

The buttons and knobs on the DDJ-400 are arranged in the same way as those on our club-standard CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2 set-up.

  • Player sections

Get familiar with jog wheels, play/pause and cue buttons, tempo sliders, a loop section and cue/loop call buttons just like the ones on the CDJ-2000NXS2.

  • Mixer section

Use the trim and EQ knobs, and the headphone cue buttons, in exactly the same way as those on the DJM-900NXS2.

  1. Other features
  • Built-in sound card (audio interface) – plug and play by simply connecting the controller to your PC/Mac using a single USB cable.
  • Mic input circuit clear audio without distortion, even with high input level.
  • USB bus powered no need to plug into the mains.
  • Grab handles on both sides – easy to carry.
  • Class compliant – no need to install a driver.

KEY FEATURES OF REKORDBOX VER 5.3

  1. Tutorial feature – learn how to DJ

Follow the instructions of the Tutorial on your PC/Mac’s screen. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you can learn how to DJ. The Tutorial feature is also compatible with the DDJ-RB as of 26th June 2018.

  1. Track Suggestion – displays tracks that match well with the one currently playing1

This feature ranks every track in your rekordbox library according to how well it matches with the one you’re currently playing, helping you choose tracks that will fit well in your set. The track displayed at the top of the track list is the most relevant one to play next. Quickly scroll through your music, making maximum use of your collection.

There are three sorting modes:

  • Era: tracks with a close year of release.
  • Mood: tracks with a similar mood.
  • Association: tracks sharing traits such as artist, label,

1 To use this feature effectively, build up track information in your rekordbox library.

  1. Easy sharing of mixes to social media with track titles and time stamps

Use rekordbox to record your sets and share them with the world via social media channels such as Mixcloud, YouTube and KUVO. When you upload your mix, all track titles and time stamps are automatically added by rekordbox, so listeners can check each track title while enjoying your set.

DDJ-400 specifications

Software rekordbox dj
Frequency Response 20 Hz to 20 kHz
S/N Ratio 103 dB (USB)
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.005%
Input/Output Terminals Inputs MIC x 1 (1/4-inch TS jack)
Outputs MASTER x 1 (RCA x 1)

PHONES x 1 (3.5-mm stereo mini jack x 1)

USB USB (Type B) x 1
Maximum Dimensions (WxDxH) 482.0 x 272.4 x 58.5 mm
Weight 2.1 kg
Accessories USB cable

Quick Start Guide

rekordbox dj license key card

 

rekordbox dj system requirements

Compatible OS Mac macOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)

macOS Sierra 10.12 (updated to the latest version)

OS X 10.11 (updated to the latest version)

Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack)
CPU Intel® processor CoreTM i7, i5, i3
Memory 4GB or more of RAM

 

To mix or not to mix (hint: mix)

By Tony Fernandez:

Its 2018 right? Which means that since the late 1960s DJs have been segueing from record to record, song to song, to maintain a vibe and the consistency of that vibe, roughly some 50 years. So why is it in the technologically advanced world that we currently live in that some DJs still chose not to mix?

Before I continue on my diatribe, let me step off the soapbox for a moment…

I do realize its America. As such, I know I have no right to dictate how one should DJ. I’m sure there are plenty of DJs that don’t mix and make a lot more money than me.

Back to my soapbox…
I’m not saying that all DJs need to be qualifiers for the DMC battle for World Supremacy or finalists for Red Bull Thre3Style. Just asking how is it possible that some DJs put no thought or effort into mastering a fundamental skill that all DJs should have in their arsenal.

Let’s put it this way: If you don’t mix, you’re pretty much a bag of bones that pushes buttons.
You’re just navigating a playlist. And yes, for those who don’t know, I am NOT a fan of playlists.

Let’s frame it another way: On some level we’re all pretty much playing the same songs. We all subscribe to the same record pools (shameless plug for Promo Only here). We all have the potential to have the same content. So… how are you as a DJ going to distinguish yourself from everyone else?

Come on kids, you have to do better. You have to maintain a certain set of fundamental skills. Know your music. Know how to read a crowd. Know your gear. Know how to say no to that seventh cocktail. And know how to mix.

While I’m pontificating, let me add: If you don’t mix (for whatever justification you hang your headphones on) don’t post up and comment on how ‘I haven’t needed to mix in the two centuries I’ve been a DJ and I’m still getting work…’ Honestly, to me, that’s a cop-out and a mitigation of a rudimentary skill you should possess. Besides, stating that you don’t know how to mix isn’t really painting yourself in the best light.

Mixing isn’t neurological surgery. I’m truly not trying to make mixing more important that what it is. But there is a method to the madness, as it were. Mixing is more than just finding songs with the same BPM. Mixing is more than just blending two (or more) songs together. You have to pick the CORRECT song to mix with. You have to know when to START the mix. You have to know when to END the mix. And you have to be consistent from song to song to song, usually for 4 hours or more.

I truly do not understand how someone can find solace in not mixing, ergo, not being a complete DJ. Mixing music is what a DJ does. It’s part of the essence of being a DJ. Dare I say (if I haven’t said enough already) that mixing is a requisite skill that every DJ should have in their toolbox.

Till next time DJs. Keep ‘em spinning.

And mix those spins.

 

 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