Author Archives: djnickjames

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.

page2image3355392page2image13725680

 

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

Pioneer’s XDJ-XZ: Pro all-in-one DJ system for rekordbox and Serato DJ Pro

From Pioneer:

(TORRANCE, CA) November 12, 2019: Looking for a professional setup for events, a bar or club, or your private studio? The XDJ-XZ is perfect for every scenario. With flexible media support and a layout inherited directly from our club-standard gear, playing on our new all-in-one DJ system feels exactly like you’re using the CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2. A host of advanced features are right at your fingertips in this robust unit which produces high-quality sound.

Choose whether you want to play rekordbox-analyzed tracks from USB drives via channels 1 and 2 on the XDJ-XZ or connect your laptop and use rekordbox dj or even Link Export mode. With two extra channels, you can mix in audio from external sources like turntables, while Pro DJ Link enables you to browse tracks from CDJs via the 7-inch touch screen on the XDJ-XZ and sync them with your mix. Soon, you’ll even be able to perform with Serato DJ Pro, when compatibility for the software becomes available via a firmware update in early 2020. Want to play back-to-back? Three USB inputs (type A x 2, type B x 1) make this, and DJ changeovers, a breeze.

Using the 3-band EQ on the master output, you can easily tune your sound so it’s optimized for each environment you perform in. If you’re playing gigs with MCs, two separate mic inputs with independent 3-band EQs give you total flexibility and, when you switch on the Feedback Reducer feature, it’ll automatically reduce any “howling” sounds accidentally caused by the mic.

Get creative and animate your sets with 14 professional Beat FX and 6 Sound Color FX taken straight from the DJM-900NXS2 mixer, and trigger software-specific features using the 16 multicolored Performance Pads (8 per deck).

The XDJ-XZ is available now at a MAP of $2,299. Watch the introduction video or find out more about the all-in-one DJ system.

To use the XDJ-XZ with rekordbox dj, update to the latest version of the softwareand activate the included license key. The all-in-one DJ system also supports rekordboxdvs (license available separately).From early 2020, you’ll be able to unlock Serato DJ Pro by plugging the XDJ-XZ into a PC/Mac running the software and, from then, the unit will support Serato DVS (license available separately).

KEY FEATURES OF THE XDJ-XZ

  1. Advanced features and user experience from NXS2 setup for pro performances

Full-size jog wheels make mixing and scratching feel just like you’re using the CDJ-2000NXS2. And, thanks to On Jog Display, you can keep an eye on important track information via the color screen in the center of each one. All the knobs and controls on the XDJ-XZ are arranged in the same way as those on the NXS2 setup too. Mix with four channels and add texture to your performances with all 14 Beat FX, plus the 6 Sound Color FX, from the DJM-900NXS2.

  1. Support for various media and different performance styles

The XDJ-XZ gives you the freedom to play the way you want. Plug in USB drives loaded with rekordbox-analyzed tracks or connect your PC/Mac to use our professional performance application, rekordbox dj. You can even play tracks directly from your rekordbox library via Link Export mode, so you don’t need to export playlists from your laptop to USB drives. Want to introduce audio from external sources? Connect turntables, samplers, smartphones, and more, to channels 3 and 4. And if you want to perform with Serato DJ Pro, you’ll be able to do this following a firmware update, coming early 2020.

  1. High-quality sound and multiple EQs

Rock your crowd with crystal-clear audio. You can fine-tune your whole mix using the 3-band EQ on the master output and, with 3-band EQs on each of the mic inputs, it’s easy to adjust the sound of either MC. Worried about feedback? Switch on the Feedback Reducer feature and it’ll automatically lessen the “howling” frequency if it occurs.

  1. Pro DJ Link seamlessly syncs external equipment for expanded creative options

The XDJ-XZ is the first all-in-one DJ system to support Pro DJ Link. This means you can connect external equipment such as CDJs to channels 3 and 4 and sync audio to your mix. Use the screen on the XDJ-XZ or the one on the CDJ to browse tracks on USB drives connected to either unit.

  1. Touch screen and color On Jog Display

Use the 7-inch LCD touch screen and the color On Jog Display in the center of each jog wheel to keep an eye on waveforms, Hot Cues, BPM, and more. With so much visual information available, you can focus on your performance and keep your eyes off your laptop when you’re performing with rekordbox dj or Serato DJ Pro (coming early 2020).

  1. Other features
  • Three USB inputs (two top-loading for USB devices and one laptop connection) for smooth back-to-back performances and DJ handovers
  • 16 multicolored Performance Pads (8 per deck)
  • Mic input circuit produces clear audio, even with high input level
  • Robust, high-quality design
  • Single unit with grab handles for easy carrying and setup

XDJ-XZ specifications

Software rekordbox dj

Serato DJ Pro (coming in early 2020)

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

 

114 dB (USB)

103 dB (LINE)

90 dB (PHONO)

96 dB (AUX-LINE), 90 dB (AUX-PORTABLE)

81 dB (MIC)

Total Harmonic Distortion

 

0.003% (USB)

0.005% (LINE)

0.017% (PHONO)

Input/Output Terminals

 

 

Inputs LINE x 2 (RCA)

PHONO x 2 (RCA)

AUX x 1 (RCA)

MIC x 2 (XLR & 1/4-inch TRS jack)

Outputs MASTER x 2 (XLR x 1, RCA x 1)

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

PHONES x 2 (1/4-inch stereo phone jack x 1,

3.5-mm stereo mini jack x 1)

SEND x 1 (1/4-inch TS jack)

USB USB (Type A, 5 V/1 A) x 2

USB (Type B) x 1

Others LINK x 3 (LAN 100Base-TX)
Maximum Dimensions (W x D x H) 878.0 x 466.1 x 118.4 mm / 34.6 x 18.4 x 4.7 in.
Weight 13.0 kg / 28.7 lb
Accessories Power cord

USB cable

Operating instructions (Quick Start Guide)

Software license notice

rekordbox dj license key card

rekordbox dj system requirements

Compatible OS Mac macOS Catalina 10.15 (updated to the latest version)

macOS Mojave 10.14 (updated to the latest version)

macOS High Sierra 10.13 (updated to the latest version)

macOS Sierra 10.12 (updated to the latest version)

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

 

* Disclaimer: Specifications and price are subject to change.

* rekordbox is a registered trademark of Pioneer DJ 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.

* Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

* Intel and Intel Core are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

* The names of companies, product names, and technology names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

 

About Pioneer DJ

Pioneer DJ Americas, Inc. is the subsidiary of Pioneer DJ Corporation responsible for sales and marketing in North, Central, and South America. For more than 20 years, Pioneer DJ 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. Pioneer DJ Corporation is a privately held company headquartered in Yokohama, Japan. The company is led by President and CEO Akio Moriwaki and Executive Vice President Yoshinori Kataoka.

 

Website: http://www.pioneerdj.com/

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

 

USA Social Media:

 

Mixed In Key releases Captain Melody 3.0

Mixed In Key releases Captain Melody 3.0 for Mac and Windows, the latest update to the award-winning Captain Plugins series. Captain Melody 3.0 includes six powerful new tools for writing melodies. The newest innovation is the “Idea Box” that helps craft melodies appropriate for plucks, pianos, analog and VST synths, guitars, voice and other instruments. The resulting melodies can be played by the built-in Captain Plugins sounds, or routed to a virtual instrument of choice.

Built for Making Hits:

David Guetta wrote the melody and chords for his “Stay (Don’t Go Away)” remix with R3hab using Captain Melody 3.0 beta. This legendary artist beta-tested the plugin, helping to ensure Captain Melody 3.0 includes unique tools for creating the melody of a hit track.

David Guetta writes: “Captain Melody is super convenient for songwriting. I love the color feature that tells you how stable the note is in the scale. It’s cool to see what melodies are suggested when you are looking for a new idea.”

New Features in Captain Melody 3.0:

The Idea Box

Create and Edit your melodies with the Idea Box. It’s our most powerful invention. An array of parameters affect the melody’s rhythm, cadence, complexity, tonality and much more. Create arpeggios, change melody shapes, add randomness and experiment with variations of your melody.

Tension Editor

Notes in the user interface change color based on the amount of tension they have with the chords. This easy-to-learn color system helps to guide you to create melodies that complement the harmonies and rhythm in your track. Blue notes are stable, green notes add a bit more flavor, yellow notes want to resolve, and red notes are off-key with the track. Editing the MIDI notes inside the editor will automatically update their color to reflect how much tension the melody has with the chord progression created in Captain Chords.

Pencil and Paintbrush for MIDI
Draw in the notes of your melody inside Captain Melody 3.0 using the Pencil Tool. Paint your melodic ideas onto the MIDI editor and draw in polyphonic melodies.

First Note and Lanes
Easily select the note your melody starts on using First Note. Change the probability that a note occurs in the melody using Lanes. Choosing “Follow Chords” within Lanes allows the intervals to be based on the chords changes as apposed to just the parent scale.

Import MIDI Files
Captain Melody 3.0 allows you to import MIDI files and transpose them to the key of your song. Start to work with pre-composed ideas in MIDI files by shaping them to become the main feature in your track.

Random “Dice” Button
Captain Melody 3.0 includes a randomization button in the Idea Box. Click it to try out a randomly generated version of your current selection. It’s an amazing way to fast-track inspiration.

Magic Record
Add in original rhythms to your melodies using Captain Melody 3.0’s all-new record mode. Jam out rhythms on your computer or MIDI keyboard to add even more magic to your music.

Compose with Sounds from the latest Spotify charts
Captain Plugins preset bank has expanded to include a range of captivating new sounds. Choose from one of the updated presets including Plucks, Leads, Keys, Basses, Pads, Guitars and turn your productions into chart-topping hits.

Send MIDI to your favorite software synths
Route the MIDI output from Captain Plugins into all VST and AU units in real-time. Connect Captain Plugins with Kontakt, Massive, Spire, Sylenth, Serum, Roland Cloud, Omnisphere and more. Using your own VST’s and AU plugins expands the creative potential of Captain Melody 3.0 and allows you to own your sound.

Available for Mac and Windows
Captain Melody 3.0 is available for both Mac and Windows systems. On Mac, we officially support Ableton Live, Logic Pro X, FL Studio and Cubase on Mac OS 10.10 and higher. On Windows, we support Ableton Live, FL Studio and Cubase.

Free Upgrade
Captain Melody 3.0 is available as a free update for existing Captain Plugins users. The entire suite of Captain Plugins can be purchased for $79:

Review Requests

For press questions or review inquiries, contact Sara Simms: sara.simms.mik@gmail.com

The official company website is: https://mixedinkey.com/captain-plugins/