Author Archives: djnickjames

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

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

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/

Sex, Drugs and Early Death 

By John James Murphy

Let’s get to know each other. I’ve been in the DJ biz since 1979. I’ve seen and done everything – good and bad – that can be done. I’m writing this blog because my good friends at Promo Only really care about you and your health and wellness.

As professional DJs our profession can be glamorous, fun, and rewarding. Lots of cash, parties and good times. I get it. I’ve been there. Sadly, the downside we all share in common is the loss of too many of our fellow DJs too soon. I have personally lost eight DJs who worked for me. Heart attacks, suicide and lifestyle choices. All in their 50s or younger. Hundreds more in our industry continue to die before their time.

How many DJs do you know who are overweight, smoke, drink excessively, don’t exercise or eat well, who burn the candle at both ends and never take care of themselves? Any of that sound a little too familiar?

You have a choice. But it takes a desire to change decades of habits and, most importantly, your attitude.

The good news is that you CAN preserve or recapture your energy and health. It’s never too late… until it’s too late.

 But it doesn’t happen by accident. Developing a healthy lifestyle takes focus and effort.

And someone with a plan.

Each month here we’ll be going deeper into one of the 7 Key Areas of Achieving Life Balance. 

  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Mental Health
  • Spirituality
  • Financial
  • Environmental
  • Social Connection

These seven areas are all interconnected. By learning and implementing the best practices in each, you’ll be giving yourself your best chance at living the long, happy and healthy life you want and your loved ones deserve.

Ready to take that first step? Here’s something you can do NOW to begin building your healthy lifestyle.

 Drink lots of water! So many of us are dehydrated. It can make you feel lightheaded, weak and sick. To be properly hydrated, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day!

Why? Our bodies are 70% water. Our brains are 85% water. Water is the oil for our engines. When we change the oil in our cars, we flush out the gunk. It’s the same thing with our bodies. We’re exposed to potentially thousands of toxins every day that over the course of time will cause your body to break down if not flushed out by, you guessed it: water.

Remember: Once you’re thirsty you are already dehydrated!

So hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

 Here are a few other things you can do to feel better right now!

Stretch! Even if you don’t like formal exercise, it’s essential for you to stretch your arms, legs, neck and core for flexibility and balance. How many times have you forgotten to stretch before loading in to a gig? So many injuries can be avoided by stretching!

 Read the labels! If you don’t know what the ingredients are — don’t buy it. Artificial ingredients are why nine out of 10 Americans are micro-nutritionally deficient. No wonder we don’t feel well and are susceptible to illness and disease!

 Take a deep breath! You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel when you take a few minutes to breathe deeply and slowly. Intentional breathing increases oxygen and blood circulation. It relaxes and reduces stress. Take long deep breathes and exhale slowly. After a minute or so you will feel refreshed!

 Develop an Attitude of Gratitude!Life is precious and should be celebrated every day. That’s why it’s called the “present.” Don’t sweat the small things… and most things are small things. Concentrate on your blessings, not your problems and you will be amazed.

These are just a few “Big View” examples of how you can make positive changes NOW in your life. Begin by doing these few simple things and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle!

What are you waiting for?

Next Month: Discover how to eat the most nourishing foods to rapidly change your energy, weight and overall health. 

Of course, we all need a little push, some accountability to ensure we stay the course. It is so much easier to accomplish anything with support. So let me invite you to email me at john@make100Healthy.com with your info and we can set up a time to connect!

Download your FREE copy of my ebook at www.make100healthy.com/ebook  

For Interviews, Consultations, Bookings and Projects.

john@make100healthy.com M. 908 309 7046 @make100healthy

About John James Murphy: A dynamic entrepreneur and inspirational voice whose incredible energy enables his clients to live the second half of their lives with maximum fulfillment and happiness, John is the founder of Make 100 Healthy, an organization that celebrates “Living a Balanced Life.” His e-book, “Yes You Can Live to 100 Years or More!” was recently published, and he hosts the Make 100 Healthy Longevity podcast.

The ABCs of a successful website

by Lou Paris

Unless you have been under a rock you are more than aware of the juggernaut that is social media. And while Instagram and Facebook dominate the landscape there are of course a litany of other platforms out there, all vying for peoples eyeballs and clicks. But in this era of social media one should not lose focus on the most important presence one has in their arsenal, your website. 

Your website is your interactive business card, a platform for which you have complete control of, a source where you can shape your message and image like no other platform can. Social platforms or other properties like Wedding Wire or The Knot have a very specific design to adhere to making your presence at these locations very generic and ordinary.

With your own website you are presented an opportunity to wow your audience with amazing visuals, unique layouts, and engaging content. 

Now don’t get me wrong, social media is extremely important and you would be foolish not to have claimed at least your business name for each one, even the obscure ones. But these social outlets should be leveraged at the beginning of your sales funnel. You should reach out to your clients with engaging short content and images through these properties and lead them to your website where they can poke around and read the wealth of quality information that you can have on it. 

(I go into much greater detail on sales funnels and how to manage each aspect here) 

There are some professionals that to this day do not have a website and I can say with certainty they are missing out on opportunities. Survey after survey, poll after poll, people are looking to research and validate their choices.

If you lack a website presence some will simply
turn to the next vendor that does.
 

And if you do already have a site but have not tended to it over the months and years, it could bring more harm than good. Outdated designs, mobile compliance, even pictures that look dated could signal to a potential client that you are not keeping up with the times and could leave your business to slowly wither making you wonder why business has dried up. 

So what can you do? The good news is with the right amount of effort you can have a stunning website. There are a ton of beautiful pre-designed templates out there that can start you off on the good foot. It’s time to take the following steps to get your web presence in the modern age: 

a) If you have no website at all, and you don’t know where to start, hire a professional. Just as you feel a client should hire a DJ for their experience one should seek a professional web designer to establish a great web presence. If you have an existing site and it looks like it was made in 1998 and you feel overwhelmed I advise taking the same advice. 

b) If you don’t understand terms like SEO, see bullet point a. Just having a website is one thing, but ensuring that it can perform well in organic searches is paramount. It would be akin to having a new sporty car in your driveway but never taking it out for a spin. 

c) Sell on your services, not on your equipment. I see this repeated time and time again. Do not chat up about the specific model of equipment you have, or that you have millions of songs, or that you have moving heads. Clients do not care about this (for the most part). They are looking for an experience. They are looking to see how you set yourself apart from the crowd and how you will make their event extraordinary. Sell on your services. Sell on your quality. Sell you. 

d) Produce quality content. Sites will become stale if you are not nurturing what you have established. Pen the occasional article that will speak to your audience on a more personal level. Create reasons for people to come to your website, 

Realize the opportunities that you have to promote your business with a quality web presence. More than ever, it’s the most important tool in your arsenal. 

About: Lou Paris started his DJ career in 1988 and also a successful IT career in 1996 with stints at the DOJ & the FBI. He is the owner of Paris Creative, a solo wedding DJ operation in the Hudson Valley area of NY and founder of eCUEity, building the next generation event-planning platform. Email:  lou@pariscreative.com 

Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT: Bring the club to you

DJs can now get a taste of a club setup at home thanks to the all-new ​Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT​.

The hardware is the first to create a professional CDJ-and-mixer workflow with a Serato DJ Pro controller. This means you get CDJ-sized jog wheels, Pioneer DJ’s coveted DJM mixing section and industry-leading software running the show.

The DDJ-1000SRT will be available early August at an MAP of $1,299. Simply plug it into a laptop running Serato DJ Pro to unlock the software – you don’t need a license key or subscription – and use the included Pitch ‘n Time DJ Expansion Pack to enable advanced key-related features. The controller is Serato DVS-ready (Expansion Pack available separately).

Special limited offer: Free Serato DJ Suite

Pioneer and Serato are putting a free Serato DJ Suite voucher worth $299 in the boxes of the first 5,000 DDJ-1000SRT controllers that we ship worldwide. This all-in-one suite includes a Serato DJ Pro license and unlocks all the Serato Expansion Packs, including Serato Play, Serato DVS, Serato Video, Serato Flip, and Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ.

Developed specifically with Serato users in mind, the four-channel DDJ-1000SRT also adds 16 RGB backlit performance pads for controlling eight Serato DJ Pro modes. Other highlights include ultra-familiar Serato virtual decks with important track information in full-color, via high-definition LCD screens in the center of each jog wheel. Pioneer DJ’s iconic sound-color and Beat FX are also built in to bring the club setup to life.

“It’s the perfect marriage of Pioneer DJ hardware and Serato functionality,” says Nick Maclaren, Chief Strategy Officer at Serato. “The jog wheel display will help DJs spend more time in the mix, while the combination of Serato’s intuitive performance pads with color FX and CDJ looping controls will allow DJs to get even more creative with their sets.”

The DDJ-1000SRT also includes four individual channels, as well as dual mic inputs and USB ports.

“With a medium-sized footprint, the DDJ-1000SRT delivers that versatile mix of portability in a professional-grade controller,” says Maclaren. “Two mic inputs and XLRs make it a great option for events and parties, while dual USB ports allow for seamless changeover and back-to-back mixing,” he adds.

The Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000SRT unlocks Serato DJ Pro and supports DVS.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-1000SRT

 

  1. Serato DJ Pro compatibility

Feel at home using Serato DJ Pro with the DDJ-1000SRT. You’ll be able to easily use popular features such as Hot Cues, Beat Jump, and Slicer, bringing more creativity to your performances.The controller comes bundled with a voucher for the Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ Expansion Pack, enabling you to use Key Shift, Pitch Play, and Key Sync. You can also mix, cut, and scratch while maintaining perfect key and audio quality.

  1. Full-size jog wheels and MAGVEL FADER

Mix and scratch your tracks with freedom. The jog wheels taken from the CDJ-2000NXS2 look and feel familiar, and you can customize the way they react to your touch with Jog Adjust. The MAGVEL FADER is highly durable for more than 10 million movements1and responds to every precise movement you make, so intricate performances feel effortless.

  1. Portable DJ controller with club-style layout

The DDJ-1000SRT is the ideal piece to take on the road. You’ll feel at home using all its feature controls, which are arranged in the same layout as those on our club-standard NXS2 setup.

 

  1. Color On Jog Display

Focus on your performance and keep your eyes off your laptop. A full-color, high-definition LCD screen in the center of each jog wheel gives you all the information you need, such as playback time, BPM, and playback position. And the color scheme is the same as Serato DJ Pro’s, creating a more intuitive experience.

  1. Professional FX

Show your flair and spice up your sets with the four popular Sound Color FX from our DJM series mixers. You’ve got 14 Beat FX to get creative with too, and you can instantly reference BPM and the name of the selected FX thanks to the dedicated Beat FX display.

 

  1. Standalone DJ mixer with multiple inputs and outputs

Switch between DJs seamlessly thanks to the two USB ports for PC/Mac and connect your external equipment to the four inputs. Plug in DJ players and analog turntables, plus two mics. You can also use the DDJ-1000SRT as a standalone DJ mixer without connecting a PC/Mac.

 

  1. Other features
  • Multicolored Performance Padstrigger Hot Cues, Rolls, Slicer, Sampler, and Pitch Play
  • Key Shift and Key Sync buttons –direct control of Serato Pitch ‘n Time DJ key-related features
  • Aluminum/acrylic-finished top panel – for a quality look and feel
  • Serato DVS-ready –requires the Serato DVS Expansion Pack (available separately)

 

 

 

DDJ-1000SRT specifications

 

Frequency Response

 

20 Hz to 20 kHz (LINE)
S/N Ratio

 

112 dB (USB)

96 dB (LINE)

85 dB (PHONO)

80 dB (MIC)

Total Harmonic Distortion

 

0.002% (USB)

0.005% (LINE)

Input / Output Terminals Inputs LINE / PHONO × 2 (RCA)

LINE × 2 (RCA)

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

Outputs MASTER × 2 (XLR × 1, RCA × 1)

BOOTH × 1 (1/4-inch TRS jack)

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

USB USB (Type B) × 2
Power Supply

 

AC adaptor (DC 12V)
Maximum Dimensions

(W x D x H)

 

708.0 × 361.4 × 73.4 mm
Weight 6.0 kg
Accessories AC adapter

Power plug

USB cable

Quick Start Guide

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

 

 

System requirements

 

Compatible OS Mac 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™ i9, i7, i5, i3  1.07GHz or above
Memory 4GB or more of RAM

Remixes or Nah?

By Tony Fernandez

Alright Chil’dren, gather round now. It’s time for a dose of straight talk.  This time ‘round, let’s talk about remixes.

It occurs to me that remixes in the DJ community live in this weird universe.  DJs love ‘em. DJ’s hate them.  DJ’s live by them or die by them. Some DJ’s are all about them, some DJ’s have no use for them.

Guess where we’re going with this….

For those who know me or for those who have seen my play logs, it’s no mystery I’m a fan of the remix. But the “secret” to the remix game (if you will) is playing the RIGHT remix.

Keep up with me…

Let’s back up for a second here, I do realize that not EVERY event or EVERY song calls for a remix to be played or a remix to be made.  There are songs that are fantastic on their own merit.  There are events that do not warrant the programming of remixes.  I get it.  However… instead of looking at things you can’t do, let’s take the approach of what you CAN do.

Remixes are your friends.  When you pick the right remix and program it accordingly, you can really create a magical moment.  Picking the right remix is like choosing the right wine with your meal.  It can make or break the moment.  Remixes should not be played just because there is a remix. Trust me, there are just as many BAD remixes as there are good remixes.  Probably more bad ones than good ones.  While good is subjective, there is the right remix of the right song, for the right moment.

Think about this… As DJs, we all pretty much have access to the same music.  It doesn’t matter what record pool or subscription service you’re enrolled in. And this isn’t being said to be disparaging to pools and services.  The reality is we ALL have access to the same content.  As such, we need to be able to stand out and be different; that’s where the remix comes in.

Now I’m not going to tell you what remixes to play, nor the how or the when to play them.  I have my hands full taking care of my dance floor.  But I will suggest that you stretch out your pallet.  Increase the toys in your sand box.  On one hand you don’t need to figure out how to play the future progressive gabber trap remix of that 90’s track.  On the other hand, having a fun new remix that holds true to the original, can breathe some new life into a track, into a set.  And that’s a win for everyone.

Now I gotta go digging for my unreleased, bootleg ,white label, limited release, can only get from the producer remixes.  Go get your own.

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