Author Archives: djnickjames

New Lighting mode coming to rekordboxTM, to be released in February

Following the release of rekordbox ver 5.1 on 18th January 2018, the next version of Pioneer’s music management application, rekordbox, will be available on 20th February 2018. The updated software will bring new features to rekordbox dj including Lighting mode, which enables you to easily sync lights with your music during a performance.

Using the advanced phrase analysis algorithm in rekordbox (ver 5.1), Lighting mode automatically creates exciting lighting sequences in sync with the tracks in your rekordbox library, drastically reducing pre-performance preparation time. The information generated in Lighting mode can be sent to any lighting fixture that supports DMX5121 via the RB-DMX1, a new dedicated DMX interface.

How to use Lighting mode

To control DMX512-supported lighting fixtures using rekordbox dj, you need the dedicated DMX interface, RB-DMX1.

The RB-DMX1 will be available from early March 2018 at an MAP of $349. It comes with a bundled license key for our professional DJ performance application rekordbox dj, worth $129.

Watch our introduction video for Lighting mode or find out more about the RB-DMX1, a new dedicated DMX interface.

1DMX512 is a communication protocol used for controlling stage lighting equipment.

KEY FEATURES OF REKORDBOX LIGHTING MODE

  1. Automatic creation of lighting patterns in sync with your music

The newly developed phrase analysis algorithm in rekordbox detects characteristics of each phrase in a track. Effective lighting patterns are then automatically created in perfect sync with the phrase information, minimising the time you need to prepare for a DJ and lighting performance.

  1. Macro Mapping feature for easily customizing lighting patterns

Easily customise lighting patterns by simply selecting your favourite sequences from a wealth of pre-sets. Select patterns intuitively from thumbnail images that visualize the lighting fixture movement as well as the colours and tones of lighting patterns. You can quickly edit your lighting performance to match the atmosphere of the party and track requests.

  1. Macro Editor feature for intuitively editing lighting sequences

Fine-tune lighting patterns by checking track analysis information such as waveforms and beatgrid. While listening to the music, you can edit patterns manually using the intuitive GUI.

  1. Fixture Library for flexible lighting fixture configuration

Using the lighting fixture library from AtlaBase Ltd, Lighting mode supports DMX fixtures from a wide variety of manufacturers. Create and save multiple lighting fixture configurations using fixtures you’ve assigned in the rekordbox Fixture Library. Lighting patterns are automatically recreated for each fixture configuration, so you can easily change the configuration you want to use according to the size and purpose of the event and venue. The AtlaBase fixture library comprises more than 13,000 unique fixtures. In the unlikely event that you can’t find your fixture, simply post a request in Pioneer DJ forum and the fixture will be added within a few working days.

About AtlaBase

AtlaBase is the most complete database of lighting fixtures and other products in the entertainment industry.

The team behind AtlaBase comprises a group of professionals who’ve carefully added data on thousands of items from almost every manufacturer around the world. The company’s mission is Dedicated Library Development & Support.

Website: https://www.atlabase.com

Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/atlabase/

KEY FEATURES OF THE RB-DMX1

When connected to a PC/Mac using a USB cable, the RB-DMX1 can control a set of DMX512-supported lighting fixtures by converting information set in Lighting mode to DMX512 protocol.

  1. Compact, robust chassis
    Take the RB-DMX1 out on the road with confidence. The unit is compact, portable and its seamless aluminium casing makes it highly robust, while the extended edges protect the terminals.
  2. Includes rekordbox dj license
    The RB-DMX1 comes with a bundled license key for our professional DJ performance application rekordbox dj, so you can control digital tracks stored on your computer. Combining the RB-DMX1 and rekordbox dj’s Lighting mode, you can create lighting performances in perfect sync with your DJ performances.

RB-DMX1 Specifications

DMX channels 1universe (512 ch)
Input / Output terminals DMX output terminal XLR connector (3 pin) x 1
USB terminal B type x 1
Power Supply DC 5 V
Rated current 500 mA
Dimensions (W x D x H) 90.0 x 90.0 x 41.5 mm
Unit weight 0.3 kg (0.65 lb)
Accessories USB cable x 1

Operating instructions (Warranty) x 1

License key card (rekordbox dj) x 1

 

rekordbox Specifications

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, 10.10 (Updated to the latest version)

Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack)
CPU Intel® processor Core™ i7, i5, i3

Intel® processor Core™ 2 Duo 2.0 GHz or above

Memory 4 GB or more of RAM

 

* Disclaimer: specifications and price are subject to change.

* rekordbox is a registered trademark of Pioneer DJ Corporation.

* Mac, OS X or macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries.

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

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

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

New rekordbox lyric Plus Pack brings world’s first lyric visualization in sync with DJs’ tracks

Pioneer is releasing rekordbox ver 5.1, a new version of their music management software. The update enables a brand-new optional Plus Pack, rekordbox lyric, for displaying animated lyric visualizations when using the rekordbox dj Plus Pack.

Since we released rekordbox video in 2016, we’ve continued to develop the video functionality within our performance software and, now, rekordbox lyric offers a brand-new form of expression. Its lyric visualization feature, co-developed with COTODAMA, enables you to display visualizations of track lyrics on the fly via monitors or projectors when using the rekordbox dj Plus Pack. Animations are created automatically by the software and you can customise them to create your preferred look. rekordbox lyric is the first DJ tool in the world to visualize the lyrics of songs being played.*1

How to use rekordbox lyric

Subscribe to one of the following plans available from 18th January 2018:

  1. Lyric Plan ($6.90 per month)

If you already own a rekordbox dj license, you can subscribe to this plan to use rekordbox lyric.

  1. Premium Plan ($14.90 per month)

In addition to rekordbox lyric, you’ll get unlimited access to all the features and functions of rekordbox dj, rekordbox dvs, rekordbox video and RMX Effects.

30 day free trial of rekordbox dj

If you use the rekordbox dj trial version, you can try all Plus Packs including rekordbox lyric for 30 days. During the trial period, you can try rekordbox lyric’s features using sample songs that can be downloaded through rekordbox.

Find out more about the rekordbox Plus Packs and watch our rekordbox lyric introduction video.

*1 First application service in the DJ application market (according to research conducted by Pioneer DJ Corporation, 11th January 2018).

* Lyric Plan and Premium Plan are available in limited countries only. Find out more.

* In some cases, lyric data may not be acquired from tracks.

* If you already subscribe to the current rekordbox plan (now known as Base Plan) and would like to subscribe to Premium Plan, you’ll need to cancel your current subscription and take out a new subscription for Premium Plan.

KEY FEATURES OF REKORDBOX LYRIC

  1. Lyric visualization in sync with tracks

Thanks to COTODAMA’s Lyric Sync Technology, the lyrics of the tracks you play are sent via your laptop’s video output (HDMI, etc.) to a connected screen or projector. Just play music that’s been pre-analysed by rekordbox and smooth, dynamic motion graphics based on the track’s mood and structure will appear when rekordbox lyric is enabled. You can perform with your tracks normally (for example, adding FX) and the visualized lyrics will appear automatically.

  1. Customizable visualized lyrics

You can change the tone and type of motion graphics generated by rekordbox lyric. And, with the flexibility to customize font colour and transparency of the background individually, you can create visuals on the fly to match the crowd’s vibe.

  1. Compatible with rekordbox video

Use rekordbox video with rekordbox lyric to apply its Transition FX to visualized lyrics and to layer lyrics over videos and images. By combining various elements using both Plus Packs, you can create unique visual performances to accompany your DJ sets.

About Lyric Sync Technology
rekordbox lyric utilizes Lyric Sync Technology that automatically visualizes lyrics beautifully. Lyric data is acquired from the database of over 2.59 million songs provided by Sync Power Corporation. The music analysis technology of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) automatically analyses the lyric data to determine the atmosphere and composition of the music, and its Expression Engine generates motion graphics for each song using the Morisawa font.

rekordbox lyric Specifications

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, 10.10 (updated to the latest version)

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

 

* Disclaimer: specifications and price are subject to change.

* rekordbox is a registered trademark of Pioneer DJ Corporation.

* rekordbox lyric displays lyric information based on the license of LyricFind.

* Mac, OS X or macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries.

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

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

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

 

Meet Pioneer’s DDJ-1000 controller

Pioneer has created a new DJ controller for dedicated use with their professional performance application, rekordbox dj. The 4-channel DDJ-1000 is designed to help you get the most from the new features coming to rekordbox dj following the release of the latest version of rekordbox (ver 5.1). The upgraded software will be available to download on 18th January 2018.

The DDJ-1000 offers the ideal solution if you want to play at events and party venues other than clubs thanks to its easy portability and brand-new user interface, which is similar to the familiar multi player/DJM club-standard set-up. Its professional features include full size jog wheels inherited from the CDJ-2000NXS2 with added On Jog Display so you can keep an eye on important track information without looking at your laptop. Bring creative flair to your mixes with 14 Beat FX and use the 16 multicolored Performance Pads (8 per deck) to trigger various features including Hot Cues, Pad FX and Keyboard Mode, which enables you to play a Hot Cue in different semitones. This allows you to improvise with sounds and create musical phrases as if you were playing on the keyboard of a synthesizer or other instrument.

The significantly updated version of rekordbox includes enhancements to the Related Tracks feature, adding more options for quickly finding tracks that are well matched with the one you’re playing. And the improved rekordbox dj Plus Pack brings new additions such as Automix, which uses the software’s upgraded track analysis to automatically and seamlessly mix tracks.

The DDJ-1000 will be available from mid-February at an MAP of $1,199. It comes with a bundled licence key for our professional DJ performance application rekordbox dj, worth $129.

Watch the DDJ-1000 introduction video or download rekordbox ver 5.1 for free from 18th January 2018. If you own a licence key for one of the rekordbox Plus Packs (rekordbox dj, video or dvs), you can upgrade to the new version of the Plus Pack for free.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DDJ-1000

  1. Portable DJ controller with club-style layout

All the buttons and knobs on the DDJ-1000 are arranged in the same layout as those on our club-standard CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2 set-up. The jog wheels are inherited directly from the CDJ-2000NXS2, so they look and feel familiar to use. As a result, using rekordbox dj with the DDJ-1000 creates the same experience as playing from USB drives with a NXS2 set-up. The DJ controller is compact and portable, too, so you can easily take it wherever you go.

  1. Color On Jog Display for quick reference and accurate performances

A high-definition LCD screen in the centre of each jog wheel displays information such as playback time, BPM, waveform, playback position and Hot Cue and Loop points. You can customise the information you want to see, so there’s no need to look at your laptop during a mix or scratch routine.

  1. 14 Beat FX including new additions

The DDJ-1000 is loaded with all ten popular Beat FX from our DJM mixer series plus four new FX for adding creative flair and texture to your sets. You can instantly reference BPM and the name of the selected FX without looking at your laptop thanks to the dedicated Beat FX display.

New FX:

  • Enigma Jet, Mobius Saw, Mobius Triangle – FX that add sound with a feeling of infinite rising or descending
  • Low Cut Echo – echo-derived effect that cuts low frequencies of the echo sound
  1. Improved MAGVEL FADER

The DDJ-1000 features a new MAGVEL FADER crossfader, which inherits the design architecture of the renowned MAGVEL FADER PRO from the DJM-S9 professional battle mixer. Highly durable for more than 10 million movements, the new MAGVEL FADER enables complicated, intricate performances with a smooth feel. Plus, we’ve refined the software processing for jog wheel and crossfader operation to significantly reduce latency, so scratching feels more intuitive than ever.

  1. Multiple input/outputs enable different set-ups

DJ changeovers are a breeze for rekordbox dj users thanks to the two USB ports for PC/Mac. The DDJ-1000 has four external input terminals for DJ players and analog turntables, plus two Mic inputs. You can also use the DDJ-1000 as a stand-alone DJ mixer without connecting a PC/Mac.

  1. Other features
  • Multicolored Performance Pads – tactile illuminated rubber pads trigger Hot Cues, Pad FX, Beat Jump, Sampler, Keyboard Mode and more
  • Feeling adjust – customise the feeling of the jog wheel
  • Advanced Super-Fast Search – quickly reach any playback position
  • Page switch between Hot Cues 1-8 and 9-16
  • Key Shift and Key Sync buttons – direct control of rekordbox dj key-related features
  • Sound Color FX – enhance your sets with the four popular FX from the DJM mixers
  • Aluminum/acrylic-finished top panel – for a quality look and feel
  • Lightweight and portable
  • rekordbox dvs ready – requires the rekordbox dvs Plus Pack licence key and dedicated Control Vinyl (both available separately)

KEY FEATURES OF REKORDBOX VER 5.1

  1. Automix for smooth and natural automatic mixing

Drop tracks into an Automix playlist and rekordbox dj will mix them accurately and smoothly. Phrases in a track are now detected by the newly developed phrase analysis algorithm in the track analysis section of rekordbox’s KORETECH engine. In addition to the phrase information, Automix uses track information such as beat position, BPM and key to make mixes sound natural. You can scratch, apply FX and change the order of tracks during Automix.

  1. Advanced Related Tracks feature brings more detailed search criteria

The popular Related Tracks feature – which displays tracks that are well matched with the one you’re currently playing – has been significantly upgraded. You can easily find even more relevant tracks using increased search criteria such as artists, comments and file formats, and you can save your custom criteria and call it up at any time. This feature is highly useful for creating unique sets from tracks you might not have otherwise thought to mix together.

DDJ-1000 specifications

Frequency characteristic 20 Hz to 20 kHz (LINE)
S/N ratio 112 dB (USB)
Total Harmonic Distortion 0.002% (USB – MASTER1)
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 x 1)

BOOTH OUT × 1(1/4-inch TRS jack)

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

USB USB (Type B) x 2
Maximum Dimensions (WxDxH) 708.0 × 361.4 × 73.4 mm
Weight 6.0 kg
Accessories AC adaptor, Power cord, USB cable

Quick Start Guide, rekordbox dj licence key card

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, 10.10 (Updated to the latest version)

Windows Windows® 10, 8.1, 7 (the latest service pack)
CPU Intel® processor Core™ i7, i5, i3

Intel® processor Core™ 2 Duo: 2.0GHz or above

Memory 4 GB or more of RAM

 

* Disclaimer: specifications and price are subject to change.

* rekordbox is a registered trademark of Pioneer DJ Corporation.

* KORETECH is a trademark of Pioneer DJ Corporation.

* Mac, OS X or macOS are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries.

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

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

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

 

The Triangle: Conferences, Workshops, & Coaching/Mentoring

By Brian Buonassisi:

As we embark on a new year, I think it’s important to assess where you are at and where you want to go in 2018. I’m not talking about fickle New Year’s Resolutions but more to steering your business in the right direction. For some, no major course correction is needed. For others, you many need to completely change directions due to where the wind in your market is taking you. Over the years, I’ve found that there’s a pattern to growth and it’s not a linear thing. It’s like a triangle – you keep going through it. You’re either in need of conferences, workshops or coaching/mentoring. All of them have their place but I thought as you start thinking through your 2018 budget, this is a perfectly timed topic to talk through each one.

Conferences
There’s really 3 “national” DJ conferences out there: Mobile Beat, Marquee, and the DJ Expo. While you can definitely pick up some things to help your business at any of them, these conferences are mainly inspiration and network heavy. To encourage attendance, the show producers have to cast a wide net and cover as broad material as possible. You have the beginners all the way through to the industry veterans. It’s a great way to re-charge with your DJ brothers and sisters as well as take in a ton of information over a couple days. However, the reality is that it could take weeks if not months to go through all your notes and implement a strategy to employ some of it.

Workshops
Typically, workshops are more narrowed in scope. You are drilling down on a specific subject matter (or two) rather than a large range of categories. For example, you may want to improve with mic etiquette or scratching or sales, etc. If there’s an area that you feel you could use some development in, finding a workshop to address that area could be the solution. The other advantage to workshops is that you interact with those who are looking to learn the same type of subject matter. That can bond you together with a person you may never have had a chance to meet otherwise.

Coaching/Mentoring
So far it may appear like each one of these options is a step up from the other. While coaching/mentoring could feel that way, I honestly think it could be a great first step. Rather than undoing bad habits or mistakes, you are able to deal with issues in real time. Finding a coach or a mentor isn’t cheap (not for the good ones at least) but it saves you a lot of money in in the long run. These sessions are either in one on one settings or in a small group (10-20 people) whereas a conference may have thousands and a workshop could have up to a hundred or so. The constant touches (at minimum you’re meeting a few times a year but most meet weekly or monthly) and accountability with coaching/mentoring makes a ton of difference in not only getting started with a plan but staying the course.

For myself, I’m in the coaching/mentoring category this year. Not only am I being coached in 2018 but I’m also coaching others. I’m only a few days in and it’s already been rewarding. What are your needs? What category do you fall in? It could be you need a little of all three. The reality is that doing any of these three things is going to put you ahead of 90% of your competition and give you a leg up. I hope to see you in one of these settings in 2018 and if I can help you at all, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brian@djbrianbofficial.com.

The Ins & Outs of Eating for Success

By Mike Walter:

Almost every nutritionist and dietician will tell you that counting calories is not the smartest way to go about losing weight or trying to stay in shape. So why would I recommend it? Read on.

So much of our weight is determined by two simple factors: how much we take in and how much we burn. I often compare it to the definition of wealth (wealth isn’t what you earn, it’s what you keep). As an extreme example, a number of years ago there were reports that Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was eating 12,000 calories a day. He was scarfing down fried egg sandwiches with cheese, pizzas, and two pounds of pasta. Every day! He was consuming close to six times his recommended number of calories yet he was not only not fat and out of shape, he was an insanely successful athlete. Why? Because he was swimming for hours and hours a day, thus burning ten times the number of calories as most people. Not only was his diet not holding him back, it was essential to his success. Without that many calories, he wouldn’t have had the energy to train and compete.

Like I said, Phelps’ diet while he was training is an extreme example. But it points out the math involved in weight loss or gain.

Do you know how many calories you burn every day? Do you know how many calories you take in? Do you know how many calories it takes to gain or lose a pound?

I think these numbers are important. And while I don’t count every single calorie, I do have a general sense of when I’ve taken in more than I’ve burned (not good) and when I’ve burned more than I’ve taken in (good). And it’s those general numbers that help me maintain my weight.

First, let’s start with a quick calculation. If you want to know approximately how many calories you burn per day multiply your weight by 14. So I’m currently at 190 pounds which means with normal daily activity I’m burning about 2,600 calories per day. Now, if I go for a four mile run that day I’ll burn about four to five hundred extra calories. Same goes if I spend an hour on my stationary bike (pedaling of course, I can’t just sit there). So that would put me about 3,100 calories burned for the day.

That’s why it’s important for me to know the approximate calorie count in the foods I eat. My typical breakfast of cereal and a banana is about 250 calories.   If I want two slices of pizza for lunch, that’s about 500 calories. If I have an eight ounce steak for dinner, that’ll be about 600 calories. The two beers I have to wash it down with are about 300 calories. As all this food and drink adds up I try to keep it below my daily burn. I’m successful more days than not which is why I pretty much maintain my weight.

And that’s where the other important number comes in: 3,500. It takes approximately 3,500 calories to gain or lose a pound of weight. So if I consume 3,500 more calories than I burn, I’m going to gain a pound. Conversely if I burn 3,500 more calories than I consume, I’ll lose a pound. There are other factors involved, for sure, but the basic math sends us a clear message: burn more than you eat.

Finally, one of the calculations I like to do is to figure out how much activity food costs. I’m not a fast food guy but I’ll use the generic Big Mac, fries and a coke as an example. That’s about 1,100 calories, which may or may not sound like a lot. But I tell myself something different: that meal will cost me 10 miles of running. Or 11 hours biking. Which is maybe why I’m not a fast food guy!

Please notice how many times I’ve used the words “generally” or “about” or “approximately” in this blog. I don’t obsess over calories and I don’t think you should either. But having a general sense of how much you’re consuming versus how much you are burning is extremely important in my opinion. If you don’t, I think you should give it a try. Google can be your friend (simply type “calories in ____” and you’ll get your answer) as can a Fit Bit or Apple watch that can measure your daily activity. Armed with this knowledge, you may begin to start seeing why your weight is what it is, and more importantly, what you can do about it.

Mike Walter is the proud owner of Elite Entertainment, a Multi-System DJ Company in New Jersey that was recently selected by TheKnot.com and WeddingWire.com as a top Entertainment company in the country.

Social, Mobile and You (Second in a Series)

By Mitch Taylor:

Last month we talked about how the vast majority of people have their smartphone within three feet of them at all times and the three important items you need to be sure you have on your mobile website to capture their attention.
This month, we’ll be highlighting the social side of social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.). For this article’s purposes, we’ll be focusing on the biggest of the social media platforms, Facebook.

The best way to navigate Facebook is to hire a professional to handle your contests or at minimum consult with one to find the best contest app for your desired outcome. Why? You must be careful with the methods you use to generate “likes.” Facebook has rules, especially regarding contents, and failure to adhere to those rules can get your page taken down, requiring you to build your entire Facebook presence again.

Taylored Weddings has recently consulted with Caryn Terradas of SpeakEasy and has had great success with her abilities to increase our exposure and outreach on our Facebook page. That said, do your due diligence in consulting an expert; there are many fly by night companies trying to get into the game of social media management.

Okay. You’ve consulted with an expert and determined what you want to achieve with your page. Now what do you say? My good friend Brian Kelm, Master of I Do, has a great approach and one that I have adapted to my business with great success.

1) Be sure to friend your clients on Facebook. This will allow their friends to see your postings when you tag them in one.

2) Every 30 days leading up to your client’s event date, go to their profile and find a picture that best represents them, then click “share, along with a comment about couple and their upcoming event; i.e. “@YourCompanyName is looking forward to celebrating with @Heather Smith and @John Johnson in just four weeks from today. Surprises galore in store with fun and smiles all day! So glad they chose @YourFavoritePhotographer to capture their moments!”

By including the venue and other vendors you actively promote them as well. It’s a win-win for everyone! You may also want to try a Vendor Of The Week Bridal Tip Tuesday, Wedding Wish Wednesday, Tradition Thursday, or Friday Fun Facts. I know one company that does well having a trivia contest and others who put up YouTube videos on their wall and have their fans post their favorite clips as well.

The bottom line with any social media is that you must be GENUINE and interactive. Today’s clientele can spot a phony and a sales pitch from a mile away. Provide value first, cultivate the relationship and the referrals will come!

About: Mitch Taylor owns and operates Taylored Weddings and can be reached via email at mitch@mitchtaylor.net. For more info about his Creating Connections books and workshops visit creatingconnections.biz

The Pros and Cons of Pre-Made Sets

By Tony Fernandez:

So let’s talk about music. I know we’ve discussed different things and different aspects of music, but this time around, I’d like to bring attention to a particular aspect of our DJ music world — the sets or blocks of music that DJs seem to be constantly looking for, specifically, pre-made sets.

Allow me to put a finer point on it: I don’t mean sets, in the sense of theme. We ALL do that. We can be at any number of events and we can rifle through a set of 70’s, 80’s. 90’s, 00’s, classic rock, country, Top 40, Rap, etc. That’s part of our job. What I do mean is when you’re in your flow, you ALWAYS play Song A, Song B, Song C, and Song D, in THAT order, EVERY time.

I’ll admit right up front, I don’t get it. I don’t see the necessity or advantage of discovering, creating, and then utilizing pre-made sets for the next dozen gigs, or years, it seems.

On one hand, I do get that we are creatures of habit. We discover a chain of songs that when linked together create a great response from our floors. Then we may recycle that same “set” again if we get into a pinch. “It worked last week, so let’s give it another run…”   I even get that (usually) there are a new group of people, so the same set you ran last week, is new to the current group of people.

On the other hand, what I don’t get is why are DJs asking other DJs for their pre-made sets? Aren’t you supposed to be figuring out the music for EACH of your events/crowds? If we treat each event we do as a unique and singular event, then having pre-made sets kind of defeats the purpose of being a DJ.

While all of these other DJs are sharing their sets, why would anyone think someone else’s set would work for your crowd?

I have to concede to the fact: I realize and recognize that DJs are individuals. As such, their experience, knowledge, and skill level is going to be vast and wide. I’m sure not trying to filter these thoughts and questions through my personal filter. I don’t expect others to be as big of a music nerd as I am. I sure don’t expect people to mix and program the way I do. Nor do I expect others to just do it THIS way because that is the ONLY way.

On a slight tangent…that is one of the beautiful things about being a DJ. There is no ONE WAY to spin. I love reading DJ’s play logs and listening to other DJs spin a set to get ideas and inspiration. Not to mention maybe picking up a dope track or three that I may have slept on.

My point is this: Don’t be complacent. Be proactive in your music knowledge and your programming. Practice. Listen. Put yourself into scenarios where instead of doing homework, (no one likes doing homework) you’re opening your artistic side of your brain to new musical possibilities. The more you do this, the easier the ideas will come.

I have seen DJ friends and colleagues that became apathetic and unindustrious. They suffered over time because they became stale and predictable. They aren’t working. Don’t become the complacent DJ. Don’t be lethargic in your approach to discovering music. You may just elicit a creative side in your repertoire, and that would be a beautiful thing.

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 True Cost of Music Piracy

By Glen Ervin:

As convenient as the interwebz has made getting the music you need, the low-cost and invisibility of the ‘net has led to an explosion of too good to be true offers from websites masquerading as legitimate record pools. Think of them as the modern day version of that guy in the alley selling “real” Rolexes out of the trunk of his El Dorado… with access to your hard drive.

Fortunately there are a few of ways to tell which sites are operating in the shadows; the easiest is to keep an eye out for those selling legacy releases. The labels don’t allow it (why give away your best sellers?). Hence, any site offering unlimited access to a legacy catalog is not partnered with the labels or paying the artists or labels who provide their music.

Why should you care? 

The Institute of Policy Innovation estimates that global music piracy causes $12.5 billion of economic losses every year. That breaks down domestically to 71,060 music industry jobs lost since the days of Napster — a loss of $2.7 billion in workers’ earnings that accounts for $291 million in personal income tax and $131 million in lost corporate income and production taxes.

That’s $422 million dollars that could be going towards schools, roads, libraries and more – gone.

Let’s put that in terms every mobile operator can understand…

Economic losses on a scale that’s followed by nine zeros impacts everything from how much you charge for a wedding to how much time you get to spend with your family (instead of wearing all the hats required to run your business) to the car you drive — not a problem, by the way, for the $19.99 all you can download guys who keep all your money and drive Range Rovers.

Which brings us back to our friend in the alley and his deals on wheels…

If it seems to good to be true… it is.

Give your money to some hustler looking to turn downloads into dollars at the artist’s expense and you’ll just be feeding the dog-eat-dog world that keeps us all working for less than we deserve.

It’s up to you to decide what’s need and what’s greed.

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.

Social, Mobile and You (first in a series…)

By Mitch Taylor:

I got to have dinner with my best friend from high school recently and he is now one of the top CIO’s in the United States, in high demand and extremely knowledgeable.  His niche is integrating social, mobile and retail together and is in the process of harnessing all three together to help his clients win big in business.  It got me to thinking about how I use social and mobile avenues to impact my sales and company growth.

What are you doing to harness social and mobile together for your business?  Now I’m not going to tell you to completely abandon your print advertising and bridal show campaigns…but it’s time to examine your marketing and sales strategies and see how to best capitalize on the ever changing marketplace.

I heard recently that most people have their smartphone or iPad within three feet of them at all times.   This information confirms the fact that we as mobile entertainment companies need to be invested in social media and our websites MUST be mobile friendly.

It pays to think like a consumer: What would a client need if they were looking up your information on their smart phone or tablet?  First you must ensure your site is mobile friendly.  If it’s not, talk to your web developer about how to make it so.  If your site is a WordPress-based this will be much easier.

 3 items that MUST be easily visible on your mobile site

1.  Your phone number.  They might be trying to find your number to make the call to schedule the appointment.  Place this info in the header and make it easy for them to find it.  BOLD it as well to make it stand out further.

2.  Your email address and/or physical address.  A person pulling you up online may be searching for directions of how to get to your place of business for your meeting or they want to know if you serve the area they want to have their event at.  Placing your email address here as well only aids in your convenience to your customer.

3.  Reviews.  Think about the last time you were in a strange city looking for a place to eat.  What did you do?  If you’re like most smartphone toting people you asked Siri or pulled up your Around Me app to see what was near you for restaurants.  Then you might have checked your Yelp or Trip Advisor app to find reviews of these places.

Your clients are the same way.  They are in an unknown place (looking for entertainment) and would like comfort in knowing they made the right choice or at least to help them narrow down their choices.  By placing reviews on your site or video testimonials from past happy clients you’re giving your prospect valuable information when they feel they need it the most.

Next month we’ll explore the social side of your business and help you get up to speed there as well.

About: Mitch Taylor owns and operates Taylored Weddings and can be reached via email at mitch@mitchtaylor.net. For more info about his Creating Connections books and workshops visit creatingconnections.biz

Book More Events By Spreading Out Your Reviews

By Brian Buonassissi:

A wise businessman once told me, “To book more business, be everywhere.” These days it’s never been easier or more affordable to be everywhere — that’s why reviews are so great! They don’t cost you anything and with a ton of third-party review sites out there, your chances of clients finding you go way up the more places those reviews can be seen.

Just like social media, some will gravitate to certain platform over others. Very few (that I’ve seen anyway) use multiple review sites. I also think asking clients to leave reviews on multiple review sites comes across as a chore (even if it is just a copy and paste) and does nothing to motivate them to jump on a computer and start cranking out a review.

One of the biggest changes we’ve made in our business to increase the number of places where we can be found is to ask clients what reviews sites they use on our client intake form. We’ve struck the verb “review” from our company vernacular (it’s such an ugly word) so the way we phrase these questions (we feel) helps us get those answers.

Here’s the verbiage we use…
*Have you set up a Knot Profile?
*Have you set up a WeddingWire Profile?
*Are you a frequent Yelper?
*Do you use Google Reviews?
*Do you use Facebook Reviews?

If there are other sites you use which have an option for reviews (i.e. GigMasters, Thumbtack, etc.), you might want to add those to the list above. By asking these questions on a client intake form, it is much more disarming. That said, if they don’t fill this out before our “creative planning meeting”, we’ll do it in person when we meet. It gives us a good idea of not only the effectiveness of this strategy but also gives us direction on where to send them when it’s time to send them a request to “share their experience”.

This is important for Yelp especially. With that particular site, if they aren’t a frequent Yelper, it doesn’t do any good to send them there because their review will be posted under the “unverified” category and those reviews are not easy to find. Yelp (as do all these sites) want it to feel organic and not as if the company asked for it. If they are a frequent Yelper, send them there. Those reviews won’t get flagged and you should be fine.

Now, going this route may cut down how many reviews you get on a specific site and could put your “best of” awards from those sites in jeopardy by not meeting a certain threshold. If they utilize more than two of these sites mentioned above, we’ll rotate out our review requests every three or so months with which one we push clients to use, assuming they are using multiple platforms.

By doing it this way, it still allows us to hit that magical number to qualify for the awards.

If you have never tried this approach, I encourage you to give it a test run. See if your inquiry sources start to multiply. If your sales pitch is solid, this should hopefully lead to more bookings.

Let me know how it works for you.

Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with offices in Southern California, Destin, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at brianbuonassissi@discjockeynews.com.