Tag Archives: DJ Booth

A DJ’s role

By Tony Fernandez:

Let me say right off the bat… I am NOT a fan of Cardi B’s music. To me, “Bodak Yellow” is unlistenable. Recently, however, I found myself, mostly out of curiosity, watching Cardi B co-host the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I will admit I was thoroughly entertained. She was funny, engaging and genuinely herself. She was hilarious. Then she performed “Money Bag…” which brings us to the dynamic of music in general and to the DJ’s role in that music specifically.

As I have stated, I am not a fan of Cardi B’s music. However, I totally respect her as an artist. She has the right to create any music she desires and to work her shtick any way she sees fit. I don’t find fault with that whatsoever.

On the flip side, I believe any artist that puts themself in the public forum, any artist that is trying to monetize their craft, opens themselves up to admiration in conjunction with disregard: I can acknowledge and respect Cardi B as an artist…

I don’t have to purchase or play her music.

As DJs, we’re hired to be professional music soothsayers. We play songs in accordance to the client’s wishes or the crowd’s feedback. We all, myself included, play music that we don’t personally like. We’re there to do a job, not play for our personal entertainment.

BUT…. (there’s always a but) while we are DJs, we are human as well. We all have our personal proclivities. We have our biases. We have our likes and dislikes. And on some level, consciously or subconsciously, our dispositions are reflected in the way we program.

As a DJ, I have both the right and responsibility to pass judgement through my own personal filter. As a DJ who acts as an ambassador of music and is a tastemaker, I have the right to exercise my disposition at my discretion.

I play songs I personally don’t care for all the time. There are also songs I will not play. Period. I have garnered through experience and reputation the right to be in that position. I work with clients and venues that understand that I have PLENTY of other options, songs, and artists to play/program.

Not playing an artist doesn’t pass my personal filter is not going to kill my floors.

I don’t let what’s popular dictate how I program. I do take requests. But those requests have to be tempered with what works best at the event I’m working. Taste, appropriateness, content, and personal experience all come into play before a song is played.

I feel it’s incumbent on DJs to be able to exercise their judgement and mollify music that has questionable content. Granted that “questionable content” is often subjective, but the fact remains that DJs should feel compelled to be gatekeepers of “good” music.

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

Pioneer’s new HDJ-S7 professional on-ear DJ headphones

Following the launch of Pioneer’s  HDJ-X10, HDJ-X7 and HDJ-X5 professional over-ear DJ headphone models in autumn 2017, they’re releasing the HDJ-S7 professional on-ear DJ headphones. The new model offers outstanding audio quality, superior durability and improved functionality for comfortable DJing.

Available in black or white, the HDJ-S7 headphones are the world’s first on-ear DJ headphones to feature 40-mm HD1 drivers.2 This ensures the clear sound separation needed for monitoring during mixes, from rich and powerful bass to clear mid and high frequencies. Designed and built to be highly robust, they have cleared the US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G Shock test3, as well as our stringent in-house durability tests.

The new model features a swivel mechanism, a flexible headband and a smaller on-ear can, which is preferred by some DJs – so you can comfortably use the HDJ-S7 for every style of DJ monitoring.

The HDJ-S7 headphones will be available from late-April 2018 at an MAP of $199.

Watch our introduction video or find out more about the HDJ-S7 headphones and the available accessories.

 

KEY FEATURES OF THE HDJ-S7 HEADPHONES

 

 

  1. Outstanding sound
  • High-quality audio design

The HDJ-S7 headphones are equipped with our newly developed 40-mm HD drivers, making them the world’s first on-ear DJ headphones to reproduce high-resolution sound from 5Hz to 40 kHz – the same frequency range achieved by the flagship HDJ-X10 over-ear headphones. This ensures clear sound separation, from rich and tight bass to crystal-clear mid-to-high frequencies. As a result, the HDJ-S7 headphones deliver the immersive sound needed for precise monitoring in the loudest clubs.

  • 4-core twisted-structure cable

The independent ground wire in the 4-core twisted-structure cable provides superior left and right channel separation, improving sound quality.

  • Bass reflex chamber

The bass reflex chamber in the upper housing ensures excellent bass response and sound insulation.

  1. Superior durability
  • Rigorously tested

Take the HDJ-S7 headphones on the road and feel confident they’ll handle severe conditions and heavy use. The headphones have cleared the US Military Standard MIL-STD-810G Shock test, as well as our own demanding stress testing.

  • Highly durable materials and construction

To make the HDJ-S7 headphones highly durable and lightweight at the same time, we’ve used metal components in parts that are tested in high stress environments to create a strong construction for professional use.

  1. Improved functionality
  • Swivel mechanism for all monitoring styles

When developing any new product, we create numerous prototypes, each time with improvements based on the feedback of highly respected international DJs who test the equipment. Using this feedback and the results of our analysis of many different styles of monitoring, we’ve made sure the HDJ-S7 headphones are comfortable to use for any monitoring style, especially when hanging them on your neck with the swivel angle fixed to 45 degrees forwards. What’s more, the outside of the housing is textured for enhanced grip, so you can quickly grab it and start listening.

  • Comfortable and flexible headband

To help you find the perfect fit, the HDJ-S7 headphones feature a flexible, durable headband. Passing stringent tests, including opening and closing 20,000 times, they’re built to withstand intense use.

  • Comfortable ear pads

Improvements made to the ear pads (compared to those on the HDJ-C70 headphones) enable you to DJ in comfort for longer. We carefully selected high-quality urethane material that’s soft to the touch and provides cushioning, and we even paid attention to the positioning of the stitching to ensure you don’t feel it.

  1. Other features
  • Replacement parts available

Easily refresh the detachable cables and ear pads on the HDJ-S7 headphones using replacement parts (available separately).

  • Excellent portability

When you’re travelling to gigs, you can be confident your HDJ-S7 headphones will be well protected in the included compact carry case. Made from strong materials to protect your headphones from bumps and knocks on flights and in transit, the case has pockets for storing accessories such as USB devices and SD cards.

  • Various accessories included

The HDJ-S7 headphones come with two detachable cables: a 1.2 m coiled cable (approximately 3.0 m when extended) and a 1.6 m straight cable. An L-type mini-jack prevents the connection from being knocked or accidentally disconnected during performances, even in cramped booths.

  • 2-year warranty

To guarantee long-term, reliable performance, a 2-year warranty is included.

1 High definition.

2 First headphones in the world to feature 40-mm HD drivers in the on-ear DJ headphones market (according to internal investigation as of 18th April 2018).

3 MIL-STD-810G METHOD 516.7 SHOCK compliant.

【 HDJ-S7 specifications】

Type Closed, Dynamic
Frequency response 5 Hz to 40,000 Hz
Impedance 48 Ω
Sensitivity 107 dB
Maximum input power 2,000 mW
Driver φ 40 mm
Connection cord 1.2 m coiled cable (extended length 3.0 m)

1.6 m straight cable

Weight 215 g (without cable)
Accessories Ø 6.3 mm stereo plug adapter (threaded type)

Carry case

 Disclaimer:

* Other stated company names, product names, technology names, etc. are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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

 

Where Everybody Knew Your Name

By Tony Fernandez:

In the seemingly never-ending social media debate of Digital vs Vinyl, you hear the same points brought up time after time…

Vinyl is better

Digital is better

Record crates suck (this is actually true…)

Vinyl sounds warmer

Digital sounds cleaner

Vinyl made selection a skill

Digital made selection ubiquitous

Blah, blah, blah….

But the query that inspired me to put these words down was this: To what extent do you miss the social interaction with music /record store employees (who were usually fellow music lovers and/or DJs) that was inherent in buying vinyl records vs the isolated process of digital downloads?

I have to admit when I think about it I do miss that aspect of the vinyl world.

Going to record stores for me was an adventure. I was lucky enough to do a little bit of traveling and I would always check out the local record shops when I would be in a new town. It never failed that I would find some diamond in the rough that was overlooked by everyone else.

It was like a secret society. Once people knew you were a DJ and became a “regular”, things opened up. People treated you nicer and would grant you access to areas of the store the general public didn’t have. They would show you the under the counter stuff or the back room stuff.   Getting access to promo releases and white label prints on a retail level was not an easy feat. I’m glad to say I was able to cultivate a nice circle of stores where I could find some really choice pieces of wax.

And honestly, the people the worked there, the managers and the owners, they were really about the music. And that’s the part that was cool. It was like walking into the Cheer’s Bar, the people there would know who you were, be happy to see you and just catch up. I’m pretty sure to some I was just another customer, and that was OK. But by and large, everyone I met at the record store was very cool and always willing to help you in the task of finding the unique piece.

It was all about the journey. Making road trips to certain record stores because you were either going to play there that night or you just wanted to make a road trip and eat at that local restaurant. One thing for certain, the trip was not going to be in vain. You’d either come back with awesome tunes, a great meal or both.

I love playing “records”. But I still use SSL. I don’t miss lugging 40 lb crates loaded with vinyl. I don’t really miss the act of digging in the crates. I still do that in the digital space now. Not the same, but the results are the same. I do miss making those road trips and being a vinyl Indiana Jones. Nothing really beat having that piece of wax in your hand, placing it on the platter, dropping the track and having your friends ask, where did you find that?

My answer was always the same… don’t worry about it, it doesn’t matter, I got the last one.

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

New Pioneer’s DJM-REC recording app enables DJs to easily record mixes

Pioneer announced the DJM-REC today, a new app for iPhone and iPad which enables the easy recording and sharing of high-quality DJ mixes.

All types of DJs like to record their mixes in order to review performances and raise their profile via online sharing. However, it can be a stressful process. Connecting a recording device to the back of the mixer can be complicated work in a dark DJ booth, and adjusting the recording level to avoid clipping is also a troublesome task. Once the set is over, making a track list and uploading it to different online platforms along with the audio is a time-consuming chore.

DJM-REC solves all these problems, taking advantage of our experience in designing DJ Mixers including the club-standard DJM-900NXS2. The app offers simple connection, high-quality audio recording plus easy online sharing and streaming.

DJM-REC is available in the App Store at the price of $9.99 from 23rd January 2018.

You can try DJM-REC free for 30 days to get to know all of its features. Mixes recorded during the trial period will remain available for listening and sharing after the trial has ended. To continue recording and using all the app’s features after the trial period has ended, you can upgrade to the paid version.

DJM-REC compatible mixers are as follows: DJM-TOUR1, DJM-900NXS2, DJM-750MK2 and DJM-450

To use DJM-REC, update the mixer’s firmware to the latest version.

Find out more about DJM-REC.

KEY FEATURES OF DJM-REC

  • Simple connection to DJM series mixers

Install DJM-REC on your iPhone or iPad, then simply plug into any DJM mixer which has the digital send/return feature using a single USB cable. The port is on the top of the mixer rather than the back, so connecting is a breeze even in a dark DJ booth.

  • High-quality recording which minimizes clipping and distortion

DJM-REC can control the peak limiter in the DJM Mixer. Tap the button to enable this feature and alleviate digital clipping. Audio from a digital mixer can be recorded directly in digital format without the need for analogue conversion.

  • Easily share your mixes with the world

Effortlessly live stream your mix through YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram and Snapchat via DJM-REC. Easily upload your recorded mixes, digital recordings of your analogue tracks, and remixed tracks created using features and FX on DJM mixers to cloud services such as Mixcloud and Dropbox.

  • Auto time-stamp for effortless track list creation

Time-stamps for tracks are automatically created thanks to the information transmitted from the DJM mixer, such as the fader positions, to the app. The time-stamps are editable and making track lists is easy, as you can edit track information per time-stamp within the app.

  • Powerful club-standard sound, remastered easily

Swipe the Loudness slider on DJM-REC to easily increase audio pressure. Punchy, heavier, vibrant bass sound that can’t be obtained by simply raising the signal level of the low range is created when you swipe the Sub Bass slider, as this creates new signals based on the track’s input signals. Old tracks can be refreshed with a powerful club sound, just like the latest releases.

  • Other features
  • Recorded sound on your iPhone/iPad can be input into DJM series mixers using the digital send/return feature.
  • Analogue recording in the app is possible using the microphone function on an iPhone/iPad with an external microphone when your device isn’t connected to a DJM mixer.

DJM-REC Specifications

OS(iOS) iOS 8 or later
iPhone iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6 Plus,

iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6,

iPhone 5s, iPhone SE

iPad 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro,

9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Air,

iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 2,

iPad (5th generation)

Display Resolution Retina
Playable Files WAV(Sampling rate: 44.1/48 kHz, Bit depth: 24bit)

AAC (bit rate 64kbps, 128kbps, 192kbps, 256kbps, 320kbps)

 

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 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

Fitness Matters

By Mike Walter:

So last month I wrote my first blog for Promo Only and when it was published I was very excited and I proudly shared it on social media. Only to have the first comment bring me crashing down to earth. Someone wrote “I don’t get it. This is about running.”

It’s true. My first blog was about running. And movement in general. And how staying active can help with your overall fitness. And so this commenter was perplexed as to why a blog on a DJ focused website would be about running and fitness. And to that I reply:

Because it matters!

Let’s start with the part that is universal for any occupation. Generally, the fitter you are the healthier you are. And the healthier you are the better off you are. I say “generally” because you can take care of yourself every day and still wind up with a bad disease or cancer. But barring those exceptions, staying fit helps guarantee you’ll be healthy. And being healthy has tons of advantages: more energy throughout the day. You feel better. You look better. And you’re likely to have more confidence as a result. Oh, and you’ll probably live longer too.

Those are the benefits that everyone achieves when they are healthier, whether you’re a toll taker or a brain surgeon or any other occupation.

Here’s the part that is essential to us as DJs (and I am aware that this is likely to piss some people off but hey, don’t shoot the messenger): Some clients base their decision of who they want to DJ their event on aesthetics . It may even be a subconscious decision but some clients will pick the leaner, fitter DJ if all else is equal.

This was never more obvious to me than a number of years ago when I had to reassign some events here at Elite Entertainment. We had a DJ, I’ll call him Bill (because that was his name) who had played college football. He was blond, tall, good looking and in very good shape. But he had to leave the state unexpectedly and I was forced to call about twenty brides and inform them that their first choice of DJ was no longer available. When I asked them all what they liked about Bill (so I could recommend a similar replacement) some were vague with their answers and others just came right out and said, “he’s hot!” Almost bride had booked him from one of our showcases where, quite frankly, he wasn’t nearly the best or most experienced MC on staff. But they’d selected Bill because they liked his look (whether they admitted it or not).

I witnessed something similar first hand. In my late 30s I was starting to pack on the pounds and my bookings were dropping. Some of my other DJs were getting requested far more than I was. I was chalking it up to my age but then as I approached 40 I decided it was time to clean up my act and get in better shape. All of sudden my bookings picked back up. It seems it wasn’t my age but my shape that was turning some brides off.

When I see DJs on Facebook bitch and moan about losing business I’ll click on their profile sometimes and if I see someone who is out of shape I shake my head in disbelief. There are a lot of factors that are out of our control in this industry, but how we look and present ourselves to our clients and to the guests at their events is something we can control.

And whether we like it or not, it matters!

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.

Pioneer DJ’s DM-40BT/DM-40BT-W desktop monitor speakers with Bluetooth® wireless technology

Pioneer has upgraded their popular 4-inch active desktop monitor speaker, the DM-40, adding Bluetooth® wireless technology to offer versatile connectivity in the DM-40BT (black) and the DM-40BT-W (white).

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The DM-40BT/DM-40BT-W active speakers create a versatile home set-up, producing a rich, balanced sound that’s ideal for producing and DJing. Drawing on our professional speaker technology, we’ve packed the compact speakers with Bluetooth® wireless technology, support for the high-quality Qualcomm® aptX™ audio codec, and AAC support.

 The Groove Technology inherited from our highly-reputed active monitor speakers delivers a smooth bass response, while the DECO1 technology gives a wider sweet spot and allows clear audio quality and rich bass sound at the same time, despite the speakers’ compact desktop size.

The DM-40BT/DM-40BT-W active monitor speakers are available now at an MAP of $199 per pair.

Find out more about the DM-40BT/DM-40BT-W.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DM-40BT/DM-40BT-W SPEAKERS

  1. Bluetooth® wireless technology, support for Qualcomm® aptX™ high-quality sound reproduction and AAC

In addition to Bluetooth® technology, allowing you to play tracks from smartphones and tablets wirelessly, Qualcomm® aptX™ and AAC support lets you enjoy even higher quality sound reproduction.

  1. Front-loaded bass reflex system with grooves for uninterrupted, rich bass

4-inch fibreglass woofers output bass from the front, and the bass ducts feature grooves to reduce air friction so you’ll feel a tight, punchy bass even if you put the speakers close to the wall.

  1. Soft dome tweeters with convex diffusers deliver a 3D, high frequency sound

Pioneer has fitted the ¾-inch soft dome tweeters with convex diffusers that use DECO technology from TAD2 Labs. The diffusers channel high frequencies left, right and up – so you’ll enjoy a wide sweet spot and 3D stereo sound wherever you sit or stand.

  1. Class AB amp and time alignment ensure balance across the frequencies

The tweeter and woofer are carefully positioned to eliminate crossover and ensure a well-balanced response across the frequencies, while a Class AB amp ensures perfect clarity with low distortion and no loss of quality.

  1. Curved front edges reduce resonance for a clean sound

The cabinet’s curved front increases its rigidity and reduces external diffraction – as well as looking good in your home set-up.

  1. Other features
  • Volume control dial is on the front panel for ease of use
  • RCA and stereo mini jack inputs
  • Headphones output

1 Diffusion Effectual Convexity by Olson (DECO) is a TAD proprietary technology for improved directionality.

2 Technical Audio Devices Laboratories (TAD Labs) is a Pioneer sub-brand preferred by professional studios since 1978.

DM-40BT/DM-40BT-W specifications

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Model 2-Way Active Speaker
Tweeter (HF driver) 3/4 inch (19 mm) soft dome
Woofer (LF driver) 4 inch (102 mm) cone
Amplifier output Lch : 21 W/4 W, Class AB
Rch : 21 W/4 W, Class AB
Terminals Input RCA × 1, 3.5 mm stereo mini plug × 1
Output Headphone × 1
Version Bluetooth® Specification Ver. 4.2
Output Bluetooth® Specification Class 2
Supported Codec SBC, AAC, Qualcomm® aptX™, Qualcomm® aptX™ Low Latency
Frequency response 70 Hz – 30 kHz
Input impedance 10 kΩ
Power consumption 35 W
Power consumption when waiting (standby status) 0.3 W
External dimensions

(W x D x H)

Lch 146 mm x 223 mm x 227 mm
Rch 146 mm x 210 mm x 227 mm
Weight Lch 2.7 kg
Rch 2.2 kg
Accessories Power cord x 1

Audio converter cable (3.5 mm stereo mini plug to RCA) x 1

Speaker cord x 1

Bottom cushion x 8

Pioneer has designed a new standalone DJ sampler: the DJS-1000

Pioneer has designed a new standalone DJ sampler that enables you to create unique sounds and phrases using an intuitive DJ-friendly interface: the DJS-1000.

Many of today’s professional DJs use electronic instruments and production gear in

live sets to help make their performances creative and unique. With an easy-to-use interface, 16 multicolored step input keys, 16 multicolored Performance Pads, a host of inputs and outputs, plus various other performance features, the DJS-1000 is the ideal musical instrument to take into the booth and propel your sets to the next level.

Add the DJS-1000 to your DJ set-up and you can intuitively create unique sounds and phrases in advance of your set, or on the fly, then sequence and loop them as you wish. Improvise a new groove by syncing and mixing with tracks playing on other equipment such as CDJs using the Beat Sync1, tempo slider and nudge features. At a glance, the 7-inch full-color touch screen gives you all the information you need to perform, thanks to easily recognizable sequence patterns and instrument icons assigned to the Performance Pads.

Other features installed on the DJS-1000 include Live Sampling, which enables you to easily sample input sounds and immediately use them as independent tracks or as FX to add to your mix.

The DJS-1000 will be available from late October 2017 at an MAP of $1,199.

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Watch the introduction video or find out more about the DJS-1000.

KEY FEATURES OF THE DJS-1000

  1. Intuitive user interface

Step sequencer

Easily create a new groove by tapping the 16 large, multicolored step input keys. You can keep an eye on sequence information on each track thanks to the keys’ changing colors.

Multicolored Performance Pads

Use the 16 large rubber pads to trigger the tracks you’ve assigned samples and loops to. Each one is equipped with multicolored illumination and highly accurate velocity detection, so you can increase or decrease volume with the amount of pressure you apply.

Touch strip

By simply touching the strip, you can quickly change the pitch when using the pitch bend feature, or play a drum roll by using the note repeat feature. Customize parameters for even more creative options.

  1. 7-inch full-color touch screen

Tap the LCD display to instantly access the screen of your choice:

  • Home screen: View information on the sample assigned to each track thanks to the instrument icons and colors which are linked to the pads.
  • Sequence screen: View the sequence pattern currently playing.
  • Mixer screen: Adjust the volume balance of each track.
  1. Accurate syncing with various external devices and systems

In addition to clock synchronization with MIDI devices, the DJS-1000 includes the Beat Sync function which can synchronize a performance by beat/bar with a track playing on a CDJ-2000NXS2 or XDJ-1000MK2 set-up using PRO DJ LINK. Use the tempo slider and the nudge buttons to quickly adjust tempo and beat position manually, just like you would on a turntable.

  1. Powerful performance features

Live Sampling

Easily sample input sounds and immediately use them as individual tracks. The sampled sounds are automatically synchronized with the current sequence to play in a loop, so they can be dropped straight into a live remix. You can sample any input source, including audio from a turntable, via your mixer.

FX

Add various FX to tracks with ease, changing the tone on the fly. You can apply FX such as echo, reverb and filter to individual tracks, a group of tracks, or all tracks.

  1. Perfect fit in the DJ booth

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The DJS-1000 is designed to fit perfectly alongside the CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2, creating effortless unity in the DJ booth.Other features

  • Support for USB devices – manage your projects and samples easily
  • Over 2,500 on-board Loopmasters samples – start performing with the DJS-1000 straight out the box
  • Support for DJS-TSP Project Creator2 easily create projects and SCENE3 files on a PC/Mac
  • Support for project files created on the TORAIZ SP-16

*1 Beat Sync works with compatible DJ systems when playing tracks that have been analyzed by rekordboxTM

*2 To be released on the Pioneer DJ website in mid-October

*3 Information on how the 16 samples are assigned to a track on the DJS-1000

DJS-1000 Specifications

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Playable media USB Storage device(flash memory/HDD, etc.)
Playable file WAV、 AIFF (16 bit / 24 bit、 44.1 kHz)
USB storage support file systems FAT、FAT32、HFS+
Input ports INPUT x 1 (L/MONO and R、 1/4 inch TS jack)
Output ports OUTPUT1 x 1 (RCA)
THRU / OUTPUT2 x 1 (1/4 inch TS jack)、
PHONES x 2 (1/4 inch stereo jack、 3.5 mm stereo mini jack)
Other ports USB (Type A) x 1 、 USB (Type B) x 1
MIDI IN (5P DIN), MIDI OUT / THRU (5P DIN)
LINK x 1 (LAN 100Base-TX)
Power requirements AC 110-220V (50 Hz/60 Hz)
Electricity consumption 20 W
Max external dimension
(W x D x H)
320.0 mm x 421.6 mm x 110.1 mm
Weight 5.4 kg