Begineers Guide for Pre-Gig Preparations

Since I have been playing at the clubs and have been in the industry for quiet a while I have seen many new and upcoming DJs ask all these things I have collectively put down here. Here are some of the most common played genres and most importantly when they are played.

Warmup:

1-hour set: 30 minutes Deep House + 30 minutes Commercial House
1-hour 30 minutes set: ^ + 30 minutes of *selective* Future House

Prime-time:

1-hour 30 minutes: 30 minutes Electro House + 30 minutes Big Room + 30 minutes Dubstep
2-hour set: ^ + Trap and Bass House

The most important factor is your ‘choice of music‘, which all depends on if you’re playing a warm-up set or a prime-time set.

The biggest suggestion more than anything else is that if you have never used CDJ’s before; then go to the club a few days before the gig and familiarise yourself with them. Even if you have experience with CDJ’s you’ll benefit from it because DJ’ing in a club is very different to DJ’ing in your bedroom.

When you’re playing, stay calm. The easy thing to do is over think and panic, but at the end of the day, all you need to do is make the transition from one track to another. Use your knowledge of musical structure to help you decide when best to bring the next track in.

Never stick to a playlist structure that you have in your head because the crowd will not be on the same level as you are, you have to be on the same level as the crowd so make sure that if the crowd are looking a bit dead, you switch up the track.

You are controlling the energy of the club dance floor so you need to be careful with how much of a certain track you play.

Make sure that you setup your playlists with Rekordbox 1 day before the gig (you won’t have many options left. If you try to do that on the day of the gig and something goes wrong). If you’re not sure on Rekordbox:

  • Open it
  • Create playlists labelled by genre
  • Plug in a blank USB (it has to be empty)
  • Click on “Sync Manager” in the bottom-left of the screen
  • Click on the playlists that you want to sync to your USB
  • Eject your USB when it has completed (on the 0-100% meter)

I always get a little worried when people talk about they playing in a club for the first time, mainly because my first ever gig was bad, so I want to try to help people realise that the nerves will kick in pretty hard but as long as you keep calm in your head and take your time without rushing, you’ll be okay.

In terms of the equipment itself, make sure that you remember to turn “Master Tempo” on so that your tracks don’t get pitched up/down when you adjust the tempo fader.

Also, remember to set your ‘Jog Wheel Tension’ to about 3pm on the dial.

A big one that you don’t want to miss: make sure that your Crossfader is set to “Thru” on each channel (otherwise audio won’t play through certain channels depending on when you bring each fader up).

Finally: don’t use the Filter Colour FX too much, they can get very boring if used too often.

The only reason this post is kinda intense is that these things will all be on your mind when you play. Keep things relaxed but pay attention.

When you’re moving the jog wheel left/right make sure that instead of wildly spinning it to try to find the right tempo you move it 90 degrees at a time and then make fine adjustments once you’ve matched it closely enough (when you can hear the 2 kicks playing a few milliseconds apart from each other).

In terms of your health: please, for the love of God, buy some earplugs if you don’t have some already.

You’ll need the booth monitor to be pretty loud for you to hear your transitions so earplugs are an absolute must, otherwise, you’ll lose your hearing very quickly (15 minutes of exposure to 85db+ will cause progressive hearing loss – to put that into perspective, human conversation takes place at roughly 65db).

Most of this thing I have learnt from a close friend and rest all is all from the experiences.

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Start Learning

In the Previous Article you learned the selection of DAW. Now we will be learning the next step after selecting and installing the DAW will be to get familiar with that DAW and the native plugins that come inside them.

First you should get an idea how the DAW Works. Probably one of the best ideas that will save your time will be to watch videos about the DAW you have selected. Mostly you will find many videos which will give you a detailed information about how to use the DAW and the native VST Plugins within them.

Start Experimenting

drum-roll

The next Step will be to Start experimenting and try to start producing your music. This step is the most frustating as you will have quite often get Frustated and feel like its difficult. but as said the more you time you wil spend in learning and getting used to the DAW the more faster you will be able to start using it properly. You should try to learn making your first drum pattern or beats as that will keep you entertaining. Try experiment with different Drum sounds and try making our own patterns you like.

Learn Music Theory

music-theory

One of the most important thing that will help you and is the most important part is learning music theory. Even though man sites do say that you do not need to learn music theory but as said earlier if you do learn music theory this thing gonna save you lot of time. Because not having it learned at the begining you will surely have to do it someday.

Learning About Sructure and Arrangement

structure-of a-song

In one of my previous articles I told about learning the bascis of DJing this part of learning i.e Structure and Arranging. In DJing you will learn about Structure of a song which includes Intro, Build-Up, Drop, again a Build-Up, 2nd Drop and finally the Outro. There are also some other words used like verse, hook and vice versa. Learning about structure will help you know how to Structure a song. Most of the Songs usually follow the 4 x 4 pattern. Learning about arrangement is an eas task if you got an good sense of music and have learnt music theory. In EDM each artist arranges his songs ina unique way. Remember the Structure of the song remains the same but they change the arrangement. This is what makes them unique. Structure and Arrangement are two diffrent things, most of the people think of these topics as the same.

arrangement

Learn about EQ’ing.

EQ is one of the three fundamental tools used to shape the mix. Learn teh basics of the EQ’ing because its a pus knowlege if you even know the basics like why it is used and how to use it. I will be writing about this topic in detail a little bit later.

proq

Conclusion

Learning and reading books is the most important thing even if you think learning and reading is not cool. Its is important to execute the learned thing as in the further stages ou will have to constantly keep a balance between doing it practically while learning about it theoretically. This completes our first stage of learning i.e the Beginers stage. We will be Further stepping into Stage 2 so keep reading and suscribe for more such articles and production tutorials.

Extreme Beginners Guide to Becoming Producers. 

Starting your Production right at the first day is not expected as a beginner when it comes to music Production as Firstly you will have to know certain things also do certain things. Lets break it Down to Stages to ease the Understanding of Difficult.   


Stage 1

1. Listen to Lot of Music:

Listening to Music doesn’t mean just listen to a single song multiple times of listening to many songs one time. It refers to also selecting the Genre which you want to start producing. You can select from the ‘N’ number of genres. Try listening to the songs from that genre. Try listening to the most popular ones and then try listening to other unique tracks of the Same Genre but a little bit different Variant. This doesn’t mean you should not listen to other Genre’s. 

2. Learn Music Theory or Basics of DJ’ing:

Try to learn the Basic Music theory and also if you wanna start learning DJ’ing first you can go that way as well. But for easily understanding DJing you will have to first understand a little bit of Music Theory Concepts like Phrasing, Beats, Bars, Song Structure etc. But as always to be the Best try learning the Basics Fully as for anything in life you will have to know the Basics completely to get ahead with ease.

3. Try Breaking Down Songs:

This is a bit of a Hardworking Part but if you have understood enough of the DJ’ing and Music Theory you will be Automatically Transitioning into this Stage. Because at this stage when you will listen to the songs which you have previously heard your mind at some time will guess what are the Chords, Melody, Bass, Instruments in the song etc not only these things you will also understand when a phrase is starting and ending and when to expect a drop or an instrument.

Conlusion:

There’s a lot of learning involved in the Music World as if you have chosen to be a Producer you will have to be ready to learn things every now and then.

Thank you for Reading do Subscribe for my next topic which will be Stage 2: DAW’s(Digital Audio Work Stations).