Teach yourself how to DJ: a blog on how to start from the very beginning in electronic music making.
When it comes to learning how to mix, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. Sites that are supposed to be helpful are often the most misleading and confusing. This blog will try to clear things up by providing a solid foundation in the basics of mixing, and then building on top of that over time.
This information has been gleaned from many different sources and combined with my own personal experience as a DJ and producer. This post is only intended as an introduction, and I plan on writing more posts dedicated to specific topics as this series progresses.
A DJ is essentially an entertainer who manipulates recorded music through a mixing console in order to create a continuous flow of music for an audience. The term “DJ” originally stood for “disc jockey”, but now encompasses all types of musical performance using recorded music from any source, including vinyl records, CDs, MP3s or other digital audio files stored on USB flash drives or laptop computers.
The two most common types of DJs are radio DJs who work at radio stations playing music on the air, and club DJs who work at nightclubs playing music for dancers.
Modern DJs can use
Hello and welcome to the world of electronic music making. I have been producing for over 10 years now and this blog post will help you to make your first track.
First you need a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), this is where you will produce your music. There are a lot of DAW’s out there but some are more suitable for beginners than others. A DAW like Ableton Live or Logic Pro X is fairly easy to use but also has a lot of advanced features, very useful when you become more experienced.
Second thing you need are good VST plugins, these are software synthesizers, samplers and effect processors that you will use in your DAW. Again there are a ton of VST’s out there, some are free or even come with your DAW, others can be quite expensive. I recommend starting with free VST’s until you know what kind of sounds you like best, then buy better VST’s later on.
The third thing you need is some samples, these are short audio clips that you can use as sound sources for your track: drum loops, vocal phrases etc. You can make your own samples by recording stuff with a microphone or download them from various sources on the internet.
Now it is
I already see a lot of tutorials on how to use some dj-software, but I never found any tutorial on how to actually get started and what you need. So I’ll try to give you all the info needed to get going, but of course I can’t cover everything, the amount of options and possibilities are endless.
I’m still pretty new in this scene myself, so I will learn a lot with you, but here is what I think is important.
There are many different ways to make electronic music. Some artists just use their laptop and a few VST’s, while others have a full studio with lots of synths and other electronic gear. To be honest, my studio doesn’t look that impressive at the moment: a laptop & midi-keyboard and some other small gadgets (mixer, recording interface etc.), but it will grow over time and it’s enough for me now.
Maybe this article can stop you from making the same mistakes as me, like buying too much stuff before you even know if you like it or not or getting equipment you don’t even need because you don’t know what it does or that there is another way to do things.
You will also find out that making music costs money. You can
This is one of the most common questions that people ask me, and a hard to answer one as well. As it is with any other field, there are many different ways to get into electronic music making and it’s difficult to say which one would be the best. I think that any way will lead you to similar results in the end, but the way you’ll get there can vary quite a bit.
For example, I started playing guitar when I was 10 years old. It took me about 3 years until I realized that playing other people’s songs wasn’t really what I wanted to do and that writing my own music was much more interesting for me. I still learned a lot from playing covers though; about song structure, about guitar techniques, about music theory and also about how different musical instruments sound like. After 7 years on guitar, I started getting into electronic music in 2011, bought my first drum machine and started messing around with it. My whole musical background (both acoustic and electronic) has certainly helped me already at this point – my ears were trained to recognize certain sounds and know what they’re called; what they look like in the frequency spectrum; how they’re used in songs etc… I was also relatively familiar with various different types of music genres by then
I started making electronic music at the age of 13. The first steps were very difficult, and it seems like there was nothing around to teach me what I needed to know. It took me years to figure out how to make a decent track, and even more time until I learnt how to make an album that is artistically coherent. Now, after having taught electronic music production for the last 6 years in SAE Institute in Athens and to many private students, I have decided to write down my experience here on this blog so that anyone can learn from it.
In my opinion, there are three things that one needs in order to make professional sounding music:
1) The right knowledge about the music theory
2) The right knowledge about your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
3) A lot of creativity and inspiration
So, let’s get started!
The first electronic music was made by musicians working alone in studios, often late at night. Now there are thousands of people working together at once on the Internet, still mostly late at night. This can’t help but lead to collisions.
The first collision happened in 2008 when a musician named Deadmau5 released a song called “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff.” A few months later I received an email from someone named Jon Marshall Smith. He said that he had written his own song with the same title, and he asked me to take down my version.
I was puzzled. I hadn’t heard of Jon Marshall Smith. And I couldn’t find any other song called “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” on the Web, or even a reference to one. But he said he had written it years earlier and performed it live with his band in England and Spain, so I took his word for it (though I still can’t find any record of this performance). He sent me a finished recording, which I listened to carefully; there were some similarities between our songs, but they were both based on a common source: the classic 1988 House track “We Call It Acieed” by D-Mob. Besides, his song was awful: the quality of the
If you want to learn how to DJ, this is the first thing you need to know. There are many different ways to DJ and I will be going over them in this blog post. I will be showing each different way to DJ, the gear they use, and how much they make.
The first type of DJing is called “mixing” or “turntablism”. This is when a DJ uses two turntables and a mixer to play records. The DJ would put on one record and then switch it for another record. They would do this until the song was over.
This is what most DJs use today because it’s easy to do and it’s cheap. You can find turntables for under $100 and mixers for even less than that!
If you want a more “traditional” set up then you could try some old school vinyl-based equipment like Technics SL-1200s or Numark NS7s (which are nice if you have money but expensive)