DJ F.A.Q. : COMMUNITY INSIGHT

So, there are many questions the CTM DJ Community needs clarity on and so we have started the CTM DJ community FAQ page, straight logical! Here you will find our  CTM DJ Community FAQ , fee; free to peruse and get involved by asking us questions and engaging other avid DJ’s. Rave on children!

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ARE DJ LASERS SAFE?

INTERNAL BLOCKERS ARE A MUST IN THESE LASER RIGS

One of the beauties of going to clubs or outside venues and living the DJ’s set is the appreciation of light scheme they have rigged up. The lighting brings an ambience with it that is hard to resist if you are a fun lover. But with the emergence of many skin related illnesses, it has become important to be sure of the safety of those lights and lasers. Fun is good and all but safety first should be a requirement so be on the safe side when sourcing these products.

Well, the FDA has looked into these lasers to ensure that they are not harmful. Most of these lasers and lights are controlled by federal agencies such as FDA, CE, and MET. They provide guidelines for the manufacturers of those lasers to follow to ensure that they are safe. Of course, too much exposure to these lasers has the potential of causing a bit more than flash blindness.

Take This Seriously…

A lot of DJs use FDA approved lasers in their show so it is pretty safe. The FDA requires that the lasers have internal blockers or filters to protect people from possible hazards. The lasers moreover contain radiation limit regulations that generally conform to FDA rules. The lasers used by DJs is categorized as a class 3R laser that has a regulated beam.

It is safe to say that these DJ lasers are safe and you shouldn’t worry much about them. But as you should know at this point, too much of anything can be a problem. So exposure to these lasers for too long can be bad. Just as the case with everything else, there are unregulated lasers as well. So if you want to use lasers at your event or club, its best to use those that are regulated to protect yourself and your audience as some unregulated lasers may not contain filters to limit radiation.

PLAY PRE-RECORDED

PRE-RECORDED AT TIMES CAN BE BENEFICIAL

ARE DJ SETS PRE-RECORDED?

 

While it is sometimes the case, it is usually not so common. First of all, what are pre-recorded sets?  It is when a DJ before a show or an event records the songs in the exact sequence and with the sound effects they want. At this point when they come to the show, all they do is just play that pre-recorded set and then go to relax. No actual mixing or scratching occurs at the event.

The consequences of this act usually outweigh the pros.  Sometimes the DJ who is in charge of the party entertainment ends up not giving the right flow that would otherwise make the event a lot more fun. Similarly, it can be seen as lazy and uncreative. The spontaneity of DJ is what makes a DJ great.  Feeling the vibe and tempo of the event and keeping the it on that frequency. Making the audience feel ecstatic cannot be pre-recorded.

Another way to look at this is, imagine being a turntablist who is expected to be entertaining both sound wise and visually, a pre-recorded set would leave no awe in the crowd. The music is most likely going to bore the audience who love this kind of DJing.

WHAT ABOUT DJ REPUTATION?

DJ KHALED

DJ KHALID REPS THE STAGE

If a DJ is known for playing pre-recorded sets, it affects both their craft and their fan base. The reputation of being a pre-record DJ can potentially end their careers if they frequently use this set strategy. While it is easier for say a radio DJ to play pre-recorded sets when it is not on a request show, it is the exact opposite of live performance DJs. You will end up being dropped and cause the audience to not respond to your sound. For the brief summary, some DJs do pre-recorded sets but most do not. It’s highly advised to spin on the spot for the best effect.

ARE DJ MIXES LEGAL?

This is a question that does not get asked often, maybe because everybody just assumes its ok to mix songs, no harm no foul. Well, shocker! It can be illegal for DJs to mix songs. Yes, illegal.

The sort of music contained in a DJ mix i.e. mainstream or really popular songs, the method of distribution i.e. is it for sale or free, online or offline, the size of the expected audience and even target population can be real issues when discussing the legality of DJ mixes.

Of course, there are laws against using another person’s work without seeking their permission first. Usually, DJ mixes are promotional to the artist and even label producing the music contained in the mix. Club DJ, for instance, is safe if the club they spin at pays the organizations that issue rights regarding publicly performing songs of the artist.

A record label or artist can request their song be taken out of a DJ mix if they so decide but that is rarely the case as it is, first of all, a tasking job to listen to the mix then finding the song. Secondly, it is a positive thing for an artist to be in a DJ mix. For DJs selling their mix, it is best to cover all legal grounds so as not to face legal challenges and it’s worse when the audience is a large one. But if you share for free, you are more likely to not face any real legal issues, worst case you will be asked to remove the song from the mix.

Selling CDs of a mix can be another aspect that will require the DJ to get legal clearance and cover all legal ends so as to avoid troubles with artist or labels who feel ripped off.

 

WHICH DJ EARNS MORE AND WHY?

There are many kinds of DJs that cover different occasions. From the club DJs to cooperate DJs to wedding DJs and then radio DJs. They all have different jobs and mix different songs in different ways to suit their respective audience and performers. They also all earn differently. DJs generally get paid on a per gig basis. The expertise of the DJ is also into play when looking at DJ wages.

Club DJ’s

Club DJs are the top paid category in the DJ profession. They can earn between $500-$2000 Per night DJing at nightclubs although this is dependent on how big the club is and how experienced and popular the DJ is.

Radio DJ’s

Radio DJs come in second. Earnings of radio DJ has been estimated to be between $35,000- $75,000 and this is because they are usually put on a basic salary like other radio workers. Competition for Radio DJ gigs are tougher with the advent of technology to replace them and this also has contributed to the salary scale.

Wedding DJs

Wedding DJs can make between $800- $1500 per gig which makes them rank a bit higher on the list. The wedding DJ has to go through a selection of songs with the bride and groom before the event, maybe that’s why they earn so much per gig. However, the availability of the jobs makes their overall earning look small.

Another important factor, which is probably the most important is the level of expertise of the DJ. According to sokanu.com, highest earning DJs earn about $78,000 per annum, the less experienced or less popular senior DJs earn about $50,000 per annum, experienced DJs earn about $30,000 per annum, junior DJs $20,000 and starting DJs about $15,000.

So while it is important to choose a category to work in, skill and experience also go a long way in determining DJ earnings.

HOW DO DJs MAKE MUSIC?

It is somewhat common to see DJs transition and begin to make music instead of just making mixes of other people’s songs. Some of the biggest DJs in the world have music of their own, take DJ Khalid, Calvin Harris and David Guetta for example, they have evolved from the art of just making amazing mixes to actually understanding and producing music and even featuring in the music.

DJs work with music tirelessly altering songs and spinning and mixing songs. At some point, they get the hang of music and understand the concepts of beats while looping and scratching and since they get to feel the pulse of the people, they tend to know what kind of music is required.

EDMs, Electronic Dance Music which is a new genre of music made specifically for the dance floor was the brain child of DJs. Who can blame them? Mixing, scratching and looping was soon going to be a thing on billboards.

All that is needed for a DJ to make music just a place to plug in their speakers and laptop. DJs make music with a DAW, digital audio workstation, a software that controls the features of music mix and allows one to record, edit and playback digital files. Then they add virtual instruments to the DAW with a software such as the Ableton or whatever software they deem fit. The next step is to add some audio effects to even out the virtual instruments. This equalises the sound, adjust frequency and distortions and produces a completely new sound.

To do this as a beginner it is advised to first learn from the best and have a large collection of music that can be manipulated to suit your desire.

WHY DO DJS USE MACBOOK PRO?

Mac 15

Macbook w/retina 15″

Since the inception of technology into DJing, many DJs have generally left the traditional turntables and mixers to using computers. More recently, DJs have also started to make the shift from the regular PC to the MacBook Pro and we think we know why. Apart from the fact that MacBook is not as prone to viruses which means the songs on them are safer compared to when using PCs, they also have audio drivers that are compatible with a lot of devices. Even though MacBook are generally more expensive than PCs, they offer the DJs more reliability than PCs which makes more DJs use MacBook.

MacBook Pro has a four gig RAM which allows many DJ software to load and process without slowing down the MacBook. Another plus the MacBook offers to DJs that have made it a favourite is the screen interface. It makes everything clearer and will not strain the eyes of the DJ and given that the job requires quick sitting and focus, it is just better with the MacBook.

Works extremely well with MIDI

The MacBook works amazingly well with MIDI. The need of installing drivers like would be needed if the DJ was using PC is eliminated. The fact that the MacBook is sleek is also an unspoken advantage.

And as you know, the selection of songs a DJ has is part of what makes him either awesome or not. With the MacBook, the DJ is more easily connected to iTunes and can search for songs on request with ease compared to using a PC.

So rounding off the reasons why MacBook has become a DJ favourite are, it is compatible with MIDI, connects the DJ to a world of music via iTunes, would not crash, is sleek, allows DJ software to load without slowing things down, has a clear interface and offers a variety of options not provided by PC.

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