Being a DJ, is it really a skill?

Zoso420

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Beat matching is a musical skill and it’s not easy to learn. Dj’s are musicians.

I like spinning records for people to dance to but I have no desire to play in a cover band unless it’s on Halloween night.

People who don’t like going out to dance are depressing and joyless.
So are people who are full of themselves and can't take a joke.
 

buster poser

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Yeah, Garrix is super formulaic and saccharine, IMO. I like Crystal Method, actually. Also Sir Sly for
using electronic music well mixed with pop/rock.




I liked CM for a while there, wasn't as crazy about their second record though. You might like Gessafelstein if you don't already know him.

I like straight up dance music too, but around the edges acts like Ivy Lab, Youth Code, Om Unit, etc. are a lot more interesting.
Don't forget about the D Jaynes.
there are quite a few skillful, very good females with good taste & feel in the business. ;)
As a group, I actually prefer the women in the scene. Clozee, Alison Wonderland, Rezz, Toki, Charlotte de Witte, the Librarian... all put a bunch of dudes to shame when I've seen them.
 

loopfinding

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Don't forget about the D Jaynes.
there are quite a few skillful, very good females with good taste & feel in the business. ;)

i saw paula temple in 2015 and it blew me away. probably one of the best i've seen in the last ten years. and i'm not super into the newish "industrial" stuff all that much (rather just listen to plain old industrial music) but she absolutely had her stuff together.

she's a great example of someone who uses tech to her advantage - if you don't have to worry about beatmatching, you can start doing trippy stuff with adding DAW alongside your decks, stems in addition to records. you're never really listening to a fixed thing. or at least, only briefly.

at least in my mind, that's what i want to see more of - if you're not a beatmatching vinyl purist, then you better be doing some type of live music concrete.
 
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cyclopean

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i saw paula temple in 2015 and it blew me away. probably one of the best i've seen in the last ten years. and i'm not super into the newish "industrial" stuff all that much (rather just listen to plain old industrial music) but she absolutely had her stuff together.

she's a great example of someone who uses tech to her advantage - if you don't have to worry about beatmatching, you can start doing trippy stuff with adding DAW alongside your decks, stems in addition to records. you're never really listening to a fixed thing. or at least, only briefly.

at least in my mind, that's what i want to see more of - if you're not a beatmatching vinyl purist, then you better be doing some type of live music concrete.
You should check out hide, or l.o.t.i.o.n. Or youth code. Or boy harsher.
 

omahaaudio

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Who’s getting paid that kind of money for this?
A number of the world's top DJs get money like that to play big festivals and events. Tiesto, David Guetta, Deadmaus... even Paris Hilton.
Or at least they did before Covid shut things down, and they probably will again when things open up.
 

esseff

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Back in the eighties, when the new romantic movement was taking a grip. I foolishly asked a DJ if he had anything by a specific rock band. As soon as the song he was playing finished, he picked up his mic and sneered: 'There's a guy here asking for some Status Quo!'
I slunk away to the sound of jeers and scathing laughter. :oops:
 

BobbyZ

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One of my daughters does the karaoke DJ thing, there's definitely some skill, brains or just common sense involved. When she started my advice was know your crowd and mind the volume. Things change as the night goes on. You likely start with the crowd that came in to eat, have a few drinks and talk, then end with the party crowd. Different music, different volume.
None of that should be that hard to grasp but man I've seen people that don't get it all the time! I've seen bands that don't get it too.
 

SixStringSlinger

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I had a thought earlier. I can be argued that, if you don't think DJ's are musicians (and I'm talking about the more involved ones, not the ones creating and adjusting a playlist as the night goes on), that people who use synths are also not musicians, because they also don't "create" any sounds, but rather trigger already existing ones by use of their particular hardware. The fact that it looks like a piano keyboard means no more than if a DJ built a turntable into the face of a Tele.

However, the notion that synth players are not musicians is patently ridiculous! But there seem to be people who believe synth players are musicians and DJ's (in the sense described above) aren't. This seems contradictory to me at worst, but at the very least some work needs to be done to reconcile these views.

For another example, take Jason Becker, at one point a hot-shot shredder now unable to play (or physically do much else) due to ALS. My understanding is that he uses some system that reads his eye movements and translates that to speech, and that he also uses this to arrange and record music. So in at least some sense, something like a synthesizer (a person "manipulating" hardware to trigger - but not create - sounds). Is he not still a musician?
 




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