Below is an excerpt from Make Some Noise: Become the Ultimate DJ by Scott Binder, published by Hal Leonard just last month.
What is DJ’ing?
With the recent developments in technology, DJ’ing has turned its attention to the computer generation. This has opened up a world of possibilities and is changing the culture right before our eyes, Of course, there are a lot of traditionalists who believe that the art form of DJ’ing is being lost in the technology, but I disagree. It’s simply providing yet another platform for the craft to evolve and expand. True, mixing records is a craft that takes much longer to perfect than mixing on a computer-based system, but I believe that the computer system provides opportunities for DJs to incorporate instruments, drum machines, synthesizers, and any other controller one sees fit. This opens a world to DJs truly creating a live show. Even if a DJ has no intention of including live elements or controllers into their sets, I have no problem with the computer-based mixing systems. Sure, one can incorporate live instrumentation on the traditional setups. I am one of those who do that. But technology makes this possibility even easier. After all, there is much more to DJ’ing than beatmatching and mixing. Does this mean I personally would DJ on a computer-based program without playing an instrument? No, but I think that if we resist change we are closing ourselves off to what lies on the other side as we sift through the ever-changing landscape of the music world.
To become an ultimate DJ, one must master all levels of DJ’ing. And in my opinion, DJ’ing consists of these elements: mixing and beatmatching, programming amazing sets, incorporating live instrumentation, and crowd interaction. If you master these elements, you will separate yourself form 99 percent of the DJs out there. Sometimes good DJs excel at mixing but completely lose sight of their crowd. Other DJs are great at connecting with people on the dance floor but lack proficiency at mixing or programming their sets. It doesn’t mean a DJ is necessarily bad if he or she doesn’t master all levels of DJ’ing. A good DJ is pretty good at most of the facets of DJ’ing but isn’t a master of any of them. Is it a bad thing to be a good DJ? Not at all, but being great means mastering as many levels of the craft as possible. Modern DJs are at their best when they are turning their shows into true live performance, and mastering all of the levels illustrated in this book will help you do that.
There are books on how to become a DJ, books that talk about beatmatching, mashups, how to perform in nightclubs – even one that claims it can teach you everything in two hours. Make Some Noise is a complete DJ book that has been created on the cutting edge and goes beyond any current book on the subject. Yes, it teaches the basics, but it goes beyond the how-to, discussing DJing while playing with a live instrument as well as goal setting, marketing, and choosing your music genre.
The book also features a collection of one-page spotlights from some of the biggest DJs in the world, providing you with the opportunity to learn from the best of the best. These DJs include Infected Mushroom (1,073,271 likes on Facebook), Judge Jules (102,871 likes), R3hab (413,237 likes), Todd Terry (22,733 likes), DJ Chus (57,076 likes), Max Graham (180,293 likes), Umek (1,612,019 likes), Bingo Players (293,612 likes), and Prok & Fitch (22,663 likes).
Make Some Noise blends together practical advice and tools for learning the craft, along with an inspirational message that will help encourage you in regard to your own dreams and aspirations about becoming a DJ.
This is an on-going column on our blog where we will recommend people on Twitter in different categories. If you have other suggestions in these categories, please leave your ideas in comments, and we will give our favorite suggestions a shout out on Twitter.
Alan Parsons, author of The Art and Science of Sound Recording @ArtScienceSound
Follow if: you are a fan of Alan Parsons or want a glimpse into music and the industry
Recent tweet: I remember when dubstep was just called “LFO-Locked-Filter-On-Square-Wave-Bass-Synth” in the ’60s
Quincy Jones, author of Q on Producing @QuincyDJones
Follow if: you’re a fan of Q or want insight into the music business
Recent tweet: Had a blast w/
@BrunoMars @EmilyBearMusic @DAChesterFrench & everybody at @Spotify last night launching my new app.
Steve Turnidge, author of Desktop Mastering @arsdivina
Follow if: you’re interested in pro audio or behind-the-scenes of being an author
Recent tweet: is sequencing a Norrish Reaction CD with Winston Norrish and Geoff Ott…
DJ Shortee, author of Spin Now! @DJShortee
Follow if: you’re a fan of the “Queen of the Scratch World”
Recent tweet: Yay! Our latest Urban Assault [aka Faust & Shortee] single just dropped today on Beatport!! Hope you like!!