Friday, June 12, 2009

My DJ Setup

I discovered a shockingly enjoyable, new hobby last year... something I never expected to have fun with... something I never thought could take the place of my beloved drums: DeeJaying.

This is pretty much my current setup:
(2) Denon DN-S1000 Digital Turntables
(1) Denon DN-X100 Scratch Mixer

Beatmatching is something I absolutely fell in love with -- and I got bit when I wasn't even looking (I think it happened when I was checking out electronica on YouTube). In case you're not sure WTF I'm talking about, beatmatching is the art of matching beats and blending songs together as seamlessly as possible. I'm not really into scratching (the particular sound has always annoyed me for the most part), just matching beats. Almost like the beautiful girl you once saw roaming your neighborhood, for me, beatmatching was there all these years... I just never knew it.

Here's one of my favorite amateur disc jockeys, DJ Ama, out of Fort Lauderdale:

There's more DJ Ama here and here.

And it's a lot harder than she makes it look. Being a good DJ takes good timing, an ear for detail, the ability to multitask, a lot of practice, and -- above all else -- a true love of music.

Not everyone is into electronic music and I can understand that; the BPMs (beats per minute) for many of the songs are ridiculously similar. And they're supposed to be.

I might add that, for someone like me (an open-minded music fan on the verge of A.D.D.), electronic music is extremely satisfying to listen to... and even more satisfying to spin! And you know what? I don't give a f%#k if you think this music is crazy or gay or whatever... all I know is, when I get into a zone and feel the music there are few words to describe it. Yeah that might sound corny to you but it's true. The only thing that ever came close is when I played out during my hard rock/metal band days.

Now when it comes to gear, Pioneer is the industry standard, that is true. But I will say this, Denon makes some nice gear also. The equipment I have is pretty much Denon's bottom-of-the-barrel stuff but it is feature-packed and does a great job. I bought the DN-S1000's off of eBay, used, for about $175 a piece (retail is $300 ea). The mixer cost me another $150. Five hundred bucks got me a working set up, so it was not what you might call a huge investment. In fact I've already pulled enough gigs to pay for the gear so the rest is gravy.

A full-on, top-of-the-line Pioneer setup (like the one in DJ Ama's video above) would run at least $3,000 if not $4,000. So I'm doing this on the cheap. But again, the Denon units have a bunch of awesome features built-in: sampling, looping, a (sort of half-ass) scratch function, and some nice effects like echo and reverb. And the actual sound quality is pristine.

I'll chime-in later at one point with more details. I'm also planning on recording a video mix later this summer so stay tuned. Oh and if you need a DJ, leave a comment below or just shoot an email to the address at the top of this page. Cheers

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