How do I become a DJ?
January 1, 2009 1:38 PM Subscribe
How do I mix live music like Justice (or Diplo, or Ronson)? What equipment do I need to get started? How does one get into this?
I have an extension collection and knowledge of music, along with a somewhat cursory understanding of how to DJ live sets. I have no professional aspirations, but I would like to take it as a serious hobby. I'm sort of stuck on how to get going. It is my understanding that DJs like Gillis / Girl Talk will take songs, cut them up in a program like Adobe Audition and then use a program like Ableton to control the tempo and pacing of the songs, but that most of the work is done beforehand creating the actual mash-up.
That part doesn't interest me, but I'd like to be able to do what Justice does in their live shows. The A Cross the Universe set uses the same source songs as their album, but they somehow manipulate the songs in real time to respond to the crowd. How they do this is completely lost to me. I understand how someone say, playing a piano, can alter the tempo or change keys or otherwise improvise a set, that's obvious, but how do DJs accomplish this?
It looks like I would need several components to get going on this, and have played around with Serato and Ableton, but it is not intuitive. Most of my collection is high quality MP3 and I have it nicely organized on a network share. Ideally I'd like to be able to access this directly instead of using a CDJ. It looks like the idea behind Serato is that I use their control vinyl with time codes on a regular turntable to manipulate the music. Is this all I need? A couple of turntables and it'll come to me?
I realize that this comes across as sort of "I heard a piano piece, what is a piano and how do I play Beethoven?" but I'm sort of stuck as what to do next. The only equipment I have now are several computers, and a nice stereo system. I'm also looking to spend no more than $2k, so if this is out of my price range that would nip this in the bud right now.