Help me learn deejaying basics to use iPad + djay app at low-key friend gig. Long rambling interpretive snowflake dance inside.
backstory: I am a club fiend, music aficionado, dance / triphop / house / techno maven and occasional raver since my teens, have a huge affinity for dance/DJ stuff, but always as a consumer, never as an actual DJ. I have a decent collection of stuff already living in my iTunes library, which coincidentally all got synched to my iPad yesterday.
was just released today. Yes, it's expensive (for an app, though keep in mind I've dropped hundreds of bucks on photography software I don't use all that often, yet still brings me joy). I'm tempted to buy it and try to learn how to use it. But OMG where to even begin?! Trust me, I get it, learning to deejay is frigging COMPLICATED. I grabbed a demo of something akin to Ableton (might have even been it) a couple years ago for my old laptop, dabbled with it some, got overwhelmed/discouraged, then sort of forgot about it until now.
One of my very best friends turns 30 a couple weeks from Saturday, and we're having a party at his place. It's a single family residence with a big yard yes, the neighbours are tolerant, before you ask; it's a college town
I typically run the music at their parties anyway. Where "running the music" generally equals "bring the macbook over and stream playlists over wifi... oh and while we're at it you gotta check out Lady Gaga's latest video on Youtube OMGLOL wtf is she WEARING!!?" These are your garden variety informal parties full of youngish, hipsterish types where people tend to wander around in robes drinking white russians, have lightsaber battles and office chair races, and spontaneously dance to a variety of thumpy dancey stuff. (this
was a ginormous hit at their last party...)
I am attracted to the idea of learning how to at least semi-capably mix and spin short sets for these sorts of low-key gigs. I know my friends - they'd love it, especially if I could pull it off with at least a basic level of competence. I wouldn't dream of trying to do this for cash or compete with a professional DJ; 6+ hours of standing at the decks doesn't appeal for starters.
The sound quality concerns posted in that Macrumors thread are the furthest thing from my mind. They're not going to hear the difference between mp3s and lossless, mono or stereo, and hell anyways it's all getting broadcast via a stoutly crappy set of cheap speakers. Besides, they'll mostly be too drunk to care, and I don't really want a "better" system since then it would be too tempting to turn it up loud enough to interest the cops, and who wants to have to continually yell over the music at a party, anyhow?
I'm thinking short sets of dancey stuff, interspersed with longer quieter trancey intervals where I can just let iTunes playlist along in the background while I mingle.
tl;dr: what I want to know is as follows:
a) Philosophically, is this a terrible idea?
b) Logistically, is 2 weeks enough time to pull it off semi-competently, and if so, what should I concentrate on learning?
c) Technical Considerations: I already have a decent set of wired headphones. I can pick up a splitter, or bluetooth headphones to monitor if need be. What other bits do I need? We usually just stream iTunes on their wifi, but I don't think Airplay is an option here (yet), so I'm assuming I'll need to bring some kind of line out jack to run to the stereo system? Blah, I admit I'm sort of clueless with sound engineering crap :P Dude lives a block away so I can always do a test run on their sound system (such as it is).
I have never before used any kind of DJ rig. I have GarageBand, but not Ableton (whatever that does), and don't have the foggiest clue how to splice stuff together / edit tracks if I must. I've not the faintest idea how to to synch / fade / mix tracks either. BUT!! what I do have is a great ear, good relative pitch sense, a strong sense of rhythm (classically voice trained), and a pretty thorough knowledge of my music library. I have always enjoyed running music for these shindigs before (and people compliment my choices) but I've always kind of wanted to have a tad more control beyond just track order and the iTunes crossfade.
Hope me musical deejay geek types!