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Frustrated DJ Thread
RANT WARNING

Currently I am desperately trying to get better, move up from being a bedroom jukebox to a proper acapella cutting, butter smooth mixing, crowd jivin' DJ but shit just isn't working for me.

Working full time, plus soccer training twice a week plus girlfriend hasn't left much time for me to actually practice and get better at mixing. And what free time I do have I'm usually so tired from the other shit that any attempt to record a promo mix results in a vicious cycle of record -> fuck up -> re-record -> fuck up again -> lots of swearing -> little children next door learning some new words/throw CDs at wall/sudden urge to break records over my head.

Anyway after squeezing every free second I've got I finally made a promo that is almost perfect in terms of mixing but it turns out that the track selection isn't that exciting (judging by the reactions of people who have had a listen). Fucking pisses me off, my last mix had 2 MAJOR fuck ups in it that I didn't fix but everyone loved it. Then I slave of this steaming pile of shit promo and its just ok. All I really want is to get down a mix that I would be happy to start giving to a few small clubs around town and having the ability the back that up in a live set. Like most DJs in my situation.

../rant

Anyway I'm sure someone else has been stuck in a similar rut before, or is currently stuck in this limbo between being a "bedroom banger" and a DJ who is actually half decent. If you have any motivational words/similar stories/words of advice that'd be just dandy
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i dunno if it makes you feel any better but i've been working on a demo for 3 months and still not happy with it

patience....
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Yeah I feel ya. Trying to get a current demo together for months. With uni, work and all the rest it seems the thing I love most gets a backseat.
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if you can't hit record, mix for an hour, and be happy with the result, then you shouldn't need a promo because you shouldn't be playing in clubs.

also, if you haven't the time to practice, then you haven't the time to play a gig IMO

keep practicing,
keep recording when you fuck up, and have a listen anyways, you learn from your mistakes

you have basically said it yourself, not enough time to practice, make some time!
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Quote:

Originally Posted by macc4

if you can't hit record, mix for an hour, and be happy with the result, then you shouldn't need a promo because you shouldn't be playing in clubs.

!

total rubbish

a demo mix is different to what a dj should / would play in a club, it gives you the chance to be a lot more electic with track selection etc.

plus you can get away with the odd slip up in a club, whereas a demo should be tight
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keep at it mate. it takes time. even when your good it can still take a long time to build up the contacts and get some decent gigs.

and yeah, record your fuck ups and make yourself learn from it.

go out lots and take note of the kinda tracks that crowds like, just because you like a track when you listen at home doesn't mean everyone else is gonna be into it..

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pomrocks

total rubbish

a demo mix is different to what a dj should / would play in a club, it gives you the chance to be a lot more electic with track selection etc.

plus you can get away with the odd slip up in a club, whereas a demo should be tight

why is it rubbish? a demo should be an honest reflection of what you can do.
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i fucking hate going into a mix with the intentio of it becoiming a demo, it never works out

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^I reckon. Random Mixes when lost in thought etc turn out so much better.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by KuRuPTeD

i fucking hate going into a mix with the intentio of it becoiming a demo, it never works out

How about this: Record EVERY time you play.
You'll be able to listen back, take note of mixes that sounded good etc. Draw up a flow from the mixes that sounded good and then record a new mix with those tunes.

Both my mixes in my sig are a little planned, 'Today's Kids' is much less so, and I think it's a far worse demo for that reason. I didn't bother making it sound decent (recording and rerecording), and while 'Love in Deep Space' still has a couple of slips it's just a way better mix because it's been thought through properly.
Also - I find I mix better after/with some caffeine, or if I'm mixing at home, nibbling on some chocloate or something throughout - keeping my sugars (and thus brain) going.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by macc4

why is it rubbish? a demo should be an honest reflection of what you can do.

should be your best work not something you've slapped together in 60mins
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Quote:

Originally Posted by pomrocks

should be your best work not something you've slapped together in 60mins

i agree with most of what you are saying, but he states that he can't represent his best work at the moment
both of our posts were saying it can come with time, we just said it differently
his best work is yet to come, providing he practice lots.

edit: forenzik seems to have a good attitude towards demos/mixtapes
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Quote:

Originally Posted by macc4

if you can't hit record, mix for an hour, and be happy with the result, then you shouldn't need a promo because you shouldn't be playing in clubs.

also, if you haven't the time to practice, then you haven't the time to play a gig IMO

keep practicing,
keep recording when you fuck up, and have a listen anyways, you learn from your mistakes

you have basically said it yourself, not enough time to practice, make some time!

Thanks you are right, I need to make the time and I think I knew this subconciously but didn't realise it.

Quote:

i fucking hate going into a mix with the intentio of it becoiming a demo, it never works out

Tell me about it your brain kind of says "you know what fuck you i'm going to make you nervous, loose concentration and slip like a bitch"

Quote:

How about this: Record EVERY time you play.
You'll be able to listen back, take note of mixes that sounded good etc. Draw up a flow from the mixes that sounded good and then record a new mix with those tunes.

Will do from now on

Quote:

The days of making demo tapes are long over my friend.. They just won't get you far in this industry anymore (they never really did)..

What you really should be doing is create your own empire! Which means, getting out there:
- putting on your own nights and parties
- do a radio show for your local station or a podcast
- write for the street press
- start up an interesting blog
- Start producing music

Do things that actually turn you into a memorable personality - The more the better!

Everyone has a demotape, and I guarantee that not many promoters listen to them. When I was promoting, I got heaps every week, They just got added to the stack of unlistened demos, and eventually thrown out - I was much more interested in booking people who had made a little effort in promoting themselves via methods listed above..

In my 20 year DJ career, I only ever did 1 demo tape - But I did heaps of mixtapes (there is a distinction) hosted 4 radio shows, wrote for 5 publications, and put on plenty of my own events..

I know it's hard juggling DJ'ing with a fulltime job, I did it for a number of years - But how badly do you want this?? To succeed you NEED to go the extra mile, otherwise your just sleeping, and gigs will go to the next guy.
Work on buiding yourself up as a personality, get out there, get proactive with whats happening in the scene (and if there is nothing in the scene catering to what you want to do, then do it yourself!)

Sage advice, I hope I'm not the only one who benefits from this. I have trying to think of ways to make myself stand out from the crowd and I hadn't thought of half of those points you made. Thanks heaps.

I'm going to sign up for an open deck night next week tomorrow so fingers crossed I get a slot and give myself some exposure
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The days of making demo tapes are long over my friend.. They just won't get you far in this industry anymore (they never really did)..

What you really should be doing is create your own empire! Which means, getting out there:
- putting on your own nights and parties
- do a radio show for your local station or a podcast
- write for the street press
- start up an interesting blog
- Start producing music

Do things that actually turn you into a memorable personality - The more the better!

Everyone has a demotape, and I guarantee that not many promoters listen to them. When I was promoting, I got heaps every week, They just got added to the stack of unlistened demos, and eventually thrown out - I was much more interested in booking people who had made a little effort in promoting themselves via methods listed above..

In my 20 year DJ career, I only ever did 1 demo tape - But I did heaps of mixtapes (there is a distinction*) hosted 4 radio shows, wrote for 5 publications, and put on plenty of my own events..

I know it's hard juggling DJ'ing with a fulltime job, I did it for a number of years - But how badly do you want this?? To succeed you NEED to go the extra mile, otherwise your just sleeping, and gigs will go to the next guy.
Work on buiding yourself up as a personality, get out there, get proactive with whats happening in the scene.. and if there is nothing in the scene catering to what you want to do, then do it yourself!

Put that negative energy that you expend when trying to record a demo tape to better use - Do something else instead (listed above) - You obviously are putting waaay to much pressure on yourself.. Give people that first mixtape you spoke about, the one that people said was a bit of a crap song selection - Fuck em! Man up and represent yourself! If you liked that tape, then that tape is a much better respresentation of what kind of DJ you want to be!!

- Frenzie


*Distinction between demo tapes and mixtapes:
Demo tape = waste of yours and the promoters time
Mixtape = what ever the fuk I want it to be! Something that I can burn off and hand around and people either dig it or they don't, and at the end of the day I don't give a shit.
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Presented and mixed by Frenzie since 2002
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www.groovetherapy.com.au
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wtf?????? can this man read into the future. quoting a post before post was made

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Originally Posted by Derelict

Rename thread to 'Jrod asks stupid questions, receives good answers, ignores advise'.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by macc4

nah i think forenzik deleted and then re-posted

yeah I had a moment of internet fail - oops
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Quote:

Originally Posted by forenzik

*Distinction between demo tapes and mixtapes:
Demo tape = waste of yours and the promoters time
Mixtape = what ever the fuk I want it to be! Something that I can burn off and hand around and people either dig it or they don't, and at the end of the day I don't give a shit.

Yep - Realistically I've always just been making mixtapes... I give 'em to friends and the like (and let whoever's interested download them).
I dunno that a demo's necessarily a waste of time (then again, you speak with far more experience), but certainly if you aren't socialising with the people, then a mixtape from out of the blue is near useless.
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nah i think forenzik deleted and then re-posted.
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I record everything I play now days - some 3 hours mixes....some 10 mins....always good to listen to what you've done i think
Good to listen back to in the car....on the train etc

I have to agree though, if you are having major fuckups which make you want to re-record, you need more practice before playing out.
More you mix, the more natural and easy track selection and transition will become
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Quote:

Originally Posted by forenzik

The days of making demo tapes are long over my friend.. They just won't get you far in this industry anymore (they never really did)..

What you really should be doing is create your own empire! Which means, getting out there:
- putting on your own nights and parties
- do a radio show for your local station or a podcast
- write for the street press
- start up an interesting blog
- Start producing music

Do things that actually turn you into a memorable personality - The more the better!

Everyone has a demotape, and I guarantee that not many promoters listen to them. When I was promoting, I got heaps every week, They just got added to the stack of unlistened demos, and eventually thrown out - I was much more interested in booking people who had made a little effort in promoting themselves via methods listed above..

In my 20 year DJ career, I only ever did 1 demo tape - But I did heaps of mixtapes (there is a distinction*) hosted 4 radio shows, wrote for 5 publications, and put on plenty of my own events..

I know it's hard juggling DJ'ing with a fulltime job, I did it for a number of years - But how badly do you want this?? To succeed you NEED to go the extra mile, otherwise your just sleeping, and gigs will go to the next guy.
Work on buiding yourself up as a personality, get out there, get proactive with whats happening in the scene.. and if there is nothing in the scene catering to what you want to do, then do it yourself!

Put that negative energy that you expend when trying to record a demo tape to better use - Do something else instead (listed above) - You obviously are putting waaay to much pressure on yourself.. Give people that first mixtape you spoke about, the one that people said was a bit of a crap song selection - Fuck em! Man up and represent yourself! If you liked that tape, then that tape is a much better respresentation of what kind of DJ you want to be!!

- Frenzie


*Distinction between demo tapes and mixtapes:
Demo tape = waste of yours and the promoters time
Mixtape = what ever the fuk I want it to be! Something that I can burn off and hand around and people either dig it or they don't, and at the end of the day I don't give a shit.

Yea man I totally agree with this dude...demos are fake man and putting on your own nights are the way to go ..What music are you into?
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Deep House, don't mind a bit of electro though (its my secret shame)
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I never saw the point of handing out a demo that was more than a first attempt job. It never made sense to me. Just hit record, mix it and hand that shit out.
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I'm a pedantic fukker ... i record a lot of mixes for my own reference ... A: to get to know tracks i've picked up recently and B: to keep stabs of what i'm doing right and wrong with my mixes.

I handed a half decent (IMO) mix to a friend and they couldn't understand why i wasn't putting it out there for all to consume ... i use my recorded mixes to revise and critique my current selection of tracks and mixing techniques and from time to time will take the time to hone a selection of tracks and the way they are pieced together for a mix i'll be out there for mass consumption.


On the flipside, half the mixes i've put out there for circulation have been off the cuff mixes


my preference would be to travel both paths for optimal satisfaction ...


... and then whore yourself on line and IRL ... get a website ... get a blog ... host your own events ... etc etc. IT all depends what you want out of "DJing" and where you want it to take you
For all of your musical needs*

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I use ableton for my demo's as it gives me time to arrange the tracks to suit and make it sound schmick. I dont fck with em just mix them smoothly as i would out. Demo's are more about your music selection.

As said previously if you go in recording with the intetions of it being a demo it usually goes to shit where if you just record for the sake of it you can get some crackers out of it, which are good for mates and yourself.

Looking forward to getting Traktor Duo this weekend to give it a run, im over burning cd's.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by J-radical

I use ableton for my demo's as it gives me time to arrange the tracks to suit and make it sound schmick. I dont fck with em just mix them smoothly as i would out. Demo's are more about your music selection.


+1 I'm very similar.

I get the job done quickly to save time and hear how each track sounds flowing to the other. BUT above all I'm confident that I can properly reproduce my mix live. You can't go creating a Girltalk style mash-up mix if you get to the club and mix intro/outro for the entire set. After all DJing is about track selection - not technical ability*







*within reason.
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Thanks guys your advice has really helped me. I just banged out a 45 minute recording without giving a shit wha tit sounded like and really getting back into the "vibe" of the music. After all thats what it is al about, All this other shit with recording promos really clouds up mixing some tunes together and instead of it being a fun thing to do it turns into a sodomising chore.

WARNING Pondering Below

I was thinking about waht macc4 said in reply to my post about making the time, and it reminded me of why I decided to get back into DJing in the first place. For about 2 years after ditching my regular gig I found myself regretting that descion everyday (even though the gig was shit) and thinking "I should really get back into this". Then for Chrissy last year I got a book on real estate investing by this guy who was a protege to Donald Trump. One of the first chapters spoke about "positive self talk" and learning not to think things like "i should do this" or "i'll do it later". While reading this chapter in bed one night it clicked in my head and I decided I'm not going to regret giving up this DJing thing for the rest of my life, and since then I have been building my collection, buying equipment, practising and looking for gigs. Funny how a book on real estate investing was the motivation I needed to start DJing again considering how finacially opposed they can be.

/ponder
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Quote:

Originally Posted by littlebrains69

+1 I'm very similar.

I get the job done quickly to save time and hear how each track sounds flowing to the other. BUT above all I'm confident that I can properly reproduce my mix live. You can't go creating a Girltalk style mash-up mix if you get to the club and mix intro/outro for the entire set. After all DJing is about track selection - not technical ability*

*within reason.

Cool sounds like a real stress and time saver. Might have to borrow my mates copy when I'm ready
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Networking is going to get you a gig more than a mix anyways. its what you can do when you get that chance that all the practice come into its own.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by macc4

i agree with most of what you are saying, but he states that he can't represent his best work at the moment
both of our posts were saying it can come with time, we just said it differently
his best work is yet to come, providing he practice lots.

edit: forenzik seems to have a good attitude towards demos/mixtapes

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Quote:

Originally Posted by J-radical

Networking is going to get you a gig more than a mix anyways.

qft. i have recorded a bunch of mixes but have never handed any of them out. the only way i got gigs was from one night of open decks and meeting the right
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you guys using ableton cos you can't mix for 1h without trainwrecking are pathetic.

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hey there i set a fourm up to post links too songs of fidget house message me for the link

i need moderators admins and just plain members ill trust onley some people to be admins and mods so please join my forum mutch appereciated fidget god

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I can't believe it took that long for someone to start whinging about ableton.
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maybe you all are ableton homosexuals too?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pomrocks

should be your best work not something you've slapped together in 60mins

I think the point was that if you can't mix, in the safety and comfort of your own home, for an hour and not fuck up...you're not good enough to be playing in a club
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exactly.

or least write "ableton mix" on the cd you hand to the promoter. otherwise you're a fraud.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Eros le Tardfack

you guys using ableton cos you can't mix for 1h without trainwrecking are pathetic.

I wouldn't go that far, but I do feel sorry for anyone who doesn't cut their teeth with two decks, a mixer and some vinyl. Learn to mix traditionally and whatever you do in the future will benefit from it.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Psyentist

I never saw the point of handing out a demo that was more than a first attempt job. It never made sense to me. Just hit record, mix it and hand that shit out.

Just because you don't strive for perfection, doesn't mean we don't too!

Most demo's/mixtapes I've made have taken at least 3 attempts...find the 10-14 tracks I want to play, get an approximate order, record, listen, adjust order, re-record, listen, perhaps adjust order again, then mix down till your happy that non of the mixes slip much, tracks sound good together, flow is right etc.

I approach a mixtape/demo like I'm making a mix CD which is going on sale, it's got to encapsulate the various sounds I play, it's got to be smooth, it's got the have unique track selection basically frer of anthems, current "it" tracks, huge dancefloor destroying beast etc and has to be programmed well so that there's some flow, a journey upwards and then back down a little at the end

Anyone can hit record and just whack on massive track after massive track and create a mix people who don't really have a huge passion for the music, the MOS fans, will love...but those who are avid fans, will listen to once, and be done with it. I'd much rather take a lot of time and (hopefully) create a mix which even the muso heads will love and want to listen to over and over
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^^^^ that post is spot on
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Random_Kiwi

I think the point was that if you can't mix, in the safety and comfort of your own home, for an hour and not fuck up...you're not good enough to be playing in a club

dunno why i seem to mix better when in a club, think its just the atmosphere... or booze..

Quote:

Originally Posted by littlebrains69

Scratching on CDJ's is like driving a skyline - you think it's cool, but ultimately you're just a retard.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Random_Kiwi

Just because you don't strive for perfection, doesn't mean we don't too!

Most demo's/mixtapes I've made have taken at least 3 attempts...find the 10-14 tracks I want to play, get an approximate order, record, listen, adjust order, re-record, listen, perhaps adjust order again, then mix down till your happy that non of the mixes slip much, tracks sound good together, flow is right etc.

I approach a mixtape/demo like I'm making a mix CD which is going on sale, it's got to encapsulate the various sounds I play, it's got to be smooth, it's got the have unique track selection basically frer of anthems, current "it" tracks, huge dancefloor destroying beast etc and has to be programmed well so that there's some flow, a journey upwards and then back down a little at the end

Anyone can hit record and just whack on massive track after massive track and create a mix people who don't really have a huge passion for the music, the MOS fans, will love...but those who are avid fans, will listen to once, and be done with it. I'd much rather take a lot of time and (hopefully) create a mix which even the muso heads will love and want to listen to over and over

And I guess that's why you either:

A) Suck when you're under pressure and play to big crowds or
B) Have never played outside your bedroom.
Gene Hoffmann at Tresor.Berlin [Sept 2014]
feat. Surgeon, Rrose, Untold, Kangding Ray, Blawan, Green Velvet etc...
Set & tracklist: https://soundcloud.com/gene-hoffmann...lin-3-sep-2014
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Psyentist

And I guess that's why you either:

A) Suck when you're under pressure and play to big crowds or
B) Have never played outside your bedroom.

^^ how does that work out?

A club gig and putting out a mix are completely different.

at a club you can just have fun with it, get the vibes off the crowd, not worry too much about little slips and so on as most people don't notice, get a bit drunk and basically party with the crowd - what people want to see is a character behind the decks having a good time with them and taking that party somewhere with the tunes they're paying.

I can spend weeks working on a mix before i put it out, because i'll record it different ways listen to those, see what i'm happy with, record again, 'is this doing what i want it to do?', get it exactly how i want it, leave it for a bit, have another listen, 'do i still like this?', and after that i'll put it out. that doesn't make me shit - it means i care about what i out out.

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^^^ booze def helps imo. especially when making a mix. i reccomend 1-2 longnecks of whatever takes ur fancy (coopers red for me, argh!) while making a mix. i really feel that it loosens oneself up a fair bit, and by about halfway thru the mix ur 2 busy rocking out on the decks, rather than self conciously worrying whther the next mix is gonna be tight or not.

and on that note, some of the best sets ive ever played (well in my mind anyway) have been when ive been highly intoxicated. its like when behind the decks im a master at work, a surgeon working on a patient. i feel the ability to try new things and be adventurous. then the moment i step back from the decks, im a blithering, chin chattering, eye wobbling mess! who agrees?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Psyentist

And I guess that's why you either:

A) Suck when you're under pressure and play to big crowds or
B) Have never played outside your bedroom.



All your posts indicate that you are either:
A) a clueless moron or
B) an narcissistic, egotistical fuck wit

Which is it?

For the record, I've been playing for close to 10 years, I've played main room warm up or closing sets for Steve Lawler, Nick Warren, Ali B, BLIM, Freq Nasty, Krafty Kuts and more...chump!

I take the time to make a mixtape perfect because I ENJOY the process of refining a mix until I think it is perfect, not because I can't handle the pressure
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Psyentist

And I guess that's why you either:

A) Suck when you're under pressure and play to big crowds or
B) Have never played outside your bedroom.



i have a very similar approach in the ideology of doing demos that random posted ... i've played outside my bedroom plenty ... last time i played out i was feeding off the building crowd and loving it




I can easily mix for an hour plus of what ever, but i like to do more with my mixes ... i like to do more than smooth mixing ... i like to cut and fade and make things interesting and make sure that all my levels are just right ... so many a mix i record goes no further than my (or my close friends) MP3 players and playlists.
For all of your musical needs*

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*musical needs most likely not met
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Quote:

Originally Posted by WADZA

what people want to see is a character behind the decks having a good time with them and taking that party somewhere with the tunes they're paying.

WORD MAN! Hate DJs who have a heaving dancefloor at their finger tips and they can barely muster a freaking smile let alone look like they're enjoying themselves!

Quote:

Originally Posted by WADZA

I can spend weeks working on a mix before i put it out, because i'll record it different ways listen to those, see what i'm happy with, record again, 'is this doing what i want it to do?', get it exactly how i want it, leave it for a bit, have another listen, 'do i still like this?', and after that i'll put it out. that doesn't make me shit - it means i care about what i out out.

Bang on! Can lead to you being sick to fucking death of those choons though, eh?
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peakin Pecan

^^^ booze def helps imo. especially when making a mix. i reccomend 1-2 longnecks of whatever takes ur fancy (coopers red for me, argh!) while making a mix. i really feel that it loosens oneself up a fair bit, and by about halfway thru the mix ur 2 busy rocking out on the decks, rather than self conciously worrying whther the next mix is gonna be tight or not.


i feel strange having a mix without a drink at hand ... beer in the arvo ... coffee in the morning.

When i was at uni most days started with lots of strong coffee and a loud session of mixing
For all of your musical needs*

funkedub dot com



*musical needs most likely not met
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Random_Kiwi

Bang on! Can lead to you being sick to fucking death of those choons though, eh?

haha know what ya mean! i try to leave it for a bit before listening to it again after putting it out.. i think i appreciate it more if i leave it for a bit so i'm not sick of the tunes..

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