After being a club and mobile DJ in the NY Metro market for the past 16 years it amazes me to see that most DJs today still don't use the 'right' stuff. Let me clarify what I mean. I donít mean, speaker stuff or mixer stuff; I mean tools that separate you from the weekend worrier and the big over-priced not so experienced DJ companies.
For the past 14 months I have used one tool that has dramatically improved not only my bottom line but also reduced my carrying load (we all know that equipment gets heavy after a while) and my professional reputation. Lets not forget reducing mental stress. So what is this guy trying to say? Iím saying .hey DJs of the world. Get with the Digital Program - MP3 DJs. They are here and are growing faster than you can say 'sorry can't play it my CD is scratched'. Now this is not 'jump in with your head first, buy a PC and go rip songs' thing. Itís more. Itís a culture change. The need and desire to be more efficient, have better sound, technologically advanced and yes the WOW effect.
How did this all happen?
A DJ friend, Stevie C, approached me last fall and showed me something that literally in an instant changed my view of how I DJ and perform at parties. A laptop DJ system, complete with touch screen mixer with over 5,000 professionally loaded MP3s. Now thatís a wow. He went on to show me some of the basic features such as Folder and Song listings, Playing and Mixing, Drop and Dragging Selections, Buttons, Icons, Beat Mixing, Live Recording and the list goes on. Once I found the right Laptop (Laptop works for me but I suggest you look into the software requirements that work for you, memory and Hard Disk space, etc), I was ready to go. Or not.
After playing around with different options and trying to 'duplicateí what I do on CD players and turntables, I was surprised that it took me more than a month to master this program. After that period, I was able to do about 90% of what I normally do using CDs and turntables. The system I use is a Dell P3 with 384MB memory with a 20GB hard drive.
So how did it work overall and improve your bottom line?
Try showing up at a client meeting (especially a Corporate or Bar Mitzvah) with the songs ready to drop and drag into Anthony and Christinís Wedding or Texaco's Holiday Party folder. You guarantee that songs are going to be available to play and show that they're special by getting their own folder. This is the WOW effect. I also have less to pack. No more mixer and no more CD players. What if the laptop crashes? Same as what if my CD players break? The likelihood of a laptop crashing with high end DJ software system is very small. I would suggest carrying around your CD system as back up. I do on occasion just to be sure. For the past 14 months I have not had a glitch. How is the sound quality? Excellent, most of my 5,000 MP3 collections are recorded at 192Kpbs (CD quality).
How do I get started? Where do I start? How much are we talking?
Read up on this stuff before you jump into it. Think about what you do today and then apply it using this technology. Iíve tried a few DJ programs such as PCDJ and DJ Power ô. My choice would be DJ Power ô because they offer a complete (PC hardware and DJ software) solution. They are a little pricey but its offset buy the number of options you get. PCDJ is great for the MP3 DJ that is looking for a software solution only. PCDJ prices range between $99.00 to about $200.00 (prices as of 10/25/2001 posted on their website) www.pcdj.com . DJ Power ô. offers a complete pre-packed hardware/software system. Prices start at around $1,699 to about $4.000. That gives you a portable (luch box) system with the DJ Power software. www.djpower.com I am not a sale rep for DJ Power ô or PCDJ nor am I being compensated for use of their names.
Good Luck and welcome to the new age of DJ technology!
AnthonyAce Ė President DJ/MC for AceMuzic Inc.