7 Tips for DJing a Summer Music Festival

Djing a summer music festival

For all you DJs in the Northern hemisphere, summer is here and in full swing. The days are longer and hotter, and the nights are full of parties and festivals. If you’ve been on the DJ scene for a while, you might have even landed a coveted spot as a featured performer for a summer music festival! Congratulations! Festivals are an experience unlike anything else. But there are some things you should know about DJing a summer music festival.

Festivals are entirely different animals than clubs. Even a simple outdoor gig is worlds away from the nightclub or party life. Your performance might be similar overall, but the preparation involved beforehand, and the atmosphere of a summer music festival are what make them unique. Read on for our top list of tips for DJing a summer music festival so you can be prepared.

1. Know your Setup

Festival stages are usually set up specifically for the event, so it may not be possible to scope out where you’ll be performing beforehand. However, there are some steps you can take to make sure you can be prepared. Ask the organizers where they’ll be setting up the stage, and what equipment is going to be provided for the performers. This way you can have an idea of what you need to pack.

However, the festival organizers or tech team may ask you for a list of what equipment you might need, instead. Be prepared to give them a detailed list if this happens. Surge protectors and cable management are considered equipment, so it’s always better to add more things than you think are necessary.

Map out a plan for where you’re going to park, where your gear is going to be stored, and how you’ll be getting from point A to point B. The festival organizers should be able to help you with this or provide transportation and maps of the venue. The more prep you can do ahead of time, the better, so you won’t be lost on the day of the festival.

2. Know Your Itinerary

Make sure you get your itinerary in writing and keep a copy with you during the festival and its preparations. Include travel arrangements in your itinerary if the festival is out of town, and make sure you’re aware of when you need to arrive to attend rehearsals or other meetings before the festival starts. Last minute lineup or venue changes can happen as weather conditions or cancellations occur before a festival, so mark changes to your itinerary on your copy so you can keep track. You need to always know where to be, when, and why to keep everything running smoothly.

3. Pack Light

Remember the list of equipment from the organizers in step one? The more equipment the organizers provide, the better, because packing light is imperative for DJing summer festivals outdoors. The weather conditions or venue may be hazardous or hard to get to, so you don’t want to have to lug around any more gear than necessary. Make sure you have backups of essential gear (like headphone cables, music storage, or power cables), but don’t go overboard on the “emergency” kit. You’ll need to be mobile, especially if your set is switched to a different time slot at the last minute.

4. Heat/Sun Protection

Summer music festivals may or may not have a covered stage to protect performers from the elements, so you may need to get creative to keep yourself and your equipment cool. If your performance is on an open-air stage during the heat of the day, you may want to invest in a portable shade to cover your equipment and keep yourself out of the sun. Your turntables, laptop, or other DJ equipment can easily overheat in the sun, which can fry electrical components or cause a shutdown. Portable fans are also a necessity if the temperatures climb to dangerous levels.

And don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun! Wear plenty of sunscreen and eye protection, and make sure to drink plenty of water during and after your set.

5. Dust/Dirt Protection

Being outdoors also means that you may have to contend with dust, dirt, or mud, depending on the weather conditions of the festival. Make sure all your equipment is stored in watertight or dustproof cases as you transport it throughout the venue. Consider purchasing dust covers for your laptop, keyboard, or other equipment, as well. You don’t want to be sneezing or fighting through the muck to make sure you can perform.

6. Keep an Eye on Your Stuff

Unfortunately, the fun chaos of music festivals can also lead to some unfortunate consequences. Make sure you keep an eye on your equipment or have trusted helpers with you. Headphones, laptops, and other electronics can easily go missing if left unattended in the wrong area. Your bag should always be on your person, or with a trusted assistant. You don’t want to lose your wallet or be unable to play your set if an essential piece of your equipment goes missing.

7. Promote

Finally, don’t forget to put your name out there before the festival! Summer music festivals are a big deal, so there’s probably tons of social media presence advertising the event. Jump on the hype bandwagon and start letting your audience know that you’ll be there! Make sure you check with the event organizers to see if there are details you’re not allowed to disclose on social media first but otherwise go nuts! Share previews of your set, make an event on Facebook for your time slot and tag the festival pages for maximum visibility. This is your moment to shine!

There’s Nothing Like DJing a Summer Music Festival!

Summer music festivals are exhausting but a whole lot of fun, so embrace the opportunity to perform and have a great time! They take a lot of work to prepare for, so make sure you check out our other Pro DJ tips to make sure you’re ready to rock the music festival. And if you’re really looking to spice up your summer music festival set, check out our custom DJ Drops! There’s nothing like a hyped festival crowd screaming your name, after all!

How to Choose DJ Headphones + 7 Qualities to Look For

Dj headphones

We’ve covered two lists of essential DJ equipment on this blog before. However, observant readers might notice one essential component of every DJ setup was left off. Headphones are a crucial part of every DJ’s equipment list. So crucial, that we decided to cover DJ headphones in more detail in this post.

The options for DJ headphones are vast, and there are many price points and features to choose from. But what is the difference between DJ headphones, studio headphones, and headphones for casual listening? What should a DJ look for when purchasing DJ headphones? And how much should a new DJ spend on headphones? Read on to learn more about DJ headphones, and how to choose the best pair for you.

DJ Headphones vs. Other Headphones

DJ headphones are different than other types of headphones in several ways. DJs use their headphones for many things, including previewing the next part of a set and monitoring the current song. DJ headphones are more sophisticated than regular headphones for a variety of reasons, and they include features exclusive to DJ software and hardware.

The biggest factor that differentiates DJ headphones from other types of headphones is their design. DJ headphones have closed, swivel ear cups, which allow DJs to listen to the next track with one ear while simultaneously matching it to the track that’s already playing through the speakers. Some DJ headphones also have a feature where the DJ can listen to two different tracks in each ear cup. This is known as split cueing. With the press of a button, the DJ can switch back and forth between tracks seamlessly for the best match. Not all DJ headphones have the split cue feature, but it’s a useful one to utilize.

DJ headphones should also have top-notch sound quality, with a focus on bass definition. This is a differentiator between DJ headphones and studio headphones. Studio headphones are designed to provide flat frequency response. This means the headphones don’t provide any kind of enhancement to parts of the track, which allows producers in a studio to fine-tune different parts of a track in post-production. DJ headphones, on the other hand, are designed to isolate sounds, such as bass, so that the DJ can more easily match one track to another for a seamless mix.

Qualities to Look for in DJ Headphones

If you’re looking to get a new pair of DJ headphones, there are a lot of options out there. However, there are several factors you should consider when researching DJ headphones to buy:

Comfort

You’re going to be wearing your DJ headphones for long periods of time. So, first and foremost, your headphones should be comfortable to wear. Make sure the headband has adequate padding, and the ear cups sit comfortably on your ears. If you like to wear your headphones around your neck, they shouldn’t chafe or get caught on your clothes or hair.

Ear Cup Design

Most DJ headphones have an over-ear design, instead of on-ear. This creates a seal around the ear and isolates outside noise, allowing the DJ to hear their mix more clearly. However, some headphones marketed for DJs are more of an on-ear design, so be sure to look closely at product descriptions and photos.

Overall Sound

As we mentioned in the previous section, DJ headphones have different sound profiles and specs than other types of headphones. Specs such as driver diameter, maximum input, sensitivity, and frequency range are all factors that should be considered when determining the kind of sound your headphones will put out. In general, look for something that has a higher input rating (less distortion) and a larger driver diameter better bass) for the best sound for your mix.

Cord Options

Wired or wireless? Spiral or straight cord? The answers to these questions will largely depend on the types of headphones available, and your usual setup. Wired headphones can be more powerful, but Bluetooth wireless headphones are becoming more common and can be easier to move around in crowded venues. Bluetooth has its downsides, though, such as the headphones needing to be recharged. If you play long sets, wireless headphones may not be your best option. Coiled cords can easily get tangled in equipment, so if you’re going with wired headphones, a long, straight cord with plenty of slack would be your best bet.

Durability

Your headphones will take quite a beating if you play a lot of gigs. Wearing them for several hours at a time, carting them to and from venues, and being subjected to sweat, bumps, and falls will all contribute to wear and tear. A good pair of headphones will be able to handle whatever you can throw at them. Look for sturdy construction, thicker headbands, and solid earcups.

Replaceable Parts

Segueing from the last point, even the most durable headphones might need parts replaced every now and then. Being able to replace your cord, ear cups, or other parts will extend the life of your headphones and make your life easier. Purchase a backup set of replacement parts and keep them in your DJ bag for emergencies.

Price

The final point to consider when purchasing DJ headphones is the cost and your budget. There are headphones available at multiple price points, but there are pros and cons to each one. In general, more expensive headphones will give you better quality and better specs, but if you’re a new DJ, you may not want to shell out the cash for a nice pair of headphones. Consider how often you’ll be using them, your experience, and your budget to determine which price range is best for your situation.

Final Thoughts

There are many brands of DJ headphones out there, and each DJ will have their own personal preferences when it comes to style, price, and specs. We hope that this guide has helped you learn more about the types of DJ headphones, and what to look for when you do your own research.

Whatever headphones you choose, we’re sure your set is going to be absolutely killer. And don’t forget about your other DJ essential—DJ Drops! A custom DJ Drop with your DJ name will get the crowd screaming so loud you’ll be able to hear them through your noise-isolating headphones. Get in touch with NYE Countdown to order today!

The Extended DJ Equipment Guide – 5 More Tips for New DJs

Extended DJ Equipment Guide

In our previous post, we discussed the basic equipment every beginner DJ should be familiar with. To recap: every DJ needs to select an audio source and choose which DJ software to use. They also need to choose their turntable, mixer, and/or controller and have a backup storage method for their audio. This equipment will get any DJ started with mixing music.

However, when performing a gig at a venue, a DJ often needs more DJ equipment than just the basics. New DJs may not realize how much else goes into making a DJ look and sound their best during a performance. Never fear, Pro DJs. As part two of our comprehensive guide to DJ equipment, the following is a list of some commonly overlooked equipment that is needed at most gigs. At the end of this post, we’ll also go over a list of non-equipment, but still essential items that every DJ should bring to their gigs.

Speakers/PA System

Chances are, if you’re playing at a bar or club, they will have a sound system your laptop or other equipment will plug into. However, if your gig is at an outdoor venue or another site that isn’t used to hosting DJs, you may need to bring your own speakers and PA system.

Your speaker rig will depend largely on the size of the venue and the size of the audience. It also will depend on how much money you can invest into the setup and how portable you need it to be. You’ll want to do your research on your options and determine what you need, but here is a basic rundown.

You can get all-in-one PA systems that include a mixing board, amplifier, subwoofer, and speakers. Most also include a couple of other items later in this list, including microphones, adapters, and cables. An all-in-one system is going to be more expensive and difficult to cart around, but it will include everything you need for most gigs.

PA systems are either battery-powered or include an AC adapter, so you’ll want to decide which setup you need. JBL, Yamaha, and Bose make some quality PA systems with a variety of price points, portability, and other features.

You can also get components of a PA system separately to maximize the quality of your setup or eliminate items that you don’t need. At a minimum, a DJ should have a quality subwoofer and speakers that are compatible with their DJ equipment setup. Bose, Behringer, and Yamaha are some top brands for speakers that you can investigate.

Microphone

If your PA system doesn’t come with a microphone, you’ll want a good quality mic to go with your setup. DJs do a surprising amount of talking during their sets, and you’ll want to be heard over the music and general noise of the venue. Cheaper microphones generally have poorer sound quality, so this is one purchase you shouldn’t skimp on if you want good quality sound.

Most DJs will use a condenser-style microphone with a unidirectional pickup pattern. Condenser microphones are durable and portable while still providing good quality sound. Unidirectional audio pickup means the microphone will only pick up sound in the direction it’s pointed towards while muting the sound around it.

You can choose either a wired or wireless microphone for your DJ rig. Keep in mind the types of venues that you play, and your overall setup to determine which microphone is right for you. Shure and Audio-Technica have a variety of both wired and wireless microphones.

Adapters and Cables

Typically when you purchase your PA system, microphone, or mixing equipment, the cables and adapters needed will be included. However, it’s always a good idea to have backup cables and adapters, in case something goes missing or is damaged.

In general, a DJ will be dealing with cables such as RCA, digital-optical, XLR, USB, ethernet, firewire, and more. Become familiar with the cables and inputs your equipment requires and purchase extra cables to keep in an “emergency kit” with your gig supplies.

Lighting

Most venues are adequately lit for the proper mood, especially bars and clubs. But if you’re a wedding DJ, or you’re DJing an outdoor event, you will likely need to bring your own lighting rig. Dynamic lighting for the dance floor or stage sets the mood, energizes the crowd, and provides adequate lighting to your setup. It’s a little hard to mix music in the dark, after all!

A basic lighting setup for a DJ will include a lighting stand and some general PAR lights that shine over the crowd with an array of colors. Most lighting setups can be controlled digitally, set on a timer, or synchronized to the music for maximum effect. Depending on your venue, you may also want to invest in up lights that cast a color wash onto walls, or floodlights to provide vast swathes of light over the crowd. Keep in mind, you don’t want to blind your audience. You also want to be able to see what you’re doing! So don’t forget to light your table.

Table

Speaking of a table, this item is often overlooked, but a good table for your equipment is essential for mobile DJs. Clubs and bars will usually have a setup for you already, but outdoor venues or small parties might not have a table they can spare. A sturdy, portable table is essential to have in case you need it to set up your equipment. You can go as simple as a folding table or get a rolling DJ booth that has more room for your wires and equipment. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to determine how comfortable you’ll be standing at the table for hours at a time.

Non-Equipment Checklist

Now that you have all your equipment and a table to put things on, our final mini list in this comprehensive guide to DJ equipment is a checklist of essential, non-equipment items. Some of this may seem obvious, but it’s a good idea to have this list printed out or in your phone’s notes before a gig. This way you can check off items as you pack for your performance, and you won’t forget anything.

  • Keys and Wallet
  • Phone and Charger
  • Emergency Kit (Water, Snacks, Medication)
  • Change of Clothes (You’ll probably be sweating and may want to change before heading home.)
  • Toiletries (Deodorant, Gum, Toothbrush, etc.)
  • Earplugs (Protect your hearing!)
  • Business Cards (You never know when networking opportunities might arise.)
  • Flashlight (For those dark venues!)
  • Tool Kit (Screwdriver, Pliers, Electrical Tape, etc.)
  • Cable Management (Keep the “cord spaghetti” under control to avoid tripping.)

Break A Leg, Pro DJ! 

We hope this guide has been helpful to you as you continue your journey to becoming a pro DJ! These two lists just barely scratch the surface, and you’ll likely need to do more research on the types of equipment you want to use. However, we hope that this guide will give you a starting point in your research, so that you may flourish when it comes time to perform your first few gigs!

If you want to make your set even more special, consider a custom DJ Drop from NYE Countdown to get the crowd bumping and to make sure everyone knows your name. Get in touch with us or browse our shop for a complete list of products to make your set sound amazing!

The Essential DJ Equipment Guide: 4 Easy Tips for Beginner DJs

Beginners Guide to DJ Equipment

To the average person, a DJ is someone who shows up to a gig and plays some music. What the average person doesn’t know is how much equipment is needed to simply “play some music”. DJs spend a lot of time perfecting their craft, and a lot of money on the proper equipment, too.

If you’re new to DJing, ensuring you have the right DJ equipment can be intimidating. There are a lot of choices out there, and it’s not always easy to know what you should buy so you can start producing music and practicing for your first gig.

If you’re wondering where to start with your equipment list, look no further. Below is our handy beginner’s guide for essential DJ equipment.

Audio Source

Your audio source is the most important component of your DJ setup. You have three choices when it comes to your music library: vinyls, CDs, or digital files. Your choice of how you store your music will determine the rest of your DJ equipment setup, too. So, let’s break down the types.

For the purists, vinyl is the way to go. It’s the original medium of choice for the DJ pioneers of the industry. In a vinyl setup, you get your music from vinyl records and control the output with two turntables and an analog mixer. This setup is the classic one that most people think about when they imagine a DJ.

However, for new DJs, vinyl is not without its obstacles. The medium is fairly limited in its capabilities. There isn’t a lot of music available on vinyl anymore, as more artists go digital-only. Vinyl records are expensive and prone to damage, as well. If you want an extensive music library in vinyl, you’ll need to shell out hundreds of dollars (or potentially thousands) to build your ideal setlist.

CD Decks replaced vinyl turntables around the mid-2000s and are the second option for a DJ’s audio source. The setup for using CDs is like a vinyl turntable, with dual CD players surrounding an analog mixer. CD decks also allow you to play burned CDs with mp3s on them, which allows you a larger music selection. Used CD decks are also affordable, but CDs also fall victim to the same technical limitations as vinyl, as well as being impractical to carry.

The final and most popular audio source for modern DJs is a digital library and DJ mixing software. With this, your main piece of equipment is a laptop loaded with your DJ software of choice. Your music files are all at your fingertips either saved to the computer or via an external hard drive. This setup is by far the most versatile and cost-effective since you technically don’t need anything else except a sound system to plug into. You can theoretically control your mix directly with your mouse and keyboard.

However, using your mouse isn’t ideal, and there are other pieces of equipment you can buy that will control the software on your PC for you. With a digital library, you have an infinite number of songs available to you to mix. You can also take full advantage of digital effects and other mastering techniques that are difficult or impossible with physical music mediums.

DJ Software

For digital DJs, the bulk of your mixing capabilities lies in which DJ software you use. In short, DJ software are programs that mimic a vinyl or CD deck, but with more flexibility and features. Most allow you to mix more than two tracks at once and offer a variety of control features that old-school DJs once needed expensive mixing systems to use.

There are many DJ programs on the market at a variety of price points and features. For the true DJ on a budget, or someone just starting out, a free software like Mixxx has a good offering of features. You can test out how to blend tracks and add effects, and it even integrates with iTunes for easy access to your music library. Virtual DJ Home also offers a free version of its paid software, but you can only use it via your keyboard and mouse. It doesn’t allow you to hook up an external controller or mixer, so it isn’t ideal for long-term use or professional gigs.

In the mid-range price point are programs like Cross DJ and djay pro AI. For under $100 you can sink your teeth into a fuller range of mixing features. Explore transitions, multiple tracks, and utilize external audio interfaces and controllers for a more professional-quality sound.

For the serious DJ, you might want to consider shelling out a little more money for a top-of-the-line DJ software that has all the bells and whistles you could want. Serato DJ Pro, Rekordbox, and Traktor Pro 3 are some of the most popular premium options. They boast a wide array of features, and some even have digital cloud services to store your music library for ease of use on the go. Whichever DJ software you choose, be sure to do your research into the pros and cons of each choice.

Turntables, Mixers, and Controllers

Mixers, turntables, and controllers are important pieces of DJ equipment that are related to one another but have different capabilities. Each DJ, depending on their audio source, will need a custom setup of these items. In short, turntables, mixers, and controllers all allow a DJ to control the music. They help add effects, stabilize EQ, crossfade tracks, and more.

Turntables and mixers go hand in hand and are both integral for an analog DJ setup. Turntables are the vinyl or CD players that DJs use to “spin” their records. In the mid-90s, Hip Hop DJs gave birth to a style of sound effects called “turntablism” or “scratching”. They would move the record back and forth on the turntable to allow the needle to scratch the vinyl and create sound effects. This is what most people think of when they think of a DJ.

Mixers are devices that plug into turntables, digital controller systems, or other audio inputs to allow DJs to blend tracks together. They have a series of knobs and sliders on them to control EQ, levels, effects, and more. Mixers are useful for their versatility, and they give a DJ the greatest control over their set.

Controllers take the best of both worlds of turntables and mixers and converts their capabilities to a digital format. A controller connects to a laptop and allows a DJ to control their DJ software right from the controller. You can use a controller to queue tracks, add effects, and everything that a turntable and mixer setup can do, plus more capabilities that are only available for digital DJs.

Backups

Finally, for your first gig, you don’t want to forget the most important thing: backups for your music library. You never know what can happen when you get to a venue, so you’ll want to have multiple formats for your library so you’ll always have something to play. For analog DJs, make sure you have a way to store your vinyls or CDs and keep a backup set in your equipment bag just in case something gets damaged in transit. You may also want to consider having a digital setup as well in case your venue doesn’t have the proper hookups for your analog gear.

Digital DJs will want to make sure their music library is saved in multiple locations, preferably on a few physical hard drives in case of internet failure. Save backups of your setlist on flash drives, external hard drives, and to your laptop itself so you’ll be prepared for whatever life throws your way.

You’re Just Getting Started

Your DJ journey is likely just beginning. Hopefully, this guide will help you select your equipment and give you the tools you need to get started. In our next blog, we’ll cover some more advanced pieces of DJ equipment, plus an emergency kit that every DJ should have for their gigs. Stay tuned!

Want to really sound like a pro DJ? Check out our custom DJ drops to add to your sets.

DJ Audio Branding: 3 Memorable Techniques to Make Your Sound Stand Out

DJ Audio Branding Visual Branding

So, we’ve covered branding yourself and self-promotion as a DJ on this blog before. But there are a lot of different ways you can take your branding to the next level. Modern DJs don’t just play music; they are master producers, editors, and most importantly, digital musicians. Creating a public persona is just one step in the artistic and marketing journey of a DJ. Audio branding is the next step.

You can create a public image or brand with marketing and visuals. But DJs are in the business of sound. How you sound, what your music is like, and how your audience reacts emotionally are as important as visual marketing. A DJ could have the best visual presentation in the world—they could look cool, have a cool website and eye-catching videos—but if their sound is poor? Well, if their music doesn’t reach their audience, then they might struggle to stand out from the crowd.

Sound is one of the quickest ways to evoke emotion in an audience. Musicians and producers are no strangers to this fact. We can all remember the first time a song moved us, made us cry or laugh, or filled us with rage. Music and sound are powerful and evocative, and as a DJ you can use these emotions to your advantage in your marketing. There are three major techniques DJs can take advantage of to market themselves via audio:

  1. Overall Sound Branding
  2. Audio Tags and DJ Drops
  3. Sound Logos (Also Known as Sonic Branding)

We’ll go into more detail throughout this blog.

Overall Sound Branding – Creating a Unique and Memorable Sound

Most DJs are in more than just the business of mixing other artists’ tracks together. Often, DJs double as music producers. They’ll throw their own spin onto existing tracks or create entirely new sounds. If your DJ career is based primarily on music production, you can utilize specific techniques to brand yourself via your music itself.

There are a couple of producers who make the overall sound of their music part of their “brand.” Imanbek, for example, uses a particular style of synthesizer in his remixes. Listeners can immediately recognize him, even if the song is unfamiliar.. Check out a couple of his songs, you’ll see what I mean:

Aviicii too, did this well. His use of a particular synthesizer and keyboard are instantly recognizable:

Even the artist Skrillex you can pick out of a crowd for his trademark wobble bass that defined the dubstep genre in the early 2010s:

Your genre will define some of your sound profile, but other factors can inform your stylistic choices. Think about what you want your audience to feel when they hear your music. Elated? Euphoric? Zen? Energetic? Tranquil? Think about what kinds of instruments or sounds you could use to evoke those feelings. Then you can experiment with different sounds until you create a signature “brand” to your music that’s instantly identifiable to the listener.

Audio Tags and DJ Drops – A Quick Way to Spread Your Name

Another way DJs can use sound to brand themselves is through audio tags or DJ Drops. You’ve probably heard a DJ at a live show drop a pre-recorded “you’re listening to DJ XYZ” or “make some noise for DJ ABC”. These quick audio bites identify the DJ for listeners and can easily become part of a DJ’s overall brand.

DJ Khaled is a great example of this method. His taglines “DJ Khaled”, “anotha one”, and “we the best” are evident in nearly every song he produces. These tags also extend to other mediums, like collaborations and commercials.

All three of DJ Khaled’s tags are present in the beginning of this collaboration with Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, & Lil Wayne

Other music artists do this too. Think Pitbull’s “Mr. Worldwide” slogan, or Jason Derulo crooning his name at the beginning of every song. The sounds might be different, but the goal is the same; identify the artist to the listener even if they’re not listening to the music live.

DJ Drops don’t necessarily have to be your DJ name, either, although that’s the most common. Take DJ Khaled’s examples above. His variety of DJ Drops and audio tags make it so that even when he’s featured in a collaboration, he’s identifiable to the listener without having to draw attention to his name.

You can use just about any phrase as a DJ Drop. Again, think about what kind of feeling you want to evoke in your audience. Go back to your overall image as a DJ, maybe your logo or a particular style you want to emulate. Whatever you choose, feel free to get creative! Then you can record your drops yourself in your voice or have a professional voice-over artist produce them for you. Once you have the drops recorded, you can use them just about anywhere to increase your recognition.

Want some inspiration? You can check out NYE Countdown’s custom DJ Drops in our store.

Sound Logos – How Sonic Branding Can Take Your Production to the Next Level

One of the most under-utilized areas of audio branding is referred to as sonic branding or sound logos. Their name isn’t very well-known, but you’ve definitely heard examples before. The best way to describe a sound logo or sonic brand is as a sound that plays in conjunction with a visual logo to create a lasting image in the viewer’s head of the brand.

Still not sure what I mean?

When you see McDonald’s golden arches, do you find yourself humming the “ba-da-ba-ba-ba” that comes before their “I’m Lovin’ It” tagline?

Do you get instantly ready for a binge-watching marathon when you hear the “tudum” that plays as the Netflix logo loads on your smart TV?

 Or are you excited to hear about the latest crime dramas when you hear the “dun-dun” of Law and Order?

All the above are examples of sound logos used in conjunction with a visual logo. They’re quick sound bites, usually a couple of seconds or less, that evoke an emotion or mood and remind the listener of the visual that goes along with it. Sound logos are so powerful that just hearing them alone after creating the association is enough to have an effect on the listener.

DJs can use sound logos along with their visual logo to create a similar effect that these major brands use. This is where you can get creative. Play around with an animated logo and time a synth swell with your logo fading into the screen. Use an instrumental trill with your logo flashing to get your crowd hyped for your set. The choices are yours but combining your visual logo with sound is a great way to cement your DJ brand into the minds of your listeners. It’s also a fantastic way to stand out from the crowd. Sonic branding is powerful and evocative, and it will make your DJ brand unique.

Your Brand Identity is Calling

Whatever you choose to enhance your DJ brand, audio is a logical way to do it. By putting in a little effort now, you can send your image into the stratosphere with a memorable sound that sets you apart from other DJs. Combine an overall sound profile, DJ Drops or audio tags, and an audio logo along with your visual logo and you’ve got the perfect recipe for some memorable sets. So go forth and create! Maybe you’ll be the next name I hear on the radio.

6 Tips for DJing the Best NYE Bash

NYE Partying

It’s that time of year again… it’s almost New Year’s Eve! After over a year of socially distancing, it’s finally safer to come together and party the night away into the year 2022! I’m excited, you’re excited, everyone’s excited to have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve. If you’re DJing a show this NYE, no doubt you’ve already started to prepare your set and get yourself ready for the big night. Maybe you’ve scoped out your venue, figured out your outfit (I know what I’m wearing!) or even thought about your lighting or video effects. But what really goes in to making a NYE set special? What gets the crowd jumping leading up to and way past midnight?

Well, DJ friend, you’ve come to the right blog! Read on for Jasmin’s best tips on how to host the best NYE Bash that everyone’s gonna be talking about until next year!

1. Get Prepared

Prep for your set well in advance. In addition to making your mix perfect, make sure you take all the logistical stuff into account, too. If you’re the only DJ, consider bringing along a roadie to help you with equipment setup and takedown, take requests while you’re in the bathroom, or even just bring you water so you can stay hydrated. And don’t forget to bring back up! Whatever equipment you’re using, something might go wrong, so make sure you have a backup of your set on a flash drive, CD, whatever form of media you’re going with.

2. Know the Crowd

Most NYE partiers are the once-a-year type crowd, so they’re not going to behave like a typical audience would! There’s going to be more of them, for sure, but they might not feel up to dancing right away, preferring to hang on the sidelines and watch. They’re also more likely to come and go, hitting up many parties throughout the night. You might not see the same people hang around from 9PM through the ball drop until last call.

However, even though this crowd is unlike your usual, they’re all definitely there to have a good time. Spirits are high, so work off their energy and let it feed your own! Speaking of­—

3. Work the Crowd

NYE isn’t the time to get experimental, your audience is there to have fun! Play classic hits and the year’s biggest bangers so your crowd is up and dancing the whole night. Make sure to work in highs and lows in your set so they keep their energy. And don’t forget about requests! If you don’t usually take requests, NYE is the night to break that rule and let your audience rule the dance floor. If you get a request and you’ve got the song, work it in! You’ll be rewarded with a high-energy crowd that’s hyped for what you’re playing.

4. Have a Plan for Midnight

Remember when I said to be prepared? Part of those preparations involves knowing what you’re gonna play in the lead up to the ball drop. Do you have a special set prepared? What song are you going to drop as the clock turns over to 2022? Did you pre-record some drops to get the crowd amped, or are you going to wing it live on the microphone? Whatever you want to do, make sure you have some idea of what you’re doing before 11:55PM rolls around—a last minute New Year’s Countdown is a surefire way to make the party stop.

5. Protect Your Gear… and Yourself!

Partiers on NYE are usually way rowdier than the average crowd. Your gear might be susceptible to inebriated bumps, tripping, and wayward spilled drinks. Remember your roadie? Use them to help keep partiers away from your booth, intercepting requests and making sure your wires are all taped down to avoid tripping hazards.

And don’t forget about yourself! It’s tempting to let go on NYE and indulge in a few too many glasses of champagne. While drinking a little bit is a great way to keep up your energy and relax, too many will make your mixing sloppy. Moderate your intake and be sure to hydrate with water in between drinks.

6. Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

It’s the biggest party of the year! The crowd is going to look to you, DJ Superstar, for what kind of energy the night has. So, give them the best show you’ve got! Mix your favorite songs, indulge a little bit in some bubbly (but not too much, see above point), and just let loose! Don’t take yourself too seriously and mix in some charming requests if you get the time. Whatever energy you exude, your audience will follow and return it tenfold. And that is what makes the best NYE party ever.

BONUS: Top 5 Songs of 2021 for NYE

Need some ideas for what to play for that high-energy countdown until midnight? Here’s my top 5 picks for this year’s NYE hits!

1. Friday – Dopamine Re-Edi (feat. Mufasa & Hypeman) by Riton, Nightcrawlers, Mufasa & Hypeman, Dopamine

Okay, so hear me out. NYE’s on a Friday this year and this song is sure to get your crowd out on the dance floor to kick off NYE weekend in style. No work the next day? Party the night away!

2. BED by Joel Corry, Raye, David Guetta

You can’t really go wrong with David Guetta on the track, and BED is the wistful, high-energy romance track we all need to get us in the mood to share a NYE smooch. Mwah!

3. STAY (with Justin Bieber) by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber

TikTok doesn’t lie, this song is a bop. Justin’s sorrowful vocals and the hype backing track combine into a beautiful mix that we’re gonna be dancing to all night long.

4. Do It To It by ACRAZE and Cherish

A song guaranteed to get everyone droppin’ it on the dance floor, another viral hit from 2021 takes center stage for your mix this year.

5. Butter by BTS

The biggest boy band in the world? Check. Infectious hit that takes you back to summer vibes with your windows open cruising? Also check. Plus check out the version with Megan Thee Stallion and you’ve got a recipe for a packed NYE dance floor.

The Countdown is On!

Want a surefire way to get your crowd jumping past the stroke of midnight? Try one of our signature 2022 NYE Countdowns! Audio or Video, our customizable countdowns will have your entire club boppin’ until that ball drops! Check out our store to order now!

DJ Persona: 3 Easy Steps to Start Self-Promoting

Female DJ Mixing

Let’s say you’ve been DJing for a while. You’re good at your craft and have somewhat of a following, but you would like to lift your DJ brand and persona to new heights. This is where self-promotion comes in. Major companies and big artists have a team of marketers to help spread their product and connect with other creatives in the field. But if you’re a small-time creator, you have to play the marketing game all on your own.

Fortunately, the internet makes it easier than ever to self-promote, connect, and win fans and collaborations. However, there are a couple key things to keep in mind if you want to market yourself successfully as an artist. Not only do you have to have vision and a brand that sets you apart from everyone else, but you need to have a strategy for online communications and networking. What works for each individual artist is a little bit different, but these are the three starting points that will help launch your career into the stratosphere.

Step One: Crafting Your Persona

The first step to successful self-promotion is to determine what your overall image is going to be. You need a hook­–something that makes you stand out from the crowd. This can be the hardest part, so don’t be afraid to experiment! Work towards the vision you set out for yourself and have the willingness to fail along the way. A passionate work ethic will push challenges you may face into progress during your journey. Having a unique personality and stage presence is attractive to potential fans and promoters. Knowing your purpose and expressing your passion through your work creates a persona that reaches a larger audience and gains recognition overall.

DJ Khaled is a great example of this! DJ Khaled is a self-made producer that would bounce around hotels in Orlando, Florida before he made it big. Soon after, he was acknowledged nationwide by giving back to schools and organizations in the Orlando community.  His persona centers around happiness and spreading loving energy throughout the world, primarily through social media. Speaking of, a unique personality stands out on social media, and utilizing online spaces is often how successful DJs market their personality to the masses.

Step Two: Online Presence

Now that you have a cohesive image and a recognizable brand, it’s time to create an online presence for yourself. Having quality content and engaging with audiences on social media is the number one way you can market yourself as an artist. You can connect with fans and other creative professionals in the music industry and show off your skills online. And all it takes is one hit song or one video to go viral and BAM! You’ve got reach! But going viral won’t happen overnight; it takes a lot of work to build your presence and fan base first. Spreading yourself far and wide online is the key to masterful self-promotion.

Social Media

If you don’t have a professional social media presence, now is the time to create one.  Social media is where most people spend their time online these days, so you’ll need to be where the fans are. Build your following on multiple platforms and connect with your fans. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, TikTok, and Youtube all have their pros and cons, but the number one rule across all of them? Engaging content.

Build your following by telling your personal story on social media. Show off your work and stay true to your brand and persona that you developed in step one. Be authentic, but above all else, you want to draw attention. And the number one way to draw attention on social media is to engage.

Interact with other accounts and your followers to keep people coming back to your page. Post upcoming events, mixes, news, merchandise, and other creative content. Improve your reach by jumping on industry trends and interacting not only with your followers, but with other DJs as well. You can create challenges or participate in challenges created by others. Comment on other DJs’ content and reply to your fans! Interacting with content is a great way to increase your reach organically, and without having to pay for pricey advertising.

Finally, don’t forget about the power of video! TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms and posting promotional videos or previews of your mixes or shows is an easy way to gain followers and fans. TikTok doesn’t necessarily need flashy, produced videos, but professional-looking cinematography certainly doesn’t hurt you either. Keep your videos short and engaging and lean into your persona that you’ve crafted to keep up with your image. Adding an engaging call to action at the end of a video can also be a way to get viewers to remember your brand. Ask them to visit your website, follow your socials, or check out your next event on Facebook.

Website

While social media is where a lot of the magic happens, you don’t want to skimp on a website. A professionally designed website will go far in making you appear legitimate, and you can present other types of content on a professional website more easily than you can on social media.

Your website often will be the first thing your audience will find when they put your handle in a search engine. Link to your website on social media, and make sure it’s well-designed, clean, and full of good content. Post your vision, brand, good quality photos, your best mixes, upcoming gigs, and merchandise options on your website. An Electronic Press Kit (EPK) groups these segments on your website to display information about you and your music career. Adding this will allow you to reach viewers outside of your existing network and give promoters, organizers, and future fans a quick synopsis on who you are and what you are all about.

Step Three: Networking

Now that you have a persona and an online presence to back it up, you can start building relationships with others. Networking is the most effective skill for DJs to promote their talent. You need to have the skills to pay the bills; however, networking your brand and persona is essential to building your audience. It is important to have a professional approach when networking as a DJ because it can be easy to sound desperate. If you build a relationship with promoters and organizers first, it will increase your chances of being able to perform onstage when you ask.

Networking topics to help build professional relationships:

1. “My fans are discussing your upcoming event and I wanted to find out more.”

2. “I’m following your social media accounts and I’d love to find a way to collaborate with you.”

If you’re looking to promote yourself, you’ll need to provide value in having other industry professionals work with you. They likely want to promote their own brand. Being able to set yourself apart from others is key to landing  the opportunity to collaborate. Remember the engagement you’re doing on social media? Start by connecting with other artists there, and you can use it as a springboard when talking with promoters or other industry professionals. “Check out my work on TikTok with So-and-So.”

Collaborating with other DJs is a win-win situation that will gain both you and your colleague exposure to a wider network. Partnerships also allow you to break into new markets and find more ways you can better yourself as a DJ. You can always learn something from other artists. You can also connect with your community to find out what your city has to offer in terms of DJ opportunities. Other artists in the community can help you discover opportunities, such as weddings, clubs, and other venues.

Now Climb the Ladder!

Self-promotion is a long, hard, never-ending road, but learning how to market yourself is the key to becoming successful in the industry. The more you practice at it, the better you’ll get, and the more easily you’ll be able to find collaboration opportunities.

Use these three strategies to get you started, and don’t be afraid to experiment along the way. Some things you try may fail and others may succeed, but as long as you keep trying, you’ll get to where you want to be.

Apply a diverse collection of celebrity, custom, and pre-produced DJ drops to your track list to make your work stand out even more. Check them out in our store.

6 Important EDM Subgenres DJs Should Know

DJ Playing EDM

Electronic Dance Music, or better known as EDM has dominated the club and party scene for years. EDM is not a genre in and of itself, but rather an umbrella term for electronically produced music of many different styles. It can encompass everything from dance beats to ambient, chill-out music. The only similarities between the different styles of EDM are how they are produced and their technical elements. Many styles of EDM use bass synthesizers, drum machines and other inorganic sounds. These elements characterize EDM as a whole.

EDM emerged in the mid-1980s as music technology became readily available for artists to use. It expanded internationally in the 90s and has continued to grow into a wide array of genres and subgenres. These genres evolve continuously as DJs and producers blend, remix, and rehash different sounds into new combinations.

As a new DJ starting out, you might wonder which genre you should work with or where to even begin. This handy guide will walk you through some of the most popular EDM subgenres and give you an overview of the history, sound, influences, and popular artists of each genre.

House

House music originated in Chicago’s underground club scene in the early to mid-1980s. DJs of the time mixed the soaring 70s disco vocals with synth and electronic production. These new sounds exploded across the country and around the world. Today, it’s one of the most dominant genres of EDM, with many subgenres characterized by their own unique sounds and production styles.

Classic house is characterized by 4/4 kick drum rhythms, funky basslines, and sampled soulful vocals. These sounds are designed to get you up on the floor dancing the night away, and house is still quite popular in clubs. Notable subgenres include acid house, deep house, progressive house, and electro house. 

BPM: 115-130

Notable Artists: Frankie Knuckles, Larry Heard, Daft Punk, Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Avicii

Trance

Trance dominated the EDM scene for many years, although it has waned in popularity over the last decade. Originating in the German club scene in the late 80s and early 90s, trance is characterized by soaring melodies, long build-ups, and a slightly faster tempo than House. Tracks are usually instrumental, but can have dreamy, usually female vocals that don’t follow a typical verse-chorus structure.

The mood of trance is usually euphoric, getting its inspiration from and hitting its heyday in the ecstasy-fueled raves of the mid-90s. Light and airy. Its popularity has given way to harder styles in recent years, it’s still easy listening and upbeat to dance to. Trance also has several subgenres, including vocal trance that contains more structured vocals, and psychedelic trance.

BPM: 135-150

Notable Artists: Armin Van Buurin, Paul Van Dyk, Paul Okenfold, Tiesto

Techno

Techno was born out of the predominantly African American music scene in Detroit in the mid-80s. Although techno has earlier roots in disco and funk from the 70s. Influenced by Kraftwerk, the four on the floor rhythms of techno, really hit its stride once it made its way overseas. Like house music, techno found a home in European clubs, and in 1988, UK journalist Neil Rushton released a music compilation record titled Techno! (The New Dance Sound of Detroit). From there, “Detroit Techno” was put on the map, becoming a staple of European rave culture for many years.

Primarily instrumental, techno is characterized by pounding beats and a repetitive sound meant to be the base of a DJ’s set, blending seamlessly from one track into the next. Futuristic sounds have always been part of techno’s signature sound and are what set it apart from other genres. It has also given birth to several subgenres and spinoffs, such as digital hardcore, acid techno, and even trance.

BPM: 120-150

Notable Artists: Kraftwerk, Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, Nina Kraviz, Aphex Twin, Carl Cox

Garage

Also known as UK Garage (and pronounced ‘Garridge’ like the British pronunciation), Garage developed out of house in Europe in the mid-1990s. The term’s use in the U.S. was coined from the eclectic playlist of New York’s popular gay club “Paradise Garage”. However, the genre itself developed more from its’ UK roots. A faster tempo than house music, the 4/4 beat of the early influences of Garage became too fast to dance to, so DJs dropped every other beat to create “speed garage”, and eventually 2-step Garage.

Garage has other influences in Drum and Bass, Jungle, Hip Hop, and other genres, making it a blend of many different sounds. It’s mostly characterized by syncopated drums with shuffled rhythms and pitch-shifted vocals. The mid-2000s to early 2010s brought about other subgenres and derivative genres, such as dubstep, bassline, and grime.

BPM: 128-140

Notable Artists: MJ Cole, Zed Bias, Ms. Dynamite, Disclosure

Dubstep

Speaking of Garage subgenres, Dubstep has become its own notable and popular subgenre to the point it’s essentially a full genre of its own. Dubstep evolved from Garage and 2-step in the early 2000s, slowly increasing in popularity in Europe and beyond up through the later half of the decade. Spreading mainly through the internet, dubstep became a dominant cultural phenomenon in the pop music scene thanks to American artists like Skrillex in the early 2010s. Its’ trademark sounds even made their way into top-charting pop hits.

Defined by its’ characteristic “wobble-bass” and darker tone and rhythms, Dubstep uses a lot of different sounds for complex, layered tracks. There aren’t a lot of vocals involved in most dubstep, with producers sticking mainly to samples they edit nearly beyond recognition. The wildly popular American variety of dubstep has evolved into a subgenre of its own called brostep, but as of 2021 dubstep’s popularity has decreased substantially.

BPM: 138-142

Notable Artists: Skrillex, Zomboy, Knife Party, Krewella, Flux Pavilion

Drum and Bass

Drum and Bass, often stylized as Drum ‘n’ Bass or simply DnB, originated from the early 90s UK rave scene. Heavily emphasizing—you guessed it, drums and basslines—the genre was influenced by breakbeat and jungle tracks, as well as Jamaican styles such as dub and reggae. DnB reached peak popularity across Europe in the mid to late-90s but started to dwindle towards the start of the new millennium. However, it still has a strong niche audience and core set of artists, and its sound makes for a fantastic dance floor atmosphere.

Syncopation is the name of the game for DnB, with rolling basslines and sampled drum breakbeats making up the core part of its’ sound. The most influential track in DnB history was 1969’s “Amen Brother” by The Winstons. The 7-second-long drum breakbeat known as the “Amen break” has been widely sampled throughout the genre, providing the backbone to its’ sound as a whole. Multiple sampled breakbeats in the same track are common, the artist switching back and forth between them to create complex, syncopated rhythms.  DnB has evolved into multiple subgenres with different tones and conventions, such as darkstep, liquid funk, jump-up, and techstep.

BPM: 160-180

Notable Artists: Pendulum, Noisia, Andy C, Netsky

The Evolving EDM Landscape

This is by no means an exhaustive list of every genre and subgenre of EDM. The musical landscape of EDM continues to evolve and grow, giving way to new sounds and blends of existing genres until they transform into something new. There are hundreds of styles out there, each just waiting to be discovered. New DJs should listen to many genres and experiment with their own sound to figure out what style of mixing or producing they want to do. You can take the time to craft your own unique sound and style, learning from those who came before. And just have fun with it! You never know, you could help to create the next big sound in EDM.

Want to add a personalized touch to your next set for the perfect, memorable sound? Look no further than our custom DJ Drops.

5 Tips For New DJs

New DJ tips

In the world of entertainment, DJs’ stand head and shoulders above the rest. Their tendency to be at every major event, party, and social gathering makes them the conductors of upscale entertainment. They can command the room with the touch of a button and a word on the mic. Truly the status of being a successful DJ has risen to prolific status over the past couple of years. 

That makes it all sound enticing right? So you’ve decided to have a hand at the craft yourself. First off, congrats! You’ve taken the first step into becoming the true life of the party. Second, here are a few tips that we believe can help you as someone who is starting out as a DJ!

Tip 1- Tell People

No one ever knows what your job is without you telling them, right? Well the same thing goes for any creative field. That includes being a DJ! One of the first and most brave steps you can take in this field is making sure you are telling everyone that you’re now a DJ. Word of mouth is the longest standing, yet most under-appreciated, form of marketing that there is. By simply getting the word out, you are doing yourself a ton of favors in the long run in terms of getting gigs and making people aware of who you are.

You can also couple this practice by passing out business cards or linking people with your social media accounts for your new creative business. This essentially guarantees that people can at least put your new found profession to the face which goes a long way in establishing any kind of relationship with potential clients. Remember, you’re only as good as your word so use it!

Tip 2- Hone Your Setup

It’s not surprising to learn that there are a TON of options in terms of equipment and gear. Being a DJ is one of the most technologically based performance arts there is. That is why a DJ could spend years working on their setup, and even then there is  tinkering and small changes to be made. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have a setup you’re happy with before taking gigs. It helps to think about what kind of DJ you want to be. Do you want to DJ weddings, parties, company events, etc? These types of questions won’t only help you decide what kind of gear you need, but also help you plan out what you’ll do financially in terms of investment on gear. Remember that sometimes less is more.

Sure it’s easy to fall into the trap of always wanting the next thing. It’s also easy to associate success with a bigger setup, but that simply isn’t true. Practice investing in items and gear that will have the best return on investment. When starting out in any business you want to make sure you’re spending money wisely, so the best advice is to treat this like a business. If you wish to be successful you must be fiscally responsible. Blowing all your money on gear will not help you for sure in the long run. Hone your craft and hone your gear to suit your specific needs. 

Tip 3- Create a Brand or Persona

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to come up with some hip DJ sounding name in the same vein of guys like Skrillex or Major Lazer. This just means that you should find something unique about yourself and run with it. Blast your uniqueness on every piece of marketing you have and set yourself apart from the rest of the pack. You almost want to make it a part of your identity. If you can differentiate yourself from the hundreds of other people also looking to become DJs’ then you set yourself up for success.

So create a name, logo, artwork, persona, personality that’s unique to you and embrace it. You can also use sound and graphics to set yourself apart! NYE Countdown offers up many different drops and video drops that you can incorporate into your sound to further your own special identity. If you embrace what makes yourself special as a performer you could go far!

Tip 4- Setup an Online Presence 

As an aspiring DJ, social media will be your best friend. Social media is a great (and free) way to reach an audience you can’t necessarily reach in person. If you take the steps to market yourself properly on social media that shows a person or artist that is willing to take the time and show off their craft. If you’re in the mix of just starting, you should still try and increase your social media following! People love seeing the journey. They love feeling connected to an artist and as a DJ you’re part entertainer and part artist. By establishing a connection through various online platforms not only are you spreading your overall presence, but you’re also building a rapport with your audience. This compels them to engage with you more which will then turn around and boost your social media presence as well.

A little secret of the trade, the more you interact on social media the more your profiles get viewed! This will widen your audience overall and strengthen the bond your more long standing followers have with you. If they can tell their friends they knew you before you were a big shot DJ they will further appreciate you as an artist and performer. It also might benefit to look at agencies who work in social media outreach like Killerspots Agency who help lead brands worldwide. 

Tip 5- Embrace Music

If you don’t have a true passion for music, this is the part where you forget everything you just read and hang it up right now! Being a DJ means you are the composer of music on any given night. If the last thing you think about when being a DJ is the music then you’re in the wrong field. You would be much more suited to be a performer or hype-man. People want DJs’ who will embrace music and create playlists and tracks that are catered to their specific event. Without a passion for something your overall work will just come across as stale and lifeless.

People can definitely tell when a DJ has a love and passion for music as opposed to someone who is just chasing the applause. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be a DJ because it seems like a fast track to popularity or notoriety. Do it because you love the hype and mood song and music can put people in. With this love of music and a little bit of hard work you’re already well on your way to success. So take your arms and embrace that love of music as you go on with your journey into becoming a successful DJ!

5 Crowd Hyping Tips

DJ preforming

As a working DJ, commanding the room is imperative to what you do. Since you’re the centerpiece of the entertainment, it’s your job to make sure everyone is having a great time. This can sometimes be a daunting task. It’s one thing to put on some songs and let the night go. When you’re a professional though you’re expected to go beyond being a human jukebox. Honestly, what’s more fun than crowd hyping?

You’re the curator of the night, and how you command the place has a direct effect on how much fun people are having. So what can you do? What are some ways you can make sure people are having fun? Well, here are some helpful tips on how you can get a crowd hyped and out of their seats!

Tip 1- Read the Room

A huge part of commanding an audience is sheer presence. It’s about how you present yourself to the crowd in front of you. To do this it helps to read the room and adjust your set and personality accordingly with the setting provided. If you’re at a wedding, it may not be the best idea to bass drop while jumping up and down like a mad man. On the contrary, if you’re playing a club, it might not be a good idea to be cracking jokes and letting the tracks spin. 

It’s all about the situation you’re in. Be smart and use common sense when trying to determine how to play up to the crowd in front of you. It also helps to have knowledge of the event beforehand. The more you know about the gig before it happens the more you can prepare yourself for the crowd you’ll be playing for. Just think ahead and adapt to the audience whenever you feel necessary! It is your show afterall. 

Tip 2- Trust Your Instincts 

You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who get on stage and actively try to make themselves more reserved. If you’re thinking something will look cool, do it. If your body is telling you to jump or dance, do it. That’s your body and mind telling you to have fun. If you’re enjoying yourself  that means the people you’re entertaining will too! 

By allowing yourself to let go, it shows to the crowd you’re there to have a good time as much as they are.That helps establish a connection between the two of you. Also allowing your instincts to take over is a great way to experiment with your stage presence. As you do more things on stage, you recognize what works and what doesn’t. From there you can build on that knowledge and become an even better performer! So get out there, and as Eminem puts it, lose yourself in the music! 

Tip 3- Use Appropriate Drops

Not every gig needs thumping drops, but when they work, boy, do they work. A perfectly timed drop that follows constantly  building music is one of the most natural and satisfying ways to get a crowd hyped! The best way to describe it is like reaching a very satisfying ending to a good story and for the story to go continuously and for it to be better than before. It’s basically the payoff to all the energy and excitement being built to it. 

Ultimately finding the perfect drop makes getting the crowd off their feet easier than ever! Luckily for you there are plenty of places to find exciting drops! NYE Countdown offers a number of drops that is sure to get people onto the dance floor. With such a wide variety as well, you’re sure to find a drop for almost any gig. It can be a club, wedding, work event, etc. No matter what the situation may be, the drop can help sell the fun of the moment. Accompany a NYE drop with captivating video graphics and you’re sure to be the life of the party!

Tip 4- Don’t be Afraid of the Mic

Granted, you can easily be a DJ without a mic. Having one though ensures a direct line between you and the audience. If you do find yourself using a mic in your setup, make sure you’re using it! As a DJ it can sometimes be easy to lose yourself in the music side of things. The music and track list is important, however some can argue that interacting with the crowd is just as important. That’s why it’s so imperative to take advantage of the microphone. 

By communicating to the crowd you’re making a connection between yourself and them. They feel more involved with what’s going on and you can even make them feel like a part of the show. By doing this it directly gets the audience involved which makes for more fulfilling and fun interactions. It also gives you a chance to showcase more of your persona and personality. This allows yourself to appear more like a professional and in turn can lead to more gigs through the associations you create by simply interacting with the crowd!

Tip 5- Plan Ahead

This seems a little contradictory to tip number two where we talked about trusting your instincts. Sure, letting yourself go makes things feel more fun and natural. That doesn’t mean you can’t plan what you’re going to do on stage at certain points! Some things simply work better as a coordinated effort. Take the band Metallica for example. It isn’t a happy accident when they all decide to bang their heads at certain parts of the song at the same time. Although this is a planned act, it still looks cool and natural. 

As a DJ you can do something very similar. Listen to your track list a few times. Pay attention to parts of the mix where you can envision the crowd reacting in certain ways to the music. . I mean, it’s more than likely you’ve done this before without even noticing it. If a song feels like it has a moment where people can bounce, plan a moment where you tell the crowd to bounce. If it feels like the crowd should be swaying their arms back and forth, plan to get  those hands in the air. A little bit of pre-planning never hurts anything, and that includes ways in how you’re going to get the crowd hyped!