Great sources for music
The choice of your tracks is up to you – but what you should pay attention to is the quality of your soundfiles and a well organized database, ideally as many mp3’s as possible. All programs that DJ’s use support at least the formats “wav” and “mp3” – these should be the most common formats for your music collection. But how do I get music now? Well, you have many (legal) possibilities, which I will list and explain in the following.
Great sources for music
DJ pools / Record pools
Probably the easiest way to get new music legally are the so-called DJ pools / Record Pools.
At mp3waxx you regularly receive new music, which you can then use for promotional purposes, i.e. for DJ’ing.
Here, labels book a campaign with the operators of Mp3waxx and market the song via e-mail and website. The interesting thing here: These are not no-name artists (these are also represented there), but much more well-known artists such as Pitbull, Dr. Dre, Sean Paul, Beyonce, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, etc.. – very interesting for the Black DJ’s among us. For example, on this platform I learned to love the song by Supa Show – One Hand. Without the platform mp3waxx I would not have come across it.
So: stop by www.mp3waxx.com. This is also a good source for songs that are not yet on the market, but already in your music collection.
Serato offers a similar service: Whitelabel.
With this service, however, you have to actively search for music, artists, labels or genre yourself. Then, you can save the songs to your gallery. However, this only works in conjunction with Serato DJ software. A special encryption ensures that the songs are decrypted by the Serato program and are played back in a bit rate of 320kb/s. If you open the songs outside of your Serato software, for example with another DJ program, the quality throttles to 32kb/s, which is of course counterproductive.
So: If you DJ with Serato, visit www.whitelabel.net and register there.
CD collection, record collection, tape collection
Digitizing your collection always makes sense. If only because the classic media such as CD, record and tape (cassettes) are doomed to die. Sooner or later these media break and you are annoyed.
Meanwhile you can rip your CDs to mp3’s with the Windows Media Player. For records and tape decks you have to be a bit more creative – there are either special recorders or even turntables that are built directly for digitization. In my opinion, this is a rip-off – it’s easier. See if your cassette player or turntable has an audio output, what it looks like doesn’t matter for now. Usually it’s RCA (red-white) – now you have an audio input (also called line-in) on your PC, notebook or Macbook, connect your output from the record/cassette player to it and simply record the played material with Audiacity. This tool is free and allows you to record even in high bitrate (quality). If there is a need, I will create a separate tutorial for digitizing cassette/record. You can find Audiacity for free at http://audacityteam.org/.
Private pools from labels
Some labels offer private pools. You register or apply as a promo DJ for a pool and the labels then decide if they want to send you music for free or not. Unfortunately this method is very short-lived and rather luck-based – I would only recommend this method if you can’t get hold of this music any other way (legally).
Artist direct contact
The direct distribution channel is of course ingenious =) So I already got some good songs and built up a small network of artists I like. Just have something that is not mainstream and yet totally cool to party to – that’s my motto. Do you know the song “Facebook Chicks” by Maximilian and Ben Parker? Google it, you’ll find something about it, but it’s rather rare and not played at every party – nevertheless it’s fun to play the song! Well-known portals here are certainly Soundcloud, Beatport and YouTube. It also makes no sense to write to artists like Robin Schulz or Pitbull – you won’t get a personal answer. But as a good DJ, you should always be on the lookout for good, new songs – you need to have them in front of the public and you need to determine their level of awareness. No, notoriety might be the wrong term here – but popularity would be correct. You have to determine the popularity – that’s what we DJ’s are for.
Exchange with other DJ’s
We come to the supreme discipline: exchange with other DJ’s.
Let’s assume you are a house DJ and have a considerable collection of house tracks – you now want to expand your repertoire with the dance genre and look for a DJ who has a good dance collection. Now you basically just ask him if he is interested in swapping his collection with you – that’s it, that’s the principle. Unfortunately I have to disappoint you, it doesn’t work that easy…
For my part, I always sort my songs very well, fill the mp3 tags with all the information I have available and feed the files nicely with CD covers, if they are not available. Then I determine the BPM even before I load the file into my DJ program for the first time, I also determine the key of the track with software – so I put a lot of work into my collection. I then expect the same from my swap partner – but so far I’ve never found anyone who organizes their songs so well… unfortunately. Nevertheless I give you the advice to talk to friends who share the same passion as you – maybe you will find one or the other with a better organized library than me. I would then swap with them – otherwise leave it alone, you will only make more work for yourself.
Another possibly important tip: Respect the women among us. Why do I say that? 1. women are horny, 2. women have a different, if only slightly different taste in music. So DJanes could be worth real gold for you. Don’t discriminate them and don’t laugh at them, rather try to learn something.
These are the possibilities of music procurement that you have as a DJ. Sure, you can go to questionable websites to get music, but it is not worth it. It is not allowed and not in the sense of the artists – which reputation do you like better? Music thief or music promoter? Take your pick.
A word about YouTube: I have often experienced that prospective DJ’s download music from YouTube. Sentences like “it’s in HD” are all well and good, but still you don’t have a good quality of the songs… on the home speakers, headphones or on the smartphone the quality is not noticeable, but if you are in the club with a fat PA system, you notice the difference immediately. Besides, it’s illegal – so don’t do it!
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