Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Reading the crowd. One of the most underdeveloped skills of any aspiring DJ. When I started, I didn't exactly pay enough attention at the reaction of the crowd depending on what I programmed for a set. As a result, I would have a very inconsistent, very dissatisfied dancefloor of people milling about waiting for something that would hit them in that spot.

Room for deviation is something I found to be necessary. Crowd not feeling an electro, early house, techno, or italo vibe? Throw on some vocal, souful house, funk, or disco. Maybe thats what the particular crowd is craving. I gotta look at the crowd, I gotta communicate with crowd. Whats the sense in performing for others when you are the vehicle for the music you love? The crowd should be entertaining you as much as you are entertaining them. All these elements come into play, the element, the mood of the crowd, the nature of the venue, the sound system, the time of the night.

Along with reading the crowd, there is programming. The crowd DOES NOT always need accessiblity in the form of pop songs where they know all the hooks and words. "Never underestimate your audience" has become my personal mantra. WHAT you play may take you one step, but what REALLY counts once you choose what you play, is HOW you PLAY your music as a set. Programming. BPM and tempo, style of sound, composition (SO overlooked!), vocals, instrumentals, levels, quantized vs. non-quantized, the essence of two tracks and how they are juxtaposed. Should one play Slave's "Just a Touch of Love" directly after Berlin's "The Metro"? Will mixing out of a track in the vocal's mid-verse really work? Does that depend on whether it is quantized or raw?

I have found that there is much to consider....

...if you want to avoid an empty dancefloor.


Blogger Michael F Gill said...

What *can* you mix "The Metro" into? It's practically hi-nrg tempo!

4:56 PM  

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