Master What You Have…

By Sam Lopez

Master What You Have

I was at an event in New Jersey doing sound and DJing a concert and I realized something  that I thought you should know. 

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (AMP)

That which has been is that which will be [again],
And that which has been done is that which will be done again.
So there is nothing new under the sun.

In several conversations I had with former and current musicians/artists and producers as well as DJ’s, I noticed how we all shared how we used to do what we are doing now back when we did it before. Technology has rapidly changed the music industry. When I look back about 20 years I remember traveling with my DJ equipment using a full-size van, now I use a mini van. I had to carry 10 crates of vinyl records to every party/event, now I use flash drives and use my Virtual DJ subscriptions which gives me access to millions of records instantly. I had to carry heavy amplifiers and turntables now I carry my DJ Controller  and self powered speakers that are half the weight and use half the people to help. 

We shared our block party stories and remembered what had to be used to get that all sounding good. Some of these guys have been around the industry and ministry for a long time. It was a good feeling to share some of my experiences with these people who I just met in New Jersey – it was cool. 

The only part of the conversation that was missing is how good we were at using what we had at the time. We never mentioned how we made it happen with what we had. Until one DJ told me he still had his Cerwin Vega speakers in his basement and said it’s hard for him to let them go. I know the feeling.

Park Party

G Man and his crew DJing at a park Bronx, New York (Courtesy Google Search)

My tip for today’s DJ is to master what you have already. The basic needs of a DJ is a {Mixing Board + DJ Controller (Mixer) + Mic + Laptop + Speakers + Music Files (Mp3 and/or Vinyl). When mastering your DJ setup the most important thing to remember is to have fun learning all the features for every piece of equipment you own. I suggest starting from scratch and re-reading the quick setup instructions for everything you use to DJ with. Set aside a day to re-introduce yourself to your sound system. Sometimes I read beginner DJ books and blogs to see how far I’ve progressed and what I might of overlooked. It’s a great habit to create wishlists and start reading up about what type of equipment the pro’s are using. And check the reviews on the most expensive DJ setups you can find and compare them to the most inexpensive DJ setups. In your comparison you’ll discover what is necessary and what is just extra bells and whistles. I saved thousands of dollars by purchasing the sound systems and DJ setups that I knew I would need and stood away from the fancy over the top stuff that is not even worth it. At least for my style of mixing and scratching. I stay with the basics unless my clients want the fancy bells and whistles and the light show. For those clients I accommodate by renting very high end expensive equipment for show and still use my simple DJ style to make sure the skill set doesn’t suffer.

My DJ Academy is in the works and set to launch end of 2016 and the basic DJ setups will be taught in depth. In the meantime “Master What You Have…” and don’t get distracted by the newest DJ gizmos until your ready to explore and learn another way of showing your skills as a DJ. If you want to make sure you own the basics that are current for what is needed now, feel free to email me and write One-On-One DJ Session and I will contact you with more info. 

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