First, let me start off by saying that this all comes from a place of love. The music game has changed and what worked 10 years ago, no longer works today. Far too many talented artists never get the break they deserve because they still try to play by the old rules or they don’t have the knowledge needed to market themselves in this new world. Our purpose is to share some of the tips and secrets used by established artists and labels, to try and level the playing field.
Secondly, let’s clear up what we mean by DJ mixes. What we’re referring to here is recording a mix at home and posting it on YouTube, Mixcloud, SoundCloud, in the hope of building your profile.
What we’re not talking about, is recording a set from a gig or live streaming a set so that people can listen back to it and see what they missed or relive the event. Neither are we talking about recording a mix as a means of assessing your technique or just for the sheer joy of mixing records.
Now that we’re all clear, let’s dive into what we mean by this incendiary statement.
Before CDJ’s and Ableton came on the scene the barrier to entry to become a DJ was significantly high. Equipment was expensive, you had to invest time and money into building up a record collection and then on top of that you had to learn how to beat match and know your records intimately.
These days anybody can download a cracked copy of some DJ software and use MP3’s that they already have in their music library to string together a mix.
This is why the internet is now awash with DJ mixes and if you go to the pub or a house party this weekend, chances are someone will be having a blast on the decks.
There’s no shortage of mixes or DJs so it really is a listener’s market. If someone is looking for a mix they’re likely to go for the big names they trust, leaving the chances of your mix being discovered, similar to that of finding a needle in a haystack.
The ease with which this new technology allows people to mix two records together has also meant that artists are no longer booked for their mixing skills. Sasha was once lauded as the king of the blend, using his knowledge of harmonics and beatmatching skills to seamlessly layer records in perfect sync. What once took hours of practice to perfect can now be achieved almost instantly thanks to CDJ’s and Rekordbox. In this modern age, if you go to see a touring DJ it’s because they’ve been booked for their productions rather than their mixing. This is especially true of House and Techno genres.
There are a few exceptions to this but they are definitely in the minority. The most popular examples being Jackmaster or Ben UFO.
But rather than take my word for it, let's look at some real-life examples.