The other day I struck up conversation with a DJ during my workout at the gym, and brought him on for an idea of his workflow. Here are his survey results.
What current experience do you have with DJing? I have been Djing for 8 years. I DJ open format which means I never stick to one genre. I DJ mostly mobile.
How long have you been Djing? Up
SOFTWARE/TOOLSWhat Interfaces/Devices/Programs/Instruments do you use? Serato Scratch Live, Serato Itch, Virtual DJ
If you’re a digital DJ, what’s your main software preference? Serato
Why? It’s simple, stable, easy to navigate and has pretty good features. I don’t like overly complex DJ interfaces. I think solid mixing and great music selection are the most important aspects of Djing, nowadays, manufacturers are throwing so many knobs and buttons on software and hardware and people aren’t starting off learning the basics.
Describe the process you went through to learn these interfaces. Practice, fail and learn, watch youtube videos and ask friends, practice more.
What percent of the time do you use digital tools/analog tools?How comfortable are you with learning new interfaces? I use digital tools mostly because they are lighter weight and smaller footprint. I don’t have time to learn another interface. I still want to learn the Akai APC40.
How important is it for you to have real feedback versus visual feedback during a gig? ?
How important is tactile feedback? (touch interface vs. real knobs, etc.) Super important for the interface to have immediate response. I like real knobs, etc for that reason. I know there will be no delay.
What tools do you use to discover new music? I belong to a bunch of DJ record pools so I search those first. Spotify is another good place. DJ friends, and the radio.
How do you go about preparing for a DJ Gig? Do you pre-set your crates? I definitely prepare my crates by categorizing music into crate. For example I will put all of my clean rap edits into “Clean Rap Edits” crate and maybe sub crate that a bit too (trap, hyphy, etc.)
How often do you live mix? Every weekend :)
What percentage of your collection is digital? Almost all, I am not a big record collector.
Analog? Not much
Describe your setup process. When DJing, what controls do you find yourself tweaking most often? Volume and eq for sure!
How much space do you typically need for all of your gear? Not including speakers, etc. I can fit all of my gear on a 6ft table.
What tools do you wish you had access to for your live sets? Some kind of cool request system
It’s a brave new world in terms of new tools that are out there in terms of social media. What features would you think would add to/ help the DJ experience? Maybe a live stream of the DJ set where people can listen from home, etc.
SOFTWARE CRITIQUEWhat do you find challenging/annoying about current interfaces? Not much
What could be improved?
What do you appreciate about current interfaces? I like that they have been super solid for me.
What do they make effortless?
Questions for me/ Any other notes that you’d like to add?