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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:26 pm 
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A good article that I pretty much agree with by Dan Newsome on how to be a better swing DJ:

http://danandlainey.com/swing-djing/

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:28 pm 
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The only point I disagree with is about the "flow" between tracks. I used to think this was very important, but now I think changing things up quickly with a contrasting track can actually be quite a useful DJ tool.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:35 pm 
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I think the "Learn to love Swing" section is really important and I couldn't agree more. The only exception I'd make is Buddy Rich. I'd take Jimmy Crawford or Big Sid or Papa Jo or Cozy over Buddy or the less traveled Louis Barbarin.

Regarding flow, I think it should be the norm but not exclusive. In other words, I mostly agree. Some contrast is necessary, the same way a drummer might stick switch up rhythm or add fills at the end of every phrase or two, I'll DJ a few to several tunes with flow then contrast in a dramatic way. I would never lower the energy to glacial pace and then contrast with a barn burner. I'd maybe go with a high energy low or mid-tempo or go from fast to slow. I also use contrast to do a bit of style or genre change such as going from swing to some hokum tunes or rhythm and blues or back to swing or between small group and big band. Basically I use contrast to subdivide my set. Too little contrast and no one notices that the music changed from hard swinging, fast big band to slow bluesy small group to rhythm & blues. Too much contrast and it seem disjoint and missing some of the predictability we (dancers) like in the music itself. Novelty music can also be a source of contrast and allow you to play a novelty tune that doesn't really fit with the flow and that we wouldn't want to play more than one track.

I think the room size thing is a bit misleading. To me the geometry and materials will affect the acoustics along with the density of people. The other thing is the PA, some are good, some not so good. I've been in halls big and small, some sound great, some sound like crap. My living room is small but the lathe and plaster walls and ceiling and hardwood floor make it pretty live. Some frequencies and harmonics like to bounce around and others won't. Doing some live sound work I learned a bit about "ringing out" a room. That process basically attenuates frequencies that a room may be particularly responsive to that would cause feedback in a live sound situation. As a DJ, a live room means I'm probably going to have one hand twiddling EQ every time a new track starts. Hopefully the PA has enough EQ bands to clean up the sound without butchering the music.

I'm not sure I get what's being said in the "Understand Consensus Reality" section.

The reading the crowd section is good but I'd expand on that to pay attention to the people not dancing. My personal goal when I DJ is to please most of the crowd most of the time. Not some of the crowd all of the time. The most extreme situation I've had is where about half of the dancers only dug rhythm & blues and the other half only swing. I would literally get half the crowd dancing for a few songs and then they'd sit and the other half would dance when I transitioned music styles. The scene was somewhat isolated and removed from the homogenization that usually happens in our community.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:11 am 
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There's a few small points where I'd disagree - he puts great store in mp3 quality, bit-rates etc etc, but then states he uses his computer's on-board sound for his main output, and a Turtle Beach card for previewing... which (for any laptop I've ever encountered) will instantly lower the quality of his output, vs any decent external soundcard. So I'm not a fan on that approach.

Likewise - working the wave is still a good general principle, IMO - but he's right that it's not enough on its own - flow is important - I just find that working the wave is one aspect of flow. And as Trev & Dave say, breaking flow has it's place. You just need to get the timing right.

Not sure about the 'never play these songs again' playlist - my version of that is called 'delete'.

Overall though, I think it's a superb article.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:05 am 
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The "philosophy" discussion was a reasonable place for beginners to start. While I understand that there are a great many exceptions to what was presented...overall it was a reasonable foundation upon which to build.

The entire "technical" discussion made me physically wince. It was "close" but in the end...mostly gibberish. There were a lot of the right words, and hints in the direction of the right answers...but it fell short far too often to be relied upon by anyone.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:47 pm 
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SoundInMotionDJ wrote:
The entire "technical" discussion made me physically wince. It was "close" but in the end...mostly gibberish. There were a lot of the right words, and hints in the direction of the right answers...but it fell short far too often to be relied upon by anyone.


Admittedly, I skipped over that bit. Having read it now you are correct that it is full of not-quite-right information and buzzwords.

For anyone new at this and reading along, the basic technology advice usually goes something like this:
- Seek out the best sounding source material
- Don't make it worse by heavily compressing it
- Try not to mess up the signal on the way to the speakers.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:55 pm 
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Re-reading, I'm with SoundInMotionDJ. I don't remember those inaccuracies the first time. My automatic BS detector must have been tripped and stopped me from reading those sections.

I really don't like the gain discussion. Having worked with live sound I find it very misleading. Level is what the DJ needs to be concerned about. Gain seldom needs adjusting after it's set and could have undesired effects. Suggesting a DJ shouldn't have to worry about paying attention to levels is like saying use cruise control so you don't have to pay attention to the speed limit when you're driving to the gig.

Speaking of levels, the VU meter is 75 years old this year. The article has some good discussion that might make the subject of gain and level a little more clear (or complicated as it should be).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:06 am 
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The opposite of "delete" is "re-acquire," so I do try to keep & comment/rank my duds so I don't repeat the past unless I mean to. :-)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:33 am 
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I am a bit of a compulsive collector, so it's difficult for me to delete anything... but I will usually add notes to the comment field or delete the bpm of a bad song.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:00 pm 
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Stardjhire wrote:
Fundamentals will always be there match the beat perfectly first.. :D


Honestly having a hard time telling whether you're clueless (entirely wrong kind of DJ'ing), or blatant spam. Reported just in case, but on the off chance you're the former: I suggest reading a bit of the forum and understanding that beat matching is anathema when DJ'ing for swing dancers.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:11 am 
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New member, one post, with a signature that says "hire me" twice? ... yeah I'm positive that's spam.


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