I have seen many people freeze when they have to address a live audience. Maybe that is the reason why many of these people attend these toastmaster sessions. Maybe it is their way of getting over the fear of talking to an audience or maybe those sessions teaches one how to avoid being tongue-tied.
That being said, I just wish DJs nowadays could use the microphone a bit more. When we first started out, the microphone was a part of you…you had to hype the crowd. The DJ in the past also had basic emcee-ing skills and many of the old-school DJs made for pretty good emcees when the occasion called for it.
So for those reading this post on my blog, remember, people are not there to eat you up. Do not be afraid of the audience, or the microphone for that matter. Take the mic and engage them. And to DJs nowadays, the mic is your friend..an extension of who you are. Use it!
I heard some very sad news today from a friend. David Mancuso, the founder of “The Loft” and one of the pioneers of the DJ record pool, passed away today at the age of 72.
Everyday in Manhattan’s art gallery district, Soho, people wander by the open doors at 99 Prince Street. Often they stop and gaze in at what looks like a children’s wonderland. Hundreds of brightly coloured helium balloons cover every inch of the cavernous ceiling. They wonder if it is another art gallery and are often drawn up the steps to find that it is in fact a private residence, the home of David Mancuso.
I got this write-up from the Internet:
For 13 years, every Saturday night, originally nearby on Broadway and for the last eight years at his present home, David Mancuso had been throwing rent parties for about 500 guests. Entrance is by invitation only. Liquor is not served. Juice and food are given away and the raison d’être for everyone coming here is to dance to what is reputed to be one of the world’s finest sound systems.
David is the parent and progenitor of much of NYC’s dance scene. In 1975 he, along with Steve D’Aquisto and Vince Aletti, wrote the charter for the first DJ record pool. He had also consistently popularised new music, bringing the Barrabas LP back from Spain and selling it at cost in The Loft as well as playing a major role in getting Eddy Grant’s music over to the hard core dance audience. His first official “The Loft” party, held on February 14th, 1970, was called “Love Saves The Day” and eventually went down every Saturday night, starting around midnight and running until the morning. David long abandoned the use of either a mixer or headphones. There was no overlaying or re-mixing of records at The Loft. They simply followed after each other as rhythmically as possible and Mancuso’s editorial input was restricted to the narrative of the song’s sequencing and the fidelity with which they were reproduced by the custom-made Paul Klipsch speaker system, Mark Levinson amplifiers, Mitchell Cotter turntable bases and line amplifier and the Koestu hand-crafted cartridges.
I have always liked the concept of The Loft and when I met David, he told me about it and it just grabbed me. He was a very nice man, willing to talk and share information. And I am not alone in feeling this way. Many people have said the same thing of him.
Rest in peace David Mancuso. You will be missed. The DJ world has lost one of its pioneers. Thanks to TimLawrence.com for the picture of David Mancuso
Just the other day, about a week ago, I was DJ at an event with some other DJs where we were using Pioneer CDJs and a mixer, hooked up to a Rane SL4 interface box. The thing is, in order for us to use that system with our notebooks, we needed to use the Serato timecode discs. But there was an issue. One of the CDJs had apparently developed issues trying to read the discs and as a result, there were several drop-outs that night, much to our chagrin. After the function, we told ourselves…never again. We decided to go all-controller for the next function…and this is what we chose to use next time, the DDJ-SZ.
The DDJ-SZ is Pioneer’s flagship DJ controller. It is the first controller to closely match the CDJ-2000NXS set-up. The full-sized, illuminated jog wheels deliver a smooth, fast response for precision scratching. Plus you can check your playback position or point countdown with the On Jog Display. And it is not only that. The important part is that it contains two USB sound cards and ports. This means we can hook-up 2 computers at the same time and use the top-loaded A/B switch for DJ transitions. We had a HELL of a problem with that Rane SL4 interface box and Serato DJ
But I was thinking to myself…what if issues should happen? After all, this is an all-in-one which means that when something goes wrong, the whole controller needs to be sent for repair. I am always very concerned about faders because the faders in my old Hercules DJ Console MK4 are starting to show signs of wear. But no matter. Apparently, the robust Magvel Faders in the DDJ-SZ ensure smooth control over long-term use. Two metal shafts support the fader knobs, while the contact-free magnetic system is designed to endure millions of performances. So that is good news, fader-wise
So to be honest, I was looking for one of these for sale should I need one. Ever since I made my transition to Serato from VirtualDJ, things have been going great. There are heaps more this controller can give you like two MIC inputs and XLR outputs for full, balanced audio. It costs about $2500 new so I am looking for a second-hand set. I think it will be a good investment
Remember that Smirnoff DJ advertisement I posted some time back? Well, here we are with yet another one. I do not know what is the appeal of the DJ craft to morons such as these. I mean come on guys…is this the best you can do? Check out the vinyl on top of CDJs and the headphones with NO cord at all. Can you fellas leave the DJ craft alone please or in the VERY least, think of something more creative
I got this picture somewhere online. I was thinking t myself…wouldn’t it be awesome to have one of these block parties again, like what we used to have back in the day? This is an old photo of a block party in New York, with DJs spinning vinyl, stores selling food and drinks, with great entertainment all around. We had one that resembled this in November 2014 thereabouts and it was a solid success. So many DJs stepping up to the ante to play music, making announcements and the like. It was a solid success and till now, people are still calling out for another one like that. Hope it happens soon!
This is Francis Grasso. As a DJ, in my opinion, I think that he is the greatest DJ in all history. Why do I say so? Simple. He was the one who invented the art of beat-mixing, a skill that DJs require. Sure. Many DJs now can just press the SYNC button and blend the two songs together by looking at the waveforms thrown up by their favourite DJ software but beat-mixing is an art, a skill that all DJs MUST have. Apparently, according to Francis Grasso, back in the day (we are talking about the late 60s here) DJs just used to play one record after another. Francis Grasso used to blend them together by mixing them. Thanks Francis. We DJs owe a debt of gratitude to you
I totally agree with what the picture is all about. But since this picture came from the Internet, it may be a posed picture. But I will tell you this. What I do is anything but a posed picture. I have been DJ’ing for more than 30 years. I may not look as old as this gentleman but a few friends and I are still doing it…and enjoying it. There is no other outlet that allows you to enjoy your music more than being a DJ…and getting people to dance to the music you are playing.