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Gig Advice

FrustratedRocka

Here's the thread for tips and tricks you've picked up during gigs. Whatever your experience you're welcome to share whatever you've learned about the finer points of doing a set. I'll start off.

1. I consider this the first law of any live performance: always bring backup equipment. There are few things in life more humiliating than having your power amp fail in the middle of a set and having to wait half an hour for a friend to bring you a replacement. In case you haven't figured out, this was not one of my better moments.

2. Always check your equipment before your set. I've seen all kinds of issues ranging from the blown power amp I just mentioned to faulty cables that were unfortunately hardwired to the board, clipping speakers, miscalibrated magnets on direct drive tables, and too many Serato-related bugs to list here.

3. Avoid MC's unless you're doing a gig that absolutely requires one (by which I mean about half of all Bar Mitzvahs and... that's about it). They have a tendency to get in the way and distract from the main goal: get the crowd dancing. 99 percent of the time everyone who shows up at one of your gigs will be there because they want to dance, not because they want an obnoxious MC telling everyone to "Get Crazy" every 5 minutes. The music will speak for itself. That and working with more people takes away from your cut of the proceeds.

4. I shouldn't even have to say this, but I feel like I do: NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO A SET UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL. I've been to too many parties where the DJ was clearly blazed out of his mind and lost all sense of what the crowd wanted. The most recent one was memorable largely for the fact that his "set" consisted of mixing the same 8 or 9 tracks badly and in random order for about an hour before I got fed up and left. I don't have a problem with this due to the fact that I'm a straight edge but if you're not then at least make sure you're sober for long enough to get your set done.

OK, your turn: Any tips/tricks/warnings to share from your experiences?
Here's the thread for tips and tricks you've picked up during gigs.  Whatever your experience you're welcome to share whatever you've learned about the finer points of doing a set.  I'll start off.

1.  I consider this the first law of any live performance: always bring backup equipment.  There are few things in life more humiliating than having your power amp fail in the middle of a set and having to wait half an hour for a friend to bring you a replacement.  In case you haven't figured out, this was not one of my better moments.

2.  Always check your equipment before your set.  I've seen all kinds of issues ranging from the blown power amp I just mentioned to faulty cables that were unfortunately hardwired to the board, clipping speakers, miscalibrated magnets on direct drive tables, and too many Serato-related bugs to list here. 

3.  Avoid MC's unless you're doing a gig that absolutely requires one (by which I mean about half of all Bar Mitzvahs and... that's about it).  They have a tendency to get in the way and distract from the main goal:  get the crowd dancing.  99 percent of the time everyone who shows up at one of your gigs will be there because they want to dance, not because they want an obnoxious MC telling everyone to "Get Crazy" every 5 minutes.  The music will speak for itself.  That and working with more people takes away from your cut of the proceeds.

4.  I shouldn't even have to say this, but I feel like I do:  NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DO A SET UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL.  I've been to too many parties where the DJ was clearly blazed out of his mind and lost all sense of what the crowd wanted.  The most recent one was memorable largely for the fact that his "set" consisted of mixing the same 8 or 9 tracks badly and in random order for about an hour before I got fed up and left.  I don't have a problem with this due to the fact that I'm a straight edge but if you're not then at least make sure you're sober for long enough to get your set done. 

OK, your turn:  Any tips/tricks/warnings to share from your experiences?
Posted: Apr 7, 2010 5:56 AM - Quote - Report!
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