Friday, April 06, 2007

DJ 101 Finished. DJ 151 next?

Just had my last DJ class. Since our class of about 15 was slightly ahead of schedule, DJ Hapa gave us some material covered in the next class which focuses completely on mixing and beatmatching. This turns out to be the primary task of a DJ -- not taking song requests, not chatting with ladies. Nope. The DJ has to manually tweak the turntable such that the beat of the next song coming up is synchronized to the one playing. He or she does this by keeping the headphones on one ear, cueing up the song and adjusting the tempo bar on the turntable to speed it up or slow it down, doing this over and over again until it sounds right and time to bring it on.

And damn it's hard. I got it working during a practice round, but during a contest with Hapa playing an unfamiliar song (and a hip-hop tune where the chorus and verses were almost identical), I faired poorly. There was one nerdy guy in the room who mastered it quickly, getting every mix point correct. (Gimp!) We all got parts of it right though, which Hapa and his TA Matchity told us was unusual.

After that, a few alumni came in and told us how now they're doing tours, playing in groups, and having a great time making a living at this stuff. Next weekend is our graduation day, filled with lots of music and scratching and food. We all get diplomas (with our DJ names) and a card that gives us access to the Scratch academy equipment whenever we want (sweet!). Should be fun.

Incidentally, two guys in my class complimented me on my class DJ name, "Lord Banjo". They asked how I came up with it, having checked google to see if it was a reference to something. (Nope. It's a chat room handle I made up 10 years ago.) Said it would look good on a marquee. When I asked what they did (besides DJing), they said they worked on the TV show, X-Files. I checked today on IMDB. They didn't just work on it -- one is the Creator! Whoa! Only in LA.

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posted by Brian at 3:38 PM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 23, 2007

Crisis: Worldwide Shortage of Available Decent DJ Names

Ack. While I am content with my current class DJ moniker, LordBanjo, my brain has forked a 24/7 background process to find a suitable, perhaps more conventional, DJ name alternative. The aggravating part is THEY'RE ALL TAKEN!!

Let's see:

DJ Baltazar?,
DJ Beatmiser (you know, like Heat Miser, from those Rankin/Bass specials),
DJ Baze (What??),
DJ Dalek,
DJ Smurf
DJ Yoda
Mahna Mahna
DJ Umlaut
DJ Cephalopod
Nerfherder (It's the band that plays the Buffy The Vampire Slayer theme)
DJ Syphilus (Not that I'd want this one, but WTF?)
DJ Snooba (I had this as an Avatar name on Active Worlds long ago)
DJ Qbert
DJ Queso
DJ Freezetag
DJ Dot Dot Dot
DJ Übergroove (Hey! Not taken yet! Best with downtempo music)
DJ Koozebane (Also not taken. Best for sci-fi electronica)

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posted by Brian at 6:03 PM 0 comments links to this post