Everyone loves a fresh new tune right? Of course! When Swedish House Mafia releases their next big track, it will be circulated throughout the world on the internet and radio. There will be tens of thousands of DJ’s playing this track, and clubs all over the world will go wild for it. This is great for those DJ’s in the moment and they will surely gain a better reputation for playing excellent music, but at the end of the day can you guess who the real winners are? That’s right, Swedish House Mafia.
DJ’s vs Music Producers
If you listen to drum & bass, you will sometimes hear a slang term used to describe a DJ as the ‘selecta’. This is the perfect description for the DJ at a party. He is the person in control of ‘selecting’ the music that will be played that night. This is a very powerful position and one that comes with a responsibility to provide the crowd with the music they want to hear. A great DJ will be able to use the tunes at his disposal to create the perfect atmosphere with the music for whatever crowd he is playing for, be that a club night or even a radio show.
A music producer is the man behind the tracks that the DJ is playing. Without music producers spending grand amounts of time in the studio pulling individual audio samples together to make the perfect track we would not have DJ’s. Electronic music producers put their vision and musical talent together with modern computer programs to sequence the perfect dancefloor hit.
Should a DJ Produce Music?
These days being a DJ who doesn’t create his or her own music will only go so far. DJ gear is becoming more affordable as the days pass, and the technological improvements make it more accessible for anyone to learn how to mix like a professional DJ. This is a great thing for the entire DJ culture, but it means that the competitive field of hungry DJ’s is growing every day.
Think of your top 5 favorite professional DJ’s. Now tell me how many of them produce their own music. I can almost guarantee that at least 4 of those 5 DJ’s have put tracks out of their own. This has given those DJ’s the extra exposure and credibility to push them to the top.
This means that if you aspire to become one of the top DJ’s in the world, you should begin thinking about music production right now!
Music Production and DJing Go Hand in Hand
As you grow as a DJ and find your preferred genre(s) of music you will hear more and more music. As you listen you won’t be able to help hearing the similarities of the tracks. The details of the drums, the locations of the claps, how the bass line rolls. All the details of the music will become clear to you. You will develop an ear for where audio elements should be placed and you will hear music samples used over and over.
All of these things are important when producing music. This works in both directions as well – as you learn more about the structure of music while DJing, you will become better at producing music and as you learn about music production and the structure of songs you will become a better DJ.
Getting Started in Music Production
Taking your first step into music production can be a daunting but rewarding process. Read our article on getting started with music production for some guidance.