The Differences Between Bootlegs, Remixes and Mashups

The terms bootlegs, remix and mashups are very familiar to DJs. But not everyone understands the slight differences between them. In this post, we are going to attempt to distinguish between these terms.

Bootleg

In simple terms, a bootleg is an unofficial mashup or remix. The original copyright owners do not authorize it. It could be a teaser or a full song mixed from the original.

There are different types of bootlegs. It could involve taking vocals of a song and playing on top of an instrumental from another song. It may also include playing two sounds together to produce a new song. Of course, it takes a fantastic pair of ears to create something spectacular from mixing two different songs.

It is important to note that most bootlegs lack real production qualities. Most bootlegs are not put together in studios. Sometimes the artist can use their laptop to create something quick and different. They are then distributed online for promo or as a teaser.

Remix

A remix is a piece of media. In our case, music or song that has been changed from the original version. This change could be by adding, removing or changing specific items of the song such as vocal, beats, verses, chorus etc. The unique thing about remixes is that something has been changed from the original version. Of course, there are several reasons why an artist may want to remix a song. Here are a few:

    To create a unique version of the song for a particular event or audience such as clubs, parties, weddings.

    A producer may create a mix to improve the fidelity of an old song, especially if the master is lost or damaged.

    Sometimes it could just be to create another artistic vision of the song. It could be the case for a hit song.

The truth is there are so many reasons why an artist might want to create remixes from simply experimenting to improving the original version. However, do not confuse a remix to edit, which is a change in the music, no matter how small or insignificant. But usually, it is a shorter fine stereo master that could be used for marketing or podcasting.

Mashups

Mashups are blends from two or more songs. It usually involves placing vocals of one of the songs over the instrumentals of another to create a unique sound.

It is a trend that has been around for a very long time and is only gaining popularity. Artists like Niki Romero, who is massive in the EDM arena as well as others like White Panda, Hardwell have seen incredible success in mashups and bootlegs.

(Video : White Panda )

I’m not a legal professional, but you might want to tread carefully when it comes to creating bootlegs, remixes, and Mashups. There could be copyright issues to deal with. Hence, always make sure you have permission from the copyright owners before using their materials. It is better safe than sorry – as they say.

How to Overcome Anxiety Before Gigs

It is inevitable to feel anxious before your gigs, especially if you’re a newbie. Anxiety can be a good thing if properly managed. It is just a reminder that you are about to perform in front of a passionate crowd who can’t wait to enjoy your beautiful performance. Even the biggest and best DJs have to deal with anxiety, so it is essential always to remember you are not alone in this. Use it as a reminder that you are living your dream. Nonetheless, let’s look at how to deal with anxiety as a DJ.

Reframe it.

A lot of anxiety has to do with your mindset at the time. Your heart is pounding, sweat dripping down your face. And your throat seems very dry. You can barely speak. It’s normal to feel this way. If you can, try to laugh about it, tell yourself it is not the end of the world and the moment will soon pass. Try as much as possible to enjoy your performance. While performing, imagine you are a kid in your bedroom having fun. Just go with the flow. Don’t try too hard to impress.

Scared of messing it up.

Trust me. Your fans are tolerant. They won’t even know if you made a mistake or not. Just don’t stop playing. Keep the party going and adjust along the way. Always prepare for the best but expect anything. Be Flexible and open-minded when you play. Every famous DJ you can think of as made mistakes, and they continue to make mistakes. They never stop because no one notices or cares as long as they have fun.

Even if they notice, no one cares as long as they get a chance to jump around and have fun. So never stop the party, keep it going no matter what. It is not the end of the world, and it is not the end of your career. Just have fun with it.

Prepare well, but expect anything.

There’s no such thing as perfect preparation. No matter how much you prepare, some things are just out of your control. This is the industry you find yourself so deal with it. It is not always your fault. Just be ready to perform and have fun.

Remember your best performance.

This is a quick way to change your mood and get you feeling excited again. The thought of past great performances can elevate your mood. The same feeling you had during that performance will be activated. This is how you turn a moody vibe into an upbeat and excited one. If it is your first gig, think of a fond memory when playing.

Pick a target.

Another trick is to pick a target — usually someone upbeat and enjoying your performance. Feed off their energy by continually checking with them, keeping eye contact. You will be amazed at how this takes off the edge and keeps you relaxed. Imagine you are playing for them and do everything to impress them. Lockout everyone else and focus on your target. If you lose your target, pick the next one and continue with the process.

Take a deep breath.

If you feel like you are not connecting with the audience or your songs are not hitting the right spots, then take a deep breath. It might be because you feel like you are losing control or you feel like you are messing things up. Just pause, take deep breaths and continue. Anxiety causes shallow breathing leading to racing heartbeats. So slow things down and breathe slowly.

Anxiety will never disappear, unfortunately. Whether you are a pro or just a beginner dealing with anxiety is something that never goes away. Just learn to deal with it and use it to your benefit. That is what the greatest DJs have done over the years. They enjoy anxiety. It is their superpower. They can use it to take their game to the next level. Learn to do the same.

 

 

How can I get a promoter to listen to my mix?

There are so many things you may be tempted to do to get a promoter to listen to your mixed tapes. But the reality is some promoters are just too busy to listen to your mixed tapes. Plus they already have a network of DJs they book for their events. But you can still get their attention, and I will share some tips.

Attend their events

You must understand promoters want success just like you. The one thing they live and breathe is the number of event attendees. Hence, nothing will please them more to know you’ve invested your time and money to attend their event. It means you are promoting their business. They will reciprocate the gesture. 

Find a good time when they are not too stressed or busy. Introduce yourself; make sure you create an impression. Then you can follow up on this the next day and so on. Once there’s been a genuine connection, you can send your mixed tapes for the promoter to listen. 

This is very normal. As humans, we are interested in people who are interested in us. So if you want a promoter to be interested in your mixtapes and potentially book you, then you must show a genuine interest in them. This will also give you an idea of the event style and sound, the crowd enjoys.

Pick your set wisely.

If you are starting, you will likely be a warm-up DJ for the event. It would be hard to be the main event when you are just beginning. So bear this in mind. Every big DJ started from somewhere, so there’s nothing wrong with it. Hence, produce your mix to warm up the crowd.

Pick your name accordingly.

Ideally, you want to organise your mixes according to different events. For instance, if someone loved one of your mashups from a particular event and wanted to have a copy of your mix, it will be easy to go to the archives and grab it if it was labelled correctly. An example can be “warm-up mix – fanatics party”. This could be the name of your mix for the fanatic party. 

Do your research

This should be the first thing you do. It is that important. Know the club or event you are to play for. What is their sound? What does the audience like? Is there a particular theme to master? These are all things to know before even preparing your mixtapes. 

Imagine a scenario you spent your time preparing hardcore mixtapes only to find out later that it is an EDM club. This would be a disaster. It is essential to do your homework well beforehand. If you do your homework well, the promoter will quickly give you the gig. 

Attend their events, follow them on social media, keep up to date with their latest activities, and get feedback from them. A sure way to secure a gig is by asking for honest feedback. Don’t come off needy. Nobody likes neediness. 

Instead, ask for an honest opinion regardless of whether they give you a gig or not. Unless they are swamped, most will spend time to listen to your mixtapes and may even book you. 

Most of this is common sense. It all boils down to doing your research and creating banging mixtapes. Then, taking your opportunity when it presents itself.

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How to Make Money as a DJ Outside the Decks

It is fun to make money doing what you love. For most DJs, DJing is their passion, and they cannot imagine life without doing it. Therefore, being able to make money DJing is just icing on the cake. Most people don’t do it for the money. They do it for love. But they have managed to make a full time living doing it and even gain fame and influence.

A good example is Calvin Harris, whose real name is Adam Wiles. They started as a grocery worker but kept putting in the work, and today he is amongst the highest-paid DJs. Okay, I’m not saying you will become the next Calvin Harris, although nothing is impossible, you could end up making a full-time income from your DJing gigs. So to help you get there, here are a few ways you can make money as a DJ outside the decks.

Teach people how to become a DJ.

Many people would love to DJ, whether professionally or just for fun. If you can identify people interested, you could make some cool cash teaching people how to become a DJ. Who better to teach this than a DJ. You can promote yourself on social media as well as using word of mouth to get the word out.

Find work in the music industry

It is a route that can help you gain experience while also providing a steady income and job stability. If you’re still starting, you could apply to clubs and local radio stations as a DJ or in the office. It would be an excellent learning curve, plus you could grow and own a slot as a mixing DJ, which could land you bigger and better gigs down the line.

Get a sponsor.

If you’re able to build a brand, you can leverage this by finding a sponsor. Find a local DJ-store and ask them for sponsorship. It could be an excellent way of gaining publicity. They could also provide financial sponsorship, and in return, you could help them market their brand as well by including their name in your mixes and marketing materials.

Monetize your blog.

It can be quite a fulfilling thing running a blog — both personally and financially. Sharing your experience and tips as a DJ on your blog can attract a lot of followers as well as make you some real money if you know how to monetize your following.

There’s a lot written on how to monetize a blog or social media following. Just Google it. You will find strategies such as running Adsense, selling merchandise, getting endorsement deals, and so much more.

Be a mobile DJ.

Not everyone is cut out to be a bar or club DJ. Some people enjoy the idea of exploring and going where the action is. Mobile DJs don’t have a particular spot where they play. They play everywhere such as in weddings, birthdays, clubs and more. It is an excellent way to make some extra income.

Sell merchandise to your followers.

Okay, following from the point about monetizing your blog. You can create branded merchandise and sell it to your fans. Yes, it could be anything from t-shirts to branded headsets. You could create an e-commerce site for selling your merchandise.

There are a few ways to earn money outside the deck as a DJ. Did we miss anything? Well, go ahead and tell us what you think. Are you a DJ? How are you making extra money? Please share.

Who is David Morales?

If you have spent any time in and around the club scene around the world and are as into electronic dance music as we are, you’ve probably heard of David Morales. To call the man a living legend would probably still not really cover his impact on the world of nightclubs, DJing and electronic dance music. If you’ve heard the name but are interested in finding out more about the man behind one of the most esteemed and highly-regarded names in the business, you’ve come to the right place.

Credits to: DJ Mag

David Morales was born in New York City, but has Puerto Rican ancestry. At aged 56 he is still one of the biggest names in world and most-sought-after DJs and record producers.

Where it all Began

David Morales’s career began during the formative and influential years of dance music and regularly attended some of the most legendary clubs in the scene, like Paradise Garage and the Loft, both in New York City. It was in 1981 that he established his first nightclub at Ozone Layer, taking inspiration from The Loft and Paradise Garage. The residency he had at the Ozone Layer is what led to him, in 1983, playing at the Paradise Garage. He was a resident DJ from 1981 to 1986 at Ozone Layer.

He was also a regular DJ at Club Zanzibar in the NJ city of Newark. This was home to the signature NJ sound of garage house and deep house.

Credits to: David Morales

Move into Remixing

After spending his time cutting his teeth as a regular in the club scene during the 80’s he made his move into the world of remixing. This was at a time when remixing became very popular. He founded Def Mix Productions with Judy Weinstein (founder of For the Record DJ Pool) and Chicago’s foremost house music pioneer DJ and producer Frankie Knuckles. The company was established as an entity to manage their collective works.

During his illustrious career as a remixer he has produced and remixed more than 500 tracks for a diverse range of artists and performers that includes Jamiroquai, Whitney Houston, Donna Summer, U2, Pet Shop Boys, Seal, Eric Clapton, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey and even Aretha Franklin. He received his first Grammy award in 1996 as Best Producer for his work on Daydream by Mariah Carey on the track Fantasy.

He received another nomination in 1997 and won the Grammy for Remixer of the Year in 1998.

Production

Morales has released, to date, three full-length albums, starting with his debut in 1993 entitled The Program. His next album proper did not come out until 2005 and was entitled 2 Worlds Collide. Notably the track Here I Am, with Tamra Keenan was included in the soundtrack to the hugely popular 2006 Meryl Streep film The Devil Wears Prada.

David Morales is one of the first so-called ‘superstar DJs’ and still performs throughout the year, around the world and is going to appear at the Brighton Music Conference.

source|: circus5414