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What Do I Need To Become A Dubstep DJ?

[ 0 ] March 7, 2014 |

Dub step has become one of the most popular forms and fusions of music in recent times. Are dubstep Dj’s any different from the traditional Dj, and what do you need to get started if you want to rock the club with some of your own dubstep ideas?

Know How Music Works

A dubstep DJ should be specialized in creating a seamless transitions between songs. This means understanding how the music tracks work and how they interact. The basis for this is a set of rules and conventions known as music theory.

dubstep mixer

dubstep mixing

Music theory can get pretty complicated, with a lot of facets that really have nothing to do with dubstep, but there are two elements you should absolutely know about if you’re trying to get people to dance: tempo (or speed) and rhythm. Pretty much all dubstep goes at the same tempo: 140 BPM, or beats per minute.

These beats combine together in units of four, called a bar, with a rhythm that goes: strong, weak, medium, weak. Turn on a dubstep track and see if you can find the beats. Because these features are so standard, dubstep is particularly easy to mix. If you start two tracks at the same time, they should stay synced up the entire song.

There’s more: in dubstep, every 16 bars, the music will have a noticeable change. This will be where the track drops, for example. If you line up your tracks to start at these 16-bar intervals, the songs will match up properly.

Know Your Collection

Your music collection is your tool chest for creating a party. DJs choose music based on the mood of the room, which means knowing what you have in your library, so you can pull it up as soon as it’s required. You also have to worry about transitions. Most dubstep songs will line up in terms of tempo and rhythm, but you still have to pay attention to other factors, such as mood, instrumentation, key, atmosphere, and so on. This means obsessively listening to your collection, researching it and understanding it.

Grow Your Collection

dubstep djs

dubstep djs

DJs require a varied and wide-reaching collection of tracks to pull from. You’ll need to respond to various moods in the room, and sometimes take requests, either from the person that hired you or from some of your dancing public. People also value a DJ with an eclectic and exciting collection.

You should be playing songs that people recognise, as well as introducing them to new undiscovered dubstep tracks. The more music you have, the more options you have to build your set, and be creative by adding your own signature sound. This also means you’ll have to spend some time keeping up with what’s new and hot.

Get the Right Equipment

There is some equipment required if you want to be a dubstep DJ. Traditionally, DJs used CD decks or turntables with a mixer to combine the tracks. These days, dubstep DJs accomplish much of this using a laptop and some specialized software. There’s a huge range of DJ software at different price ranges and levels of features. Choose one that suits your skills and budget.

Learn How to Read and Run a Room

This is probably the toughest skill out there for a dubstep DJ, but it’s what separates the good DJs from the great ones. A great DJ understands their room. They watch to see how people respond to early tracks in his set, and adapts later tracks to suit their needs and desires. At the same time, you should know how to subtly guide a room by planning multiple songs down the line and gradually shifting the mood, to suit the time and length of the venue or event.

Listen to some of the most popular DJs, like Skrillex, and Zed’s Dead. Then listen to local dubstep dj’s and take notes about how they perform technically, and what what differences they have in their sets. Listen to what each of the DJ’s do. and watch how people respond to it. This is also a great way to recognise what tracks people are feeling at the moment..


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About the Author ()

I’m a part-time DJ and music digger. Although my days of digging in crates have finished for my love of all things digital. That’s unless a real special vinyl pops up for my collection. In my spare time, I enjoy checking out SoundCloud, Bampcamp, and swapping funk soul hip hop, and dance ideas with other DJs. I also have a cat, so any final decision on the music comes down to her.

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