View Full Version : Questions regarding first gig

03-19-2012, 07:02 AM

I have been a "bedroom dj" for about 6 months now and i got myself a gig in the near future. It's nothing big nor fancy, just a friend of mine that organizes these underground techno and tech-house parties every now and then that usually bring together no more than 100+ people. The location is usually some rented hall or small club.
I am used with mixing and beat matching by ear as i am constantly practicing at home. my equipment is 2 x cdj 800 MKII + Denon X120 mixer and one Numark TT500 turntable.
Ok, so here come my questions and worries:
- the guy usually rents CDJ 1000 MK3 and Allen & heath Xone 92. The cdjs shouldn't be a problem, but how am i going to cope with that MONSTER MIXER :uhoh:?
- my headphones are Sony MDR V500DJ. Will i be able to hear anything with them? I see that usually the dj stands right between the big speakers
- i am afraid that because of emotions i will totally forget what tracks i want to play and in which order. Should i make a list or something?

Thanks in advance for you answers :)

03-19-2012, 07:44 AM
IMHO, the biggest thing that separates the "real" DJing experience from that of the bedroom is handling things that go wrong... because they will. It is MANDATORY that you be able to identify and address things that can go wrong so that (ideally) the crowd doesn't know and the show goes on.

For example:

* A hot chick talks you up 20 seconds before a track ends... What do you do?
* The left speaker goes out... What do you do?
* One of your two decks turns off while you're cueing the next track... What do you do?
* Your track clears the dancefloor... What do you do?
* Your headphones fall off and break... What do you do?
* Assume you're using a computer and it reboots... What do you do?

If you can handle the unexpected, you're ready... not just if you can play and mix. The gulf between bedroom and pro DJ is a wide one.

i am afraid that because of emotions i will totally forget what tracks i want to play and in which order. Should i make a list or something?
Avoiding anxiety should be your goal. If you need a list of tracks to play, go ahead and make one. Just be prepared for playing tracks that aren't on the list. When I began, I used a cheat sheet to remind me of great pairings of tracks so that I could focus on reading the crowd's mood. I found that to be more useful than a listing of tracks. Just remember that the listing is just a tool. Don't think that playing each track is what you need to do. Be flexible and read the crowd.

the guy usually rents CDJ 1000 MK3 and Allen & heath Xone 92. The cdjs shouldn't be a problem, but how am i going to cope with that MONSTER MIXER :uhoh:?
This should be the least of your concerns because it should be the easiest to address. Go to your local DJ equipment store and play with this mixer. You should only need about 5-10 minutes to get comfortable. You probably won't use all of the great features (like aux sends/returns or both filters), but try to get used to the feel - particularly the extra mid EQ.

my headphones are Sony MDR V500DJ. Will i be able to hear anything with them? I see that usually the dj stands right between the big speakers
While I personally try to stand behind the speakers, some venues don't permit it due to space. Regardless, standing between the speakers is louder than standing behind them and means that you'll have to rely on headphones for sound isolation. Some are better at this than others. While I don't know how your headphones perform, you will be able to tell and then know if you need to replace them.

In other words, you'll be fine for the event, but expect to want to buy headphones with better isolation afterward (i.e. Sony MDR7506/V600 or Senn HD280).


Rev. Foxx
03-19-2012, 09:32 AM
Just do your best and dont worry about stuff messing up it usually doesnt and if it does even the best dj will stand there looking dumb if its out of his control.

Pick out a few tracks you want to start with then from there you should have an idea if you need to change up what your playing or to give em more.

Ive been on the shittiest monitor systems with taped together messed up headphones... You should be able to turn the monitors in the booth down so unless you are using ipod headphones you shouldnt have a problem.

Anxiety was always a part of it for me, but that's just because I didnt want to fuck up or everyone think I sucked... butterflys happend pretty much everytime I played. If you have good music and practiced hard you should perform even better when youre in front of all those people. for me it was like all the nervous energy and butterflies turned into me kicking ass.

Good luck bro. Be excited and pumped but always be humble..

03-19-2012, 10:42 AM
Hi, I'd say what KLH & Rev. Foxx says. Also,

Don't worry about the mixer; the better the equipment, the easier it is.

You can adjust the booth levels, and if your headphones are really terrible, someone will let you use theirs, no problem.

As for drawing a blank because of nerves, that won't happen if you prepare; know the tunes you're bringing inside-out, and it'll all fall into place once you're up there.

Bring a torch so you can see what you're looking for.


03-19-2012, 03:47 PM
Thanks for the advices! I hope everything goes fine. The gig is in two weeks. Enough time to prepare a good set :)

03-19-2012, 04:06 PM
If you want a great way to cheat, check out faderwave (http://www.stickam.com/faderwaveradio). You can chat with the many talented DJs, learn who some peeps are on DJF, and hear great tunes.


03-19-2012, 08:18 PM
Your cans are fine, those are what I have been using for a while now.. I bought "better" headphones and didn't like them as much, as for all the other stuff.. don't sweat too hard, have to get out there to see what it is like for yourself to be able to assess the situation.

03-30-2012, 07:39 PM
So, my first gig just ended a few hours ago and i thought I 'll let you know how it went. First of all, my cans did an excellent job and i had absolutely no problem with the noise cancellation. The cdjs were 1000 mk3 and they felt exactly as my cdj800 mkIIs ( i guess all the cdjs feel the same starting from 800 and up). The mixer wasn't an A&H Xone 92 but a pioneer DJM 800 and i had a big problem with it. The problem was i did not figure out how to properly hear the cued track in my headphones.
So first of all i am used to mixers with split cue button: you cue one channel, you push split cue, you hear one track on the left cup and the other on the right cup. The DJM 800 had a cue/master knob and a split mono / stereo switch. But the problem is that when i had one track cued, and turned the knob over to the cued position it did absolutely nothing, zero. When i turned the knob over to the master position it simply lowered the volume in my cups. If i had the switch set to split mono, it just played the cued track in one cup but silence on the other. So what i basically did in order to mix, was to have both channels set to cue and hear them both in my headphones at the same volume. So, how does it really work? Was the mixer malfunctioning or am i just plain stupid and could not figure it out?
But even with this problem i had a good time and i think i did a good job because my friends and organizer came to me with congrats .

Hope my first experience would help other beginners find out some of the possible problems they can encounter at their first gig. And someone that knows how the djm 800 really works, please help me understand it :)

Andrew B
03-30-2012, 08:04 PM
It's a good idea to learn the one-ear cueing method. Cued track in headphones on one ear, live track on monitors in the other. Different mixers have different methods of activating split-cue, and some don't even have it at all.

Congrats on doing well!

03-31-2012, 03:57 AM
glad to hear you did well :) the pioneer mixer you used is the one I use at the club - your problems with it are confusing, because it's really simple. I'm sure I keep it on stereo, and just click on the cues I want. Like Andrew B says, I have the live track through the monitors & the cued track in the headphones.

03-31-2012, 08:22 AM
There were no monitors, just the PA speakers. What i wanted is to hear either master on one cup and cue on the other, or to hear in both cups but to be able to hear cue louder than master.

04-02-2012, 06:33 AM
I think i got it. I just watched a demo video on DJM 800 and i think what i should have done is push the "cue" button for master. I didn't even think about a cue for master since i was expecting to hear by default in headphones what's on master without pushing anything :)
I just need someone to confirm this