• Member Of The Month

    April 2017 Member Of The Month is light-o-matic.

    light-o-matic is our Member Of The Month for April because of his outstanding input & advice for years around here. light-o-matic has been around here for as long as I can remember helping & giving good quality, accurate advice.

    In reality, we have had many members over the years who have advanced DJ Forums with their knowledge & advice, but I can honestly say that light-o-matic has been right up there at the top with the best of them. We appreciate his service & commitment to our forum & look forward to a long future of his knowledge.

    We asked light-o-matic to answer a few questions & here is the info he provided:

    When did you first become interested in being a DJ?

    When I was still a kid I was interested in ham radio and radio stations. For my 6th grade science fair I built a little AM transmitter that could transmit a few blocks so I started broadcasting a little bit out of my bedroom at home.

    What inspired you to pursue that idea to be come a DJ?

    When I was 13 I went to a summer camp that had a radio station which was really nice, it was 20 watts and could reach the whole camp and sometimes the nearby town. The first day I learned to cue and mix records, talk on the mic. They had a cart machine with promo's and drop-ins.. everything a real radio station would have, so it was great.

    How long have you been an active DJ?

    I haven't been active the whole time.. I DJ'd from age 13 until around 22. I dj'd in the college radio station. For a while my goal was to be chief engineer in a radio station. But then I did other things, lighting design and sound for theatre, stuff like that.. also regular work as an electrical/software engineer.. so I stopped DJing. I wasn't interested much in being a mobile DJ. Decades later I got into electronic music and started DJing again.

    What was your first equipment?

    Not far from my parents house was an industrial area which I could bike to. Me and my friend were into electronics so we used to dig through the dumpsters of the tech companies looking for free parts for our projects. The Stanton factory was there, the Harmon Kardon factory, also the US distributors for Garrard/BIC and Ortofon, and they would throw out a lot of stuff.. mostly broken but you could make one good turntable from a few broken ones. So my decks were Garrard, with Stanton carts and headphones.. all from the trash. I built my own mixer. I had a lot of different amps and stuff, people at the time threw out mostly working tube amps on the street because they were old.. so I got great tube equipment that would be worth a lot of money now if I kept it.

    What equipment do you own or mostly use now?

    I have Pioneer CDJ-900's and a few mixers.. a DJM-800, Ecler Nuo 2 and 4. Also a Xone:62 and Soundcraft D-Mix. The Ecler is my favorite. My sound system is mostly EAW speakers, QSC amps, Ashly and EAW processors, EV for monitors and a Motion Labs power distro. I have a system at home just for everyday listening and for house parties that's also EAW tops and subs (but small ones), with Crown and B&K amps and Rane processing.

    What do you do to continue to make yourself a better DJ after all this time?

    For years now I have mainly DJ'd just one genre.. psytrance.. so it's easy to get stale. I have had to reinvent myself a few times, changing my style. Just a few years ago I started completely over, dropping all the tracks I used to play and collecting all new ones. It's only in the last year that I feel like my sets in the new style are really getting good. In a few years I'll probably do it again.

    How did you find DJF?

    I don't remember.. some web search probably.

    What inspired you to continue to be an active member of DJF?

    I enjoy helping other people especially with sound problems, because the DJ world is so full of bad sound.. DJ's are the joke of the audio industry and something needs to be done about it. Also I enjoy reading the experiences of other people who do different types of DJing than I do: Mobile DJ's, people who DJ in mainstream clubs and small places. I only play at genre-specific events and everyone knows everyone. You don't have to worry about what's popular on the radio, or about requests. It's a much smaller and very different world.

    What drives you to help other DJ's/members here on DJF?

    See above. Also both my parents were teachers so it's in my blood.

    What advice do you have for new DJ's with less than a year of experience?

    Don't try to play too many different styles all at once. Sure, try different styles.. but once you find something you are into playing, stick with it for a while, get in the groove and learn how to collect tracks that work together. If you play a lot of different styles it's harder to get there. Don't buy more equipment than you need.. but buy the best quality you can. Good monitor speakers not bad PA speakers, good headphones really make it easier to learn. And a decent controller+computer or two decks and a basic mixer.. effects are not necessary.. and that is all you need. And yea, learn to beatmatch by EAR. It make a difference in your DJing...

    What experience have you gained that you would like to pass along to experienced DJ's with at least a year experience or more?

    On the hardware side I would say, don't collect a bunch of random equipment, trade UP to better gear when you need it. Quality over quantity. Have a plan for expansion. And for the music side I would say the most important thing is, keep working on your style all the time.


    Congrats to light-o-matic & thanks for being here for us & thanks for your support for DJ Forums!
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. andymunro's Avatar
      andymunro -
      That's a nice collections of mixers you have light-o-matic! It makes me wonder how often you swap them around to play them?
    1. Take5's Avatar
      Take5 -
      Very interesting interview! I'am really grateful to Light-o-Matic for all his previous advises and detailed explanations. He's helped me a lot!
    1. light-o-matic's Avatar
      light-o-matic -
      Quote Originally Posted by andymunro View Post
      That's a nice collections of mixers you have light-o-matic! It makes me wonder how often you swap them around to play them?
      Thanks! Well, I don't use the Soundcraft (D-MIX 500) anymore because it's too big to fit in my setup at home, and some DJ's don't like it because, as an old club mixer, it doesn't have very deep EQ cuts. But I still keep it because I probably can't get too much money for it, nowhere near what it's really worth as a mixer. It's an awesome mixer. When I have more space I'll break it out again.

      But I do switch mixers around. When I do a sound rental, one mixer has to leave the house and nowadays that's always the Pioneer because I don't want the Ecler to get worn out.. I like it the best of all of them and it's now discontinued so this one has to last. But then, when I am going to DJ somewhere I like to freshen up playing on the Pioneer so I feel comfortable at the gig. So yea they get switched around more like when I'm disconnecting the mixer anyway because I need it somewhere else, which these days is every couple of months.

      Lately it's been back and forth between the Pioneer and the A&H.. because I'm trying to encourage my S.O. to learn to DJ and she likes that one. So I leave that hooked up whenever possible. Actually that mixer needed some repairs so it was on the shelf, and she found out that it's kind of a classic for techno.. which made her want to try it. So I said "Why should I repair it if nobody's going to use it.. I already have a mixer!!".. and she said ok well if you repair it then I'll learn to DJ on it. So I repaired it. Well, I'm still waiting for her to DJ but I enjoy playing on that mixer again
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