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Thread: Epic Fail

  1. #1
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    Epic Fail

    So,

    went to my first ever club gig tonight and it didn't work out the way I had hoped.

    I took the advice of other forum members and asked ahead of time what the club used and if I could come down and check it out. The contact guy (I'll just refer to him as Joe from now on) told me they have a pair of CDJs and a pioneer mixer He wasn't sure as to what CDJs they were. He said that he uses time code so I assumed they had some sort of midi device that controlled loops and cue points. I asked him about this and he just said he wasn't sure and just said they control it "in Serato". I wasn't exactly sure what he meant by that but I figured I'd understand when I got there.

    He told me I could come 1/2 hour early to experiment. So, that's what I did but there was another DJ up there fooling around and stuff. It turns out that they were using keyboard shortcuts for cue points (simple enough) and loops ( little trickier). When I got on the club was about to officially open in 5-10 minutes. I've never used keyboard short cuts and was nervous trying to figure this shit out last minute. Joe sensed I was nervous and asked if I was ok to go on. I told him that I'm trying to familiarize myself with keyboard shortcuts on the fly. It wasn't so much figuring it out, it was more about getting used to it.

    Another thing that I should have changed and didn't was the view in Serato. He changed the view to the wave forms going downwards. I've never done it that way and as some of you might now, the bpm is displayed in the circle/jog wheel thing. I didn't know this and was moving the pitch fader up and down wondering why the f#$@ the bpm wasn't changing.

    Anyways, long story short, Joe asked if I wanted him to take over so I let him. He made a comment indicating that I need to get better at DJing and that I am a beginner. The truth is, I watched them DJ for a while (Joe and other DJ guy) and felt they were not doing anything different than I can. Obviously I was more nervous than them being a first club gig but the mixing was nothing I couldn't do. I just felt I was thrown into a situation too quickly without having enough time to get used to the equipment. If I had known beforehand that they were using keyboard shortcuts, I would have familiarized myself with using keyboard commands or brought in a pre-programmed midi control device.

    So, the moral of the story is that he was right, yes I do need to get better at DJing and being ready for any type of situation. Don't get me wrong, Joe was a really nice guy and was only trying to help out and I'm sure I didn't look like a seasoned veteran out there as I fumbled around trying to figure things out. That being said, I feel if I was given at least 1/2 hour of alone time with the decks or some advanced warning about keyboard commands, I would have been fine.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by electricsmooth; 01-29-2013 at 02:06 AM.

  2. #2
    Member LiquidFusion's Avatar
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    I completely agree. If I were to jump in on their equipment, it would most definitely take more than a half hour to familiarize myself with the shortcuts etc. I would have invested at least an hour or two on say an afternoon or so BEFORE the gig so that you have all the bells and whistles down. Remember: If YOU fail, what will the patrons think of the club? "Oh they have crappy DJs, I may not come back." It's sad to say that customers actually say and abide by this. It seems they really threw you under the bus with this one. It could also have been presumed that you know what you're doing with most setups.

    UNLESS

    During your initial conversation with the promoter/owner/whoever, you told them about what setup you use and what you're comfortable with. I don't know what words were exchanged during this conversation, so maybe you presented yourself (unaware) that you know your stuff and down to go with whatever.

    In any case, chalk it up to experience and keep moving forward. I didn't know the keyboard commands until someone showed me so don't beat yourself up too hard about this. Shit happens. I am a horrible movie junkie, so I'll leave you with this: Sylvester Stallone had a great quote in Rocky Balboa about shortcomings and how to deal with them. He said, "It isn't about how many punches you can take. It's about how many you can take and keep moving forward." So yeah we all have times where we fail because we weren't adequately prepared, or like me I went into panic mode and wasn't thinking clearly about how to fix a problem. Good luck!


    Andrew

  3. #3
    Member ewe's Avatar
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    So you were using the clubs laptop as opposed to your own?

  4. #4
    Member Brandt Slater's Avatar
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    At least Joe was being cool with you. Some of those folks can be real jerk offs. But hey, you did it. It takes a lot to get up in the booth of a club for the first time. I don't know anyone who had a flawless first performance. I'm still kinda confused on why you forced to use the keyboard short cut thing. Were all the DJ's working off one computer? Couldn't you use your own?
    Last edited by Brandt Slater; 01-29-2013 at 02:35 AM.
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  5. #5
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    I got a feeling he is used to Itch on a controller where the controller has buttons for the keyboard short cuts, or he is used to SSL with a midi device to load the tracks, so he is not familiar with the keyboard short cuts.

  6. #6
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    Here's the problem:

    Quote Originally Posted by electricsmooth View Post
    The contact guy said that he uses time code so I assumed they had some sort of midi device that controlled loops and cue points. I asked him about this and he just said he wasn't sure and just said they control it "in Serato". I wasn't exactly sure what he meant by that but I figured I'd understand when I got there.
    You made success dependent on two assumptions. When both assumptions didn't turn out, you couldn't be successful.

    When faced with a potential unknown setup, you have to eliminate the unknowns as soon as possible so that you can be comfortable with performing. Upon hearing "Serato", "timecode", and CDJs you could have done research into the setup, how it is used, and gone to the club with at least basic knowledge of how to use cue and loop points, change the waveform position, and load tracks. With knowledge, 10m of hands-on practice would have been sufficient.

    Having basic practical knowledge of the setup AND getting some hands-on time would be the only way to get comfortable enough with the equipment prior to performing. THAT is the point that experienced DJF members make.

    Lesson learned the hard way. Welcome to the club.

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  7. #7
    Member Adzm00's Avatar
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    Timecode you set the cue points on the CDJ. Really remembering a couple of shortcut keys cannot be difficult.
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  8. #8
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    Not knowing the equipment and not being ready in general are two different things. Point blank, if you were "ready" you could've handled the set. The most important thing you can do is NOT play out (in a club) until you're ready. Clearly you're not ready. You're not even familiar with industry standard gear. How is it Joe's fault for throwing you out there??? Its nobody's fault but your own. You shouldn't have played. Sorry if I'm coming across as a dick but this is the first piece of advice I received when learning to do clubs... Now you face getting your name back. Hopefully the damage was minimal.
    Last edited by Austin GoGreen; 01-29-2013 at 07:38 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panotaker View Post
    I got a feeling he is used to Itch on a controller where the controller has buttons for the keyboard short cuts, or he is used to SSL with a midi device to load the tracks, so he is not familiar with the keyboard short cuts.
    Yes, that is pretty much what I already said. I have never used keyboard shortcuts. I've relied on my CDJs or mixer for these functions. I used to run Denon 3700s in Hybrid midi mode and currently my cdj 2000s are supported. Joe did not know what CDJs the club had (turned out to be CDJ-900s) and in any event, they were only being used to send audio signal (no USB connections). I was using the mousepad to drag and drop songs and to make loops. This is something I've never done before. I was out of my comfort zone without the time available to familiarize myself. I am familiar with timecode but use a midi device to trigger loops and cues. Had I known, I would have taken my LPD8 with me.

    As for Austrin GoGreen, you are right in the sense that I was clearly not ready but like I said before, it was more of an issue with getting familiar with using a keyboard, not so much the "industry standard" equipment. There was nothing with the mixer or cdjs that were out of my league. All mixers on a basic level are pretty standard. I honestly believe had I known beforehand that this is how it was going to be, I would have set up at home in a similair fashion and just got used to it. Sure, keyboard commands are not hard but they are if you only have a few minutes before you are on and have never used them before. And no, I never said it was Joe's fault. In fact, he was super cool. It is mostly my fault no doubt. I should have been more prepared. I'm not making excuses. I never would have said yes to a club gig if I didn't think I could do it. If I were to go next week with the kjnowledge of their setup that I have now, it would have worked out without any major issue.

    KLH 100% right.

  10. #10
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    You just need to be worried about cueing your track, beatmatching it, and mixing it.

    Don't worry about loops and cue points, or any other stuff like that at this point.

    If you had gone in and just mixed you might have been fine.

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