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Mini DJ to launch in 2015

Ahead of their launch in January 2015 we managed to catch the Mini-DJ founder Rehana for a brief chat about what it's all about...

TFC DJ 2
Hi Rehana, tell us a little about yourself and what got you into music and DJ’ing? - I am a classically trained musician and graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2013. I started playing the flute and piano when I was 8 and then, at the age of 13, attended a specialist music school for 5 years. I play in a range of professional orchestras and ensembles and do some solo work too. At the London Sound Academy, I trained as a DJ and learnt music production with Buster Bennett.

What is Mini DJ all about? - Mini DJ is all about introducing very small children to music through a mixture of cutting-edge technology and traditional forms of music-making. Technology is now an integral part of our daily lives and is continuing to move forward at a rapid pace. Mini DJ recognises this and embraces the important, positive effect that it has on music and education. The classes are aimed at 2-3 year olds but older or younger children are also welcome!

What sort of activities will go on in your usual classes? - During each 45 minute class, the children have access to traditional musical instruments, like drums and shakers, as well as to pieces of technology such as iPads and synthesisers. Each Mini DJ has their own "Musical Creation Station" with all the equipment they need so that all members of the class can be working and learning at the same time and no one gets bored! We have a mixture of group activities and solo work (with adult and child headphones) and some listening and movement sections too. Different genres of music are explored each week, from classical and jazz to reggae and pop and sometimes there may even be live music too! Children will be singing, dancing, composing and free-styling from start to finish!

What will the kids be taking away from your sessions? - Each Mini DJ session has been carefully planned in conjunction with an Early Years Specialist and has clear links with the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage.) Our Mini DJs will be developing a range of skills from communication, language and mathematical skills to social, expressive and emotional skills. The class sizes are small (maximum of 8) so that individual interests can be catered for and each child's development is fully supported. It has been proved that focused musical experiences have a hugely positive effect on a child's cognitive development. These early experiences help lay foundations for their intellectual, social, emotional and physical skills as the brain develops faster during the first five years than at any other time during a person's life. Music is a vital part of a child's education.

Will parents also benefit from taking your course? - Definitely! It has been found that sharing play and learning experiences helps to form strong bonds between a parent and child and in Mini DJ, each child and their adult companion will be exploring new ideas and learning new skills together. In addition to this, children learn best when they are with someone who makes them feel comfortable and can support them, so being with an adult they know well will maximise their capacity for learning. Many of the class activities can also be developed further at home to provide endless amounts of fun during the rest of the week. Also, our Mini DJ equipment is not just for children, it is all high-quality and of a professional standard so is lots of fun for adults to have a little go on too!

Where can I sign up and where do they happen? - You can sign up by sending us a message through our website at www.mini-dj.com or emailing us directly at info@mini-dj.com. Sessions are every Tuesday at 11:10am at Swiss Cottage Community Centre, starting January 20th 2015. Follow us on twitter @MiniDJtweets or find us on Facebook to stay updated!

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Mini DJ is set to be the first Baby DJ School based in the UK! Creating a hands on and exciting learning environment for children and a new platform for bonding and socialising as well as learning for parents. Don't forget to follow them on Facebook & Twitter to keep up to date with all their goings on.

How to get DJ gigs

We're always asked by our students 'How do you get DJ gigs?' There is no one straight forward answer so we asked our founder and head tutor Buster Bennett for advice on how to get DJ gigs. We would love to know your thoughts on the subject too so please do leave a comment on the bottom of this blog.

DJ Buster Bennett

Buster Bennett - Founder and Head Tutor of London Sound Academy. Image copyright www.thomashensher.com

Words by Buster Bennett:

There are two distinct ways of getting DJ gigs, either the gigs come to you or you go and hunt them down yourself. Most DJ's start with the latter but the big aim should be that the gigs eventually come to you. Promoters will only come knocking on your door if you're an established artist and that normally means that you're a well known music producer. If you learn how to produce and release great music you can skip the hard part and enter further up the food chain. If you're a new unknown DJ you'll need to go out there and get gigs yourself or you'll need to get working on that big hit-single in the studio, either way it's going to involve a lot of dedication.

Big DJ's will have a booking agents representing them and sourcing them gigs, but for many new DJ's getting to that stage is a real catch 22 situation. Those who work full time jobs and have precious little time to dedicate to their DJ'ing and even less time to learn how to produce and network, so how do you break out of the cycle and start getting gigs? Well the good news is that there are many different ways to get DJ work, you just need to have a plan and work hard to meet your goals.

To help you on your way I've compiled a breakdown of some of the many ways in which you can get DJ gigs or exposure and become a full-time artist or producer. I've even included some handy cheats and tricks to help you get one step ahead of the competition, it's a dog eat dog world out there so take any opportunity that comes your way.

Here's the list in no particular order...

 

Network, Network, Network!

When I first started DJ'ing I would often go out every single night of the week, often to more than one club night in an evening. The more you circulate in a scene the more connections you make the more influential you will become (not to mention the more fun you will have!) Promoters will always book those closest to them, DJs who support the club night by attending on a regular basis will get preference when it comes to DJ gigs so always make sure you visit the club before asking to play. Socialise with the promoter and become friends with those around you to cement working relationships. Word of warning, don't get sucked into party animal mode too much, it's great to support a night but if they are picking you up off the floor at the end of the night you'll quickly move from being an asset to an annoyance! I've also had many friends get sucked into the vortex of clubbing that is drugs and drink, make sure you know your limits and play safe, you'll need to be getting up early in the morning and preparing your world domination plans anyway!

 

Promote your own club night

Sometimes there are no cool club nights in your area or you just don't like what's available or even the promoters running them. Easy solution, start your own night. This is one of the biggest ways of launching your own DJ career and a great way to make extra cash as well. The two main formats are either you charge on the door or you run a free entry party. I suggest you begin by finding a venue that could do with some extra customers and pitch a free entry night where you are paid 10%-15% of the bar takings. This is a really low risk option and can afford you a small amount of cash to pay for things like promotion of the night, graphics, photography and DJs etc. Once you've gained some experience in running nights and built a mailing list you can then work on larger events where you hire venues and charge on the door, this can be a lot more profitable but also has higher financial risks. If you start small and work your way up you can minimise most of the pitfalls. Make sure you always have enough money to run the event even if you don't make any money on the door, there is nothing worse for your reputation than not paying venues or other DJs at the end of the night, always act professionally.

Apart from making some money on the door, the main reason I am giving you this idea is because it can really benefit your DJ career. It gives you a solid resident slot which can act as a launchpad for bigger and better things. You can book big DJs and be on the same line-up as them, that means you'll get to know them personally advancing your influence in that scene. Running your own night will help you cultivate your own crowd and pulling power as a DJ. Once you have a following you are much more valuable for other promoters who will want to book you on the off-chance your crowd will follow. I've had more than a decade of experience running club nights in London and beyond with documented success in magazines like Paper Magazine, Time Out, New York Times, Guardian, Vogue, Noctis, Vice and iD. If you would like some advice on setting up your own brand just contact us and ask for Buster.

 

Gig for free

When you are a new DJ you mainly need to be concerned about getting experience playing for a crowd and exposure, the easy way of doing this is to DJ for free. This presents little risk from the promoters point of view and means you're more likely to get your foot in the door for future paid work. It's normal to DJ for free if you think it would benefit you in the long term but if you can't see any benefits don't do it. When you want to progress from a free gig to a paid gig you might want to start by offering the promoter a discounted rate, say £50 an hour but make sure they realise this is a special short-term rate. Try not to undersell yourself and the industry as a whole and don't be a push-over, remember it will cost you to DJ; you need to buy music, equipment and even pay for travel and insurance.

 

Pay to Play

Sometimes you will be asked to sell tickets in order for a chance to play somewhere. This is a normal practice and the benefits are that even if you are relatively unknown you can DJ at a reputable club which is good for your DJ CV.  Having a great list of places you've played before will help you get gigs elsewhere as it proves you know your stuff. Once you've got the benefits of having played at the venues once there is little incentive for you to continue unless you enjoy the experience. Selling tickets will be easy the first couple of times but much harder in the long run so make sure your first pay-to-play gig is in one of the best venues. London Sound Academy organise many such events at places like Ministry of Sound, Pacha, Qube, Egg, London and Ibiza in 2015. We also organise smaller gigs where ticket sales are not necessary but of course those venues won't carry as much prestige.

 

DJ Swaps

If you run your own club night or have a resident slot somewhere you can sometimes organise a gig swap with another DJ. This is a great way of extending your geographical reach, in some cases you can even do this with DJs in other countries. It normally works as a straight forward swap, no money involved. You book them to play at your night and in return they book you to play at theirs. The benefits are numerous, not only for your DJ CV but also to gain more followers around the world, not to mention it's practically a free holiday!

 

Go direct to the promoter or manager

This is essentially just networking but you can approach a promoter in a few different ways, the best way is through recommendation or through visiting the event and meeting in person. Sometimes the venues run 'in-house' promotions and you just need to talk to the manager of the venue. I know many of my students who have spent a day going from venue to venue with a mixtape and been turned down by almost every single one, but it only takes one to say yes to make it worth while. Once you've got gigs you normally get more gigs as a result so I still think this is a viable option. Failing this you can try to e-mail them directly, often the best way to do this is to research the event online and contact them via Facebook of their website.

 

Become the best in your field

One way to stand out in a crowded market is to be the best in your field. DMC champions often take this route perfecting their skills to blow the competition away! Once you think you're the best you'll want everyone else to know about it so make sure you step out of the bedroom promote yourself. A great way to display your skills is on Youtube. Take a look at other videos like the DJ EZ Boiler Room set and see how other DJ's perform and try and out-perform them.

 

Become a recognised producer

Not as easy as it sounds but this is the main route to make it as a full-time artist. If you make a great track you can virtually skip all of the steps in this blog and just get a good booking agent to do all the hard work. You'll need to dedicate a lot of time but nowadays you can do it on a budget, there is no need to have recording studios of your own you can start out with as little as a laptop and headphones. Make sure you enrol on an LSA one-to-one production course to kick-start your progress. Once you have great music out there the gigs will come to you.

 

Join a record label who run events or start your own record label

As a producer you can often sign to a label and become part of a bigger community of artists who often tour together or perform together under the brand of the label. If you can't join a good record label why not start your own? It's not as hard as it seems. Anyone can start a label and distribute tracks online at relatively low cost. Don't expect to make much money in the actual selling of the music but the notoriety can really help you get exposure and hopefully lots of high paid DJ work.

 

Become a mobile DJ

Many DJ's supplement their income with mobile DJ'ing for parties, events, weddings etc. It's not as glamorous as DJ'ing in a club but it can often be much better paid! Once I played a gig for a PR firm who was running an event to launch a Michael Jackson computer game, all I needed to do was play MJ for an hour and a half and I was paid £1000, easiest gig ever!!! If you don't want to pollute your brand a good idea is to set up a second profile as a mobile DJ or DJ for a mobile DJ company under a different name. Another benefit is that you will gain lots of experience playing other styles of music.

 

Word of mouth

Word of mouth is often the best way to advertise, why not ask your friends to post a status asking if they know of any venue managers or anyone else that might be able to give you your next DJ gig? You could also get friends to help you out by posting your mixtapes to help spread the word.

 

PR Stunt

Any press is good press! Why not try pulling a PR stunt to get attention? You'll need a great idea and then you'll need to plan something very visible and invite the press along or go somewhere where the press are already gathered. You could be the first DJ to mix while sky-diving or maybe gatecrash a big red-carpet event. Journalists love a story to latch onto so be creative and think outside of the box to get noticed.

 

Business Cards

It's a great idea to have a business card printed and carry them with you everywhere you go. You never know when you'll run into a new contact. I recommend starting by getting a small run of template-based cards while you experiment with your branding. Try zazzle.co.uk for cheap DJ business cards which you can design online. Make sure the graphics don't look out-of-fashion, avoid cliches like images of headphones!

 

Handout USB or CD Mixtapes

It's a great idea to handout CD mixtapes demo's or even USB demo's to promoters, managers and potential followers. Some even try to sell them, which is illegal if you don't own the copyright of the music on the mix of course! A physical item will get more attention than a digital one so if you send a mixtape in the post with a nice letter and cool packaging it will be far more memorable for the promoter than just clicking another link.

 

Busk

Yes, amazing as it is, this is a potential money earner! Just look at DJ Grandpa in Camden Town, he busks legally near the tube station exit and easily makes a few hundred pounds daily! The downside is you might need to dress like a fool and play awful music!

 

Sell your soul

It's a formula that obviously works! There is a big market out there for DJ's who play top 40 music, think about it the vast majority of venues around the world just play chart-music so that means there would be an equal amount of Dj gigs. It also seems to be the case that rich people have bad taste, in fact the richer a person is the worse their taste in music seems to be so why not get a high-paid DJ gig in a posh West End club or on an oligarchs private boat, the price of which is only your dignity!

 

Work your way up

If you're new to the game your normally have to work your way up from the bottom with the warm-up slot. It's a right of passage for many DJs and will make you a better DJ in the long run. Why not create a mixtape just for a warm-up slot and reassure the promoter you'd be the best person to start the party. Warm-up slots are an art form in themselves, much harder that the main slot. Check out this article on the esoteric art of the warm-up for advice. http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?1095

 

Join a clique

You scratch my back and i'll scratch yours the way most DJs and Promoters operate. Use your selling points, skills, contacts, followers and anything else that can afford you leverage when negotiating a cliquey little deal. Get your foot wedged in that door by shutting everyone else out! It's dog eat dog so why not make a closed circle of just you and your friends? This unfortunately is how a lot of the music industry operates but it does pay to be part of it, if you can't beat them join them and if you can't join them create them! Joining a clique should be on you to-do-list.

 

Post videos on Youtube

Being famous one way or another is a major way to get gigs, remember that most promoters don't really care what music you play, they just care about how many people you'll bring to the event one way or another. Youtube is one of the best ways of gaining followers as it's the biggest website for young people to reference for music. Successful youtube vloggers can also earn money when advertising is played on their videos. At the very least you should have a video showcase of your DJ'ing online for promoters who like to google you before booking you. DJ Bl3nd is a prime example of how this can work. He simply recorded a video of himself DJ'ing in his bedroom whilst wearing a mask with his strobe light on full and danced like mad! He's now being booked for club nights and major events around the world.

 

Virtual Reality DJ'ing

Bit of a curve-ball here but virtual reality DJ'ing is a thing! For a while DJ's were playing and even making real money in the virtual realm of Second Life and with the on-coming of other major advances in virtual reality like Oculus Rift about to hit the market we predict that this may once again become a viable option, especially if you happen to live in the arse-end of nowhere. Why not set up a Bitcoin account and broadcast from your sofa now!

 

Play on the Radio

Internet Radio, Pirate Radio or Pro Radio are all amazing ways to gain listeners and promote yourself. If you're a radio presenter you often get music sent to you months before general release and have the chance to play all the best tunes before any other DJs. Become a big enough radio personality and you'll be asked to play many gigs.

 

Use Social Media

You can find gigs advertised on social media if you follow the right sources, the LSA Facebook for a start! Plus social media is often the only place to track down a promoter and to spy on what other artists are doing to get their gigs too. Make sure you have all your profiles up and running and make sure you update them on a regular basis with high-end content, the less spammy the better. Look at what other DJ's do online and formulate your own media strategy. Try and cross-promote with other organisations, promoters, DJ's and producers and extend your reach.

 

Work in the media

Not getting the coverage you deserve form the media? Easy solution, become the media! Run your own blog, magazine or fanzine and you'll quickly build up an influential list of contacts. Often music media moguls are asked to DJ at events mainly because the promoters expects coverage in return, even if they aren't very good DJs. Most of the content in music magazines and scene magazines covering events are often just a result of advertising, or from the old you scratch my back I'll scratch yours routine. Only rarely are magazines totally transparent and honest about the intentions behind a piece so don't believe the hype!

 

Create a brand image

Image is more important for a DJ than ever before, most people interact with the music world via their personal devices and images rather than text will always have more of an impact. A picture speaks a 1,000 words and a video 10,000. Invest in your image with high-quality graphics and press images. The more pro you look the more valuable you are to a promoter. Look at big DJ's and how they present themselves and you'll see that they are not using some image their mate took on their iPhone as a press photo or a Microsoft clipart image for a logo! For high-end graphics and special discounts for LSA students contact alexsedano.com and contact thomashensher.com for press photo's and full photo shoots.

 

Enter Competitions

Enter competitions to gain notoriety, some competitions have prizes where you can win a resident DJ slot. Just look at LSA star student Adele or won the Ibiza Rocks DJ contest and was rewarded with a whole season playing for them as a paid resident DJ! A lot of competitions are judged by public vote via social media so make sure you ask all your friends to vote for you, give them a big nudge because as we know everyone is super lazy. I would message my friends one-by-one and ask them politely to help, make the message personal because it's easy to spot a cut-and-paste job a mile away.

 

Get an agent

There are many types of DJ Agencies out there from small operations to large companies dealing with mega-artists. A good agency can make or break a DJ career but it's rare for a non-producer DJ to be signed to one. If you want serious representation you'll need to learn how to produce records and successfully release music and gain a large following. Occasionally however an agency will host DJs from a brand so if you run your own events company the brand could be signed to the agency. There are lots of sharks in these waters beware of agencies online which ask you to pay a subscription for a chance to be advertised on their site, they are often fraudulent.

 

Fake a booking agent

Some people just can't get a booking agent and instead become one or fake one. It's slightly desperate but it's also a great trick when you want to negotiate higher rates. Sometimes talking frankly about money is difficult and it helps to play good-cop-bad-cop through the guise of a booking agent. Why not get a friend to be your manager or even just make a new e-mail account and do it all online. Having that degree of separation will help you negotiate better fees.

 

Advertise

This is especially suitable for mobile DJ's. You can advertise for mobile DJ work in many ways but the four main ways are Facebook Adverts, Google Adwords, Gumtree and word of mouth. If you need specialise advice on how these advertising platforms work please contact us for a consultation. You will need to have a pro-looking website online in order to direct clicks from your adverts. Advertising can be conducted at any level from small to large budgets and it's certainly worth trying it out with a small amount of money to start with.

 

Be a Tour DJ

If you know any bands or other musicians you can sometimes act as a tour DJ. Musicians often have their own tour DJ to set the mood before their performance and it can be more fun than travelling on your own. You'll also be billed alongside them often lifting your own profile by association.

 

DJ in shops, gyms, restaurants and pop up events

DJ's are literally everywhere now! You'll see DJs in shops, gyms, restaurants and pop-up events. Get in on the action and approach the mangers of these ventures.

 

Mash-Up Remixes

A really useful little short-cut for gaining likes and followers especially on soundcloud is to create your own mash-up remixes. These are basic remixes often created by combining an acappella and an instrumental. If you tag and SEO these mash-up's well enough they will sometimes go viral and your DJ name alongside them!

 

Official Remixes & Unofficial Remixes

If you have a contact with a producer you can ask them for permission to create an official remix of one of their tracks. If that producer likes the remix they may allow you to release it or their record label may release it meaning you'll get instant exposure. If you don't have contact with the producer why not try making a remix anyway and then try tweeting the remix to them or sending it to them via private message on soundcloud. They may notice and there may be a slim chance they like it and get in touch with you. Recently this happened when Skrillex signed and released an unofficial remix a fan tweeted him.

 

Online Mixtapes

Every DJ should post regular examples of their work online in the form of online mixtapes or podcasts. Make sure you keep them up to date and make sure the levels are correct and the volume is loud and not distorted in anyway. Always check before you upload. Never upload a mix with even the smallest error in your mixes, first impressions count and first impressions last a long time! It's a good idea to have a style sheet of images to go along with your mixtapes or even have a series of mixtapes.

 

Move

Sometimes you might just happen to live in the wrong area and the only solution is to move. You might live in a minuscule village in the middle of nowhere 100 miles from the nearest hipster! Unless you want to DJ to an audience of farm-yard animals it might be time to think about moving to the big smoke. On the other end of the scale sometimes it's not a good idea to operate in a crowded market if there are too many people playing the same music as you it can bring the overall price down. To escape this you need to establish yourself as a unique artist or simply move to a new area. Supply and Demand is sometimes the undeniable reason you might not be getting the gigs you want. Why not think about DJ'ing in other countries or resorts, for example there is a huge emerging market in Dubai, India, China, Brazil and Africa. If you don't want to leave the country or even your city why not try a different post-code. For example there are thousands of DJs competing for gigs in the Shoreditch area at the moment, but there are just as many bars elsewhere. Why not try the West?

 

Blog

Create your own DJ blog or Vlog to gain followers and exposure. Use the fan-base as leverage when negotiating your DJ fee for an event. The more followers you have the larger the potential for people to come and see you perform. You can also use your blog to get freebies, for example; sometimes a popular blog might review a product and in return get that product for free.

 

Get a ghost writer

Some people have family commitments and full time jobs preventing them from having enough time to produce music on their own. A handy shortcut is to work with (and pay) a ghost writer or engineer to make tracks on your behalf. This is where you work with an established producer and act as a director and ideas person, they do all the leg work and you just sit back, listen and direct the style of the track! It's the quickest way to get your first track out there and get more gigs but it won't come cheap with day rates from £250.

 

Look and act pro at all times

Your image should be highly thought out, every single graphic associated to your brand identity should be streamlined and of high quality, but also your interactions with others in the industry should be equally as considered. Never burn bridges or speak negatively about anyone and certainly never publicly speak bad about a person or organisation. Maintain a professional distance between your artist persona and your personal profiles like you would in any work place. Try to avoid gentlemen's agreements and use contracts, deposits and written booking confirmations where possible to avoid any nasty disagreements. It's a great idea to send a rider to all promoters you work with agreeing the terms of booking, payment and also the tech you require to perform.

 

Create your own subculture or genre

There is no point jumping on a bandwagon that has already left. It's far better to invest in your own ideas and create something new to be the master of, If you've invented it you can ride the wagon you've created all the way to the bank! New sub-cultures often gain more media exposure and momentum in viral posting online, if you're seen as the zeitgeist of the next musical movement you'll quickly find yourself in-vogue.

 

Press

Try and get media exposure where ever possible, interviews are an ideal way to get your message across.  Try and get exposure in blogs and magazines and tempt them with a 'hook' to your story, what makes you special? Always make your interviews entertaining to read and include relevant information for the readership of the publication. You can create a 'press-pack' to send to promoters which should include your high-res press photos, of various styles, a short bio and any relevant links. To make their job easier you could also write your own Q&A interview so if the journalists are feeling lazy or working to a tight deadline they can just copy and paste the content.

 

Employ a gimmick

Let's face it, dressing like a robot or a mouse does seem to work! Why not make yourself stand out from the crowd with a gimmicky outfit or why not trying to create a signature show like Amon Tobin.

 

Be a DJ Duo

Now you've read this list I bet you're wishing there was more time in the day! Why not split the workload (and the pay) by starting a DJ duo, two-heads are better than one and sometimes it's more fun to bounce ideas off another person.

 

Have a long term plan

Have a long term plan for your marketing and stick to it. Check your progress with regular assessments and keep a records of all your gigs you've performed to date, the flyers, the fees and anything else that you may need to reference in future.

 

Christmas gifts for DJ’s 2014

Christmas gifts for DJ’s 2014

Here's our list of the top 10 most desirable gifts for DJ's or Producers London Sound Academy Gift Voucher - £80-£249 The ultimate gift for anyone interested in starting out or improving on their...Read More »

Pioneer introduce the new XDJ-1000

Pioneer have announced the release of their XDJ-1000 for use exclusively with USB devices

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 The Pioneer XDJ-1000 Multiplayer is a digitally focused, rekordbox compatible, USB-only player featuring a 7-inch full colour touch screen. Playable media now includes iPhone/iPod touch, Android phones etc USB storage devices and computers. 

Some of the features from the CDJ's are still there and Pioneer have included some great sounding all new ones too!

NEW! TOUCH SCREEN - The display is now a 7″ full-colour touchscreen

NEW!  BROWSING - an on-screen Qwerty keyboard for browsing tracks which could potentially make things a lot faster

NEW! BEAT JUMP - Enables DJs to jump backwards or forwards 1,2 or 4 beats from the current playback position.Professional Features

NEW! LOOP MOVE - After DJs have created a loop, they can navigate 1,2 or 4 beats backwards or forwards through the loop.Auto loops and cuesDJs can instantly trigger loops and cues they’ve prepared in rekordbox.

BEAT SYNC - Looks at the rekordbox beat grids, on up to four connected players, and snaps them to the beat of the master deck.

SLIP MODE - Silently continues track playback during a loop, reverse or scratch and brings the music back at the right point when the DJ exits the performance.

NEEDLE SEARCH - Lets DJs slide their finger along the ribbon to intuitively access any point in the track, just like with vinyl.

While Pioneer have already released digital DJ systems & Midi controllers, this looks and seems like a big step in the right direction. More and more people are turning up to play gigs with just a pair USB sticks in their back pockets. The XDJ-1000's look far more professional than any Midi controllers I have seen and you have the bonus of not having to use your laptop alongside them.

Check out the official introduction with Pedestrian at the controls

Get your ashes pressed to Vinyl

For the small price of £3000 you can now have you pressed to vinyl!

The aptly named And Vinyly have began pressing vinyl with the ashes of cremated loved ones added into the mix. They offer a full package of the vinyl containing the ashes, pressing whatever recording you would like pressed to the vinyl, album artwork (also containing the ash), and applying pre-selected backings to your voice recordings.

A basic cover is included with the initial price with the letters R.I.V (rest in vinyl), your date of birth and your date of death printed on the front. The album artwork comes at an extra cost of £3500 per painting for which the artist will produce a canvas print, painted with the ashes you provided, which can be done up from a photo or you can arrange a "one hour pre-death sitting."

Do you think this is something that will catch on?

I can imagine, one day in the future, logging onto discogs and seeing a vinyl pressing of 'Flat Beat' Selling for £1,000,000 containing pieces of Mr Oizo.

And Vinyly's Grim Reaper

Pet ashes also accepted and cut at the same price as human.

Data Transmission Features LSA tutor Symmetry

A fresh new podcast has been featured on Data Transmissions blog from DJ, producer & LSA tutor Symmetry (Erin)

Head over to Data Transmission for the tracklist & to read the Q&A. The mix features tracks from the likes of LFO, Aphex Twin & Bicep as well as a number of his own productions.

Erin is our leading Ableton tutor, he possesses the skills and knowledge that can help you to transform your tracks into high quality, professional productions that will stand out in any mix. To book in specialist Ableton tuition with Erin feel free to contact us at any time.

Check out/purchase his most recent EP "Night Rhythm's 3" on Beatport which contains the track Delay Modulation that featured in this mix

Symmetry Press Shot

LSA Spotlight: Chloé Fontaine

LSA Spotlight returns to interview one of our most celebrated super-star DJ clients Chloé Fontaine for some expert advice for young female DJ's trying to break into the scene...

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LSA: Tell us about how you first fell into the world of clubbing and DJ'ing. Did you always want to be a DJ?

Chloé: Well I trained as an actress at Drama School and I worked in clubs to support myself in-between jobs. It wasn't until later on when I was radio presenting and people started to try and book me to DJ that I thought it just seemed the next move. I never even thought about DJ'ing before but I was massively into music.

LSA: What have been your best moments to date?

Chloé: Bushwacka asking me to send him my first ever track I produced as he wanted to take it to the Miami Music Conference. I also played at a Festival this year and they had their first dance tent and I was asked to headline.

LSA: Do you think female DJ's are under-represented in the industry, if so why do you think that is?

Chloé: I think the last few years has seen many new female DJs breakthrough and this once male dominated industry now sees the likes of many great females on line ups across the Globe. I also think talent shines through doesn't matter if you are male or female.

LSA: As a female DJ do you sometimes experience sexism in the industry?

Chloé: The first pair of decks I bought kept having an error code on them …. I took them back to the shop and the guy said "You sure you know how to use them love?" It was the first of many sexist comments! I lent over the counter and said "I expect these fixed within a week and I'd like 20 % discount on future products for you disgusting sexist remark!" To this day they still give me a discount!  Boys love a bit of banter so I give it back!

LSA: Do you have any advice for aspiring young female DJ's?

Chloé: Have confidence, learn your trade and remember no two DJs are the same so don't be afraid to be different. Think about your marketing and how you want to be perceived. I often get mixes sent to me from girls in bikinis which is often a distraction from their musical talent or lack thereof! LSA: What advice can you give to new DJ's who are looking to get their first gigs?  Chloé: Help each other out! Offer to play for free as a warm up DJ. Look for local venues to start from.  Radio is a great way of getting your sound heard. Don't be afraid to ask! Most of the girls that played for my night were people that sent me their mixes!

LSA: Where can we find out more, send us a link ting!

www.soundcloud.com/chloe-fontaine

 

LSA SPOTLIGHT WITH 6FtSHORT

A new DJ duo formed from two LSA graduate DJ's has been getting a lot of attention lately with regular appearances at Ministry of Sound, Pacha, Qube, Egg and a roll-call of other venues around the city. We've caught up with them to find out more and to ask them about how their experience at LSA spring-boarded their DJ careers. 

6ft Short by Thomas Hensher

6ftShort Performing for Pukka Up vs LSA Thames Boat Party 2014 © Thomashensher.com

LSA - Tell us about 6f Short and where the name came from.

6ft Short is the name of our DJ due. We're both guys in our early 20's, both graduates of London Sound Academy and also Love United Residents. We also sometimes DJ apart under our names Lewis Thatcher and Danny Rhys. The name came from a private joke between us about our heights when performing which then became catchy and eventually stuck.

LSA - When did you guys start learning how to DJ at LSA and were you total beginners or did you have some experience?

D: I started attending LSA in the summer of 2013 motivated to pursue a dream in learning to DJ. Before attending LSA I had bought a Numark Mixtrack Pro Controller in which I started to pick up some of the basics, but needed to progress and had no idea how to do it, so LSA was the answer.
L: I went to LSA with no experience at all i went to my first rave early at the end of summer 2013 which triggered my desire for becoming a DJ. I jokingly turned to the group of friends i went with half way through the night and said i was going to become a DJ, i then went out to find a Dj'ing school or tutor as i had no knowledge about it at all and after looking around i spoke to a friend of mine that recommended LSA so contacted them and started lessons with there a month or two later.

LSA - How was your experience at LSA and what did you think of the tuition?

D: LSA were great in every aspect. My Tutors Buster Bennett and Erin Davies actually cared in my progress and how I could further my skills. LSA went that extra mile outside of the studio and in, regularly checking how I was getting along with what they had taught me. LSA had boosted my confidence and opened many doors which led to bigger and better things. The whole LSA team were so easy to get along with and made me feel comfortable in the studio.
L: I couldn't fault LSA in in anyway the whole team there are in a league of their own when it comes to knowledge and helping students. My tutor Buster I owe so much credit to as not only did he get me to where I am today with the skills he taught me but they gave use the chance to DJ at some of the biggest clubs in the capital!

LSA - Tell us what you've achieved since your course and where you've DJ'ed to date…
D: Since being with LSA I have had the opportunities to play and perform in some of the UK’s biggest clubs: Ministry of Sound, Pacha London, Egg London, Pukka Up boat parties, the QUBE Project and numerous smaller venues. I currently have my own show on ExposedBeats.com Radio station every Thursday which I have full control of the music that I play.

L: Since completing the course with LSA I've managed to play some truly awesome clubs just a few to mention being Ministry of Sound, Qube Project, Pacha London, Egg London, Buddha Lounge Essex. Not only has LSA managed to get me into these awesome places but it also got me recognised in a feature for Noctis Magazine and also I've recently hooked up with Rich and Reckless clothing where i'll be featured on their website and be wearing their clothing to a lot of my future events and photo-shoots check out RichandReckless.co.uk in the next few months to see what were about.
LSA - What type of music do you play?
We both play a mixture of music but it all depends on what club or event were playing for, I'd say for the the time we've been together as 6ft Short we've played mainly Deep/Tech House, Nu disco or Indie dance but both of us have played events where we've been asked to play Garage, Electro/Progressive House and other genres.
LSA - Have you started production yet?
D: Learning to produce is underway and making progress.
L: Yes I'm still in the early stages of producing and am roughly half way through making my first track but looking forward to getting it finished and other projects started so i can play my own material out in clubs and progress as and DJ/Producer
LSA - What have been your favourite moments so far?
D: My personal Favourite moments so far is when 6FtShort rocked the Pukka Up Ibiza Boat Party organised by LSA! The set went down really well and we filled the dance floor, I think its safe to say i’ll remember that moment forever!
L: I'd agree with Danny the Ibiza reunion party on the Thames was such an awesome night it seemed to feel relatively quiet at first i remember stepping up into the booth and mixing in our first track and looking up to see the dance floor fairly empty, Danny then mixed into my track and as i was searching for my next song looked up and in the matter of a few minutes the room had filled out front to back and continued to fill the way through our set.....was such an awesome vibe and feeling to see/be a part of.
LSA - Have you got any gigs coming up you'd like to plug?
D: 6FtShort will be performing at three Love United events coming up this month 7th-Egg London, 8th-The QUBE Project and 21st-Egg London for DJ MAG (which I’m so excited about). 6FtShort are also making a debut at Lightbox on the 20th December for the Official Afterparty of new brand ‘K3PT’ and Exposed Beats.

LSA - Where can we find out more about you guys?

These are our personal links, We are going to be launching  6FtShort Facebook, soundcloud, mixcloud, resident advisor and twitter pages very soon but just haven't had the time to recently but keep an eye out for 6ft Short as we will have them live shortly!!
    Twitter- @dannyrhysdj

 

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