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My first DJ gig - Wendy's Valentine's Day Party

So I've always fancied the DJ life style, in the dj booth, jumping up and down to the beats, vinyl in hand, while the crowd below rages on through the night. Ok, it did turn out exactly like that: replace the DJ booth with a rickedy old table that I should of thrown out a long time ago, vinyl with mp3s and the raging with more of an ebb and flow!

Don't get me wrong it was fun but I learnt a few lessons in the school of DJ.

  • You can't please all the people all the time - Christ it was comical, I was handed two full hour CD's with party tunes and asked to play them both(I guess that I did ask for peoples tunes) Christ, did I just spend the past 4 days working on my friggin play-list for nothing! I realize that one has to be respectful of requests and the folks who handed me the CD had obviously spent quit some time compiling the CDs.
  • Read the crowd, very important, if the crowd is floundering you're playing the wrong song. How does one get out of this quandary? I don't know, perhaps just skipping to the next track.
  • Match the beats: thanks Andrew B. for this one. I'd like to be able to see how many BPM's each song has but most mp3 ID tags don't have this filled in. A valid point though.
  • Stay kool: Hmmm this is a hard one for me, I hate to be told what to do and perhaps if I was getting paid for the gig it would be a little different. It's almost comical how each song draws a reaction from the crowd, with a can you play this and I don't like that and ........ I love a "Hey can you play dancing queen some time" but a "Can we change the song now cos it's too slow" Sweet christ on a bike, right in the middle ! I think I need to adopt the Ken B. method when handed a CD, smile a lot, nod your head or pretend not to hear exactly what they say or so Bridgette told. Need to be more of a political and less of a hot headed Brit!

    Overall it was a fun night, lovely gurls and fun tunes (well at least that what I thought!)

    Technical Notes

    I loved using Itunes - Christ you can be playing the songs from your party playlist at full throttle, someone hands you a regular old CD and in she goes (gently does it) and a ripping you go all while the party is a raging. The beauty is that you can drag the audio CD tracks to a folder you create on the hard drive bypassing the cryptic locations of the itunes library and then all you do is create a new playlist and drag the ripped tunes to the new playlist. Kool friggin awesome.

    A big big problem was the inability to preview the next song in itunes but I see a nice solution on macosxhints where you can use quicktime to preview the tracks. I'll try this and report back.

  • Tech: