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So what's it take to be a Second Life DJ?


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So if this was something I was thinking of possibly pursuing, what should I look into before getting involved?

What tech do I need?

What should I be doing to get my music collection ready?

What kind of budget should I be setting aside to 'stay current'?

What organizations and such should I be looking into community wise?

What do I -not- need that a lot of people end up getting pulled into?

What problems should I watch out for?

 

Have we finally decided if voice is a must do / must not do for an SL DJ?

Can be a viable SL DJ if you stick to one single genre, or perhaps even subgenre, of music?

 

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Hello this is not a guide how to become an SL-DJ, just some tips or hints.

First of all, you need a stream. Either a rented one or create your own server.

Next, DJ software, this can be SAM, Virtual DJ or for the start winamp with shoutcast plugin and if needed a voice plugin. Winamp is free and will do the job to learn.

The music should be in MP3, thats the easiest to deal with.

Voice ... well some won´t agree but a DJ in SL isn´t like a RL club DJ. For me it is more an entertainer that plays music too. So yes, voice is a must. If a DJ only plays music then i can put a radio-station.

Next as a must is, be able to do requests. Only working down a fixed list is again like radio.

Stay in a single genre isn´t a problem, that only limits the places you can DJ.

Budget, RL money to pay for the Software and the montly fee for the server. Shouldn´t be more than 10-15 US$. DJs in SL are not getting rich, usually it´s tips only so L$ isn´t a topic. If you do it for the money, leave it.

Last but not least. Streaming music into SL isn´t different to any Internet-Radio-Station. That means you need the right to play music in public. In germany you need to have alot spare money to do that. And of course the music you play you have to own, no downloading or .... :smileywink:

Hope this helped you a little bit. I´ve trained some people into SL-DJing so don´t be afraid to ask again.

 

Monti

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Monti has made good points and I agree on all of them so I will not elaborate any further. 

Just want to add on the voice issue, yes, voice is a must. Using voice allows you to really interact with your listeners and they love when you mention their names on the stream, it makes them feel like you really are paying attention to them and that makes the listening experience much better. Also, a DJ who does not use voice is not a DJ, they are simply a person playing a playlist and streaming it and anyone can do that. 

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To try to answer your questions and give you mho. I hear a lot of people stream with Winamp. Get an itunes account and an internet connection where you can run SL, Stream music, and download all at the same time. That way when people ask for request you can just download them on the spot and always be adding to your collection. Once your music collection is up to speed I don't think you will be spending all that much on downloads but remember you will be making tips. If people make a request and you play it they will often tip. Voice is nice but there are a lot of clubs in SL with live DJs that do not use voice. For me personally I love a great mix or mashup as some people call it and that is harder to do. Some people just download mixes like this and play them instead of mixing live. But if you can mix do it, people love it!

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Hello PC! Monti's suggestions are all good. If you want to try being a little bit more creative with your DJ'ing try using Traktor, Virtual DJ, or Mixxx. SAM, Winamp and all the other DJ apps are great as far as they go but if you want to get creative with mixing and mashups these are the type of apps you'll need. Mixxx is open-source freeware so should be an easy start for you.

Yes, it does help to have as large a collection of music as possible. If you want to stay within one genre, which in your case IIRC is roots reggae, then go the whole hog: get the more well-known tracks as well as the totally obscure gems. Yes, it'll be a good idea to take requests as well as doing your own special selections to set the tone.

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Yeah, definately mic.

One genre?  ummmm, I'd say most likely no, mix up/change up is best.  One genre could work for like a folk club or a themed type dance.

I have lots of books at home, but that's not going to help you, so I decided to look up some websites and found these:

http://classicrock.about.com/od/recommendationsandreviews/a/top100_bands.htm

http://classicrock.about.com/od/top500songs/qt/top500_songs.htm

No-no's for me:  Don't metal people to death.  Don't play Country when the sim theme is Rock and play a variety of Rock genres not just metal.   Rap and trance are pretty crappy imo, don't care for them and probably never will, as there is so much far greater music than rap or trance.  But if you like rap, play one or two, not a whole set.  Also, throw some great surprise songs in your set, such as something the other Dj's are not playing over and over and over.  Add a little spice of life with some great rarely played music on SL but keep it upbeat and danceable and related to the sims theme. 

I'm sure there is more info you could find on the net about music but those two websites I thought had some great info.  

Good luck, PC!  

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I'd also recommend no dance remixes as again there is soooooooooooo much far, far greater music than dance remixes.  I say avoid dance remixes, except maybe for one or two if you like them.  Dance remixes are not good music to listen to. 

 

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I agree with most of the advice provided so far, accept for the  comments regarding voice which I will touch on later.

As as for technology, you need the program to stream your music with. Winamp is free and a great way to start, but I would not use it to perfom in front of a crowd as its mixing capabilites are severely limited. I prefer Virtual DJ, and the home edition is fairly inexpensive and if you look aorund on the net can be found for free.

You also want to aquire a stream. They can be purchased in world and the cost depends on how many listeners your stream will allow. (I have some great recomendations that will save you a lot of $L if you would like to IM me.) Also, many clubs will provide a house stream.

The more music you have, the better. I would stick to one or two styles, don't try to be familar with every style and a master of none. Pick a few styles YOU love and know them inside out. If you don't havea love for, let's say country music, and  you are playing it..it will show.

PLEASE, take the time and learn to mix your music. Understand the concept of BPM ( Beats Per Minute), melody and volume. Work up a short playlist of go to songs and get them in an order that builds your set and keeps the energy up. Don't tie yourself to the playlist though. It is a template and you will want to try and get a few variations in your set.

My opinion on voice - You are the DJ, you are not the host. The quality of voice provided in SL is barely that of AM radio and I came to the club to hear music, not you. Nothing kills the flow like some goofball getting on the mike and rambling, and all DJ's tend to say the same 4-5 comments in varied forms. You are glad we are here.. the clubs rocks.. you want us to tip the host ...we get it.

 I have experience to back this up. After dropping voice and focusing on creating a moving set that flows..my tips have nearly doubled and I have recieved more offers to spin. If you insist on using it, please do it sparingly...no more then a few times to introduce yourself. Your set as a whole is your piece of art. You are a DJ, you are not a Ipod. Obviously, others do not share this opinion but I just wanted you to know there is another opinion out there among DJs and that is.. everytime you use voice, God kills a kitten

 

 

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Psytrance drools and needs to fall of the face of the earth as it's not artistic in any way whatsoever, nor would any good music critic consider that a form of music as all it is relooping sounds that anyone could write it. 

Take some of my advice PC, I've been around a lot of successful Dj's the ones making very good money and they avoid trance, rap, dance remixes and make loads of moola.  Now they might put one or two rap songs here or there or one dance remix and that is a lot more "sane".

Not to mention I grew up in the professional music industry, so I know have a lot of knowledge I can share in IM if you are interested, PC. 

But, I'd say start to grow a tried and true music library, then add some really great songs that no one else is playing.  Keep adding songs so you don't do your playlist over and over because that will eventually make u lose customers.  So add new songs weekly.

 

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Mayalily wrote:

Take some of my advice PC, I've been around a lot of successful Dj's the ones making very good money and they avoid trance, rap, dance remixes and make loads of moola.  Now they might put one or two rap songs here or there or one dance remix and that is a lot more "sane". 

I should clarify to those who don't know me,

I ask about music genre - specific sub-genre because that is how I would approach it were I to do it. Of course the advice to vary it up is still very much appreciated as any other person considering the idea of DJing would want to know it.

But for me it would be nearly all roots reggae. As a Christian I'm motivated not by a desire to earn profit,

but by spiritual needs.

So it would be roots (aka spiritual / consciousness music) reggae, some gospel, and some hip-hop (there's a very strong branch of political and spiritual hip-hop which outsiders don't tend to know of as MTV and the music industry are only interested in negative portrayals of racial minorities - but its not my theme so I only have a sprinkling of it among my own repertoire).

Plus the odd random inspiration for African, Latin, or Middle Eastern world music.

I have zero interest in pop, rock, country, metal, Sinatra-style jazz, or easily listening. ;) Genres of music I just don't relate to. I've only a passing fancy at bluegrass and folk, and now and again notice new age.

 

And voice - I turn it off in SL, and TP out when a DJ starts talking over the music (or worse, a DJ who plays gesture sounds over the music). Though I love to dance in SL, and I love to chat. But because I love to chat, I also TP out when the chat bar starts filling with text-gestures making conversation difficult. ;)

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Hi Pussycat!

I encourage you to try it!  While there are quite a few in SL who also DJ in RL, I am most definately not one of them.  It is just fun for me.  I have been doing this for over three years now in SL and have worked at several clubs but most of my 'play time' has been at one club.

I use SAM, have an extensive library of mp3s, and rent a stream.  The rental prices for streams vary widely and some clubs have a club stream you can hook into, but I would recommend having your own.

You have already targeted your music taste but do not be surprised if you get requests for songs outside your specialty.  My approach is to try to play what is asked if I like it and feel it fits the general flow (in my case, the flow can be pretty random!).

The club where I DJ expects the DJs to voice.  At the very least, it is nice to greet the patrons, acknowledge them for tips, and intro the request or dedication.

No doubt you have heard a number of DJs and know what style appeals to you.  Be yourself and have fun.  That's my best advice!

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amazingsuperdude wrote:

wow please i beg of you-dont give advice on music.

music is to express ones self and should not be done for money period

so if she/he is gonna do it for money-she aint gonna last long

I agree with the second part of the bolded statement.  One will never make money in SL being a DJ.  However, with regard to the first part of the bolded text, I respectfully disagree.  My goal as a DJ is to make people happy through playing music they want to hear.  Sure, there is some music I will not play but 99% of the time I can meet someone's request.  The club owner does not want me in his club to 'express myself'.  He wants to bring in customers who will 1) shop in the mall and 2) tip to help pay for the venue. 

I can 'express myself' at my home streaming on my radio.

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I love reggae and some world beat tribal-like music, especially the American Indian influenced new age style of world beat music; it's very spiritual.

I believe you could specialize in Reggae especially since hardly any Dj's I've met play that, so there would be a need there you could fill. 

I'm not even sure I've heard one Reggae song yet? 

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Hello?  I'm going to give out as much as advice as I want, no begging will do.

I went the broad spectrum commerical route because I've seen it all in the biz, not to mention I was going for the title of the thread "what does it take to be a SL Dj"?  thus assuming that yes she does want to be successful at it. 

There are clubs set up for specific genre's like folk, or just blues, etc, and those are fun to visit sometimes.  However, I can get bored with all folk or all jazz too quickly, so I tend to hang out with Dj's who play a mixture of the classics plus throw there own  great surprise songs into the mixture of the set. 

And yes you do need some sense of what is successful or not because it is going to cost money to download.

 

 

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I think Venus said it best here.  I do not want to listen to someone pleasing themselves.  I've heard Dj's like that and leave because it sounds like they are there to entertain themselves.  You do need to reach your audience, not just play songs because u like them.  That's a bad approach because it turns out to just be no fun and it's like I'm in there house listening to what they like to hear rather than what a SL audience would like to here.  Especially the Dj's who are into country and metal do that.  It's like they just play their country or metal songs from their house, like I was visiting there in their rl home.  It's dull, and not a good way to "make it as a Dj".  If I visit a person's home in rl, yes I have to listen to the music they are playing.  But on SL, this is like a party atmosphere and u have more people to please than just yourself. 

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Mayalily wrote:

 

I'm not even sure I've heard one Reggae song yet? 

Look for the group 'Reggae Lovers' - but be careful, the rule of the group is you can send out a -MAX- of 3 noticed -PER HOUR- so pretty much every DJ and every club does just that. I have one alt who stays in the group, and she gets email/IM capped a few times a day...

I have no idea how many are getting sent after they cap - and if I open the group panel to look, they're not sorted by time, only date...

Sadly so many I can't keep up even with a desired DJ or club...

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Yes, this is too bad.  I thought there was an area under privacy where one could turn off all im's and messages.  I thought I had remembered seeing that feature under privacy in the preferences area.  However, when I looked in preferences yesterday, no it didn't have that.  I think they should add a complete privacy button to the preference area because if you know a particular club or hangout that is a happening place 24/7, you don't really need an invite, all you need is to tp there.  I think the only feature they have for complete privacy is to set your avatar to busy once you log on and change the time of how long u stay in busy mode.

But I do think you could make it as a Dj because Reggae is almost never played on SL, and a lot of people love Reggae.  I like a lot of world beat, so yes I think you could provide a niche for this type of music and be successful at it, in the niche.  I'd like to go to some Reggae events, but I'd assume people would come in dreadlocks and their legalize marijuana t-shirts now.  Anyhow, just a quick question, as a Christian, how do u PC feel about avatars showing up with marijuana related items, if indeed that were to happen?  I'm just asking because I feel very strongly that marijuana should be legalized/decriminalized; however, I feel it is best for me to leave controversy out of my inworld SL because I'm just here to have fun and enjoy the music scene.  I don't think I'm interested in using SL as any type of a way to make a statement.  I just like peace and quiet, and prefer to keep my political feelings on legalizing marijuana out of SL so as not to create controversy which I don't feel is necessary.  To me, I just want my SL to be fun and light-hearted.   But, anyhow, I was just curious how u would feel if people were making some type of legalize marijuana statement while you played Bob Marley and Ziggy Marley? 

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Christianity has nothing to do with Marijuana. Plus or Minus. Shouldn't have any bearing. Too many people claim political and legalistic ideologies and credit them to a faith that has no bearing on them.

 

As a semi-Rastafarian I am opposed to all drugs. Rastafari is very specific on that point. No drugs, alcohol, or meat, and no exploitative sexuality. One should avoid swearing, power-politics, and over commercializing as well.

- Most of that statement should also apply to anyone who desires to follow the advice in Jesus' sermons. Along with adhering to a 'humbler' life that does not accumulate wealth.

 

But Rastafarians see Marijuana as the herb meant for mankind by Jah in the Bible; where Moses is commanded to prepare it (Exodus 30:23). Thus it is meant to be consumed in religious rituals. Cannabis was grown at grave of King Solomon - the direct ancestor of the Ethiopian royal family from which Hailie Selassie (Ras Tafari) was descended (according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Solomon stole the Ark of the Covenant from the Temple in Jeruselum and brought it to Ethiopia where, claim is, it resides to this day in a temple only church elders are allowed to enter).

Basic wisdom would teach that hemp should be available - its an ideal source of fiber for paper and cloth. In fact in the US it used to be law that all farmers were -required- to grow hemp to support the US navy. For many centuries it was the best source of sails. THC-lacking hemp can have many industrial and nutritional uses.

I do not use marijuana. The only mild altering substance I use is coffee and the occaisional asprin/tylenol. Not all Rastafarians use marijuana, and a Rasta-sympathizer has no claim to using it as a sacrament.

 

But if anybody thinks I have an ounce of sympathy for any other drug... I've seen too much literal bloodshed in my own direct family for that. You can quickly lose sympathy for something that puts your family in the dirt.

 

Dancehall (secular) reggae artists like Buju Banton have done a lot of damage on this issue by pretending to be Rasta in order to propagate a drug culture, and then bringing in sexualization and violence.

 

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