3 Common Mistakes To Avoid at DJ Gigs for both Beginners and Advance Artists

The absolutely worst time to have you vibe killed is during your own DJ set. These are situations both  beginner and experienced DJs can find themselves in. Below each example I’m going to touch on how this can effect BOTH seasoned vets and those still trying to hit that learning curve. Starting with one of the more obvious issues we note first.

1. Your Levels Are All Over The Place

If you haven’t been educated on the distortion followed by redlining your mixer, listen up now. If the sound on your mixer’s master output or even the channel in which you are mixing is hitting the red, the sound of your music is being compromised. We find this happens in few situations. The artist can’t hear their monitor and turn up their master output instead of their booth or maybe they simply do not know what is going on.

Solution: Find the loudest part of your track and see where the levels are on your mixer BEFORE you mix it in. This way you know that when at full volume your mix will not clip because you’ve change the level to match below 0.

2. Messy or lack of Eqing

 

This can go one of two ways. You’re not allowing for your tracks to breath or you are over EQing causing some uncomfortable sounds like harsh highs. Sometimes you’ve got both tracks match up perfectly and as you’re bringing in your next track the bass drops. Even though everything is in the same key you’re noticing your mix sounds muddy. In very active music like drum and bass and dubstep (the robots and dinosaurs fighting kind) the bass or multiple sounds can compete which is how you can end up with a unappealing sound. On the other side over eqing can also create some sharp even painful (for some of us) noise.

Solution:
This video is a simplified explanation on eqing.

3. Being under prepared

 

Whether you have a 5 hours gig at in a lounge where you’ve got to keep the atmosphere swanky or you’re at the club and have an opening slot for the headlining act. Being prepared is something most DJs aim for, but we don’t always think of the ‘what ifs’ and make assumptions about how the night may go down smoothly. In those situations when things go the wrong way, we are thrown off and suddenly our vibe is seriously killed. From technical issues with the software to a hardware cord snapping in two. Being prepared can start with the music, having the right vibe to ensure that if things to go awry there is a back up but it doesn’t end there.

Solution:
Make a list of things that could go wrong and then plan for it. From cords to ensure your programs are updated but also tested in advance. Double checking on the gear being supplied, even speaking with sound personal if your set ups are more extensive.

At the end of the day we’re human, we make mistakes and all the preparing in the world doesn’t mean you won’t run into issues from time to time. In our opinion and experience these are the common ones, so if you find this helpful please share with your DJ friends so we can all enjoy more smoothly run shows!

Awesome helpful articles:

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Everything You Need To Know About Electronic Press-Kits

It’s one of the most search things on my website. “What is an EPK?” Today I want to talk about what is in them, who needs them while giving you a visual picture of what one might look like.

Here are other articles I’ve done on Electronic Music Press-Kits:
5 reasons more artists are using press-kits
I have an epk, now what?
What is a press-kit & why do djs need them?

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

There I was doing my research on successful entrepreneurs when I noticed a pattern. Interestingly enough these people  had these 4 things in common over and over again. Funny enough it often had nothing to do with their business directly but had a surprising impact.

1. They didn’t allow failure to hold them back.

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

Whether it was the simple fear of failing or admitting defeat, it never stopped them from trying again. And for good reason. Could you imagine if while trying to learn to read or write you made a couple spelling mistakes or read a word wrong and decide, “Well, I guess this just isn’t for me.” Life doesn’t exactly get easier just because you avoid doing something you’re scared of failing at. With persistent and practice you can over come most obstacle, or worst case LEARN from it.

2. They Take Care of Their Mental Health First

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

Oh how I wish this was taught in school. Your mindset has such a huge impact on not  only your physical health but in how you run your business. It’s a lot easier to make healthy business decisions when you’re mental health is on point. And don’t think for a moment taking care of that health ever means a person is, “broken.” It’s not healthy to deplete your life savings simply because you’re making a business decision on emotion rather than looking at the numbers. Nor is becoming to scared to ever make a move in your career for fear of failure (as stated above) a head space you want to be stuck in. You want to both leave the emotion out while having the ability to trust your gut when things don’t feel quite right.

3. They Take Care of Their Body

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

It’s easy to get caught up in your work, forget a meal here and there and call off the workout because after all, you dance all night at the bar with your rye and coke. We’ve seen how this can negative effect one’s life style when they let it get out of hand. DJs in the night life especially. Some business people start the health kick from the get go while others hit this later in their careers when they realize how not taking care of their body has a huge effect on their workflow. Eating the right food can give us clarity, energy and even affect our mental health. intrigued yet? Add in a bit of exercise and watch the difference in your work ethic. This sort of discipline can also have a positive effect on one’s confidence. Bonus!

4. They Take Time For Themselves and Their Family / Friends

4 Things Success Entrepreneurs Have In Common

Quality time is a big one for us over here. I can hang out and socialize with my friends at a gig or go out for coffee here and there to catch up with a friend. But when it comes to family this is how I recharge my batteries. That vulnerable, loving time with the people I trust and can always count on. Also, who doesn’t like baby cuddles? Or fur babies. Whatever you prefer!

But I want to hear from YOU. What things to do you for yourself that indirectly help your career? Get in the conversation on facebook. Or Twitter me!

4 Tips To Being MORE Efficient When You Have No Time

I think we can all agree that we wish their was a day between Saturday and Sunday , but would that really help us if we were binge watching Orange Is The New Black on Netflix? Jokes aside, here are 4 easy tips you can put to work today!

What’s on my watch list?

All things DJ business related:

Disc Jockey News T.V.
The Passionate DJ Podcast

All things production related:

Dubspot
Point Blank Music School

All things social, vlogging and marketing:

Amy Schmittauer
GaryVee

What’s on YOUR watch list?

Too Busy or Just Distracting Yourself?

It’s incredible to hear the stories people make up as to why they have “no time” for their passion. When often the reality is, they are scared. Scared of failure, feel a lack of knowledge and so they fill their time with mindless projects that aren’t actually “adding” to their life, so much as distracting them. An excuse not to push through their fears. If you are doing the following things, chances are YOU are the one holding yourself BACK from your potential.

Too busy or distracting yourself?

You Work On Things That Can Wait

You need to finish a mix for next Friday, but instead you are writing an article that isn’t due for 5 weeks. If the most important thing for you to make your career move forward is submitting that mix, then the article can wait until that task is complete. In your mind you might think, “Well this is a taste I need to get done.” But we often work on the tasks that can wait when we’ve got a deadline out of sub-conscious fear. Before you know it, the deadline is here and this happens…

YOU HAVE A POCKET FULL OF EXCUSES

Imagine the amount of times an internet radio show or the owner of a regular podcasts hears from a dj the day a set is due, ” Holy crap! My entire dj program has crapped the bed and I unfortunately lost the mix I’ve been working on for the last 3 weeks.”

.0007 % of the time this is true… most of the time it just is NOT! If you know you are not going to do something, own it. If you know you will put it off, don’t commit. Intention mean NOTHING. Action is everything.  If you have to actually recorded something first, then do that.

You Work On Things That You Hate

I dislike doing laundry. So much so, I used to clean the entire house before touching it. Cleaning isn’t fun for me either but the idea of having to fold laundry, organize everything and put it away seemed like more of a task then just cleaning the house. Learned to “eat your frog!” If the worse thing you have to do in your day is eat a frog, the rest of the day is easy. JUST DO IT FIRST!

The Solution – Ask yourself the hard questions

Working with artists and business owners one on one, I have to ask a lot of questions when issues arise. You can’t figure out a solution if you don’t understand what the REAL problem is. Almost always, the issue is fear. Fear of rejection, fear something wont work or wont be good enough. Then we get to play the “what if” game. A game where we don’t just say, “what if this thing happens…” but play it out to the end.

Q: What if I share this piece of music and people hate it?
A: Then I will ask for feedback.
Q: What if the feedback isn’t helpful.
A: Then I will ask for help.
Q: What if no one will help me?
A: Then I will read up online and watch tutorials.
Q: What if I am still awful even after all of that?
A: Then I will go to school for production and ask for help from the professionals.

The idea is to prepare yourself for the worst, accept it and then take the risk anyways. Often we find our fear is far worse then the reality but this way instead of fear of possibilities, we take risks for the opportunities.

On that note: here is a sneak peak of something I’ve been working on and news of our move of The Basement Sessions to MixLive.TV and you can watch it on your mobile anytime. Share your stories and music in the comments. When were you scared to share something but did it anyways? Maybe today will be that day.

The Difference Between a Good DJ and a Great DJ

It might not be what you think. It might even sound unorthodox, but he main difference between a good dj and a great dj is their mindset. How you ask and why? Imagine that you in fact deal with all the same things as every other dj, but your mindset is in a place that allows you to take action, make the hard decisions and turn situations out of your control into learning experiences. What if suddenly, every bad thing that happened to you created a new opportunity, an eye opening experience? Maybe even new content? Suddenly that average dj, turns into someone with conviction and drive.

Monday of last week David Micheal founder of the ThePassionateDJ.com put together a panel of DJs Caise Lane, Joe Pardo and myself. DJs I feel are a consistent example of people being the change they want to see within the industry. They’ve all help create opportunities for other artists to grow, learn and excel in their feild.  David’s podcast on  “I’ve Got Passion… What About Purpose?” is a fantastic example of what GREAT djs live by. Someone whom is always learning and trying out new techniques, keeping the mindset and turns any situation into an opportunity to learn.

A bad situation gone good

A few years back I played a huge music festival. The stage I was originally  to play was a 200 people space. It shut down an hour early and I had the last set. Right away my new friends came together to find and get a hold of the people in charge to figure out what was going on and how we could fix it. Promoter turned around, chatted with one of the djs and managed to get me a 30 minute slot on the 5000 people stage.

Talk about panic and over drive, but when you’ve got the right mindset and team of people around you amazing things can happen. Don’t lose hope but be prepared for the worst to you can excel when things go haywire.

New Content

When I think of albums that went to #1 on the pop charts, they were often about “break ups.” People took these awful situations and turn them into moody, deep and soulful tunes. For me, the content on my website, videos and even motivation talks come from situations that were not always “fun “to deal with. Instead of those 4 hour facebook rants, turn a crappy situation into a new tune, funny video or drive to record a mix or meaning song lyrics for your next tune.

Learning experience

The moment we feel we have nothing more to learn, is the moment we get stuck. There is no such thing as over preparing and that’s what you learn each time you run into situations you thought you planned for. Earlier this year I went to an event where one of the CDJs were not reading my cds. Thankfully my new friend and dj, Milo of The Red Line stepped in and was able to do a tag set so that I could still play.

The Red Line with Kilma, Milo and Dj cheapseats interview and mix

New friendships / Business Relationships

Milo’s kindness and quick  act saving my dj gig created interest in what he was about and doing. Within a month we’d collaborated  on one another’s projects and have a future project in cross promotion of our radio shows: The Red Line vs. The Basement Sessions May.23, 2015. It just goes to show that getting involved and helping someone in need when the stress is high can make a huge impact.

But how about you, what’s your story? How do you keep the mindset that works for you and create opportunities for yourself?

Other helpful articles you might dig!

5 Reasons Djs Need Bigger Goals
Are You The Weakest Dj?
Djs Stuck and Going No Where Fast
Why You Should Never Do a DJ Gig For Free

Why Haters are actually your Motivators.

Why Haters Are Your Motivators

Why Haters Are Your Motivators

There are 5 steps I use that have changed the way I deal with haters, forever. As I share my story, experience and knowledge with you, I am confident that by the end of this article you will have a better understanding about the psychology of a “hater” and how you can turn their negative energy into motivation towards your career and happiness. This information is important for two major reasons. To help keep you on track, headed towards your goals and to really understand that their response is NOT about you. (References to sources throughout article including bullyingstatistics.org, The National Domestic Violence Hotline Site and Wikipedia. )

Definition of a Hater?

Wiki states: “Haters are identified as people who offer solely negative criticism to others, without justification. Haters deal in negative cognitive bias, prejudicially arriving at a conclusion first and then drawing in their reasons afterward, refusing to alter their conclusion with exposure to the opinions of others. Haters are frequently thought of as imposing their self-hate on others.”

Why they do it?

Simple. Think about people that are grumpy. What do they want? Some company. Sometimes they do this by sharing that negativity. Other times they do it to bring others down to their level by shaming them. Think about a happy, healthy person. Do they take joy in bringing down others? No. Generally, they want to lift people up.

What’s the big deal with haters anyways?

When you take a look at an abusive partner in a relationship you see a person that must be in control over their victim. Going to great lengthens of emotional, verbal and sometimes physical abuse, the goal is to make their victim feel worthless, while convincing them that they deserve the poor treatment they receive. (See source “abusive partner”) This is a pattern you see in bullying. It is say that these abusive relationships start off like sunshine and lollipops. But like a slow emotional poison they implement their stance on their victim. Sometimes the abused gets a clear enough head to see what’s really going on and gets away from the abuser. Unfortunately in the most several cases the abusers will continue to try and harass the original victim, stalking them after the relationship ends.

online harassment


Online Harassment VS. Abusive Relationships

Call it what you want to call it, it’s Cyber Stalking (See source) and it’s illegal. The trouble with both public and anonymous harassment, is that it’s like living with an addict or abuser. “Will this be a good day or a bad?” Never knowing when they may hit again can become emotionally exhausting and extremely stressful.

Understanding the psychology behind the hater’s motives: We’ve establish that their real goal is to feel in control and superior over you. They do this by trying to make you feel poorly about yourself with their words, pictures and even videos. It’s like an addiction to hurting people. They only get off and feel better if someone feels horrible about themselves or think they might.

Haters are your motivators

Think about that for a moment:
Could you imaging living like that? Never being able to be happy for another person, because you want what they have? You feel they are above you and want to bring them down to your level. Instead of accepting it and using it as motivation to do more in your life, you sought out people that have the things you want and troll them. You want them to feel pain, something you don’t want to cope with let alone admit that you are experiencing. 

It’s not about YOU:

If you’re suddenly feeling empathy for that jerk that just trashed you, you’re not alone. By now you’ve probably realized that your “hater” has some deeply seeded issues. With a grip on reality you’re able to appreciate your blessings. While people that struggle with their perception in life can have a great deal of trouble. I am talking about that kid/teen/adult that is hiding behind a computer and possibility bullying you too. He or she may be desperately trying and hold on to the one thing they feel they have control over. The thing distracting them from their failures and self-hate. It does not sound like a very rewarding life to me. How about you?

How do we fight the hate?

The natural reaction is to be hurt, upset, angry or even outraged. What we do with that energy, is where the power comes into play. We do not have control over the other people in our lives but we do have control in how we respond.

The 5 steps to keep you on track

How do I turn that HATE into some motivating power?

  • First, BE MAD! It’s a normal reaction and you don’t have to feel bad about it. Seriously get angry if you like, tell your partner, your Mom or your best mate (that you trust to keep to themselves) what kind of dick-hole this person is. Hell, draw a picture of this jerks house, pretend he is in it and then set it on fire. (Not for real, just the picture.) LOL.
  • Give yourself a time limit. Maybe it’s 10 minutes or half an hour to be as angry as you want. Of course do this without witnesses. You don’t need your work associate to call the police because you threatened to burn his house down while ranting to yourself in the bathroom mirror. Don’t give yourself more than an hour to do this and if you have to be angry the next day about it, only do it for an allotted amount of time too. Maybe it’s first thing in the morning before work or right after dinner.
  • Once that is done. (After the first time.) Do something good for yourself. Take a bath, buy some new music, go for a walk, play a game, go out for dinner or get yourself a yummy smoothie. It’s easy to get into a mindset of hurt and pain. It’s a natural response and I don’t want you to shut yourself down. The trouble is when you start believing you deserve that treatment (which can happen). We are human and some of us are just quick to put ourselves down. So do something nice for yourself to balance out those emotions.
  • If and when you find yourself in a place of pain (usually before the anger but can sneak up on you later in the process) instead of questioning yourself start asking, “Has this person recently lost a love one, their job, possibly going through a breakup and may be lashing out as a distraction?” Clearly you didn’t run over the person’s cat so there is no reason for the hostility. This puts you in a place to forgive them, which helps you to move on. And having empathy for their situation makes it a lot less about us if we are still struggling with that thought.
  • Lastly, do something GREAT. If you are like me than naturally when someone tells you that you are not good enough or that you can’t do something, you’re going to do it anyways. If you are not, dive yourself into a place of curiously. Be open to learn all that you can in your hobby, career or relationship because this is where you’re going to start setting life changing goals.

I made it a thing of mine that each time I received a negative response or “hate mail” I would use that as motivation to accomplish 3 small goals or 1 big one.

“But Kilma, I am still dealing with the ANGER!”
There is this fantastic journaling technique that works well for anger management. You start off completely unfiltered in your writing. Don’t worry it’s supposed to sound quite unreasonable. You re-write this “open letter” to whomever you are angry at a few times. Eventually the letter reads more clearly and you’ll notice yourself start to feel calmer about the situation. NOTE: You don’t actually ever send it. It’s just for you however…

refocus your energy

Refocus

Let’s refocus with Kilma. I took it one step further this year due to some interesting events. I turned my anger into thought provoking conversation about relevant issues with unorthodox views and solutions. I wrote one article about the “Paris Hilton DJs” of the world because I was sick and tired of hearing DJs complaining about artists that weren’t even their competition. It started to feel like maybe it was their excuse not to try any harder and wanted to find out more. After hearing the 100th accusation that girl DJs have it “easy” and the many ridiculous double standards I wrote all about “Sex Appeal” and Branding. I wanted to empower Women and educate the Men whiling putting those misconceptions to bed. The responses blew me away. I found a medium that worked for me and attracted other like minded people that in turn I ended up working with. These people inspire me and I feel like I’m creating this whole new family of people with the sort of drive I strive for. This article in particular was motivation by you guessed it… What I thought was 15 different people in a span of 4 years, was one guy. A local producer kid, with the world at his feet but his head in his ass. His hate quickly turned into an obsession, fake profiles, breaking into my online accounts and stories of accusation with details that would change each time the story was told. The fake profiles he’d made in a negative light inspired me to show my brand’s authenticity by recording video and writing content that would showcase just what the brand is about.

Here is the coolest thing, because I started writing about myself, my thoughts, opinions and advice debunked the fake profiles. For once people heard me for the person I always have been and not just the DJ mixes shared. I found a new passion. Writing. putting yourself out there Putting yourself out there can be scary and people are going to judge you. There is no doubt about that. But you have to let the rest go. The only way you can regain that power is to continue on in a positive and inspiring way. What I am saying is that, regardless of the people that go out of their way to try to make our lives as miserable as theirs, is that you can not only rise above but empower yourself with these “hidden” bits of motivation they freely supply you with.

Do you have a “hater” story? How did you turn it into a positive? Do you think your friends would find this article helpful?  Please share the love and definitely let us know what you think in the comments How to stop being a hater. Free gift for you, the lastest Soffiare mix by Kilma fans in denial