Studio Gear Tips For Artist With A Small Budget

Is a tight budget stopping you from building your producer studio? Here is the thing, you can have all the best studio gear in the world but it won’t make you the best producer. We have a simple solution for your tight budget, so you can focus your energy in sound design and getting into that creative mindset.

 

Studio gear on a budget:
Focusrite – https://www.focusrite.com
KRK – http://www.krksys.com/
M-Audio – http://www.m-audio.com/

More Great Articles:

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How to STOP Missing Out On Paying DJ Gigs

It blows my mind the amount of times artists miss out on opportunities to make money. Not because there is something wrong with their talents or even something out of line with their style of music. As you’ll soon see for some of the silliest reasons disc jockeys around the world are missing out on quality, paying gigs. There may even be a few you didn’t think of yourself. I know number 3 surprised me the first few times. Let us start with something obvious but often missed.

1. You are simply not reliable

skill action man alone feet street

You have a business opportunity and you pass it by. Not because you can’t do it, but because you don’t make it a priority. A potential new client sets up a meeting with you and you never show or come too late and forget to bring that DJ mix you promised.

2. You are too slow to reply

sleep feet tired.jpeg

I’m sure you’ve heard that saying that the early bird gets the worm. If you respond quickly, execute on what you SAY you’re going to do; you’re already a head of the game. You’re showing that you are both reliable AND you are eager to work with them. But if you take your time, watch out because someone else WILL rise to the occasion and scoop up that gig.

3. You’re not charging enough
pay invest money 1

If you think putting your price too high seems pretentious, imagine what charging too little looks like. Why is charging a fair price important? Imagine purchasing discount clothing and you get tired of it before even wearing it. When your not invest you won’t feel bad about throwing them items away or forgetting that you ever own it. In the DJ world, sadly you become easily replaceable with too low of a price. Why? You won’t be the only one offering too low. If you can add value to your service, you’re talking a whole other game that I get into here. 

Need some help to figure out how much to charge, check out the DJ fee calculator here.

4. You rely on them for things that are your job

How to deal with haters

Unless you’re the IKEA of DJs you wouldn’t expect the newly weds to set up your equipment at a wedding you’re djing at. Or maybe you are a club DJ would you expect the bar manager to be responsibility for your evenings playlist? Extreme? I’ve have more than a few DJs playing after me asking me to help them figure out how to set up their Virtual DJ at a live gig.

5. You do the bare minimum
man random mininmal

You are either uninterested or don’t think do go above and beyond for your clients and or fans. It’s unfortunate because even the smallest of things can make a HUGE difference for those in support. For example you may consider doing a sound check before a dinner rush in a lounge to ensure you will not interrupt the dinner service. As a wedding DJ and master of ceremonies getting to know the wedding party before making introductions is a biggie. And if you are a DJ booked on a line up with many other artists, promoters and even fans tend to take note when you simply show up, play and then leave the event.

Think about the time you had exceptional customer service. People remember the employee that went above and beyond. The person noting even the smallest of details. Even with artists, people remember the talent that came up and spoke to them after the show or asked about their day. Fans remember the artist that took the time to support the other DJs that came on before their set.

Now I’m not saying put on a phony smile and make nice with people kissing babies and shaking hands. At the end of the day you’re going to do what works best for your brand. I think it’s worth consider your experience as a fan of other artists and what sort of treatment meant the most to you. Think about how you can implement it in your industry and then DO IT.

Enjoy this article? There is a hell of a lot more where that came from.

Winnipeg DJs – What To Know, What To Ask

Whether you are looking to hire or are the dj yourself there are a few really important questions both the customer and artist needs to know and ask one another. So let’s dive right in!

Disclaimer – No, you don’t have to be from Winnipeg for these to apply but this article will have a few Winnipeg entertainment companies mentioned for locals looking!

Theme

Winnipeg DJ

Customer to the DJ: What can you offer for the theme of my event?
Is this a wedding, fashion or art show? Maybe this is happening within a club environment and you need country music only! Your entertain will need to know this information and you need to know if this is within their realms of services. Don’t assume every DJ has ever track ever made, nor that all djs offer all the same services.

Disc jockey to the Client: What is the theme of your event?
If you say YES to the gig not realizing they needed folk music and all you have is hip-hop you might not be the person for the job or silly enough not prepared for the day of the gig. Find what sort of atmosphere they are going for.

Services

Winnipeg Disc Jockey

Customer to the DJ: What services do you provide?
Do you need music, games and someone to coordinate between vendors? Maybe it’s for your wedding and you’re in need of dj to direct the photographer as to where you will be entering the venue, as well as speaking with the catering company about when dinner will be served. (Extra tips on wedding djs here.)

Disc jockey to the Client: What services do you need?
Maybe the venue is expecting you to bring your own sound and gear and doesn’t realize that your rider sates that they are to provide the equipment. You may be an electronic music artist that allows for artistic freedom and they are looking for someone to cater directly to their needs outside of your brand. Knowing this allows you to offer the right entertainment company if this is NOT what you provide.

Budget

Winnipeg djs

Customer to the DJ: What would I be looking at paying?
Keep in mind the artist will need to know what exactly you need, ie. sound, hours djing, music style etc. to give you the right price.

Disc Jockey to themselves: What is a fair price?
This is more of a question towards the entertainment company themselves. This is where your “DJ Fee Calculator” comes in handy. You’ll need to figure out the amount of hours you’ll spend preparing, money spent on music (if you need additional) rentals and promo including the hours spent setting up, performing and taking down gear.

Previous Events

Winnipeg DJ

Customer to the DJ: What experience do you have?
If the price is a little too good to be true, you may want to question their experience. As it’s said in the industry, “Good djs ain’t cheap and cheap djs ain’t good.” That isn’t to say there aren’t some great ones under valuing their services, but take the time to find out what previous events this djs has been involved with. This can include checking out their website and social pages to see what sort of feedback and projects they have been involved with, to reviewing their press-kit.

Client Tip: If you are a club owner and you are on the look out for DJs that are also great at marketing their events, or running special themed nights, find out if your dj has a press-kit with reference to previous work.

Disc jockey to client: What experience do you have as an event coordinator?
If you are playing for a first time promoter that is stating they are providing sound equipment, there are some things that can go wrong if they aren’t aware of whom they are hiring. It’s not to say this person isn’t capable of throwing a great event but you’ll want to ensure the person has the knowledge and support so that the event will run as smoothly as possible. As an artist there are few things that are worse then showing up at an event where the sound engineer does not know what they are doing and YOU end up looking like the unprofessional one while playing.

Available for Art & Fashion Shows In Winnipeg
Kilma (Electronica)
Cherry Tree Productions

Available for Club / Lounge In Winnipeg
Kilma (Electronica)
Bomb Squad Entertainment (Top 40 – Electronica)

Available for Weddings & Socials In Winnipeg / Manitoba Area
Kenny Beats
Bomb Squad Entertainment
Gudlite Entertainment
Cherry Tree Productions
Special Request Weddings

Available for Bar Mitzvah Djs
Cherry Tree Productions

Throwing a Wedding Social? Here is our 2016 list of places that donate!

How to land DJ gigs during festival season

There are two mains ways to go about getting gigs during festival season.

Photo by Whiting Photography - DJ Kilma

Photo by Whiting Photography – DJ Kilma (Bomb Squad Entertainment)

1. Pay your way out, work for free at the festival and get that crappy time slot you’ve always dreamed of…
or
2. Prepare your press-packs, up your social media game and show promoters why you’re the kind of artist they’d want to book.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that there is some sort of big secret to getting a DJ gig, But getting the right DJ gig, with a quality time slot and pay is something that takes true finesse and practice. No, you don’t have to sell your soul but you will need an open mind, to work hard, be consistent, have a positive attitude and know what you’re worth.

Photo by Whiting Photography  - DJ Kovas & GDubz

Photo by Whiting Photography – DJ Kovas & GDubz (Dimensional Rift)

Set yourself apart
If you’re still struggling to define your brand, it may be time to go back to the drawing board. Take a look at yourself, your brand and what you want it to SAY about you and the experience you bring.

Give your brand a face lift
No I’m not talking plastic surgery. I’m talking websites, social media pages and even a new photo shoot. Artists that are consistent in the work they put into their brand tend to be the ones consider for the job. If you haven’t made a mix in 6 plus months, get on that!

Photo by Whiting Photography  - The Jeeves

Photo by Whiting Photography – The Jeeves (Dimensional Rift)

Know your self-worth
Most artists will tell you about how they are “doing it for the music” and that they don’t really care if they get paid. For someone looking to con you, you’re an easy target. For a professional they are hearing, “I don’t value what I do.”

Create a fan base with their crowd
When an artist has fans in other cities, you bet they are chatting you up to local promoters and festival goers. Fans that are engaging and interested in what you are doing are the best types of fans. So take the time to get to know people, find out what they enjoy and bring some new music to their ears so they too can share with the masses.

Photo by Whiting Photography - Andy B (Dimensional Rift)

Photo by Whiting Photography – Andy B (Dimensional Rift)

Press-Kit
Your press-pack is your dj resume. It will include your links, bio, press-release, press-photos, logos and music. There are a few ways you can go about presenting a press-kit which I elaborated on in this article.

Reach out to online magazines and blogs
This is where it gets tricky. You want online magazines that are legit but you also need to have an edge they are willing to feature or interview. Maybe you are a dj and producer with some new great tracks. Maybe you’ve landed some dj gigs in the surrounding areas and want to get the word out with an interview. This is where your press-kit and people skills will come into play.

Photo by Whiting Photography  - Artist Pumpkin (Shambhala)

Photo by Whiting Photography – Artist Pumpkin (Shambhala)

Landing the gig – Choosing your approach

1.
Some festivals have a specific routine they require in order for someone to be considering for bookings. It may be stated on their website or posted on a Facebook page. This is one approach you can use. However please CAREFULLY READ and note any stipulations. Often these are unpaid time slots with the promise of a couple free tickets and if you’re lucky your gas may be paid for. If you are okay with this, by all means you should do it. However if you’re looking to get those really great time slots this is where your negotiating skills will come in handy. Set some simple requirements to ensure your needs are met. (Read more here on how to not get screwed.) And if EVER you choose to do a gig for free in thoughts that it is “great exposure” actually network while you are there. Hand out business cards, talk to people, give out promotional cds and stickers.

2.
Your challenge if you choose to accept it is to take things one step further. There are a lot of different ways people get into contact with festival organizers but you want to make sure that you are authentic, not spammy. Do your research, converse with these people, show your support. Don’t wait until festival season to share your work or strike up a conversation. And don’t always make it about music. Landing an awesome quality gig is far better than playing 16 crappy ones. Like the fantastic music you play, choose quality gigs over quantity of gigs.

Recap
Landing quality gigs is no small task but I know that YOU are dedicated, ready for the challenge and going to do what it takes.  The reason you will get the gigs you deserve is because YOU are putting in the work and you’re doing it the right way. Or at least the way that gains you the recognition  you deserve. Good luck my DJ friends!

Were these tips helpful? Do you have a success story? What are your tips and tricks for landing great DJ gigs? (Tell us in the comments.)

Electronic Music Festivals in Canada
Elysium (Ness Creak, SK)
Astral Harvest (Driftpile, AB)
Dimensional Rift ( St. Laurent, MB)
Awakening (Chetwynd, BC)
Motion Notion (Golden, BC)
Future Forrest (Keswick, NB)
Connect (Besant Campground, SK)
Basscoast (Merrit, BC)
Shambhala (Salmo River Ranch, BC)
Wanderlust Tremblant (ON)
Phantasm Festival (Young, SK)

Custom Stickers, Die Cut Stickers, Bumper Stickers - Sticker Mule

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

Tips on how to have the BEST DJ SET live… EVER!

(Warning: Taking this advice in no way makes me responsible for your actions. Use them at your own risk.)

If you have a sense of humor, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this. If you don’t, it’s best you back away slowly.

1. Play bangers all night.
Did the guy before you play that Lady Gaga song? Play it again, you can never play a popular tune too many times. That’s why they play it on the radio every 20 minutes, right? Playing banging tracks all night will keep the energy high. No time for breathing room.

 

From FierceGifs on Tumblr.com

2.Dance around lots.
I’m not just talking those Jesus rockstar poses, get right in there with your arms waving around, clapping. Hell, jump on the table and show em’ how serious you are about getting the party started! If you’re going to werk it, you might as well twerk it.

By: Vera-Trace on Tumblr

3. Use every effect on that mixer.
Really throw your elbows into it, so everyone knows how hard you are working. Don’t be a boring DJ that only uses that cross fader with long progressive mixes, EQing each track. Flanger, Robot, Echo, Filter… don’t know what it does? Learn on the fly. What better place to try something new, then with the whole crew!

By: TrippyLightsAndRaveMusic on Tumblr

4. Throw your levels into the Red.
The Redder, the better! That’s what I always say. If it’s not lighting up like a Christmas Tree, you’re not doing it right.

By: AngelOVast on Tumblr

5. Throw some cake!
The plastic cup of beer will do if you don’t have cake handy. People won’t think you are a Rock Star unless they get some food or a drink thrown in their face. We don’t want them to miss out on a good time, right?

 

By: Fnk-Rage on Tumblr

 

6. Get Krunk and Stir Shit Up
You’re the best thing since sliced bread. I mean, you’re a DJ for fuck sake. You might as well be on the cover of Rolling Stones. You got this. So who cares if you fall off the stage and chip off your front tooth? You are Mother fucking DJ Swanky-As-Fuck.

They got nothing on YOU!

Let’s be serious for a moment: I was doing some late night, online research to check out the tips being given to some of the newer djs. Some of the articles were on point, while others were just ridiculous. I had to write my own “Tips” that clearly should not be taken seriously. However it is clear to me that someone, somewhere thought they were in the KNOW when giving tips like this in a very “serious” manner. I just couldn’t help myself.

Here is the even funnier part, I had so many choices of Aoki throwing cake and the only thing I search was, “Aoki.”

There is literally people that look so excited about getting cake in the face their is a group for it.

As far “DJ Mixer” most Gif files that popped up were all completely Red-Lined too! Go figure.

TrippyLightsandRaveMusic

Steve Aoki throwing Cakes – Tumblr


May God have mercy on our soul.

Like it? Share it. Have a funny story, reply in the comments.