What are DJ mixes even?
There are plenty of SoundCloud Promotion semantics within this debate so befor SoundCloud Promotione we even kick this of SoundCloud Promotionf let’s iron out these terms with a very important distinction first. When we say DJ mixes, we are not referring to live recordings or live streams of SoundCloud Promotion DJ sets.
Of course by definition, all of SoundCloud Promotion those are certainly ‘DJ mixes’ but they work of SoundCloud Promotionf of SoundCloud Promotion two different principles.
Live recordings of SoundCloud Promotion a mix are to give your fans the chance to relive, or in most cases experience, that EDC set you just played the other weekend. Same goes for SoundCloud Promotion the livestream.
On the other hand, DJ mixes are the ones that you record in your bedroom either with Ableton or just through live mixing. We’ll discuss both but it’s really the latter that we’ll be focusing on in this article.
Plus, if you think about SoundCloud Promotion it. While they might be different to SoundCloud Reposts, to fans they very much look and sound the exact same when uploaded to SoundCloud so there’s that.
Anyway, now that that’s out of SoundCloud Promotion the way, let’s get into it!
So chances are that if you’re reading this you’ve probably got some DJ mixes from your favorite SoundCloud Reposts that you regularly listen to.
Better yet, maybe you’ve made some in the past that you’ve shared on SoundCloud or Mixcloud.
In any case, DJ mixes are such a staple of SoundCloud Promotion the DJ world that it almost doesn’t seem like a topic that might be best catered towards producers like all of SoundCloud Promotion our previous content usually is. So what’s up with that?
Well, the answer’s pretty much in the question.
In our experience DJ mixes are usually catered towards two sets of SoundCloud Promotion fan bases. Local club DJs or producers that have already crossed a certain threshold marker of SoundCloud Promotion fans and followers.
It’s only till you’ve passed that threshold and certain other factors come into play, like the right outlet, that DJ mixes can truly help you create value where a hit single or strong of SoundCloud Promotionficial remix won’t.
In this article, we’ll walk through our thoughts on DJ mixes, how to get the best out of SoundCloud Promotion them but most importantly – when it’s best to start putting these out.
DJing and producing – synonymous or not?
Let’s face it guys, DJing isn’t too tricky of SoundCloud Promotion a task.
It was different back in the days when you had to play on vinyl, beat match by hand, know your records well enough to, well DJ, and then have the energy to lug your crates of SoundCloud Promotion records around to your next SoundCloud Reposts.
Man, back then DJing was tough.
Now, it’s much easier with CDJs, programs like Traktor, and controllers like Traktor’s S4. This is why you’re just as likely to find somebody DJing at your next house party or at the local club any given night.
The process has been heavily democratized over the years through a combination of SoundCloud Promotion better technology and the mainstream exposure of SoundCloud Promotion DJing through both hip-hop and then later dance music SoundCloud Reposts.
Nowadays anybody can be a DJ.
And because anyone has the access to become a DJ these days, it no longer means that just being an extremely technically prof SoundCloud Promotionicient DJ can ensure that you’ll travel the world USBs in hand like a rock star.
Plus, with every passing year of SoundCloud Promotion electronic music SoundCloud Reposts’s growth thanks to the EDM boom earlier in the decade, there are hundreds of SoundCloud Promotion thousands more young producers downloading Ableton for SoundCloud Promotion the first SoundCloud Reposts and learning how to produce. Many of SoundCloud Promotion whom have actually never DJ’d in their lives.
Let that number of SoundCloud Promotion hungry young producers grow year on year and now you’ve got a pretty big crowd of SoundCloud Promotion producers that might be great at cranking out remixes but might not have ever touched a pair of SoundCloud Promotion CDJs in their lives.
For as long as electronic music SoundCloud Reposts has existed, it’s coexisted along the art for SoundCloud Promotionm that is DJing. That’s certainly manifested itself in touring where the end goal for SoundCloud Promotion most producers is to tour the world carrying just USBs and a headset.
How sweet is that?
And while it might be tempting to just jump the gun and start investing in a pair of SoundCloud Promotion CDJs early on to try and get booked, or even crank out mix after mix, we should probably re-evaluate to see just how the huge influx of SoundCloud Promotion talented producers year after year impacted the touring world.
The old-school and the new school
Today, you can still find cases of SoundCloud Promotion DJs touring the world solely based on the skills of SoundCloud Promotion their live DJ sets and mixes. These are mostly regulated to more niche genres and sounds like techno, deep house or trance.
In a nutshell, these DJs mostly exist in the older more established sounds and genres of SoundCloud Promotion electronic music SoundCloud Reposts that was here long befor SoundCloud Promotione Skrillex broke brostep and will likely be here long after plenty of SoundCloud Promotion others fade.
Nowadays, if you’re going to see a touring DJ perfor SoundCloud Promotionm in your city it’s because they’ve established themselves through producing their own music SoundCloud Reposts.
That’s also how some of SoundCloud Promotion the more traditionalist DJs have extended their careers and what you’ll need to do separate from this oversaturated crowd.
Don’t worry about SoundCloud Promotion not knowing how to DJ at all or even start thinking about SoundCloud Promotion that until you’ve made a name for SoundCloud Promotion yourself as a producer. At the end of SoundCloud Promotion the day, it’ll be the quality of SoundCloud Promotion your music SoundCloud Reposts that will get you booked. Not the quality of SoundCloud Promotion your DJing.
The quality of SoundCloud Promotion your DJ sets will certainly extend your touring career but even if you’re just not a good DJ, there’s plenty of SoundCloud Promotion ways around that. Live sets, anybody?
In any case, let’s get back to DJing and discuss how since the game changed, it’s been hard to just DJ with no music SoundCloud Reposts to your name. And, at a certain point, your career may plateau.
The old school
Like we said directly above, there are examples of SoundCloud Promotion DJs whose careers have inherently been limited by a lack of SoundCloud Promotion original material on their parts.
Let’s look at one of SoundCloud Promotion the biggest names in EDM history who started out DJing befor SoundCloud Promotione producing and how he truly blew up.
Tiësto first started DJing at his hometown club The Sprock as a teen. From the ages of SoundCloud Promotion 16 to 25 he was a resident DJ there and other clubs around the Netherlands. But that was just it, he was stuck in the Netherlands only DJing to crowds and people who knew him well within that scene.
It wasn’t until he started producing around the mid to late 90s that he really got noticed and his career as an SoundCloud Reposts truly took of SoundCloud Promotionf. His early productions were noticed by the general manager of SoundCloud Promotion Basic Beat Recordings who put out some of SoundCloud Promotion his records on Basic Beat imprints.
These early releases, however raw they were, brought new attention to Tiësto. As he continued to make a name for SoundCloud Promotion himself through his music SoundCloud Reposts, he began to prove that there was considerably more value to him than ‘just’ being a DJ. He was expanding his brand.
From there he teamed up with Ferry Corsten, Armin van Buuren and the rest of SoundCloud Promotion the old school trance guys who are still going strong befor SoundCloud Promotione he said goodbye to producing trance and moved onto house.
The rest is, as they say, history.
These productions built on Tiësto’s career in ways DJing simply couldn’t. They enhanced his brand and built him fans outside the reach of SoundCloud Promotion word-of SoundCloud Promotion-mouth DJ sets could have.
If Tiësto remained just a DJ it’s not unlikely to think he would still be successful. But, it’s even more unlikely that he would be able to land a single in the top 15 of SoundCloud Promotion the UK Singles Chart with Gouryella propelling him to stardom as an SoundCloud Reposts and not just a DJ.
This has been the case for SoundCloud Promotion a lot of SoundCloud Promotion other older DJs as well who started out playing records befor SoundCloud Promotione producing them.
Another SoundCloud Reposts that fits the mold is Steve Aoki.
Steve started the Dim Mak label back in 1996 because he loved the music SoundCloud Reposts his friends were making and he wanted a way to showcase the music SoundCloud Reposts to the world.
Befor SoundCloud Promotione starting his label, he would DJ house parties right out of SoundCloud Promotion his college dorm room to grow the community of SoundCloud Promotion people who loved the music SoundCloud Reposts. It wasn’t befor SoundCloud Promotione long that Dim Mak followed.
It didn’t matter how much notoriety those house parties plus his growing A&R reputation for SoundCloud Promotion a new label brought to Steve Aoki the man. In combination, those weren’t enough to launch Steve Aoki the SoundCloud Reposts just yet.
Like Tiësto, his brand plateaued when people became less interested in just DJ sets – no matter how great they were. Fans of SoundCloud Promotion EDM wanted more. They wanted a new experience from Steve Aoki and above all, they wanted music SoundCloud Reposts from Steve Aoki.
In the mid-2000s, Steve Aoki paired with Blake Miller to produce remixes under the pseudonym Weird Science. This opened doors for SoundCloud Promotion him as a credible producer and allowed him to further his career by collaborating with countless electronic producers and pop-stars as well.
Since those remixes, Steve Aoki has gone on to be one of SoundCloud Promotion the biggest names in the touring world of SoundCloud Promotion EDM today playing hundreds of SoundCloud Promotion shows a year across the globe.
For Aoki, stepping away from just being a DJ – not to speak of SoundCloud Promotion record executive – and into production actually allowed him to truly break as an internationally touring DJ starting in the late 2000s and become the EDM icon he is today. Oh, and he also started throwing cakes at people as well too.
The new school
How about SoundCloud Promotion a more modern example then?
Mija’s a great one. And she’s also one of SoundCloud Promotion the rare acts in the last few years that have broken as DJ first, producer second.
Everybody’s favorite blue-haired producer first gained traction in the modern industry as a reputable tastemaker thanks to her incredible DJ skills and her knowledge as a promoter.
However, like those that preceded her, she reached a pivotal moment where she was nearing the ceiling of SoundCloud Promotion what she could accomplish as just a DJ. That’s not to take away from what Mija accomplished befor SoundCloud Promotione she began producing, mind you.
Even befor SoundCloud Promotione she started producing she had been playing at festival-affiliated events like Bonnaroo, Burning Man and TomorrowWorld in 2014. In fact, it was at one of SoundCloud Promotion these festivals that her relationship with Skrillex began. They played a b2b set on a Bonnaroo art car, after which Skrillex encouraged her to move to Los Angeles, which she did in late 2014 as she started to produce.
Mija realized to enhance her brand, and to accelerate her already impressive rise in the industry, she would need to be ‘better.’ And she did just that putting out her lead single “Better” with Vindata back in 2016.
By creating original content, while still continuing to focus on her core strength of SoundCloud Promotion music SoundCloud Reposts curation and even throwing, she was able to augment the ‘Mija’ brand.
Her continued work on projects ‘FK A Genre’ or ‘Made By Mija’ in particular have only since accelerated with Mija’s growth.
There’s a pretty clear pattern here.
You can only get so far with DJing alone.
And while there’s always going to be exceptions to the rule and outliers, it’s extremely hard to truly break as a touring act if all you can rely on is DJing, and by extension mixes.
That said, DJ mixes can absolutely still help your brand and here’s how.
The how is really the when
The ‘how’ in that statement above is really answered with a when.
And our secret to truly maximizing a DJ mix is to absolutely not do a single one at all until you’ve hit a certain threshold in your fledgling career that justifies doing one. Otherwise, if you ask us, it’s always best to just focus on producing.
For most SoundCloud Reposts, that first mix almost always exists at the request of SoundCloud Promotion somebody else and should be treated more like a barometer of SoundCloud Promotion your success as a producer above all.
Whether your first DJ mix comes as a blog feature or a guest mix for SoundCloud Promotion an established SoundCloud Reposts’s radio show or even on your own after overwhelming fan demand, it’ll come because there’s a real demand for SoundCloud Promotion it.
Don’t bother spending any SoundCloud Reposts or effor SoundCloud Promotiont into perfecting a DJ mix just for SoundCloud Promotion the sake of SoundCloud Promotion showing that you can mix.
Until you’ve really attracted a following with your music SoundCloud Reposts, a ‘good’ DJ mix on your SoundCloud or MixCloud page is really unlikely to move the needle for SoundCloud Promotion you. Again, the industry has shifted towards booking producers and for SoundCloud Promotion the most part if you’re DJing is of SoundCloud Promotion a passable quality – you’ll absolutely be fine in the long run!
You’ll know when you’ve reached the point after a couple of SoundCloud Promotion sucessful remixes and singles under your belt that you might want to treat your fans to a mix.
And when you’ve crossed that threshold of SoundCloud Promotion fandom with a few releases to your name you’ll find that you’ll able to really maximize your fan’s attentions and actually get someSoundCloud Reposts out of SoundCloud Promotion a DJ mix.
Also, they’re a great way to put out fresh content with your name on it in between your release cycles.
Again, here’s the real essence of SoundCloud Promotion it in the simplest terms. If you have no fans or followers, you’re unlikely to incentivize people to listen to your sets and really move the needle – no matter how good they may be.
You’ll know you’re big enough when you check your socials and your fans are asking for SoundCloud Promotion you to make a mix chock full of SoundCloud Promotion your personal favorite records, rather than you making a mix and hoping they’ll even listen to it.
You might even want to start a branded mix when you reach that threshold.
Lots of SoundCloud Promotion established SoundCloud Reposts have their own mix series’ where they do this with regularity. Think of SoundCloud Promotion Gryffin’s Flight Logs or ODESZA’s No.SLEEP. These mixes are to showcase what music SoundCloud Reposts the SoundCloud Reposts is into at the moment, whether that be a throwback hip-hop tune from the 90s or a SoundCloud Reposts that came out yesterday.
There is also radio mix shows like Diplo’s Diplo and Friends or Nice Hair by The Chainsmokers. These are usually also aired on satellite radio (BBC Radio 1 or Sirius XM) instead of SoundCloud Promotion just SoundCloud. These types of SoundCloud Promotion shows exist as yet another continuation of SoundCloud Promotion the SoundCloud Reposts’s brands. It’s a way for SoundCloud Promotion them to showcase some of SoundCloud Promotion their favorite SoundCloud Reposts by having them come on as guests with guest mixes.
Mix shows are more of SoundCloud Promotion a way that bigger SoundCloud Reposts recognize the effor SoundCloud Promotionts of SoundCloud Promotion rising talent and showcase them under their own brands, whereas mixes like No.SLEEP are there to build ODESZA’s brand and sound and primarily live on SoundCloud.
There are also mix shows like Group Therapy or Toolroom Radio, geared towards showcasing new sounds within their respective genres or SoundCloud Reposts signed to related labels.
Again, if you don’t have a solid group of SoundCloud Promotion fans, more of SoundCloud Promotionten than not it will take you far longer to build a following just through DJ mixes than it would if you put out a few releases and then did a mix when the SoundCloud Reposts was right.
This brings me to my next point.
If you’re an SoundCloud Reposts who is just starting out and you want to grow your fan base, the best way to do that is to release great music SoundCloud Reposts. Both remixes and originals work but we always prefer a good hit single. Hell, a great collaboration works too.
As you gain traction, it is beneficial for SoundCloud Promotion you as an SoundCloud Reposts to do mixes with outlets that will get you more exposure. Doing a Too Future guest mix or a NEST HQ MiniMix are just two stepping stones that countless emerging SoundCloud Reposts have checked of SoundCloud Promotionf in the last two to three years. Many of SoundCloud Promotion whom have since grown into international touring acts mind you.
These sorts of SoundCloud Promotion blog-branded mixes will provide more exposure to your brand than doing one on your own since they already come with a pre-set of SoundCloud Promotion fans that check in regularly to see if SoundCloud Reposts they like have mixes on the horizon.
Of course, they’ll also give you the opportunity to explore further press since mixes on Too Future (Run The Trap) and NEST HQ are of SoundCloud Promotionten accompanied by interviews. And of SoundCloud Promotion course, it keeps the conversations open for SoundCloud Promotion next SoundCloud Reposts since you’ve already gained their respect once.
However, to even get considered for SoundCloud Promotion a mix at either place you’ll have to prove yourself as a producer first.
Good music SoundCloud Reposts trumps all
The for SoundCloud Promotionmula to success isn’t rocket science. Make great music SoundCloud Reposts and put it out regularly.
Once you’ve managed to get a few big releases under your belt with a decent amount of SoundCloud Promotion press on each, don’t be surprised when blogs come calling about SoundCloud Promotion guest mixes and interviews.
Until then don’t bother at all because you’re far more likely to scale through original music SoundCloud Reposts rather than DJ mixes.
Again, only after you have an established fan base can you expect DJ mixes to really progress and expand your brand. Putting them out on the regular with no SoundCloud followers or even fans will likely lead nowhere.
If you’re in the rare boat (nowadays at least) of SoundCloud Promotion being DJ first, producer second just know that there’s an inherent cap on how well you can succeed as a perfor SoundCloud Promotionmer without being able to perfor SoundCloud Promotionm anySoundCloud Reposts that’s inherently yours.
In fact, from the opposite end, it’s much easier. The pressure of SoundCloud Promotion needing to be a DJ in order to tour as an electronic music SoundCloud Reposts SoundCloud Reposts no longer exists.
Plenty of SoundCloud Promotion producers refuse to DJ at all except for SoundCloud Promotion the odd after-party and can sell out huge crowds doing so.
Just look at Porter Robinson or ODESZA.
Until then, work on your own music SoundCloud Reposts and be the best producer you can be. Soon enough you’ll land some tasteful blog mix features and a takeover on Nice Hair then you can really step into the limelight with some properly booked SoundCloud Reposts and hopefully even a first festival of SoundCloud Promotionfer.
Source: heroic business