I started after my friend from this group called Another Dimension sold me his Technics MKII 1200 turntables. I bought a Numark 1100x mixer, Sony MDR V600 headphones, and crates and crates of records. I joined Another Dimension and did gigs for highschools, frats, and night clubs. It was cool, but not getting paid for lifting dual 18 inch subs and mixing all night long really sucked. But I did it because I loved the music. I think Tani does some bootleg mixes called RMX which are pretty darn good dance cds.
Right now I'm trying to get into scratching. It's kinda sad because the only scratch that I have perfected is my itchy butt scratch. I suggest watching a DJ battle on video to get a good idea of what it's all about. I checked out the International Turntablist Federation's West Coast Championship this year at the Maritime Hall. Pretty crazy stuff. Good scratching records are the DJ Rectangle battle weapons. Make sure all the records you buy aren't warped. Nothing pisses me off more than warped records.
Let's get it Started
Get yourself 2 or 3 Technics 1200 MKII turntables. Don't waste your time on any other cheesy turntables. Slipmats,Cartridges and needles, amplifier, speakers, and headphones are also required. Mixer with 2 or 3 turntable inputs. My dream mixer is the Vestax pmc 05 pro limited edition ($650), with optical adjustable fader. Qbert uses this mixer. Used/New Records: There are a lot of bootleg records available with multiple hit songs on 'em. They have an easy to mix intro beat. Try Ultrasounz in San Mateo, Cue's in Daly City, Zebra and BPM in SF.
Whatcha do is mix songs together which have the similar bpm (beats per minute). You can count the bpms per minute and label your songs, but eventually you just know what mixes with what (ie "I got five on it" (luniz) does not mix with "My Heart will Go On" by Celine Dion). Pick an easy song to mix: "Wicked Mix record" songs usually have 32-64 beat intros and are the easiest to mix. Find a spot in the song that is playing (usually the chorus or some breakbeat) which has 32-64 beats and mix in the new song. You have to adjust the tempo and keep the beat, but it gets easy after a while.
What I Hear
Most of my friends say I live in the 80's because I love old school music so much. Is it me, or was the music back then a lot better? I'd take Stevie B., Jaya, OMD, New Order, When in Rome, and Lil Suzy over Master P. and Puffy any day. I really like old school music by Troop, Surface, Beastie Boys, and Run DMC. I also like every other kind of music available (ie. Jungle, Freestyle, Classical, Hip-Hop, Techno, MOD, Punk, Booty Bass, basically everything except country... although I kinda like Faith Hill). I usually shop at Tower, or at some used record stores in Berkeley. The last CD I bought was "The Shiggar Fraggar Show" by the Invisbl Skratch Piklz. It's a straight up hardcore skratch performance from their pirate radio show(1994-1996). I also just bought Tical 2000 by Method Man and The Protecting Veil performed by cellist Yo Yo Ma.
As of late, I have discovered MP3s. http://www.scour.net For the player program, I use Winamp. To find songs, check the web or newsgroups. Usually if you search for MP3s on the web, you get linked to some porno sites, or some other stupid thing that leads you around in circles. It sucks. To retrieve MP3s on AOL: Go to the chat room… Japan, Members, then find some group that says something like: "servers, bad boy mp3s, fruitloop mp3 crew, etc." Then whatcha do is find out who is serving (the dude or dud who is distributing songs with a server program). Say his name is asiANmOnKeyboy. You type(without the ): [/asiANmOnKeyboy send list] He sends you a list of the songs available to your email box. You then check the number of the song you want, and then type: [/asiANmOnKeyboy send 122] He will send you the mp3 in the mail. If you want to search for a song you type: [/asiANmOnKeyboy find abba] he will send you the list in the mail. FYI, most MP3s are illegal, and are for sampling purposes only. Erase them after listening to them. If you like it, go buy the friggin single at your local record shop, you cheapo.
Production equipment I NEED
If I had a whole lot of money, I would buy a Roland JX-305 keyboard. Since I am poor, I am planning to buy an "Event Gina," which is a 400 dollar pci card . It's essentially a multitrack digital recorder for my computer. What I mean by multitrack, for people who don't know, is that I can record what I am mixing from my turntables, or another source like a guitar, and then go back and record multiple layers on top of my original recording. I can add drums to my guitar track, and then add bass, piano, etc.. The purpose of this is that my recording can sound like I'm doing a whole crap load of stuff at the same time, but I'm actually taking my time. I can be my own one man band. A lot of the mixes on the radio are recorded on multitrack recorders. So anyway, this card can record my mixes directly from my analog mixer to digital in my harddrive. Whoohoo, I love technology.
Also Santa, I want a sampler sequencer, like the Akai MPC 2000. I think software for the computer (like Cakewalk Pro or Cubase can emulate it. Lots of Jungle, Freestyle, hiphop, and all other kinds of music are made this way. You sample a sound, like a drum beat, and use the sequencer to tell the computer when to play the sound, and whaa-la. You have a song. Songs today are so friggin simple. I want to make some breakbeats, or some song like Bombscare (2 Bad Mice) just for fun.