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Has the DJ industry stalled out? Are we dinosoars already?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by hippydog, Apr 16, 2012.

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  1. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    now bear with me.. This post is probably too nerdy/geeky for most of you.. I pre-apologize ;-)
    This weekend I was watching a podcast that talked about the changes in technology.. what kind of blew my mind was the statement that Technology (computers, electronics, etc) is the one devopement that in the last 100 years HAS TO BE PLOTTED ON A logarithmic scale .
    everything else (food industry, mechanics, social, etc etc) is plotted on an X/Y scale..
    Anything that becomes heavily connected or dependant on technology starts to show the same logarithmic climb. (but when plotted against the technology curve it flattens out (IE normalizes again)

    What the frack does this have to do with DJing?
    We have always been heavily connected with technology,
    yes, i know so are musicians, and car mechanics, etc etc BUT their basic tools have mainly stayed the same.. (a guiter is still a guitar, a keyboard is still white and black, and a wrench still hurts when you drop it on your face)

    My point is.. If you CHARTED the changes in DJing over the last 50 year, on the x-y scale it looks like things have changed immensely..
    BUT if you replot it, normalizing it against the technology change, it doesnt normalize.. it actually flat lines..

    Another way to put it may be..
    We havent been "raising the bar", in reality we have barely got it off the ground..

    When all things are considered, the local mechanic, the musician, the glass installer, the photographer has seen bigger improvements and changes in their industries then we have..

    thoughts?





     
  2. MobileDJ

    MobileDJ New Member

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    I absolutely agree!
    I really think the future of a Mobile or Special Event DJ is transitioning into more of an Entertainment / Production business than just entertaining through music and personality.

    Uplighting, Photo Booths, decor lighting and furniture are all things that will (and are IMO) becoming staples of the DJ Industry. I don't see that going away as more DJs realize that becuase of the devaluation of the skill of "playing music", a successful entertainer will hone other skills to be relevant and profitable in the future.
     
  3. Kacimlangford

    Kacimlangford Bose L1 Double B1 DJ

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    Couldn't disagree more. I Have scaled down to 1 L1 and 2 B1s. Lights 4 bar/4 play combo. I am as busy as ever, and making as much as ever.

    I believe DJs are adding more and more to try to become more than what they are. Entertainment through music and personality is who I am and why I am getting booked.
     
  4. DJ Dr. Drax

    DJ Dr. Drax New Member

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    I don't know, technology plays a large part in the effect my events have. However Talent is never sold on a comparative. Talent is unique. DJs that are adding lots of addons are seeking to supplant their lack of talent increase. We should be increasing our talents, spending money to improve us, the instrument of our art. Talent is always timeless. Technology WILL replace the press play few announcements DJs. It is just a matter of time. Think of Voice tracking...... What did it do for radio?
     
  5. ninodj

    ninodj Active Member

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    I have to disagree also....

    I actually think that the technology of today has made DJs into bigger superstars and on bigger stages. ( worldwide )

    Ever plug in the name Tiesto on Youtube and see what you come up with ? Was there ever a DJ back in the 60's or 70's or even 80's that could sell out a stadium ? Heck, I would go just for the light show. I find myself checking out websites weekly to see whats hot and new for gear coming out. Seems like there is some type of new controller being made weekly. Drives me bananas ! But love it none the less...

    I sometimes find myself hesitant to even buy new lighting ( even though I love it ) because it's changing ever so fast. LED technology is flying !
    When I started 22 years ago in this business I thought I was the man on the scene with my 2 "police beacons" lol. Now they are retired in my very own DJ hall of fame.
     
  6. DJSTEVEZ

    DJSTEVEZ DJ Emeritus

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    Has the DJ Industry stalled out?
    Unequivocally, no.

    What has come about is that since music has become so easy and inexpensive to procure (gear too) the market has flooded with competition.
    As any business school prof will tell you that when the market floods, prices go down. I agree with Drax that Talent is always of value, but in this market, talent is harder to discern. The flooded market of what I'll call less-than-professional DJ's have made things confusing for the consumer. Many are unaware of what a truly talented, highly skilled DJ can do for them and the success of their event, especially given the economy...and are apprehensive about spending their hard earned money to find out.

    Where there is a shortage within the industry is talented DJ's who are talented salesmen & businessmen. It's not enough to have the greatest gear and be able to rock a wedding better than any other jock in your market and/or the surrounding 5 states...you have to also be able to 1) convince a prospective client you can do that, and 2) articulate why that's important to them (the client). In my experience there are precious few, even here, that can do that. From that perspective, I could see how it appears that the DJ Industry might be somewhat stalled.

    Still though, it seems that those who do possess what I'll call "The Dual Skill Set", tend to expand from being your standard high level jock and go into Event Entertainment Design & Management. I assert that is you own a photo-booth(s), you're expanding too...and good for you. It's a wise person who diversifies the sources of their income. Most business school profs will tell you that too ;) -Z-
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
  7. Ausumm

    Ausumm Active Member

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    Been in radio more than 30-years, and I agree that technology has affected us greatly.
    But I can't help but to see the OTHER side of technology.
    While many in radio are losing their jobs (or their air shifts) to Voice Tracking and other technology...it is also opening new doors.
    So, much like radio...we in the Mobile DJ biz need to EMBRACE new technology and look to the future.
    We need to be ahead of the game, and know what brides want (and WILL want) in addition to what we already provide.
    Talent may be timeless, but it certainly aint paying the bills all by itself.
     
  8. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    I agree with the "devaluation of the skill of playing music", and it fits in with what first hit me after watching that podcast..
    A huge portion of our "talent" has been devalued due to technology..
    Again, if you plotted the changes in the "art" of playing other peoples music on a logarithmic scale.. it becomes a horizontal line.. in its simplest form (after 50 years); we play one song, then fade a song TO THE NEXT DECK. ;-)

    As to "the future of mobile DJ is Entertainment/production"
    I will agree that it seems to be the current trend..
    I dont readily agree that its the "future" for DJing.. Mainly because things like photobooths and decor, are a sideways transition, and not an upwards transition.
     
  9. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    The personality aspect isnt really connected to technology.
    For example: a comedian hasnt really changed their methods much over the past 50 years. Probably the biggest thing that has affected them is technology has limited the longevity of their "jokes" IE: when someone famous starts telling the same joke, its uploaded on youtube that week and regular comedian might have to remove that joke or look like he stole it or IE: is a Wii joke still funny a year later when everyone is playing angry birds? LOL..

    and when i think about it, Radio stations havent changed much over years (in essence, besides the technology part) yet there are more radio stations in my market then ever..
    Question is.. how long will that continue.. Their are more radio stations, but they are fighting over a smaller segment of the population (people dont rely on the radio as much as they used too)
     
  10. Old_Goat

    Old_Goat Senior LDJC Member

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    To humbly add to Dr. Drax..."Back in the day", I would do clubs carrying a mic, my cans and a milk-crate full of records. (Soon to be replaced by a small book of CDs.)

    It really was a "just-push-play" arrangement. I walked in, did my thing, got paid and walked out. It was up to the club to provide the rest. On the road, it wasn't really all that much more than that. A couple of speakers, an amp and either a couple of tables or a player. Heh, heh...a strobe or a blacklight!

    Then came effects. And more lights. And fog. And pre-canned drops. Then DMX...gobos...black widow lasers...skirts to hide our stuff. Trusswork.

    Powered speakers run by laptops with TB external drives. I-Pod docks.

    And NONE of it matters IF YOU SUCK.
     
  11. MobileDJ

    MobileDJ New Member

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    I don’t understand why the general consensus among DJs is

    “If you offer services such as uplighting or photo booth you are a bottom feeder and should be sharpening your DJ & MC Skills”

    Why can’t a person do both? Why is it such a bad thing to expand your product offering in our industry? In most industries it is considered essential to offer a variety of products or services.

    Honestly, that thought process just seems silly to me. Why wouldn’t and individual or company want to offer additional products to better serve their customers and increase their bottom line?

    I personally have actually been better able to improve my talent since offering additional services since the increased revenue affords me the opportunity to enroll in a few extra workshops this year.
     
  12. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    1.) I dont think its a consensus.
    2.) no one is saying your a bottom feeder..
    3.) There is nothing wrong with making money.. but there is also nothing wrong with just wanting to be a DJ or entertainer..

    the fact is, their is a difference between offering DJ related services, and non-dj related services.. at some point when the time you spend on "djing related" stuff is the minority, then it gets pretty hard to wear "DJ" as your primary or even secondary career..

    There is nothing wrong with expanding your "product offering", i think some of us just see it as a sad state of affairs (that its become necessary for many to do so, just so they can continue to BE DJ's)
     
  13. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    I agree.. but "as a DJ" we are kinda limited in how far we can increase our "art" before we stop being DJ's..

    I thnk at some point there will be a re-invention of the word "DJ", its slightly happened already.. many dont even use "disks" anymore, but i think many more will have to embrace the "full entertainment" that "DJ's" can provide before we see that glass ceiling broken.
     
  14. Maverick

    Maverick Pumping It Up

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    Many of the (mobile) DJs today are just basic skilled music enthusiasts using software, with limited (personal) creative abilities or technical backgrounds- John Christian Quote and its spot on to many in this forum and that I have met at DJ conventions around the country...
     
  15. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    YES, technology HAS helped some DJ's to become superstars, or at least bigger then they may have been..

    but thats my original point.. and Tiesto is a great example.. Compare what "ground breaking" stuff Tiesto has done VS many DJ's and he is a superstar..
    BUT
    Remove the advancing technology (which we all know changes at a break neck speed)
    and then compare him against Jam Master Jay from RUNDMC..
    hmmm..
    Tiesto aint so ground breaking (in comparison) anymore..
    I think RUNDMC sold out a few shows back in the day.. (possible unfair comparison, because Jam master Jay had help from two other guys) ;-)

    Again..
    It "appears" that DJ's have 'evolved', but under scrutiny.. We have only evolved because we had to. (technology forced us along to bigger things.)
     
  16. -bp-

    -bp- For Position Only

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    I think you have to see the landscape with new eyes in order to see where DJing will go next.
    As far as DJ visibility, I don't think DJ's have ever been more high profile than right now. You're actually starting to see thousands of people show up to watch a DJ perform, as opposed to hundreds or less just a few years back. We're no longer limited to two turntables and a mixer, or the number of milk crates we can carry.
    Cutting a complicated pattern with two or three records, an impressive feat 15 years ago, can now be easily done with a $150 Akai touchpad and a few hours of cue setting.
    Here's what doesn't change...
    The need for a crowd to have an exhorter. The Shaman who will take them on a journey. The visceral response to loud, aggressive sound. The need to express joy through movement.
    The fact that we've hardly raised the bar at all is the EXCITING thing. Think of all the places DJing can still go.
    Each of us has to look at ourselves in the mirror and decide what DJing will get from us. We all know what we want from DJing (money, chicks, notoriety, etc.). But what are we willing to invest to make sure we get that?
    The bar is set very, very, VERY low. Some of us work actively every weekend to keep it there. But more and more, DJ's are doing amazing things that are inspiring people to take them seriously as musicians and performers.
    David Guetta has a number one album and song. That's the first time that's happened for a DJ, EVER. And with the rise and widening appeal of Dubstep, names like Skrillex, Dubba Jonny, Diplo, Major Lazer and more are waiting in the wings. The amazing thing is, DJ's are finally breaking the recording industry out of the sample loop it's been in since Rap and Hip Hop became the dominant movers. DJ's are now creating and manipulating original sounds, not just an endless litany of sampled break beats.
    Rock and Roll used to be seen as the savior that would end all the sampling madness. But modern rock has become a stale retread of the 70's. Why anyone is listening to Bon Iver when they could simply listen to classic Neil Young is beyond me. It's the same thing. And now that rock n roll has been so tightly defined by a generation who stopped liking anything new the minute they graduated from high school, it will be VERY hard for it to really go anywhere new unless you have another Sex Pistols moment. Don't hold your breath waiting for that.
    DJ's could be the future. I'm excited. But Sean Connery said in "The Untouchables", "What are you prepared to do?"
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  17. DJSTEVEZ

    DJSTEVEZ DJ Emeritus

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    [​IMG]
     
  18. unlimitedsounds

    unlimitedsounds Active Member

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    There is a discussion on another forum.. People tell me that because I offer DJ, photography, videography, lighting etc I am a JACK FO ALL TRADES and MASTER OF NONE and that brides look at my site saying that I am not focused on their event since I do so much.. There are so many DJ's on the other thread saying that you should stick to ONE THING and MARKET IT WELL. I honestly feel that offering more then one service is the wave of the future. It gives me the opportunity to improve my tallent in many areas and combine everything to an awesome business!

    just offering DJ services or saying you are there to coordinate the brides entire day and make their vision happen isnt going to work as much anymore.. maybe for some it does. but with the advance in technology, where anyone can get a controller, ipod, or laptop and become a DJ
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  19. Kacimlangford

    Kacimlangford Bose L1 Double B1 DJ

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    For now, I will stick to that one thing that I do well and continue to do so. All of you can spread yourselves thin if you want. That is your choice.

    I don't have the extra over head, don't have to spend all the extra time which in turn gives me time to Coach my son's little league team, go to my son's play, go watch my other son play baseball, watch my daughter at her dance recital and still get to sleep in every morning and make as much profit as a lot of you who do everything.

    Your mileage my vary.
     
  20. hippydog

    hippydog wuz here when it was Red.

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    +1 on the awesome post, and thank you for "getting" what I was thinking about and turning over in my mind..


    I dont know whats on the horizon for DJ's, but the direction is wide open..
    ONE person is gonna really think out of the box, and the rest of us will be sitting around going "OMG, thats genius!" (and then spend the next decade trying to catch up LOL)
     
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