Hey guys and gals! Welcome to our first tutorial on finding music!
Finding music is as important as pressing the “PLAY” button during a live performance. The type of song you pick, the style of introduction, the way use effects, and at what point you bring the song in all affect the way people react during your mix.
Finding music requires time and effort and should be treated like a job. As the Doctor, we collectively troll many music forums and blogs, listen to the radio to pick up new ideas on how to mix old songs, and watch movies to pick out some of our samples. It is with this idea in mind that we figured we would offer you a bit of schooling.
Finding music comes in two different flavors: the legal kind and the no-so-legal kind. As a music blog, we promote purchasing and legal music selection. As struggling dj’s, we recognize that not all of you can afford (or would pay for it anyway) new music so we’ve provided some tips on finding new music from more legitimate sources.
Legal music is your best choice for avoiding copyright infringement. You pay your royalties upon checkout and you own the rights to use the music. There are many services that allow you to purchase music legally including Beatport, iTunes, Amazon, and Napster. These services all have their advantages and disadvantages ranging from catalog size (how many songs that have in their total library) to the relevant types of music offered. Knowing which service to use is as important as which type of music your audience is going to want to hear.
Doctor Macro highly recommends using Beatport due to its ever-expanding catalog of music and it’s tools dedicated specifically to DJ’s. For instance, Beatport is awesome because of its catalog rules. If a song isn’t downloaded/purchased a certain number of times in a given period of time, Beatport will remove it from its library and replace it with something new. This always keeps their library fresh and up-to-date. Likewise, another tool Beatport uses to attract deejays is the written info in all of their songs metadata (the naming information in the file). Beatport automatically finds the musical key and tempo of the track that you are downloading for you so products such as Mixed In Key aren’t entirely necessary though still recommended. Remixers and those that want to spend a bit more money for an even higher quality digital file can upgrade from a 320 k/bps .MP3 to an .AIFF or .WAV file which can later be used for remixing or sampling. The final benefit that Beatport offers to DJ’s is the lack of Digital Rights Management (DRM). DRM can get in the way of digital DJ’s because of the algorithmic lock placed on the file to prevent illegal redistribution or changes. Tracks from iTunes become difficult to use in certain DJ programs because of this DRM and require additional stripping software before these tracks can become playable.
The perfect world wouldn’t require this section as all music would be free and unicorns would be real. But, let’s face it, nobody downloads music legally these days. If you do, hats off to you! For those of you that do download music from not-so-legal sources, read on to help minimize your effect on the actual artists or to get some ideas on where to find new music.
Doctor Macro has found over the last several years that finding new music is a challenge because of the huge volume that is released each day. For this reason, music blogs that specialize in a variety of different styles, formats, and levels of legality have sprung up lately to help narrow down the large number of releases into a more manageable number. The Doctor uses several of these blogs ourselves to discover new music and stay on the cutting edge of what is fresh. The following music blogs are some of our more frequently sourced websites and all provide interesting takes on Electronic Dance Music.
- http://www.Remix-Nation.com features some of the best and most consistent postings on the internet and are therefore one of our first stops for music. Remix Nation often features new artists that are up-and-comers, mashups, new material, and events in the southwest region of the U.S. Remix-Nation features primarily mainstream electro and electro house artists.
- Our second favorite site is http://www.thissongslaps.com. This Song Slaps features a variety of dubstep and has the most frequent posts I have seen of any blog anywhere. The very very great majority of the music is bootleg remixes from underground DJ’s and producers looking to make it big and they therefore offer their music for free. Check them out for all of your heavy/filthy/grungy needs.
- http://www.DeathbyElectro.com is a fun little website that hasn’t been getting as much love as it deserves lately. DxE, as they commonly go by, features new music and events in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas but hasn’t posting as many FREE download links (Go buy the music!)
- http://www.electronicalife.com is another fun website that specializes in highlighting new DJ’s by promoting their mixes, showcasing events of all sizes, and track and album reviews. Really, these guys are a one stop shop for most things EDM.
- Finally http://www.beatmyday.com and http://www.jadorehousemusic.com are my favorite sites for all news on new releases from worldwide. Very rarely are these sites featuring free downloads but they have all of the information you could possibly need about the upcoming, hidden track that is about to explode on the festival scene. Keep them quiet… 😉
For those of you that choose to bypass these more legal music blogs, I suggest checking Soundcloud.com for new songs as sometimes they have free downloads. Hulkshare.com is another great website for finding obscure remixes or showcasing your own tunes.
A word to the wise: do NOT download from torrent based websites. Many times the files will come with viruses attached, can corrupt your operating system (yes, even you Mac users…), or feature terrible sound quality. Take the high road and download responsibly.
So, that’s it. Just over 1,000 words. Now, take 2 and call me in the morning.