Visual Encyclopedia

Disc jockey

A disc jockey (DJ) is a person who mixes different sources of pre-existing recorded music as it is playing, usually for a live audience in a nightclub or dance club or via broadcasting. Originally, the "disc" in "disc jockey" referred to gramophone records, but now "DJ" is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any sources, including cassettes, CDs, or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. DJs typically perform for a live audience in a nightclub or dance club or a TV, radio broadcast audience, or in the 2010s, an online radio audience. DJs also create mixes, remixes and tracks that are recorded for later sale and distribution. In hip hop music, DJs may create beats, using percussion breaks, basslines and other musical content sampled from pre-existing records. In hip hop, rappers and MCs use these beats to rap over.

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A CDJ DJ.

A CDJ DJ by the name of DJ Hi-C

Contributed by Asa P. Harris

This is the Scratching and Beat Juggling Technique done by a Vinyl DJ operating a DVS system.

Contributed by Asa P. Harris

A DJ, or Disc Jockey is essentially a performer who creates a muscial blend of various songs, in some cases, regardless of genre. However, there is much more to the art of DJing. First, it is important to point out that all DJ's are not created equal, there are many different styles of DJing which each contain there own advantages and setbacks. The primary three schools of modern DJing are Digital DJing, or Controllerism, CDJing and Vinyl DJing. Controllerism employs the use of what is known as a MIDI controller. MIDI Controllers modulate digital music signals to emulate, in many cases, a classic DJ feel. Controllerists use special computer software to store and mix music. Also many controllers come with special buttons that allow one to cue and sync music to create a seamless mix. However some purists in the DJ community find this a faux pas. CDJing is considered a middle ground between Controllerism and Vinyl DJing. CDJ's use music CD's on machines known as CDJ's to mix music together. Their setup usually involves an analog mixer as well, one that includes a crossfader for a seamless transition between songs. Lastly, Vinyl DJing is the cornerstone and the precursor to all other styles. Vinyl DJ's use LP's on spinning turntables and an analog mixer. These DJ's are often highly skilled and employ the use of Turntablism techniques such as scratching and beat juggling to spice up a hot mix. some Vinyl DJ's use what is called a DVS system that allows them to combine the feel of vinyl DJing with the ease of Digital DJing through use of a laptop and special vinyl called "timecodes". In any case, DJ's are the superstars of today's music world. Big name DJ's like Pauly D, Tiesto and David Guetta continue to push the art to exciting new levels which pioneers such as DJ K-Swift, DJ Q- Bert, Mix Master Mike, and DJ Jazzy Jeff inspire these current and burgeoning generations of DJs. Keep that in mind the next time your hear a Disc Jockey on the "1's and 2's."

Contributed by Asa P. Harris

As a DJ for the past 7 years and growing up in a "dj'ing" family, I can honestly say I have never had a single problem with the pioneer cdj-700's!

Contributed by Nick Sinanan

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