7 Ways to Record your DJ Sets
One of the ironies of being a DJ or musician is that you can never really experience your performance like a member of your audience can. That’s why knowing how to record DJ sets is very important.
If you recoil at the idea, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Most people don’t record themselves DJing because either you’re too busy getting on with the set or because you don’t want to hear your work. So, why is it so important to record your DJ sets?
Reasons To Record Your DJ Sets
As a DJ you’re always on a continuous journey of learning and improvement. Forcing yourself to sit down and relive your set through a recording allows you to review your performance. As we mentioned before, it’s hard to understand what your audience experiences when you’re up there performing, but a recorded set allows you the unique ability to critique your DJing, find out what works and, learn from your mixes, transitions and, effects use.
Sharing Your Work
From social media to digital platforms, sharing your creations is a must in today’s digital world. Whether you’re building up an online following of people interested in the way you evolve and develop your tracks or you need some promotional material, getting more and more of your sets recorded gives you the library of audio with which to work. It’s important to note that not all DJ sets should be shared. You should use your discretion here to share the ones that are of the highest quality.
Create an Online Portfolio
It’s not just followers who may be interested in listening to recordings of your DJ sets. Promoters and potential clients may want to know what your style is or just have a listen to a sample of your live work. Putting together mixes of your recorded sets is an excellent way of ensuring your best foot is forwards when networking in the industry. In fact, many club owners won’t even consider booking you without a few mixes to review. So take the extra time and effort to record your sets–even the ones you’re convinced you’ll never use–because you just never know!
How to Record your DJ Sets
You might be wondering why you need to know how to record your DJ set? After all, most DJ software nowadays has a record button that you can simply press. The truth is that this is not always possible or suitable for every particular situation.
Here is a breakdown of the seven ways you can record your sets.
1. Recording your DJ Sets with your DJ Software
As just mentioned, most software programs used by DJs enable you to record music that you own, the audio coming through your microphone or other DJs using your same gear. However, you can’t record music not being run through your program or music from streaming services. So while this is certainly the easiest way to record your sets, it’s not always practical.
2. Record onto a USB Drive
Another way in which you can record your DJ set is by plugging in a USB drive into your DJ gear. Many independently running DJ systems enable you to record your set directly to the USB drive once you’ve plugged it in. Plugin the drive hit record and start DJing. It’s important to note that there are similar limitations in regards to streaming music when you’re using a USB with your DJ software/hardware.
3. Record onto your smartphone
Smartphones are an excellent tool for a good many things, including using them to record DJ sets. While the audio will be recorded in mono, it’s simple and easy to do. So just take a cable from your mixer and use whichever adaptors you need, plug it into the headphone/mic socket of your phone. You’ll probably need to adjust the volume somewhat as well. Even recent phone models that don’t have a headphone socket, can still be used with an adaptor.
4. Using an Audio Interface
Audio interfaces allow you to feed your music and mix from your controller and through the interface and into the laptop using a storage device, such as a USB. Just about any ‘two-in’ interface will work fine for basic DJ set recording and can usually be plugged into your laptop with standard USB-C or Lightning cables (in the case of Macs). Once on your computer, you can then use basic recording software to record. Make sure you set up your interface right from the beginning to prevent issues down the road.
5. Use an Independent Recorder
Standard recorders come in various models and price models. While it might seem like yet another piece of DJ gear whittling away at your funds, they do offer an easy and convenient solution for recording your DJing mixes. Many of these recorders operate by recording the audio onto a card or hard drive that can then be removed and plugged directly into your computer.
6. Recording System for DJ Sets
Similar to an audio interface, dedicated recording systems allow you to record your sets directly to your smartphone or tablet. As a result, these systems usually come with an app for recording and even sharing audio. The best ones are user-friendly and allow you to easily control the volume without risking the audio being clipped. Whilst these systems are particularly good for beginning DJs, there’s no reason experienced pros can’t make use of them either.
7. Using the Pioneer’s DJM REC App
This nifty app also allows DJs who use a Pioneers DJM-Series Mixer to connect their iPhone with a USB-C or Lightning cable and record their sets without the need for any additional audio interface or hardware. It’s an elegant and simple solution but only for iPhone and Pioneer users. If you’re going the Pioneer’s DJM REC App route, make sure that your mixer has the send/return feature as well or you’re going to run into trouble.
Link to more information about the DJM-REC (DJ mix recording)
Link to DJM-REC on the App store.
Find What Works For You
Ultimately, when it comes to recording your DJ sets, you need to find what works best for you and your equipment. You might want to try a few different ways until you work out what allows you the greatest freedom in recording what you want and how you want.
If you’re not sure which method of recording best suits your needs, give the team at DJ City a call. We’re always happy to help you out with any of your questions.