As a DJ, you want to be heard! You want your sound to be exposed to people either to promote yourself or to simply offer up your musical tastes to others so that they can enjoy the same music you do.
With the explosion of the digital era, DJ’s have never had so many options available to them. Back in the day of mix tapes, DJ’s would spend hours perfecting their DJ set, working out all the best places to mix two tracks together, maybe going over their mix 3 or 4 times before they pressed “record & play” together on the tape deck. Once the mix was recorded onto tape, it was a matter of duplicating it or sending it to the right person with the hope of someone important listing to it. This all moved to audio recorders as mp3 players become more widely available, allowing DJ’s to burn CDs.
These days, we can record directly into our pocket devices and share it instantly at the touch of a button to the entire world. So what options do DJ’s have these days for distributing their DJ sounds and mixes to the masses?
Online Music Players
There are two main players when it comes to uploading your DJ Mixes to the web; Soundcloud and Mixcloud. Both of these tools work very well, with pros and cons for each of them. Many people are on both, so as to maximize their reach, but many simply find their preferred platform and stick with it. Running both platforms isn’t difficult but will certainly be more time-consuming.
SoundCloud – It seems that SoundCloud has been around for a little longer and as such has a few more features built-in. SoundCloud mixes seem to stream a lot faster and as I usually seem to be using a slow internet connection, I find myself using this SoundCloud more.
SoundCloud integrates Social Media very well and has made it very easy to connect with other DJ’s, Producers and also your Facebook friends. SoundCloud has a fantastic app for the iPhone, iPad and Mac which allows you to stream your SoundCloud Dashboard easily; playing the most recent music continuously from those you follow. You also have the ability to make comments on peoples’ tracks and mixes which really does drive engagement. I feel that SoundCloud is the Music version of Facebook. If you simply use SoundCloud to find good music to listen to and stream, then this is an excellent resource.
There is a downside to SoundCloud though, the free subscription gives you a limited allotment of 120 minutes upload time. To upgrade you must pay a monthly subscription fee and the options are as you see below.
Mixcloud – Mixcloud is very similar, yet seems to be lacking some features in usability, such as the ability to download mixes for offline listening. Like SoundCloud, there are ways to share on Facebook and Twitter and there are widgets that you can embed into various pages around the web. Mixcloud allows you to label a track listing and to place track markers where the tracks change from one to another, which is a nice feature. If Mixcloud recognizes the tracks it will offer listeners a chance to buy the track:-
The biggest thing that Mixcloud has going for it is the UNlIMITED uploads. Yes, thats right, you can keep uploading your music at no cost. In order to make some extra money, Mixcloud also gives you the option of promoting your mix at $10 per 1000 people. This places a sponsored ad on the front page of Mixcloud giving you increased exposure and you are able to increase the amount of users you expose to should you wish.
A nice little feature of Mixcloud is that you can upload your playlist right from Traktor or Serato, so you don’t have to type it all out again. See how here.
SoundCloud and Mixcloud are not really designed with podcasting in mind, however, SoundCloud are offering a great podcasting Beta right now, which is for spoken work only. Maybe soon they will bring further functionality?
If you are looking for a true podcasting platform then I would recommend Podomatic.
You have a free option or a pro option for $9.99 a month. The free version offers you limited storage and bandwidth, but it is enough to get started. Once you have set up your account, uploaded your first episode, with artwork, you get the option to send your podcast to iTunes. Then each time you submit a new podcast it will appear in iTunes. This is a great way to become published and get your work out there.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, Beatport is taking the DJ music industry my storm and is constantly innovating and taking the lead. This can be seen in their recent additions of Beatport Mixes.
As Beatport Mixes is by invitation only at this stage, you must get hold of an invite code. Once you are in possession of this you are able to upload a mix to Beatport. The music you use must be available in the Beatport store, which you then list in the mix. Each track is then promoted and available to purchase separately from the store, or people are able to purchase your entire DJ mix for $5.25 You receive 10% of sales via a paypal account and the more you sell the higher you rise in the DJ ranks and the better chance you have of being featured!
Online Radio Stations
There are a few option out there for broadcasting your shows live online, but one that seems to be popular is MixLR. On MixLR you can link it to your SoundCloud and play a mix directly from there. You can also schedule it to play at a certain time so that it becomes more like a weekly show should you wish.
The other option is to stream live but it there are advanced operations one must do to get this to fully function properly. (stay tuned for blog post on this)
You also have the option of streaming live audio and video through Ustream. People are then able to tune in to your broadcast and watch you mix live too. You can stream right from your iPhone or laptop and hold a conversation in the social window on the sidebar of the Ustream page. There is also a way to get your Ustream to play directly in your Facebook page for ultimate geekery and fun.
If any TraktorTips readers have other great resources to share, please feel free to help other users out in the comments section. I would love to hear any other suggestions that you all have?