• Pari

    I have in mind this setup of DJ controllers and MIDI keyboards and an APC 40 that I want to put together running Ableton and Traktor on the same computer with two screens. Why Ableton? Along with the regular DJing features, I can always add my own impromptu loops, beats, percussions, synths, plucks, pads, and what not (as in play it on the MIDI keyboard live) at that very moment and then tweak it and add it to the output. And with Traktor (with their super cool internal FX) I can get back to DJing the normal way when I don’t feel like doing all that instrumenty stuff. The gear: Behringer DDM 400, Traktor X1 MkII, F1, A6 card, Midi fighter, APC 40 Mk II, Reloop Keypad, Novation Launch Control. I come from a guitar and drums background so yes, sometimes it irritates me to just stand there and listen to the track play while not having to do anything.

    On the other hand…. why is so hard for musicians to understand that for a guitar /bass player or a drummer, those are their instruments. When it comes to electronic music, the whole fucking studio is my instrument.

  • Intrigued

    The simple fact is: ALL MUSIC is produced live…..the only difference between Dude A & Dude B is that one does it on stage, one does it in the studio. The music is still been produced LIVE and IN THE MOMENT.

    It doesn’t make sense to produce over-complicated instruments that can be played on stage, when it may run the risk of ruining the song. Look at your typical rock song. You’ve got a singer, a guitar, another guitar and some drums. Everybody has ONE role. Now look at an EDM artist….who potentially producers (like myself) layer, upon layer of synths, leads, various drum patterns and a sub bass. Trying to develop an instrument that can do ALL OF THIS is a really risking thing for producer to adopt. Perhaps if you had 5-10 people in the band….which typically isn’t the case.

    It’s like comparing chalk and cheese. Two completely different sides of the spectrum…..would you be able to convince a rock musician that producing a track IN IT’S ENTIRETY on Ableton for example would be a better solution for him or her then playing it live. NO You wouldn’t. The same principle applies.

  • Bennyaims

    I been getting into made up on the spot techno progressive style beats and its easily doable just gotta be in touch with your inner emotions and let them do the talking!!! Here is a start of at least a 2 hour set recording keys mapping drums cueing synths recording then dropping them!`
    only uploaded the start so far tracks went a lil longer at the start while i was still just getting my balance of it all

  • Billy Gweebus

    I learned how to do the “studio” part in 1 semester of college. I could be making albums each moth if I had practiced it for another year. That’s how retardedly easy this crap is. I’ve been practicing guitar for 8 years now and I haven’t mastered it. I hate electronic music. I wish people with actual skills made money like some of these so called “artists”.

  • Spasekat

    man do you guys seriously have nothing to write about? DEADMAU5 SAYS THAT DJ’S JUST PRESS BUTTONS! DRAAAMMAAAAAAA. like seriously, there’s dying kids in africa.

  • dotBAT

    Theres something I do when listening to awesome music I like, I put my hands like holding a ball, and expand/shrink/modify that grip in reaction to the music. Thats how id like to perform, with gloves that react to movement and flow and trigger the effects and all that based on your movements. Thats just my idea though :P

  • Ronald Burd

    I am creating solution to this. We are a small company of inventors , engineers, and musicians. Our device will reinvent the live DJ. Specifically for those interested in bass.

  • Fontana

    This is Live as it should be done….old school!

  • james reynolds

    Here’s how you can make it interesting. The EDM artist, after constructing his song in the studio, can learn how to play each part in real time on a keyboard, drum, or guitar….each triggering as many samples as he wants and/or he can hire a band of musicisians to ACTUALLY perform his composition on stage, without any sequencing going on. If you got a drummer and a few percussionists, all playing both acoustic and electronic kits, plus a guitarist, a bassist, and a few keyboard players….and they were all good musicians, you could totally pull it off and it would sound amazing. As an example, go to youtube and search for Skrillex scary monsters cover. you will see covers of that song by real bands full of people playing actual instruments. I find those versions more fun and exciting to listen to than the composer all by himself on stage pushing the play button and jumping up and down while the computer does all the work for him.

  • JC Bissonnette

    I think it just comes down to where you want to focus the majority of your time. Production or DJ’ing. They both have their merits. Myself I really enjoy production. I have a job so my time is focused on production. I guess when the time comes I play in a club I will probably pick some safe effects to add to my sets. I think artists should just concentrate on making music and enjoying the time they do it. If you just hit play but made a kick ass song in the studio or go crazy on the midi controller live that’s your thing as an artist. If the crowd likes it in the end isn’t that what we are looking for?

  • HMMMMM

    This is a very long comment that touches not only on the “DJs press play” debate but the perspective I have gained after attending 50+ shows over the past year. Take it or leave it. I’m not trying to start any kind of sensationalist shit here, just speaking my mind.

    The reason this is an issue to begin with is that many DJs/producers just aren’t capable of playing instruments live. It is NOT because the technology is lacking or any other lame kind of excuse to cover for their lack of live musicianship. What I mean by “playing” is to have the capability and competence to play an instrument in front of a live audience. If you are too afraid of fucking up, it means you haven’t practiced enough. I get it, some people, no matter how hard they try, seem to never learn how to play an instrument. Failing to achieve a higher degree of intimacy with an instrument is the reason a lot of people begin producing electronic music in the first place. A downside of the enabling powers of electronic production is that it has led to the over-saturation of electronic music (as well as the tired debate of “DJs pressing play”), but overall, I see it as a positive thing as it has led to the creation of great music that otherwise may never have found the means to be expressed.

    I don’t really care if all deadmau5 does is push buttons to play a prearranged set, no matter how much he is paid. I don’t care that he claims he is limited by the light show, fireworks, whatever. That’s his thing, but not mine. That’s why I don’t pay to see him.

    When I read an article like this, I am often confused as to what all the fuss it about. If you want to see a live electronic performance then go see a live electronic performance. Off the top of my head: Simian Mobile Disco, Shigeto, Disclosure, Blawan, Modeselektor, Com Truise, Pomrad, Jojo Mayer and Nerve, Mount Kimbie, Jon Talabot, there are more out there! It’s not necessarily that “things should change for the better,” because there already is better out there! The whole issue of *DJs that press play* could dissolve if we all as audience members raise our standards and demand exquisite musicianship. Artists would have to follow suit to keep a fanbase. However, in the digital age, this will never happen on a scale large enough for it to have a real impact. This may seem very pessimistic but it is just a fact when a) it is possible to play good sounds with minimal musical capabilities (i.e. DJing. If you want to argue this, try attaining world-class skill in any acoustic instrument), b) there is simply a widespread lack of music education, and c) music has become so commercial and turned into a product. Music is NOT the only thing riddled with issues like these. The truth is that the majority of people simply either do not understand or do not care about live musicianship. For many, music is just a scene, something to dance to, or a thing that fills the awkward silences when trying to convince a stranger to go to your house and have sex with you. It is hard to understand and it is hard to cope with.

    Often times I think, “how great would it be if everyone stopped accepting all the bullshit (e.g. Swedish House Mafia prerecorded firework mix),” but would it really be that great? In the context of how live music is right now, if I go to a Shigeto concert, I know that there will be a very specific type of audience there. The people who go to see him are very intentional about it. They know exactly who and what they will be seeing. It’s purely about the music; no overly ridiculous light shows, no bras and tutus, and no random people coming up to you every fifteen minutes asking what drugs you have taken. As a result the atmosphere is just much more intimate and finely tuned. I have met my closest friends and created my strongest bonds in this environment. I want to keep it this way, how if I go to see an artist I truly love in concert, I know EVERYONE else around me will share that same love. I don’t want the music I love to become diluted and bloated.

    The flow of information is very expedient these days, and there are plenty of resources to help you find what suits your tastes exactly. Support the artists you love by buying their music (directly from the artist if at all possible), listening to their music, informing others of their music, and seeing their music live. If you find yourself disappointed at an artist during the show, don’t pay to see him/her/them again. However, this can easily be avoided with five minutes research on an artist’s live show before purchasing tickets. As for all the rest, I don’t affiliate myself with them. It is that simple.

  • Pat Walton

    I find triggering and DJ’ing fairly boring unless it’s short fast tracks that keep me interested and on my toes like Glitch hop and Ghetto funk.

    I play live by sequencing channels live in a techno set apply fx, and playing an MS-20 mini live in some of my tracks, it’s difficult, it’s challenging and exhilirating, and totally raw sounding.

    If you are not enjoying what you do live, figure out something more interesting to do, learn more instruments or approach a live performance differently than triggering things.

    It exists, and can be applied to DJing with multiple channels, looping, glitching ETC. People are just afraid to fail, and those that tell you one way to do something or one medium is the only good one, are wannabe cops and insecure about their little mountain of egotistical nothing they have built, end of story.

  • Simon William Kitt
  • Simon William Kitt

    Just one method of doing exactly what deadmu 5 is not.

    There are of course many many more alternatives

    Pitch Black walkthrough

  • Simon William Kitt

    Coldcut, hexstatic, (pitchblack n.z) paul kalkbrenner,imogen heap, leftfield. to be perfectly fair this list could go on for quite a while.

    Just becuase mouse face knober is to lazy to work how to sort out his own over-commercialised brand of borelectro does not mean that ‘ALL’ live electronic artists are just pressing play. This was a totally ego based over generalisation of the entire electronic music scene.

    Just becuase the production/Dj thing still dominates the market i.e you make a hit it go’s viral artist gets dj contracts, dj gets lots of money, dj never attempts to do more then that. does not mean that artists that are intrested in more then blending 2 tracks together are “just pressing play”

    We have the music technology that allows us to do all manner of things live effortlessy, with both visuals and audio, and also quite a lot cheeper then it ever has been before.

    For Example
    In ableton i have 2 sets of 8 stems-

    bass,kick,snare,hihats,perc,chord,melody,fx/rest

    Each stem is a bus for that group of sounds, mixed down

    The 2 sets of stems are wired into my dj mixer with a third channel to route effects through

    I have all the functionality of dj but can do oh so much more then just hit play

    the response from the crowd speaks for itself. I can choose when to go to a break down based on crowd response i can build up the tension in ways never before possible with a rendered down track.

    I have the kick channel routed via midi to trigger one channel of visuals in resolume

    the snare triggers channel two

    and i have the third assignable to what ever channel i want movment from

    I have everything setup to suit my individual needs which is really whats important.

    im so bored of hereing people moan about laptops it’s almost as though they don’t care about the music anymore. urrr he’s using a laptop moan moan urrr. This music im listening to must be un-compelling urrr moan moan. ITS MUSIC MORONS you feel it not observe and complain about how that music has been deliverd (deadmau tracks excluded here)

    POWERFULL LAPTOPS = single biggest advancement in live music going OK.

    Don’t blame technology on a lack of inspiration and creative drive.

    I am not one to criticise any one for how they choose to deliver an audio/visual based performance. I care more about there choice of quality, emotion, showmanship and how well they have thought out there set.

    You no what the real problem is today? to much choice in that people
    have so many options open to them it’s confusing

    work out what you want to achive via objective goals and K.I.S.S

    So Shut your beak, deadmau and keep your sweeping over-generalisations
    to your self

    thanks.

  • StrangAcoustico

    This whole genre is as bad (or worse) than “boy bands” who just dance, play no instruments, and can’t even sing without computer enhancement.

    • Simon William Kitt

      Erm ok so all electronic dance music can be concidered one genre can it?

      Perhaps if your as ignorent as you clearly are it would be prudent to avoid

      posting up judgmental comments based on something you clearly no nothing about

  • ESG1

    AarabMuzik….watch him press buttons…..dude is sick

  • e

    just check out Meat Beat Manifesto’s live setup. not everyone can pull it off. end of debate.

  • Dr.R. Clavan

    I loathe dj’s. They’re obnoxious pricks thinking they’re god because they can press they play button. I loathe the people buying tickets for such events even more. Why would any sane person pay so much money to see someone press a button and listen to awful awful noise (boom boom boom boom).

    • Simon William Kitt

      In this over rhetoricalised world i guess one of the main reasons for dancing to hypnotic repetitive music, would be that whilst in that joyful, ecstatic state. Were not thinking about people like you fucking the world up around us. It’s an escape that allows people to connect with each other in ways you may never understand.
      Would you go up to a tribe of africans and ask them why are they bothering to bang out those awful boom boom drum noises? proberbly not. Your perception of sanity is biased by your own cutural ignorence

  • http://www.facebook.com/SinDiggins Sin Diggins

    The Dude comparison is awesome, lol.

    A lotta people at dj/edm shows dont understand what the DJ is doing while using a bunch of controllers because they know nothing of those specific controllers and can’t imagine how it works or is being played – they showed up to enjoy the show/music. As a fan with keen interest, I’m a bit confused myself when I watch “controllerists” at work – I simply continue to wonder what sounds are being triggered depending on the complexity of the mix (along with their setup, hardware and software included). It all sounds great but i’m not sure what they’re doing.
    As opposed to a good turntablist who even though makes some crazy technical scratching/xfader manipulation and other tricks, it looks hard to do but the viewer is able to connect sound with the movement of the dj while doing his routine/tricks. The turntables/CDJs and mixer are much more common for DJ shows (lol) and have been since the 70s (perhaps prior to that actually). The same applies to the guitar player on stage while singing his tune – the viewers are then already familiar with The Dude’s guitar because they have seen and heard it played many times before (by different other people, not necessarily just The Dude). Once the Dude shows up with a Launchpad and starts finger playing music, it may confuse people that have never seen it in their lives. BUT WHO CARES, THEY’RE ONLY HERE TO ENJOY THE SHOW, SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND PERHAPS HOOK UP (lol). It’s simply harder for the average-joe to connect with an instrument they’re not familiar with and that’s been part of popular culture for a short while (10 years??).

    The point i’m tryin to make is that with “controllerism”, it is harder for the viewers/audience to connect with the “music playing” experience brought to them by the performer. Although they are very reactive to and entertained by the music being played, it seems they only enjoy the “music listening” aspect of the show – which is fine by all standards. It all depends what the artist him/herself is trying to convey on stage.

    They are just too many products out there for the average crowd to understand. With the guitar example of The Dude, lets say we go back to the 60s (bob dylan era where he stood on stage by himself with harmonica and guit), EVERYONE in the audience knew what the guitar and harmonica were back then. So when Dylan goes from playing the guitar and singing to playing the guitar and harmonica together – you/the audience gets a clear understanding of what is going on. Now, our culture is one that evolves extremely fast as far as technology goes and controllers are coming out on the market at staggering intervals – perhaps comparable to the production of guitars or harmonicas in the 60s and even faster.

    What are the chances of audience members knowing/being aware/understanding what a Novation LAunchpad or Ableton Push does (what sound is loaded on which pad??) while their favorite DJ/EDM is playing great music? I really don’t think the audience cares about all that technical stuff – it’s just us dj/edm/controllers fans that try to understand what’s going on in the dj booth. I think this will remain a topic of discussion but the future is still unknown in this ever evolving field!!!! Customization is the name of the game now – make everthing fit your own needs – and honestly the options are endless (especially if you’re curious and handy yourself)!! All that matters is the music and energy being thrown around during any given show… period!

    I believe that we’re in the GOLDEN AGE OF MIDI CONTROLLERS lol. In 20 or so years, all these companies making software and hardware will eventually merge into a few that make the best equipment. By that time, they’ll be a new thing altogether that will have us blogging about. Therefore, things will b more standarized as far as controllers go. Just my opinion :D

    GREAT ARTICLES GUYS!!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! :D

    CHEERS!

  • djeclectic

    If you crate music your a producer. If you mix music your a dj. To all them fakers, I say boo… Get off the stage.

  • basshead

    i love live sets and is sometime the determining factor when choosing to go to a show. if you want to see someone play a true live set, go watch Sub Focus “live set”. there arent any mixers or cdjs from what I’ve seen. a truely talented individual. Pendulum and prodigy are also amazing during a live set. ive never cared for deamua5e. he literally hits the play button during his sets. he drags out the entire 8 mintues of the song. i dont consider myself a fan although i like a few songs, but i can at least say that he appears to be good to his fans.

  • Rave47

    Funny how history repeats itself. The problem Deadmau5 is talking about is caused by shows and concerts too big, too elaborate and just too much, so much that it has shifted the focus of the crowd away from the music. Now that’s a problem.

    Back in the seventies, they had the same issues; Bowie, Pink Floyd, Genesis, all great acts that pushed their live shows bigger and flashier, adding more lights, more effects, more drama, without realising that it all came in the expense of the music.

    Remember Pink Floyds “The Wall”? the album and stage show that followed, has been written from the same place Deadmau5 is currently at, they feel a wall is being raised between them(the artists) and the crowd. They actually built and tore down a wall in the shows, Deadmau5 only have his big fluffy head.

    So, the problem remains, how does an artist preform his music live, how does he keep the audience interested in the live shows, and on top of it all, how the hell is he supposed to make money out of it while maintaining his entegrity as a musician? Well my friends, that’s some of the shit you’ll encounter upon commercial success, substance abuse is more than often the favourable choice too deal with those problems. As for the live shows? well, history tells us that the live shows of “The Wall” were so expenssive that the label pulled the plug after about 30 shows and hundreds of thousends of dollars lost., so maybe that’s what Deadmau5 should do, blow all of his labels’ money on a freak of a show, and then start over small.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.incantalupo Daniel Incantalupo

    Plain and simply there is an actual skill to mixing records and scratching without relying on BPM counters and locking techniques that does all this for you (more so in a mixing sense) If a person bought a ticket to see the NY philharmonic play and when they showed up all of the people in the orchestra had there instruments attached to robots as they just sat back and bopped there heads well this would not be much of a performance . Is a D.J. still a D.J. if there are not actually mixing records ???- Sure they are I mean a pilot is still a pilot if they have auto pilot on – but there not flying no plane. You can bring enough loops and samples and everything else but if your not mixing records and having your hand on that pitch control with the ability to sense the mix being on or off (the actual skill) you can consider yourself an imposter. Back in the day when Sasha , John Digweed , Paul Van Dyk and so on performed -They were actually mixing records and did not have the ability for tech gear to do it for them and guess what???? If they were train wrecking all over the place no one would go and see them and if they did they would not think highly of them as a d.j. and it was because there skill of seamless mixing that got them gigs. Yes there productions were stellar but if they were train wrecking with great songs still they would not have the following they have today. Bring back the old school and make people realize the truth . Here is my sound cloud page with my first written track and a set that is actually mixed without all the B.S. (No cheating help) Scratching in two segments as well – Enjoy https://soundcloud.com/daniel_incantalupo

  • Dave

    Being a DJ takes skill and Producing songs from nothing takes skill.
    If I were to make a live set, id render all my stems to a .wav file WITHOUT any of the automations in it and I’d tweak the knobs live and id add new samples and shit and remix it live. Who doesn’t live hearing their favorite song ina new light?

  • suckitJoel

    The more Deadmau5 fans hang out around the mainstage the more fun the rest of us have elsewhere trying to perfect that whole counting to four thing….

  • dr

    Funny to land on this after todays Beyonce lip syncing news. Backing tracks, bands re-doing live records in the studio. Everything is all smoothed out today and even the geezers fix their ancient records–Yeah, Jeff Lynne. Why? Anyway, I’m not a button pusher. But I know some who make great live music filling the room with emotion. It doesn’t matter how it happens, just make it happen (don’t practice scales forever or beat matching :) ) It’s All The Way Live, Lakeside, Dayton, Ohio.

  • J

    Producers are musicians. Dj’s are not musicians they play music not knocking that but let’s get it straight

  • Not_Sean

    Well what you think of this than.. All drums and voices handles by me (DJ) All electro sounds recorded and looped by me, all made by the guitarist live..

  • Kelvin Beats

    I get what the argument is about and what not, but like honestly I don’t think it’s a big deal. Performing live (pressing play) I don’t think is a huge disappointment for the fans of EDM. Because I honestly believe it’s not about, hey is my favorite EDM artist actually re-creating these sounds live, it’s about seeing your favorite artist in front of you, seeing the light show, hearing those songs they spent days to create on loud speakers, being in the crowd, and just having a memorable experience. That’s what I think they care about.

  • Razorblade Smiles

    I love dj’ing with my Maschine, Axiom and a microkorg. I also have a guitar. The best thing about using programs like Traktor, and Virtual DJ, is that it’s so easy to improvise over the tracks you are mixing and DJ’ing, because the programs tell you what key it is. I’m trying to add a live drummer to the line-up — I played one show with a live drummer, but kept it to the same BPM for the most part — but I definitely want to experiment a lot more with all of that, without having to pre-plan a set too much.

    I would love to see the next wave of dj’ing definitely definitelyy a lot more live “traditional” instrumentation. It’s awesome — a fusion of sorts.

  • Nissar

    just make music… love it… appreciate it… and give it your all.

  • Nissar

    Personally I don’t think there’s a problem…. just a matter of preference… as for the button pushers… just make sure you are creative and genuine when you push that button. Do it with passion. with confidence… that you pushed that button right on cue. And you pushed those buttons in such a way that you gave the audience their money’s worth… you put your heart and soul in what you do so you make sure they hear it man.

    As for the others…. the djs, the mashup artists… controllerists… that is so hard to do… much respect… y’all have so much talent and love for music,… that is why you get mad. But don’t ever measure your success based on what others are doing… make sure that when you do what you do… you do it honestly and passionately…. Because one day we will evolve… what will we leave behind and what will we evolve to.

  • Automated Trouble

    Me being a producer and have created electronic music I do see the point of maybe people saying that we just press play on stage but if you went to see a traditional DJ on stage like DJ clue or Qbert would you not say that this is a live performance of him mixing.
    I take it like this you go see Bassnectar his set is totaly live, he takes his music that he created and morphs it into a mix that he spins live for a sound that is original to that particular venue. Now seeing someone like Bassnecter is very different than say Steve Aoki who relly just presses play and runs around. there is a big difference, any way live is live and you can’t beat the sound the presents and the crowds that only come from a Live EDM show

  • Jeremy

    Everyone’s missing the point. The reason why dance music isn’t live is cause most producers aren’t actually able to play an instrument. They can punch in notes and basic chords, or use randomising functions etc, but they cannot actually play a keyboard. fact.

  • maxwell

    i actually diagree with the deadshitmau5 and i hate his music so much its just unexpressive some uncordinated melodies.plus he is unfaithful for what made his name big so f*** him

  • Slenderman

    It is simple. The new kinds of instruments that these “DJs” need is some sort of double-midi controller. I mean one that you can personally map out to cue your pretty lights AND a loop, one shot, or whatever at the exact same time. There would be no need for FOH at all, and DJs could have complete control over visuals and music. Also incorporating Drum machines (NO SEQUENCERS!!!!) and big synths to literally play the way it was written in the studio would make a live EDM show very compelling. I believe that EDM stars are either too afraid to mess up, or just too lazy to map out individual one shots and frequencies to a synth/drum machine and bring it to a show. That is all. Just be a musician. also nobody hate deadmau5, he is obviously the biggest troll on the face of the planet and we can’t feed the trolls.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottnunan Scott Nunan

    keep in mind live acts such as Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Prodigy, etc were doing this before the technology was so advanced. hopefully we will see a come back of live sequencing and electronic bands, for example miike snow :)

  • Arizona

    Pendulum used to put on a great live show, taking DnB to the live stage with live instruments…..until they became Knife Party….

  • sonicwolf22

    All this “Deadmau5 is horrible” stuff is so annoying. I like Deadmau5, i like all Dj’s. When people are at a rave or at a club, the audience don’t know what is going on behind the scenes and they really don’t care, as long as people are having a good time. So can you guys please stop arguing and saying Deadmau5 is horrible. I am 12 years old and i am more mature than some of you

    • pkhjbkbhj

      lol I agree with you !

  • Max Yankov

    Last saturday I went to live show by Eskmo. I’ve gone to a lot of live perfomances by DJ/Producers; some, like Pictureplane (that I simply love) aren’t exactly in EDM territory and often include singing in their live shows. But Eskmo simply threw it out the window — he not only sang, he even did real recording on stage, ripping pieces of paper and shredding plastic bottles to record percussion loops and then manipulate them.

    In my book, he totally didn’t “just press play”.

  • Kyle

    This whole debate seems kind of ridiculous. Not because it’s not interesting or because there isn’t anything to be learned from it (there is), but that it seems like the reason DJ’s have a job in the first place is to play stuff they wouldn’t be able to or otherwise can’t be performed. There’s no performance involved in making EDM so how can anybody ask these producers to step up and be musicians?

  • Theo Void

    This is largely an academic discussion. Only “producers,” and “Dj’s” actually care about what the guy onstage is doing. The vast majority of the crowd have no idea whats happening behind the decks, or in the cube, or in the fucking spaceship. lol . They are there to dance and get down to songs they know! (And do drugs) Though the amount of people producing and getting into writing EDM these days is growing. Meaning there are more and more academics. But I play quite a bit of shows and the majority of the dancers are non-producers! Plus, Deadmau5 could be doing anything up there. No One can see though, so why does it even matter? He’s literally inside of a cube. All u see is the mau5 head! He could be jacking off to gay porn up there and people wouldn’t know the difference. Bu the point is, non-producers probably think he’s creating all these sounds “live.” The only reason we care so much is because we know whats really going on. I mean damn, he could at least throw a fucking beat repeat on the master or SOMETHING!! But ya, at the shows I play I’m not in a fucking spaceship hovering above the crowd while blinding seizure inducing lights create a barrier. I’m usually on a table, crowd level, out in the open. They can see my controllers and all the flashing lights on them! I do the old exaggerated knob turn and all that but I AM at least affecting the track by turning said knob. So for this reason I like to put on a show as best I can in this scenario. Also, its about ME too. I dont wanna just launch warped/synced tracks one after the other. How f’n boring would that be. My mapping allow me to besically remix it all live. Its fun for everyone. I like Deadmau5. His music is a bit over-rated but I dig it. I read the interview and I dont think what he said was that terrible. People are acting like he gave away our secret. Like he’s revealing the magicians’ methods. Well, I’m sure everyone can see that we are in fact just pushing butons. Not really a secret.

  • radiofreebc

    Great discussion. I’m on both sides of the fence on this one. I have a background that forces me to be, so maybe I can weigh in a bit.

    First of all, I grew up as a musician, and it’s been a part of who I am since I was a kid. I played trumpet in high school, and then in a pretty successful ska band for 6 years. We toured, recorded, and did what bands did…played LIVE music in front of crowds. We were as organic as it got. No samples, no click, no loops…just 6 guys with instruments playing everything live. We did play one house track, but we did it live…with me playing the beat live on a keyboard. Nothing sequenced.

    In about 2000, we started losing our gigs to DJ’s…in a big way. Most bands that hadn’t made it in a big way found it really hard to get gigs. Club owners could pay DJ’s less, and most people just wanted to hear familiar music anyways…so they really kicked our asses. We couldn’t compete, and because dinosaurs.

    We eventually went back to our day jobs…and called it quits. I kept playing music, but I became a bedroom producer, and now my trumpet is a keyboard, Ableton Live and an APC40. I’ve kept up with music though. I love EDM and I love seeing it progress. I think some of the producers are amazing, and I even think some of the performers are amazing. People like Araab Musik & A-Trak really push it…and lots of the DJ’s/remixers do some pretty awesome stuff. I love Z-Trip, Bassnectar, and I even like Deadmau5.

    When I left the band, it happened that my day job was as a video/theatre producer, and I’ve spent the last 10 years in that world. This is the other side of the fence for me…and it’s a perspective I think we’re kind of forgetting…the other side of this argument is performance as well. Just because it’s not music, doesn’t mean it’s not art.

    I went from being on stage with a trumpet in my hand, to being in the booth running videos and lights…and it was a natural progression. From that perspective…I finally realized that what the techs were doing in the shadows while I was onstage was just as artistic as what I was doing. It’s just not as appreciated, because people “get” music. I’ve found that the average person thinks we just wave a magic video wand, and movies appear. The process is so abstract, and the performance aspect was never done from a stage…it was always from a booth, with lots of gear that wouldn’t make sense on a stage.

    But, as time as passed…that line has blurred. The technology has gotten to the point where you can run lights/video from the same gear you use to make music. I use an APC40 with both Ableton, and Modul8. It’s just as musical with both. In fact, I think Modul8 might even be a bit more “musical” sometimes.

    In the last couple of years, I’ve been lucky enough to work on show visuals for some pretty big names, and I worked in a big, technically sophisticated nightclub as a VJ for a summer…and I consider my time doing that to be the most creative period of my life.

    I spent days online looking for interesting loops and clips, and built a massive library of samples I could play. When I played, I was actually onstage with the DJ’s most of the time, due to the layout of the club. We’d setup side by side, and both of us were dancing, playing MIDI instruments, and bringing people a show.

    Together, we coordinated a lot. We’d talk and figure out where we were moving in the set, we’d MIDI stuff back and forth, and sometimes clips would become part of the show (some clips had audio). A lot of the time, people actually thought I was the DJ…because I actually had more live interaction with my gear than most DJ’s. I’d be switching lights and videos every beat, and they’d be changing a track every couple of minutes. I’d be banging away, and dancing…and they’d be drinking.

    Again, I really think this whole argument missed one big point…and that’s the fact that these LD’s and VJ’s are doing some amazing stuff that people are really into..and they’re artists that deserve some recognition. Sure, Deadmau5 might just press play…but I wonder what his video/lighting guys are doing? I know a lot is over MIDI…but there’s a lot of finesse to video/lighting. Not everyone can do it…in time with music. It takes skill and vision. I really think people in the music business rely heavily on video and lights, but they don’t treat it as an equal art.

    Let’s face it, most people go to see Deadmau5 because of the show…not just because of his music. I’m sure there are diehard fans who love every song, but the main reason he even stood out in the beginning wasn’t his music…it was the visual gimmick of his mau5head, combined with some slick graphics, and a good name. His music is great, but his show is even better…IMO. He shouldn’t disrespect the fact that he isn’t playing every note live…he should shine a light on all the other aspects of his show that make it special.

    So, instead of throwing musicians under the bus, he should have taken the opportunity to give some respect to his video/lighting/staging techs…who are every bit as talented and creative as he is. He’s the one in the spotlight, but there are lots of people in the shadows holding that spotlight for him.

    As a musician…I don’t mind sharing the spotlight…it’s deserved. My band didn’t have LED walls and 3D graphics at our shows back in the day…but I wish we did, because it would have made for a better show.

    I think there will be a day when you’ll see these people right up on stage with the DJ’s…I had a taste of it in the club I worked in, and it makes sense. We are performers…and one day, the VJ will be right up there…maybe even wearing a stupid animal helmet.

    You know, I was sweating at the end of every gig…I think I rocked harder as a VJ than I did as a trumpet player. I have respect for both sides, and think it’s great that the musicians can sequence some stuff, so that the show can become something more than the sum of its parts.

  • Love Holmgren

    I think it would be great if you could control stuff like cutoff, release, glide, etc in your Great Song with the knobs on your mixer.

  • Love Holmgren

    I think it would be great if you could control stuff like cutoff, release, glide, etc in your Great Song with the knobs on your mixer.

  • analogstuffonly

    i really like mr. c´s response to the topic, its the definition of spot on.

    http://pulseradio.net/articles/2012/06/mr-c-on-deadmau5-complete-wanker

  • Blendobass

    I am sorry but if its so easy how come if find it much easier to write a song on guitar than do a dj set ? Also how come I can see 12 djs in a couple nights and only one or two blow me away… there is always lots going on durning a DJ set, and as much as I love Deadmau5 music he makes on his computer in the studio, I find these kind EDM “fakes” that have a whole show and play their hits the sad thing… I respect bassnectar for instance because he is mixing on the fly bending stuff, making stuff. It is cool. I think Deadmau5 admitted he has no clue about the (at least where I live) west coast bass parties and what they really are what a dj is here. I would like to see Deadmau5 get up there and play a crowd that isn’t into his music or a vibe that just doesn’t suit it and see him try to dj for real

  • Blendobass

    I am sorry but if its so easy how come if find it much easier to write a song on guitar than do a dj set ? Also how come I can see 12 djs in a couple nights and only one or two blow me away… there is always lots going on durning a DJ set, and as much as I love Deadmau5 music he makes on his computer in the studio, I find these kind EDM “fakes” that have a whole show and play their hits the sad thing… I respect bassnectar for instance because he is mixing on the fly bending stuff, making stuff. It is cool. I think Deadmau5 admitted he has no clue about the (at least where I live) west coast bass parties and what they really are what a dj is here. I would like to see Deadmau5 get up there and play a crowd that isn’t into his music or a vibe that just doesn’t suit it and see him try to dj for real

  • Davinrock

    I don’t think I would want to see lip syncs or hear backup tracks or play button DJ’s…”Unless” There’s a room full of pretty women singing and swaying having and spreading a good time…Like I happened to catch at a Bare Naked ladies show in Dallas last night. It’s like I care, I mean I really, Really care! But. “not that much”…keep dancing and singing girls…If pushing play is good enough for you…I’m good enough to push it:)

  • Davinrock

    I don’t think I would want to see lip syncs or hear backup tracks or play button DJ’s…”Unless” There’s a room full of pretty women singing and swaying having and spreading a good time…Like I happened to catch at a Bare Naked ladies show in Dallas last night. It’s like I care, I mean I really, Really care! But. “not that much”…keep dancing and singing girls…If pushing play is good enough for you…I’m good enough to push it:)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=643698124 Nikolai Hansen

    answer is simple, lots of midi keyboards. Ive been playing for two years and im trying to avoid traktor and cdjs because of the “press play” aspect. hence im learning the piano and learning the shit out of that software. check out my vid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MF-WDLM51I

  • Nexuz319

    Personally speaking, i would love to skip having to quip on my thoughts about what the article states since im sure everyone has done so already (and will possibly keep doing so) and, instead, ill focus on the last questions asked: “how would you play live?”

     Hmm…to think about it, i would prefer to follow the example of The Flashbulb and Squarepusher, combining an actual instrument (not a computer) into a live setting, by using my Bass Guitar or a piano as the main lead in a song while the rest is either pre-made or playing in an easy method (drum machine with sequencer running in a loop perhaps?). 

     Another way would be to have the different pieces there and just “play” them while live, heres and example: i would love to take a 303 (or 303 clone) with a drum machine and play live with that…will it be good? it might, if i decided to practice and learn to use them both well enough that i can indeed play a live show with them. 

    Another, more theoretical example: take a multi-voice (an preferably, multi-timbral) synthesizer, a drum machine, some extra things if desired, and use them live…like, playing the drum machine pre-made sections while playing the synth LIVE.

     To the previous “live” setting, many alterations can be made, like including a computer with a good midi controller (like a launchpad or APC40) or, instead, using an MPC or similar item to trigger and loop pre-saved sounds…

     Sure i have used the words pre-loaded alot, but, as its already been described in the article and by others, most of EDM is premade stuff put into other stuff to be played later…that may be the worst description ever made but at least its has some truth (i think).

     All in all, i believe that an artist should be an ARTIST and not a jukebox…MAYBE i can make one of the best songs in the world in terms of sound and production, but from a personal standpoint, if i am going to play that live, id prefer to make the live setting interesting by using different methods, equipment and techniques…its always been a personal law of mine that:

     “if i wanted to listen to the track the artist made, but its the same track as i have in my mp3 player of choice, id rather stay home…but if the artist presents the track in a new way i havent heard before, it piques my attention…” 

     What can make good music great is how the artists uses what is at hand to make something that is creative and interesting…having a million instruments doesnt help when you cant make good music…i think that being limited is, in fact, better than having everything. Only having a keyboard and drum machine forces you to be creative in how to use them well, instead of just trying to get something good by luck or accident. 

     I hope my thoughts help…and i apologize if im being a nuisance, but a question was asked that i found interesting and i answered…cheers! :D

  • RageHappy

    well take the midi fighter 3d, useing the moton track and put that in a joy stick for computer game for airplanesor whatever, and have it to where the joy stick triggers diff notes for synths with the rotation tracker pressing the trigger for one of the four button combos and having buttons to switch synths, a set to switch effects, and a set for the actual midi fighter have it for reason or abelton etc… and use it for drum kits and other sounds while having a note repeat functon on it like the pocopoco but instead of poping up at you the leds should light up and having shift buttons to put it back to inst gratification mapping does anyone else think this should happen?

  • http://twitter.com/LAMEBOTMUSIC LAMEBOT

    i don’t think its the tools, i thinks its more having to build tracks in the studio with the intention of adding complexity to a live show… i trigger sounds in ableton with my launchpads, use them for glitch fx, trigger other filters and effects with my audio cubes, record and playback live loops with a mic and foot pedal and have 1 or 2 synths with me to add live sounds to my tracks… granted live the mau5 said, its pretty reliable, but as just a 1 man show, theres a heck of a lot that can go wrong in my set lol only other thing I’m wishing i had right now besides 2 midi fighter 3d’s is a kitara to add live guitar and or just look massively cool playing synths and melodies live for breakdowns 

  • http://www.kpgdjz.wix.com/od Odarwin

    Now the comment “we all hit play” is just so true for a producer DJ. Notice I put the producer in front of the DJ. He put his work (like most) in the studio, the only reason he gets to add DJ to his tittle is because he himself pushes play. Its no big secret that DJ’s just hit play, its all about the timing and selection that makes a great DJ(its what the crowd wants). Deadmau5 doesn’t even know what kind of performer he is. How ever he is very equiped with his own arsenal of loops that he can switch up from venue to venue. One of the greatest things I love about music is that it has its rules, but there are no rules on how you manipulate those rules. A rebels paradise, take it apart and put it back together the way you feel it should. That being said, deadmoa5?s production doesn’t engage his audience personally as if he was working a controler and expessing his sound with an expressive movement(yet). Maybe thats what he’s all pissy about, the fact that the industry realy doesn’t engage its audience. The light show, the novilty mask, the special vitiamins the audience is on. This could be the reason for the need not to get too engaged with the audience. Most of these shows hold thousands and how cool does any performer look playing anything from a football field away?? Bigger than life props light shows and vocal engagement are what drives the shows.
    Now for the birth of the Controllerist Producer (CP) , not to be confised with Disc Jockey/ Producer (DJ). Where there is misunderstanding there is fear of the unknown and when most of us get scared because we are roaming in unfamiliar territory we perk our chest up, get a deep tone and say “we all push play”. Obviously he’s feeling guilty enough to bring it out the way he did. If your reading this and feel what i’m saying don’t be scared any more switch it up to being a CP and drop al that DJ stuff. Disc Jockey, does that even sound like a musicians title to you??? I hope you all are with me on this CP thing, its a title in the making. Lets work tohgether to establish what makes you a CP and invite the world to our open source developments and the rise of EDM

  • Sevenkami

    John Digweed is living proof that DJ’ing can be all about the art of song selection and reading the crowd. He does not need anything but music, which i find way more fascinating than midi-fighters and/or visual effects. 

  • runningoutofspace

    or a combination of whatever you need to help you put on a show!

  • runningoutofspace

    This is also relevant:  @ the F1+Remix Decks party NI kind of slammed Live for not being a DJ product and they actually went after what Live+Live= Bridge tried to do.  So many are just coming around to this idea and are getting their feet wet now, doing these “things” because they really want to perform.   It’s not bad…at one end is the DJ that plays everyone else’s great tracks on wax on the other is an unknown Mastermind millionaire that will design some all hardware performance rig but still be stuck with the fact that he/she needs someone to either push the keys/buttons on time or clock the hardware to playback on time..In the middle is this new capability being pushed out to people to give them the ability to perform in some way so it’s all good.  You can’t line-up 50 people (or robots)  behind hardware electronic instruments like a Maesto so it’s OK to find a showy or naturally creative way to playback your tracks, on wax, digits or hardware.

    Nuff said.

    http://www.runningoutofspace.com

  • runningoutofspace

    You may have different patterns and changes but using Live as the top level control makes the best sense especially if you have sequenced and clocked hardware.  Not everyone just rides it but complete song control requires a focus point and a tested strategy – not just faking over your hits in playback mode. You will always be playing back your tracks, so do DJs but knowing where to go next and how to transition to it takes work. Plus you can session jam to a point of no return and look up and see that no one’s interest so pick the tracks you put in decks or set-up a rig for.  You can’t please everyone.  Ritchie Hawtin appeal helps him gets away with something not many can carry off without criticism.  

    A lot of people have been doing this for years and they know how to put on a show so it’s not like you have to go out and just fake it like Guetta – WTP? (God, there was no movement required)

  • runningoutofspace
  • Brun Balanced

    This is playing Live… real art exists regardless of the tools… 

  • Brun Balanced

    This is playing Live… real art exists regardless of the tools… 

  • Verve888

    It’s pretty simple to me…..Deadmau5 (and the like) are the pop stars of EDM. Like regular pop-stars who lip sync at their shows, these EDM stars button push because they are catering to wide audiences and mass appeal. In short, they are giving the people what they want and those people aren’t complaining. Good for them. Seriously.

    But, like any sort of music, there are also THOUSDANDS of DJ’s – in hundreds of subgenres – playing tiny, sweaty clubs and creating genuine, live art. Whether you’re playing old-shool hip-hop via vinyl, creating live remixes or mashups via controllers, or mixing some deep house on CDJ’s……it’s all good! I’m so tired of the DJ style wars. First it was vinyl hating on CD’s, now it’s CDJ’s hating on controllerism or the use of the sync button in creating multi-layered compositions or live remixes, the point is, as long as your creating something unique and artistic live – and the crowd is digging it – then it doesn’t really matter how you get there!

    So everybody should just drop the pretension, stop ignoring the past, stop fighting the future, and stop judging…..because somewhere out there Kool Herc is looking at all of this and shaking his head.

  • http://twitter.com/willdivide Will Divide

    I love the topics you guys go over. I just wanna see dudes rip the stage and its posers to shreds.

  • taxablefern

    I perform live by mixing and combining songs unlike people have heard. I can understand big names just playing “their” song, but I have lost respect for that. The people who I really respect are those who can produce, and still decide to dj when they get on stage.

  • Calkutta

    wow,what a flame-war….this is a beyond ‘words’ debate…either bring the ‘show’ back in ‘show’,or get some live musicians to perform with you when you tour,like the Roots,Massive Attack,the Herbalizer,Afrika-Bambatta w/ live Clyde Stubblefield….there is always a way to expand ‘performance’…has everyone forgot?

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.zilch Aaron Zilch

    I think the main problem here is the expectation of perfection and the fear of mistakes. A great live performance has an element of danger. The biggest, most professional, and heavily theatrical rock performances still have the potential for mishap. Strings and drum heads break, musicians physically collide, tempos shift. Why is the Mau5, and most everyone else for that matter, so self conscious and scared? If he stretched his wings a bit live and it went poorly for a few minutes, is that really going to destroy his popularity or drop his paychecks? Are his audiences so fickle and unforgiving that a minor trainwreck will kill the vibe for the rest of the show. Is the quest for perfection worth sacrificing that excitement for both the audience and himself?

     Additionally, I think you are missing some MAJOR differences in the paths of our two Dudes. Guitar Dude doesn’t simply buy a guitar and record a song. He most probably spends a year or several learning to play the thing before anything comes out that he feels sounds good. Time is spent learning various playing techniques, music theory, play the great songs others have written (during which you hopefully learn what makes them great), experimenting with gear to develop various tones, and playing with other musicians.

    Then when it comes time to write the song, he doesn’t simply sit down at a computer, hit record, play something, decide it is a part, copy pasta over the whole track, decide it is “done” and thats EXACTLY what you hear on the release: the first time the part was ever played. Instead he figures out his various parts and structure and actually plays them. OVER AND OVER. In fact, before the home recording revolution every musician or band had to actively play their songs EVERY TIME they wanted to work on them or even hear them properly. During that process many things occur. Subtle embellishments and happy accidents are discovered and developed. Tones and effects are continually tweaked. Feedback from fellow musicians/bandmates and live audiences are taken into account. Most importantly the song and the process of playing it become so ingrained that it starts to bypass the conscious mind. During performance the song stops being THOUGHT about, and starts being FELT. 

    Then the recording process begins and there is further tweaking, guidance from experienced engineers and producers, and many more repetitions of ACTIVELY INTERACTING with the song till it feels “right”.

    With the current technology we are no longer regulated to writing solely through shuffling little boxes around on a screen, or forced to lock down our tempos and tones. The tools are there to learn and utilize the lessons of our “traditional” musician forebears to make our shows more exciting, and our music more emotionally resonant and less disposable. It’s just a matter of putting in the TIME on the WORK and getting beyond the fear and anxiety inherent in expectations of perfection. 

  • Mannychacha

    Well i really like EDM specially house music and Dubstep, i’m a producer too. It’s been a long time ago i was thinking about that thing, going live with EDM but it’s kind of not possible but exclude some genre in EDM i think Dubstep it’s this kind of music that can go live, like 2 men band, one playing drum and the other just mix and remix the bass synth and stuff, i think it could be great…

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.zilch Aaron Zilch

     “Its a super redundant system, and more importantly its reliable as FUCK! ..and thats as “live” as i can comfortably get it (for now anyway)”

    I think the main problem here is the expectation of perfection and the fear of mistakes. A great live performance has an element of danger. The biggest, most professional, and heavily theatrical rock performances still have the potential for mishap. Strings and drum heads break, musicians physically collide, tempos shift. Why is the Mau5, and most everyone else for that matter, so self conscious and scared? If he stretched his wings a bit live and it went poorly for a few minutes, is that really going to destroy his popularity or drop his paychecks? Are his audiences so fickle and unforgiving that a minor trainwreck will kill the vibe for the rest of the show. Is the quest for perfection worth sacrificing that excitement for both the audience and himself?

     Additionally, I think you are missing some MAJOR differences in the paths of our two Dudes. Guitar Dude doesn’t simply buy a guitar and record a song. He most probably spends a year or several learning to play the thing before anything comes out that he feels sounds good. Time is spent learning various playing techniques, music theory, play the great songs others have written (during which you hopefully learn what makes them great), experimenting with gear to develop various tones, and playing with other musicians.

    Then when it comes time to write the song, he doesn’t simply sit down at a computer, hit record, play something, decide it is a part, copy pasta over the whole track, decide it is “done” and thats EXACTLY what you hear on the release: the first time the part was ever played. Instead he figures out his various parts and structure and actually plays them. OVER AND OVER. In fact, before the home recording revolution every musician or band had to actively play their songs EVERY TIME they wanted to work on them or even hear them properly. During that process many things occur. Subtle embellishments and happy accidents are discovered and developed. Tones and effects are continually tweaked. Feedback from fellow musicians/bandmates and live audiences are taken into account. Most importantly the song and the process of playing it become so ingrained that it starts to bypass the conscious mind. During performance the song stops being THOUGHT about, and starts being FELT. 

    Then the recording process begins and there is further tweaking, guidance from experienced engineers and producers, and many more repetitions of ACTIVELY INTERACTING with the song till it feels “right”.

    With the current technology we are no longer regulated to writing solely through shuffling little boxes around on a screen, or forced to lock down our tempos and tones. The tools are there to learn and utilize the lessons of our “traditional” musician forebears to make our shows more exciting, and our music more emotionally resonant and less disposable. It’s just a matter of putting in the TIME on the WORK and getting beyond the fear and anxiety inherent in expectations of perfection. 

  • Chazzdee03

    I have a challenge for you joel why dont you do a live set using dj hero

  • http://www.desiredisco.com/ Matt

    I’ve been a digital DJ for YEARS!!! I used to play Serato when CDJ’s were only just making a big name for themselves.

    I’ve always had people moaning that using a laptop is “cheating” get over it, using the laptop is GREAT! :o)

  • Gnarley Sh33n

    S-I-M-P-L-E solution. These superstar DJ’s have put in the hard work in the studio to make bangin’ tracks and when “live” al;l they do is push play, right? Well I had a similar problem when I’m DJing my club night, then it dawned on me…

    I CONTROL THE LIGHTING!!! I’ll hit play on TRAKTOR and let “pumped up kicks” remix play for about 4 or 5 minutes but while its playing I’m activating the strobe, blasting the siren, puffing smoke, lasers and my favorite, totally cut everything off just before the drop and then blast it all back on when the drop hits.

    The FOH might be apprehensive about letting no-name djs mess with lighting, I’m lucky to have a good relationship with the owner, but the fact remains its FUN AS HELL and I get as much of a reaction from controlling lights as I do dropping the next song.

    PERFORMING “LIVE” AS AN EDM DJ DOESN’T HAVE TO BE ABOUT SOUND!!!!!!!!!! Hit play. We all do it. But when the song is playing work the lights, smoke, siren, strobes, etc. It’ll give you plenty to do and lots for those attending to talk about! 

    You want DJs to perform live then they need to control their own light show! 

  • maximum badness

    I think when people start talking about djs not being creative or live as they say. Its the end of the Dj in the spot light n the beginning. Of the interest. In live performers. As in bands .as with everything. Things come n go n I think this edm rock star fad has peaked.

  • Shujimasago

    Kraftwerk said “By pressing down a special key,it plays a little melody.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/bluecollarprophet Jim Wilcox

    I personally believe Deadmou5 is just being an ass as usual… saying what he thinks and making an uproar.  He’s pretty good at it if you look at his history.  Although i’m not a fan of most of his music (i like a few tracks) i think he is an excellent producer and quite a smart person if you look at everything he does objectively. (creating his latest uproar has givin him and his new record a TON of publicity).

    Now for me, i’ve  recently retired my 1200′s to my studio.  Sold my 57sl, bought the Kontrol S4 (thanks ean for having a hand in creating that, and your map is fucking amazing) and am now combining 2 F1′s into the mix. Trust me, the ammout of shit i’ve gotten from all my friends (turntablist’s) has been endless haha but hey I started on vinyl and now I’m just progressing with technology.
    Now mind you, of the 4 nights i play out most (if not all) people have NO IDEA i’m remixing tracks right in front of them using the F1′s for Production and the S4 for Accapellas but hey I’M HAVING FUN and at the end of the day people that is ALL THAT MATTERS.As a Perfect example for this i would like to point out that up until december of last year i was a drummer for a Punk/Ska/Reggae band for 15 years.  Now in that bands beginning everyone told us “your never gonna make it if you don’t stick to 1 genre”.   Did we listen, NO, did we go on to get signed to a Major label, tour the world, release 6 albums world wide and have the best “20′s” a group of guys could ask for? YES WE DID :)

    Please people, at the end of the day just do what you love and don’t worry about other people ok.  All that matters is that you are having a good time, and people like Ean and his team at DJTT are striving on the daily to push the boundaries of what we ALL want to do, which is have fun!!!
    Cheers everyone.
    JIM

  • KHX

    I would like to do similar sessions as Jazz players with EDM material but we are 1% along the path there. The interesting thing is that most traditional jazz instruments are not that complex but the complexity arises from the musicians mastering the instrument beyond what was the original idea of the instrument.

  • Lblaq

    Please deadmau5 is nothing without his helmet. Edm is about being creative using whatever tools are available to date. I respect old school vinyl heads as much as I do digital dj’s. There is nothing wrong with a sync button as long as you are not playing track for track. Sync is to be used so the time it takes to beat match you use that time to get freaky with the controller! Enough said…

  • dustycrates (dgb)

    Hey all’s I want to know is where  can buy the kit to customize my mpc1000 I was looking the other week and now I know it was djtt who was responsible for it. So yeah hook it up 

  • http://profiles.google.com/kamscnerd Robert Granville

    Guys like A-Trak and Shiftee are already leading the way. The turntable is the greatest instrument of our generation. Leaving it behind is a colossal mistake.

  • http://UncleDJLovesYou.com/ Uncle DJ

    Minority Report…  Get large transparent touch screens that allow the audience to see exactly what the performer is doing.  Custom tailor it the performer’s unique needs and let the creativity flow.  Multiple (large format) touch screens opens up the possibility for multiple performers playing at one time.  This could mean freestyle remixes of every part of… any song? 

  • Rodnay

    Well, For Me I find it hard to tell the difference when an EDM artist go’s on tour with dates that saids Dj sets at some places and performances at others Can somebody tell me the difference?     

  • Ho

    How would I like to perform live? I’ll tell you. Give me a club with walls covered with black plastic bags, a strobe light and so much smoke from the smoke machine that it’s all just a blinking sweaty pit of doom. Add a killasan sound system. Done.

    In the days of old, nobody needed to see the dj/performers, because the music was all that mattered. Nowadays this point has been lost, klubbin has been reduced to an afterschool disco event where how things appear/look matter more than how they sound. Why is that? Has everyone gotten so ADD that they can’t concentrate on anything less than full-scale sensory visual overload and constant FX/beat repeat “live remixing” going on? To me that all sounds like makeup, covering the fact that the tunes of today suck so much that no-one wants to listen to them as they are, and even then you need E and a 10K light show rig to make you feel like dancin..

    And about button pushing, who cares? In the days of old, DJ was the person with the best records, and electronic music concerts were played back from tape.. I think this history should not be forgotten, ever, because there is some deeper philosohics behind this history that made these things special and different from everything else in the first place.

    EDM (wehatever that means) is an orphaned, lost child in 2012..

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been saying this for years… No shit deadmau5, thanks for clarifying

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1253490370 Majesty Williams

    I think Aaraab Muzik is taking performance to a new level by creating the beats live in real time on stage, all of his live performances have had the crowd dumbfounded (which is a good thing) as well as nodding their heads.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Foster/1410024062 Brian Foster

    I say everyone just shut up and dance.  Deadmau5… just shut up and get well paid.

  • Cromagnum

    Ummmm, ya. So, I watched the Orbital and Underworld gigs (mostly for old times sake… And I still love them) but can someone explain to me how what they are doing is any different than what electronic artists are doing today (using an APC 40, Maschine or Launchpad? Sure they have a couple of keyboards and maybe a guitar… that they play once in a while, but mostly they are just triggering programmed samples/keys. In every instance one of the guys is basically running a mixing board (Can you say the APC40 of the the 1990′s?). They are doing exactly the same thing…. triggering samples and mixing them in and out. Are they not?

  • Patrick Henry

    what an idiot. is he implying he only pushes play and that edm djs only push play? what a terrible dj. it’s a dj’s job to mix, blend, chop, and bring in tracks in creative new ways to make a memorable experience.

    also shame on dj tech tools for saying djs ‘rarely get truly live’ because we dont have ‘an instrument designed’ for that. Really? are your turntables and mixer not your instruments? are you not playing live at gigs? are there even any real djs left? son, i am dissapoint.

  • Campark43

    Finger drumming. Expressive, amazing performance range. Example Jeremy Ellis…. youtube

  • Gowers

    artists care,
    audiences don’t

    An electronic live instrument is called a keyboard and it’s variations, often making dance doesn’t require you to play one. This is the only reason you don’t get live acts doing more.

    A guitarist would spend 10-20 years practising and EDM’ers are just too lazy to learn when another kid can do the press thing and smack it with an audience just as good.

    I think deadmau5 is just about spot on and bassnectar can’t really comment his songs are rubbish.

    DJs get offended because the IQ of a DJ is quite low and they can’t discern between a cogent argument about Live EDM and Mixing one record into another of other people creation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevinvillecco Kevin Villecco

    Think back before all the EDM scene. People went out to see their favorite bands, they went to see THEM. “Oh hey, I just saw the Greenday concert (for lack of better example) yesterday, they were awesome!” But really, did they do much else than play the tunes you know and love? People want to see the band they admire from their earbuds, and the songs they heard over and over again. As for EDM shows, I was PUMPED to go see Deadmau5 live with some friends. As a producer myself, I know what I was going into, I understand that he’s synced up with the visuals on the Meowington Hax Tour, and most likely barely did anything but stutter on the 4th beat here and there. But it was still an amazing concert and we all went home satisfied. The point is, even though there are hardworking DJ’s and producers who DO mix the tracks and even may throw in controllerism…the crowd doesn’t really care that much considering you’re there, just playing the songs everyone loves and can dance to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kevinvillecco Kevin Villecco

    Think back before all the EDM scene. People went out to see their favorite bands, they went to see THEM. “Oh hey, I just saw the Greenday concert (for lack of better example) yesterday, they were awesome!” But really, did they do much else than play the tunes you know and love? People want to see the band they admire from their earbuds, and the songs they heard over and over again. As for EDM shows, I was PUMPED to go see Deadmau5 live with some friends. As a producer myself, I know what I was going into, I understand that he’s synced up with the visuals on the Meowington Hax Tour, and most likely barely did anything but stutter on the 4th beat here and there. But it was still an amazing concert and we all went home satisfied. The point is, even though there are hardworking DJ’s and producers who DO mix the tracks and even may throw in controllerism…the crowd doesn’t really care that much considering you’re there, just playing the songs everyone loves and can dance to.

  • djcoolmike

    i think in addition to playing studio made songs they should just create an original piece “live” refer to youtube videos such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A6YeaXb-qY&feature=relmfu

  • djcoolmike

    i think in addition to playing studio made songs they should just create an original piece “live” refer to youtube videos such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A6YeaXb-qY&feature=relmfu

  • Controllers Suck!

    ok… Just because you use Controllers, DOES NOT MEAN that you are DJ’s.. A controller CAN be an instrument, buuuut, once again, it’s just YOU PUSHING BUTTONS!!! Not really different from hitting play on a CDJ…

    When I see a DJ, yes, I would like to see a show, buuuut, I go for the music! If they just wanna hit play and dance around, fuck it… I bet they make WAAAAAY more money than any of you people on here…

    Stop acting like little bitches, and stop acting like what you do is SOOOOO much cooler, and harder than what other people do…

    My left testicle could push buttons on a midi-fighter and make it sound good… WTF..?

    you people are fucking rediculous!!!

  • Controllers Suck!

    ok… Just because you use Controllers, DOES NOT MEAN that you are DJ’s.. A controller CAN be an instrument, buuuut, once again, it’s just YOU PUSHING BUTTONS!!! Not really different from hitting play on a CDJ…

    When I see a DJ, yes, I would like to see a show, buuuut, I go for the music! If they just wanna hit play and dance around, fuck it… I bet they make WAAAAAY more money than any of you people on here…

    Stop acting like little bitches, and stop acting like what you do is SOOOOO much cooler, and harder than what other people do…

    My left testicle could push buttons on a midi-fighter and make it sound good… WTF..?

    you people are fucking rediculous!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/fourtodafloor Willie Peters

    I remember when EDM was about dancing

  • http://www.facebook.com/fourtodafloor Willie Peters

    I remember when EDM was about dancing

    • Controllers Suck!

      EXACTLY!!!

    • Controllers Suck!

      EXACTLY!!!

  • Gmr

     The thing is, even if playing a “real” instrument takes more “skill” at the end of the day its the same. Rockstars in bands are just playing a song that is already written. Theres more or less the same variation in songs. Plenty of bands go on tour and play the same set list over and over. No song selection and not too much risk. The reason they get the gigs are by recording these songs. The way EDM stars like guetta and deadmau5 get the gigs are producing those songs, its all the same really.

  • Gmr

     The thing is, even if playing a “real” instrument takes more “skill” at the end of the day its the same. Rockstars in bands are just playing a song that is already written. Theres more or less the same variation in songs. Plenty of bands go on tour and play the same set list over and over. No song selection and not too much risk. The reason they get the gigs are by recording these songs. The way EDM stars like guetta and deadmau5 get the gigs are producing those songs, its all the same really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeejayBlendrix Deejay Blendrix

    I’ve been making EDM tracks that feature my own guitar work for a while now, and I can say with certainty that they are some of the most unique EDM tracks available. Now, getting to the point where I can take these tracks onto the stage with my guitar, and play the solos live… That is going to be the hard part. 

    I currently use Traktor to do all of my DJing, but I’ve come to grips with the fact that I will probably need to transition to Ableton Live for performing my tracks live, so that I can integrate my guitar’s live signal into the mix in a way that retains the tight, seamless sound that I got when I first produced the track. Whether or not that means setting up Traktor and Live in series, or just using Live for my entire set, remains to be seen. 

    I’m hesitant to switch to a Live-only DJing rig, as that tends to rob my ability to improvise on the fly, which is a critical thing for DJs who share the stage with other acts in the evening. I go into my DJ sets knowing about 1/3 of the tracks I’ll play with certainty, and winging the rest, based on what’s already been played, and how the crowd is reacting to what I play. 

    Ideally, I would like to see a better DJing/improvisation interface for Live, and/or a VST plug-in mode for Traktor that would allow me to use Amplitube (the plug-in I use for guitar effects) within Traktor as a live DAW of sorts. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeejayBlendrix Deejay Blendrix

    I’ve been making EDM tracks that feature my own guitar work for a while now, and I can say with certainty that they are some of the most unique EDM tracks available. Now, getting to the point where I can take these tracks onto the stage with my guitar, and play the solos live… That is going to be the hard part. 

    I currently use Traktor to do all of my DJing, but I’ve come to grips with the fact that I will probably need to transition to Ableton Live for performing my tracks live, so that I can integrate my guitar’s live signal into the mix in a way that retains the tight, seamless sound that I got when I first produced the track. Whether or not that means setting up Traktor and Live in series, or just using Live for my entire set, remains to be seen. 

    I’m hesitant to switch to a Live-only DJing rig, as that tends to rob my ability to improvise on the fly, which is a critical thing for DJs who share the stage with other acts in the evening. I go into my DJ sets knowing about 1/3 of the tracks I’ll play with certainty, and winging the rest, based on what’s already been played, and how the crowd is reacting to what I play. 

    Ideally, I would like to see a better DJing/improvisation interface for Live, and/or a VST plug-in mode for Traktor that would allow me to use Amplitube (the plug-in I use for guitar effects) within Traktor as a live DAW of sorts. 

  • Dj Simba

    I agree with Niels82. It is quite dissatisfying to work hard in live mixes and watch the “icons” of the EDM world care the least.

  • Dj Simba

    I agree with Niels82. It is quite dissatisfying to work hard in live mixes and watch the “icons” of the EDM world care the least.

  • Bryan

    Great Article and great perspective.  I think the problem is more broad then just the DJ and EDM.  I think the problem lies in our reliance on the computer.  I’m not talking about as an interface.  I speaking that the computer also allows you to sync, beat match, and on the rock side fix a drum track etc.  I beg you to find a DECENT rock act that doesn’t have their roots pre 2000.  There may be a few but, however most modern rock acts are suffering the same fate as the DJ.  On the DJ side they just press play, and on the rock side they sound awful live.  ProTools, and Ableton, are a blessing and a curse.

    Secondly, I would think of a DJ as more of a composer than a musician.  This is where the problem remains.  If you go see an orchestra play you go for the orchestra not the composer.  Or if you do go see the composer you are amazed by the orchestra’s performance under his lead not him waving a stick in the air.

    And last, if you want a DJ to have a rock star performance you need to mix elements.  Geddy Lee of Rush understands this.  He composes his songs on keyboard and bass.  Recently, he decided to launch loops of the keyboards because he is a bass player.  This allows him to improvise his performance better on just the bass guitar.  This is where DJ’s have to go.  They need to focus on one aspect of their music that they love to do best and use that as their improve tool.  Everything else can just be played. This allows them to be more creative.

    Thirdly, it’s about time that DJ’s route live guitars and instruments into their performance. I would love to see slash play along side a DJ at the same time. Act’s in the late 1990′s utilized DJ’s along side musicians. Why can’t a DJ do the same?

    I feel the DJ has to take the role of a composer during live performances. In addition, add live vocals, and some live instruments.  If you notice, many rap and hip hop stars do this for their live performances…. even if the studio track is done on a drum machine.  Why??? it add’s to the live performance.  

    An example of the FENDER DJ INSTRUMENT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i19DIdaO6ME

    LIVE PERFROMANCE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk-7Ql_5fZo&feature=related

    Notice how all the elements of rapping, live musicians, and DJ all mix for a nice LIVE performance.


    notice Linkin Park and Jay-Z performance and the clip launching in the beginning.

    GEDDY LEE ON BASS fast forward to 7:29

  • Puya

    I’m relatively new in making music “live” with an controller and ableton. i learned the principle of midi and making music by mouse-clicking in school for one semester. so i’m not very good and i don’t have the skills and the experience. but it’s nice to imagine to play live, and i don’t sit in front of my mac and start create midi clips with my mouse and some keyboard shortcuts, i really try to “play” and record everything live and than i look at the session i created spontaneously and try to find things i could do better, or try to find some techniques for some things, which might be easy with a computer, but are a little bit difficult to do live with a controller. and i notice i’m getting better and faster. i know more drum patterns i can play with the drum rack and record. i put all the samples i found, the most from mad zach, to a rack i like and i put some effects over single samples or pitch them, so they sound how i like them.
    the imagination to play live in front of a crowd is nice, but it’s not really attractive for me here, because it’s a little bit embarrassing to be an electronic live act or dj. i know so much djs in my town, very much were in my last school, some of them were friends or well-known. and the most of them do deep- and tech-house, because we have a pretty nice subculture in my town. the best and best-known dj here are not as young as i am (maybe you know the “Maximal Gang” from Hanover, Germany http://cl.ly/1C3f120b012B0n1H0X24). i really like the music, and they really don’t just press play. but because of that there isn’t much live dubstep, trip-hop or drum ‘n’ base here, and i mean the nice things, not this everbody know’s it dubstep. skrillex is nice, but it’s more the hard kind of dubstep and all this people’re listening to skrillex. when you show them burial, sbtrkt or james blake, they just say “dubstep? i think you don’t know dubstep, let me show you this, the artist is called skrillex, you’ll like it” and that’s the disgusting part in this whole edm thing. here very few people really believe you, if you tell them dubstep is a genre which i took it’s roots in london around 2001.

  • Miles Airon

    I agree with the idea that it has nothing to do with a lack of creative tools.  There was no lack of creative tools when Francis Grasso or Kool DJ Herc stepped to the turntables.  There is no inherent lack of creative tools or potential when a dj steps to the stage with 2 turntables and a mixer, and there is deffinately no lack of creative potential when they step up with cdj’s, serato, tractor, ableton, midi controllers, ect, ect.  The tools are just a means to creativity.  The lack of creativity comes when there is not an artists mind at work pushing the bounds of the equipment’s usefulness.  Whether lazy, ignorant, scared, or just plain unartistic, the acts out there lacking creativity have nothing to do with the gear and everything to do with the “Artist”.  If all of these acts were using the gear in front of them to even a portion of it’s potential, i don’t think this conversation would be happening right now.  The new age of digital dj’ing and performing has made it so that there is no inherent risk or spontaneity involved in what they are doing.  No risk, no spontaneity, no musical interaction with the audience, no creation, no interest, no real show.  I come from the old world of DJ’ing… vinyl, turntables, mixer.  While turntables are still generally my preference for a dj set, i am completely satisfied, and honestly proud, that i can go out create music and move a dancefloor in a variety of ways.  I would never give up using traktor or serato, have no issues if you put cdj’s, or a midi controller in front of me, and have recently taken to constructing Live sets in ableton running 12-16 channels of audio and midi clips along with live sequencing and playing.  The point here is not really what i do, but that i am versatile and can create no matter what the situation, or my choice, dictates that i do it on/with.
    Fuckmouth5 is going as far as to say it doesnt’t work when you mix two mastered tracks together because of phasing and timing issues… pretty much denouncing 40 years of DJ history.  Now that he has admitted that he and the rest of the like are useless can we just move to rid our music scene of all the bullshit?  Including the ones doing nothing more and not admitting it… the bass nectar quote was pretty funny to me.  I haven’t seen his show in quite a while precisely because he did nothing more than push play, talk, and swing his hair around for way to many shows.  Hopefully what he is saying is true and he has actually stepped it up to doing something live, cause i’m over the hair show.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DeejayImpression Timmy Preston

    Just want to thank you personally for bringing the best insightful articles and for everything you are doing for the electronic community. Keep it up mate, your page is my home page.

    I will be buying one of your controllers as soon as i can afford it. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/djrodrigosm Rodrigo Mandelbaum

    Wow. Absolutely amazed by how seriously people are taking his comments (which, BTW, are just the same thing he’s been saying for the past 4 years or so). You wanna know how I wanna perform live? I’ll add my two cents.
    I’d like to be some place people don’t care about fireworks, visuals, dresscodes or even me. I’d just like for people to be all about one another, to forget about their stressful week, their shitty lives, so on and so forth, and find some healing in dancing, truly apreceating music and in the presence of others.
    I read stuff like DeadMau5 rants and the responses they ellicit, and only one thing comes to mind: we’re getting further and further away from what electronic music is about, what makes it unique, and we will completely devoid it of any significance if we keep moving in this direction we’re headed. Perhaps many of you will say we’ve done that already. I’ll elaborate.
    Rock concerts are about celebrating a particular way of life. Celebrating the performance of an artist. What wizardry they can conjure on stage. One of the most interesting aspects of it is watching what people do to their recorded music once it’s played live. It is, in a way, a passive experience – from the performer to you.
    Rap / Hip-Hip is a different story. It’s about sharing a story, getting words to fit into beats, and about enlightment. You receive a message, and you’ve got to do something with it. Decipher, react to it, pass it on.
    Now dance music. The thing about it is that we can remove the performer entirely, and work on sound alone. It doesn’t even need to be music in the way we know it, and sometimes it isn’t. It can be made a blank canvas, for you to paint it any given color you like. It doesn’t say no to you, because it has no voice. It allows anything that needs to happen to happen now.
    We’ve known this, we’ve done it, we felt great doing it, and now, the more I see, the more I feel some of us are trying to be Rockstars of Rappers. Have we learned nothing?

  • Anonymus DJ

    Well he’s right about that.. most EDM artists just press play and just go from song to song.. mainly because of the old “DJ” idea people have.. let me explain myself, for the previous generation being a DJ is beatmatch by ear the track you are playing with the track you are going to play next, that’s why the previous generation are always talking crap ’bout the new generation pressing sync.. Now.. pressing sync means that I don’t have to focus on beatmatching the songs I’ll play, so I can focus on making the song more dynamic.. remixing it “live” that’s what the sync button should be for.. and that’s why the old generation hate the new one.. because being a DJ it’s not the same thing it was a decade ago. 
    Deadmau5 is always ranting ’bout shit.. most of the time he’s got the right to rant about it because he’s talking the truth, but I think he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about this time.. I mean.. I’ll talk for myself, don’t know about you, but I generally try to use the most effects and filters I can, I would do more if it wasn’t for my lack of equipment, but as soon as I get the things I want.. I will do even more, like making some beats live with a maschine while playing a loop and applying effects in traktor with an S4 and messing with them with a midi fighter 3D.. and that’s what people look for in a “live” performance.. the show, how you play with the parameters, how you interact with them, how you control them with smooth transitions and big ass drops.. loop the main synth from your song, grab a lead and start making a solo.. make some new shit.. not just stand behind the decks and change songs.. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaycup.robinson Jay-Cup Robinson

    im loving the concept of like a guitar style controller, but ive always wanted to c something a bit more appealing to the eye, rather than a box with a guitar neck. maybe an actual guitar body (probably from an electric guitar, but i dont know what material it would be made of, this is just a brainstorm, bare with me), with a real guitar neck, but instead of pick ups, tone knobs, frets, etc, we load it with MIDI mappable controls that each person can then customize. I guess that’s just a long way to explain I think a guitar-style controller that’s actually shaped like a guitar would be pretty sick.

  • Sanchez20121

    First off I would like to say I really enjoy your articles. They are witty and well researched. Though this time around I believe you failed to mention something. Just recently I witnessed two artists perform with the (Reactable) 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Z4RRDozgUE From what I understand this piece of gear is exactly what you mentioned above near the end is something you would like to be developed. “Today, my goal is to create the Fender (s) of tomorrow and I challenge Deadmau5 along with experienced DJs and producers alike, to help us do it. We will rarely get truly live, interesting performances until someone builds an instrument designed exactly for that.”  I think the Reactable is the future of live EDM performance and is not mentioned among most of these artist’s. It does have a hefty price tag, but the type of performance you get is amazing. 

  • Michaelangelo

    Am I the only one that has noticed that the Zion-1 guy with the MPC1000/controller is not even powered on and has no cables attatched to the audio outs? smh

  • Iskate4food

    Honestly, I think the “turntable” has been used uncreatively. If there was a turntablist who made MUSIC with their instrument, think of how it would evolve. If someone with actual musical knowledge (meaning theory) used them, think of the endless possibilities. It could be jazzy.

    And on the “performing live” thing, that’s why groups like Seekae are great, because they perform some of the instrumentation to their music live. But really, the only way to make things more expressive is to carefully program instruments to make them more expressive for keyboards/drum pads in terms of velocity, and the what the knobs/faders do. And unfortunately that means actually learning an instrument and how to play the parts the producer programs. A lot of electronic musicians are VERY guilty of being just lazy musicians, and that needs to change.

  • Iskate4food

    Honestly, I think the “turntable” has been used uncreatively. If there was a turntablist who made MUSIC with their instrument, think of how it would evolve. If someone with actual musical knowledge (meaning theory) used them, think of the endless possibilities. It could be jazzy.

    And on the “performing live” thing, that’s why groups like Seekae are great, because they perform some of the instrumentation to their music live. But really, the only way to make things more expressive is to carefully program instruments to make them more expressive for keyboards/drum pads in terms of velocity, and the what the knobs/faders do. And unfortunately that means actually learning an instrument and how to play the parts the producer programs. A lot of electronic musicians are VERY guilty of being just lazy musicians, and that needs to change.

  • Djteeoh

    DJTT should contact all these producers/fake djs and tell them the real djs want their spotlight back. lol. But seriously….do that. In fact, round them all up and lets do a show. Guetta, Tiesto, Skrillex, Deadmau5…..no lights, no videos, no bs. Just straight up djs and the crowd. Do the dj booth like DMC with cameras all around so the crowd can see what the dj is doing. I will gladly show up and perform for that. Show those producers that they need to remain in their hole and leave the stage too us.

  • Djteeoh

    DJTT should contact all these producers/fake djs and tell them the real djs want their spotlight back. lol. But seriously….do that. In fact, round them all up and lets do a show. Guetta, Tiesto, Skrillex, Deadmau5…..no lights, no videos, no bs. Just straight up djs and the crowd. Do the dj booth like DMC with cameras all around so the crowd can see what the dj is doing. I will gladly show up and perform for that. Show those producers that they need to remain in their hole and leave the stage too us.

  • Djteeoh

    In the end, this is what I believe it comes down too. Push PLAY on 20 songs that are at the same BPM or already in a premix, is what Deadmau5 and Guetta do. Real djs beat match and make live remixes. Real djs can create a mashup on the fly. No need for preproduction. Whether it’s hiphop, reggae, EDM, or whatever….real djs make it an art form. If you are just beat matching or using sync to transition songs then you are worthless. If you are MAKING the music, then stick to the place you know….the STUDIO. If you are like me and actually perform live, make live remixes, live mashups on the fly…then you know what I’m saying. When I’m done djing I’m sweating my ass off and I have to find my shirt. Standing behing a CDJ with a premix in it and throwing your hands up every 2 minutes doesn’t make you a dj. Lights and lasers and smoke and fireworks don’t either. Take all of that away and look at the person. Skrillex, Guetta, Deadmau5….good producers? Some would say yes. Good djs? Hell fuckin no and I dare anyone to say they are.

  • Djteeoh

    In the end, this is what I believe it comes down too. Push PLAY on 20 songs that are at the same BPM or already in a premix, is what Deadmau5 and Guetta do. Real djs beat match and make live remixes. Real djs can create a mashup on the fly. No need for preproduction. Whether it’s hiphop, reggae, EDM, or whatever….real djs make it an art form. If you are just beat matching or using sync to transition songs then you are worthless. If you are MAKING the music, then stick to the place you know….the STUDIO. If you are like me and actually perform live, make live remixes, live mashups on the fly…then you know what I’m saying. When I’m done djing I’m sweating my ass off and I have to find my shirt. Standing behing a CDJ with a premix in it and throwing your hands up every 2 minutes doesn’t make you a dj. Lights and lasers and smoke and fireworks don’t either. Take all of that away and look at the person. Skrillex, Guetta, Deadmau5….good producers? Some would say yes. Good djs? Hell fuckin no and I dare anyone to say they are.

  • Redrolla

    What happened to the taboo factor of dj’s not playing their own shit that went viral. Those days were better!

  • Redrolla

    What happened to the taboo factor of dj’s not playing their own shit that went viral. Those days were better!

  • Nurder

    Ok, every cool your jets. Seriously. I think deadmau5 makes a good point. He’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his incredible light show, not just in terms of of the actual lights. I’m talking about the design of the show by one of the top light show designers in the world Martin Phillips, who designed Daft Punk’s light show, the actual manufacturing of the footage for said light show, and the talent of his on-premise lighting guys. It’s not an insignificant sum, and if you spent that much on lights, you’d want to be damn sure they looked their best. Besides, he’s not up there sleeping. He’s still affecting and effecting the tracks. The best part of his post is at the end. He says what everyone who has ever been to an EDM show should already know: it’s not about what the performer is doing live, it’s not about the skill of the performer on stage, it’s about the people in the audience. To be perfectly honest, I would be ok (not thrilled, but ok) with going to a dazzling, spectacular light show in a sold out crowd, and have the only thing on stage music-wise be a cd player. If live performance skills were the only thing that mattered, EDM wouldn’t even be a thing. Does anyone realize how very little skill it takes to beatmatch compared to how much skill it takes to play a Metallica solo on guitar? I don’t even like metallica and I know that. Don’t get me wrong, if an EDM artist can perform live, that can make the show incredible. Performing live is important, but I think the experience is much more important than that. You could have Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Bassnectar, The Chemical Brothers, Skrillex, Madeon, and every single EDM artist you love all performing in one venue, doing a true live show, mixed perfectly, and it wouldn’t mean a thing if you were the only one in the audience. At the end of the day, Djs, producers, whatever they are and whatever you want to call them, are just doing what they can to give the people what they want. I go to a deadmau5 show to hear his music, which I think is brilliant, see the beautiful light show, and be in the presence of thousands of people and one man with whom I identify with. Technical skill means nothing without the emotion. And, at the end of the day, an emotional connection to the music is why we’re all here.

  • Nurder

    Ok, every cool your jets. Seriously. I think deadmau5 makes a good point. He’s spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his incredible light show, not just in terms of of the actual lights. I’m talking about the design of the show by one of the top light show designers in the world Martin Phillips, who designed Daft Punk’s light show, the actual manufacturing of the footage for said light show, and the talent of his on-premise lighting guys. It’s not an insignificant sum, and if you spent that much on lights, you’d want to be damn sure they looked their best. Besides, he’s not up there sleeping. He’s still affecting and effecting the tracks. The best part of his post is at the end. He says what everyone who has ever been to an EDM show should already know: it’s not about what the performer is doing live, it’s not about the skill of the performer on stage, it’s about the people in the audience. To be perfectly honest, I would be ok (not thrilled, but ok) with going to a dazzling, spectacular light show in a sold out crowd, and have the only thing on stage music-wise be a cd player. If live performance skills were the only thing that mattered, EDM wouldn’t even be a thing. Does anyone realize how very little skill it takes to beatmatch compared to how much skill it takes to play a Metallica solo on guitar? I don’t even like metallica and I know that. Don’t get me wrong, if an EDM artist can perform live, that can make the show incredible. Performing live is important, but I think the experience is much more important than that. You could have Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Bassnectar, The Chemical Brothers, Skrillex, Madeon, and every single EDM artist you love all performing in one venue, doing a true live show, mixed perfectly, and it wouldn’t mean a thing if you were the only one in the audience. At the end of the day, Djs, producers, whatever they are and whatever you want to call them, are just doing what they can to give the people what they want. I go to a deadmau5 show to hear his music, which I think is brilliant, see the beautiful light show, and be in the presence of thousands of people and one man with whom I identify with. Technical skill means nothing without the emotion. And, at the end of the day, an emotional connection to the music is why we’re all here.

  • Robert Halvarsson

    It’s great to see articles such as these that goes away from sniping as well as fanboyism (the worst type of boy-ism).

  • Robert Halvarsson

    It’s great to see articles such as these that goes away from sniping as well as fanboyism (the worst type of boy-ism).

  • http://www.facebook.com/skegsurfer Jj Mac

    I thought Music WAS ABOUT ENJOYING YOURSELF? Why do we point fingures and become so much of a critic. If you dont like the music turn the channel. If you do awesome. Why do we go into such detail whether or not a DJ is playing custom music or hitting play? Everyone is talented in there own way so why do you write articles spinning so much controversy? -JJ MAC

  • http://www.facebook.com/skegsurfer Jj Mac

    I thought Music WAS ABOUT ENJOYING YOURSELF? Why do we point fingures and become so much of a critic. If you dont like the music turn the channel. If you do awesome. Why do we go into such detail whether or not a DJ is playing custom music or hitting play? Everyone is talented in there own way so why do you write articles spinning so much controversy? -JJ MAC

  • VXHelix

    I understand the message, and not the uproar. It seems as a lot of people went home butthurt after mousy said what he did, but when an artist/dj/whatever gets mainstream enough to have recognizability in his work, the show is going to get downright monotonous.

    I’ve never just gone out and pressed play, but to be honest, I don’t have fans. I don’t have hits. I don’t have people asking me to play certain songs of mine. I also don’t have a record or production company pushing me to sell my music as a product.

    Rock, Pop, Country, whatever genre bands, don’t go out and write songs in front of the crowd, they play a rehearsed setlist with some rehearsed changes. Not much more than pressing play, though they’re doing it with their own chosen instrument. Synching Pyro, Lights, Soundboard Variations and Changes, Isn’t typically done on the fly.

    Club/Small Venue DJ’s have it really good from an artistic perspective. They can change on the fly by a simple read on the crowd, or dump the crowd on the bar when they need a breather. They’re not bound by any real rules, or politics with who or what they play.

    Sure, everyone wants to be rich and famous, I’m not arguing that point, but understand doing so causes you to lose a lot of your freedom on stage, and I think that’s more of what he was speaking out against. This is one major reason I really what the controllerism evolution is bringing to the table. The live remixing aspect that it can bring to even top flight acts has to be really good for both dj/producer and crowd, giving a unique experience to the latter, and refunding some of the frieedom that the former paid for his stardom.

  • VXHelix

    I understand the message, and not the uproar. It seems as a lot of people went home butthurt after mousy said what he did, but when an artist/dj/whatever gets mainstream enough to have recognizability in his work, the show is going to get downright monotonous.

    I’ve never just gone out and pressed play, but to be honest, I don’t have fans. I don’t have hits. I don’t have people asking me to play certain songs of mine. I also don’t have a record or production company pushing me to sell my music as a product.

    Rock, Pop, Country, whatever genre bands, don’t go out and write songs in front of the crowd, they play a rehearsed setlist with some rehearsed changes. Not much more than pressing play, though they’re doing it with their own chosen instrument. Synching Pyro, Lights, Soundboard Variations and Changes, Isn’t typically done on the fly.

    Club/Small Venue DJ’s have it really good from an artistic perspective. They can change on the fly by a simple read on the crowd, or dump the crowd on the bar when they need a breather. They’re not bound by any real rules, or politics with who or what they play.

    Sure, everyone wants to be rich and famous, I’m not arguing that point, but understand doing so causes you to lose a lot of your freedom on stage, and I think that’s more of what he was speaking out against. This is one major reason I really what the controllerism evolution is bringing to the table. The live remixing aspect that it can bring to even top flight acts has to be really good for both dj/producer and crowd, giving a unique experience to the latter, and refunding some of the frieedom that the former paid for his stardom.

  • relic

    yep..nothing wrong with it!..we all program it. that is the REAL talent. i hit play as well…:) i want a break after i write all that shit! i deserve ..PLAY!

  • relic

    yep..nothing wrong with it!..we all program it. that is the REAL talent. i hit play as well…:) i want a break after i write all that shit! i deserve ..PLAY!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wil.driber Wil Driber

    i think we do more than just hit play i mean if u look at ur controller as an instrument u load sounds in to an then play those sounds as notes ur playing live deadmau5 is a tool.  His produced tracks arent even that good skrillex and datsik and other guys produce way better tunes and do more at there shows.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wil.driber Wil Driber

    i think we do more than just hit play i mean if u look at ur controller as an instrument u load sounds in to an then play those sounds as notes ur playing live deadmau5 is a tool.  His produced tracks arent even that good skrillex and datsik and other guys produce way better tunes and do more at there shows.

  • Asignorelli

    ask, djs like Sven Vath, Ricardo VillaLobos, cassy and a lot more of dj whit turntables and cdj about this?
     
    me, i dont belive in this kind of dj whit “technology”
    The real dj have to play tracks, own or buyed no maters…….

  • Asignorelli

    ask, djs like Sven Vath, Ricardo VillaLobos, cassy and a lot more of dj whit turntables and cdj about this?
     
    me, i dont belive in this kind of dj whit “technology”
    The real dj have to play tracks, own or buyed no maters…….

  • celtic-dj

    brilliant article , i enjoyed reading it aswell as all the comments …(i love the dude..was great to see him in this discussion !!)

    technology is advancing and waiting for no one , we are just in the middle of a big leap towards “minority report” style of future…(microsoft’s kinect , glasses or eye lens with HUD style display)

    soon the ‘on stage performer’ will use his entire body to trigger midi commands giving dj’s  who know how to dance a big advantage….so we are now adding Choreography to create a new art of live performance !

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choreography

    after all aren’t we talking about technology and dance culture here !!

  • celtic-dj

    brilliant article , i enjoyed reading it aswell as all the comments …(i love the dude..was great to see him in this discussion !!)

    technology is advancing and waiting for no one , we are just in the middle of a big leap towards “minority report” style of future…(microsoft’s kinect , glasses or eye lens with HUD style display)

    soon the ‘on stage performer’ will use his entire body to trigger midi commands giving dj’s  who know how to dance a big advantage….so we are now adding Choreography to create a new art of live performance !

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choreography

    after all aren’t we talking about technology and dance culture here !!

  • Djkevjones

    The DJ is and always has been the Producers way of getting his/hers tracks played out!
    Now because of the success of the “COMMERCIAL” Dance scene and alike there will always be haters.The world of Clubbing in general has changed beyond recognition and people want to hear what it shoved on them day in day out on Commercial Radio! These producers have become celebs because that’s the culture we live in.I’ve been DJing for 27 long and sometimes Fecking hard years!! Seen genre’s come and go.When all this shit gets old and the Celeb producers of today will be Z Lister’s who will really give a shit?? No one.
    Us DJ’s will still be there doing our thing promoting and pushing the latest tracks because that’s what we do!!!! That’s why we’re DJ’s!!!!!

    House is House and always will beEDM is a pigeon hole that Commercial Dance Music has been given.House Music has been around since the mid 80′s and has evolved over the years into many different guises.
     Let the EDM lovers and creators have their day, The same as Speed Garage had it’s day and Dub-step is having it’s day.
     IT’S ALL Corporate bollocks anyway and the Celeb Producers are making the most out of the Record Companies while they can and i for one don’t blame them!!!

  • Djkevjones

    The DJ is and always has been the Producers way of getting his/hers tracks played out!
    Now because of the success of the “COMMERCIAL” Dance scene and alike there will always be haters.The world of Clubbing in general has changed beyond recognition and people want to hear what it shoved on them day in day out on Commercial Radio! These producers have become celebs because that’s the culture we live in.I’ve been DJing for 27 long and sometimes Fecking hard years!! Seen genre’s come and go.When all this shit gets old and the Celeb producers of today will be Z Lister’s who will really give a shit?? No one.
    Us DJ’s will still be there doing our thing promoting and pushing the latest tracks because that’s what we do!!!! That’s why we’re DJ’s!!!!!

    House is House and always will beEDM is a pigeon hole that Commercial Dance Music has been given.House Music has been around since the mid 80′s and has evolved over the years into many different guises.
     Let the EDM lovers and creators have their day, The same as Speed Garage had it’s day and Dub-step is having it’s day.
     IT’S ALL Corporate bollocks anyway and the Celeb Producers are making the most out of the Record Companies while they can and i for one don’t blame them!!!

  • MD

    IMO- if you want good music and watch someone work the decks; check out dj’s with creativity and can use their equipment like a sculptor does with clay or whatever. Good example- Bay Area Dj- j Espinosa, crazy MF on the decks…the song selection, transitions, scratching, beat matching, etc. it’s the way the Dj incorporates his skills and techniques that puts a good show on because you know that the shit you’re hearing is going down ‘ live’ vs. say David Guetta pressing play and dancing to his own song before her presses >

  • MD

    IMO- if you want good music and watch someone work the decks; check out dj’s with creativity and can use their equipment like a sculptor does with clay or whatever. Good example- Bay Area Dj- j Espinosa, crazy MF on the decks…the song selection, transitions, scratching, beat matching, etc. it’s the way the Dj incorporates his skills and techniques that puts a good show on because you know that the shit you’re hearing is going down ‘ live’ vs. say David Guetta pressing play and dancing to his own song before her presses >

  • Sven

    This debate exists only with those “big show” dudes. This was and is no issue in the clubs, where EDM is coming from, belongs to and still is living there. 
    In the club: people go there to have fun, dance and hear the music they love.At the big shows: people pay premium to see “DJ Big Ass” cause he is so cool atm and everybody goes to “ThisBigShow”, and they wanna see fireworks and make Ooohs and Aaahs. And “Big Ass” has to sync his stuff to the fx crew instead to the atmosphere of the people.This is the difference. And i have to say, these big shows with thousands of people have nothing in common with the real EDM scene. To me this is no debate with EDM, it’s the problem of those commercial acts, and how they call themself -DJ or PlayButtonPresser- doesn’t matter to me.

  • Sven

    This debate exists only with those “big show” dudes. This was and is no issue in the clubs, where EDM is coming from, belongs to and still is living there. 
    In the club: people go there to have fun, dance and hear the music they love.At the big shows: people pay premium to see “DJ Big Ass” cause he is so cool atm and everybody goes to “ThisBigShow”, and they wanna see fireworks and make Ooohs and Aaahs. And “Big Ass” has to sync his stuff to the fx crew instead to the atmosphere of the people.This is the difference. And i have to say, these big shows with thousands of people have nothing in common with the real EDM scene. To me this is no debate with EDM, it’s the problem of those commercial acts, and how they call themself -DJ or PlayButtonPresser- doesn’t matter to me.

    • Prone

      Exactly. When I play in my small club, I don’t have to care for special FX or anything but for the people who will directly give feedback on my performance and sound choice. It’s what Deadmau5 says: He has to put out the right signals to the FX crew so the overall mood works. His audience will love it no matter what he plays…

    • Prone

      Exactly. When I play in my small club, I don’t have to care for special FX or anything but for the people who will directly give feedback on my performance and sound choice. It’s what Deadmau5 says: He has to put out the right signals to the FX crew so the overall mood works. His audience will love it no matter what he plays…

  • Disabnormal

    I think we all want to do things as nobody else can do, especially if we get the concept wrong.
    IMO Dj-ing is not about doing something extraordinary that nobody else in the planet can do, it’s all about sharing good mood and energy no matter how you do it.
    (Me myself want to be seen as an alien or stranger doing weird things to sound good, really don’t like to have a newbie behind me watching my laptop and controller monitoring my routines )
    don’t all of you think you can be a president?
    I’m not Deadmau5 fan and I even don’t like his music, but I think he acts (or really is) that down to earth (or somewhat) that sees no reason to complicate what he is doing on live performance.
    He already has his fame and even if he don’t even press the button, he still has his fans.
    (Because they are there for his music not for pressing buttons)
    May be (and sure) he is not as talented as Ean and Moldover to play hard to manage routines in live performances, but I think he knows the market trend better than anybody else here.
    Finally I think this is your choice to trade off between QUALITY(the music you play) and QUANTITY(Crowd, money, fame, …) and is absolutely personal not technical, cause we all here can technically do whatever big names like this can do.(Not talkin’ about Amon Tobin, Richie Hawtin,….)    

  • Disabnormal

    I think we all want to do things as nobody else can do, especially if we get the concept wrong.
    IMO Dj-ing is not about doing something extraordinary that nobody else in the planet can do, it’s all about sharing good mood and energy no matter how you do it.
    (Me myself want to be seen as an alien or stranger doing weird things to sound good, really don’t like to have a newbie behind me watching my laptop and controller monitoring my routines )
    don’t all of you think you can be a president?
    I’m not Deadmau5 fan and I even don’t like his music, but I think he acts (or really is) that down to earth (or somewhat) that sees no reason to complicate what he is doing on live performance.
    He already has his fame and even if he don’t even press the button, he still has his fans.
    (Because they are there for his music not for pressing buttons)
    May be (and sure) he is not as talented as Ean and Moldover to play hard to manage routines in live performances, but I think he knows the market trend better than anybody else here.
    Finally I think this is your choice to trade off between QUALITY(the music you play) and QUANTITY(Crowd, money, fame, …) and is absolutely personal not technical, cause we all here can technically do whatever big names like this can do.(Not talkin’ about Amon Tobin, Richie Hawtin,….)    

  • Prone

    Deadmau5 said: “ANY DJ can do what EDM artists do on stage”. So it’s really not about the DJs, he puts DJs above the producers.

  • Prone

    Deadmau5 said: “ANY DJ can do what EDM artists do on stage”. So it’s really not about the DJs, he puts DJs above the producers.

  • Sonicwolf22

    in a club or at a festival, the audience doesn’t really care about what is going back stage weather buttons are being pushed or not. they are just there to have  good time

  • Sonicwolf22

    in a club or at a festival, the audience doesn’t really care about what is going back stage weather buttons are being pushed or not. they are just there to have  good time

  • BajaBilly

    My take is that there’s plenty of new technology (timecode, midifighter, control surfaces) and old (scratching and effects units) that can be used as a tanglible means to show the audience your skills, but most DJs are just not good enough to use these. Face it. Most of us spend all this time beatmatching or having ableton do all the work and think that we’re gods because of it. I dont blame the tech, I blame the delisions of grandeur that DJs have because they can mix one track in to another. The scene is NOT saturated with people who can show their talent right in front of you using equipment live, and if you learn how to do this and you’re actually good – all the efforts you spend taking angled photos of yourself and posting on other people’s facebook links to your sets will prove to be a complete waste of time because talent shines through and won’t go unnoticed.

  • BajaBilly

    My take is that there’s plenty of new technology (timecode, midifighter, control surfaces) and old (scratching and effects units) that can be used as a tanglible means to show the audience your skills, but most DJs are just not good enough to use these. Face it. Most of us spend all this time beatmatching or having ableton do all the work and think that we’re gods because of it. I dont blame the tech, I blame the delisions of grandeur that DJs have because they can mix one track in to another. The scene is NOT saturated with people who can show their talent right in front of you using equipment live, and if you learn how to do this and you’re actually good – all the efforts you spend taking angled photos of yourself and posting on other people’s facebook links to your sets will prove to be a complete waste of time because talent shines through and won’t go unnoticed.

  • http://www.dvsdjtv.com k_sea

    The guys and gals that call themselves DJ’s put DJ in front of their name.

    Don’t come out with an S4 if you’re a Producer, come out with your rack like they use to. Dubtribe were not DJ’s, Chemical Brothers are not DJ’s the list goes on and on.

    Look at how producers play sets now days. Not the same as it use to be. The analogy above kinda sucks. Look at what rabit and the moon were doing as producers or that of other producer live PA sets back in the day and you see where that falls flat on it’s face.

    I’m not knocking Producers, only how they go about their live sets, because at most they are OK as DJ’s.

  • http://www.dvsdjtv.com k_sea

    The guys and gals that call themselves DJ’s put DJ in front of their name.

    Don’t come out with an S4 if you’re a Producer, come out with your rack like they use to. Dubtribe were not DJ’s, Chemical Brothers are not DJ’s the list goes on and on.

    Look at how producers play sets now days. Not the same as it use to be. The analogy above kinda sucks. Look at what rabit and the moon were doing as producers or that of other producer live PA sets back in the day and you see where that falls flat on it’s face.

    I’m not knocking Producers, only how they go about their live sets, because at most they are OK as DJ’s.

  • R3Production Bonaire

    again the neverending discussion about how to play right.. Deadmau5 wording is right, no matter what CDJ,Lemur,Launchpad,M-audio,Ipad or 1200 MK you have to press a button to get sound. we should respect all performers the way they do it and regardless what brand of Play Button they hit. Looking at the audience, they come for a show and entertainment. Lights and Piro are a part of that. Skrillex and DeadMau5 have a great digita stage, what makes theirshow and image.
    Look at Ramstein, great show with lots of lights and Pyro. How many do understand what the tall guy is singing about. No one really cares, the show and their sound is awsome enough to buy a ticket for. Masturbating a huge strap-on dildo connected to a hose and cumming all over the audience as a masive ejaculation…It is all show. And some people have comments about that,and feel it is not prudent…Those might like a Gospel concert or Willy Nelson. Please all respect each others ways and don’t try to find the negatives. Even Willy Nelson has a cool show for the people that like his music and entertainment. Each DJ or EDM artist or music band has its own way. I doubt that people visit a gig because they don’t like the artist show. I was in Vegas and see all the Deadmau5 and AfroJack digital boards , posters of Avicci and Guetta. The club XS,Tryst, Haze, the Marquee rock because of these guys. I went to Santana too and the show was awsome. Also the Fantasy Show girls were great and the guy Sean who plays James brown and Michael Jackson. All of the shows i watched were a performances of different art. You can’t compare them with each other and start critisizing what the other did better or worse.
    Why critisize Steve Angelo for not using a headPhone and play pre mixed.
    All of us know we can warp songs and make em start at the down beat on a pre programmed loop. No need for a headphone because the BPM is set and just tap in The PLAY button and listen to the Cue on the wedge monitors and than mix in the FOH. Fuzz with the mixer and effects and recall the next song in Deck B. Steve Angelo’s show didn’t fail that way. The ones that failed are the haters that were not there to have a great party and had to watch the Youtube with a horrible sound.
    why critisize Skrillex for terrible music. Try to find what is right in what is said or how they work. try not to find a negative. And pic your genre of music, W nelson or Skrillex or Ramstein.
    I am working on to make my own EDM CD , you know what the intro is…spoken by a female computer voice…” modern DJ’s don’t spin records or CD’s, i push buttons to make you dance… So the CD is going to be called Pushing Buttons To Make You Dance”. Why i do this, simple because i enjoy working with all the equipment i spend my money on and i love music. It gives me the joy in music and i find respect for every artist since i see what i am trying myself is not easy but gives that joy of being a DJ or Producer and regardless of being high end Pro or Bedroom one..Maybe Joel want this title for a new CD, well go ahead Joel shake up the comunity ,i can send you the WAV with the female voice..Or maybe the whole track i made..At least my stuff gets somewhere…
    My main profession, Dive Operations Manager and for the fun and love Sound engineer and DJ and bedroom producer…am i having fun, sure i do. Some can start hating or bad comment this. But i am Loving it (sorry MacDonalds your lirics) and i do respect all others that have the same love and feeling for THE MUSIC regardless how you do it and what style you prefer.
    R3Production Bonaire

  • R3Production Bonaire

    again the neverending discussion about how to play right.. Deadmau5 wording is right, no matter what CDJ,Lemur,Launchpad,M-audio,Ipad or 1200 MK you have to press a button to get sound. we should respect all performers the way they do it and regardless what brand of Play Button they hit. Looking at the audience, they come for a show and entertainment. Lights and Piro are a part of that. Skrillex and DeadMau5 have a great digita stage, what makes theirshow and image.
    Look at Ramstein, great show with lots of lights and Pyro. How many do understand what the tall guy is singing about. No one really cares, the show and their sound is awsome enough to buy a ticket for. Masturbating a huge strap-on dildo connected to a hose and cumming all over the audience as a masive ejaculation…It is all show. And some people have comments about that,and feel it is not prudent…Those might like a Gospel concert or Willy Nelson. Please all respect each others ways and don’t try to find the negatives. Even Willy Nelson has a cool show for the people that like his music and entertainment. Each DJ or EDM artist or music band has its own way. I doubt that people visit a gig because they don’t like the artist show. I was in Vegas and see all the Deadmau5 and AfroJack digital boards , posters of Avicci and Guetta. The club XS,Tryst, Haze, the Marquee rock because of these guys. I went to Santana too and the show was awsome. Also the Fantasy Show girls were great and the guy Sean who plays James brown and Michael Jackson. All of the shows i watched were a performances of different art. You can’t compare them with each other and start critisizing what the other did better or worse.
    Why critisize Steve Angelo for not using a headPhone and play pre mixed.
    All of us know we can warp songs and make em start at the down beat on a pre programmed loop. No need for a headphone because the BPM is set and just tap in The PLAY button and listen to the Cue on the wedge monitors and than mix in the FOH. Fuzz with the mixer and effects and recall the next song in Deck B. Steve Angelo’s show didn’t fail that way. The ones that failed are the haters that were not there to have a great party and had to watch the Youtube with a horrible sound.
    why critisize Skrillex for terrible music. Try to find what is right in what is said or how they work. try not to find a negative. And pic your genre of music, W nelson or Skrillex or Ramstein.
    I am working on to make my own EDM CD , you know what the intro is…spoken by a female computer voice…” modern DJ’s don’t spin records or CD’s, i push buttons to make you dance… So the CD is going to be called Pushing Buttons To Make You Dance”. Why i do this, simple because i enjoy working with all the equipment i spend my money on and i love music. It gives me the joy in music and i find respect for every artist since i see what i am trying myself is not easy but gives that joy of being a DJ or Producer and regardless of being high end Pro or Bedroom one..Maybe Joel want this title for a new CD, well go ahead Joel shake up the comunity ,i can send you the WAV with the female voice..Or maybe the whole track i made..At least my stuff gets somewhere…
    My main profession, Dive Operations Manager and for the fun and love Sound engineer and DJ and bedroom producer…am i having fun, sure i do. Some can start hating or bad comment this. But i am Loving it (sorry MacDonalds your lirics) and i do respect all others that have the same love and feeling for THE MUSIC regardless how you do it and what style you prefer.
    R3Production Bonaire

  • bcrogan

    1) Does everyone on this board have to write like 4 Pages for their response to an article? Can’t any of you be a bit more pithy? No one wants to read you’re college thesis on Deadmau5. 

    2) Deadmau5 makes great tracks, but he is a total douche bag and always has been. Most EDM DJ’s are nothing more but button pushers, But us turntablist & scratch guys have always been MUCH MUCH more of actual live performers. WIth the advent of new digital technology like chopping and punching samples like an MPC in TSL2.0, it has only added to our art and performance capabilities and showmanship. 

  • bcrogan

    1) Does everyone on this board have to write like 4 Pages for their response to an article? Can’t any of you be a bit more pithy? No one wants to read you’re college thesis on Deadmau5. 

    2) Deadmau5 makes great tracks, but he is a total douche bag and always has been. Most EDM DJ’s are nothing more but button pushers, But us turntablist & scratch guys have always been MUCH MUCH more of actual live performers. WIth the advent of new digital technology like chopping and punching samples like an MPC in TSL2.0, it has only added to our art and performance capabilities and showmanship. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/lance.pan.92 Lance Pan

    Personally i think that there are people who are really just button pushers, and excuse me but the people like david guetta who do prerecorded sets and still pretend like they’re doing something, it makes me sick that EDM has sunk this low sometimes, but in my opinion there is always hope, like the people that rise from nothing to extremem popularity. There is no doubt that skrillex is popular right now with 3 grammy’s under his belt, and guess what? His remix of Cinema, the one that won best remixed non classical grammy, he made that when he was homeless. The things that people like the newbie producers and dj’s are doing out there are really the heartbeat of EDM and they run the machine that we all know and love. Im fine with some people who dont really “dj” much at shows, but people go to hear there music that they put the time and effort into, and if what they do puts on a good show and the people have a good time isnt that what its really all about? Note that im not saying that people like david guetta are doing the right thing, because hes gotten to the point where he almost has nothing to do with his music anymore, his albums have gotten so much help from other people its almost ridiculous. People like Ean Golden are running the controllerist movement, and it is so different from what most mainstream dj’s that it should almost be considered a different practice in general, but what i’m really saying is that people do what they can to make a good show, but if it gets the point where people are ruining the “art” of Dj’ing then this genre needs help, and people like you and me will try and keep it running. For us its not about the money, or just having fun. Because the newbie dj’s that play other people’s songs really have to do something creative, and people like Ean Golden help them, i mean he is the reason why i’ve decided to do so many more things live and just go for it, so good luck to everybody thats out there, and we arent gonna let the EDM we all love just fade away! :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/sam.bendavid Sam Essbeedee Ben-David

    LOLLLLL This whole debate is pointless…..

    90% of the people who go and see Deadmau5 or Guetta or any big DJ/Producer…who are not clued up on DJ tech….Will not have a clue what the hell they are doing up on the stage. They will only care about what is coming out the speakers. Unless you are known as a live performer and people come to see you for that. Like Ean for example ;-)

    The only people who know about all of this are the ones who are on these forums and on these websites who are producers and dj’s themselves. Which funnily enough are the only ones involved in this debate (strange huh)

    So the bottom line really is….play something good out of the speakers in the best way you can.

    Done.

  • Ekkoh

    Producer or DJ, does it really matter anymore?  One of the major problems when analyzing the scene today is how the line between Producers and Djs is continuing to become more and more vague.

    When it comes to DJ-ing, there’s a reason we can traditionally be referred to as Track Selectors.  It doesn’t matter if you are mixing 2, 4, or even 40 tracks at once, the fact that it is a DJ performance means already produced tracks are being played together to produce a finished product.  The expression and improvisation come from overlaying, cutting-out, and placing-in portions of other tracks to sound appealing within a set as a whole (this holds true weather you are beatmatching, cue juggling, or even scratching).  It’s been said a thousand times but the truth is NO Dj set should be performed the same twice.

    Now with production, on the other hand, the magic happens in the studio (this is the one thing i will agree with Deadmau5 on…).  However, the idea that being a producer limits someone from varying the sound or even improvising within an alloted performance time is absolute bull.  The Glitch Mob and AraabMuzik are just two examples of producers who actively build shows and play live (really live).  Deadmau5 is basically admitting to the public that he (as well as fellow EDM “superstars” such as Guetta and others) are committing more to the “Show” aspect of the experience and paying less attention to live variation and crowd involvement.  They are simply not comfortable enough to load their tracks as samples onto a Maschine or other instrument, and produce the tracks live in front of their audience.  The tools are out there, have been for years, and even more come out every day.

    Now just because someone is a producer or a DJ doesn’t necessarily mean the other school of thought is completely out of the question.  I personally feel the work that is being done here at DJTT will be potentially groundbreaking within a few years.  The creation of the Midifighters (especially the Midifighter3D), Jog Wheel FX mappings, and DJ tools (which work great for building melodies just using a little cue juggling btw) allow for easier on-the-fly remixes that not only allow the performer better interaction with an audience, but also look pretty darn cool on stage.  Similarly, the work within Traktor’s new remix decks and Native Instrument’s new F1 controller are the first steps towards active on-the-fly remixes ran through DJ software.  Now a traditional “DJ” has the ability to load original samples on top of other artists’ tracks while still keeping the A/B transition format.  Also, the new sample capabilities within Traktor leave room for finger drumming and other live techniques which should allow for a more meaningful and personable performance experience.

    Oh, and to those people who go to shows and expect to hear Levels or Scary Monsters just like it is on your ITunes…  then save your money and listen to your ITunes.  Please.   

    Bottom Line:  Be creative, use all the tools available at your disposal, think outside the box, and most of all HAVE FUN!!!  Forget all the politics man, we do what we do for the love of the music.  It’s the tunes that matter…  not the tools.

  • Saves_the_dave

    Okay so i think Dj tech tool is going the wrong way here (rarely they do it really) but deadmou5 needs to see jazzy jeff play live and tell me if he is only pushing buttons, we do not need an instrument for live shows we have it,turntables,cd players etc , move the crowd!!!, be unexpected thats why rock and roll shows are diffrent from an album…even if its the same fucking song  its a goddam pleasure to see skrillex playing the 900 number or WORLD A REGGAE live, hes getting out of hes confort zone which is something Guetta or Deadmouse would harly do…

  • http://www.subcultureclothing.bigcartel.com/ Your Wifes Fav DJ

    i download sample packs make f1 sets and sometimes will mix into a house track from my f1 to give me a prep break then back from 1 F1 set to another doing full live progressive house

  • trouble maker

    new to dj’ing, but having been in bands since i was 15 (now 29), i think everyone missed it. 
    i just recently switched off the guitar amp and turned off and turned on the computer and microkorg. reason why….burned out.
    ive been doing this for almost 15 years. every town, every bar, every big venue, every shit hole. its the same people with the same reactions and the same likes or dislikes of you and your music. i think deadmau5 is hitting the wall. money is nice when your tour the world, but what about sleep, family, friends, SLEEP. it is extremely exhausting touring! everyone thinks its all crazy parties and chix just throwing themselves at you. but by day 4 you dont give a shit and you just want some rest. 
    maybe he doesn’t feel proud of what hes doing. maybe he cant feel the “soul” in it any more. whatever his personal reasons are i dont know. i do know that when i read what he said in rolling stone and the clips in this article, he sounds exactly like i have for the past 3 years. pissed at the scene, pissed at the other artists, pissed at the industry, just pissed. you spend all your time pissed off hating it but u cant stop doing it, till one day….FUCK IT. 
    this is how i see it. and it may not be correct. but im willing to bet hes just burn out on it. 

    • Jaaaa…

       I think you’ve hit the nail on the head!Deamaus sounds bitter,like he hates what he does so he says inflammatory things to bring on the haters til a point he will be forced to quit.

  • http://soundcloud.com/dj_b-naut B-Naut || Atlanta, GA

    Personally, I am disgusted less by what he said but more annoyed by the pure arrogant nature behind Deadmau5′s statement.

    To me, my translation of his statement is: “Keep paying me top dollar to push play and rehash the same light show again. Yeah. You can’t see my hands while I am on stage. I like it that way so academics who know won’t see me doing much. You can’t see my face behind my Mau5 helmet because I don’t need a big crowd watch me laugh all the way to the bank. …And guess what? I press play and you keep coming back for more.”

    Are the lights pretty? Yes. Is the show well coreographed? Yes. Is it entertaining? Yes.  …But so is a dog trick with a flashlight involved.

    I think there should be a new term created for Deadmau5 (and others like him who walk on stage to ‘push play’ on predetermined music mixes) who are more concerned with studio production and lighting orchestration. Continuing to call him a “DJ” no longer fits the term. Continuing to categorize what they do as DJing is a disservice to the profession and the history behind it.

    As a recent convert from DJing with crate after crate of vinyl to a big book of CDs to using MIDI controllers with my laptop, I understand that innovations in technology has made means of delivering the same show more compact. Unfortunately, it has also made DJing as easy to learn as watching a few software tutorials on YouTube. There often is no more physical visual to what the DJ does anymore. None of the big name EDM DJs are plopping that fresh pressed limited edition vinyl remix on the turntable…placing the stylus to the record…adjusting the cued music to match the tempo of the mix…then flips the fader and releases the record on beat to light up the crowd. (The same physical translation to the audience about what the DJ is doing and when they do it can be said about CD DJs.) This has removed a lot of the showmanship in the DJ booth from the equasion.

    There is a general apathy regarding learning from the DMC Championship and DJ history as a whole. There is a lack of respect for the blood, sweat, and tears that people like Grand Master Flash and the X-Ecutioners spent practicing before unveiling what they had been keeping secret for months. These were the people who led us unknown aspiring DJs to mimic what they could do and then put our personal touch to it so it could become crowd pleasing components to our live performance. This common aspiration to educate ourselves for the perpetuate DJing as a musical artform is missing in modern EDM. …This, my fellow artists and acedemic DJ scholars, NEEDS to change.

    So, the tech  is smaller. The art of DJing has compacted to a short form studio production session. So what remains? What this has been distilled down to is a light show and a smiling recognizable face on stage to “press play”. The shownamship needs to be brought back into the show. The artform needs to return to what we do.

    Just because you CAN learn where the Play button is and find headphones that look good…doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD. Mr. Deadmau5, just because you CAN show us what an arrogant ass you can be to those who pay your bills and look up to you does not mean you SHOULD.

  • Tragik11

    this is what is all about http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcpWFiriv3w period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003711216680 Dav Won

    Good thoughtful comments from everyone here. this was a great article. As a hip hop producer and dj who is still starting to venture into electronic music, I think what we are seeing is EDM musicians basically arriving in the same position that the Hip Hop dj found himself in only a couple decades ago. Back then the gold standard for djing was that you rocked on turntables, not cd decks, and certainly not a laptop. You had your 2 turntables AND you cut and scratched and juggled beats.

    But as hip hop became pop, the culture that birthed it, became less supportive than the the new mainstream/Top 40 fans. So these fans cared less about the manual skills and work that went into the song and just wanted to see their favorite artists or group perform live. The artists and the dj felt pressure to give these people more, so they resorted to all types of spectacles and gimmicks to keep everyone entertained.

    As we see electronic music becoming more popular in the mainstream, the real deciding factor is how the fans see it and what demands they are placing on the music and the artform. Just like hip hop, EDM began on the margins and the original core fans support it in its purest form without all the flash and bang. But as the music becomes increasingly more popular, the dj/artist has felt pressure to add more theatrics in order to satisfy more diverse crowds, and quite possibly, to give people who paid $50, $60 or upwards of $100 bucks or more, something to see when they come to the big arenas and outdoor venues.

    But let’s not forgot, outside of all the labels and expectactions, this music is dance music. I think that, just within itself, the music is what it is and deadmau5 is correct– it is a studio creation designed to be listened to and danced to. It doesn’t need anything else after that to be enjoyable. But given the record industry’s notorious reputation for always trying to milk a good thing to death, it is natural that they will want to find as many ways to squeeze some extra juice out of it while they can, until the next new thing becomes popular.

    The dj/producer is pretty much in a tough position, because he is along for the ride and really just doing whatever he can to make a career for himself and represent his work to the best of his abilities. I think that there is only a problem when the audiences expect to see more than what is really there. While a die hard Skrillex fan may not care one bit if he just pushes play and smokes a cigarette and rocks along with his fans to his own track, the mainstream/Billboard kid may be quite disappointed if he sees anything less than fireworks, flashing lights, chicks in bikinis and a full on 20 piece orchestra.

    Just my thoughts….
    Dav1
    http://www.davwrx.com

  • Tragik11

    Deadmau5 just “pressing play” at raise your weapon noisia remix?  

  • http://www.facebook.com/haggebrink Lelle Häggebrink

    Has rock, punk and jazz taught us nothing?

    Step 1: Screw rules and preconceptions
    Step 2: ???
    Tadaah: People dancing like there’s no tomorrow!

    Of course – pretending is for wieners. But when I go to a show I want my head blown off, and I really really don’t care if it’s through rabid mashing or through SMPTE-triggered food-processors. Just find find someting that drives you BONKERS, practice like it’s 1999, and hit me like a ****ing freight train!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1651530188 Joseph Chang

    Ean you should probably check out what Joel is doing to his own set up to change the game for EDM live performances.  - http://deadmau5.tumblr.com/post/26340245269/sometimes-the-most-obvious-solution

  • http://www.facebook.com/piopro James ‘Pioneer’ Burkill

    this is not a new argument just and the same facts remains as they do now as to the rise of dance in the UK 10 year ago,  DJ are not made for TV they began in a club and that is where they stay, EDM Studio producers just play a to bigger stage, and fans want to here their tracks that make them famous if it were as a rock band, where a  DJ that goes big because of a track and get on tv like guetta and just it’s all media hype nothing more, not a real music performance…!!!
    now this is a great example I’m gonna give, I live in Huddersfield and have DJed next to a DJ and producer by the name of doorly (years ago before he got big) I from know him personally and his DJ style he hates laptops and is a hardware whore (always pioneer kit ect…) he recently made a appearance in New York for the Nokia Lumia 900, where remixed starships of Nicki Minaj’s,he uses the decks to get the track across please watch he DJ’s its not in sync to the Video this is a commercial performance as a DJ not a production perfromance…
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abyYIHAGQ8M  (just as guetta performs!!!) deadmau5 as daft punk build their show as producers and the have to press play just as a DJ but build the track Live with the Productions’ individual components ,which come as a standard in EDM production for a dj (The build of a intro to the exit of a track) now if we are talking live dance music performance then look no further than Groove Armada a real cross over outfit 2 guys as DJ’s ( I know seen them DJ with Vinyls in 2003 B2B sankeys, Manchester B2B) Studio Producers (own 3 albums), and have a live band to perform now this is the difference… 

  • http://www.facebook.com/joaolegalize João Pereira

    for me you dont do a live with ableton you do a live act like octave one and so lond mps synths drum machines and shit 

  • http://twitter.com/RIP_KING Rifkizzle

    has nobody in this debate ever seen Big Gigantic of Eo’to live?

  • UndeadAreGo

    This debate is so tired and I wish that people would stop trying to start wars over the legitimacy of different techniques and performances. So, next are we going to start calling people out for using loops and not mashing every single bass beat by hand? Oh, wait, I’ve already seen that argument…

    You don’t go to shows to ‘see’ producers like Deadmau5 or Guetta in action. You go to dance, have fun, and enjoy the atmosphere. If you want live performance skills, then go see someone known for live performance, like Bassnectar or Glitch Mob. Simple as that.

    • Facebook User

       go see Skratch Bastid, you want a great performance and music, Skratch Bastid is the show you want to see.

    • Mike

      FINALLY, And it took the last fucking post for someone to realize no one gives a fuck if they play live or not. I pay for festival / rave tickets for the atmosphere. Electronic music is not meant to be played live, its a whole different planet of the music industry that shouldn’t be compared to anything that is traditionally played live.

  • Brent Silby

    I find this extremely interesting. Many rockstars have also been caught out lip-syncing and miming to pre-recordings. And if they *are* playing live, the show is so carefully planned and choreographed that they might as well be pre-recorded. There is little room for U2 to spontaneously jam in an arena of 100,000 people. They wouldn’t risk it.

    I’m pleased that the distinction was made between club DJs and superstar EDM producers. I work damn hard every weekend as a DJ. It’s not easy making a club of 250 people dance all night.

  • JEAN MARC LAVOIE

    excuse the typos… it’s just one of those days where my fingers move faster than my brain.

  • JEAN MARC LAVOIE

    This reminds me of the discussion of “pre-programmed” sets. If you are a “guest appearance” type dj or you share the stage with several other dj’s then you become known for having a unique sound or playing a particular variety of music. In this case having a pre-programmed can be said to be the equivalent to a band practicing their set and having a song list before a concert. The band does not on stage and come up with new songs on the fly. And if as dj’s we are attempting to give a worthwhile “live” performance ourselves and push the intensity of our mixes then we cannot just blend in songs back to back from break to intro.

    Therefore, I would argue that in order to put our creativity into full-effect we need to plan out and pre-program a set, often editing songs beforehand or practicing the edits that we will perform live. The comparison of musician to DJ to EDM artist in this article touches upon that. And, the full-length discussion of how EDM artists and DJ’s can take their live performance to the next level invites much more common and input. However, in the end what YOU do to set yourself apart as a performer is what will make the difference. And if you wish to become an EDM artist then part of playing live is giving fans an experience, not just playing for them what they could pop into their car CD player or broadcast over their iPod to hear. This may come by means of visuals or by means of a more “hands on” performance. Personally I would prefer to be known for the later.

  • Adam

    Ugh! who the fuck cares what that nasty troll says anyway?
    He was clearly calling out big name “fakers” like guetta and Swedish house mafia etc
    Its not hard to find acts that genuinely perform their electronic music far more live than the aforementioned, just because they all took the money doesn’t mean all acts are that way inclined.
    So many people are commenting on that divas statement when its best to ignore trolls in the first place.

  • SAM

    Honestly here’s the real problem. With the current advancements in technology, it’s too easy to be a DJ now. In the past you had to save up and buy two turntables and a mixer. Then you have to learn beat matching, etc. So if you saw a DJ in a club, chances are they spent a lot of time and money to be up there on stage, and they’ll put a lot of effort into the set to make sure they get booked again.

    Nowadays, any teenager with a macbook can pirate DJ software, pirate a library of songs, press sync and be a DJ overnight. Multiply this with the recent boom in EDM’s popularity, and you have a ton of brand new artists who can very easily slap together a set. From what I’ve seen of many EDM artists, the art of transitioning has been reduced to a 1 second crossfade to the next track. And since EDM is mainstream, fans don’t notice or care about mixing compared to die-hard aficionados. Therein the cycle continues and the scene becomes cheapened over time. Since DJ’s are judged mostly by hype rather than talent nowadays, they can put minimal effort into a set and still book world tours.

    So this is my point. While technology has simplified and advanced the tools for DJing (which is good), in the process it has made DJing more accessible to people trying to look cool and make a buck (bad).

    • http://twitter.com/siraphmusic Siraph

      That’s what he’s saying. Anyone can be a DJ nowadays. Learning to beatmatch took me, maybe… a week? Tops? It was micromanagement for DJ-ing. So, we made it easier. Which makes it easier for other people. So… the step-up for DJ’s to be better than the rest… is to mix their own stuff. Play their own music. It takes much much longer to learn how to write music.

      • DJ Arctic

        Nicely said. Perhaps another way to put it would be, “A good DJ can remix another persons track, an excellent DJ can remix his own tracks.”

  • Bmar222

    +1 for the Madeon How I Play article.  When’s it going to be out?

  • L Missun

    would be cool if producer sell there project data to other djs to live perform the songs in a cooler way

  • Ryan Dejaegher

    I made this comment over at digital dj tips but I feel it’s still relevant for this topic

    This whole conversation just made me realize, there is a huge misconception of what these super star dj’s are capable of. A superstar DJ (Steve Aoki, David Guetta, Calvin Harris – the title superstar relates more to their commercial appeal) doesn’t mean they can adapt and play to any crowd. I know I know we always here “a good dj should be able to read and play to any crowd.” But that’s the thing, Steve Aoki’s best set is never going to be a hip hop set. Could he play one, probably but it wouldn’t spectacular. It’s an absurd expectation. The saying jack of all trades, master of none rings true here. I’d rather see a DJ play a few genres really well rather then a DJ playing a mediocre set trying to cover everything. It’s likely that’s what got them to where they are, not that they’ve reached some kind of guru status where they can play the best set of any genre any time.

    As time changes I think the definition of a DJ need’s to be re evaluated and maybe there will need to be separate branches of DJ’s. As an example, I wouldn’t call Steve Aoki a DJ anymore, rather he’s an entertainer. Again Calvin Harris would be booked as an act/singer/producer? A DJ would be someone who is playing other people’s tracks or maybe someone who is doing remixes/mash ups live. Someone like Jazzy Jeff would be a turntablist DJ. You get my point by now.

    What do you guys think?

    • Adam

      Honest question: who thinks these ‘superstar djs’ are genre spanning guru’s?
      Who has these misconceptions? i dont know anyone who would imagine someone like david guetta could tear the roof off a hiphop night with a huge set of classic gangstarr tracks.
      I agree with your second statement wholeheartedly, just not sure where you are coming from with the first…

  • Guest

    I agree with most of the comments here. Yes the djs press play and do minimal “action” when it comes to the stage, but the stage is not where the real dj (presuming hes a producer, not just some wannabe hotshot) are meant to shine. The producer puts his creativity, long nights of hard work, his blood – sweat – tears, into his music, IN THE STUDIO (not underrating the hard work required for producing a quality track either). The stage is really just a means of delivering this genious piece of work, that everyone wants to hear, and that is what makes the people happy…and its about them, nothing else matters. If they have a smile on their faces, if you take them to a special place with what track you “press play” on (cause lets face it, track selection is underrated as well when it comes to real djs, because one bad track could turn off the people)…then you did it, they love it, and that is the greatest feeling ever.

    The problem may be where people read Joels blunt and rudely put statements (to say the least), and think its really just about pressing play, when they really have no clue what work goes into creating that tune. Those people prejudge, and thats where a bad hear say story starts. Joel is such a master at production that he probably forgets all the work that goes into it, and learning it in the first place, because he spends most of his time in the studio anyway. Djing, production and performance are much too complicated to be able to put into a few sentences for those who dont do it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/samshuffleshrd Sam Moore

    DeadMau5 is dead to me…

  • mixeduse

    DJTT, thanks for providing the forum for this discussion.  I think we’ve all benefited from having a place to learn.  I think the most important thing about this culture is the music.  EDM is wholly different from rock and so is the culture.  The culture isn’t just DJs and Producers, it’s about the party people and the audience.  Producers and DJs work together, directly or indirectly to give a good time to people who need it.  Whatever part of the process you’re in, studio, club, or streaming online, we’re all here to have fun and share it with others.  It’s only our egos that get in the way.  Sure, something is to be said of those who have more experience and have gone to production.  However, we can’t forget where we came from and shouldn’t poo poo those who haven’t reached a certain level.  Similarly, jealousy and envy of superstardom is getting in the way of giving a crowd a great time.  These superstars put out some decent stuff.  It’s why they’re famous.   Sure, I get sick as hell of playing a Guetta song more than once or twice, but I’m not beyond handing a tasteful remix to a crowd to get them into more obscure underground stuff after the song is over.

    So, I say producers, keep doing your job.  DJs, do the same.  Everyone, don’t forget to have fun.

    PLUR.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jayselway Jay Selway

    I use Tom Cosm’s method for my live performances (http://vimeo.com/1701545) which works great. Combine that with a bit of controllerism, and I’ve getting pretty darn expressive. I think the issue with Mau5 and the like are they are just lazy.

  • streetstreet

    So its not like russel crowe in that movie he did back in the day with denzel? VIRTUOSITY

  • Sports

    In my mind, DJ’ing is the art of playing the right song at the right time. on the fly remixing is optional. i have been trying to tell my friends that allthese guys are not dj’s, they are PRODUCERS. they are the apple trees, dj’s are the apple, and the crowd is that hungry hippie who decided to eat from a tree. (i hope that metaphor made sense.)

  • Dillinger23

    A lot of what has been said by Mau5 and others about the impossibility of playing electronica (sorry, I’m from the UK and really don’t like this ‘EDM’ tag) is utter crap. While electronica has only really arrived in the US in the last few years, it has been massive in Europe for over 20 (but we here of course appreciate the sound originally came out of the chicago and new york underground scenes). Orbital were doing it 20 years ago and still do it today, using old analogue synths, digital equipment and loads more besides, also Underworld absolutely RIP THE ROOF OFF during their live shows. 
    EDM is over 20 years old in Europe and has been performed live in one incarnation or another for those 20 years.   Orbital live in a BBC studio with a small audience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpQQy52T0Ts, and this one live at Glastonbury in front of 50,000 plus 

    Underworld live in 1998 at a festival http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhU8kim6NIc  

    David Guetta and Mau5 and Swedish Shit Mafia should watch these performances and be amazed and also ashamed of what they have done to sully the live incarnation of electronic music.

    • Anonymous

      There is a problem with your comparison though: Orbital and Underworld are Electronic music groups as in people who are musician FIRST and they play and produce Electronic music. Now, even as 3 people, Swedish House Mafia is a collective of EDM DJ/Producers which in no way means they are musicians, two different ball game even when they fall in the same arena. And, that’s the confusion even Ean Golden himself has created with his article. Just because a DJ layout a 64 bar chord progression on a track, it doesn’t mean he can reproduce it live on a keyboard; thinking about it, most of these chord progressions are not really done on the keyboard, they are done through Piano Roll grid through Software.

      The huge pool of EDM DJ/Producers are NOT the same as Electronic musicians or musicians, period. Worst, there’s no mandatory guidelines that say all the music in EDM land has to be performed and created equal.
      Of course, where the confusion gets deeper is that, there are a good amount of EDM producers who are actually musicians, bT, Wolfgang Gartner, Moby, etc… but they have chosen to perform as DJs.

      Daft Punk by example is another electronic music duo who performs and produce as a band. But yet, you may also find Daft Punk here and there doing an occasional rare appearance for a DJ set without synths and big equipment around… and yes, at that point they just push buttons.

      Justice, French electronic music duo came to Ultra this year, did an amazing live performance with a full grand Piano on stage but yet, it didn’t make much difference for the crowd when Avicii came on and close by just blending one song after the other on 2 CDJs. Why? because people came for the experience, the music they wanted to hear, not the 50 tons of equipment that was setup.

      Lock a DJ in a room where the crowd can’t see, no one gives or even remember to wonder what he is using to mix as long as the music is banging and it could all be Orbital  or Paul van Dyk going nuts in that room. No ones gives a damn if the mixes are falling in the right places and the music is good.

      I honestly think DJs will be DJs and Rockstars will remain Rockstars, no matter what the next instrument Pioneer or Ean Golden invent :-)

    • Anonymous

      There is a problem with your comparison though: Orbital and Underworld are Electronic music groups as in people who are musician FIRST and they play and produce Electronic music. Now, even as 3 people, Swedish House Mafia is a collective of EDM DJ/Producers which in no way means they are musicians, two different ball game even when they fall in the same arena. And, that’s the confusion even Ean Golden himself has created with his article. Just because a DJ layout a 64 bar chord progression on a track, it doesn’t mean he can reproduce it live on a keyboard; thinking about it, most of these chord progressions are not really done on the keyboard, they are done through Piano Roll grid through Software.

      The huge pool of EDM DJ/Producers are NOT the same as Electronic musicians or musicians, period. Worst, there’s no mandatory guidelines that say all the music in EDM land has to be performed and created equal.
      Of course, where the confusion gets deeper is that, there are a good amount of EDM producers who are actually musicians, bT, Wolfgang Gartner, Moby, etc… but they have chosen to perform as DJs.

      Daft Punk by example is another electronic music duo who performs and produce as a band. But yet, you may also find Daft Punk here and there doing an occasional rare appearance for a DJ set without synths and big equipment around… and yes, at that point they just push buttons.

      Justice, French electronic music duo came to Ultra this year, did an amazing live performance with a full grand Piano on stage but yet, it didn’t make much difference for the crowd when Avicii came on and close by just blending one song after the other on 2 CDJs. Why? because people came for the experience, the music they wanted to hear, not the 50 tons of equipment that was setup.

      Lock a DJ in a room where the crowd can’t see, no one gives or even remember to wonder what he is using to mix as long as the music is banging and it could all be Orbital  or Paul van Dyk going nuts in that room. No ones gives a damn if the mixes are falling in the right places and the music is good.

      I honestly think DJs will be DJs and Rockstars will remain Rockstars, no matter what the next instrument Pioneer or Ean Golden invent :-)

    • ihabelnaccash

      Those are the two examples that most come to mind for a live performing electronic acts- I ve seen both Underworld and Orbital over and over again- and neither band has ever disappointed- musically or stage/ light wise!

    • http://www.facebook.com/LeeZerUK Lee Grace

      good picks.  i’d add Kraftwerk, Prodigy, Lab4 and K90 to that mix also  

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Foster/1410024062 Brian Foster

      Electronica arrive in my America a long long time ago.  I started going to raves in 1991 and was listening to the music a few years before that.  All of that and in live in the deep country south of America.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-McCoy/1293741663 Tony McCoy

    what did brian eno or gary numan do?

  • http://www.facebook.com/CbDizzle Connor Campbell

    how bout this… we make these things called turntables, then. (stick with me here) people actually learn how to beat juggle and scratch… LIVE. crazy right?

  • justin reed

    richie hawtin
    nicholas jaar

    Are two pretty large names that have figured out extremely involved ways to perform live.

    Can we just agree that our superstars of EDM ARE the modern britany spears pop flavor of the moment etc…then when they fake there way through a lowest common denominator pre-programmed set we won’t be disappointed.

    there are literally tens of thousands of working djs and live PA musicians who are happy to share there love of the music while respecting and honoring our rich tradition of live improvisation.

  • Justinmarkus

    In the end. He’s just another “pop star” with his ego stuck up his ass.

    I’m so sick of this guy.

  • JuanSOLO

    The line between DJing and Performing Music seems to have become more of a gap. I’m not sure I would call a samplist or turntablist a DJ anymore. 
    I remember when bands played house parties
    I remember when DJ’s played house parties
    Now we have a, looks sorta like a DJ but is more like a 1 man band sample masher vst tweaker with some hardware things playing house parties.

    What do you call that, because it’s not really DJing and it’s almost an instrument? 

    When bands started playing synthesizers, people were saying they were not musicians, or they were cheating.
    Now when DJ’s play synthesizers they arent really DJ’s

    I’m SO confused, but I dont really care. I’ve seen a lot of boring bands and DJs whos records were amazing, I have seen so many amazing bands and DJ’s whos recordings sucked.

    I dont care how it’s done, if I like it I’m gonna go check it out in one form or another.  

  • DJ Arctic

    Here’s what I think:
    • The popular DJ’s who fake sets (Tiësto, David Guetta, et all) need to take a few more risks. The people won’t boo you off the stage if you mess up (it’s happened to deadmau5 enough times, and he’s still selling out stadiums!) and it’ll be that much more impressive if they pull it off.
    • Deadmau5 is right, somewhat. Any Dance music performer out there will just press play. What makes the good ones IMHO good is what they do besides pressing play. Some people throw effects on top, some people throw synth parts over it, some even throw samples on it, but all of the good ones do something other than pressing play on a premixed song.
    • We need to find a new name for the people like deadmau5 or Daft Punk. Calling them DJ’s just isn’t gonna cut it. I’m calling them mixists, but if you guys have a better term then I’m eager to hear it!
    In the end, it all comes down to the people. Yes, there are the people out there who like the premixed sets and wouldn’t give a flying f**k if they knew the guy was faking it; yes, there are also those who would want to hear the guy fail once and finish the show spectacularly rather than listen to a premixed set that their grandmother could have made in GarageBand. The one thing that I think no one should ever do is compare dance music performance with traditional performance. It’s like comparing apples and oranges! I suppose that in the end, it all comes down to one guys opinion over another.

    • http://twitter.com/djalpharomeo DJ Alpha Romeo

      @DJ Arctic you can’t compare Daft Punk with Deadmau5. Daft Punk are legend

      • DJ Arctic

        I’m only pointing out the similarities between the two. Both deadmau5 and Daft Punk use Ableton Live to play *somewhat* premixed stems of their songs. Both deadmau5 and Daft Punk use synths to add a little more variety to the performance by tweaking the settings. Both use only original productions of theirs, remixes they made, and remixes that were created from their tracks by another artist. Neither use CDJ’s, or vinyl, or timecode, or even DJ software. The point of my second item was not to compare Daft Punk to deadmau5 (I agree, Daft Punk is a little out of deadmau5′s league) but to put them forward as mislabeled. They are not DJ’s, so we should stop calling them and anyone whose idea of performance is like theirs DJ’s.

      • DJ Arctic

        I’m only pointing out the similarities between the two. Both deadmau5 and Daft Punk use Ableton Live to play *somewhat* premixed stems of their songs. Both deadmau5 and Daft Punk use synths to add a little more variety to the performance by tweaking the settings. Both use only original productions of theirs, remixes they made, and remixes that were created from their tracks by another artist. Neither use CDJ’s, or vinyl, or timecode, or even DJ software. The point of my second item was not to compare Daft Punk to deadmau5 (I agree, Daft Punk is a little out of deadmau5′s league) but to put them forward as mislabeled. They are not DJ’s, so we should stop calling them and anyone whose idea of performance is like theirs DJ’s.

    • http://twitter.com/djalpharomeo DJ Alpha Romeo

      @DJ Arctic you can’t compare Daft Punk with Deadmau5. Daft Punk are legend

  • The CrowdBoy

    Problem is that we call Dj’s EDM to producers, when I was into hip hop I never heard of a producer playing live, It was the Mc along with him. We go to fests to listen a producer and not the Mc, and that’s the problem, most of them don’t DJ or don’t have the ability to Dj infront of thousands of people and not mess up.

    I wen’t to a Grandmaster Flash live performance, and god damn it was amazing, pure live, pure oldschool rockstar, scratching…. he nailed it!
    I’ve also seen David Guetta, Sebastian ingroso, Roger sanchez, Steve Aoki, Afrojack, Armin van Buren(too long ago =( ) and many more and what i can say of their sets… yeah the music was good, but he just stood by the mixer, most (not all) just used the cdj to plug the usb.
    We need more Grandmaster flash like artis and shit, scratching is like doing a solo with gitar, it will always look cool. but I’m more into controllerism, and by now it seams that we are stuked In the middle, betwen scratching (vinil) and beatjugling (drumpads). wich are really cool, we need to find the way to make controllers help us shine in stage, and I strongly believe the first step is wirles and getting rid of the screen infront of ya face!!maybe place it on the ground and a litle bit angled like if it was a speaker, so everybody can see what we are doing, and midifighters are getting closer to this!!In conclusion, more DJ’s on stage less Producers on play!

    • The CrowdBoy

      I’m not saying all the djs that i said doo play and pause, Armin for instance doesn’t nor does tiesto and many more,….

  • Adam Ritenauer

    I think the real problem is that EDM got popular (again), but EDM culture is still quite underground. I don’t go to a DJ expecting a big performance. What I expect is to hear new tracks that I don’t have access to, hear tracks of other artists they want to hype, and perhaps hear some of the DJs latest productions that they are still working over but want to test out on a crowd. A DJ set is not about performance it’s about communication and celebrating a culture. You can’t blame the DJ because you bought into something you don’t understand. That said I want the culture to evolve, and I want a more hands on expressive way of “DJing”, but classic DJing is not just “button pushing” there’s a whole lot going on that many may not understand. So the problem is two fold. 1) How do we evolve our performance standards? and 2) How do we communicate who we are and where we came from to the masses?

    • SmiTTTen

      Well Said :)

    • http://twitter.com/koningwoning Eric Woning

      Most people also don’t understand what’s happening when a band is playing on stage… yes they understand that this sound is ascribed to this instrument… but what they guy is actually doing? Nope!

      The difference is: a DJ used to be more or less part of the crowd… but with these EDM production units they have taken the DJ away from the crowd and on a huge stage…. and it’s very uninteresting to see because it’s just one guy standing there and you can’t even see his hands.

      We don’t need to evolve our standards… we have to not wish to stand on a giant stage!

    • Abstraktmynds

      Thats a good point. Who really cares if we hit play?

  • http://twitter.com/siraphmusic Siraph

    First of all, lots of the comments on this thread are responding to the question “How do you like to play live?” Or, “How do you like your favorite people play live?” The question is “How WOULD you like to PERFORM live?” The article above is a clarification piece. Therefore, it is a less bitchy version of Deadmau5′s rant. Therefore, it is a criticism of our current limitations on performance and a criticism of famous DJ’s saying they do “X thing” when they’re not.

    As far as I’m concerned, performing live doesn’t require you to have more and more things to do on stage. In fact, I think playing live, as a DJ, should bring you to less things to do on the stage unless what you want to play requires more. I mean, you don’t see Ean up there making all the cue markers in other tracks while simultaneously playing through another song with a MF. That would be remarkably impressive, yes, but very difficult to do… if not excessively difficult. No… those markers are placed before a show and ready to be played whenever. Similarly, bands aren’t meticulously rummaging through boxes of pedals for their guitars and hooking them up during a song when they need them. That stuff is prepped and on stage and hooked in before the show even starts.

    Deadmau5 does similarly. Except it’s a studio set up in a giant light cube. Everything is prepared before the show. We all do similarly… prepare before a show. And, in the end, we all have to push some buttons to get our preparation to work. The speed and complexity of the button pushing is the only real variable as far as the work goes.

    DJ’s have this huge ego about their music collection. I know I do, at least. And they want to believe that this song is the song that everyone wants to hear regardless if they want to hear it or not. Or, they’re more interested how they’re going to play it. I’m gonna use CDJ’s, or vinyl, or a midi controller. And they think that crowd will make the distinction and recognize that your delivery method is superior to all others. And, worse still, you think that this delivery system and track selection and all this other stuff is the prime of artistic creativity thinking. (FYI: It isn’t… but it is. Artistic creativity (this refers to methods used to create art) is subjective and cannot be measured… Artistic creativity is only relevant to the creator, not the receiver. Some methods are more obvious to the receiver than others, ex: oil paint vs watercolor, but if the end result is shit, the artistic creativity element is irrelevant)

    This is not the case. As a DJ, your primary (if not your ONLY) job should be to play music for a party. And if the partying does not continue as a result of your work, you are doing your job poorly. Now, for all the resident DJ’s that say they put a lot of work into their track selection, track timing, etc… good for you. That’s doing it right. Deadmau5 probably no longer has a sense of having to do that because it’s done for him as he’s created his fame in a different method. As an example, you may not be a hot dude, but you can make a cute girl laugh and she’ll want to go out with you because you have an awesome personality. But it took a bit because you don’t work out and you didn’t shave that day. But here comes Brad Pitt and all he has to do is smile and she wants to jump that. He doesn’t need the personality cuz his perceived interesting-ness is built in. He’s done the hard work of getting you interested before you even see him. Deadmau5 has done the same.

    However, let’s say Brad Pitt is kind of an asshole. And let’s say that he keeps pushing the cute girl away and makes fun of her. She’s gonna lose interest. If the personality doesn’t match the hot guy look, she’s gonna walk away. IE: Brad does not meet the expectations she made in her head. Similarly, the expectation of a live show of your music should be your music. If you play other people’s stuff… they lose interest quickly. 

    I’ve been to see many of my favorite producers. They hooked me in with their fantastic productions. I love melodies and they things sound. So, when I see a DJ, I want to know that they love the music as much as I do. I’m more likely to have a great time when the DJ is having a great time. And lots of DJ’s just want to focus on how to have a good time… rather than just having a good damn time. Remix live stems all your want. In fact, (something I’ve always wanted to do) bring a MIDI keyboard and record some stems live and use those. Beatmatch a CDJ and bounce your head around. I guarantee you that the vast majority of your crowd won’t give a crap what you do. They’re interested in partying… not criticizing you. They’re interested in dancing with the hot girl in the corner. They’re interested in standing around their purses, taking their shoes off, and spilling PBR all over the place while they’re dancing. They’re interested in having a good damn time. And you need to be in a relationship with the crowd. Be interested in what they’re interested in. Give them some of what they want… you give them some of what you wanted to give them when you signed onto the gig. You’re not being paid to entertain yourself… Entertain the people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/skegsurfer Jj Mac

      This is the best way I think anyone can put it and this is a very well thought article. Koodos Going on my facebook, if you dont mind.

    • http://www.facebook.com/skegsurfer Jj Mac

      This is the best way I think anyone can put it and this is a very well thought article. Koodos Going on my facebook, if you dont mind.

    • http://twitter.com/koningwoning Eric Woning

      Nope… playing live is playing live…. premixing is like playing airguitar and having a tape play the guitar sounds and acting as if 

      Deadmau5 was talking about live when he was saying this – not about production or anything of the sorts.

      Deadmau5 could do live remixes of his own sets… he could actually mix different songs by himself live…

      Instead he literally says that he doesn’t give a shit about live, he only gives a shit about production.

      I tend to disagree with the “your only function is to play the music for the party”… it’s not. It’s choice, buildup, mixing vs. playing and addition. People who just play the music the audience wants to hear without manipulating it in some way are simply lazy!

      For that you seriously can build a setup in which people vote by sms or so which song they want to hear next – hook it up to a system with all music… and you got what YOU say a good DJ should be, sir!

    • http://www.facebook.com/SinDiggins Sin Diggins

      “As an example, you may not be a hot dude, but you can make a cute girl
      laugh and she’ll want to go out with you because you have an awesome
      personality. But it took a bit because you don’t work out and you didn’t
      shave that day. But here comes Brad Pitt and all he has to do is smile
      and she wants to jump that. He doesn’t need the personality cuz his
      perceived interesting-ness is built in. He’s done the hard work of
      getting you interested before you even see him. Deadmau5 has done the
      same.”

      WICKED ANALOGY THERE! lol

  • Dj Calvin

    All DJs are artists. But, not all DJs are musicians. A rose with thorns is still called a rose, a rose with no thorns is still a rose. A rose’s thorn is just a thorn.

    Here’s a very good example say you are a race driver, and you are given a race car by an engineer, but you don’t like the feel of the car so you tweak or add some parts to the car. That doesn’t make you an engineer.

    Same with DJing. DJs who became producers are to be considered real musicians. While other’s aren’t. It’s like this, you hear a track and you love to share and play that track to other people. But, you want to add your own flavor and presentation. Adding some effects and samples doesn’t make you a musician instantly. 

    As artists we express ourselves through the music we play. I would rather call DJs who mix and play other’s tracks as appreciator of music. When you start making your own music, that’s when you can call yourself a musician. Same with (art) artist vs designers. Artist are the ones who are being followed, designers are the ones who follows their client.

    You can always hate on producers like Guetta, or the Swedish House Mafia for their lack of actual DJing in their performances, but in the end they will always be better, because they can produce their own music and most DJs just play music from other artists.

    Now Paris Hilton is a different story, she can hit the play button and dance around but not DJ. She can have her own album, but not create. She is neither an appreciator of music nor a musician. But, a pest leeching for attention.

    • http://twitter.com/siraphmusic Siraph

      Thank God… someone who understands what Deadmau5 is actually saying. Instead of raging about a single sentence… the point of the rant is that Guetta, Tiesto, or any of the DJ’s in the top 100 are any more special as DJ’s than we are. As producers, though… they are clearly better.

      I think the top 100 DJ’s all know that that contest is bullshit. It is the amalgamation of the number of tracks you released this year. Why? Because the number of tracks you released keeps you relevant in the public eye. Which makes them want to see your live show (which is nothing more than a DJM-800 and two/four CDJ’s). And of course, those people will love that show because you played your music. And they will vote for you over someone else.

      Also, before you get flamed, I want to clarify something you said… “As artists we express ourselves through the music we play. I would rather call DJs who mix and play other’s tracks as appreciator of music. When you start making your own music, that’s when you can call yourself a musician.” What this man is saying is that both DJ’s (who appreciate music) and musicians are both artists. DJ’s aren’t really musicians, they’re people who play music. A musician is a creator of music. Neither of these professions is any less an artistic one than the other. I only felt the need to say this because someone is gonna say, “DJ’S AREN’T MUSICIANS! LET ME TELL YOU WHY THEY ARE!” This man isn’t saying anything negative. He’s telling you the difference between what the two words mean.

      • DJ Calvin

        Very well said. I’m a traditional DJ and I’m not ashamed to say that I play records from other musicians, which is entirely the purpose of DJing in the first place. 

        While, I can say that I’m better mixing live than most producers… Producers have an edge when it comes to making beats in the studio. We DJs won’t even exist if we don’t play, sample music from other artists.

        DJ producers and traditional DJs came from the same culture and love for music, but its just they branched-out… producers just doesn’t want to play and mix music like the us the traditional DJs, they wanted more so they created their own.

        I’m an open-minded person, I embrace changes to the culture, the branching out of different genres, the technology, the awareness of the people.

        It is entirely my choice if I chose to play on the clubs and in the underground scene, some people like Guetta probably wanted to make it mainstream, that’s his choice. He probably acts clueless when he’s on stage because he doesn’t really know how to operate the CDJs, but you cannot question his passion when his in the studio. That’s his turf.

        It’s their world and we have our own world too. My turf is in the clubs. 

        If there’s no producer to produce music, then there is no DJs to play music. If there are no DJs playing the DJ producer’s music, then there won’t be people going to their concerts either. It’s a give and take. I’m just here clearly for my love of music and to see people dancing and having a good time.

        • illuminare

          Look this is a really interesting article and you have some great points here. I really hate to troll on this comment, but i cant stand the proliferation of ignorance. David Guetta was a dj long before he produced anything, he’s been djing in the club scene since he was 17 years old, he’s lik 43 now….i think he’s got enough years under his belt to be called a respected DJ rather than just a producer who bout some expensive dj equipment. The poor guy is so much in the spotlight that everybody seems to formulate this negative opinion of his dj skills without doing their research and without any credibility. Wikipedia him, takes lik 2 seconds, and its all there. The man has made it big time because he’s an incredible producer as well as an incredible dj, and he worked to earn his place by implementing those skills in an ambitious manner. It’s ridiculous that he gets so much less respect than other legends lik Oakenfold, Armin van Buuren, a-track, etc. because he’s “mainstream” although he’s been around doin his thing for just as long! Guetta’s turf is in the clubs and in the studio just as most of his contemporaries (ie tiesto, laidback luke, Swedish House Mafia, the others mentioned before, etc). When ur talking about superstars of Guetta’s caliber, most of them, lik 95% i’d say, made it there because they could do both great, the productions create the following and the performance (along with more productions of course) keeps the following strong as the career progresses. I would feel bad for Guetta due to all of these misconceptions if he wasn’t making millions regardless haha. 
          Not trying to call u out man, I’m just trying to educate the common people on this guy so maybe he can garner the respect he deserves 

      • http://twitter.com/koningwoning Eric Woning

        First – you should understand the top 100 DJ’s is made for you, not them. They ALL scoff it because a lot of the people on there are not DJ’s – they are producers. Producers are artists (not musicians… musicians play instruments… that’s why they are called producers -look at a studio setup plz!)

        Second: I understand that you are from the states and probably a bit late to the table – so let me explain this to you: until a couple of years ago Producers did not play their sets as if they were DJ’s. There were exceptions to the rule… but these people were primarily DJ’s, and made their own tracks/albums as well so a bigger public would hear them. 

        The Producers made tracks which DJ’s interpreted on stage….. but the DJ’s were making tons of money… and the producers were earning less & less because the average Joe (read: YOU) were just downloading the music for free, not buying anything. So they thought: “Why are all these peole earning so much, and not me… who actually makes the music?”
        Which is why they started to go out on stage…. not because they wanted to play in front of a live audience, but because they wanted part of the pie!

        Armin van Buuren warned against this a couple of years ago (sorry – article is in Dutch) – that if people wouldn’t start paying for music, these guys would would come out and act as if they were playing – but it wouldn’t be real performance.

        So please understand what you are saying before you do.
        I see that you make music. That’s GREAT! keep up the good work… but understand that there is a difference between that and standing on stage making live mashups, cutups, beatjuggles, reinterpreting tracks that people love… or learn to love becuase you are playing that at THIS MOMENT mixed with that….and making a track at home.
        Both have their own distinct value – one is not better than the other…. just more obvious.

    • 6StringMercenary

      The tough part of this distinction though is that while people will pay for the track via Beatport, when they go see the show, the musicianship angle is being minimized. It’s a trade-off. Could Deadmau5 go out and play a nearly live set with a full backing band, where he’d have a true live experience for people? Sure, but that would mean paying people instead of playing hardware, and the compromise mau5 made to play big stage arena paycheck places is that he went away from what we know to be true about EDM and Music in general:

      If you can’t play it live, you’re a studio act, and you need to admit that. If you’re going to put on a performance – as pointed out elsewhere, the Britney lip-sync syndrom – then you need to admit that. If you’re a serious musician and can play a wide range of sounds in the studio and/or live, then you probably expect to get paid a good fee to show up to gigs and playing live like a professional, and there’s no shame in holding that standard above all the others. I’ve got mad respect for Prodigy, NIN, Ratatat, and pretty much anybody who is trying to push the envelopes of sound and still give the guitar a chance to show up and roar with the best of them.

      Deadmau5 isn’t in much of a position to talk, other than he’s correct in pointing out that what the customer is willing to pay for is not up to the state of the industry. If he sits down and does something to change that instead of just bitch on a pile of pretty lights and knob twisty cash, then I’m game to go on tour with him. Even if we don’t talk, because I don’t give a fuck, I’m a professional paid to show up and play music, not watch my music be played.

    • Harsha

      This comment pretty much sums up everything. If we really respected artists, we wouldnt be interested in Deadmau5 or the swedishmafia. 

      Paris hilton is just the brad pitt that the other guy mentioned.

  • jono

    I could, and am half tempted to go on and on about this but as a professional DJ for 10 years, Studio owner, Producer and session drummer I can safely say this comment comes from experience on both side of the fence.

    Have a look at 2manydjs live show. That is pushing creative boundaries and is still as live as playing in a band. They mix custom pre made audio/video DVD’s together. It’s ace. Suck on that Deadmau5! 

  • John

    James Blake is the a name that comes to mind in this discussion.  He produces some very intricate dance music like Love What Happened Here or CMYK, and he then performs those tracks live with his 3 piece band.  I’m not starting a discussion on whether or not you like the music, I’m just pointing out someone that translates something from his Logic-bedroom to a live setting, and does it incredibly well.

    • Owen

      Dude I totally agree, James Blake live is amazing and actually live 

  • BosBpm

    I wonder why he disregards the actual art of mixing?  Granted, he’s right in that a lot of time is spent in the studio, and that is where the “work” is.  Even if you don’t produce, you should be spending countless hours digging for those gems, sorting and categorizing your catalog.  

    If you’re a big super star DJ, you probably aren’t doing this.  You’re playing tracks you produced, remixed or edited, and tracks from your supporting label(s).  If it’s a massively produced show, clearly a lot of pre-planning needs to take place.

    For me, I play a small room, for 5 hours at a time.  I spend a LOT of time sourcing my music.  I don’t play all big hits, I dig for the best underground tracks I can find and that I truly LOVE, that fit my sound and get me excited to play for OTHERS to hear.

    When I play live, I don’t like to play 6 loops on top of each other.  The tracks are already highly produced, it would only muddle them to do so.  But there’s an art in track selection, programming, and the sound that a truly great mix can bring.  And it takes years and years of practice to get it right.  Anyone can sync, just like anyone can bang out a tune on the piano.

    Deadmau5 should stop talking shit and count his money, because once he hits 40 his career is going to be winding down and the friends won’t stick around when the money is gone.

  • Michel Banola

    The Mau5 is himself trying to find working solutions for more creativity: http://deadmau5.tumblr.com/post/26340245269/sometimes-the-most-obvious-solution

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.v.jones Ian V Jones

    I don’t “Just” push play, I also punch the sky!

    • Shufu

      don’t forget the sync button ;)

    • Shufu

      don’t forget the sync button ;)

  • http://quietmusic.com NickFrancis

    It’s all about the context, and what the audience expectations are. Do they come to the gig simply to get into the music and lose themselves while listening? Or do they come specifically to see someone being virtuosic in performance?  It’s like two different levels of music appreciation-each very cool in its own right, but also different like night & day.  

    In order to appreciate any kind of virtuosity though, you have to have some basic understanding of how the thing works. Most people understand the basic technics of playing guitar or piano, but very few people understand the way midi controllers control parameters in software. 
    Last year I built my own DIY controller which i designed for live performance, which was featured on DJTT. (http://www.djtechtools.com/2011/03/04/the-chopper-tone-classic-arcade-custom-controller/) . Since then I’ve played a few gigs, and even though I’m pushing a lot of buttons and turning knobs constantly, people look at it all and go “WTF”? Because they have no idea how it all works, no conception of the process. I’m now starting my gig doing a short introduction and explain what goes on when I push buttons and turn knobs. And even then, people are still bewildered. Bottom line, though – it’s the music and what comes out of the speakers that count; the process behind it will always be secondary.  

    • Xtremetryp

       I think your opening paragraph hits the nail. That is exactly how I feel. Back in the late 90s and early 2000s in NYC, I didn’t pay to go see some crazy show at a club. I went to listen and enjoy that trip of track selection. Maybe that’s just the way my expectations are set. I applaud the DJs for having huge lights and all kinds of toys at clubs now, but for me personally, that didn’t change the outcome of the night.

  • http://twitter.com/backstrokemusic backstroke.

    ..

  • Houseincorporated

    They are not stars! You got to give credit to all publicity though….to get people to watch a fkng dj on stage..that takes talent..
    To sit there and pay money to watch a guy press buttons? Wow?
    Go spend your money and go see a band play….Rockstars, youre kidding.

    I took up djing cause I love music and to make people dance…not so people can glorify me..

  • http://twitter.com/Ben_Lathwell ben lathwell

    So the issue isn’t really that DJ’s can only press play, it is more that the type of gigs these ‘Superstar DJs’ are getting only require them to press play.

    People at things like the Grammies, MTV awards etc etc are really just pop fans for the most. It’s Deadmau5 this year, last year it was Kaiser Chiefs or some other crap, next year it will be someone else.

    If Deadmau5 and the like want to put a bit more into their shows, proper live remixing etc, then maybe do some more underground gigs, or at least less Hollywood stuff. Play to those who really appreciate it.

    Check out the videos of Rusko playing a bass section using a real bass guitar, then using that as a loop. There are a ton more examples of creativity in the EDM world.

  • Gavin

    DJ’s just have one job to do and that is get people dancing.
    Now if they want to do this with the aid of pyrotechnics and the cast of Cirque
    du Soleil flanking them, so be it.

    This argument has been around for years, but just in various
    different guises, Tuntablism vs. Beat matching, Vinyl vs. CD, Digital vs. Analogue
    etc etc. The fact of the matters is the only people who seem to get caught up
    in the pros and cons of them all are the DJ’s themselves. The average punter
    does not really give a sh!t.

    As for EDM (really hate this term by the way) artists miming
    or doing very little work at all behind their setup, this is hardly a new phenomenon.
    This a decades old swizz with lots of bands/artists doing this to overcome the
    difficult challenge of holding a note while somersaulting simultaneously on
    stage. 

  • DJ THEME aka DROP DEAD

    DJ’s just press play and have no artistic creativity on stage? speak for your fuckin self deadmau5 cuz a lot of dj’s including myself put a lot of time and effort into creating a musical performance on stage that consists of complex mixing, crucial timing, and live remixing. So just because you and skrillex and girl talk go up there and press play and put your stupid fucking hands in the air does…nt mean that the the rest of us dont perform sets that take just about as much live and momentary intuition and judgement as a band…

  • Hillary Bloch

    Look:   no laser show, no foam bats, no slinky dancers, no wall-monitors, no smoke… Produced by Liszt, remixed by Horowitz, played live with some effects by Lang Lang.   

    You have been watching Tom & Jerry, right?

    Best wishes, Hillary

  • http://twitter.com/koningwoning Eric Woning

    Firstly – I think DeadMouse was talking about what most big producers do: theyonly play their own tracks. Then it becomes another thing… it’s not picking the right tune at the right moment, it’s not seeing on the fly how to change things.. it’s ALL predetermined. It’s like having a setlist… but also not having to play the instruments.

    Artists like Madeon & Jremy Ellis and even that stuck-up Araabmusic are definitely musicians. All controllerists are musicians… all other DJ’s are basically button pushers.

    BUT: For all who think that a solo is made up on stage I have news for you… every phrase of that solo has been practised countless hours before at home, then put together in different ways untill the perfect way is found, then practised with the band over and over again…. so in a way, most bands do not improvise very much either (NIN/Trent Reznor also called the tape that they were playing to their 6th bandmember – for a reason).

    The only thing bands do differently is that a) they can jam (which they rarely do on stage), b) can take the moment to make the song longer / stay in the moment (which a DJ does as well) and c) play REAL instruments that take multiple years to master. All else is decided in the place where they practise for their show.
    I know – I did this for years.

  • supermint

    I wouldn’t have gotten into Djing if it wasn’t for Traktor and four decks. Of course it’s still about playing songs I haven’t produced, but running four of them at once is a kind of artistic performance that includes live adjustments, new arrangements and limited editing which leads, in the end, to a certain kind of authorship. Maybe those who are not famous producers enjoy a bit more freedom since they are not expected to play a certain hit track of theirs just like it’s on the record. I am not a party DJ who plays what the crowd wants to hear, I try to reproduce my idea of music using a jigsaw puzzle of available material, taking the risk of not being understood, agreed with and being questioned. But it’s far from just pushing “play”, closer to the dude playing the one song with a spontaneous solo in the middle. Questioning the whole thing we’re doing is certainly academic, but non the less important and I congratulate Deadmau5 for stepping forward, even if I completely disagree with his style of music and performance.

  • neotechtonics

    Now what about live HARDWARE producers? I know alot fall into the way of MIDI sequencing everything to avoid hiccups while playing live. But I’m definitely 100% hands on… I have to be because none of my tracks would be able to play without me muting and unmuting parts, turning effects on/off at the right moment and twisting knobs live. The limitations of hardware kind of force you to do alot of things in real time that you could have micro-editted into the track on your DAW. Yes you can sequence most things into hardware to hit play and be lazy, but where’s the fun in that? 

    There’s a big difference between seeing a sunset and seeing a phot of one.

  • Niels82

    I think the article misses the point completely. I don’t think the problem lies in a lack of creative tools. Coming from the Netherlands and growing up around house and techno I’ve seen plenty of people doing something compelling with the use of midi controlers, drum machines, live synths or what not. The problem Deadmau5 is facing (according to himself) is the repeatability of his show. Because is his live show is synced to FOH in terms of lights, fireworks and all that, there’s very little he can alter in terms of track selection, live jamming, etc. And because he wants to be able to do 350 (very well payed) shows a year he is forced to twist a few effects, trigger some extra loops, etc. It’s pretty much the same argument Steve Angelo used to defend himself after some footage of him dj-ing a major festival without headphones emerged. Basicly he admitted to having played a premixed part of his set on order for the fireworks to go off in sync with the music. 

    Now, there may be some truth to this, although I have my doubts considering that there have been live acts (Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, Prodigy, etc) that were playing stadium shows with all of the trimmings, long before the rise of these new EDM-stars. What I find even more striking though is the completely dismissal of artistry in the statements of Deadmau5 and his fellow button pushers. I mean: what kind of artist let’s his live show (i.e. light show) come before the performance. And I’m not even exaggerating here, he actualy said: “we just facilitate the means and the pretty lights and the draw of more awesome people like you by our studio productions”.

    To Now this is about the most ridiculous argument I can think off, although it can be compared to Britney lip syncing here way through a concert, because the singing might interfere with her dancing. I doubt deadmau5 sees himself that way, but its pretty much what he claims would happen: the music would interfere with the light show….

    To it’s not about a lack of creative tools, but it’s taking yourself out of that comfort zone where you rehash all of you old hits in a predetermined order so that all of the pretty lights flash at the right time. It’s about Jack White using an old toy guitar and working with a riggety drummer in order to get his creative juices flowing, it’s about Jeff Mills and Mike Banks doing a live set with drum machines and synths in a bare and dark room, hell look at Modeselektor, they’ve got a live set and a pretty good light show going? I that means that you have to maybe hire a few people more and take a few dollars less, that’s the price you pay right? It makes your show all the more compelling for it. I saw a live collaboration between Richie Hawtin and Alva Noto of Raster-Noton fame a couple of years ago, during which Richie left his trusty Traktor setup and was doing beats on the step sequencer in Maschine with Alva Noton playing synths and frequencies in front of this huge LED-backdrop. You could literally cut the tension in the room.

    Now, that maybe a little difficult to transfer to a stadium full of rowdy 18 year olds, but even look at Armin van Buuren. He might not be my favorite dj’s in the world, but I respect the position he took in the recent DJTT-interview. He maintains a spontaneous element in his show which sets it apart from any of the other show he is doing that same week, month of year. He uses iChat to talk to FOH so they know what’s coming and all of the pretty lights flash at the right time. 

    So DJTT, although I respect you quest of creative outlets, but I think that misses the point and perhaps inadvertently make a case for greedy idiots such as deadmau5 to continue the way they do. I’d rather see everybody use the myriad of tools out there and create something interesting in a live performance. If not, this EDM-craze in the states may be over before you can say Skrillex. 

    Greetz

    • Hillary Bloch

      An iPad encore/improv/something…….   

      • stereohero

        Do DJ’s need to perform? I think the main reason people go to parties… is to party. They want to hear awesome tracks. Tracks they recognize, tracks they’ve never heard before, tracks they’ve never heard in this particular remix etc. It’s all about the tracks.
        Sometimes, when two or more tracks are played simultaneous and work really well together, it adds something, a new dimension that makes the sum of the total greater than all elements combined. Now, a great DJ takes these tracks and track combos and turn them into a continues stream of awesomeness. By connecting with the crowd, responding to it’s ‘needs’ and playing and mixing these tracks in just the right way to elevate the crowd and bring them to ecstasy. That’s the whole point. And that’s the ‘art of DJing’. Not just pushing a button.One could add extra dimensions to a set by controllerism routines, live rehashes/remixes/re-edits, adding synths, live vocals, drum computers etc., but essentially it’s about the tracks. Turning a shitty, cheesy track into an epic live remix using controllers? Fine, whatever makes great music.Another way to add extra dimensions is to add visuals to a set, but to a certain extend. When the visuals overpower the set, it misses it’s purpose. One of the best examples of ‘doing it right’ is the animated album covers visual of the Under The Covers tour by 2manydjs. They stated themselves that the animations should be awesome enough to support the music, but boring enough keep them from distracting the crowd of the main element; the tracks.It also should reinforce the connection between the DJ and the crowd. In my opinion Daft Punk and deadmau5 overdo it and their visuals create a barrier between them and the crowd. So a performance could enhance the connection between the DJ and the crowd, but essentially, it’s about the music. Making it ‘more live’ shouldn’t make the crowd rock harder. Or you are doing it wrong.

    • Dj Lion King

      You sir can write for DJ tech tools. Well Said

    • Vanel

      yep, i couldnt agree more.

    • http://twitter.com/siraphmusic Siraph

      An artist who lets his live show come before the performance is giving the people what they expect. I think you’re trying to view this from the outside looking in. But when Richie Hawtin shows up, people expect him to be doing all sorts of crazy controller stuff using Traktor. When Deadmau5 shows up, they expect a cube and his discography loaded onto studio equipment. When Armin shows up, they expect flashy lights and trance music on CDJ’s.

      What’s interesting is that all three of these “DJ’s” are interesting in some way to some people. As an example, I don’t like Indian food. Some other people love Indian food (Indian people, for example). Does that mean the genre of food as whole require that all food be Indian or not? No. Food needs to taste good and give me nutrition (except here in America where only the former is a requirement). 

      What his real issue is is that lots of producers are simply bringing CD-R’s of their productions to a show and not reproducing their music live. And then they’re saying they’re doing some other really cool stuff on stage, too. Like, their shows are vastly different from each other because of this special piece of gear or something. No, they’re not… they’re doing EXACTLY what the rest of us non-famous DJ’s do. They might say they use 1000 monomes all linked to a single instance of Live. Really, they’d rather grid tracks in Live and just play them in the standard A-B format. Or maybe they’re using CDJ’s and beat matching away. Whatever the case may be, Deadmau5 is saying that as DJ’s… all we do… is play music. We might even perform music live (he’s mentioned working on that on a very recent post in his blog). 

      I think you missed the point of the article, actually. First of all, he said that any DJ in the world could do what “Anyone else” (meaning David Guetta) is doing on massive stages. He’s saying that famous DJ’s all press buttons to do stuff. They don’t have any magical skills making them better than the next guy. Or even the DJ’s posting on a forum on a popular DJ website. We can all do exactly what they’re doing. It’s something you can do today.

      You misinterpret what he’s saying by facilitating the means to live shows.  What he’s saying is that we are giving you what you want (the music we as producers write). He’s saying that the productions you bring… that’s what matters. As producers, you should be giving people the people your music. And these live shows all facilitate your hearing the productions that these producers made. Because anyone of us on here could load one of these guys’ studio tracks on a CDR and play it. But the producers should be giving you that something more if they’re gonna play their song for you. 

      I mean, as a comparison… Would you rather see a cover band play More Than A Feeling? Or would you rather see Boston play More Than A Feeling (a damn good song, btw)? What if that cover band played it exactly the same way Boston did? You’d still rather see Boston… cuz they wrote it. And they should want to give you more than some cover band has at their disposal. And if they don’t… they shouldn’t say they do.

      • Niels82

        Hi Siraph,

        Thank you for the reply and yes, I would like to hear ‘More than a Feeling’ live by whoever might be inclined to play it. :-)

        And yes, I think the definition a live show had less to do with seeing the artist perform a live version of a track than seeing him or her doing something that transcends the recorded version of the original. That may be via a live jam session or by flashing some pretty lights.

        Why hold Deadmau5 to a different standard than say Britney or Lady Gaga? If substance is not your strong suit, why not compensate by giving people a good show? I’m all for that.

        What I’m challenging is the fact that Deadmau5 blames his lack of artistic value (which he is ready to admit) on the fact that his live show limits his capabilities. That’s about the same as saying that I could have won an Olympic medal if only i’d had better running shoes. 

        No new creative instrument is going to be a substitute for a lack of ideas or vision. That’s what I’m challenging here. It has nothing to do with me liking a specific genre or anything like that. Believe me, I’m not looking at DJTT for musical guidance :-)

        I think the nature of the production process of club music poses some inherit challenges, much like for instance hip hop does. But then at least find a way to overcome those challenges instead in holding up your hands and saying: “hey it wasn’t me who thought up this thing…”

        ‘Cos that’s basicly what he’s saying. He would want to push it further, but there’s no way to do it within the confines of his live show. And it’s not as if doing that is so extraterrestrial. There are plenty of live acts who have succeeded at providing a live show that’s more than just a collection of hits. Spontaneity is something that can be forced, maybe not within that specific track, but surely over the course of a live set. Is has nothing to do with looking from the outside in, but about challenging yourself and your audience. 

        By shifting the discussion from a lack of ideas to a lack of instruments, it becomes o.k. to play a prerecorded mix, flash some lights and call that a live show. I may be arrogant or old fashioned, but I think his audience is going to be pretty fed up with that 2nd time around. I’d rather see new people doing something fresh on established means than seeing a cock like Deadmau5 rewarded for his lack of ideas. 

      • Niels82

        Hi Siraph,

        Thank you for the reply and yes, I would like to hear ‘More than a Feeling’ live by whoever might be inclined to play it. :-)

        And yes, I think the definition a live show had less to do with seeing the artist perform a live version of a track than seeing him or her doing something that transcends the recorded version of the original. That may be via a live jam session or by flashing some pretty lights.

        Why hold Deadmau5 to a different standard than say Britney or Lady Gaga? If substance is not your strong suit, why not compensate by giving people a good show? I’m all for that.

        What I’m challenging is the fact that Deadmau5 blames his lack of artistic value (which he is ready to admit) on the fact that his live show limits his capabilities. That’s about the same as saying that I could have won an Olympic medal if only i’d had better running shoes. 

        No new creative instrument is going to be a substitute for a lack of ideas or vision. That’s what I’m challenging here. It has nothing to do with me liking a specific genre or anything like that. Believe me, I’m not looking at DJTT for musical guidance :-)

        I think the nature of the production process of club music poses some inherit challenges, much like for instance hip hop does. But then at least find a way to overcome those challenges instead in holding up your hands and saying: “hey it wasn’t me who thought up this thing…”

        ‘Cos that’s basicly what he’s saying. He would want to push it further, but there’s no way to do it within the confines of his live show. And it’s not as if doing that is so extraterrestrial. There are plenty of live acts who have succeeded at providing a live show that’s more than just a collection of hits. Spontaneity is something that can be forced, maybe not within that specific track, but surely over the course of a live set. Is has nothing to do with looking from the outside in, but about challenging yourself and your audience. 

        By shifting the discussion from a lack of ideas to a lack of instruments, it becomes o.k. to play a prerecorded mix, flash some lights and call that a live show. I may be arrogant or old fashioned, but I think his audience is going to be pretty fed up with that 2nd time around. I’d rather see new people doing something fresh on established means than seeing a cock like Deadmau5 rewarded for his lack of ideas. 

    • Bassieu60311

      Ever seen anthony rother do a live gig? It is possible, but in the genre deadmau5 is working everything must be show, in my opinion techno or house enthusiasts prefer the music above the show, so these artists can go much further by adding synths, drum machines etc. It can be done, and it already has been done. Deadmau5 is full of shit.

      • Bassieu60311

        I also want to add to that, that the introduction off laptops on stage made the so called live performances much less compelling, when i started partying ive seen guys totally rip it with synths, drums etc, sure with that gear you can also pre-program but this type of set up makes improvisation much more compelling. I understand that travelling acts since then dont want to take all their gear with them if you can achieve the same with the laptop, the audience does not really care as long as the music is good.
        But if artists are willing to take their gear, it can really be live as far as that goes with edm. Like i said ive seen anthony rother play live with synths, vocoders, fx etc and there where always things going on and you could really hear him do things. Even guys like mills or hawtin added live elements to their vinyl sets back in the day with the 909, sure they played those phrases a thousand times but they did do it live……so it can be done, but since the laptops made their entrance their is no need to do it like it went back in the day…

    • http://www.djbis.com Bis

      Bravo! 

    • Bratok

      Exactly. Very interesting discussion. I largely agree with Niels here. Better instruments are not going to solve the issues we’re facing today. But really there is much more behind this than just lame “play”-button pushers.

      It’s the whole marketing industry that with the help of digital media has led to a crazy short attention span theatre. The audience is unable to go deep on music anymore these days. They need a thousand impulses a second to keep them gong. And my guess is that for many dj’s it’s just hard to keep this up live. I mean the whole show, the fireworks, the lights, the wow effect. A few years ago I was at Awakenings (Dutch techno festival). For the first time rockets flew over my head and the whole stage seemed to be on fire. Admittedly, I was very impressed. But the next day it was exactly that what I remembered. Not any of the sets.

      There are many angles to this, I understand. But it’s not just a matter of giving the audience what they come for. People simply don’t know what they want until you show it to them. And it’s exactly that what makes someone a great artist. Visualising (or making audible in our case) our vision, our ideas. Not repeating the same trick like a circus monkey over and over again in the hope that “they” will keep coming. Or keep on adding lights and magic to the show in the hope to reach sustained interest.

      My point is basically that we have to educate our audience and resist the pressure from the whole money making industry involved. Let as little as possible stand in the way of playing a proper set (whatever that may involve).

      I’m from the Netherlands as well and have been a controllerist since the early days. Turned to Traktor and other digital tools (Reaktor, Live, etc.) since their very first versions 10-12 years ago. But more recently I’ve turned away from all of that. Bought a pair of Technics and started buying vinyl again. And now I’m actually listening to music again. It takes time to select a record, take it out of its sleeve, placing it on the decks, etc. I tend to think more about what I’m going to play next and leave it playing for longer.

      Last but not least I’m not saying a product like the Midi Fighter is evil and we should all go back to analogue. I’m just sharing my experience, thoughts and a part of the process I went through. In the end all that matters is that we’re having fun ;-) 

    • Downloud

      I find all of these comments funny, yet compelling. You are completely on the outside looking in. Try to come from an Artist standpoint, if possible. The truth to your heated argument of Deadmau5 pushing play is barely what you have said. Deadmau5 is one of the few who is technically live creating & writing tracks. I know Steve Duda personally who has told me a lot about his live sets. He is doing something that, from what I know, no one else does. He is actually writing live tracks on the fly. People have even asked Deadmau5, “What track is this!? It’s incredible!” and he responded by saying, “I’m making it up as I go.” This is more than DJ’ing in my eyes. This is extremely credible, yet the public, & people such as yourself, won’t understand or even know this is happening. Also, I believe that these huge EDM stars are usually starting out as Producers. And they are strictly Producers that create amazing tracks for the world. DJ’ing just happens to be the normal way that a Producer of electronic music must showcase his musical creations. I don’t blame any huge EDM stars for grabbing a Traktor S4 and learning to basic mix to showcase his or her tracks. They might not even love DJ’ing or be very interested in it. But they must take some interest in it, because they HAVE to perform this way. This is why you see a lot of younger producers coming out and playing these insanely huge festivals with just an S4. It is easier to mix with. That is a fact. But I don’t blame them for this like most other “DJ’s” or “Producers” will. Yes, I do believe it makes the Artist more interesting when they learn to mix creatively. But, at the same time, these Studio Stars might not even like to mix live… They are forced to if they want to travel the world and be an EDM Rockstar. Also, these Producers become Entertainers when DJ’ing. Yes, a lot of their sets have to be pre-recorded so that there tracks can go perfectly with the lights. But that is how EDM entertainment works. It’s impossible to make the lights go perfectly with the music without some of it being pre-planned. The public usually doesn’t even know this, and to be honest, they don’t all need too. They are going to these big Vegas clubs to have a great experience. This experience does involve the lights as well as the music working together to create something magical. Stop being so judgemental and stop acting like you’re such an amazing DJ who wouldn’t let them tell you to do a pre recorded set to go with the lights. Truth is, you would do it. And you would do it proudly when you’re up there in front of thousands of people. If you like to be an insanely good DJ and mix all your stuff live and you only like DJ’s and Producers that do this, then so be it, that is cool for you and good for you! No problem with that. BUT, if you’re going to bag on all DJ/Producers who aren’t mixing extremely creatively up there, you’re just being arrogent. Just stick to the shows you prefer. No need to come out and talk all this trash on these amazing producers that aren’t your “expected” DJ. When I say amazing producers, I am not talking about the producers that just pay Ghost Writers.. That is an entirely different story. There is a lot of points on both sides of that though. I’m done here. toodles! http://www.soundcloud.com/alexburnett http://www.facebook.com/sweetsaucemusic I am Downloud.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brikha Emil Beatsnatcher Brikha

    I’ve followed my brothers career (Aril Brikha, of Transmat Records, Kompakt, Peace Frog, picked up originally by Derrick May) since we were kids and from his first songs on the Atari, through his major worldwide breakthrough with Groove La Chord and the following 10 years of increasing success, I have a pretty good idea of what performance can mean for an artist of EDM.

    10 years ago he was lugging 50 kg or more equipment around and he would perform passionately, twisting knobs, slamming faders and playing melodies on the synths. Today he rolls with a Macbook and (as far as I know) a couple of MIDI devices that fit into a back pack.

    I’ve seen him rip it up in front of tens of thousands people on huge stages with same childlike enthusiasm as he does when he’s doing club shows for 200 people and I keep thinking… for the life of me I don’t understand why a performer, any performer needs to resort to glow sticks and gimmicks to look busy on stage. There is plenty to do, regardless if you’re a DJ or Producer, it’s just more difficult I guess if you’re wearing a big LED helmet.Simply holding that powerful filter fader and keeping a crowd in suspense to release the rhythms and melodies… or slapping the button with a trembling bass or squealing synth sample from Mad Zach’s latest sample packs. It is nothing short of euphoric.

    I am confused and insulted both at the same time by these lazy “stars” reducing this art form of musical seduction into “Just pressing play”. Sure, you can get away with it, but every show, every crowd is different and if you really want to take it ALL the way, you need control over your music. This is not about instruments, it’s about engagement and infectious enthusiasm.

    • Nude Photo Music

       Very well said, and also – your brother kicks ass. :)

    • Cre8tivechristoval

       ditto, i can listen to a record inside my house, but the reason i got to a show of any size is so i can get just a piece of that infectious enthusiasm.

    • Djteeoh

      cosign

    • Djteeoh

      cosign

  • Owen

    I am all for someone remixing samples while using sync to play 15 tracks at the same time live on stage while drumming live controlling effects with their butt cheeks and pulling rabbits out of hats with their teeth all at the same time while the dj booth spins upside down and round and round like a centrifuge covered in fairy lights… But some of the best sets I have heard have been 2 decks and a mixer and minimal effects used. 

    The main point is every time Joel opens his mouth he comes across as a bit of a dick and nobody really cares what he has to say.

    • Hillary Bloch

      Some once said something really wonderful about mixing talent in the DJTT forums…   that he would pay good money to watch James Holden mix live on stage with two tape decks.   Maybe it was Owen?    

      I wouldn’t pay 2 cents for a laser show with EDM accompaniment.

      –Hillary

      • Owen

        It wasn’t me but I like the sound of if. I believe Greg Wilson used to play like that. Now he is also a great DJ. I saw him at a festival last summer for the first time, he is as old as time itself but he knows how to keep the floor moving. Legend and down to earth. 

    • http://twitter.com/koningwoning Eric Woning

      I agree with Niels… it’s not that the guy is using 2 decks… he’s using NO decks. He preproduced the show so the fireworks will go off at the right time…. that’s not DJ-ing, that’s vegas!

  • Gwen Roelants

    The difference between the classic rockstar dude and the edm dude is smaller than you make it seem I think.
    Playing the song that you made on your guitar live is just something that you rehearse, and then you do the same thing over and over. It’s not where something creative is happening, and for most songs it will be easy to replace you with any other guitar player.

    Creating the song is not so different for both either. Finding the right notes, going over it again and again to tweak it is also something that the classic dude is doing.
    Even though he has the same instrument available, you will likely not hear him playing a completely new hit on stage that he came up with on the moment.

    But they are both already able to bring some creativity to it on-stage, and I don’t think the abilities both have differ so much, altering the pattern a little, changing the build-up, adding slight variations, …

  • Jahonas

    I hate been negative about anyone, especially with all the grief producers such as skrillex are getting. But Deadmau5 is nothing special he makes me2 house music which sounds most of the time like its from early 2000′s. Music production in house music has pretty much gone backwards expect for some of the new-wave electro ( complextro or whatever you call it ) from producers such a Dirtyloud/Uktu S/Mord Fustag/Alex Mind etc…. ( note this is my personal opinion before i get shot down ) 

    For me, if a DJ, however big or small,   play an inspirational set with new or old music put together in a unique way that takes you on a journey I really don’t care if they have used 100′s of edits in the set or simply mixed 12 tracks together. As long as it is unique to their style……

    Biggest problem now with EDM, is that its gone so mainstream and its “cool” to be in the scene Vegas & the US has got its grip on it and is completely saturating it…..

    Lets get back to the sub 1000+ capacity nights with more atmosphere. not hearing the same tune played 5 times in the night and DJ’s doing it for the passion………

  • Danomas

    I enjoy building loops in maschine and playing melodies on a synth on top of traktor’s output. But it literally takes a desk full of gear to have enough buttons to be able to create a variety of sounds quickly. Kore was fantastic for that, but alas it is no more.

  • Audiomontana
  • Runbantayrun

    my father hated synthesizers because they’re not “real” pianos. people hasn’t learned anything yet i see.

    play the record ang have your cup of tea.

  • Fanfan Delaporte

    Right now i’m using 2 cdj400 1 dim 400 and one SL1 but I would really like to start using the bridge and I already have ableton, so what i would really like to do, is to simply start using the bridge!

  • David Generato

     Deadmau5 is right.and I like what other people are doing right now after reading this article. It’s about the artistry and the intricacies of Modern Dj’ing, but it’ll always the creativity, it’s breaking the line between improvisation and linear performance, we push boundaries, and we must to be
    UNIQUE. WHAT OTHERS DON’T HAVE, and what others can’t do before. :D

  • http://www.emusic.com/listen/#/album/-/-/11368730/?fref=150939&a.1=ytid&t.1=r&a.2=pay&t.2=r&pay=1&ytid=_hdQhYWDq3w Kaitain

    And also… Don’t use loops. Ever. Sorry.

    • supermint

      care to explain why not?

  • http://www.emusic.com/listen/#/album/-/-/11368730/?fref=150939&a.1=ytid&t.1=r&a.2=pay&t.2=r&pay=1&ytid=_hdQhYWDq3w Kaitain

    Put it like this: any “instrument” is not much use in a live improvisational environment if you can’t decide, mid-song, on a whim, to suddenly play a different song in a different style. If you can, then you have a true electronic instrument. If not, then you have a glorified play button.

  • MaLazer

    Thanks for finally clearing this up… I swear people just blew this out of proportions. It’s like “I DON’T GET IT, LET ME RAGE AND DO NOTHING PRODUCTIVE.”

  • Guiltysounds

    Not sure how I feel about this article. We could use cooler tools sure, I love toy and more ways to express myself. But it will allow us to do is express ourselves live? So what? It will trigger noise right? I means things goes: song -> loops/vocals->sample->pitch or note. We already control all those things through electronic means now, we already have all those tool. We can set up any midi controller to play just about anything. Its just buttons in the end triggering something. So imo its not the tools we are lacking, its creative ways to use the tools we have. We keep asking for more more more for electronics tools, when its not the reason why performance is lame. The performance is lame because its lame, because these chuckle heads decided to take the creativity out of music and DJing songs. The guys need to take freaking risk and be innovative with their performances, not get another thing that presses “play”. They need to get off their damn towers of lights and be a dj and interact with people (and not like deadmoose behind a screen all the time). Every button presses play its just depends on what it plays and how you play it. Thats what innovation is about how you use that play button. I mean vinyl and record players were out for a goddamn long time, and it wasn’t until some guy decided to match speeds that the game changed for music. He took his tools and innovated the way he played. Tools aren’t going to fix everything. We need to fix the way we perform, and the music we make with that performance.

  • A nobody

    New perspective: Yes, Deadmau5 is right, but in the end nobody really cares and the discussion is basically academic.

    • Nimbus

      Its really only DJ’s and performers that are part of this discussion. 
      The truth is that the mob of young party-goers that finance the scene don’t care… they are used to a whole generation on instant “one click” music and have 2 minute attention spans… because that’s what the industry profits from.
      Its not about talent or performance.. its about delivering a reliable product that can be pre-organized and pre sold.
      When you’re an agent and have a massive contract worth many thousands for an event you can afford to rely on the DJ/performer turning up and doing a perfect job 350 time s a year. the answer is to pre-do everything.

      But it sucks!

  • http://ax11.myopenid.com/ cosmodrome

    How would I like to perform live? Easy: perfectly. The tools are OK nowadays, but from time to time you just miss the right button, channel or tone. That’s the price you pay, performing live.
    Todays “EDM Rockstars” are -the name tells it- yesterday’s state of the art. When they acquired their skills, there was Cubase and the rest of recording-studio optimized software. Playing live was indeed technically nearly impossible. These days are over and things are changing rapidly. This has been obvious for years now, now the word is out. In a few years you’ll be ending like Milli Vanilli if you get caught firing up a playback…

  • http://twitter.com/CharlesMykid Carlos Miniño

    interesting article…. question
    since when does it matter how you play? if you press play or you use pure synthesizers and drum racks or whatever is up to the artist, the quality of the sounds (which can and will be affected by the sound of the venue), the technique for the mix, the selections of songs/tracks, styles & control of the crowd (DTT has wrote several times about it), so deadmau5, shm, otherdjthatnoonesactuallycares and so on, stop trying to get attention by saying i do this and that and you don’t, you could do all the live you want but if you do it just to be on a different league or to be cool….. u need a new career my friend.

    it’s ok to do more but it’s also ok to do less

  • Synthet1c

    Pendulum, Chase & Status, skazi, freestylers, “Adam” Freeland, bassment Jaxx & Infected Mushroom are the only big dance acts I would consider as being live but they superseed dance music. It is always refreshing to see a producer set where they play other peoples stuff though which transforms it into a dj set.

    But I don’t care if producers just press play as long as the tunes they make are awesome and there is unreleased tracks, so what if they played the set 100 times before, I’ve never heard it before and that means I’ll easily be able to find the set online to relive the moment.

    • Owen

      I remember reading that Chase & Status live show wasnt really all that live. They might have changed it since. 

  • Kontrolle Volle

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQcyLMa716k

  • PanPan

    Watch “In the Studio” with Ean Golden, the video showing you how to use controllism to create Live remix.  Soon I will put up a video showing my workflow with Twitch and Traktor 2.5 and how a little prep and planning work on your DJ “tools” will help any DJ create intuitive remix on the fly. 

    PanPan

  • Kontrolle Volle

    that´s how i play live… ;)

  • Cool Tigers

    For the moment I rearrange my stem samples live and I put effects on them. This is a good compromise between the “push one button” thing and the “instrument played live” thing. And I don’t have time to do anything else ! The thing is : if you want to get more “live”, you have to call your friends to play with you and rehearse a lot before improving. Another difficulty comes : DAW are made to keep the tempo, so how can a drummer play ? You can’t push on the tap tempo button all the time…So actually there are two ways to play live : everything prepared and synced with live button-twisting or nothing synced with several musicians and one-shot triggered samples…I’d like DAWs to adapt themselves to the tempo.

    • http://twitter.com/chrisavery Chris Avery

      I see what you’re saying, but your example of a drummer not being able to play to a pre-programmed DAW because of the tempo issue doesn’t wash. Drummers have been playing to a click track coming from a DAW in the studio or in a live setting for ages.

    • http://twitter.com/chrisavery Chris Avery

      I see what you’re saying, but your example of a drummer not being able to play to a pre-programmed DAW because of the tempo issue doesn’t wash. Drummers have been playing to a click track coming from a DAW in the studio or in a live setting for ages.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.rawalia David Wally Rawalia

    The tunes i produced are broken down into different parts, some of the drums are removed and a drummer plays em’ on a three piece drum. Lyrics are added by a singer.. I get to pick which synth or rythmic element of the tune I feel like playing for a particular tune and play it, either on the mpd, keyboard, heavily effected guitar, mic or djembe… either that or i control dynamic effects on the vocals… this is what is sounds like: http://www.jaimeledubstep.com/archives/8968

  • http://blog.esimple.it/ Gabriele Maidecchi

    To be honest, I’d rather have an EDM producer simply play his role as a classic DJ, mixing songs in a club (his own, among them), than an EDM producer playing live like a classic concert. I don’t think it’s ever meant to be that way, looks like promoters/agents just force one business model that works for other genres of music, but it’s kinda different.

  • Tam

    On the german Sputnik Springbreak Festival the artists are announced on the festivals schedule either as “LIVE” or without a tag. So at least you know what you get.
    An example for a live performance also is Frits Kalkbrenner who is getting famour more and more. Even if unusual in the first place, he sings most of the songs live on stage while he plays back his tracks. Also one unique way of doing a live performance.

    • jo koni

      fritz kalkbrenner kinda sucks and its not live. its just muting/unmuting tracks

  • sample example

    pretty much everybody hits play in their own way. but that doesn’t matter to the music. nobody cares how you do it. but all that matters is there is a quality product playing. if somebody talks trash about something, they just don’t understand the others point of view on music, you can troll all you want about performance music, but that is optional now, good music is all that matters, its cool how you do it, sure, but really, if its good, its good. i’m sick of hearing people meddling in each others affairs as far as music.

    bottom line, make good music, make it however you want it, ignore what people say about it that would bring you down. because thats all that matters.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.smith.5682 Wayne Smith

      so why isn’t milli vanille still around. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.smith.5682 Wayne Smith

      so why isn’t milli vanille still around. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.smith.5682 Wayne Smith

      for people who have been following and supporting this scene it’s very disgraceful that artist that are basically “milli vanilli” imitators are getting all the attention. While real artist that actually DJ aren’t headlining. So yea it does matter just not to you, I’m assuming you haven’t been into this music for the last decade as I have. Back when it wasn’t “cool”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wayne.smith.5682 Wayne Smith

      for people who have been following and supporting this scene it’s very disgraceful that artist that are basically “milli vanilli” imitators are getting all the attention. While real artist that actually DJ aren’t headlining. So yea it does matter just not to you, I’m assuming you haven’t been into this music for the last decade as I have. Back when it wasn’t “cool”.

    • Djteeoh

      have you ever dj’d in front of a crowd? I assume you said yes. So then you know what it’s like to be in the “Groove” and everything is perfect. The crowd is loving you and feeding off your energy. THAT is performance. You can play banger songs all night long, but if you are right in front of a crowd and just standing there looking like someone MADE you come….then they won’t feel your energy. The crowd feeds off the dj’s energy and emotion. 2 djs can play the exact same set, one can look bored and the other is hype and really into what he is doing….which crowd do you think will react better? Showmanship, music, skills….all that is what djing is about. Being innovative, creative, and interactive is what makes a dj. Thats why these hyped up retard acts like Deadmau5 incorporate videos, giant heads, lasers, and explosions. It gives the crowd something to interact with. If Deadmau5 just stood there with no video or that stupid head on, the crowd would see what he really is. Just another guy playing a mixed cd.

    • Djteeoh

      have you ever dj’d in front of a crowd? I assume you said yes. So then you know what it’s like to be in the “Groove” and everything is perfect. The crowd is loving you and feeding off your energy. THAT is performance. You can play banger songs all night long, but if you are right in front of a crowd and just standing there looking like someone MADE you come….then they won’t feel your energy. The crowd feeds off the dj’s energy and emotion. 2 djs can play the exact same set, one can look bored and the other is hype and really into what he is doing….which crowd do you think will react better? Showmanship, music, skills….all that is what djing is about. Being innovative, creative, and interactive is what makes a dj. Thats why these hyped up retard acts like Deadmau5 incorporate videos, giant heads, lasers, and explosions. It gives the crowd something to interact with. If Deadmau5 just stood there with no video or that stupid head on, the crowd would see what he really is. Just another guy playing a mixed cd.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000963197905 Jaime Alfaro

    WOW thank you, i really got a different perspective and completely changed my opinion on the topic DTT thank you but seriously deliver my fucking S4 Complete Bundle already its been over a week!! 

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/lewislace LewisLace

    well I’m just gonna play a hot 4 to the floor bass line with a few snares rolls and improvise some jazz runs on my trombone. That’ll get the people dancing and I’m doing it live. 

    • Hillary Bloch

      Someone mentioned to me that last year Brittney Spears goofed during a power-outage while touring Europe and revealed to the audience that she was lip-synching.   I think it’s a good thing that deserving audiences recognize the difference between composition, producing and live performance talent.    Performance talent is rare and special and deserves to be recognized separately from production.   The Lang Langs, Jeremy Ellises and Ean Goldens of the world deserve recognition for their unique gifts.   

      I like LewisLace’s idea with a trombone.   It reminds me of Steve Reich’s pieces such as a duet for violin and tape-recorder.   I refuse to get any F1s when I already have a beautifully expressive S90XS and a completely differently expressive S4 that deserve more creative thought.   Controllerism would benefit, in my humble opinion, by building on the accumulated experience behind traditional instruments:  1000+  years for percussions, 500+ years for lutes/guitars, 300+ years for keyboards, even 20-some years for turntables.    There’s a good reason why Anne Akiko Meyers paid US$3,600,000 for her 1697 Stradivarius.   

      I really hated that NI video with the F1s and the hip-hop dancer in a skeleton-ish costume.   People have been watching way too much Star Trek and buying way too many toys.

      Best, Hillary

    • Nude Photo Music

      Regardless if you’re joking – that could easily be a very compelling show. Pretty much what Onyx Ashanti used to do a few years back with a wind controller and a sequencer. :)