• Ryan

    F**K A GHOSTWRITER!

    Either team up with people and give them their due credit, as in both of your names listed as chief artists, or learn to produce. Got an engineer/sound designer to take your crappy mixes and make them sound like you know what you’re doing? Whatever, fine. But if you’re using a ghost producer (hey man, I have this half-assed Massive bass line with crappy drums, make it a song and I’ll pay you) you’re poisoning the water. THAT INCLUDES Van Buuren, Tiesto, Diplo et al. I get it, Ms. Sims/DJTT, you were endorsing the idea of co-producer, not ghostwriter, and there’s a difference, blah blah blah but that’s a fine line. If you want to be a producer, learn to produce.

    This community erupts any time a producer gets caught fake DJing. It’s downright hypocritical to shrug it off and say “sadly, this is what everyone’s doing now so I’d better do it too” when DJs fake produce.

    Ugh.

  • kebzer

    Well though article, actually it brings to the light a few people/roles that tend to be overlooked on purpose, for example the crate digger, for the obvious reasons.

    Whoever does serious studio work, knows and has such a person (crate digger) around. Also a composer/sessionist is crucial. Otherwise we would have just a handfull of DJs around, since such a craft would require such an incredible ammount of personal skills that very few people would have the time and resources to bring up themselves.

    Another role that can be added is the personal sound engineer, both in studio and on stage. A sound engineer will make sure everything sounds great and better than others. Extremely important aspect in music, however a lot don’t pay enough attention anymore in these mp3 days.

    Don’t snob/overlook these roles, just for the sake of “keeping it real”.

  • Disappointed

    Its so difficult when you are expected to produce content for your site on a regular basis, but this really felt like a fill in article.

    Its unlikely to be relevant to 99% of the people visiting the site, and the descriptions of the roles are basic.

    DJTT, I know you can do better!

    • Dan White

      Thanks for your feedback, but an article about the type of people who make a DJ career successful would be interesting and relevant for a lot of our readers.

      Any DJ of any level should be thinking about how these roles are fulfilled in their own career, no matter how prolific you are. Are you paying attention to booking gigs? to finding new music? to publicizing yourself?

      It doesn’t mean you necessarily need someone who is not yourself to fill these roles – but at some point for many DJs it starts to make sense.

  • Mac Digi

    I highly disagree with the “Co-Producer” aka “Ghost Producer” portion. Saying you produced something another producer made for you is fundamentally wrong. If you disagree, then you are obviously just doing this to become a celebrity and not because you are doing what you truly love. But this is my opinion from a producer’s standpoint. It’s cool to have a helping hand in the studio, especially one good with sound design and arrangement skills, but that doesn’t mean you should get credit for work that they did.

    • Chris Conforti

      You missed the point. What he is saying is that DJs who have produced tracks get way more gigs. By having someone produce for you, you will gain exposure which will elevate your DJ career. As a producer i totally agree with what you are saying and would never take that route but for DJs who might have no intention of ever truly being a producer this could actually be a launchpad for their career, DJing.

  • Dustin Pronoia

    WHERES VJ AND Light Tech , thats what will talk your show to the point of needing most of these things,

    • Sara Simms

      Glad you mentioned these people, you’ll need them on your team too.

  • Anonymous

    Best fully written article on DJTT ever. Great job!

    • Sara Simms

      Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    I was really looking forward to reading this article when I saw the title, but was thoroughly disappointed by the whole “find people to work for you for free” mentality. As astonishing as it is, people need money for food and shelter at the most basic level.

    • Sara Simms

      You’re absolutely right here, team members should be paid fairly for good work. The reality is, in your first few years of DJing, you may not be able to afford to have full-time (or maybe even part-time) staff. I wanted to provide a few helpful suggestions on how you could seek out new talent for your team, and provide opportunities for them to gain experience. Hopefully you’ll be able to create paid positions for enthusiastic interns over time.

      • Anonymous

        If money is tight, I’d suggest trading services, connections, or teaching them skills they don’t already have.

  • jetset1

    What’s the etiquette on seeking out a co producer? It seems like a dangerous question to ask unless you know they are doing it. I do agree that it is super important though. It’s sadly a keeping up with the Joneses thing.

    • http://www.dilbydj.com/ Dilby

      I see it as different to a Ghostwriter. It is more someone who is helping you to bring your creative ideas to reality. There are many notable examples of this John Digweed (Nick Muir), Loco Dice (Martin Butrich), Sasha (Charlie May), Timo Mass (Martin Butrich then later Santos).

      • jetset1

        Totally! I also think it can really benefit both sides. Ill use myself as an example. I travel playing shows internationally, produce mixes that are popular but haven’t got recognition for original production or remix work. back in the mashup days I had work in rotation but thats a lot different. I also have people in my musical circle that produce great tracks but don’t play out or play out as well as me. working in the studio with them could be a perfect match.

        However, if it’s along the lines of what Sara mentioned and you want to collab with a producer with a larger name how do you work out the money? As in how do you make it worth their time to collab on tracks that will have your name on them with you? Do you pay a flat rate or a %…ect I have been hesitant to ask a couple people in my city to do this because I have no idea how that process would work.

        • http://www.dilbydj.com/ Dilby

          A collaboration is a collaboration so 50/50 split of revenue would be the norm.

          Engineering is a service and you should expect to pay a negotiated flat fee for it.

          • Sara Simms

            I think you could negotiate this on a track-to-track basis. Whatever you decide, use a contract!

        • Aaron Zilch

          It’s a tricky proposition. Definitely put things in writing so the situation is clear.

          I had a misunderstanding with a guy once where I was under the impression we were collaborating for one of his records. He had the melody less robot “vocal” track and some turntableism and I built drums, bass, chords, etc around it. He came over a couple times and sat back giving feedback as I tweaked it. One night he gave me a couple hundred bucks at the end, which surprised me but I didn’t really question it, figured he was just greasing the wheels to keep it a priority. We then had some issues trying to meet up to fully finish it. Next thing you know he is blowing up my phone looking for “his” track. Apparently he thought he was paying me to just “engineer”. Yeah…..kinda was doing a lot more than that and the money was not even close to sufficient for ghost writing or even the time I spent warping the Apple Talk vocals into something that grooved.

    • Sara Simms

      I think seeking out a co producer is as easy as asking someone talented if they would like to collaborate to create a track with you. It might be a good idea to spend time in the studio with a producer who is more experienced than you, you’ll be able to learn a lot from them!

  • durp

    there are plenty of people behind Richie Hawtin if you know what I mean….

    coming up all of your creative ideas for you.

    • Sara Simms

      From what I’ve read and seen, I think the majority of the concepts for Richie Hawtin and Plastikman shows have been created by Richie Hawtin and his visual designer Ali Demirel.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/ryan-dallas Ryan Dallas

    I don’t agree with the crate digger side of things at all. I think most of the other roles are fair enough if you get to the level where you’re busy enough to need them, but for me (personally) a DJ or performer should ALWAYS be picking their own music themselves. At the end of the day, it’s their taste, and it should be something they love to do.

    • Dan White

      IMO crate digger doesn’t have to be as specific as “the guy who finds all of your key records” – nor does it even necessarily have to be an actual person. I would easily call some of the larger aggregators a digital equivalent (HypeMachine comes to mind).

      Nevertheless, it’s a role that some larger DJs choose to have an individual fulfill, thus why we included it.

    • Anski

      This is also something you and a couple friends who are passionate about your musical genre can cover. I personally have a private Facebook group where everybody shares dope tracks they come across.

      • Sara Simms

        Great idea!

      • RSpectrum

        Good one, i think

  • Robert Wulfman

    You forgot “Significant Other”

    • Anonymous

      Sometimes that can hinder you hahaha