Mixtape production 



Steve Rothkin's DJ Info  

Hearing Damage & DJs 


Legal Junk/About Steve Shah

What is the FAQ about?

So, what is a DJ? 

Different Kinds of DJs 


I want to learn how to DJ, what should I do?  

CD or Vinyl? 

 - Mixers          
 - CD Player  

CD Player Care   
  - Protecting your CDs   

 - Record Cleaners   
 - Needle and Tonearm     Set-up   

Mixtapes by DJ Ellis Dee Edit 1.0 by Steve Shah, Sep. 26, 1996 Edit 2.0 by Steve Shah, Nov. 17, 1996 
Steve's Legal Notes: Remember: It is illegal to sell other peoples work. In the case of mixtapes, reselling without acquiring permission from the song's publisher is a definate no-no. On the other hand, it is legal to make Demo tapes. This falls under "fair use" of copyright law since the focus would no longer be the music as much as it will be on your mixing (ie: submission to a club for possible employment, etc.) Should you decide to sell your tapes, don't say I didn't warn you. =) 

And back to DJ Ellis Dee.... Always master your mixtape on DAT. If you don't own a DAT, rent one. A poorly recorded mixtape will reflect on your ability as a DJ, possibly giving you a bad name without good cause. Once you have a perfect master DAT (which is no easy task, mind you) you have to ask yourself some questions about marketing, money, and how big of a DJ you think you really are. All of these center around the question: 

"How many mixtapes can I sell?" After all, do you really want to be stuck with 500 mixtapes in your closet? Your two choices are to dub them off yourself (for low to medium volume) or to retain the services of a professional tape duplicator. Regardless of the route you take, always use chrome position tapes for copies. Normal and metal position tapes are of inadaquate quality. The home recording method is where you boy the blank chrome tapes and make the labels/J-cards yourself. You'll need a dual tape deck (preferrably several decks) and a LOT of time. Since you'll need to constantly rewind and replay your original, you'll want to press your DAT to CD which costs about $40, however, you'll then have a permenant master which will not degrade in quality. Once you have the tapes, you'll need to think abou the J-cards (the inserts which show through the tape's plastic cover.) Believe it or not, good J-cards a big selling point. Spend the time and money (if you need to have someone else do it) to make clean, well designed cards. Color, of course, being much preferred. 

With completed, ready to sell tapes, you begin your marketing. Remember that there are a million DJs out there and every one of them if your competition. Do you feel well enough known that people will recognize your name in a store and ask for your tape without goading? If not, its time to begin getting as much exposure as you can by doing as many events as you can. As much as we'd like to deny this, there is a substantial amount of in-store politics when it comes to record shops. You need to learn how to get on the good side of the people working behind the counter so they will recommend your tape to people when asked. Possibly even recommend your tape without being asked. =) Just being a good DJ isn't enough, unfortunately, so giving the employees free tapes is a good way to make new friends. Its not the most pleasant way to acquire business (giving away free tapes), but in the long run, you'll find the benefit will cover such costs... 

My life-support in CyberspaceTM