Sunday, June 26, 2005

DJ teams

"How can a bunch of people DJ?" I am asked.

It's a good question. I don't think it will be as wild as it sounds.

This weekend, in much the way that people work the front desk, people will work the DJ station. There will be three "active people" per one-hour time slot. They'll be selected randomly from the pool. I'll hang around to give advice at "decision moments".

Person 1: whoever has the steadiest hands (if it's a toss-up, take turns) does the actual playlist manipulation. They drag the tandas & cortinas that the trio agrees upon, down to the playlist. Then every subsequent group will be able to see what's played so far. They can program ahead, but the next trio can make adjustments.

Person 2: controls the volume on the board, and helps decide on which Tandas/Cortinas to choose.

Person 3: makes sure that the trio is paying attention to the crowd, to what they want, to what they can do, to the sound quality, and to the energy in the room.

Others will swing by occasionally, to learn what's playing. Comments & criticisms will be welcome and necessary.

That's the experiment. We'll see how it works.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


I think we've figured out how to teach more people to DJ: share the equipment.

There are a few ways to do this. For example, a few dedicated DJ's could share a laptop. But our particular problem at the Tango Center is broader. We have lots of people interested in the music, but few who would like to devote time to preparing an evening.

So we'll have a shared machine nailed down to the Dj Station. Here's how it will work, from my announcement to the community, earlier today:

"Each person who's signed-up and been-trained to use the system, will have an account on the machine. There will also be a general account open for non-event times."

"We'll have all the music from Tango CD's we can find, loaded up on the machine. Each account will have access to the music on the machine. People can make Tandas & playlists, and export them to a general library, and import the tandas & playlists they want to use."

"So we'll finally have a way to share knowledge about the structure of an evening. ( I'll load up all my playlists, Tandas, Cortinas, alternative pieces etc, and all those from other DJ's I've collected). We'll have just a single piece of technology, a Mac running iTunes, so there won't be any compatibility problems, and people can group-DJ, partner-DJ, individually-DJ, or just help each other out. We'll all also get to know the music Much better. "

We have to raise the money for the machine. Stay tuned.