Mobile Me

A lot of my readers only know me from the different gigs that I do. Some may only know me as a battle or competition DJ while others may be familiar with my work in the club/bar scene. An often overlooked aspect of DJing is that of the mobile entertainer. This strikes me as odd since I got my start in the game as a mobile DJ and I have always done mobile DJ events as long I have been a DJ. Most of my mobile gigs are for weddings and receptions but I can also do house parties, corporate events and any type of event that requires quality and dependable sound.

Lately, I’ve been trying to refocus primarily on mobile gigs.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy setting up at a location and providing the kind of entertainment that makes an event a success. Clubs and bars are fun and easy gigs, but I like the challenge of showing a diverse group of people a good time.  My weddings have always been top notch performances and I take pride in that. My corporate events are always professional and clean and I leave the audiences entertained and satisfied. With all of that considered, I decided that 2015 will be focused on continuing that tradition of excellent events.

This year I’ve totally revamped my sound system.  I’ve gotten rid of all of my older equipment and replaced it with newer, more powerful gear that reflects my commitment to quality. Everything was swapped out down to the wires. Lights were also upgraded and I’m looking to add a video element to my show over the course of the next 6 months. One thing I felt I was lacking was a uniform look to my sound system. No more mismatched gear, or worn out looking cases and accessories. While I’ve never been one to half do a job or use poor equipment, I always knew I could do better, look better, and sound better.  I think I’ve finally managed to achieve that.

Along with the new look and equipment comes some other changes to my business model as well. From now on I am using contracts for ALL booking engagements. I used to be a lot less formal with my bookings and only used contracts for weddings and corporate events. Now I’ll be using some form of written agreement for all engagements. I’ve taken the steps to have the documents stored on my phone so I can readily send a prospective client the necessary paperwork to finalize a booking right there on the spot. I also now take Credit Cards and Debit cards. I’ve signed up with square and have the app on my phone which allows me to email or text receipts and invoices to customers. I’m also using companies like GigSalad to book events as well. Gig Salad has been very helpful in generating leads from people looking for a mobile entertainer.

The final change in my business model is pricing. Often, the first question people ask me is how much I charge. I usually try to explain the cost as I quote my prices in an effort to soften the blow or to avoid sticker shock. This would sometimes have me under bidding for my services or just giving an inaccurate price. I’ve had to take a lo hard look at my goals for my company and the amount of time and effort that it takes for me to do an event. This had led to some changes in my prices and it gives me a more realistic price that I can confidently give to my customers without wondering if I am bidding too low or if I am too expensive. With all of that considered, here are my basic rates for services. Keep in mind that these are basic rates for the service listed. I understand that not all events are the same so there is some flexibility and customization for the different packages I offer.

Ceremony Sound System rental (1 speaker on a stand with 1 wireless microphone and mixer)……………………100.00

Small Sound System Rental (2 speakers on stands with a mixer and 1 wireless microphone)………………………150.00

Medium Sound System Rental (2 speakers on stands with a Subwoofer, mixer, 2 wireless microphones)……..200.00

DJ Performance …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..75.00 pr/hr

These are the basic services that I provide and their costs.  While this means I can no longer do the $200 wedding anymore , it also means that I am able to stay competitive and in line with what other professionals are charging for similar services. If you would compare my pricing with other professional DJs you will find that I am actually very reasonably priced. I won’t empty your pockets with my prices. As I mentioned earlier, these are just the basic prices and the package you decide on can be a hybrid of these services and can also be expanded upon with lights and other services.

With all of the above said, I look forward to a very busy new year and hope to hear from anyone that is looking to book a talented DJ for their events!

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As the table turns…

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“From a rebel it’s final on black vinyl

Soul, rock and roll coming like a rhino

Tables turn – sucker burn to learn

They can’t disable  the power of my label”

– Chuck D “Rebel Without A Pause”

 

I love my Technics turntables. I think they are the perfect instrument for what I do musically. The fact that I even consider them an instrument should tell you a lot about how I feel about what my parents used to refer to as “record players”.  I’ve been a fan of the record and turntable way before I became a DJ. This is partly due to the fact that records were a common form of music distribution when I grew up. Even now, after the sharp decline of vinyl sales and the digital take over, I still prefer turntables over any other playback device. There is something about being able to put my hands on the record or control vinyl and manipulating it. It gives me the sensation of putting my hands in a pot of sound and stirring it up. Maybe that was a little to deep for some of you but those of you who know understand what I mean.

If I had to be honest my love for my decks is more sentimental than anything else. I’ve made money with them and traveled with them. I’ve had some great performances with them and I’ve made some great music with them. They were a coveted piece of equipment that were a sign of me finally paying my dues as a DJ. Once I got my first pair of Technics 1200s I felt validated. As a DJ, I liken my turntables to a Jedi’s lightsaber. To truly be efficient with one you have to construct or at least open up your own personal weapon.  I’ve taken mine completely apart, modified them and rebuilt them to my liking. In fact I still have ideas for future improvments to my personal pair.  I can truly say that I know my turntables inside out.

I think it’s safe to say that I am a true fan of the (now discontinued) Technics 1200 turntable line.  I’m also open to new innovations in turntable technology. That’s right, I said “new innovations in turntable technology”. While most new age DJs and some older ones will often try to convince you that the turntable is old technology and past it’s prime, I have to disagree with them. In the past few months we’ve seen the introduction of a couple of new turntables to the market. The Reloop RP-8000 with MIDI capabilities has been making noise since it’s announcement.  Pioneer’s new turntable is now making the rounds on the internet and  getting a lot of interest. Currently we already have the Stanton, Numark , and Vestax turntables on the market. Each of these models have a lot of features in common and they each also offer some unique features such as MIDI, digital read outs, switchable tone arms, extended pitch range and replacable cables.  Lots of innovation, lots of technology being used in the turntable arena.

There are some who question why anyone would still want to use a turntable in this day and age of CDJs and controller options. They say that replacing vinyl, and needles is an unneccesary, tedious maintenance cost that is a watse of time and money. There are some who argue that a turntable used with DVS is “just a big controller”. They say that they can do the same thing with a controller that I can do with a turntable. On both accounts, I would have to disagree again. Yes, some control vinyl can get expensive but those are the collectable kind. Regular control vinyl which can last for months on end, possibly years depending on the frequency of use is pretty inexpensive. Needles can get pricey but if you are using a DVS then you can get by with a decent pair of low end needles that can read the control signal. With regular needles and control vinyl your whole investment could be around $100 a year. Hopefully you DJs are making enough from your gigs to be able to invest $100 a year back into your craft. If you can’t handle that then I don’t know what to tell you.

There is also the school of thought that ALL new DJs only use controllers. This is just not true. As much as some new DJs may hate it, the fact remains that there IS a demand and interest in the art of turntablism. 2 turntables and a mixer is still the most commonly accepted image for a DJ.  If there weren’t then how do you explain the fact that most DJ battles and competitions still use turntables as a standard set up? Why is the Scratch DJ academy expanding to new markets along with all of the other DJ schools poping up. Why are manufaturers investing time, money, research and devlopment into new turntable models? There are plenty of young DJs that respect the art and want to progress and grow in it. If that’s not your thing I can understand. This isn’t for everyone. I just wish the nay sayers would be more honest about their feelings on the subject. Just admit that they don’t like turntables because they are either too expensive compared to a $200 controller, or they just don’t understand or have the skills to use a turntables. And yes, we are more than familiar with the fact that people in clubs don’t dance to DJs scratching. But maybe, just maybe the DJs that are into scratching and turntablism aren’t trying to do that in the the club anyway. There are battles, competitions and performance DJs that can use appreciate the art of turntablism and use the turntable as an instrument.

I also have to take issue with the stictly Technics 1200 die hard fans out there.  I’ve heard my fellow turntable DJs refer to anything other than a 1200 as being a toy. “Technics for life!” is the battle cry of some vinyl purists. While I can appreciate the nostalgia and sentimentality for the brand and specifically the model, I can’t roll with the Technics or nothing attitude. Before I got my first pair of 1200s I went through many makes and models of turntables.  I had an Akai,Marantz, Kenwood, Sherwood, MCS, Pioneer and a non 1200 Technics brand turntable.  In my early stages I would take anything I could get my hands on. I knew the Technics 1200 was the Holy Grail  but until  I got my own I had to make do with what I could find. I think that is what helped grow my love for turntables.  Some of the tables I had were horrible, but they were great learning tools for me. I had to take them apart and try to put together mismatched parts to get a working unit. It was all one big engineering experiment. This is why I am so familiar with the advancement of DJ technology. I know what it used to be like and I have seen the progression. With all of that being said, I know that the Technics 1200 is not the end all be all of turntables.  If they were, then why are there so many different versions of the 1200? As the years progressed the 1200 evolved; some of the changes were subtle or purely cosmetic but there is a difference between a 1200 MK2 and a 1200 MK5G. It only stands to reason that if Technics was able to improve upon it’s design then so can other turntable manufacturers. I’m not against testing out or even switching to another turntable brand if it will improve my performance. I’ll always have a set of Technics but maybe they will end up being my custom collectors edition. Kind of like a car collector that only brings his classic car out for car shows and special events but maintains a daily driver for everyday commutes.

In the end it’s all about you and your specific style of DJing.Hopefully DJs are choosing products based on practical usage and not following fads or looking for acceptance. I embrace all forms of technology when it comes to DJing but I have my preferences. I’ve owned an NS7 controller and I’ve owned Denon professional DJ CD players. In both instances I had the opportunity to do a side by side comparison with my Technics. I ultimately chose to roll with the Techs. As more and more turntables are introduced I can only hope that one day the turntable in some shape or form makes a return to the DJ booth as a standard piece of equipment and hopefully the other  DJs can get along with it.

 

It’s been a long time…

It’s been months (almost a a year!) since I’ve updated this blog so I should have plenty to write about. There’s been a lot of changes behind the scenes and I performed at several battles and a huge music festival also.

I was an artist at the A3C Hip-Hop Festival’s Needle To The Record showcase, which was sponsored in part by Digiwaxx and SMS Audio. I made some good connections while there and managed to secure a pair of the SMS Audio by 50 headphones. I’m also now an official Brand Ambassador for SMS Audio as a result of that. I got to kick it with reps from Guitar Center and Rane as well and they hooked me up with some cool swag.

A few months ago I was a participant in the Respect The DJ competition help at Opera night club. It was a dope experience where I got to meet up with a lot of new and old faces in the Atlanta DJ scene. This was a mixing competition and I feel like I did well enough but I know I could have done better if I focused strictly on mixing and not putting any time into scratching. I learned that there are different kinds of DJ “battles” or “competitions” and you have to cater to the rules and judging if you want to be successful. There’s going to be another Respect The DJ next month and hopefully I will re-enter.

During the Summer I was also involved in the Master of the Mix DJ competitions at Metro Fuxion night club. I made it through the first round but I didn’t place in the finals. This competition was based solely on crowd reaction and the winner was the person that brought the most people to the club, plain and simple. I left with a big gift bag including a big ‘ole bottle of Smirnoff vodka and some other goodies. I know my skills had me in the lead for this battle, but this was nothing more than a popularity contest. My participation in this battle led to an offer to come back to the club and spin, but the money wasn’t right and the crowd was not what I’m used to.

I entered the Guitar Center DJ battle in Marietta and dropped a dope routine that included way more beat juggling than I am used to doing. It seems like the battle circuit is more interested in juggling than scratching so I have to adapt my set a bit. I still intend to get my cut on but you have to please the masses. I came in 4th place but this was my best performance yet. I’m going to continue to refine and fine tune this routine. I got a lot of compliments on my set and some people even had me chosen to win. This shows me that I’m on to something with my sets. I don’t have to win the contest as long as I win the people.

Another thing I’m looking to do is increase my brand awareness. I’m still working on the DJ Logic show and am using every gig as a chance to refine my performances. Expect to see more advertising and marketing from me in the near future.

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Jimmy and Rashida’s Wedding

I had the pleasure of DJing one of my best friend’s wedding reception. They enjoyed it and everybody had a good time as you can see in the pictures.

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Just Press Play Productions keeps the party going.
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Line dances always get them.

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Mission Control

Set up at Snap's wedding

DJ Logic keeps ’em moving…
Snap and Laurie again

Snap and his sisters dancing

This was my last wedding of the year. It was fun to do it for a close personal friend. I provided sound and lights for the event. They used their own M.C. The reception was held at the Hunter Rd community center in Douglasville, GA.

What’s New With Logic

     It’s been a while since my last post on this blog, so I’ve decided to give an update on what’s new in the world of DJ Logic.  Over the past couple of months I’ve been working on DJ battles and upgrading my equipment.  The most recent additions since this past May are the NS7 with Serato Itch, and I finally upgraded my computer to a Mac. I just wrapped up a series of DJ battles for Mountain Dew and V-103. Unfortunately I didn’t win, but I did put on a good performance and I got my name back out there as a force to be reckoned with. 

Here is the video from my first attempt.

http://youtu.be/zpa3FciZE2E   

Here is the video of my second attempt.

http://youtu.be/QNeqn_6RW2E

I was much happier with my second set, but I think both were pretty good.  I’ve finally realized why I’ll probably never win one of these battles.  I’m too serious when I’m on the decks. I stay so focused on accomplishing what I prepared that I don’t have enough, or SHOW enough personality in my performance.  Sonically everything is there, but my focus is too intense I think.  When I listened to the other DJ’s sets I could point out lot’s of sloppy mixes or failed attempts at beat juggling, but they were all smiling and pointing out the crowd while performing.  I’m not really into that kind of thing and honestly I don’t feel that comfortable with my routine to be improvising and not paying attention to my decks.  I think if I continue to stick with these same routines and practice them until they become second nature to me then I’ll be able to loosen up and crack a smile when battling.  Until then, oh well.

Also, since my last few posts, I’ve become the resident DJ on Tuesday nights at The Uptown Comedy Corner in Atlanta (once again).  Tuesday nights are cool for this kind of gig because I can get to the club from work, and don’t have to bring much gear other than my Serato box and my laptop.  Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s are the nights that they bring the big name comedians to town, so I get to watch a good show , practice and advertise in front of a good crowd and make some extra cash while doing it. It only gets monotonous when there’s two shows in one night. Now that I think about it, I need to get some more pics with the comedians to spice up the blog and my Facebook page.

I’ve also recently signed up with a new music licensing company called Vidiots.  They have a very impressive business and they reached out to me to add my music to their catalog.  This has caused me to start working on new material, and begin getting ready to even perform a set on a show here in Atlanta. I’ll be performing my own original material alongside some dope MC’s from the local scene. I’m still picking out which 4 songs I plan on doing. I’m thinking I’ll start out doing something on the hip-hop tip and then segue into one or two of my dance tunes.  Stay tuned for more details. In fact, take a listen to my Soundcloud page and let me know which songs of mine you would like to see performed at a live show.

Here’s the link to my Soundcloud page:  http://soundcloud.com/user8242115

The future is here and it’s dope.

See that ^^?  That’s a link to my DJ profile on www.Thefuture.fm.  What is www.Thefuture.fm? It’s a website for DJs to post up their mixes legally.  It used to be known as Dubset.com but they recently relaunched as Thefuture.fm  They use an interesting bit of technology called Mixscan that actually scans the mixes we DJs upload and tags the songs. It’s pretty accurate, although I’ve had to correct it a few times.  From what I’ve read on the website, they actually report the spins to Performance Rights organizations such as ASCAP, and BMI.  So far, this site seems to be the most legitimate way for DJs to upload mixes without having to constantly worry about having a mix taken down off of Soundcloud, or YouTube due to copyright restrictions.  The site seems to still be under some construction as certain elements are not always working the way you’d expect but for the most part it is pretty functional.  The website allows DJs to track the listens and it also gives listeners the opportunity to purchase the songs you use in the mix.  It seems like someone actually sat back and thought about what is really happening when DJs make and distribute mixes. DJs are the original promotions department for music labels and people listen to our mixes because they trust our taste in music. Until now there has always been a gray area concerning the legality of DJ mixes.  Now with Thefuture.fm all of that seems to be cleared up. Thefuture.fm seems to tie up all of the loose ends concerning DJ mixes.  Artists are getting the promotion that they need through the DJ’s mix and the music executives can keep track of what’s being played.  Fans are getting exposed to great new music and DJs can create and distribute mixes without fear of legal action from the industry.

I highly recommend that DJs use this service for uploading mixes, and I would also recommend this site to music lovers that want to check out new DJs.  Lot’s of major DJs are already on the service and the range of music that is posted up is very diverse, so please believe that there is something for everyone on this site. Also while you are on the site check out my mixes and follow me.

What’s going on?

Over the weekend I sat down to work on a mix for a CD that I and another DJ are trying to put out together. Since he is the lesser experienced D,J I asked him to make a mix and then I would design my mix around his. We’re based in Atlanta so I knew it would be mostly down south rap, which I don’t have a problem with. In fact I had a playlist in my mind, but had to switch it up because he ended up using some of the same songs I was thinking of. This caused me to have to go digging for some other tracks online. I figured it wouldn’t be that hard to find something worth adding to the mix but I was oh, so wrong.

 I honestly don’t know where to begin so I’ll just be blunt. Today’s rap and R&B music sucks. It doesn’t just suck its plain horrible. As I listened to the music previewing it for some new hotness I was bombarded by unoriginal lyrics, extreme use of vulgar profanity, over sexualized themes, and wack beats. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a DJ and I believe in freedom of expression just like anyone in the industry. I just can’t see how some of this stuff made it out of the studio. There used to be balance in the music world. For every NWA, there was a Public Enemy. For every “Between the Sheets”, there was a “What’s Going On”. What happened to the music you could play in front of the kids or your parents? What happened to singing and rapping about social ills, and just plain old love? Why is everyone claiming to be a drug dealer or killer in our music? And yes the problem is mainly in OUR music. Black Music, Urban Contemporary, or whatever you want to call it, is OUR music. You don’t hear this much killing on the pop charts, and Country music sells way more than Rap and yet they don’t have to cater to the lowest common denominator. Why do we feel the need to only entertain ourselves with violence, drug dealing, and sex, sex, sex?

I’m well aware that there are many exceptions to the rule, but if you turn on “The People’s Station”, or the station “Where Hip-Hop, and R&B Live” you will not hear them; unless the artist is doing a big show in town which rarely happens. Lupe Fiasco doesn’t get major play on the radio; neither does Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Jean Gray, or any other artist with good sense. But you know who does get major play on the radio? Lil, Wayne or anybody he does a song with. Nikki Minaj and her self loathing lyrics get spun every day all day. Black radio will play songs with a black woman calling other black women nappy headed hoes before they will play a song that refers to black women as queens, princesses, or just plain sisters. Make a song about young black men going to college and taking care of their kids and it won’t go anywhere, but make a song about poisoning the community with crack, disrespecting women, or black on black violence and it has great potential to become a hit. Why is that?

As a DJ I take partial responsibility for this because I play some pretty ignorant music from time to time as well. I think what separates me from the radio is the fact that I keep it balanced. I admit that I do like a lot of Jeezy’s songs, and even some Lil Wayne songs. I also like A Tribe Called Quest, and The Roots. See that? That’s called balance. There is a time and a place for everything. You can’t just thug it out all day and all night. There needs to be a compromise somewhere. When will there be a Trey Songz song that doesn’t push sex to the kids? 7:30 in the morning and V-103 is reminding my daughter that Trey invented sex. Don’t they know that parents are riding in the cars with kids going to school?

Chuck D once said that hip-hop is the CNN for the ghetto, and that does remain true even today, but even CNN has some happy ending stories run throughout the day. When is hip-hop going to do that? If rappers want to be mad and have their voices heard why aren’t they getting mad and speaking out against the real problems in the ghetto? Where’s the message about the senseless killings of our youth? The corrupt cops and politicians can do their dirt in the hood and no one would know because most of the ‘hardcore, OG’ rappers are too scared to speak up about that. It’s easier and more profitable to brag about killing your own. We can’t even blame The Man anymore. Most of the crap rap that is put out today is from independent artists that have their own labels or are on local street labels. We’ve been trained long enough by the powers that be to the point that we no longer need guidance on self degradation. We’re on auto pilot now.

I can only imagine what ‘music’ will sound like 10 years from now. Hopefully people will wake up and realize that there is more to life than what we are currently being presented, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon. For now I can only do the best that I can and heavily filter the music that goes in my library. I’ll most likely be turning off the radio and digging deeper for musical gems. We all have to do our part and I need to define my role in all of this musical madness.

[\end rant]