A lot of discussion has been circling DJ communities about the differences between DJs and music producers. Do producers make better DJs? Do producers make better DJs? Do you have to produce music to accelerate a DJs career? In this article I’ll explain the benefits of becoming a music producer and why producers seem to be supplanting DJs in headlining slots around the world.
DJs vs Producers?
Music Producers. They’re the lifeblood of your dance floor. They are the reason why you love music. It’s what so many DJs aspire to become. You wouldn’t be where you are without them.
The same applies for DJs. Traditionally, if they didn’t exist, producers wouldn’t have another source of outlet for their tracks. Especially for the ones who are producing EDM. The ultimate validation of a track is in a packed dance floor, but without the DJ that would be impossible.
But the overlap between DJ and producer is thinning. Primarily because the music creation/performance industry has been democratized by music tech retail businesses. Accessibility and affordability of most music production applications have made it easy for everyone to DJ and produce. Abundance in technology creates fierce competition in the marketplace, which means every minute, someone somewhere is working on their music production skills. Next thing you know, you’re buying their music from Beatport and they are touring the world.
Photo Credit: Melvin Foo Photography
The ability to create, express, and sell your music to everyone is an entrepreneurial endeavor which expands beyond DJing. It takes a courageous character to step outside of their box and create something out of nothing. It takes resilience to continue producing even when no one is listening. The transformation from DJ to producer might be one of the biggest personal achievement steps you’ll ever take.
Why? Think about it. From the entertainment perspective, a DJ is similar to a band that plays cover songs all night. They might be talented and skilled but that’s as far as they go. Producers are like songwriters. They can create, perform and license their music easily. They provide value to their fans, industry and marketplace.
In my opinion deep down every DJ is a creator of some sort. Someone who wants to share express him/herself creatively – but most never dig deep enough. Few who cross the chasm will outgrow their old DJ-only self and become a better performer as a result.
PRODUCING ORIGINAL TRACKS MAKES YOU SMARTER
Creating original tracks can most likely improve memory and sequencing. Through listening obsessively to music, one should be able to recognise the pitch of various notes and chords and be able to pick out different instruments.
‘The Mozart effect‘ (Shaw, Rausher, Ky 1993) hypothesized that music caused a rise in intelligence – tested by getting three groups of participants to listen to three different tapes. Group A got a selection of Mozart, group B got a ‘relaxation tape’ and group C got a tape of silence. All participants were then given a test, the same test, to measure spatial IQ. The students that listened to the Mozart sonata on average increased their IQ score by eight or nine points. However, this was only transitory and their IQ score dropped to pre-tape scores in about ten minutes. Other research has shown that preference in music also has an effect on test scores post-tape, whilst other research has shown different results where no IQ increase was found.
In my opinion, producing also can make you more intelligent. Being able to pick out notes, or accurately remix the works of other people are intricate processes that build multiple skills concurrently. It has also been shown that when creating music, regions of the brain associated with fine motor control are activated.
Producing will teach discipline and improve your memory. Being able to remember complex arrangements and patterns over period of time will enhance your ability to remember other things (such as strings of facts) and will open up new neural pathways. A study by the New York Academy of Sciences looks at whether music training can make individuals smarter. Scientists found more grey matter in the auditory cortex of the right hemisphere in musicians compared to nonmusicians The same applies when you are creating music in DAWs.
Also, in reference to muscle memory and multitasking music will help both these facets if you are playing a musical instrument or making beats. In my own personal experience, producing music has helped me to dissect everything with granular detail.
SELLING AND MARKETING MUSIC = BUSINESS SAVY
In the internet age, forget the idea of making music and getting picked up by a huge record label. Things don’t work like that any longer. You must learn how to sell, market, and license your music to different services. Each service requires special tactics and different approaches. For example you’ll learn that it will be really hard getting your fresh produced track to labels like Ultra or ToolRoom. Don’t expect to have your track listed on Resident Advisor, Hype Machine’s Top 10, or Beatport News in the first year.
Selling your music will teach you the discipline of the ‘patient’ hussle. It’s probably one of the most important skills you’ll ever learn. Adding street smarts to the hussle makes you attractive to everyone you meet, and these qualities might have never surfaced if you were just DJing.
Also the art of acquiring fans is changing everyday. Don’t expect people will just follow you because you have tracks on iTunes, opened for a Alesso, or have a weekly residency at a big club. In my opinion, attracting fans is about influence on many fronts – like domain experience, thought leadership in your genre, consistently putting out great music and so on. You’ll learn that marketing is about authenticity and providing value to people who care.
All that stuff will take time. You need patience coupled with tenacity, which are core qualities of any business person. Some producers have that extra quality that makes them never give up.
I see this extra dose of tenacity in only about 1 of 10 everyday producers – if you’re not naturally one of these people you probably know it, too. You see that peer who always pushes things further than you normally would. When are you going to get further out of your comfort zone and be more tenacious? It is really what separates the wheat from the chaff.
COLLABORATING WITH YOUR PRODUCTION TEAM
Photo Credit: Dennis Wisnia
Unlike the relatively solo-focused world of DJing, music production is heavily influenced by collaborations. It could be with musicians, drummers, vocalists or other producers. You’ll learn how to leverage your weaknesses against your collaborator’s strengths. Communicating creatively and passionately about a project is a very gratifying experience. Music has always been a huge connector of people, but harmoniously working on a musical project is an out of world experience in itself.
You’ll learn working on music with people is a very personal undertaking (especially vocalists). Being careful with their thoughts and opinions will teach you to become diplomatic and empathetic.
A simple example:
For my second EP, I had spent 5 hours a day (on top of my day job) working on it with one of DC’s most creative producers. All the tracks in the EP had vocals and there were problems with one of the vocal performances. After numerous retakes at a professional studio and then again at my private studio, I concluded that our vocalist wasn’t capable of a quality cut, so I suggested to my partner to scrap the entire song and look for another vocalist.
He agreed that our vocalist needs work, but he was adamant to give her a chance and be patient. I reluctantly agreed. The project was now five months behind schedule and started to get pressure from the label. It took three months to complete that specific track, while the other tracks in the EP were mastered and ready to go. I still wasn’t happy with the finished product but I know she gave it her all. The track ended up selling 4 times more than the other tracks on the EP.
That experience taught me being a team player isn’t just about working with others to achieve a common goal or product. It’s really about empathy, patience, open communication and most importantly giving someone a chance to do their best. Not sure how I could have learned all of that if I was just DJing.
As I’ve said previously on my other posts, being a great music producer/DJ is about moving the ball forward a few inches every day. What astounded me when I switched from being a DJ to producer was the sheer amount of decisions I had to make during the music creating process. The minutiae. Some of it incredibly important.
The decisions sound so basic when you’re not the one having to make them. Should you go with a Tech House or Deep House track? Should I create it in Ableton, Logic Pro, or Cubase? Should I sequence every instrument or hire musicians? Should you use plugins or outboard analog gear? Should I sell it personally on my site or find a label to pick it up? Should I start my own label? Should I offer it for free to my SoundCloud followers or hide it on my drive until I find a label?
It never ends. And there is no such thing as a music production decision with complete information. The best producers have a bias for making quick decisions and accept that at best 70% of them will be right. They acknowledge that some decisions will be bad and they’ll have to recover from them. Producing a track might be a game of inches but you don’t get timeouts to pause and analyze all of your decisions. It’s a creative, emotional, productive and detailed undertaking. Quite a challenge!
Making these small decisions helped me improve on other aspects of my life. Now I tend to make strong resolute decisions quick. I stopped sitting on the fence paralyzed.
TIME TO START YOUR FIRST TRACK
I strongly believe you learn a lot about yourself by stepping into the shoes of a producer. You’ll notice rapid growth in other areas of your life that’s not directly related to music. You learn what you do when you get punched in the face many many times by labels, distributors, and other industry folks. You learn that you are bad at many things, lucky if you’re good at a handful of things, and learn to leverage your weaknesses to other producers.
Your inner producer will ultimately render your inner DJ obsolete.
Header Photo Credit: Greg Sagayadoro
Mohamed Kamal is an ex SiriusXM DJ/Producer turned entrepreneur from Washington, DC. He is the Founder and CEO of Gigturn, a platform that connects DJs with fans and gigs.
Officially canonized back in 2008 with AMD’s “small die” strategy, dual-GPU cards have since become a staple of AMD’s product lineup. Filling a small-but-important niche for AMD, dual-GPU cards allow AMD to both deliver ultra-enthusiast performance levels their traditional single-GPU products can’t offer, and at the same time compete with NVIDIA’s big die flagship cards without AMD needing to produce a big die GPU of their own. As a result, though these cards aren’t necessarily obligatory, with each generation we’re left eagerly awaiting just what AMD has in store for their capstone product.
Of course with that said, like so many other facets of the 7000 series, the dual-GPU situation has played out rather unusually in the past year. In a typical year we would see AMD release a standard design, and then later on partners like Asus and PowerColor would release their own custom designs in the name of product differentiation and squeezing out just a bit more performance. Instead the 7000 series has played out in reverse: Asus and PowerColor released their designs first. Consequently, up until this point the 7990 has been “officially unofficial”, reflecting the fact that the first 7990s were AMD sanctioned products, but not based on AMD designs.
But at long last the 7990 is becoming fully official. AMD is getting into the game with their own 7990 design, and perhaps more importantly they’re doing so while coming to bear with the kind of engineering resources that only a GPU manufacturer can provide. This isn’t going to be the first 7990 – that honor belongs to PowerColor’s 7990 – but this is unquestionably the most important 7990. For AMD and their partners going official doesn’t just mean the AMD is taking a greater role in matters, but as we’ll see it means changing the rules of the game entirely.
AMD GPU Specification Comparison
AMD Radeon HD 7990
AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
AMD Radeon HD 7970
AMD Radeon HD 6990
2 x 2048
2 x 1536
2 x 128
2 x 96
2 x 32
2 x 32
Memory Bus Width
2 x 384-bit
2 x 256-bit
2 x 3GB
2 x 2GB
2 x 4.31B
2 x 2.64B
Diving right into the thick of things, like the officially unofficial cards before it, AMD’s 7990 is a dual-Tahiti part, placing two of AMD’s flagship GPUs on a single PCB to make a single card. AMD has held nothing back and these are fully enabled GPUs, so each GPU has all 2048 stream processors, 32 ROPs, and their full 384-bit memory buses present. Joining these GPUs is 6GB of GDDR5 RAM, split up between the two GPUs for the 7900-series standard of 3GB of VRAM per GPU.
The big question with any dual-GPU card of course is what kinds of clockspeeds it can run at, and as a turns out the 7990 can clock rather high. The 7990 is a PowerTune Boost part like the 7970GE it’s based on, giving the card a base clockspeed of 950MHz, and a boost clock of 1000MHz. Meanwhile the memory is clocked at 6GHz, the same as the 7970GE. As a result the 7990 is surprisingly close to being a 7970GE Crossfire setup on a single card, clocked just 50MHz below AMD’s single-GPU flagship card. In fact this is better than some of the earlier 7990s such as PowerColor’s, which were clocked lower and simultaneously lacked PT Boost.
But perhaps the most defining aspect of AMD’s 7990, and the thing that sets it apart from unofficial 7990s that came before it is the TDP. AMD’s 7990 has an official TDP of just 375W, which although common for official dual-GPU cards, is quite a bit lower than the TDPs of the unofficial 7990s. As the GPU manufacturer AMD has the ability to do finely grained binning that their partners cannot, so while Asus and PowerColor have essentially been putting together cards that really are two 7970s on a single card – right down to the TDP – official 7990s get the advantage of AMD’s binning process, significantly reducing power consumption. The end result is that while an unofficial 7990 would be a 450W+ part, AMD can deliver the same or better performance while consuming much less power, putting the 7990 within the all-important 375W envelope that OEMs and boutique builders look for.
While we’re on the subject of power, this is the first official AMD dual-GPU part to include AMD’s ZeroCore power technology, which was introduced with the GCN family. ZeroCore as you might recall allows AMD to almost completely shut off slave GPUs when they’re not in use, which in turn allows AMD to further reduce their idle power consumption. The biggest benefits are found in multi-card setups since this allows the fans on those slave cards to be shut down, but even on the 7990 it still provides a benefit by allowing AMD to curtail their idle power consumption. Consequently this pushes the idle TDP of the 7990 down to around 20W, which is greater than a single card, but a clear improvement over 6990 and earlier AMD dual-GPU cards.
Moving on to product stacks and competition, it comes as no great surprise that AMD is placing their newest flagship part directly opposite NVIDIA’s flagship cards. AMD doesn’t produce a GPU equivalent to GTX Titan’s massive GK110 GPU, so the 7990 is AMD’s official answer to both Titan and NVIDIA’s own dual-GPU card, the nearly year-old GTX 690. In the case of the GTX 690 it’s a rather straightforward matchup since both cards are based on the same principles, while against Titan AMD needs to make a case about raw performance versus the inherent simplicity of a single-GPU solution over a dual-GPU solution.
Along those lines, since AMD is placing the 7990 against NVIDIA’s flagships they will also be pricing it directly against NVIDIA’s flagships, setting the MSRP for the 7990 at $ 999. This steep price tag raised some ire with the GTX 690 and with GTX Titan, and it likely will here once more. But with single 7970GEs still regularly going for $ 400-$ 500 and the fact that AMD is throwing in their best Tahiti chips into 7990, there’s little incentive to charge less. A 7970GE CF setup will be both faster and cheaper, but as a pair of those cards take up 6 slots after accounting for cooling needs, AMD can bank on the fact that the 7990 is essentially the same size as a 7970GE, charging a premium for the size advantage.
Ultimately customers interested in the 7990 will have a bit of time to sit on the matter and decide if they want one. The 7990 is being launched ahead of its actual retail availability, with AMD telling us the cards will hit etailers within two weeks. Meanwhile all of AMD’s usual partners will be participating on this 7990, so expect to see 7990 cards from all of major AMD partners, and sold at all of the major etailers.
Finally, AMD has been having a blast with game bundles over the last few months, and they won’t be stopping with the 7990. In a game bundle that quite frankly I cannot recall being rivaled by anything else done in the last 20 years, AMD will be bundling the 7990 with 8 different games from the current and past Never Settle bundles. All of AMD’s current bundle titles are included: Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Along with that AMD is also packing in the best games out of their previous bundles: Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Simply put, 7990 buyers will be well-stocked for games to play on their new video card.
Meanwhile on housekeeping note, AMD will be changing how vouchers are distributed for the 7990; rather than having etailers distribute the vouchers with qualifying purchases, AMD’s partners will be packing the vouchers into the product box. Though the etailers have been good about including vouchers, they do at times forget them. So for the 7990 AMD and their partners aren’t going to be taking any chances.
Ratonhnhaké:ton's journey concludes in the third and final episode, The Redemption, taking gamers to New York to discover the power of the bear, allowing them to strike their foes with unimaginable strength.
La cancelliera tedesca Angela Merkel manda un messaggio chiaro ai paesi dell'Eurozona avvertendoli del bisogno di cessione sovranità. "Noi dobbiamo accettare chel'Europa ha l'ultima parolain alcune aree", se davvero vogliamo superare la crisi dei debiti sovrani e riacquistare la fiducia degli investitori. Difende le strategie fin qui adottate per affrontare lacrisi dei debiti sovraniche ancora imperversa in Europa con tutta se stessa; non fa, a dispetto delle critiche arrivate da economisti di tutto il mondo, nessunmea culpae, oltre alla ricetta amara dell'austerity, ora chiede anche di più: "la cessione della sovranità nazionale" dei paesi membri dell'Eurozona, in alcuni processi decisionali. Il falcoAngela Merkeltorna a far parlare di sé.
Stando a quanto riportail sito Reuters, la cancelliera tedesca ha affermato che i paesi dell'Eurozona devono prepararsi a cedere la propria sovranità, se vogliono davvero superare la crisi dei debiti e riacquistare la fiducia degli investitori esteri. LEGGI TUTTO»»