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Some brief background information on myself and my DJ history:
In 2004, I started creating my own music after I bought a used Yamaha RS7000 from a friend of a friend for something around $600-$650. I started off making beats using the internal sounds/drums. That was fun and it held me over for a while, but my heart was in sample-based music.
I started off sampling the only thing available to me at that time, which was VHS movies using the audio outputs from the back of the VCR. I would make beats using samples from old movies combined with the internal drums from the RS7000. But, this was an incredibly inefficient way of finding samples. I was renting old horror movies and sitting there waiting for anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half with the hope that there might be some piece of music in it that I could sample.
I decided I needed to buy a record player.
I went to the local mall and bought a Numark TT1600 belt-driven turntable for $99. Now, I needed a mixer to be the middleman between my turntable and my RS7000. I called a friend who had had a DJ setup and he lent me his old mixer that had originally been given to him by his cousin, a fellow DJ/Beatmaker/Producer (R.I.P. Anthony "DAT" Braccia).
With this setup, I could now officially record samples from records and I started experimenting with scratching. The mixer I borrowed was a Gemini PMX-350 with a broken crossfader. I called my friend and he explained how I could use the phono/line switch to cut the sound on and off while moving the record back and forth. I took that piece of knowledge and ran with it. I had my turntable balanced/sitting on top of my stereo and some stacks of VHS tapes in my bedroom. I scratched with this setup for a while and began to see some improvements.
My friend recommended that I get a real setup, feeling that I had the potential to get good. At first, I resisted this idea, thinking that since my setup was functional that it was all I needed. Another one of my friends, who was also a DJ/Beatmaker/Producer, had a pair of Technics 1200s. I had been used to scratching on a belt-driven turntable, so when I felt the Technics I was amazed and instantly sold on the idea of upgrading my setup. It was now clear to me how ridiculous my current setup actually was.
I took some money I had saved and drove to the Guitar Center with the intention of getting a real DJ setup. When I got there, there were 2 used Technics 1200s turntables sitting dead center in the DJ room, looking as if they were perched on a glowing shrine awaiting my arrival. It certainly appeared that they were meant for me. So, I bought the 2 used Technics SL 1200-M3Ds, got a DJ coffin, a stand to hold the coffin, and 2 Numark CC1 needles. But, the Guitar Center didn't have any mixers that I could afford, and the mixers they had that I could afford I didn't like. I had to then take a trip to Sam Ash to get a new mixer. I ended up buying a Stanton SMX 201 mixer. This being the final piece making up my first real DJ setup. The date was 3/25/04.
I later upgraded to a Vestax PMC-05 II mixer after the Stanton SMX 201's crossfader started to bleed. The 2 Numark CC1 needles were replaced with 2 Shure M447s, after they had been worn down to close to nothing.
I recently watched a video on YouTube featuring Brian Tracy speaking about success. He mentions taking action toward your goals everyday, and says that after a year you will be staggered at the improvements you'll have made.
Here is the video:
Recently, I had been spending a lot of time thinking and working on business ideas, and had not been giving my music its proper attention. Ironically, the reason I wanted to start a business was so that I could spend more time focusing on music. So, seeing that this equation was getting out of balance, I decided to start practicing scratching everyday for a minimum of 15 minutes. While 15 minutes a day isn't much, I knew that by making sure that minimum requirement gets met, I would end up spending much more time working on music afterwards. As a worse case scenario, it would ensure that no matter what kind of day I have, what's going on in my life, or how I'm feeling at the time, that music will be made a priority and be not be put off for another day.
After a friend had recently asked me what was up with inactivity of this blog, I got the idea to start recording these practice sessions to post on ArtOfHipHopProduction. com.
I figured it could be like an open book to my progression as a DJ/Turntablist. It could also provide a way to showcase some of the music I had created.
I will be posting all of my recording uncut and unedited. They will contain the good, the bad, and the ugly. My reason for doing this is that I want to show an honest look into how my skill/talent develops.
Many times people see a star athlete perform well and they assign it to natural ability or good genetics. Those are certainly factors, but rarely do they take into account the years of training, self discipline, hard work, determination and faith that that athlete had to use to bring themselves to that level of play.
I consider my current status of skill level to be somewhere between OK-Average. I plan to develop my skill to become Great-Legendary. This training log will serve as an honest look into the journey of my pursuit.
-I started scratching everyday for a minimum of 15 minutes on 3/31/08.
-I started recording these sessions on 4/09/08.
-The first day I recorded for about 13 minutes and the second day for about 17 minutes. I then found out that YouTube only allows videos to be posted that are under 10 minutes in length.
So, I uploaded the first two days of recordings onto Blip. tv.
-Since, I want to upload videos onto YouTube I will be keeping my recordings under 10 minutes. Of course, I will make sure that my overall practice time is still a minimum of 15 minutes a day. Since, I warm up a little before I do the recordings, that will be easy.
"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.
" - William Jennings Bryan