Category: <span>Trends</span>

a female singing on stageI remember the first time I heard electronic music with live singing. It was probably about 10 years ago. It was a YouTube video of Trentmoller performing their song Moan. They were using live instruments onstage to create the electronic sound and they had a woman singing the lyrics. It was mesmerizing and beautiful and I watched it over and over.

You have probably seen the video. It became quite famous. It was the first time I’d seen anything like it and it spurred me to look for more things like it as well. Here it is, in case you have not yet seen it:

Naturally, this was far from the first time someone had done this. People had been singing to electronic music for a long time and they had created that music live on stage before too, just like they had been using unusual instruments like the trumpet for EDM. It was just the first time I saw it.

I had heard singing with electronic music before. I was a big Crystal Method fan and the album Vegas has two tracks on it where a woman sings. She has a beautiful voice and they are the best tracks on the album. My friends and I used to listen to them all the time.

I started looking for all kinds of tracks that were similar, because I love that combination of a beautiful female voice with electronic music. I discovered Timo Maas, a German DJ and electronic music producer who has one song called Love in Traffic that he did with Kelli Ali, the lead singer of The Sneaker Pimps. It is amazing and I still listen to it all the time to this day.

Another song I discovered is State of Grace by Swayzak. Kirsty Hawkshaw sings on the song and her vocals are gorgeous. Unfortunately, toward the end of the song, she starts speaking in German. This is less gorgeous. Her German is not good and the lyrics are ridiculous, so there’s really no reason to do this at all. It kind of ruins the beautiful song, but as long as you ignore that part, it’s a great tune.

There’s so many good singers that DJs have no problem finding someone to sing live during their performances. Many DJs also learn how to sing better on their own, so they can accompany themselves. This is probably a good business decision, but it only makes sense if they actually are able to improve their singing voice. They have to know how to sing well, otherwise this endeavor will fail.

Learning to sing is not as hard as you might think. You just need to focus on the fundamentals of singing and get those down. Once you have the fundamentals down, in other words you know how to breathe correctly, you have a good posture, you know where to position your tongue and how to position and move your mouth, etc., then your voice will improve dramatically.

Once you have got the basics down, you are a decent singer. To become a really great singer, you just need to keep practicing a lot. Put in some work and you will have a great new sound. That said, I always find that female voices sound better, so if you are not a woman, then perhaps you should just hire out the singing job.


A lot of DJs these days use traditional classical instruments in their music. Violins are very popular for this, as is the cello. But one of my favorites is the humble trumpet. The somewhat harsh sound of the trumpet can really make a strong impact on any electronic music piece.

Naturally, most DJs will just sample some trumpet playing, but if you really want to stand out, you’ll get yourself a live trumpeter. Even better, you’ll learn to play the instrument yourself. You don;t need to be an expert; you just need to learn a few simple techniques to add a lot to your music.

If you want to play the trumpet, you’ll notice one thing real fast. Your lips and face get tired almost immediately. It is an exhausting instrument to play, so you’re going to need lip endurance. This is often overlooked, but it is vital for any good player. If you need to play for a considerable amount of time, you’ll only be able to do so if your lips are used to it.

trumpeters with endurance

If they are not, do not force it. You never want to play to the point where your lips get bruised. When your face and lips start to feel tired, take a break. Never play beyond the point where your start to loose control.

Do not lose heart if you cannot play for very long. This is normal and all beginning trumpeters go through a period where they become fatigued quickly. Just keep working on your endurance and after a few days, you will be able to play a little longer. After a few weeks, you will be able to play for much longer. It just takes some time to get used to using your face and lips in this way.

One technique to speed up the process is to practice lip slurs. You also want to record the time your are able to play non-stop with out a break. Do this for a few days and you should be able to play longer as your skills and endurance progress. Most trumpet players start out not being able to play for long. They soon end up out of breath, their lips hurt and their face is hit by extreme fatigue.

In any case, if you feel these symptoms you should NOT continue to play the trumpet any more. As the continuous strain on your face muscles gets stronger, you are at risk for face muscle damage, which can’t be repaired without surgery. Always stop once you feel fatigue.

As you continue your lip endurance training you will notice that you can play longer without becoming fatigued as quickly. You want to keep working on your endurance, so try to practice at least once a day for 30 minutes to an hour with breaks in between. Never play continuously for very long without taking short breaks.

Even if you’ve built your endurance to the point where you don’t need breaks, take them anyway. It doesn’t matter if you do not feel fatigued. Your face muscles are being used in unnatural ways when you play the trumpet and they need their rest.

If you do not want sore and bruised face muscles, I highly suggest working on your endurance carefully. The greatest thing about building your endurance is that you can always build it higher and higher until you are able to play a whole concert without more than a 15 minute break.

When you first start playing the trumpet, you’ll only be able to blow a handful of notes before you get tired, so reaching the point where you can play an entire concert is pretty impressive. It doesn’t even take too long, but for our purposes it isn’t necessary to get to that point anyway.

While real trumpet players have incredible physical endurance, you do not need to match them. You just need enough to get through your DJ set and since you’ll just be supplementing your music with a few trumpet sounds here and there, you should be able to reach a good enough level of endurance in a week or two of daily practice.

One thing to note: endurance disappears. Even trumpeters who have been playing for many years and many concerts and have built their lip endurance to incredible levels can lose it. If they stop playing for a while, their endurance will go down quite a bit. That is why it is important to keep up your practice, if you want to keep up your trumpet playing endurance.

If you want to use the trumpet live during your DJ sets, it will take a bit of work to build up a decent level of endurance so you can achieve this goal. That said, if you just need to play a few notes for recording in the studio, you can skip most of the effort. Work on your endurance a little, but don’t spend too much time on it. Of course, it’s kind of cool to be able to play the trumpet, so there’s really no harm in practicing a bit every day or two, is there?


As many of you probably already know, I got my start DJing on turntables. Obviously, this is how most DJs above a certain age started, so this is not uncommon. I still use turntables occasionally, because I don’t want to lose the touch and I just enjoy it, to be honest. I still prefer it over the modern technologies, but I do realize that those modern technologies are simply better. That’s why I’ve switched, like so many other DJs as well.

All that said, I recently bought a new record player. That’s right, even though I barely use my turntable to spin records anymore I bought a player. So why did I do that? Well, I did it just for listening. Vocalists sound so much better on vinyl, especially EDM singers. This has nothing to do with DJing.

a quality record playerYou’d have to be dead to not know that vinyl is making a big comeback. Most of this is due to the hipsters, among whom old-fashioned technologies have become cool. I’ll be honest, this annoys me a little bit and kind of makes me not want to listen to vinyl. But I grew up on the stuff, so I feel I have a right to do it, despite the hipsters trying to steal my generation’s thunder.

I actually have a large record collection that I never used for spinning. It was just for listening to. Much of it I inherited from my dad, but I added to it over the years. I also had a cheap record player to play it on. The record player we had growing up broke a long time ago and I replaced it with a cheap one because I didn’t have much money at the time. I was in college then and you know how that goes.

Over the years I considered buying a new one several times, but in the end I never did, since I rarely found myself listening to vinyl anymore. Recently I decided to change that. I decided to go out and buy a record player so that I could listen to vinyl whenever I wanted to. Most importantly, I could listen whenever relaxing in my super comfortable parachute hammock. I used to love traveling with that thing and now I still take it on day trips to the beach or park, but mostly I hang in the hammock at home while listening to music.

I’ve been keeping up with the technology, but I wasn’t prepared for just how many options are out there. Most of the record players out there have a ton of features that I just don’t want. They have built-in speakers, they have cassette decks, they have CD players, they play radio, etc. I don’t want any of that.

I already have separate components that do all of those things. I also have an amplifier and speakers, so I don’t need those in my record player either. But it seems like most of the record players that don’t have these things are turntables specifically geared towards DJs. I didn’t want one of those.

Luckily I found a great article that detailed some of the highest quality record players on the market. These are players that do nothing but play vinyl, but they do it at the absolute highest level. They look incredible, they sound incredible, they are extremely high quality. In short, they are amazing. They are also very expensive, but they are worth it to me.

In the end I decided on the Pro-Ject Audio – Perspex. It cost me almost $2000, but I’ve never heard sound quality like this before. The build quality is incredible too. I would never DJ with this thing, but for listening to records, you can’t do much better.

It’s definitely overkill for the casual fan, and probably for me too, but I just don’t care. It is nice knowing I have something that no hipster will ever buy. Mainly, because they can afford it, but also because they’re interest in vinyl is simply to keep up with their hipster friends. Once the fad passes, they will be over it.

But I’ll never be over it and with this record player I’ll be able to listen to my collection for the rest of my life and my children will be able to do so after me and then their children and their children and their children. This thing is solid and will last forever.


store selling vinyl records for turntable djs
A store in England selling vinyl records

DJing around the world used to mean carrying my turntables and my vinyl record collection everywhere I went. It took up a lot of space in my suitcase and weighed a lot too. These days I no longer have to worry about this. All I need to DJ is my laptop. Any club I play at provides the controller. I haven’t seen many that don’t have one. All of my music is on my laptop or on a USB disk. No need to carry heavy equipment anymore.

But I’m not sure that’s such a good thing. I love listening to music on vinyl and I really miss it. I have a turntable record player in my apartment at home, but it’s not portable and I don’t take it with me when I travel.

I still travel with speakers, but now I hook them up to my smart phone whenever I want to listen to music. I used to hook them up to my record player and that way I could listen to vinyl on the road. I do miss that.

I have converted all of my vinyl records to the digital format, so I do have those same vinyl sounds on my smart phone and on my computer, but it’s still not quite the same. It was also cool to have a few people over to my room and listen to vinyl records. Even if the sound is very similar, it just felt more sophisticated to have a record player playing the music, instead of the phone.

I also miss collecting records. I used to love browsing record stores and finding those gems and then playing them in my sets and surprising the crowd. I would play a lot of old records that they hadn’t heard in years, but they brought back nostalgic feelings. I also played a lot of new records that they had never heard before. That was always one of the coolest feelings. I loved it when I could surprise my audience by playing something they didn’t even know existed.

Oftentimes some of them would even come up to me after the show and asked me what it was they had heard. That was always one of my favorite things and that doesn’t really happen too much anymore. I guess you could still find new music by browsing on Spotify or whatever, but it isn’t really the same. In fact, I kind of hate browsing on there for music. It’s just not as much fun as going to a record store.

I do still visit record stores when I travel and occasionally buy vinyl records too, but they are just for my personal collection at home. So I guess it’s still fun but it definitely isn’t the same. And you don’t find as much music in the record stores these days.

They are struggling to stay open, so they need to stock what people want. And since nowadays it’s mostly hipsters who want to listen to vinyl, or more accurately want to have a player sitting around but never actually touch it, record stores stock the kind of music they like. It’s definitely not the kind of music I like.

So, yes, like many older people I miss vinyl. And yes, I know it’s making a comeback, but it is making a comeback among people most of us don’t really like. But more than anything, I miss spinning on vinyl. Manipulating the controller simulates it perfectly, but it still isn’t the same, is it? There’s just something about having an actual record on the record player and spinning and scratching it, that you don’t get from digital music. I miss it.