FRequently asked things

I get emailed variations of these questions frequently.

I want to be a DJ and don’t know where to start. What would you suggest?

I’d suggest hanging out near the DJ at a party and paying attention all night to see if it’s something you actually want to do. If so, then I’d suggest doing a series of YouTube queries to determine what you think would be the best hardware and software pairing for you. Next, ask yourself how much music you actually own, not stream. Then I’d determine if and when you can make that investment in equipment and music.

DJing is not a cheap lifestyle. And, just like other instruments, you have to practice on hardware with music. Serato has a feature now where you can play from music streamed from Tidal but I’m not sure how reliable it is.

What DJ equipment do you use?

  • Technic 1200 turntables, no other kind of turntable can replace this for me and a Rane 62/72 mixer. OR a

  • Pioneer DDJ SX-2 Controller.

  • I use Serato DJ software running on a 15” Retina Macbook.

  • I buy music from iTunes but am also a part of several free and paid DJ pool services.

I want to be a hardware engineer/maker/tinkerer and don’t know where to start.  

This one is tough. If you are still in grade school or college and are considering this route, I’d suggest studying electrical or mechanical engineering. I think CS is also a good route and take a few hardware courses on the side as an introduction.

If you want to learn from a hobbyist standpoint then I’d say go to a store and buy a cheap-ish electrical toy. Take it home and strategically disassemble it and reassemble it again. Pay attention to where each screw came from and how each part connects with the next so you can remember how it worked. Take pictures if you need to.

Raspberry Pi and Arduino are also very good starting (or progression) points. A ton of very approachable information and scripts exist online to help you get started. I also consider both very affordable. Additionally, many large companies use these to prototype initial hardware projects.

How do I get media coverage, attention, speaking engagements, etc.?

Also tough, the world is changing everyday. There are many people who make a living and build a following teaching folks like us how to market themselves. A few of my favorites are Gary Vee and Seth Godin.

I say give create projects, prototypes, mock ups, etc. and build a portfolio.

How did I get here?

Hmmm… on my website? Destiny. On my mailing list? You probably RSVP’d to an event I was a part of or we corresponded via email at some point over the last year or two. On earth? Choice.

Can we meet for coffee, lunch, drinks?

As a new parent who is also the primary caretaker, my time is extremely limited. If I haven’t answered your question here, feel free to take a look at my /Now page. I am not doing much collaboration outside of the projects listed there but if it makes sense then let’s chat.