Without any doubt, one of the most crucial parts of a DJ’s life is the music itself. If you are a DJ or have one around you, then you would agree with me on the importance of really cool music and beats. As a DJ this makes one constantly on the lookout for fresh and trending tracks to incorporate in your DJ playlists and soundtracks.
This is where a lot of people start to wonder, where do DJs get their music, I mean these guys have hundreds and thousands of songs at their disposal and you wonder how do they acquire so much in no time and how do they acquire the right type of music.
Are you just starting out as a DJ? And you are probably confused as to where people get their music from or not even just that, you are wondering how upcoming DJs are able to afford thousands of songs legally. You are probably thinking it is impractical and there Is no way you can acquire high-quality music legally if you are not famous or successful in the business. Well, I’m here to tell you there’s nothing impractical about that because where DJs get their music from is just a gray area that you are yet to understand.
For DJ’s acquiring series of music is more or less a two-stage process which involves first identifying your choice of music and then finding ways to actually get that music. Luckily we are going to discuss all that in this post and go through a series of resources at your disposal with a really in-depth knowledge of the best places where DJs get their music from.
Before we jump into the main sources of music for DJs, let’s discuss the mistakes people make from getting music from Youtube and Soundcloud
Youtube and Sound Cloud: The honest truth is when most new DJ’s when starting out their careers, would most likely be ripping out music from places like youtube and SoundCloud. And you know one really can’t put the blame on anywhere because if you have been in this game or business for a while or you are quite familiar with the DJ environment, then you would agree with me that it can be quite expensive and stressful to acquire such large amount of music to DJ with.
However, here is the spoiler alert. When you continue to rip music off SoundCloud then you can be assured you are not getting the full quality file, you are more or less getting a lesser compressed version of the audio. This will reveal itself when you get you larger places with very high-quality systems such as really large clubs. It might sound good enough on your headphones but don’t be deceived.
Okay then so let’s jump into it, I’m going to be taking you through both free and paid services and platforms that are worth looking into when it comes to where DJ’s get their music.
- Record Pools:
Basically these are well recognized and legitimate places where labels and individual artists send their music and then there are registered DJs that rate the songs and then can download themselves. And of course, there are various Record pools platforms which require a subscription fee, some of which include;
- DJ CIty
One of the popular record pools is DJ city which personally I would definitely recommend out there. However, you can always go ahead and research a lot more “record pools” platforms.
With record pools, DJ’s get multiple versions such as introversion for a lot of hip-hop and R&B tracks, so as a DJ you have intro’s to use for blending your tunes, you can also find acapella and instrumentals on record pools, and definitely a lot of exclusives and remixes that you probably would never find anywhere else.
- BPM Supreme
Another record pool where DJs get their music from is “BPM Supreme” which pretty much the same range of price of subscription as the “DJ City” platform. But unlike DJ City, with this record pool platform, you don’t have to rate the tracks before you can download the multiple versions of music and playlists you want. Another popular DJ pool is the “digital DJ pool”
Generally, as a DJ who is just starting out with building his/her music library, I would recommend starting out with these record pools. They get updated very frequently on a daily and weekly basis which makes them very useful either as a newbie or as a professional for any working DJ out there.
Music Streaming Services:
For DJs, Sound Cloud, as well as Tidal, offers streaming services that are integrated into software such as Serato DJ. This makes you have access to millions of music files directly from within the software.
However, this is just one software I am talking about. There are a series of software that comes with different streaming services, so you might want to know what streaming service you prefer and what DJ software has them embedded.
Some other DJ software is Denon DJ which has Tidal, Algoriddim Djay also has Tidal and SoundCloud, while Edjing has Deezer and SoundCloud. There are lots out there, in the end, it all gets down to individual preferences.
Now that we have gone through the paid stuff on where DJ’s get their music, let’s take a look at where you can get the free downloads
This is obviously generally known as where some DJs get their music from. Especially beginners in the business however here is a tip on how DJ’s get their music on youtube. On the youtube search box, you can easily type in “copyright free music” and loads of channels that upload music directly from producers will pop up. Producers often submit their music to these channels to help them showcase their music, so when you see the youtube results you can always scroll down to the description and you will most likely find a download link there.
However, there is always some sort of signup to do with this type of method of getting DJ music from youtube for free. could be just a social share or something else. It’s a very easy way to get music and you can always follow these favorite channels that get music updates on a daily basis.
This is a platform made for exactly what I explained above as regards getting quality music from youtube. The idea of the platform is to make any producer which are mostly upcoming producers, to sign up and upload their tracks, and then you as a person can download that music. However just as I mentioned earlier they require some sort of data collected through signup or making you connect with your SoundCloud or your Spotify.
This is a bit more popular than an artist union and links directly into the sound cloud where you can easily search through a series of tracks. They also have their top 100 downloads for easy access to what is trending.
Generally when it comes to free downloads, its hard to get free music without giving something up, however, giving up just an email, is definitely a small price to pay to get the best set of music tracks directly from a producer or from a music service out there.
Record Label Mailing Lists:
I’m going to honest here, these are very hard to get on to. They are the opposite of record pools as you are not subscribing but waiting for an invite from these record labels. Music services such as this are actually free, and once you are on their mailing list, you get sent music tracks as they get it directly from record labels.
These services usually require feedback and ratings from members of their mailing lists, however, most DJs don’t fret themselves over being in a mailing list cause 90% of those songs end up being on top record pools platforms.
However, mailing lists are quite easier to get onto by club DJ’s or a well-renowned DJ. Record labels wouldn’t just send out tracks or add you to a mailing list except you have a proven record.
Buy Music: DJ’s buy music from various places such as Beatport, which is a dance and DJ based service. It is quite popular among DJ’s and it makes it really easy to just buy and download music at ease. Other obvious platforms to do this are from Amazon or Itunes, buy music from them, download the files and import them into a DJ Software.
Quick Bonus Tip On getting New Music:
Some DJ’s opt for looking at playlists from streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, and others to get ideas of what the latest tracks are. So if you are starting out, you can definitely stick with those for ideas.
A DJs lifestyle revolves around getting new music consistently because there is nothing as motivating as having fresh tunes to play around with and seeing the crowd respond to the fresh hot track. We have talked about lots of sources to acquire music out there and you can get on right away with building your music collection with those. In no time you will start to realize you are starting to have lots of quality collections in your music set.
After all said and done, you can also learn to use a DJ controller