Your Guide to Becoming a DJ, Music Sources

Your Guide to Becoming a DJ, Music SourcesIf you haven’t already, you’ll soon find out that collecting music is one of the jobs that DJs do behind the scenes. Apart from select software that allow music streaming, most programs will require you to have song files stored on your computer in your hard drive. Perhaps you’ve gone this entire time streaming songs from Spotify or Pandora, never really purchasing or downloading any music for yourself. Where do you begin?

It’s time to start collecting music!


Most of my music collection is obtained from importing CDs. CDs give you the flexibility in importing and converting the music into the file type that you want, from mp3 to wav. Playing high quality files gets more important the better that the speakers you play the files from are. In other words, playing low quality files through your Apple headphones won’t matter as much as playing the low-quality files through Bose speakers. If you set the stage early by importing CDs as high quality ALAC or FLAC files, you won’t have to re-import your music later on like I had to do.

If you have little or no music to start with, go on EBay and search “cd lot”. CDs sold in lots are typically much cheaper than if they were sold individually, but often times the music may not be desirable. You can select different filters, such as the genre, to pinpoint the music that you are interested in purchasing. I take a look at this search on EBay frequently but I’m picky to only buy the lot if the collection is worth the investment.

Once you’ve accumulated CDs, you can store them in bins or boxes. You might then ask, “why did I buy the CD only to import it and never listen to the actual CD?” I buy CDs mostly because it gives me the option to import the music as high-quality files, which is typically not an option if purchasing the music from digital distributors.

Do you know of any digital distributors, such as Beatport, that offer high quality music files for download?

Record Pools

Record pools provide a subscription-based service for DJs to obtain new music, including acapellas, remixes, and original songs. I often download original songs and various remixes of those songs from the DJCity record pool, which costs $90 for three months. I renew my subscription every couple of months during the times of the year when I’m getting more gigs. It’s a great deal if you’re consistently downloading music, as there is no limit to the number of songs you can download during the three-month period. Keep in mind, however, that the DJCity record pool only hosts new music. Therefore, it’s not suitable to use for obtaining songs released as late as 2014 or even 2015. There are other record pools that offer different styles of music or payment plans. There are even record pools for music videos which I have yet to check out.

Which DJ record pool do you use, and why?

Online Distributors

(Beatport, iTunes, etc.)

Online distributors are my last resort if the song I’m looking was not pressed on CD and is not available on the DJCity record pool. This is rarely the case, as I can only think of three cases in the past year or two: gnash, Cal Scruby, and Ground Up. Purchasing from online distributors can get expensive, as each song can be over a dollar.

I wouldn’t recommend downloading your music from YouTube or torrent sites.

I hope this article helped you consider how to start collecting music! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions.

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