Saturday, December 24, 2016

Reader Submitted: "How To DJ The DJ Tantari Way - Chapter Five"


By Tantari Kim

"This is my guide for how to go from a newbie to a moderately successful DJ on Second Life. ...  If you do read it and have comments or corrections, I’d love to hear them.  (Mail me at tantari.kim at gmail.com.)"

Continued from Chapter Four

*  *  *  *  *

Chapter 5: How to Go Beyond the DJ Tantari Way

This is what I’ve learned so far.  There is so much more you can do.  You can do live beat matching and mixing.  You can loop sections of a track and layer them with four or more tracks at a time.  You can plug in a microphone and do voice overs.  You can upgrade from MIXXX to more “professional” commercial DJ software like Traktor or Virtual DJ.  You can use USB or MIDI based physical controllers instead of a keyboard and a mouse.  You can control vinyl turntables.  You can even go to real clubs and perform in person.  You can even compose and record your own original songs.  The sky is the limit!

There are so many places to learn.  You can find tons of videos on YouTube or other sites.  In my experience, DJs love to talk and compare notes.  We’ll talk about the craft, software, new music and artists, clubs, fans, network with each other, and so much more.  If you’re polite, we might even answer questions and offer advice.  Keep in mind that every DJ is different; we all have our own personal techniques and perspective on things.  What works for them might not work for you and vice versa.

Being Happy as a DJ

I know a lot of DJs who are reaching as high as they can with their craft.  I also know a lot who are happily doing the same thing over and over.  Many “pro DJs” won’t consider you to be a “real DJ” until you are doing live beat matching and mixing.  Who is right?

In my opinion, none of them is right.  Only you can decide what is right for you.

If this is your career and livelihood, then you should always be striving to reach higher levels, make better music, and reach bigger audiences.  That’s great!  I look forward to going to your sets, hearing your music, and cheering you on.

But what about the rest of us?  I think the vast majority of us are just doing this as a hobby.  That means we do this for fun.  Being a DJ is about being an artist and an entertainer.  If you and your audience are having a good time, then you’re a success.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  Anyone who plays recorded music in front of a crowd is a DJ.  Anyone who makes them happy is a real DJ.

On the other hand, I always encourage you to try new things and learn.  Add new skills to your DJing tool belt and use them where you feel they’re appropriate.  Maybe you’ll find something cool and want to use it everywhere.  Maybe you’ll decide that it’s not for you.  Most likely, you’ll find a place for this new technique and use it where it’s appropriate according to your personal artistic sense.  Be yourself and be happy.

To quote Bruce Lee, “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.

Closing Thoughts

I’ve had a lot of fun as a DJ.  It’s hard work, but I get to spend my time listening to great music, interacting with fans, and helping other people have a good time.  I’ve had the opportunity to meet and worth with a lot of great people.  It’s even brought me a little pocket change.  There are so many things in this world that are soul crushing.  I’m happy to have found something that is soul enriching.

I look forward to hearing what you make!  I’m a very busy person, but if you do start DJing and post a recording, I’d love to check it out!  Find me on Second Life as Tantari Kim, Mixcloud at https://www.mixcloud.com/DJTantari or email me at tantari.kim (at) gmail.com.  If this guide helps you become a DJ, I'd be thrilled to hear about it.  Please let me know!

And come to one of my sets on Second Life.  It’s one thing to read about this.  It’s another to hear and experience it!

A truly great DJ can, just for a moment, make a whole room fall in love.  Life should have a soundtrack!

– DJ Tantari

Friday, December 23, 2016

Reader Submitted: "How To DJ The DJ Tantari Way - Chapter Four"


By Tantari Kim

"This is my guide for how to go from a newbie to a moderately successful DJ on Second Life. ...  If you do read it and have comments or corrections, I’d love to hear them.  (Mail me at tantari.kim at gmail.com.)"

Continued from Chapter Three

*  *  *  *  *

Chapter 4: How to Have a Second Life DJ Career the DJ Tantari Way

That’s all you need to know if you’re going to get up there and DJ a few times at a friend’s club or home or maybe

even at a special event.  But if you want to keep at this, there are a few things you need to know to make this a SL career.  If you do it well, you can get a bit of fame and fortune out of it too.

Getting Your First Gig

If you’ve already followed Chapter 1, 2, you’re well on your way.  Hopefully you’ll read this guide carefully and learn from my mistakes to get a much stronger start than I did.  The next step is Chapter 3;  rent a server (or host one from your home if you know how) and do a few sets for your friends.  You’ll make a heck of a lot of mistakes during your first few live sets.  Get those out of the way.

Once you’ve got a little experience and can operate your DJ station without embarrassing yourself, it’s time to apply to a club and build yourself a reputation as a competent and reliable DJ.

There are two kinds of clubs, Event Clubs and 24 Hour Clubs.  Event Clubs are clubs that are empty most of the time.  They fill up for certain pre-scheduled events and as soon as they are over, they empty out again.  24 Hour Clubs are those that have people all the time, even if there isn't an official event running. The dirty little secret is that there are far more clubs than there are DJs to fill them.  And no matter what type it is, they’re looking for more DJs.  Event Clubs are usually looking for someone to fill more slots, or at least a backup DJ who can fill in when a regular is out.  As paradoxical as it sounds, it’s probably easier to get a slot at a 24 Hour Club because most of them want to have a DJ playing every hour of every day.  I don’t know of any of them that even have half their hours filled.  If you’re willing to work an unusual time, you can get in right away and have at least a small audience.  And if you screw up, which you will do your first few times, you will have very few people to notice.  Later on, you can work up to the more prime slots.

Here’s the other dirty little secret:  It’s not hard to be better than most of the DJs on Second Life.  If you’re a DJ who’s consistent and reliable, you’re already better than about half of them.  If you put a lot of work and professionalism into it, you can easily make it to the top 15%.  (To get higher than that, you have to compete against the professional DJs.  That gets really hard!)  Virtually all clubs, even the most popular ones, need good DJs, but they’re willing to settle for someone who’s at least reliable.  So you have to prove yourself to be reliable and competent before anything else.  Since most DJs are paid in customer tips, it costs them virtually nothing to give you a chance, provided you’re willing to take an unused or unpopular time slot.  Most clubs won’t have anything to do with you if you keep missing shows, create a lot of controversy for the club, raise a fuss, and make a lot of extra work for the club management.  Don’t be that guy.  Be the guy they can ignore because you're reliable.

Go to your favorite clubs.  Almost all of them will have DJ applications.  Fill them out.  Do this for a few clubs.  Usually if they don’t call you, it’s because the management is overworked, so don’t take it personally.  Do your best when you talk to them and you might get an audition.  Keep trying and don't give up!  Even getting an audition at a small club is a good start.

Usually an audition is just a regular set in front of an audience at the club you’re applying to, except that a member of the management, usually the DJ manager, will be there and watching you.  Try not to get nervous and do your best. If you’ve done everything I’ve described to you and practiced a few times, chances are extremely good that you’ll get hired.  And if you do manage to fail, apologize and tell them that you'll be working to correct these issues right away.  Maybe they’ll agree to give you another audition in a week or two.

Once you get a regular time slot, make sure you’re always there early.  Always do your best.  If you screw up, apologize right away and try to fix it.  Keep writing news sets and debuting them.  Your audience will get bored if you keep playing the same stuff over and over.  (After a while, you'll have a large library and can play old ones.  Either people won't notice or they'll be happy to hear an old favorite again.)  Never ever miss a set unless you get approval from the management beforehand.  About a week before is ideal.You’ll be building up your reputation as a solid DJ who gets the job done.  You’ll also have a chance to figure out who you are.

Finding Your Brand

I could have put this before Your First Gig, but if you’re really a newbie, you probably don’t know enough to do this yet.  You need to get a little experience before you know what you like and who you are. That’s what this is all about.  Your brand is who you are.  It’s why people should listen to you instead of any other DJ or an ordinary radio station.  It’s what makes you different than any other DJ out there.  It’s why people get excited to go to your shows.

How do you find your brand?  First you need to find out what makes you unique.  There are two
exercises that I know of.  I’m sure there are many more, but I’m a novice at branding.  If you know some good techniques, let me know and I’ll include them here.

The first and most important is keywords.  Think of some words that describe your sets and you as a DJ.  Try to get as many as you can.  If you home in on something, you’ll find that they start covering the same ideas over and over.  For DJ Tantari, this is what I came up with: clever, sexy, fun, nerdy, geeky, high-tech, journey, adventure, across, smart, computer, digital, fox, vixen, foxy, space, sci-fi, trivia, educational, learning, and new.  See how they form a cloud of ideas that start to overlap after a while?  As you learn more about your personal DJ brand, you will want to update this list, adding some and removing others.

The second is brand association.  If you can’t think about your own brand, maybe you can sneak up on it from a different angle.  If your DJ show had well-known brands as sponsors, who would it be?  For DJ Tantari, I think it would be: Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu, Odroid, Raspberry Pi, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Think Geek, Digitally Imported, Intel, AMD, ARM, Kaskade, Deadmau5, and MIXXX.  Then you can think about what keywords are associated with those brands, which of them apply to you, and fill out your keywords list.

Another example is one of my DJ friends named Lawrence.  He loves metal and wears a leather shirt.  His keywords are: metal, rock, AC/DC, leather, motorcycle, hard, the Law, bounty hunter, intense.

The next thing to do is to take your keywords and use them to try to form an image of who you are. 
Then turn that into branding.  My brand is DJ Tantari and a Journey Into Sound.  My logo is my face with a high tech lettering around it.  I do nerdy, geeky, well-prepared sets that take you on a journey, explore a subject, or tell a story.  That’s all my brand, my image.  Lawrence’s brand is THE LAW.  He wears a leather jacket.  He uses a lot of bounty hunter imagery and expressions.  He plays almost all heavy metal.

You’ll have to do your homework and find your brand.  I wish I could give you more, but that's all I've learned so far!

Expressing Your Brand

There are a lot of ways to convey your brand once you’ve found it:

The easiest is your DJ name.  I go by DJ Tantari.  Lawrence chose THE LAW.

Think of some slogans or trademarks.  I use “Journey Into Sound” and “This is a Journey Into Sound with DJ Tantari” as mine.

Pay someone to make a logo for you.  That’s what I did.  It has my cute, sexy, foxy self.  It also has high tech elements, lots of color, and the Journey Into Sound trademark.

Choose what styles to play in your sets.  I play mostly rock and electronica of various kinds, but I also play many others.  I am known for having an exceptionally wide variety of styles, more than almost any DJ on Second Life.  Lawrence plays almost all metal and hard rock.

Choose how your sets are put together.  Are they all about colors or shapes or seasons?  Are each of your sets built around a single video game or fictional character?  Get creative!

Choose how you perform your sets.  Do you give a lot of trivia about the songs while you play them?  (I have earned the nickname of the Educational DJ from some of my fans.)  Do you use a lot of military or high-tech lingo?

Choose what you wear during your sets.  As DJ Tantari, I am always a blue fox.  I wear very high tech nanosuits, cyber suits, hologram suits, and other high tech things; though I will sometimes wear something appropriate for the set’s theme.  Lawrence wears a biker outfit with a leather jacket adorned with a cool logo.  Do you always wear military gear?  Are you always dressed in floral shirts and shorts like Jimmy Buffett would wear?  Do you wear a wolf avatar or an alien avatar?  Whatever it is, it should be visually distinctive and recognizable, because what you look like is perhaps the most obvious part of your brand.

I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t thought of.  Get creative!

Building Your Brand

Now you have regular sets at a club and a brand.  You’ve figured out your DJ name, maybe a trademark phrase, got a logo, and probably a cool outfit.  What’s next?  Building your brand, or course.  Getting more fans!  Spreading out to other clubs!

The first thing you need is a website.  I built mine with a word processor and posted it to a vanilla http server.  Others may be more comfortable with Tumbler, Facebook, or something else.  What you need is a place where people can always get the latest copy of certain information about you.  I always update the same static page.  You could post a new update to a blog.  Whatever works for you is good.  Here’s what I post:

My Logo – Big and in all its glory

My name and tagline – DJ Tantari, Journeys Into Sound

My schedule – Anyone who stops on this page needs to know how to find me.  If my schedule changes, I update it right away.

Any upcoming special events – While this page isn’t the primary place for people to find that, it’s a good idea to put it here.

Who I am and what I do – Give them the sales pitch.  Let them know why you’re worth their time and effort.  Why should they listen to you?  How long have you been DJing?  What else should they know about you?

Your catalog – This is a list of all the sets (title and blurb) you’ve written so far and are ready to perform.

So you might be asking, who is this page for?  The fans?  That’s partially true, and I do encourage my fans to go there.  The main group this page is for is DJ managers and club owners.  This is your resume.  Any time I go to a club, I can say, “I’m DJ Tantari.  This is why you should hire me,” and give them the web page URL.  Since I’ve had my web page, I’ve never had to do an audition.  When I applied to DJ at the Ark, they said, “Oh, well I guess I’ll pop in at your next set and see how you’re doing.”  In fact, I’ve received many requests out of the blue from club owners wanting me to perform at their club, probably through word of mouth.

Next you will want to create a Second Life group.  Try to have your DJ name in it so people can find it easily.  In the description, include the URLs of your web page and your music archive (we’ll cover that under Posting Live Sets).  Get one of the publicly available Group Joiner objects or scripts and customize it (or hire someone to customize it for you) to give out invitations to your group.  Announce it once or twice during your live sets in an entertaining way, “You’ll always know when I’m performing and where.  You’ll get notices about special events.  You’ll get to help me choose which set I play.  You’ll also get access to over 75 live recorded sets including this one, with full song lists and DJ notes.  Join today, for the wages of apathy are DEATH!”  Once you have the group, don’t spam with too many notices.  Personally, I only send out notices for special events, which are rare.  For regularly scheduled events, I chat with the group.  That catches everyone who is online and doesn’t spam the offline people.

Recording and Mastering Live Sets

A lot of DJs don’t record live sets.  A lot of DJs do very little preparation; they simply play whatever it is that they feel like at that moment.  That’s not what I do.  I make highly scripted, well-prepared sets. Most good DJs do a lot of preparation and you should too.  I think that my sets are worth listening too even outside a live environment.  In fact, I’ll often go back and listen to them from time to time for my own personal enjoyment.  I think they are “pure, concentrated awesome!”  I make access to my back catalog a major benefit to joining my DJ group.  And last but not least, club owners who want to hire me not only see a schedule and an impressive list of sets, they can pull up any of them and listen to them to know that I'm for real.

I don’t record every performance.  I record the first time I debut a new set and then I won’t ever record it again unless I can't use the recording.

MIXXX makes recording your set very easy.  In the Preferences panel, go to the Recording tab.  Here you can pick what directory to store it in and what format.  I use the default WAV format because it is uncompressed and the highest quality.

When you’re about to start your set, click Options -> Record Mix.  I like to do this a minute or two before I start and stop it a minute or two after I’m done because I’ve had issues with MIXXX cutting off the very beginning or ending of a set.  It will create a WAV file in your chosen recording directory.  Click Options -> Record Mix again to stop the recording.

After the set is over, I like to modify the WAV’s filename to include the name of the set.  This makes it easier for me to figure out what it is if I have to go back in the future.

Audacity is an extremely powerful piece of editing software.  You could use it to create a perfectly mixed set from the raw tracks if you wanted to, but that’s not what I want.  I want to capture the feel of a live set, this is why I try to keep corrections to a minimum and only fix the most obvious things.  Too many corrections will make it feel mechanical.  I could wait until I perform the set again before I master it and post it, but generally I make a big deal out of debuting a new set and don’t want my fans to wait to take the recording home with them.  I try to get it posted the same night that I debut it.

I trim off the beginning and end silence.  Just zoom in to the beginning and move the cursor to just before the sound starts.  Hold Shift and click the Skip to Start arrow button to select from here to the beginning of the track.  Press Control-X to cut it.  Then go to the end of the track with the Skip to End arrow button.  Move the cursor to where the sound stops.  Hold shift and click the Skip to End arrow to select to the end of the track.  Press Control-X to cut.

The most common error I make is leaving silence between the end of one track and the beginning of another.  This is usually because I waited too long to press “Fade Now”.  While I don’t like to edit more than I have to, I’ll generally allow myself to correct these errors if they’re really obvious.  I tell Audacity to look for dead spots in my mix with Analyze -> Silence Finder.  This puts little marks on a label track underneath your recording showing you where it found the silence.  I will zoom in on these and listen.  If its silence that’s supposed to be part of a song or something I otherwise want to keep, I skip over it.  Otherwise I'll remove it.

I won’t go too deeply in how to use Audacity, but here is how I remove silence from a bad transition in Audacity.  Remember that Audacity is very forgiving and has almost infinite undo (and redo) capabilities. If you mess something up or decide you simply don’t like it and want to go back, press Control-Z.  See the Audacity manual (http://manual.audacityteam.org/) for more information.

As mentioned before, find the silence using Analyze -> Silence Finder.  Use zoom, scrolling, and listening to determine that this is a chunk of silence you want to remove.

At the point where you want to start fading out, put the cursor there.  Hold Shift and click the Skip to End arrow to jump to the ending of the track.  Press Control-X to cut all of that sound.

Click Tracks -> Add New -> Stereo Track to create a new stereo track.  Click there and press Control-V to past the last chunk of the audio in.

Use the Time Selection Tool to slide the audio in the second track so it matches where the first track cuts out.  It will sort of click in to that spot.

Zoom in on the second track.  Listen to it.  Place the cursor (with the Selection Tool) to where you want the audio to start to face in.  Drag backwards to where the sounds starts.  Press Control-X to cut this sound out.

Approximate how much fade time you want to have.  I usually do 2 seconds.  Drag the second track so it begins approximately 2 seconds before the end of the first track.

Using your cursor (and the Selection Tool), select from the beginning of the second track to the end of the first track.  You will need to drag your mouse across both tracks to do this.

Click Effect -> Crossfade Tracks.  I prefer to use the Fade type: Constant Power 1 because I think itsounds best.

Move your cursor back a little and listen to the fade in context.  If you don’t like it, you can undo the previous steps with Control-Z and change them until you’re happy.

Once I have it the way I like, I like to Mix and Render it down to a single track again.  This keeps the project simple so I only have a single track to work with.  You can do this by clicking Tracks -> Mix and Render.

Go back to looking for silence with the Silence Finder.  If you find another dead spot, you can fix it by following these steps again.

Crossfading Tracks in Audacity

Once you have the set the way you want, you need to export it.  Press Control-Shift-E to bring up the export menu.  I generally export them as both a high quality MP3 (192 kbps variable bitrate) and a much lower quality Ogg/Vorbis (128 kbps).  They have approximately the same quality, but the Ogg is much smaller, so it helps people on low bandwidth connections.  The MP3 is the lowest common denominator; I know everyone can play it.  I open both the exported files in WinAmp and check the metadata to make sure it’s good.  The MP3 always seems to come out properly.  The Ogg always loses the comments, so I have to paste them in and save again.

I generally don’t bother saving the Audacity project.  The save files are very large.  Over my many sets, I’ve never had the need to go back.  If I ever did, I feel that I could re-do them quickly, as my changes are generally very simple.

Next I make the DJ notes.  This is a text file that I want my fans to read while listening to my music.  It contains my DJ name, the title with blurb, song titles (with any important section breaks inserted), and any other notes I want my listeners to have.  To get this, I copy the playlist file (MoodForARainyDay-playlist.m3u) to a text file (MoodForARainyDay-playlist.txt).  As before, you'll see that each track has two lines, the metadata (which starts with #EXTINF) and the filename.  In this case, you'll want to drop all the filenames and keep the metadata.  On each metadata line, you'll want to delete up to the first comma, retaining everything else.  You can do this by hand, or you can use this line in Unix (Linux, Mac command line, or Bash for Windows 10) to do it for you: grep MoonForARainyDay.txt | grep “#EXTINF” | awk -F, '{ print $2 }'

Once you have your song list, add the rest as you see fit.  Here's my finished MoodForARainyDay-playlist.txt:

DJ Tantari

Mood for a Rainy Day - Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday.

11/15/2016

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

Dream Academy - Life in a Northern Town

Alan Parsons Project - Don't Anwser Me

The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

Electric Light Orchestra - Love and Rain

Electric Light Orchestra - Rain is Falling

Toto - Africa

Superchick - Stand in the Rain

They Might Be Giants - Why Must I Be Sad?

Royksopp - In Space

Tor Linløkken - Eagle

Massive Attack - Teardrop

Moby - Porcelain

Royksopp - Beautiful Day Without You

Royksopp - Remind Me (Zabiela's Ingeborg Mix)

Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence

Above & Beyond - Alone Tonight (Original Mix)

deadmau5 & Kaskade - I Remember

Kaskade - Raining

Kaskade - Turn It Down

Kaskade - 4AM

Keo Nozari - Close Enough (Interstate Remix)

Clint Mansell - Ghosts of a Future Lost

Royksopp - Dead to the World

The last step is archival.  I have a folder on the same drive as my music called w:\DJ Tantari.  I make sure it’s not inside my Music Library (w:\music) because I don’t want MIXXX to find it and index it.  Inside it, I’ll create a folder with the same name as the set (w:\DJ Tantari\MoodForARainyDay).  In there I copy my exported MP3 and Ogg files, my set notes, the playlist, the crate, and the final DJ notes.

As for the raw WAV file, I don’t archive it.  I will leave it on my large recordings drive for a month or two, or until my temporary drive starts to get full.  If I haven’t needed it by then, it’s probably safe to delete it.

Posting Live Sets

If you go to all the trouble of recording and mastering your sets, you should post them where your fans can get to them.  Having an archive of live sets that are available all the time is a nice bonus to include with membership in your DJ group.  But how do you do it?

If you have a web server and sufficient space, you can post them directly there.  This is what I do.  The problem with this is that a personal web server and can easily run out of bandwidth and storage.  So far this hasn’t been a problem, but I keep this as a private site for fans and club managers only.  My website generally gets very little traffic.  Since my sets are easy to download, I think most people do exactly that; they download them once and keep them, reducing the amount of bandwidth I need.  Still, if your website is vulnerable to hackers, Denial of Service attacks, and racking up outrageous bandwidth costs.  These are important factors to consider.

The safe choice is to use Mixcloud.  They offer you effectively unlimited bandwidth and storage.  They pay royalties on the songs you use, so it is all legal.  They also allow you to link up with other DJs and fans.  For this reason, I have one.  (It’s at https://www.mixcloud.com/DJTantari/ and you should check it out.)  It’s very easy to create an account and it’s pretty easy to use.  The downsides are that Mixcloud doesn’t allow people to officially download your mixes (though there are ways around this) and that if your mix doesn’t meet certain criteria, they’ll disable it.  The rules are pretty esoteric, but in general if you use too many tracks by the same artist in a single set, they won’t let your listeners see it.  This is a big problem if you’re trying to do a set centered on a particular band.

Personally I use both a private site and Mixcloud.  I recommend that you use Mixcloud, as it’s the best choice for a DJ who is just getting started.

Continued on Chapter Five.

Tantari Kim



Santa is Missing: Part 2


By Mylie Foxclaw

Continued from Part One

After two intensive days of investigation, one thing was clear.  Everyone living in the North Pole HATED Santa Claus.  My list of suspects was endless.  Everyone had a grudge against him and they all seemed glad that he was gone.  I looked everywhere in the North Pole, putting myself in great danger when I confronted two polar bears who stated that they had to pay a monthly rent to Santa Claus so they could stay there.  To most inhabitants, Santa was an oppressor. 

I was not finding any clues other than that.  That’s when I realised that I would need to infiltrate if I wanted to resolve this case.  I talked to Roan the Elf and explained my problem to him.  I needed to go incognito!  Roan thought for a while and dashed away.  He came back with a box and said that he found the perfect disguise.  I opened the box and smiled.  His idea was brilliant!  I quickly changed into the costume and smiled.  I could pass as a reindeer easily with this thing on.

As I stepped out of Santa’s house, I noticed a commotion nearby.  I went to look and my jaw dropped.  It turned out that the elves had lost hope already.  They had started to audition for a replacement Santa and there were all kind of creatures, including the Grinch, who wanted the prestigious position.  I knew that Christmas would be a total disaster if I did not figure out what happened to Santa Claus.  

I went around, the costume keeping me warm.  I marched confidently, knowing that I would find some clue soon.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  It turned out that no one had any idea.  The inhabitants repeated whatever they told me yesterday.  To make it short, Santa was a total bastard.  I figured that I had to search elsewhere if I wanted to find Santa.  I decided to venture across the globe on my own in order not to draw attention.  I did not want Santa’s kidnappers to find out that I was investigating.  My search took me to places which I heard Santa would sometimes go during the year.  These included zoos, casinos, strip clubs (yeah I was speechless too when Mrs Claus mentioned this), and more awkward places.  But the thought of someone else taking Santa’s place kept me going.

Some days later, I decided to give up.  There was no trace or clue.  I felt terrible whenever I saw kids walking around excitedly as Christmas approached.  I knew that that Roan and Rudolph were waiting for good days; after all, I had promised them that I would solve this case.  I did not have the heart to tell them that they would indeed need a new Santa.

Before going back to the North Pole, I decided to visit a secluded beach to think about how I would break the news to them.  I found a quiet spot and starred at the waves while I listened to the birds chirping a tropical version of ‘Jingle Bells’.  Suddenly I heard a rough voice shouting in anger, “Rudolph, what the hell are you doing here?”

I looked up and blinked in confusion.  It could not be!  I rubbed my eyes while he continued to shout and yell. 

“Santa?  Is that you?” I asked, watching the old man in his Santa suit and boots and a pair of funky shades.

“What happened to your voice, you idiot?” he asked back.

“I’m not Rudolph!” I shouted, feeling irritated.  Santa looked at me closely and let out a sign of relief.  I explained how I ended up at the beach in my Reindeer costume.  When I finished, I said that he owed me an explanation. 

It turned out that Santa Claus needed a break because he felt overwhelmed and so he decided to take a vacation to a secluded tropical spot, away from the North Pole.  He also wanted to get his dose of Vitamin D from the sun before Christmas. 

“Those bastards are probably happy that I’m gone!” he grunted out as I enjoyed the sun’s warmth.  I nodded as he continued, “Ungrateful ….”

“Do you ever get any gifts for Christmas?” I interrupted as I stared at him.

“Gifts?  Me?”  Santa asked, scratching his head, “I never get gifts.”

“That’s because you are a jerk to your own neighbours!” I snapped, “Everyone hates you, so its obvious that you will never get gifts in your life!”

“But I’m Santa Claus!  Everyone knows that!” Santa argued.

“So what?” I countered, “Being Santa does not give you the right to ill-treat everyone!  And don’t tell me that you don’t.  I know what you tried to do to your snowman!”

Santa looked at his feet for a moment before letting out a sigh, “But North Pole is so boring.  There’s nothing, it’s just all about Christmas!”

“You can make it exciting if you paid attention to everyone.  They got great ideas but they can’t talk to you because you are mean.  In fact if all the children in the world knew how you behaved, they would stop celebrating Christmas,” I stated.

I spent the rest of the evening explaining to Santa how to be a better person and neighbour.  He seemed willing to make an effort.  I hoped he would not disappoint.  At least I had kept my promise to Roan the elf and Rudolph the reindeer.  My job was done.

As for Santa, he will be heading back home soon now that he got his dose of Vitamin D and a suntan.  No one needs to worry anymore.  Christmas is not cancelled.  Santa is fine, he just wanted a little summer vacation before the big day.   

Merry Christmas everyone!  Enjoy!

Mylie Foxclaw

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Reader Submitted: "How To DJ The DJ Tantari Way - Chapter Three"


By Tantari Kim

"This is my guide for how to go from a newbie to a moderately successful DJ on Second Life. ...  If you do read it and have comments or corrections, I’d love to hear them.  (Mail me at tantari.kim at gmail.com.)"

Continued from Chapter Two Part Two

*  *  *  *  *

Chapter 3: How to Perform a Live Set the DJ Tantari Way

If you’re content to listen to them yourself or just post them, then you don’t need this chapter.  It’s entirely possible to put together a perfect set as a multitrack project with fades between songs and master it in Audacity, then export it to a MP3 to post somewhere and give to your friends.  But that’s not what a DJ does.  A DJ plays live.  A DJ has a conversation with the crowd through chat and music.  And a DJ will often modify their set in response to a live crowd.

I get a special thrill out of performing for a live crowd.  It isn’t something I have to do; it’s something I get to do.  It’s the entire reason that I do this.  Hopefully you will give it a try.  I’m assuming that you already have a place to play.  If not, check out Chapter 4: How to Have a Second Life DJ Career the DJ Tantari Way.

Preparing for a Live Set

Before I start a live performance, I need two extra things, a silence file and a logo file.  I put both of these in a special crate in MIXXX named _live; that way they’re always easy for me to find and grab.

A silence file is exactly that, an MP3 file that contains 5 minutes of silence. It’s easy to create. Just open Audacity and tell it to insert 5 minutes of silence. Then save it as an MP3. I call mine Silence-5Minutes.mp3 and I store it in w:\music\DJ Sets.

A logo file is often called a sound bumper.  It is only a few seconds long and usually has your DJ name in it with some sound effects.  I chose a famous sound effects record that starts with an English gentleman saying, “This is a journey into sound” because it fits my brand.  You should find something that suits you.

As previously described, you want to make up some DJ Cards for the specific club.  You will want to schedule a time to get together with the DJ manager for the club to test things out and make sure everything works.  This should be outside of normal hours, preferably when there is nothing happening at the club.

At the meeting, give the DJ Cards them to the DJ manager and he or she will put them in the board for you.  Click on the DJ board and log in as a DJ.  (The DJ manager can show you how if you get confused.)  Get your DJ station up and running.  Put your set into the Auto DJ.  Start playing music.  Connect to the Server (either yours or the one provided by the club).  Open the Server URL in your web browser and make sure it shows your connection and your song title.  Make sure that the DJ Board is showing the correct artist and title for your songs.  (If it doesn’t, this is usually because the cards were set for SHOUTcast v2 and the Server is v1 or vice versa.)  Make sure that you can turn on the music stream and hear yourself.  Ask the DJ manager to do the same.  If everything is working well, then you’re good to go! If not, you have a lot of time to troubleshoot and correct things before the audience sees you.  You want to look perfect and effortless in front of them.

Starting a Live Set

You’ve got your DJ station all set up.  You’re familiar with the software.  You’ve played with a personal SHOUTcast Server and you have obtained access to a real SHOUTcast Server.  You’ve written a set.  You’ve contacted a club and got a time slot to play in.  You’ve worked with the club’s DJ manager and had a successful test.  All of this is for nothing without an audience to play to.  It’s show time.

Well, not quite.  First you want to find out if there is anyone on immediately before or after you.  Having that extra slack before and after a set is very nice, but you don’t always get it.

Make sure you show up about 30 minutes early, maybe more if it’s the first time performing at a new club or you’re new to things.  You want to have plenty of time to set up all your software without feeling rushed.  Contact the club host if there is one to let them know you’re there and to give your set title and blurb.  If not, check to see if you can post them yourself to the club’s group (if there is one).  A little advertisement helps build the crowd and anticipation for your event.  If no one is playing before you, it’s great to start with a live warmup, playing whatever songs you want to get people in the mood.  This gives you a final check that everything is working before it’s time to go live.  (This has saved by butt more than once!)

Pull up your working notes for that set.  In MIXXX, pull up the Auto DJ playlist and make sure it’s empty. Then load in your silence file, then your logo file, then your set playlist, then the silence file.  Open the Server URL in your web browser so you can make sure it’s alive and keep an eye on it during the set.  If you’re sharing the Server with the club, you should definitely make sure no one is using it before you connect to it.  You might mess up their set, which will make the other DJ and the club upset with you. If there is another DJ currently playing, make sure to give them an IM (instant message) early on.  It is common courtesy for a DJ to give a time remaining count to the next one so they know when to go.  It’ll usually start somewhere around 5 minutes before the switchover.  Eventually it’ll get down to 1:00, :30, :10, GO!  When they shout GO, it’s time to start your set.

A minute or so before it’s time to start, click the Enable Auto DJ button.  It’ll start playing the 5 minutes of silence.  When you get the GO signal from the other DJ, tell MIXXX to connect to the streaming server. (This is if you’re using a shared Server.  If it’s a private server owned by you, then you can get on it early without bothering anyone.)  Click the DJ board and click the Log In as DJ link.  Once it loads your DJ data, you’re streaming live!  Click the “Fade Now” button to go into your intro file and then into your set.  You’re DJing! (Don’t forget to log in to the club’s DJ tip jar or drop your own if you have one.)

Performing a Live Set

From this point until your 2 hours are up, you’re live.  I will let a song play until it has said everything it needs to say, then click the “Fade Now” button to go to the next song.  You should keep the fade at 2 seconds unless you want to tweak it higher or lower for a particular song.  You should know how to mix up your Auto DJ playlist while playing in case you want to cut some time, add a request from the audience, or just vary the order.
Performing Live is a very subjective; every DJ does it differently.  I’m going to give you some pointers on what does and does not work for me.  As you learn the club, the crowd, and your own style, you’ll figure out what works and what doesn’t.

When I start the set, I like to paste my title and blurb into group chat the moment my intro file plays.  That lets them know that I’m starting something special.  Even if I was warming up before, this is the main event.  For me, I always use the same form: This is a Journey Into Sound with DJ Tantari.  Tonight’s Journey is Mood for a Rainy Day - Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday.

If this is a new set, make sure to play it up.  “This is the world premiere of a brand new set, Mood for a Rainy Day!”

Refresh your Server URL in your web page from time to time.  Make sure the status is good.  Watch your current listener numbers.  Make note of what things get them to tune in and what things make them drop off.  Learn from it, but don’t be driven by it or obsess over it.

Try to say a little something about each song other than the title.  If you have a bit of trivia about the band or song, share it.  If not, try to say something clever and work the title in.  If you really can’t think of anything, state the title and append it with one of your Theme Quotes.

Welcome people as they come in.  Greet them by name.  Don’t say the same thing each time; they may think that you’re using a script and get annoyed.  Often I’ll use it to work in Theme Quotes.  For example, “Hey, Steve!  Welcome to the Ark and Mood for a Rainy Day!  It’s not about waiting for the rain to stop.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain!”  If the club supplies a good host or hostess, you won’t have to do this too much.

If people in the crowd talk to you, make sure to talk back to them.  Engage them in a conversation around the music.  Make them a participant.

Always try to keep a happy and positive attitude.  Exude enthusiasm.  Hopefully your audience will catch on and want to have fun with you.

If you want to quote song lyrics, make it short and sweet.  Do it sparingly.  Do this at most once per song.

Never beg for tips.  I don’t even mention it.  It’s tacky.  If you’re in it just for the money, this isn’t a good way to do it.  The most I’ll do is say something like, “I do this for you!  If you’re enjoying the set, throw me a compliment!”  It encourages the audience to get involved and someone with money might decide to throw a few dollars your way.  If you do get a tip, make sure to thank them by name no matter how small.

Point out the continuity of your set.  “I’ve got a trio of They Might Be Giants coming at you next!”  “We’re upping the energy even more as we dive into our Dark Rock Block!”  “Now it’s time to give all that negative energy a break with some Comedy.”

Make sure you know how to call for security at the club if an audience member starts doing abusive things.  Don't deal with them yourself.  Call the club's security team and let them do their job.

Realize that you will have some good nights and some bad nights and there's nothing you can do about it.  Sometimes you’ll make a lot of mistakes, but the audience will be eating out of your hand.  Other times you'll be doing your best and just can't get their attention.  It happens.  Don't take it personally.  Do your best every time and realize that there is always another performance tomorrow.

Taking Requests

This is important enough to break out into its own section.  The main job of a DJ is to create a mood and show the audience a good time.  It is not to be a jukebox and play whatever someone requests.  A poor request can break the mood you’ve spent time and energy trying to build.  If another DJ is after you, you have a very limited time; every request you play means other tracks must be dropped from your carefully crafted set.  Since you’ve saved the best for last, requests jeopardize your epic finale!  But you can’t just tell the requester to take a hike.  He or she is a valued member of your audience.  This is a very delicate subject.  Some DJs never take requests.  Should you?  What to do?

While I can’t tell you what to do in every circumstance, here are some pointers to help you:

Try to deal with requests in IMs (instant messages) as much as possible.  If something goes sour, it’s private instead of in front of the entire audience.

Explain to the requester, “Tonight our theme is Mood for a Rainy Day.  Do you have any calm, mellow songs that you would play on a rainy day?  Also, they have to be totally awesome!”  About half the time they’ll apologize and back down.  But sometimes you’ll get a really awesome new song that you wish you’d thought of in the first place.

If the song is a huge style shift that you think would break your set, try to back out of it.  Explain that you don’t have it and you’re very sorry.  Or explain it straight to them in a very polite way, “I’d love to play this but it’s really going to clash with the feel of the rest of the set.  I’m sorry.”



Try to find a spot in your set where the request will flow at least decently instead of just putting it in next.  Explain that to the requester, “Hey, I think this would fit in really well 3 songs from now.  Is that cool?”

If you do decide to play a request and you don’t have it in your MIXXX Library (use the search function), then ask the requester for a YouTube URL for a clean copy of the song.  In my experience, they’re very happy to provide them.  Listen to a few seconds of the song to make sure it’s not horrible.  (It’ll be hard to hear it over your live stream anyway.)  Then throw it into your YouTube ripper of choice (like http://peggo.tv/) and dump it to your temporary directory (f:\temp\MusicResearch\new).  Drag and drop it directly into the Auto DJ window to queue it up.
(Due to an eccentricity of the way MIXXX and Auto DJ work, if you want to play it next, you'll also have to also load it into the idle deck manually.)

When you play the song, announce it to the crowd.  It makes the requester feel good to be credited for it, and if it’s really bad, it gets you off the hook with the audience for choosing something awful.  “Okay, I’ve got a special request up next for Steve!”

If you do play a request, be mindful of your total play time.  If no one is up after you, you have the luxury of running long; just know that some crowds will rapidly disperse after a contest is awarded, so you can’t go more than 4 or 5 minutes long.  If another DJ is up right after you, try to eliminate the same amount of time from the rest of the set as you can.  This is really hard to do on the fly.  Often I'll load the playlist into WinAmp and select the remaining songs to get an estimate of remaining playtime to help me determine what songs to delete to bring it in on time.You’ll have to use a lot of judgment on this one, because you still want a chance to play your epic finale.

If there is no one after you, save requests for the encore.  “We’re doing Mood for a Rainy Day for this set, but my set is over in 45 minutes.  After that I’m taking requests for any topic at all.  I’d love to play it for you then.  I don’t seem to have that song.  Can you send me a YouTube URL so I can grab it?”

And most importantly, always be polite, even when you have to say no.  This is your audience. You’re here to entertain them and give them a good time.

Ending a Live Set

You’ve done a great job and wowed the audience.  Time to wrap it up with a bow.  If the audience remembers anything, it will usually be your last impression, so make it count.

Towards the end of your set, remind them that there will be a grand finale.  “Just 30 minutes left!  And I always save the best for last.”  “Just 3 songs left, and I’ve got a great finale for you!”  “One last song, and it’s something special...”

During the last song, thank them for coming out.  Thank your listeners.  Plug the next DJ if there is any.  If no one is after you and you want to stay later for some requests or extra bonus songs, announce that as well.  “Thank you all so much for coming out to the Ark tonight.  And a special big thanks to my 12 current listeners.  I do this for you!  Stay tuned for DJ Ignite coming up next!”

If there’s another DJ after you, make sure to get in an IM with them and give them a countdown during your last song or two.  Announce him/her to the audience.  Disconnect from the Server quickly so the next DJ can use it.  (If you’re using a private one, this isn’t an issue.)  Make sure to log out of the tip jar or pick up your tip jar before you leave.

And that’s it!  Great job, DJ!

Continued in Chapter Four

Tantari Kim

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Reader Submitted: "How To DJ The DJ Tantari Way - Chapter Two Part Two"



By Tantari Kim

"This is my guide for how to go from a newbie to a moderately successful DJ on Second Life. ...  If you do read it and have comments or corrections, I’d love to hear them.  (Mail me at tantari.kim at gmail.com.)"

Continued from Chapter Two Part One

*  *  *  *  *

Proofing the Playlist

You wouldn’t think of selling a wine without tasting it.  In the same way, you shouldn’t think about performing a set without listening to it first!  Often you’ll find things that require you to go back and re-do previous steps.

The first step is to make the WinAmp playlist match the notes file.  WinAmp makes it easy to move the tracks around with a simple click and drag.   That's why I use it.  (Make sure to save your notes file and your playlist from time to time, just in case your computer crashes!)

Start listening.  Go do something else for a bit while you listen.  Check out Facebook or chat with people on Second Life for a while.  Try to listen to the music as if you were in the audience, just don’t tune out so much that you aren’t paying attention.  I’ll often work on Making Theme Quotes (see next section) while doing this, as it keeps me thinking about the mood of the entire piece.  You’re trying to pick up the mood and the flow.  If you feel a bad transition, you need to change something.  Often I can switch the order of two songs within the same section.  If a song feels out of place or you can't find a good spot for it, you can drop it.  (I put it in the section of the notes called “Dropped for Time”, so I can pull it back if I change my mind.)

When I get to the end of the set, I’ll sometimes do a second listen.  If anything is wrong, you have to go back to previous steps to correct it.  Did you find out that you don’t have enough great tracks?  Go back to Researching New Material to get some.  Did you find that the story you’re trying to tell is the wrong one and you now have a better one?  Go back to Building the Playlist.  I think a set is ready when it’s “pure concentrated awesome”. 

Still too long?  Listen again and remove the one that is the weakest or just doesn’t fit the flow or theme very well.  You want to be very close to 2:05 when you’re finished. (Why 2:05?  You'll lose a little time with cue-ins and cross fades.  From experience, 2:05 will play at about 2 hours in a live set.)  Got stuck?  Put it away and work on a different set for a while.  Come back to it later.  I’ll often put a set aside because it “doesn’t have enough awesome.”  (Yes, that’s a perfectly legitimate reason for me.)  I find that my mind will keep ticking away on it while I’m at work or doing other things.

Making Theme Quotes

All of my sets have a short title and then an inspirational quote after it.  You don’t have to do this, but I think it gives the audience a taste of what’s to come and excites them about what they’re going to see.  I encourage you to try it and see if it fits your style.

The easiest way to do this is to go to Google and search for “quotes about rainy days”.  I’m looking for short things, things that can fit on a motivational poster, so I click the “Images” tab at the top.  Then I start reading.  Often I’ll do this while Proofing the Playlist; that is listening to it.  If I find something good, I’ll write it at the top of my working notes, just under the title.  After a while, I’ll have a list of about 10 to 20 good quotes that fit the mood and message I’m trying to convey.

At this point, I settle on a final title.  Sometimes it’s a brief snippet of lyrics from a song.  Usually it’s a word or two.  Then I take the best quote or two and stick them as the description after the title.  Now I have a title and a “blurb” about it that I can send to my fans and potential audience.

What do I do with the rest of the quotes?  I keep them and use them during the set!

At this point, your notes file should be complete.  I've included the one I use for Mood for a Rainy Day below.  Notice the blurb up top, then the Theme Quotes.  Then the track lists with music style and some other quotes peppered in like song lyrics I want to use during the set performance.  Lastly there are the songs that I cut.  I can go to them if I need to fill extra time.

This is a Journey Into Sound with DJ Tantari.  Tonight's Journey is a Mood for a Rainy Day - Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday.

Some people feel the rain.  Others just get wet.

When life gives you rainy days, wear cute boots and jump in the puddles.

Rainy days, rainy nights, wash the world, set to right, cleansing streets, set apart, rainy days cleanse the heart.

Pluviophile - someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain.

Smell the rain, and feel the wind.

--Moody Rock

W:\Music\Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin.mp3 (slow) (Moody. Nostalgia. Love.) good opening

5 second fade to next song was REALLY good here.

W:\Music\Vince\Dream Academy-Life in a Northern Town.mp3 (walk) (Haunting. Nostalgia) very good

W:\Music\80s misc\Alan Parsons Project - Dont Answer Me.mp3 (fast walk) (I'm alone. Leave me alone. There is no hope.) great tone fit

--Mid Rock

W:\Music\Verve - Bittersweet Symphony.mp3 (walk) (Moody. Beautiful. Things are bad, but I won't change.) very good

W:\Music\ELO\Electric Light Orchestra - Love and Rain.mp3 (fast walk) (Bad love. Heartache.) very good

--Straight Rock

W:\Music\ELO\Electric Light Orchestra - Rain is Falling.mp3 (walk) (Rain is falling. Sad. Missing you. Love) good fit

W:\Music\Compilations\Grand Theft Auto_ Vice City, Vol. 3 - Emotion 98.3\02 Africa.mp3 (fast walk) (Love. Go to her. Haunting vocals. Chill. Almost sad.)

--Hard Rock

W:\Music\DJ Sets\For a Girl\Superchick - Stand in the Rain.mp3 (walk) (Devistated. Crying. Hurt. Going on anyway. Angry.) Good tone.

So stand in the rain, Stand your ground! Stand up when it's all crashing down!

You stand through the pain, You won't drown. And one day, whats lost can be found. You stand in the rain!

W:\Music\They Might Be Giants\06 - John Henry\08 - TMBG - John Henry - Why Must I Be Sad.mp3 (run) (Angry. Sad.  Alice Cooper.) good tone.

--Chill Electronica

W:\Music\Ryoksopp\Royksopp - Melody A.M\Royksopp - 04 - In Space.mp3 (fast walk) (Cheerful. Mellow. Relaxing. Instrumental.) Pretty good.

W:\Music\The Longest Journey soundtrack\The Longest Journey - 35 - Eagle.mp3 (fast walk) (Haunting. Chill. This is who I choose to be.) Pretty good.

--Mid Electronic Rock

W:\Music\Massive Attack - Teardrop.mp3 (walk) (Melancholy. Teardrop. Rich and deep.) good

W:\Music\Moby\Moby - Porcelain.mp3 (fast walk) (Regret.  Goodbye. Dreamlike) good

W:\Music\Ryoksopp\Royksopp - Beautiful Day Eithout You-imt.mp3 (fast walk) (Mellow. A little sad. Out in the world. Without you. Going beyond you.) good fit

W:\Music\Ryoksopp\Royksopp_-_remind_me_(zabielas_ingeborg_mix)-tronik.mp3 (run) (Atmospheric. Moody. Thick bassline. Chill.) good fit

--Electronic Rock

W:\Music\Depeche Mode\Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence.mp3 (fast walk) (Enjoy the silence. I like it quiet. Moody. Dark.) Good.

W:\Music\Above & Beyond\Tri-State\Above & Beyond - Alone Tonight (Original Mix).mp3 (run) (Alone. Mournful. energetic. Wishing for better) Good fit

W:\Music\Deadmau5\Random Album Title\07 I Remember.mp3 (run) (Mellow. Moody with a nice beat. Remember.) very good fit.

W:\Music\Kaskade\I Remember\12 Raining.mp3 (run) (Mood of a rainy day. Sad. Nostalgia.) very good

W:\Music\Kaskade\I Remember\04 Turn It Down.mp3 (run) (Turn it down. Chilling. Smooth.) very good

W:\Music\Kaskade\I Remember\15 4AM.mp3 (run) (The mood of late at night. Nostalgia. Yearning.) very good

W:\Music\Keo Nozari - Close Enough (Interstate Remix).mp3 (run) (Lonely. Afraid of love. Sad.) good

--Orchestral

W:\Music\Clint Mansell\Requiem For A Dream\30 Ghosts Of A Future Lost.mp3 (walk) (Orchestral. Cinematic. Dead of night. Thoughtful. I hear you. I come back for you. I'm only with you.) Good--Very slow

W:\Music\Ryoksopp\Royksopp-Dead to the world.mp3 (slow walk) (Instrumental. Mellow. Chill. Peaceful. Forgotten love.) good finale piece

------Weak

W:\Music\Depeche Mode\Depeche Mode - Blue Dress.mp3

W:\Music\Mannheim Steamroller\Fresh Aire VI\06 Nepenthe.mp3  Too slow

W:\Music\Depeche Mode\Depeche Mode - Waiting_for_the_night.mp3 (walk) (Waiting for the night to fall when everything is bearable. Moody.)

W:\Music\Ryoksopp\Royksopp - Melody A.M\Royksopp - 09 - She's So.mp3 (fast walk) (instrumental. Groovy. Moody.) a little weak?

W:\Music\Mannheim Steamroller\Fresh Aire\07 Fresh Aire.mp3 (slow walk) (Slow. Thoughtful. Smooth. Instrumental.) too slow

W:\Music\Mannheim Steamroller\Fresh Aire\12 Mist.mp3 (slow walk) (Very slow. Sad. Nostalgic.) Finale piece? Too slow

------Off Topic

------Wrong tone

W:\Music\Depeche Mode\Depeche Mode - World In My Eyes (1990) (Kraftwerk Razormaid Remix).mp3

W:\Music\Depeche Mode\Depeche Mode - Useless.mp3 (fast walk) (Dark. Restrained anger.)

W:\Music\Porter Robinson\Porter Robinson & Madeon - Shelter.mp3 (fast walk) (Cheerful. Sad. Trust in me. Watching over me.) too cheerful

W:\Music\Noel Gallagher - Teotihuacan.MP3 (fast walk) (Instrumental. Cool. High tech.) Too cool for this set?

W:\Music\DJ Sets\Divas\Porter Robinson - Sad Machine.mp3 (fast walk) (Sad. Hopeful. Cybernetic. Robot.) Too cheerful? Wrong tone?

W:\Music\Compilations\Donnie Darko_ Soundtrack From The Motion Picture\17 Mad World.mp3 (walk) (Worn out. Tired. The world is crazy.) too dark

--Jazzy Rock

W:\Music\Dave Thompson - Standin In The Rain.mp3 (fast walk) (Bluesy. Lonely. Stood up.) Don't like the tone.

W:\Music\They Might Be Giants\01 - TMBG\11 - TMBG - TMBG - She's An Angel.mp3 (walk) (How can things be this good?  She's too good for me.) not moody enough? Too happy?

W:\Music\They Might Be Giants\02 - Lincoln\10 - TMBG - Lincoln - The World's Address.mp3 (run) (The world is a sad, broken place.) too cheerful tone?

W:\Music\DJ Sets\Wolf\Steve Conte - Stray Wolfs Rain Opening.mp3 (fast walk) (Stray. Nothing to lose.  Alone.) Too powerful.

W:\Music\Ulrich Schnauss\Goodbye\09 Goodbye.mp3 (walk) (Etheric. Haunting. Goodbye. She is gone forever. Let it go.) Too much love.  Too much of a finale song. Can't continue after it.  Leave it out for now.

W:\Music\Daft Punk\Musique, Vol. 1 (1993-2005)\12 Human After All.mp3 (run) (I can only do so much. Human after all.) Too cheerful?

------Cut for Time

W:\Music\MLP - My Little Pony Fanmusic\Play\Slow\ISMBOFepicly - Even the Happiest Pony Gets Sad Sometimes, Right (Secrets and Lies).mp3 (run) (Chill. Cheering up.)

W:\Music\LTJ Bukem_Earth 1-7 ohne 4\LTJ.Bukem.presents.Earth-Volume.6.(2002)-.-Pityba\08 The Freckles - See The Rain.mp3 (fast walk) (Instrumental. Chill. A little jazzy. Cheerful.) Not bad.

W:\Music\Kaskade\08 Nobody Else - 7A or 5A.mp3 (run) (Chill.  Vocal. Nobody else tonight. Warm.) too warm?  Kind of a good mood.

W:\Music\Alan Parsons Project - Some Other Time.mp3 (walk) (Epic. Alone. Lonely.) too dark?

W:\Music\They Might Be Giants\06 - John Henry\06 - TMBG - John Henry - I Should Be Allowed to Think.mp3 (run) (Vocal. Disgruntled. I'm controlled.) too angry? Leave it in for now.

W:\Music\Ryoksopp\Royksopp - What Else Is There.mp3 (fast walk) (Regret. You don't see me. Pain.) good fit

W:\Music\Ryoksopp\Royksopp - Melody A.M\Royksopp - 05 - Poor Leno.mp3 (fast walk) (Sad. Melancholy. Lonely.  Love.) good

Continued on Chapter Three

Tantari Kim

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Reader Submitted: "How To DJ The DJ Tantari Way - Chapter Two Part One"


By Tantari Kim

"This is my guide for how to go from a newbie to a moderately successful DJ on Second Life. ...  If you do read it and have comments or corrections, I’d love to hear them.  (Mail me at tantari.kim at gmail.com.)"

Continued from Chapter One Part Two

*  *  *  *  *

Chapter 2: How to Write a Set the DJ Tantari Way!

You’re all set up to DJ!  Now you need something to play.  There are a million ways to do this, and there is no way I can cover all of it, so I won’t even try.  I know of one way, the DJ Tantari Way!

This is what I do, as quoted from my website: Let me take you on a Journey Into Sound. My sets take you across a landscape, explore a subject, and sometimes even tell a story. While I mostly play electronica and rock, I will include any music that I need to tell a story and meets my high standards.

I spend a lot of time choosing a topic, picking the right songs, and getting it to have a good flow.  I pepper the performance with colorful commentary and cool quotes.  But to really know what I do, you should see for yourself.  Come out to one of my regularly scheduled performances and see what I do.

Almost all clubs and events expect DJs to perform in 2 hour blocks.  That’s what I do and what I recommend, but if you wanted to write something longer or shorter, the same process applies. I’m going to walk you through the process of creating one of my themed sets.

Folder Structure

On my DJ station, I have a Documents\DJ folder where I keep all my DJ work.  Under that I have a folder for every one of my sets.  I also have a brainstorming folder named _ideas where I stash any ideas I come up with and then return to when I need some inspiration.  Lastly, I have a folder for my DJ logo art named _logo.

Choosing a Topic

Choosing a topic is both hard and easy.  You want a topic that is broad enough that you can find 2 hours of really awesome music but specific enough that you can give it a pretty thorough examination in that same timeframe.  Punk Rock is probably much too wide to cover well in 2 hours.  Otters is probably too narrow to have enough good tracks.  You could probably do cats, dogs, or a particular band in a single hour.  In this case, I chose the theme “Mood for a Rainy Day”.  (I’ve also done sets themed around a particular band.  That’s much easier but much more limited. I’ll make references to it here and there without going into too much detail.)

I start the process by going to my DJ folder and creating a “MoodForARainyDay” folder to hold all my stuff for this set.  Inside there I create a text file called ideas.txt and start brainstorming.  I write down the title and start coming up with related ideas.  The wider a net you cast, the more material you have towork with.  For Mood for a Rainy Day, I came up with: rain, storm, lightning, thunder, moody, melancholy, mellow, emo, sad, lost, alone.  If you can’t think of many, it’s probably not a good topic or maybe you need to think about it some more.

Filling the Crate

Fire up MIXXX and create a crate called Mood for a Rainy Day.  To do this, right click on the word Crates on the left hand side and click “Create New Crate.”

Before we go any further, it’s helpful to go over the differences between a Playlist and a Crate in MIXXX.  Both of them contain tracks from MIXXX’s library.  The difference is that in a Playlist, a single track can appear multiple times and the order preserved.  A Crate has no order and a single track can only appear once.  You can’t have duplicates.

Your Library is a repository of your own cool style.  It should be filled with as many cool songs you love as possible.  I always search here first because it helps give the set my own unique sound.  If a set isn’t in your style, then what’s the point of it?

Search the Library for your keywords.  I generally confine them to the title by typing “title: rain” if I wanted to search for all songs with “rain” in the title.  Then go through the list.  Listen to them.  If you think the song fits the topic and is cool, drag it over to the Mood for a Rainy Day crate.  You’ll see a pair of numbers next to it (total tracks and total time) increase if you did it right.  If not, the track was probably in that crate already.  Keep doing this for all the keywords in your ideas.txt file.  I like to put a “-“ after a word when I start searching for it and a “-x” after it when I’m done so I don’t forget where I am.  If you get new ideas, quickly jot them down at the end of the ideas.txt file so you won’t lose them, then go back to them when you’re ready.  This is your chance to daydream, brainstorm, go off on tangents, and get a general feel for the set’s topic and tone.

Here’s an example of my ideas.txt file for Mood for a Rainy Day set after I was finished.  Noticed that at the top I had tried out a few different titles.  In the next section I have a bunch of keywords, some of which I didn’t actually search for.  (I decided to go in a different direction based upon what I was finding.) In the last section, I have various specific songs, artists, and ideas that I wanted to check out.

     Mood for a Rainy Day

     Music for a Rainy Day

     Moody and melancholy

     -----------------------

     rain-x

     storm

     lightning

     thunder

     moody-x

     melancholy-x

     mellow-x

     emo-x

     sad-x

     lost-x

     alone-x

     ---------------------

     Teotihuacan-x

     Moody blues-x

     Royksopp-x

     Depeche Mode (moody stuff)-x

     Alan Parson's Project-x

     Kaskade - 4 am-x

     TMBG - something from John Henry-x

     Porter Robinson-x

     human after all-x

     Don't answer me-x

     Blue Monday-x

     Mannheim Steamroller-x

     Africa-x

     Life in a Northern Town-x

When you’ve exhausted all your keywords, take a look at the crate time.  It should be at least 2:30 for your 2 hour set, but I feel much better when it is 3:00 or 3:30.  If you’ve got a lot of really awesome material, you’re ready to move on!  If not, it’s time for some Research.

Researching New Material

Need more material?  Need better material?  Time for some research.

There are many ways to do this, but my number one stop by far is YouTube.  Almost any piece of music you can think of is there, ready to listen to at a moment’s notice.  I’ll start with some generic searches like “music about rainy days” or “rain song” and start listening to them.  The ones that say “lyrics” in the title tend to be cleaner (without extraneous sound effects) than the music video ones.  Feel free to go off on tangents and explore wherever your imagination takes you.  If I find something I like, I’ll go download it from a completely legitimate source.  Of course, you could always use something like http://peggo.tv/ to download them right away, but that could be illegal.  (Consult a copyright lawyer!)  However you get them, download them as the highest quality you can and dump them in a temporary directory like f:\temp\MusicResearch\new.

If you still need new ideas, search Google for “songs about rainy days”.  No matter what it is, it seems that someone has made up a cool list of songs about your topic.  You can use  http://www.songfacts.com/ but they tend to throw their net a little too wide for my tastes.  Once you have the list, search for each artist and title on YouTube to listen to it to see if it is worth grabbing.

Now you need to clean up your new files.  Open Audacity.  Drag the source file in there.  Trim off any unwanted silence or sounds at the beginning or end.  You’ll want to check out the Audacity tutorial (http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/tutorials.html) and manual (http://manual.audacityteam.org/) for more information.  I’ve found that the most convenient commands in Audacity are:

Shift-1 – Zoom in

Shift-3 – Zoom out

Shift and click the Skip to Start or Skip to End arrow button – Select from the current selection position to the beginning or end of the track

Control-X – Cut the selected sound

Control-Shift-E – Export the edited sound to a new file

Audacity Main Screen

Make sure you enter the metadata when you save it, and save it as a good filename.  I always do artist – title.mp3.  I like to save them all as 192 kbps variable MP3s because they sound good and can be read by anything.  I save them in a different directory, f:\temp\MusicResearch\processed.  You can delete the original downloads when you no longer need them.

In the end, you will have processed all your new files and have a directory full of them.  Next, you need to integrate them into your Library.  Open your Library folder (w:\music), and start moving them where you think they fit.  Make sure you think about this before you do it, because once you do, MIXXX and your sets will be keyed to those locations.  It’ll be hard to move them around afterwards!  In general, you’ll want a folder for each artist and to place the songs there.  If it’s something that I don’t think will ever be used anywhere else, I’ll sometimes put them in a folder specific for that set.  In this case, it is w:\music\DJ Sets\MoodForARainyDay.

As soon as you copy the file in, you need to get it into MIXXX and the crate.  In MIXXX, open the Mood for a Rainy Day crate by clicking on it.  You’ll see a list of all the songs in that crate.  Then drag and drop the MP3 file directly from the Windows File Explorer into that song list.  This will accomplish two things for you: it’ll add it to the crate and it’ll add it to the MIXXX Library.

Once you’re done, you’ll have nothing in the processed folder, all the new songs somewhere in your Music folder (w:\music) and everything in MIXXX’s Library and your new crate.

Checking the Crate

For the next steps, I don’t like to use MIXXX.  MIXXX doesn’t work very well with playlists.  I’ve also had MIXXX throw up on me before and lose all the data, so I like to keep backup copies that I know I can re-import into MIXXX if I have to. Perhaps someday you’ll want to move to a program other than MIXXX.  Because of this, we’re going to export the crate and work in WinAmp.

We’re done with the crate and don’t want to make any changes to it.  In MIXXX, right click on your Moodfor a Rainy Day crate and select LOCK.  Then right click and select Export Crate.  Navigate to your Documents\DJ\MoodForARainyDay folder and save it as MoodForARainyDay-crate.m3u.

Open WinAmp and open its Playlist panel.  Drag and drop the MoodForARainyDay-crate.m3u file into WinAmp main window.  This will remove anything currently in its playlist, open this new playlist, open all the files, and read their metadata pretty quickly.  Go down the list and look for any where the title looks strange.  Double click to play it, then double click the scrolling title in the WinAmp main window to bring up its metadata.  Edit it here until it looks good and save it.  This way all the titles you’re using will have correct metadata in the file itself.

Why is this important?  MIXXX has made the decision that they will never do anything to change your music files.  If you edit the metadata in MIXXX, it changes the entry in its database and nowhere else.  By changing the data in the MP3 files themselves, anything will be able to read them, including MIXXX and other DJ software.  This makes it really easy to move to a different computer, operating system, or other DJing software.  (Later on, select all the tracks in the crate, right click and click Reload Track Metadata to get the changes back into MIXXX.)

When you’ve finished, have WinAmp save the playlist as “MoodForARainyDay-playlist.m3u”.  We’ll never touch the “MoodForARainyDay-crate.m3u” file again.  Why?  So we can import that crate to other DJ programs.
Categorizing the Playlist

Now you have a list of songs to work with.  You not only have to cut it down for time, you have to make it into a cohesive flow that might even tell a story!

Open the MoodForARainyDay-playlist.m3u file in your favorite text editor.  You’ll notice that it’s just a regular text file.  Every track has two lines, the first starts with #EXTINF and contains the metadata.  The second is the raw filename.   Delete every line that is not a raw filename and save it as “MoodForARainyDay.txt”.  This is your working notes file.

If you’re a Unix person like me, you can use a very simple string of commands to do this for you.  Fire up your Linux computer (or Bash in Windows 10) and save the file somewhere that Linux can see it.  Then use “cat MoodForARainyDay.txt | grep “w:\music” ” and it will spit out just the files from your music catalog.  Since every file is in your music directory, this should be a snap.  Cut and paste it back into your MoodForARainyDay.txt editor.

Now you need to listen to every song in the playlist and mark them up in your working notes file (MoodForARainyDay.txt).  I create a section for each major song style and cut and paste the song underneath it.  You don’t have to be 100% accurate with your style names so long as you know what they mean.  I commonly use names like straight rock, hard rock, electronic rock, dark electronic, chillout, folksy, cinematic, and so forth.  After each song, I’ll put some notes about the tempo and the general feelfor the song.  My tempos are generally: slow walk, walk, fast walk, and run.  My general feel notes often come from the lyrics.  Googling for “lyrics artist title” is a great way to get this in a hurry.  If you hear a song that sounds like it might be a good Introduction or Finale, make sure you make a special note of it also.

Here's an example of a section from Mood for a Rainy Day:

     --Straight Rock

     W:\Music\ELO\Electric Light Orchestra - Rain is Falling.mp3 (walk) (Rain is falling. Sad. Missing you. Love) good fit

     W:\Music\Compilations\Grand Theft Auto_ Vice City, Vol. 3 - Emotion 98.3\02 Africa.mp3 (fast walk) (Love. Go to her. Haunting vocals. Chill. Almost sad.)

I’ll also create a few special sections at the end for songs I don't use: Weak, Off Topic, Wrong Tone, and Cut for Time.  If I know that a song is too poor compared to the others or just isn’t going to fit, I’ll move it to one of those section and immediately delete it from the WinAmp playlist.

By now, you should have a good look at what you have and a decent idea for the feel of the set.

Building the Playlist

The next step is trying to put this collection of songs into a cohesive order and cutting down to a final play time.  This is the hardest step and I can only give some guidelines here.

If this is a set I’m doing about a particular band, it’s often easiest to do this chronologically.  Have MIXXX display them in chronological order in the crate and go by that.  For the Weird Al set, I tried to have at least one song from each of his albums and go from album to album.  The story I'm presenting to the audience is how he progressed through his career.

If it’s a topic that has a beginning, middle, and end, try to group it that way.  For Dreamland, I grouped the songs into Soothing You to Sleep, Free Into Dreams, Electric Dreams, Insomnia, Nightmare, Return to Dreams, and Finale.

If it’s a topic that has categories, try to find something with an intro, go dark first, move on to something more positive, and have some fulfilling sort of finale.  Audiences like ending on a positive note.

For the vast majority of sets, I won't have one of these patterns to follow, so I end up using a pattern thatI call the Double Crescendo.  The point of this is that audiences like it when you give them something good, but you’ve got to follow it up with something better.  I divide everything up between Rock (folk, vocal rock, harder rock, etc), Comedy, and Electronica.  I start with the Rock.  I’ll do the lightest ones first and move on to heavier stuff.  This means folksy, light rock, mid rock, straight rock, dark rock, then hard rock.  Within each style, I’ll start with the slowest tempo and move to the fastest.  The back half is my Electronica where I’ll do the same thing.  This means chillout, mid, happy, dark, then intense electronica. If you have to make a hard transition, it is better to make it abrupt because the audience will notice it. You want them to think that you meant to do that.  A good way to do that is to stuff a comedy break in the middle.  It gives them a chance to catch their breath and have a little chuckle after hard, dark rock before going up the crescendo again.  If you can find a good finale, stick it at the end.  Often it's the most intense electronica song, but sometimes I'll want to bring the energy down a little for something that feels good and is a nice summary or conclusion to the whole set.  Lastly, you want to find a good opener to promote to the Intro song, something to set the mood for the entire show.

Even if you have an overriding theme, keep thinking of the crescendo.  Within a sub-topic, you’ll often want to keep building, then have a drop to the next topic.

I’ll think about all this and move the stuff around in my notes file (MoodForARainyDay.txt).  I’ll move around the overall music style blocks first, then move the songs inside them.  Once you’re done, you have a first draft of your set.  Usually it’ll still be too long.  For me, it’s often 2:30, but sometimes as much as 3:00.  Now you’re ready to start listening!

Continued in Chapter Two Part Two.

Tantari Kim

Monday, December 19, 2016

Reader Submitted: "How To DJ The DJ Tantari Way - Chapter One Part Two"


From Tantari Kim

"This is my guide for how to go from a newbie to a moderately successful DJ on Second Life. ...  If you do read it and have comments or corrections, I’d love to hear them.  (Mail me at tantari.kim at gmail.com.)"

Continued from Chapter One Part One

*  *  *  *  *

How to Broadcast: Your Test Setup

Live Broadcasting (http://mixxx.org/manual/latest/chapters/livebroadcasting.html) is a complex topic with a lot of moving parts, so make sure you read this section in the manual if you run into any problems.  The most important thing is to recognize the pieces and what they are called.  When you broadcast, there are three important components, the Source, the Server and the Listener.  (These can all be on the same computer or on separate computers.)


SHOUTcast Components

MIXXX is the Source.  It provides the music, encodes it, and sends it to the Server.

The Server is the glue that ties the Source and the Listeners together.  It must be a publicly accessible server.  Usually this means it needs a DNS entry and open ports.  The Source (MIXXX) connects to it by name and logs in with a username and a password.  While you are playing music, MIXXX is continuously re-encoding what you hear as an MP3 and sending them to the Server.

The last piece is the Listener.  Each listener connects to the Server and requests a copy of the stream.  The Server grabs the latest chunk of music the Source has sent and passes a separate copy to each Listener.  Each Listener decodes their stream and plays it for the end user so they can hear the music.

This is a lot to take in and there’s a lot that can go wrong, so we’re going to set up this whole thing in miniature on your home computer.  This will allow you to test what is going on, make sure that everything is working, learn about the process, and practice debugging problems.

You’re going to need the SHOUTcast DNAS software.  You already downloaded it.  As a Windows user, I had to create a directory (c:\utilities\shoutcast) and uncompress the file there.  You’ll see a sc_serv.exe (or just sc_serv for Unix and Mac) and some configuration files.  Rename sc_serv.conf  to sc_serv.conf.orig and create a new sc_serv.cong in your favorite text editor.  Cut and paste the following into it: (of course, pick different passwords)

adminpassword=SecretAdminPassword

maxuser=64

password=DJLoginPassword

requirestreamconfigs=1

streamid_1=1

portbase=8000

Then open a command prompt and change to that directory.  To run it, type “sc_serv.exe sc_serv.conf” (or “./sc_serv sc_serv.conf” for Unix and Mac).  If everything is working properly, it should dump a lot of text to the screen and then just wait.  This means it’s up and running.  Don’t close that window!  It’ll keep running until you press Control-C.

Next open your favorite web browser and connect to your Server’s address (http://127.0.0.1:8000).  If it doesn’t load, it means your Server isn’t running.  If it's working correctly, it should show a SHOUTcast logo and say “Stream Status: Stream is currently down.”  That means its working correctly so far.


SHOUTcast Is Running

Next we’re going to configure the Source (MIXXX) to connect to the Server.  In MIXXX, open Preferences and select the Live Broadcasting line.  Enter the following settings:

     Type: SHOUTcast

     Mount:

     Host: 127.0.0.1

     Port: 8000

     Login: source

     Password: DJLoginPassword (or whatever password you put in the config file)

     Stream Name: DJ Tantari (or whatever your DJ name is)

     Website: http://127.0.0.1

     Description: (anything you want)

     Genre: Live Mix (or anything you want)

     Encoding

          Bitrate: 192 kbps (or higher)

          Format: MP3

          Channels: Stereo

Leave everything else as default and click OK.  When you get done, it should look similar to this:


MIXXX Preferences For Test Broadcasting

Now you’re ready to stream!  Click Options -> Enable Live Broadcasting to activate it.  It should pop up a message box that says “Mixxx has successfully connected to the streaming server.” if it worked. Go to your web browser and refresh it.  It should say “Stream Status: Stream is up at 192 kbps with 0 of 64 listeners” if it is working properly.  Start playing some music and refresh the web page.  Next to “Current Song:” you should see the artist and title of the song you’re playing listed here.

Listening is the final test.  Open VLC and Click Media->Open Network Stream.  Enter your address (http://127.0.0.1:8000) and click “Play”.  Within a few seconds, you should hear two copies of your music playing, one through MIXXX and one through VLC.  If you refresh your web page, you should see that you have “1 of 64 listeners”.  It’s time to celebrate your first listener!


SHOUTcast Connected With One Listener

If you want to take this test to the next level, you can use another computer in your house.  First try to open the web page in the browser to make sure there aren't any firewalls blocking the connection, then use VLC to listen.  You’ll have to use the real IP address of your computer, not the loopback address (127.0.0.1).  You can even let people outside your house listen, but you’ll have to open ports on your firewall (8000 and 8001/TCP) and give them your outside IP.  They’ll be able to listen to you with VLC also.  It’s a fun test and you can have your first outside listener.

Using a Real Server

Broadcasting for real is the same thing, except you need to use a publicly accessible server.  Since I love all the geeky stuff, I set up a SHOUTcast server on my personal publicly accessible server.  It has a public DNS entry so people can find it easily.  I’m sure that’s too much for most people; you’ll want to rent a SHOUTcast server. These are available at many places in Second Life and elsewhere.  You pay them a small fee each month.  If you’re lucky, the club you’re playing at will have one that’s available to all the DJs who work there.  However you get it, you’ll need the username, password, hostname, and port.

First, access the stream with your web browser.  It’ll be in the form of http://hostname:port.  Make sure that loads properly.  More importantly, make sure no one is using it.  If you log into it while someone else is using it, it’ll either fail or you might kick them offline and interrupt their set!

Then open MIXX and its Preferences to the Live Broadcasting tab.  You’ll want to keep everything the same and only change the Host, Port, Login, and Password.  Then try to connect.  If it connects, play some music and refresh the web page.  Try to tune in with VLC.  You should hear your stream.  Now anyone on the Internet who knows the Server’s URL (it’s hostname and port) can tune in and hear you!

How to DJ in Second Life

Now that you know how to broadcast to a public server, how do you get it into Second Life?  You may have noticed that certain pieces of land have music.  If you click the play icon (which varies from client to client, but usually looks like a music note in the upper right hand corner of your screen), you are tuning in to that SHOUTcast stream.  All that is necessary is to assign your SHOUTcast URL to the land parcel. There are a number of ways to get your SHOUTcast URL into the land.  First, to see what it’s currently set to for the land that your avatar is in, click the name of the land on top of your screen to get details about it, then click Sound.  It’ll show you the current SHOUTcast URL for the land.  You can copy and paste this into your web browser if you want to learn more about it; I use this all the time to troubleshoot music problems or just to get information about a DJ that’s currently playing.  If you own the land, you can paste your URL right here and you’re done.  Most of the time, you’ll be playing in clubs, so this isn’t an option.  For this, you’ll need to use the DJ board.


Land and Sound in Second Life

The DJ board is a special scripted item that looks like a big sign.  It tells the audience what song is playing.  It also allows DJs who work for that club to sign in and switch the stream.  (Setting one up is rather complicated.  Luckily you don’t have to do this; usually it’s the club owner that takes care of it.)  You’ll use it to start your show, and then to switch it to a regular radio station afterwards if there isn’t another DJ after you.  By far, the most common one you’ll find is the SNX brand (http://www.shxonline.com/en/).  To control this, you’ll need to set up your DJ Cards.

Set up your SNX DJ Cards using the online wizard (http://www.shxonline.com/src/ncwiz/).  Fill out the form with your information.  Make sure you choose SHOUTcast 1 or SHOUTcast 2 depending on your Server.  (The Server’s web page will tell you what version you’re running.)  Once you hit submit, it’ll spit out some text that you need to copy into Second Life notecards with very specific names.  You’ll want to keep these handy and give a copy to your DJ manage who will put them in the club’s DJ board for you. You’ll need to generate a different set of cards for each club you play at.

When it’s time for a live set, you’ll need to change MIXXX’s Live Broadcasting preferences for the particular club, check Server’s web page with your browser to make sure you’re not conflicting with anyone, turn it on (which connects the Source to the Server), then click the DJ board and click the log in button.  The DJ board will examine your cards and push your Server URL to the land.  When customers arrive at the club and turn on the music, it’ll automatically load your URL into their Listener software (built into the Second Life client), connect to the Server, and they’ll hear your sweet tunes.  Time for you to rock out!

But do you have anything good to play?  Check out Chapter 2

To Be Continued

Tantari Kim