How to be Successful DJ and Producer In 2023

You can create and share music with the world as a DJ and producer. Whether you’re just starting or have been in the game for a while, it’s essential to strive for success constantly.

In today’s digital age, the music industry is constantly evolving, and it can be tough to stand out. However, you can succeed as a DJ and producer in any genre with the right strategies and mindset. In this article, we’ll share tips and strategies to become a successful DJ and producer in any genre in 2023 and beyond. Becoming a DJ and producer is a career path many of you want to proceed with.

By following these strategies, you’ll be able to increase your chances of success as a DJ and producer and make a name for yourself in the music industry. So, if you’re ready to take your career to the next level, keep reading for some valuable insights and tips.

But before we jump into the topic, here are some genres that we believe have awesome potential if you are DJ and Producer:

Genre
Opportunities
Is it worth it long term? 
Successful Artists
Drum & Bass
It’s very popular in Europe but the most in the UK. There are many opportunities to play at gigs especially if you have a good name in the field. Greatest festivals: Let It Roll, Liquicity Festival, Outlook, Sunandbass, Rampage, Hospitality 
DnB is a fascinating genre that has a strong base of fans. Whether you are into Liquid, Deep, Neuro, Jungle or Mainstream DnB, there will be always opportunities to make living out of it if you love it.
House, Electro & EDM
As one of the most popular electronic genres out there, there will be always opportunities. Tomorrowland is a nice example of one of the greatest festivals.
EDM & House will always be the primary music genres and will have many fans. This makes it ideal for becoming DJ and make music.
Goa & Psytrance
It’s evolving each day.  Past Festials: Boom Festival, Psy-Fi Festival, VooV Experience, Eclipse Festival. Check best Psy fests for 2023 here.
Certain types of trance have been commercialized.
Depending on the location, Psytrance in Israel is vastly popular. Though, it has a big fanbase because people just love GOA & Psy!

How do I become a successful DJ and Producer?

  • Find your niche and specialize.

While it may be tempting to try and cover every genre and please everyone, it’s essential to find your niche and specialize in a particular style of music. This will help you stand out and develop a unique sound that fans can recognize and appreciate. It’s also vital to constantly stay up to date on the latest trends and techniques in your genre to stay relevant.

  • Build a strong online presence

In today’s digital age, having a solid online presence is crucial for success as a DJ and producer. This includes having a professional website, active social media accounts, and a consistent branding strategy. Use these platforms to share your music, engage with your fans, and promote your shows and releases. Platforms like SoundCloud, Hypeddit, YouTube, Instagram, and Reddit are best for beginners. It’s also a good idea to have a mailing list to keep fans updated on your latest news and releases. DJs like Boris Brejcha and Skrillex are great examples of branding strategies with their unique looks.

Produce a press kit, a collection of materials to promote yourself to industry professionals and media outlets. This typically includes a bio, a list of accomplishments, high-quality photos, and audio or video samples of your music.

Tip: When you build name in your field (Doesn’t need to be huge), then you can start making tutorials on Patreon and charge for it based on a subscription model (Every month). Ultimately, this can lead to substantial income.

  • Network and collaborate with other artists

Networking and collaborating with other artists can help you gain exposure and make connections within the industry. Attend music festivals and industry events, join online communities, and reach out to other artists to discuss potential collaboration opportunities.

In addition, collaborating with other artists can help you learn new techniques and expand your artistic skills. These events can also provide valuable networking opportunities and the chance to showcase your music to new audiences. You can also collaborate with vocalists or instrumentalists to create unique and exciting music to attract new fans.

  • Invest in high-quality equipment

Having high-quality equipment is essential for producing and performing professional-sounding music. So, invest in quality headphones, speakers, and a reliable DJ controller or production setup. Even though everything can be done only using a mouse and keyboard, you will expand your creativity and workflow with the equipment.

Some key pieces of equipment to consider investing in include:

  • Headphones: Quality headphones are essential for accurately listening to and mixing your music. Look for headphones with a flat frequency response and comfortable fit.
  • Studio Monitors/Speakers: Investing in quality studio monitors or DJ speakers will allow you to hear your music accurately and make informed decisions when mixing and producing.
  • DJ controller or production setup: If you’re a DJ, a reliable DJ controller is essential for performing live. For producers, a quality production setup, including a computer, digital audio workstation (DAW) software, and any additional hardware you may need, will be crucial for creating and recording music.

While cutting corners and going for cheaper options may be tempting, investing in quality equipment will pay off in the long run. Quality equipment will last longer and produce better sound, which can lead to a more professional and successful career as a DJ and producer.

  • Practice, and expand your knowledge.

As with any skill, practice is key to success as a DJ and producer. Spend time perfecting your craft and continually learning and improving your skills. This includes practicing music theory, mixing and production techniques, and staying up to date on the latest software and hardware. There are a lot of great YouTube tutorials that you can find to expand your knowledge and creativity. If you have some money to spend, there are also online courses to get a certificate.

For example, one of the fundamental skills of DJing is the ability to match the beats of two songs so they can be mixed seamlessly. To practice beatmatching, try playing two songs simultaneously and adjust the pitch or tempo of one of the songs until the beats match up.

  • Stay organized and manage your time effectively.

Success as a DJ and producer requires a lot of time and energy. Staying organized and managing your time effectively is essential to stay on top of everything. Use calendars, to-do lists, and project management software to keep track of your tasks and schedules. Learn to use email efficiently.

  • Be professional and consistent.

In the music industry, professionalism and consistency are key. Make sure to show up on time for gigs, promptly respond to emails and messages, and deliver quality music and performances. It’s also important to be consistent with your branding and image to create a cohesive and professional image.

General tips for producing on which you should do additional research

  1. Start with a solid foundation: Before adding all sorts of effects and layers to your track, make sure you have a solid foundation with a strong beat and catchy melodies. This will make it easier to build upon later on.
  2. Use reference tracks: A reference track is a song that you use as a reference or guide while producing your own track. Choose a track that has a similar style or vibe to the one you’re working on and use it to help you make decisions about the arrangement, mix, and overall feel of your track.
  3. Use automations: Automation is a powerful tool that allows you to control the parameters of your track over time. Use automation to add movement and dynamics to your track and to create builds and breaks.
  4. Experiment with effects: Each DAW has a wide range of built-in effects, and many third-party effects are available. Experiment with different effects to see how they affect your track, and feel free to stack multiple effects together to create unique sounds.
  5. Use sidechain compression: Sidechain compression is a technique that allows you to create space in your mix by ducking the level of one track when another track plays. This is often used to create a pumping effect on basslines or synths.
  6. Use parallel compression: Parallel compression is a technique that allows you to amplify the transients by mixing dry and heavily compressed sound, best use case scenario is for drums, bass, and vocals to add sustain and density without sacrificing the original attack and transients of the sound. This can create a more dynamic and punchy sound, as the compressed version of the signal adds sustain and density while the dry signal maintains the original transients and attack of the sound.
  7. Stay organized: As you work on your track, staying organized is essential to avoid getting overwhelmed. Use DAWs built-in organizational tools, such as color-coding and grouping tracks, to keep your project organized and easy to navigate.
  8. Don’t be afraid to experiment: The beauty of producing music is that there are no hard and fast rules. So feel free to experiment and try new things to see what works best for your track. Sometimes the best ideas come from unexpected places.

Sometimes there might be a video showcase of the thought process of some artist that you follow. For example, one of my favorite videos for mixing is Art of Mixing by David Gibson. He is such a funny guy from the 90s; everything he talks about can be applied to modern production thinking.

The Art Of Mixing (A Arte da Mixagem) - David Gibson

There are several key aspects of music mixing that are important to consider and have been talked about in the video above:

  1. Level balance: refers to the relative volume of each track in the mix. A good mix will balance the different elements so that no instrument or vocal is too loud or quiet.
  2. EQ: This refers to the frequency balance of each track. Different instruments and vocals occupy different frequency ranges, and a good mix will have a smooth and even balance across all frequencies.
  3. Panning: This refers to the stereo placement of each track in the mix. By panning certain tracks left or right, the producer can create a sense of space and movement in the mix.
  4. Effects: Reverb, delay, and other effects can add depth and character to a mix. They can also help different elements of the mix blend together more seamlessly.

Great video for learning music theory basics in 30 minutes by Andrew Huang. 

Learn music theory in half an hour.

 

In the video, Andrew covers scales, chord progression, inversions, melodies, and rhythm. It provides a framework for understanding how musical elements such as melody, harmony, and rhythm work together to create a cohesive and expressive musical work.

Studying music theory can help musicians develop a greater understanding and appreciation of music, as well as improve their skills in areas such as music composition, arrangement, and performance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, becoming a successful DJ and producer requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn and improve continually. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals and making a name for yourself in the music industry.

Remember that success in the music industry often requires persistence and consistency. This means putting in the time and effort to continually improve your skills and promote yourself, even when things differ from what you’d like. By remaining focused and dedicated, you’ll be able to achieve your goals and become a successful DJ and producer.

Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things, as this is often where the enormous opportunities for success lie. And finally, don’t get discouraged if you face setbacks or challenges. With Determination and a little luck, you can achieve your dreams and make a name for yourself in the music industry. So, always keep working hard and stay focused on your goals. Good luck on your journey to becoming a successful DJ and producer!

Readings that you may also like: 

DAW Related:

Best DAWs For Musicians Available (With FREE DAWs)

How To Develop DAW Software?

What’s The Most CPU Efficient DAW? – 5 DAWs Compared

How To Make Music Without Using A DAW?

Pro Tools Guide: How To Use AutoTune & Pitch Correction?

Ableton Review: Is It Worth The Money? (Cons & Pros)

Logic Pro X Review: Is It Worth It? (Cons & Pros)

How To Use Auto-tune & Pitch Correction In Cubase?

How To Fix Ableton Crackling, Crashing & Freezing? Step By Step

 

Plugin Related:

What Are Audio Plugins? Different Types of Plugins Explained

What Are The Best Tools To Develop VST Plugins & How Are They Made?

Cost of Developing Audio VST Plugin: Several Factors (With Table)

VST, VST, AU and AAX – What’s The Difference? Plugin Formats Explained

Complete Guide To Noise Gate – What It Is, What It Does & How To Use It?

How To Clip My Drums? Here Is How & Audio Teasers (Before/After)

 

Complete Guide To Limiter: How To Use It (+ Best Plugins & Analog Limiters)

Mixing With Reverb: How To Add Life To Your Mixes

Linear Phase vs Minimum Phase EQ – Full Guide

Difference Between LUFS, RMS & True Peak Loudness Meters

How And When To Use Algorithmic And Convolution Reverb In Your Mix?

Difference Between Active EQ, Passive EQ and Dynamic EQ

 

Headphones & Studio Monitors:

Do headphones get worse with age?

Monitors vs Studio Headphones For Mixing & Mastering

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 

Does Heat Damage Headphones?

Are Noise-Canceling Headphones Good For Music Production?

Can Headphones Break in Cold Weather?

Why do headphones & cables get sticky?

 

Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hair Loss?

How Do I know If My Studio Monitor Is Blown?

Side Effects Of Sleeping With Your Headphones On

Do You Need Music Amplifier For Studio Monitors or Studio Headphones?

Do Headphones or Earphones Damage Your Brain?

Can Headphones or Earphones cause Deafness or Toothache?

FarField, MidField & NearField Monitors – Their Uses, Pros & Cons

 

MIDI & Synths:

Should I Buy A MIDI Keyboard Or Synth? (Are Synths Worth It Anymore?)

Why Is Audio Gear So Expensive? (Especially Synths)

Top 12 Synth Brands – Analog, Digital & Modular Synth Manufacturers

11 Tips How To Choose MIDI Keyboard 

Should I Buy MIDI Controller Or Keyboard? Cons, Pros & Tips

 

Guitar/Amp Focused:

Can I Put Nylon Strings on a Steel-string Guitar?

Do Electric Guitars Sound Good Unplugged?

Buying Your First Guitar: 2 Things To Know

Are Tube Amps Worth It? (Tube vs Solid-State Amps)

How Often Does A Guitar Need a Setup?

Can I Play Classical Guitar On A Steel-String Guitar?

 

How often guitar necks need reset?

Can You Play Two Guitars Through One Amp?

Can a 6 String Bass Be Tuned Like A Guitar?

Can I leave My Guitar Tuned Down a Step? Yes, But Is It Safe?

Should I Learn 4, 5 Or 6 String Bass Guitar & Why?

How To Know If your Guitar Amp Is Broken?

How To Fix Distorted Bass Guitar Sound?

 

Do Fender Guitars Appreciate In Value?

Should You Put Stickers On A Bass Guitar?

How Acoustic And Electric Guitars Are Made?

Is Electric Guitar Too Loud for an Apartment?

Does a Preamp Improve Sound Quality?

If I Learn Acoustic Guitar Can I Play Electric Guitar?

How Many Hours A Day Should You Practice Bass Guitar?

Do I need an AMP/DAC To Run Bookshelf Speakers?

How to Record Electric Guitar Into Logic Pro X?

Do headphones get worse with age?

 

Recommended Gear:

Top 12 NearField Studio Monitors On Any Budget

Top 10 Midfield Studio Monitors For Home Recording

Best Biggest Studio Monitors (FarField Monitors)

Top 10 Guitar Pickups for Low Tunings 

Top 10 Analog Compressors For Mixing & Mastering (On Any Budget)

Top 12 USB Audio Interfaces Under 150$, 200$, 300$ 400$ (Any Budget)

 

Top 12 Hardware Equalizers (Analog EQs For Mixing & Mastering)

Top 6 Analog Hardware Limiters 

Top 6 Solid State Bass Amps (On Any Budget)

Top 6 Ribbon Mics On Any Budget (For Vocals, Drums & Guitars)

Top 6 Cheap Dynamic Mics For Vocals Under 50$, 100$, 200$ & 300$

 

Top 6 Chorus Guitar Pedals (On Any Budget)

6 Best 61-Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

9 Best 49-Key MIDI Keyboards Under 100$ & 200$

Top 5 Best 25 Key MIDI Keyboards (On Any Budget)

Top 12 Acoustic Drums (Best Kits/Sets On Any Budget)

 

Plugin Roundups:

Genre Focused:

Top 10 EDM Plugins  (And 10 Best FREE Plugins For EDM)

Top 10 Plugins For TRAP Beats (And 5 Best FREE Trap Plugins)

20 Best Plugins For Rock Musicians (+ 6 FREE Plugins)

Top 14 Trance Plugins (Uplifting, Tech, Progressive, Vocal, Dream, Hard)

Top 10 GOA & PsyTrance Plugins (Best Psychedelic Trance Tools)

Top 7 Plugins For Dubstep (With 10 Best FREE Effects & Synths)

 

Top 20 Synthwave Plugins (+ 11 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 15 Plugins For Techno, House, Electro, Tech House, UK Garage

Top 6 Plugins For Latin Music  (And 4 FREE Tools)

Top 12 Plugins For Hip-Hop (+ Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 7 Plugins For Game & Film Scoring  (+ 6 Best Kontakt Libraries)

Top 10 R&B And Pop Music Plugins & KONTAKT Libraries 

30 Best Free Plugins For DnB, EDM, IDM & Experimental Music 

 

EQ Plugins

Top 12 Free EQ Plugins For Precise Mixing & Mastering

Top 9 Mid/Side EQ Plugins  For Mixing & Mastering (+ 2 Free Tools)

Top 7 Graphic EQ Plugins  (With 3 Best Free EQs)

Top 7 EQ Plugins For Mastering In | And Best FREE Mastering EQs

Top 6 Passive EQ Plugins (Klevgrand, SPL, UAD, Waves, IK Multimedia)

Top 11 Plugins For Making Metal (Best Guitars, Drums & Effects)

 

 

 

Metering:

Top 5 Audio Metering Plugins (LUFS, RMS, LRA, True Peak)

Top 6 Spectrum Analyzer Plugins  – Spectral Analysis Tools

Top 6 Oscilloscope Plugins To See The Waveforms

Top 5 Key Detection Plugins & Software  (+ Best FREE App)

 

 

Kontakt Libraries

20 Best Kontakt Libraries For All Categories (Synths, Drums, Vocals)

Top 7 Drum Libraries For KONTAKT (And 4 Freebies)

Top 7 Trap Music Kontakt Libraries (And Best Lo-Fi Kontakt Library)

Top 7 Metal & Rock Kontakt Libraries (Best Guitars & Drums)

Top 10 Guitar Libraries For Kontakt (Acoustic, Electric, Bass & Freebies)

 

Top 7 Trailer Scoring Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

20 Best Free KONTAKT Libraries For Various Instruments

Top 9 Piano Kontakt Sample Libraries  (And 5 Best Free Pianos)

Top 10 Percussion KONTAKT Libraries  (And 3 Freebies)

Top 7 Kontakt Libraries For Horror & Thriller Scoring (No VSTs)

 

Audio Restoration, Calibration & Utility:

Top 6 Noise Reduction Plugins (And 3 Best Free Tools)

6 Best Audio Restoration Plugins & Software 

Top 7 Phase Alignment Plugins To Fix Your Bass & Drums

Top 10 Room Calibration & Headphones/Speakers Correction Plugins 

 

Instrument Plugins: 

Top 6 Vocoder Plugins (Effects & Synths + FREE Vocoder)

11 Best Rhodes VST Plugins (AND 5 Free Rhodes Plugins)

Top 12 Randomizer Plugins Including FREE Plugins

Top 6 Kick Drum Plugins (Best Kick Designer Tools)

Top 12 Woodwind Plugins (And KONTAKT Libraries)

Top 10 Double Bass Plugins (Best Upright Basses)

Top 5 Strings VST Plugins (AND 4 Best Free Instruments)

 

Top 6 Sampler Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Classical Guitar Plugins & Kontakt Libraries (And FREE Guitars)

Top 7 Wavetable Synth Plugins 

Top 12 Sub Plugins (Best 808 & Bass Tools For Massive Low End)

Top 10 Plugins On PluginBoutique (And 7 Best Free Plugins)

Top 11 Plugins On Plugin Alliance 

Top 7 Acoustic Guitar Plugins (And 4 Best Kontakt Libraries)

 

9 Best Bass Guitar Plugins (And 2 Best Freebies)

Top 6 Electric Guitar Plugins (Best PAID & FREE Picks)

Top 10 Arpeggiator VST Plugins (Best Synths, MIDI Effects & Tools)

Top 10 Modular Synth Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Plugins)

Top 6 Choir Plugins & Sample Libraries (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

11 Best Percussion & Drum VST Plugins (And FREE Plugins)

 

Top 8 Piano Plugins (Best Sounding Pianos & 5 FREE Piano Plugins)

Top 6 Organ Plugins Ever Made  (And 3 Best Free Organs)

Top 14 VST Plugins For Beginners (And 9 FREE Plugins)

Top 9 Drum Machine Plugins (And Groovebox Plugins)

4 Best Banjo Plugins (Best Banjo Instruments)

 

The 5 Best Ukulele Plugins & Kontakt Libraries 

Top 13 Synth Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Synths Plugins)

Top 13 Sequencer Plugins  (Synth, MIDI & Step Sequencers)

The 10 Best Multi-Effect Plugins (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 12 Plugin Bundles For Musicians (Synths, Mixing & Mastering)

 

 

Processing & Sound Design:

8 Best Lo-Fi Plugins (PAID & FREE)

Top 11 Plugins For Mixing Vocals  (For Home Studio)

Top 12 Saturation Plugins (Best Mixing & Mastering Tools)

Top 6 Pitch Shifter Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Pitch Shifters)

Top 6 Chorus VST Plugins For Musicians (And 3 FREE Plugins)

 

Top 6 Limiter Plugins For Precise Mastering & Mixing

The 8 Best Filter Plugins For Precise Cuts & Boosts (+ 5 Free Filters)

6 Best Autotune Plugins To Improve & Enhance Your Vocals

Top 10 Transient Shaper Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 7 Enhancer Plugins (For Bass, Drums, Vocals & Harmonics)

 

Top 6 Flanger Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Flanger Emulators)

Top 7 Phaser Plugins (And 3 Best FREE Phasers)

Top 10 Plugins For Mixing Drums (And 3 Best Free Plugins)

Top 7 Bitcrusher Plugins (And 4 Best FREE Bitcrushers + 3 Bonuses)

Top 6 Plugins For Voice-Over & Dialogue Cleaning (Post Production)

Top 10 Stereo Imaging Plugins (Best Old & Modern Picks)

 

Top 5 Multiband Limiter Plugins 

Top 7 De-Esser Plugins For Better Vocals (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 7 Clipper Plugins (Best Limiter Alternatives)

Top 6 Chord Generator Plugins That Inspire Melodies (+ FREE Tools)

7 Best Exciter Plugins For Mixing & Mastering

Top 7 Channel Strip Plugins (And 2 Best Free Plugins)

 

Top 11 Distortion Plugins (And 4 Top Free Plugins)

Top 5 Comb Filter & Resonator Plugins | Melda, Kilohearts, Tritik

The 7 Best Vibrato VST Plugins | Audec, Audiority, Melda

The 7 Best Tremolo Plugins | Eventide, Melda, SoundToys, Kuassa…

The 7 Best Harmonizer Plugins | Eventide, Melda, Aegean Music

7 Best Sidechain Plugins (VST, AU, AAX) | Xfer, Cableguys..

 

Top 10 Noise Gate Plugins (And 6 FREE Free Gate Tools)

The 6 Best Ring Modulator VST Plugins | KiloHearts, Melda

7 Best Autopan VST Plugins | CableGuys, Melda, Waves, Soundtoys

The 6 Best Frequency Shifter VST Plugins

Top 11 Granulizer Plugins For Future Sound Design

29 Best Sound Design VST Plugins

 

 

Compressor Plugins

Top 11 Free Compressor Plugins (VCA, Vari-Mu, FET, Digital)

Top 7 Multiband Compressor Plugins (And 4 FREE Plugins)

Top 5 Diode-Bridge Compressor Plugins 

Top 6 Mastering Chain Plugins: Complete VST Solutions 

Top 10 FET Compressor Plugins 

The 7 Best VCA Compressor Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 11 Mastering Compressor Plugins (And 2 FREE Plugins)

Top 10 Opto Compressor Plugins For Transparent Sound

The 7 Best Vari-Mu Compressor Plugins (And 2 Best FREE Tools)

 

Reverb & Delay Plugins:

Top 12 Reverb Plugins (And 5 FREE Reverb Plugins)

The 6 Best Spring Reverb VST Plugins | AudioThing, GSi, u-he, Eventide

Top 12 Delay Plugins For Music Production In (VST, AU, AAX)

Top 10 FREE Delay Plugins (VST, AU, AAX)

The 10 Best Convolution Reverb Plugins 

 

Amps & Preamps:

Top 10 Guitar Amp Plugins (And 5 Best FREE Simulators)

Top 10 Bass Amp Plugins (And 5 Best Free Simulators)

Top 9 Preamp Plugins (For Vocals, Guitars & More!) + Free Preamps

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