In addition to the unexpected prep work that goes into actually being able to mix, owning a DJ controller made me notice how small my actual music library was. I once owned stacks of CDs and had download likely thousands of songs (illegally) before graduating high school. Most of what I had since then has either been lost or deleted. I’ve been heavily, if not solely, relying on streaming services like Spotify for my music. While streaming services have given me access to nearly any album I wanted, I didn’t physically own them, so prevented my ability to mix tracks. Owning as much music as possible has increasingly become much more important to me.
Previously if I wanted music I’d hop on my favorite torrent site and rip away. However, the idea of illegally downloading music never crossed my mind after purchasing a DJ controller. Since understanding the amount of work producers put into their music, paying for it never seemed more necessary. It wasn’t just about owning and paying for music either, but about supporting artists who put their all into creating music for others to enjoy.
Aside from owning the tracks, it became clear that sound quality was a big factor I’d previously never considered. After recording a few mini mixes there was a noticeable difference between the tracks I’d purchased versus those I’d downloaded. Since acquiring my DJ controller I’ve slowly built a library of music I proudly, and legally, own. As someone who appreciates tidiness, having all the track information filled in correctly was a welcomed addition and bonus.
With a thirst for building up my library I began searching to find new tracks. Time normally spent meaninglessly flicking through Facebook is now used to mine through Soundcloud. The feeling of finding a new track, especially ones my friends haven’t heard before, quickly developed into an addiction. Mixing became a fun way to play with music and showcase tracks I’d discovered and wanted to share. Having someone ask “Hey man, can I get that ID?” had never been more satisfying.
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