Mistakes to Avoid When Recording Your DJ Set

Mistakes to Avoid When Recording Your DJ Set


Every DJ needs a decent show-reel to showcase their live performances. For some, the goal is to build credibility and popularity on platforms like YouTube. For others, it is more about appealing to promoters and club owners with the aim of landing gigs.

Just a single convincing video of a live set can make all the difference.

Shooting a live performance video seems fairly straightforward on the surface; you set up your camera, do your thing and you polish it up during the editing process. Simple enough, but rush into this without careful forethought and you could do yourself a disservice.

With this in mind here is a brief rundown of four common mistakes to avoid when recording your live DJ set:

1. Only Using One Camera One camera will not cut it; realistically you need to be looking at setting up at least three cameras in order to shoot your performance from different angles. The more angles you include in the final cut, the more dynamic and engaging the set becomes. Setting yourself up with half a dozen pro-grade cameras may not be a realistic option. Precisely where AV equipment rentals can be worth their weight in gold, or loans of the gear you need from those within your network.

2. Poor Lighting All the quality camerawork in the world cannot make up for poor lighting. Unless you present yourself in the right kind of light, the rest is inconsequential. Having lights shining straight in your face while performing is unwanted; but as you are performing to the camera in this instance, you need to make sure you are adequately illuminated. Thankfully, a fairly rudimentary ring light which will not cost much should be more than enough to achieve the desired effect.

3. Inadequate Audio Quality One of the biggest mistakes you can make when recording your live set is disproportionately prioritising video quality; in doing so, forgetting to pay close attention to the quality of the audio. Keep in mind that anyone who takes the time to check out your video will most likely scrutinise every aspect of it. Not just the way you look and how engaging you are as a performer, but how good you sound.

4. Bad Framing There is nothing quite like bad framing to make a seriously decent DJ set look amateurish. Framing does not have to be rocket science, but is nonetheless surprisingly easy to mess up. This is where careful planning pays off; think about exactly what you want each shot to pick up from each camera angle. Make sure there is nothing in the way and that nothing is cut off, keeping what matters most front and centre in your shots.

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