I have never DJ’ed nor used electronic musical instruments. I play the Cajon – about as nonelectronic as you can get. But, while I was at NAMM last week I decided to take advantage of the opportunity for a 15 min lesson at the Hercules booth on their DJ equipment. I got to try out their new Inpulse 300 Controller, and look at the DJ starter kit. It was one of the high points of NAMM for me.
One of the Hercules staff took me through the basics – beat matching, effects, etc. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, with some of the tasks semi-automated so a beginner like me could do them. At the end of the 15 minute, I understood what a DJ controller is, what it does and what you need to be an entertaining DJ. In my case, the last part was a problem because what you need most to be a DJ is talent or at least a knack for it, which was obvious pretty quickly I did not have.
After looking at the video of my lesson, I decided it would be much more useful and entertaining if I shot a video of someone who actually does have that talent and who is familiar with electronic music taking the same lesson. Fortunately, I was accompanied to NAMM on Saturday by the pop star and media influencer BINX – The African Bee, who firmly checks those boxes and is a whole lot better looking in a video than I am. And fortunately, the friendly people at Hercules were happy to set up a second lesson, this time for BINX with me handling video.
Her lesson went much better than mine, as she explored the capabilities of the controller, actually made some music and in general, had a great time. Who knows, we may see her behind the turntables with her earphones on as well as in front of the stage wither guitar and Ableton.