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Old 12-01-2012, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DJ's - How Do They Get Started?

Just curious, but for anyone who has been a DJ at a club/bar or other sim in Second Life, how did you get started? Had you done any DJ work in RL and just carried over into SL, or did you decide to try it out in SL just because it seemed like a fun way to play music you liked and make a whole sim full of people have to listen to it, too?

Only reason I ask is that I think it seems like kind of a fun thing to do. . .not out there to make a second career of it by any means. Though it would be nice to have a bit of extra L$ to spend on myself.

The thing is, I honestly have no idea what is involved in being a DJ online, what type of software or other programs are needed, etc.

Any suggestions or recommendations?
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My SL partner and I used to spend hours just sitting in our house and listening to music that he played on an external application thingy called VLC - which allowed me to listen to music on his laptop - but not via SL. During those evenings we discussed about how nice it would be to share his amazing collection of music with our friends. And these chats eventually led to us renting a small plot of land and opening our club, where he then rented a stream from a company in SL. I personally don't know much about how it works - but he was explaining it to another friend the other evening and it seems pretty straightforward.

The stream rental costs are very reasonable - he pays L250 for a 25 person stream per month (this means we can have up to 25 people listening to his music at any one time). He picked up the actual technical side of it just by chatting to other people who had DJ'd before. My partner had never done it before and absolutely loves it - been doing it for over 2 years now.

There are courses - and the staff at any of the stream rental places are also usually very helpful. I'm sure that the other guys will be along soon to give you more detailed help, but feel free to PM me if you would like to chat with my other half
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was a RL Radio and party DJ for many years before moving on in my professional life. When I bought my own land, I got a stream so I could play my favorite type of music (Jimmy Buffett Parrothead stuff) and soon started running my own parties, using Winamp to run the stream. I don't recommend that, but it worked.

I've since set up a PC just for running my stream 24/7, and interrupt it for parties and the like.

It can be easy and fun, all you really need is the music, a decent headset and a stream provider. Whether you want to invest in SAM or one of the other software programs is up to you.
Don't expect to make much money at it, but have fun!!
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I now DJ for a different game, so don't make any money at it at all. I started back in college back in the mid-late 80s, then got into internet radio for City of Heroes, then Champions Online, then got into it for SL.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have never DJ'ed in SL as a SL job, but I have done it on my own sim for myself, husband and friends. It's pretty easy. That is why so many people do it.

I rent a stream through FabulousStreams. It's inexpensive. I believe it is 1,000L a month. Just search FabulousStreams and you will get the landmark and profile.

I use Winamp with the Shoutcast plugin. Both are free. If you want to spend a little money you can get SAM Broadcaster. SAM allows you to do voice overs and such. If that doesn't matter to you than Winamp works just fine.

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Old 12-01-2012, 10:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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1,000L a month? When I was paying for a stream, I was paying 600L a month, or 1500 for 3 months at a time. I only work at one club right now - 3 days a week and as a fill-in when I can - and it has a house stream, so I let my stream go.

I took radio broadcasting in high school and dabbled in DJing briefly in real life. (Keep in mind that was 1989 and the early 90s when this happened) After I joined SL, I worked as a host at a club for several months and had decided to start DJing instead. Ended up leaving that club due to drama without even DJing there and was offered a job elsewhere that let me DJ with no experience doing it in SL, got another job offer soon after that (fortunately, since the club I was working at closed for remodeling and changed genres), and I've been doing it slightly over a year now.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you want to get into Dj-ing it has to be for the love of music and the enjoyment on sl . I started Djin 15 years ago on internet radio and found SL through a group i djed with on another chat program. Been hooked every since. The things you need are plenty of mp3s, a stream, and your choice of Sam , Virtual Dj, winamp with the shoutcast plug in. Streams very in price in my H.O. you get what you pay for stream wise. Do a little research on it speak to some dj friends and let the music guide your soul
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Any suggestions or recommendations?
Second Life DJs make a minimum of $200L an hour plus tips to start. If you work 3 days a week in two 2-hour sets a day, that's at least $2,400L a week for you to spend.

If you have a PC you can use Sam Broadcaster and a rented shout cast URL to broadcast live into Second Life. You can rent a shout cast URL through the SL Marketplace for about $10 USD a month. Don't encode over 120 or you will buffer.

Most venues want DJs that speak during their sets, so you will need a computer mic also. You can't use one built into your computer (it echoes), you will need a USB mic.

Playlist: This is what makes or breaks you as a DJ. Showing up and randomly choosing music doesn't usually work well. Take at least 90 minutes and create an concise playlist. Don't mix genres, no ballads and know who the artists are. With Sam Broadcaster you can create as many playlists as you like.

You may want to get a cheap USB external hard drive to store your music on.

DJ's - How Do They Get Started?-imageuploadedbytapatalk1354431531.103839.jpg
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Most venues want DJs that speak during their sets, so you will need a computer mic also. You can't use one built into your computer (it echoes), you will need a USB mic.


No you don't need a USB Mic, any headset will do the job, in fact most of my DJ career in SL was done with an old school headset with jackplugs.

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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No you don't need a USB Mic, any headset will do the job, in fact most of my DJ career in SL was done with an old school headset with jackplugs.
Non usb headsets (with mic and speaker plugs that go into the soundcard or audio ports) have the additional advantage of not needing their own drivers, so it's one less thing that can go awry. I'd definitely recommend a headset, though -- desk mics tend to pick up computer hum, typing, or you moving stuff around on the desk.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Second Life DJs make a minimum of $200L an hour plus tips to start. If you work 3 days a week in two 2-hour sets a day, that's at least $2,400L a week for you to spend.

If you have a PC you can use Sam Broadcaster and a rented shout cast URL to broadcast live into Second Life. You can rent a shout cast URL through the SL Marketplace for about $10 USD a month. Don't encode over 120 or you will buffer.

Most venues want DJs that speak during their sets, so you will need a computer mic also. You can't use one built into your computer (it echoes), you will need a USB mic.

Playlist: This is what makes or breaks you as a DJ. Showing up and randomly choosing music doesn't usually work well. Take at least 90 minutes and create an concise playlist. Don't mix genres, no ballads and know who the artists are. With Sam Broadcaster you can create as many playlists as you like.

You may want to get a cheap USB external hard drive to store your music on.

Attachment 34232
Two things:

I've never worked in a club that paid the DJ a salary. I prefer it that way, and salaries may be more prevalent amongst certain genres, anyway. Have been approached for jobs at different clubs several times and the only time I was offered a salary was a case where I declined as it was a new club hiring staff before opening, and it never actually opened. (For the record, I'm a rock and metal DJ, but I do play some country and some.....quirky stuff. I've been known to throw on some Richard Cheese or Tom Jones at times)

As for playlists, I don't bother with them anymore. I found a long time ago I have more fun playing tracks on the fly, and I'll often throw on tracks due to comments in local or based on names of avis that show up in the sim. (I did a block of songs with `fire' and `hot' in the titles due to a conversation in local one night last week) Sometimes I'll set up the first song I play and a block of songs after my first mic break, and I always have a few songs I plan to play during my sets, but that's usually it for advanced planning.

Advice for anyone wanting to DJ in SL who hasn't done so yet:

First of all, there are some places in SL will teach you to DJ. The problem is a lot of them charge. In my opinion, that's a rip off. You can find FREE tutorials for all the DJing programs out there online, and you can figure out what to do just by actually watching (and of course, listening) to a few DJs.

Get a stream. There are some clubs out there that do have a house stream, but the majority of them (from what I've seen, anyway) you have to provide your own. Go with a minimum of 100 listeners, because you need at least 50 and some stream providers don't really give you the amount of listeners that they say they do.

Make sure you have a lot of songs before you even think about starting. Some clubs I've seen applications for ask for you to have at least 1,000 songs before applying. (I started out with around 200, myself) And back up your music somehow, so you don't lose your songs if something goes wrong with your computer. Either an external hard drive or a flash drive. (Recommend at least a 8gb flash drive if you can't afford to spend a lot, and put your favorite/signature/most requested tracks on it)

About tips......if a club takes a cut of your tips, walk away if its more than 10%. Clubs should NOT be taking a cut of your tips, anyway, and anything more than 10% is unacceptable. I'd also say walk if they take a cut of your tips and you're expected to provide your own stream, unless you're making enough money in one week to pay for your stream for a month.

Don't bother with using WinAmp if you plan on using a mic.

And I can't recommend enough going with a headset mic, as others have already done.

Last edited by Eric Knox; 12-02-2012 at 05:26 AM. Reason: Forgot to add one key piece of information
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Very little has changed in the way one streams audio into SL. This is an excellent starting resource, even at 4 years old There are more options for broadcasting software these days, but WinAmp is a good start and free so you won't waste any money if you decide it's not for you.

How to DJ in Second Life | Nexeus Fatale

Also includes a link to an article on how to use WinAmp to stream into SL, although I caution against that as your end-game if you want to work for money at it, as most clubs these days will not be happy with the less than spectacular results, especially with regard to transitioning between tracks and voice-overs. But, for playing around with friends, getting a feel for what's involved and practising, it's quite good.

If you want to present yourself as a professional and work in clubs that attract decent numbers, you'll need to upgrade your broadcasting software to something actually designed for the task. If you do decide you really want to get into it, come back for opinions on the various options for broadcasting software - there are quite a few long-time and super experienced DJs here.

As for me? I worked in commercial radio for about 10 years before moving into IT as a profession. DJs are a thing of the past in commercial radio, like the ANCIENT past. Only community stations let people choose their own music these days. I wasn't an announcer but I did a lot of voice-over work in between the payroll and the accounts, and developed an allergy to advertisements that will last until my dying breath
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Second Life DJs make a minimum of $200L an hour plus tips to start. If you work 3 days a week in two 2-hour sets a day, that's at least $2,400L a week for you to spend.

I'd challenge this. Way back in the Good Old Days, a few places would guarantee a minimum if you were a *popular* DJ, but these days the vast majority of work is tips only, even if you're a star attraction.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Two things:

About tips......if a club takes a cut of your tips, walk away if its more than 10%. Clubs should NOT be taking a cut of your tips, anyway, and anything more than 10% is unacceptable. I'd also say walk if they take a cut of your tips and you're expected to provide your own stream, unless you're making enough money in one week to pay for your stream for a month.
If a club wants to take ANY part of your tips, regardless of whether you provide your own stream or not. Walk away. Don't accept that crap, beginner or not.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'd challenge this. Way back in the Good Old Days, a few places would guarantee a minimum if you were a *popular* DJ, but these days the vast majority of work is tips only, even if you're a star attraction.
Personally, I can only think of two clubs I know of that pay DJs a salary. And in one case its because the club is dead 90% of the time. The other I have no clue why, but its one I wouldn't work at because its not a genre that I play.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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If a club wants to take ANY part of your tips, regardless of whether you provide your own stream or not. Walk away. Don't accept that crap, beginner or not.
I can understand it ONLY if its a brand new club just starting up and they stop taking a cut after a couple of months. That's how the club I work at started out.

If it a well established club and they're still taking a cut of tips, its not a good sign.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Non usb headsets (with mic and speaker plugs that go into the soundcard or audio ports) have the additional advantage of not needing their own drivers, so it's one less thing that can go awry. I'd definitely recommend a headset, though -- desk mics tend to pick up computer hum, typing, or you moving stuff around on the desk.
Depends entirely of the quality of your mic. I've got a yeti - it doesn't pick up much of anything beyond my voice. Which is a good thing, sometimes my cat wants to talk too.

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I can understand it ONLY if its a brand new club just starting up and they stop taking a cut after a couple of months. That's how the club I work at started out.

If it a well established club and they're still taking a cut of tips, its not a good sign.
Actually, I worked one established club for 85% And usually made better tips than anywhere else I'd worked. But i quit because of drama.

The first jobs I had, i made 500 an hour, but basically, without dwell, clubs rely on tips to make anything.

I had to stop DJing during prime hours, and daytime hours, while fun, didn't make much for tips. And because it was frustrating to me to worry about tips, I stopped SL djing and went back to djing just for fun.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:15 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I've dj'd for many clubs and a few radio stations as well as a fair amount of cons and events in RL. I won't rehash the technical stuff because its already been covered pretty well. I use a PC, SAM, and a good USB headset that doesn't tend to pick up background noise.

In my experience very few DJs are draws, in and of themselves. It seems to be a package deal of club regulars and random draw, the DJ, the type of music, and the venue. You need to know your audience. If you start working at a place that generally does top 40 and you come in and decide you need to gift them with your awesome collection of metal because you know better, you will piss off the audience, people will leave, and the venue will not invite you back. Conversely, you can show up to an advertised jazz night and you'll get requests for motorhead because someone dragged their metalhead friend to a jazz night and the person is not well-versed in being appropriate. Do not succumb to the request. On a related note, do not feel you have to play all requests.

If you are paying attention to your audience, your playlist may not remain as you planned it. Watch what people dance to, watch if there's silence when you play a slow song. Learn what they want to hear and pay attention to the comments and your tip jar. You are there for them -- they aren't there for you. Play what they want to hear.

Once I dj'd a steampunk con (RL) out on the west coast. I showed up with all this steampunk, goth, alternative stuff on playlists and all anyone wanted to hear was swing. They couldn't get enough of it. Fortunately, I'm a swing and jazz enthusiast so I could accommodate. You'll have nights like this.

Personally, I wouldn't play for a venue that took any percentage of my tips. That said, a good relationship with the venue is key. You should pimp tips for the venue and/or host/ess when you talk. Its a partnership. You need them, they need you.

Someone here mentioned having only 200 songs at their disposal when they started. I cannot imagine having only 200 songs. I have over 100 gbs of music on my hard drive. You'll need lots of music.

Also go to other people's shows. You can learn from them. I used to go to other people's shows as much as I did my own. Sometimes I heard new tunes and almost always picked up a new trick or two.

p.s. Be aware that DJing is a job. A club needs to put you on a regular schedule and you have to show up and be dependable. This is ultimately why I quit djing. I loved djing and still do but committing to show up for a 2-3 hour stint every single week or 2x a week on top of working a full time job in RL AND running my own business was just too much. I found that I was either running home after work to work my shift (and stressed I wouldn't make it home in time) or getting up early on weekends (I used to do a Sunday morning celtic show in Dublin) and having to stay home every weekend because I had a show to do. It just got to be too much.

Also you should be working to stay current. Its not enough to have oogobs of fantastic music on your hard drive. You should always be listening to what is new and current in your chosen genre and adding a new song or 3 every week to your repertoire.

Ultimately DJing, while fun, can be a lot of work. You have to love it.

Last edited by Vivianne Draper; 12-02-2012 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Wow, thanks for all the great info!

I've always been curious about just how much went into SL DJing. And I've seen, first-hand, what happens when a DJ shows up and plays music that doesn't really "fit" the club.

Or, when a DJ doesn't show up at all and the club is left to the mercy of the radio.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:18 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bladyblue View Post
Second Life DJs make a minimum of $200L an hour plus tips to start. If you work 3 days a week in two 2-hour sets a day, that's at least $2,400L a week for you to spend.

If you have a PC you can use Sam Broadcaster and a rented shout cast URL to broadcast live into Second Life. You can rent a shout cast URL through the SL Marketplace for about $10 USD a month. Don't encode over 120 or you will buffer.

Most venues want DJs that speak during their sets, so you will need a computer mic also. You can't use one built into your computer (it echoes), you will need a USB mic.

Playlist: This is what makes or breaks you as a DJ. Showing up and randomly choosing music doesn't usually work well. Take at least 90 minutes and create an concise playlist. Don't mix genres, no ballads and know who the artists are. With Sam Broadcaster you can create as many playlists as you like.

You may want to get a cheap USB external hard drive to store your music on.
Wow. There isn't a single statement in this that conforms with my experience. (No guaranteed minimum, usually; streams aren't that expensive; I've had no trouble with my 192kbps stream; I never talk during my sets, which positively revel in mixing genres with abandon... though I will grant that free-form eclecticism could itself be construed as a genre, or at least an approach. I would agree that if you're doing an all-country set, that is not the time to throw in a Shonen Knife track.)

My advice comes down to: if your primary motivation is to make money, don't bother. If you don't have any MP3s but are willing to pick up a few albums because you think it would be cool to be a DJ, certainly don't bother. But if you're the kind of person who loves music, has lots and lots of it onhand, and really loves sharing it with others... welcome aboard. You can figure out the rest as you go along.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:36 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Personally, I can only think of two clubs I know of that pay DJs a salary. And in one case its because the club is dead 90% of the time. The other I have no clue why, but its one I wouldn't work at because its not a genre that I play.
I take a salary where I play, and always have, but I also started out there as a private DJ for a party and they just kept me on. It's not a club as much as a place people show up every Saturday to interact and listen to some music.

It really doesn't take much to become a DJ on Second Life. You need the software to play the music, which can be WinAmp (free), SAM, Virtual DJ, or any number of applications out there. Some are free, others are not. SAM is the most popular, I think, and it costs around $300 for a full license.

Then you need a stream. You can rent a stream for as little as $75/day, or you can get a monthly. I just get a daily, since I only play once a week.

Of course, you need a music collection.

The one thing I'd recommend is play to your strengths. If you hate country music, don't play it. Get a job at a club where you fit in fairly well. A lot of places let you play what you want, which is a great way to start off. There are also some genre clubs out there that only allow certain types of music, which is great if that's your bag.

I've never used a mic. It's a little bit of a hindrance at times if I want to land certain gigs, but I've never felt comfortable on voice. Hell I even hate talking on the phone to people. To my mind, club DJs in real life tend not to say a word, so I don't either.

I tend to play off a queued set at first, then play stuff according to what the crowd is requesting. You really have to read your crowd to have the most fun. If you decide "I'm only playing this kind of music, achtung" you will likely lose a lot of your crowd.

Last, don't expect to make a huge amount of money as a DJ. The tips are nice, and so is the salary if you can get it, but the only reason I DJ anymore is because I like the interaction with people, and I enjoy throwing in music people might otherwise not get to hear anywhere else.

Someday I'll bother with a mic. But for now I'm just having fun.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:14 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Off what Samantha said, I run at 192kbps too, and I rarely have any problems doing so. But, regarding sets and mixing of genres, it really depends on the club. The club I work at is mainly rock but also plays country (has some DJs who will only play rock, none that I know of who only play country....unless they're on the day shift), and its not unusual for me to switch from playing Nickelback or Rob Zombie to Kenny Chesney or Big & Rich. Lot of regulars there like both genres of music, as do I.

Off what Sredni mentioned about there being different programs out there, I've heard from one friend who uses it that Virtual DJ is a bit complicated but have never tried it myself. SAM Broadcaster is fairly easy to use. The only help I needed getting started after I read and watched some tutorials involved getting it configured to work with my mic.

SAM Broadcaster is $300, but you can get a demo of it to try it out. I believe the demo is good for a week before it stops working. I'm using an older version of it (4.2.2) and wish I could upgrade. I tried out a demo of a more recent version (4.9.2.) on my other computer before loading the version I use on it while this one was down (needed a new power source) and it had a few nice changes, as well as looking better.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Virtual DJ isn't that complicated, but it's more suited to live mixers than it is to track players in my opinion. I've used it to make a few pre-mixed compilations and pull excerpts out of live mixes. It's pretty intuitive, but doesn't have SAM's queue and categories and so forth. I wouldn't recommend VDJ to a beginner.

I was lucky, I got my SAM when it was on special. It's worth looking out for specials. They do have it available on 3 part payments too. I've already pre-ordered Sam 2013 at a substantial discount. I'm sure there will be lots of specials on licencing when it's closer to launch time. In the meantime 4.9.8 is getting there. I hope the new version which is apparently being built from teh ground up, will have more intelligent use of MP3 tags.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:55 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Knox View Post

SAM Broadcaster is $300, but you can get a demo of it to try it out..
The nice thing about SAM is you can opt for the five payment plan. You pay monthly, and each month you get a new temporary license key. At the end of the five months, the key is permanent, because you've paid for the program.

Edit to add: the cool thing about SAM is you can drag and drop songs from your iTunes directly into the queue. This has saved me a lot of aggravation, since before I learned this trick, SAM would skip over some songs if they weren't mapped exactly right to the application.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:00 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Knox View Post
Off what Samantha said, I run at 192kbps too, and I rarely have any problems doing so.
Second Life lowers your encoding speed to 120kps anyway. So there is no need to pay for anything more powerful than that.
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