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Adding a DJ to my live Hip-Hop band
Old 10th February 2009
Gear Head
🎧 10 years
Question Adding a DJ to my live Hip-Hop band

Hi, I currently manage a live hip-hop band equipped with a drummer, lead guitarist, keyboard player, and a vocalist. We want to add a dj so that we can sound more "full". What is the best way for the band (especially the drummer) to keep tempo with the tracks. I have tried using headphones on the drummer, but that did not work perfectly. Get back to me! Thanks!

Old 11th February 2009
Lives for gear
🎧 10 years
Are you not using stage monitors? That's the most reliable and simplest solution. If you need to run a click track that should usually be done inaudibly to the audience. If headphones aren't right maybe try using a hard-wired in ear monitor system. Some people use a light system as a visual click track but I'm not sure who makes them or how they work (MIDI controlled, maybe?).
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
Super Moderator
Remoteness's Avatar
🎧 15 years
No disrespect to your drummer, but perhaps it's more about the drummer's tempo than the headphones.

Most drummers use headphones or "in-ear" monitoring to keep everything tight.
Many times the drummer is running the beat box or sampler for themselves.

You are handling it right, the tracks most be fed to the drummers headphones with feeds also going to the band's monitors.

I trust you folks must practice this set up a lot more.
If it's a new thing, practice it until you have it down because it is the only way it can fly.
Consider scheduling additional practice time for the DJ and drummer so they can get the feel down.
IMO, the more they perform together the better it will be for the band as a unit.

Keep in mind that not all drummers can work with a DJ or click (or percussion) track in their ears.
This is why you must practice it until it becomes as natural as playing without a perfect track tempo.

I hope this helped.
Old 21st February 2009 | Show parent
Gear Nut
🎧 10 years
I was a part of the live band for The Pharcyde, and the drummer always had in ear monitors that just fed him my sound (the dj). Sometimes he would have a monitor right on side of him as well.
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