It’s hard to believe that we have been here for one week now! It feels like 1 month. We have been practicing DJ stuff constantly since we arrived, and all of us have made so much progress! I couldn’t be happier with the academy so far. The teachers take so good care of us. They are helpful and explaining and such pro’s. They even buy us lunch, coffee, water and stuff even though it’s not included in the course. I recommend EVERYBODY who is even considering to try DJ:ing to enroll here. So what does a typical day at the Royal DJ Academy look like? And what about the accommodation?
We live at a hotel called New York hotel and is withing walking distance of the bar street and everything we need. It’s not by any means a 5 star luxury suite, but it’s not bad either. We have air condition, free WiFi, and the beds are very comfy. Haven’t seen a single cockroach so far! The accommodation, 2-way flight ticket and transfer is included in the course price.
The day starts at 11:00 AM outside one of the clubs that the academy owns. Depending on the schedule, we either practice something inside the club or go to a nearby café to prepare music and set queue points in pioneer’s preparation/performance program Rekordbox. And after lunch we switch. The day continues until about 18:00 and before we finish the teacher asks us questions about the material in the compendium. And assigns us homework 🙂
This has been the schedule for week 1:
Monday: Introduction, playing around with the equipment, teachers demonstrating skills, rekordbox & music preparation
Tuesday: Practicing echo mix, rekordbox & music preparation
Wednesday: Rekordbox & music preparation all day
Thursday: Practice beat mixing, rekordbox & music preparation
Friday: Rekordbox & music preparation, practice cut mixing
We have been given homework over the weekend to put together a set of about 10 songs for the first test next week. The set should be 10 minutes long, the songs must be from three different genres and we must use the three mixing techniques we have been taught during the week. On Saturday the the big boss ordered us to come to the beach party that his clubs arrange. Even though it’s not included in the course, we were let in for free and allowed up backstage to stand behind our teachers when they played at the party. We even had free bar and free food. The first thing that head man Simon said when he picked us up from the airport is that we should feel like home here and should feel like part of the workers family. And it’s really been like that! We have workers discount in many restaurants and at the bar street.
So what about the equipment? We have two stations to practice. A bigger set up with two stand alone pioneer players with a mixer in the middle. This station has definitely seen it’s better days. The buttons are quite worn down and the vinyl scratch function on one of the player doesn’t work. But the equipment is fully operational and that’s what our teachers play on at night when the club is open. The other station is a brand spankin’ new pioneer XDJ-RX system. It’s actually nice to be learning on both older equipment AND brand new.
If I had to find anything about the academy that could be improved, it would be the club where we practice. It’s quite rugged and cluttered. There is stuff everywhere, it’s quite warm even though the AC is on, there are a lot of people running around and the tables & bar top feels sticky from the night before. The most challenging part is that both stations are playing at the same time in the club and in the beginning it was very hard to focus on the sound and the technique – simply by overload of the senses. It’s not an optimal learning situation. The best way to learn fast in my opinion would have been to have two sound proofed rooms and not so much commotion. But we have somehow managed to learn anyway! This week has been crazy but EXTREMELY fun! All three of us have gotten quite comfortable with the equipment and we are starting to internalize the movement and the use of buttons, sliders and knobs. Believe it or not, we are actually starting to feel like real DJ’s 🙂