DJs vs Music Producers: What’s The Difference?

DJ Katsy Lee performing live

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There is a lot of confusion between what DJs actually do and their difference with a producer. Some even mistake one for the other which adds more to the mess.

 

Before we dive in with the details, there are actually some DJs that are producers and vice-versa. They are not really mutually exclusive.

 

What Are DJs?

 

 

Disc jockeys, or DJs for short, are actually kind of different today than they were in the past. As the name suggests, DJs used actual discs and vinyls when they played music.

 

 

WATCH: DJ RON POE ON HIS MUSIC

 

 

Turntables are the ones we see DJs use on stage. In the past, (and some now) DJs used vinyl records on turntables where they often mixed. Most DJ’s today now use digital turntables wherein they use stored media files (MP3s, WAVs, etc.) instead of physical discs.

 

DJs mix by playing two or more tracks in real-time. Their real job is to find two tracks that can blend together in terms of the key, pitch, beat, tempo, and a whole lot more. Anyone who says that DJs only press the play button is actually ignorant of the whole art and process.

 

Besides mixing, DJs also apply filters and effects to make the tracks sound a bit different. All of the mixing and effects are done in real-time which is why you may see DJs pushing buttons and turning knobs during their performance.

 

What Are Music Producers?

 

 

As the name suggests, producers produce music. They do so using DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).

 

Producers mainly put out original tracks and songs. Instead of mixing like the DJs do, producers build tracks from scratch. They figure out what instruments and tempo to use.

 

Besides mixing, producers can also do remixes or bootlegs. They can take one part of a track and include it in another in order to make a whole new song. Another trick producers use is changing the tempo and pitch of the songs to make it sound different.

 

READ: What’s the difference between a Remix and a Bootleg?

 

The difference between a DJ and a producer mixing is that the latter does it inside a studio where it is saved and recorded for later playback. DJs mix live.

 

DJs That Are Record Producers Too

 

Producers make songs that DJs can use in their sets. A producer can also be a DJ by playing his original tracks during a live set.

 

Some examples of DJs that are also record producers include:

 

Skrillex

Martin Garrix

DJ Khaled

Steve Aoki

Zedd

Alesso

DJ Snake

David Guetta

Calvin Harris

Avicii

Diplo

 

We also have DJ music producers in the Philippines. We would love to school you about them, but first, check out some of our producer friends from Emoji Records!

 

 

 

 

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