You may be super excited by the idea of recording yourself DJing but might not fully know where to start? You’re in the right place to gain the right knowledge to start video recording your own DJ sets.
In order to film and video record your DJ sets one or more cameras or smartphone is required to film the set. Capturing the audio of the DJ mix can be done via the DJ software or external device. Using a video editing software such iMovie can help to create the final video.
Whether it be for your own YouTube channel or DJ website, here’s the best way and process to get you started on filming your DJ sets. The techniques below can be applied to filming your own DJ sets at home or whether it be out at a live event.
- Choose your video recording hardware
- Setup the cameras and test the visuals work
- Setup the DJ equipment
- Setup the lighting
- Set up the decoration (if any)
- Test record audio and video
- Hit record and make history!
- Post Edit your Video
- Upload to the world online
First off it’s important to pick a method to video record your DJ set, I usually choose my iPhone 11, and in the past I used my Samsung.
It doesn’t really matter which phone you use, as long as you have a modern smartphone that offers video recording.
Others who record their DJ sets do opt for using a camera which can record video which is way more likely to be much crisper in image and film quality.
Having said that, the quality that you get from a smartphone these days is quite impressive. I’ve personally run some tests between smartphone and camera and it’s very marginal.
To be honest, if people are looking for a DJ set the crispness of the filming is less likely to important compared to the audio. Your DJ set is more likely going to be under scrutiny compared to the video quality being marginally better.
Another choice to make is whether to have more than one video recording device.
You can simply setup two or more phones, click record on both devices when you’re ready.
If you do record with more than one camera I’ve it does take a bit of time to then download the audio onto your computer and then post edit the two video streams together.
If you’re familiar with video editing software this shouldn’t take you two long to mix and merge the two video files together for great viewing.
Top Tip: make sure you stored enough battery in your phone before your start recording, otherwise you’ll lose out on some great footage for your DJ set.
Setup & Stands
Setup of Camera Video Angles
Video Recording Inside
Whatever equipment you have to DJ doesn’t matter, as long as you can find a good angle to start recording your DJ set.
A lot of you DJing at home might have a desk with DJ equipment facing the wall.
In my experience this makes it a lot harder to video record your DJ set, although it’s not possible, it’s just not the best setup for angles of video.
The video camera angle is great as you can see the DJ and the DJ equipment as you would in any DJing environment, e.g. bar or club etc.
This is my recommended way of video recording, especially if you have two video cameras.
If you want to switch it up of course opt for the two or more video camera setup.
This is an example of what it might look like if you’ve got two camera angles.
Keep in mind some DJs have more than two camera angles, which can make the DJ set more creative and interesting. It just depends on how much post editing that you want to do after the DJ set is finished.
Video Recording Outside
Recording outside opens up a different set of camera angles. As you’ve probably seen online, especially on YouTube there are lots of DJs opting to video record outside.
You can record outside too, with one video angle. I mean if you have the appetite to record your DJ set with more than one angle then definitely go for it.
Especially if you have access to a second or third video recording device or a drone too, that would be awesome.
Camera Angle Stands
As I’ve mentioned I’m keen on recording my DJ sets using a smartphone.
As a consequence, I’ve invested in a few different stands to hold my smartphone to video record and film my DJ sets.
There are three camera stands that I’ve used in my time that I’ve found to be most useful and that I would advise for you to explore too.
Small Phone Tripod
Firstly is the small tripod for clamping onto your smartphone and holding it in place to record and film your DJ set. The benefit of this one is that it’s super cheap and has bendy arms to wrap around objects to hold onto to record from most angles, high or low.
Goose Neck Phone Holder
Secondly, the stand I use the most these days is the stand that has a screwable clamp with a bendy arm. I find this great for recording in the studio or my kitchen as it clamps onto the table and allows me to move the bendy arm to get a great angle.
Floor Standing Tripod Phone Holder
Thirdly, you can go a bit more professional and “old school” in my opinion, and that’s the classic tripod stand for video cameras. This is a great option if you’ve got open space around your DJ setup, you’re not reliant on a desk or table to clamp a stand onto.
The choice is yours in how you setup your camera stands and the angles that you require. Make sure that you plan this part out and get the right tripod or stand that you need. Then you’ll be more prepared to record your DJ set.
From my experience lighting is pretty simple. It’s not like recording a “professional” video so much as you can be a bit more creative, more so because you’re a DJ and you can use more party type lights.
Here are some examples of lighting and advice too.
Lighting Pointing at You
Try not to have too much lighting shining on top of your head, you don’t want the light shining off your face (or your bald head if you’re like me).
The best angle of lighting is to get either natural light or actual light pointing at your from the video angle.
Some DJ’s use strip lighting under their DJ booths, or behind the DJ booth to give a bit of contrast and depth e.g. a blue or purple light.
This is great in my opinion as it gives the film being recorded a bit more depth and character.
Decorative Disco Lighting
In the past when I’m DJing I’ve put in a disco bulb above me in the kitchen. Great if you want to get some Disco vibes in the room. Adds a bit of colour too.
Keep As Is
You might already have a decent DJ setup in your music studio, with some natural decoration related to music. Some of you might not, which is OK, and hopefully I can give some inspiration in the next two sections.
Some DJs that I think nail it when it comes to simplicity in decoration include Joris Voorn and Carl Cox.
Check out their DJ set backgrounds below. I’m from a record vinyl DJing background so I feel that this resonates with me massively watching them DJ with amazing backgrounds of simply presenting vinyls, vintage music related equipment and a tasty looking flat white coffee 😀
Joris Voorn – Vinyl Mix Classics Minimal and Techno
Carl Cox – Dance Mix
Be Creative & Add Your Personal DJ Style
Aline Rocha is one of those cool DJs that I’ve noticed recently that does simple but effective creative backgrounds. Usually with just one camera angle too, which shows how effective her DJ video backgrounds are.
Some props for the background include colourful umbrellas, colourful fake flowers, plants or outdoor shots with amazing lakes or sea in the background.
My advice, use what you have, and use it creatively. Think about your music as an art and incorporate that into your brand of music and style of music that you DJ.
Next up is figuring out a way to record your DJ set.
My personal preference and advice to you is to use the DJ software that you’re using. Currently I use Rekordbox, but have used Serato DJ when I was DJing with my DVS setup.
Now that I use the Pioneer DDJ-400 a lot more these days to DJ, Rekordbox came with the DDJ-400, so I tend to record my DJ sets using this method.
Here’s a YouTube Short on how to record your DJ set using Rekorbox.
Want to record your DJ set a different way, then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered in this article I’ve written here, 5 Techniques to Record Your DJ Mixes.
My advice from many a recording of DJ sets is to test the recording of a couple of tracks mixing.
Firstly so that you can see if both tracks sound great in the mix, no technical issues for example.
Secondly that you’re happy with the overall visual quality and audio quality.
Doing this will without a doubt save you a tonne of time if you continue to record your DJ set, then to find out that you’ve got an issue with the recording.
You can also check that you’ve set the preferences or what ever settings your need to for recording the audio of your DJ set too.
Make sure you click record on all of your devices, I know it sounds simple, but when you’re in the moment ready to record and film your DJ set it’s easy to forget.
A simple bit of advice would be to get someone to help you record your DJ set, as two minds are better than one.
This is especially helpful if you have two or more camera angles that you need to check that are working correctly and any other technical issues that may need ironing out.
Post Editing Process
Post editing comes down to two parts, visual and audio.
Audio post editing I would say might not need much editing at all, especially if you’ve recorded via a software or device that has a good limiter or compressor. This is to help stop those peaks in audio popping through and giving a distorted sound.
If you want to learn more about post editing your DJ mixes, read this article here.
If you have a Windows or Mac computer, then I’d advise using Davinci Resolve.
It’s completely free and you get access to some super advanced features if you want to go down that route and get really into video editing.
More simpler video editing software includes iMovie which is free with Mac computers. It’s really easy to use and editing video with overlaying your DJ sets.
Top Tip: Record the sound with your device that’s recording the video film, that way it’s easier to manually sync up the audio of the recorded DJ mix from your DJ equipment with the visuals. Just remember to mute the audio from the visual audio.
Sharing with the World
This is the final step in the process. Promoting your DJ mix video to the world.
My top two methods and platforms for doing this is via YouTube or your own website.
YouTube is great way to build traffic and brand awareness of your DJ brand. Point being, you can make a name for yourself quite quickly using YouTube at this point in time. It’s a search engine that’s owned by one of the biggest search engines in the world, Google. So you won’t be putting a foot wrong going down the YouTube route.
Your DJ Website
Your own website is another method in which to promote your DJ mixes. Funny enough you can actually post your DJ mixes to YouTube and then embed them into your DJ website.
Finally, it’s worth noting that if you’ve got a social media following why not start shouting about your DJ mixes on there, instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc. All the top social media platforms that resonate most with you and your audience.
All of these steps will help you gain some sort of exposure of your as a DJ.
How do I record my DJ set?
Recording a DJ set can be achieved by using an external recording device that connects to the DJ mixer via a USB or RCA phono cable, using the DJ software or an app on a smartphone.
How do I record a DJ set on rekordbox?
Click on the cog for preferences, choose a folder in which to save your recordings and then click on the red circle button to record a DJ set.
Are DJ sets pre recorded?
The majority of DJs sets are not pre-recorded. Some professional DJs have been noted to of play pre-recorded DJ sets live in a club, however this situation is not all that common.