What Are DJ Drops? Best Practical Tips for DJs


You might be thinking that a ‘DJ Drop’ is a mixing technique or a section of a music track. Well actually I did think this at first until I realised that a ‘DJ Drop’ is actually a voice-over for marketing purposes. Remember “DJ Khaled”, he’s probably the most recognisable DJ Drop that springs to my mind.

What Are DJ Drops?

DJ Drops are recorded voice-overs that state a DJ’s name and are played during DJ mixes. Activated and played in a live DJ or recorded DJ set, DJ Drops help to brand DJ mixes letting people know a DJ’s name.

Now let’s go into more detail about how a DJ Drop works and how you can create one allowing you to add them into your DJ mixes. There are certain ways to get hold of or create a DJ Drop. Let’s explore the realm of DJ Drops, you may learn a thing or two to get started using DJ Drops.

The Goal of DJ Drops

Marketing your DJ name is the main goal here. It’s simple, all you need to do is get a recorded version of your DJ Drop which usually includes some sort of catch phrase or just your DJ name and add it over your DJ mixes.

As mentioned before you can use your DJ Drops at any point throughout your DJ sets.

So whatever platform that you are sharing and promoting your DJ mixes on, Soundcloud, Mixcloud, forums, giving to club promoters, they will know who you are and there’s more of a chance that they will remember your name and search for you online.

The same goal is achieved if you use your DJ equipment, such as the performance pads on a DJ controller or DJ mixer to activate the DJ Drop live.

Radio DJs also use DJ Drops the most in my opinion but you can see why, there are a lot of DJs on radio stations, so it’s great to get the promotion.

Shouting about your DJ name is great as it can lead to future business for you as a DJ.

Types of wording that DJs use in their DJ Drops

Examples of Wording

Depending on the type of genre of music that you DJ or the format in which you’re looking to DJ on can influence the words that you say.

Podcasts

If you’re just DJing a certain style of music and not on a podcast or radio format then your DJ name might be simply the best. A DJ name “DJJJJJJ Khalleedddd” for example.

Or you can go down the route of having a statement that features your DJ name too. This is also where you can get create and have some FX added to the statement too.

The transition and execution of the DJ Drop can sound really smooth when adding into your DJ sets.

Statement + Your DJ Name:

  • “In the mix with <DJ Name>”
  • “Locked and loaded with DJ <DJ Name>”
  • “Keepin it fresh with <DJ Name>”
  • “<DJ Name> is in the mix”

Dry vs Wet Recordings

A point to note with DJ Drops there are usually DJ Drops that are ‘Dry’ or ‘Wet’.

Dry means that the recording of the voice saying your DJ name does not have any, maybe a little, but minimal sound FX. This is ok to do, and probably a cheap method if you are recording yourself, however can sound slightly less professional and less smooth in delivery.

Wet means that the voice over recording has lots of FX added to the recording. In adding lots of a FX the audio can sound a lot more professional and help to match the genre and style of the music in which the DJ is playing.

For example, reverb and delay might help for a stylish genre like Smooth Soulful Funky House, whereas distortion and pitch shifting can help match the style of Dark Drum & Bass.

Playing Your DJ Drops

You can get DJ Drops in different variations and by this I mean DJ Drop introductions e.g. play these before your DJ set.

Or you can have a simple DJ drop that can be played anywhere throughout your DJ mixes, sometimes helping to smooth out the transition between music tracks.

Techniques to Activate Your DJ Drops

  • Scratch your DJ Drops using your CDJ, DVS setup or DJ Controller. It’s a cool and creative way to introduce your
  • Performance pad activate your DJ Drop using your DJ controller pads or pads on a DVS mixer. You can also add on a dedicated performance pad player onto the mixer and play your DJ Drops that way, for example Komplete Maschine or Ableton’s Launchpad.
  • Music software can help you literally drag and drop your drops on top of a recorded DJ mix. This is an easy way to finalise your DJ mix. I use Audacity for such a task, which I find make it easy for you to drag in your DJ Drop and DJ mix then export to WAV.

Where to purchase DJ Drops

There are quite a few places online to get your DJ Drops created for you so you don’t have to put in the hard work. Simply direct the the creative and get out your wallet.

If you’ve not even started to get into music production or have anything to do with creating your own music, let alone DJ Drops, then purchasing a DJ Drop will likely work out better for you.

Logically you could purchase a variation of maybe two or three DJ Drops and see which ones work best for different situations or DJ mix formats, such as podcasts vs live DJ sets.

Here are some websites that you can check out for yourself. Some are super professional and some websites appear to be more freelancer type websites.

Each website seems to offer something slightly different, so just take a look and see which website best suits your needs for a DJ Drop.

Notice that some DJ drops don’t come with the sound effects and some do. This option is entirely up to you and you can add the sound effects yourself at a later date. You get what you pay for and if you simply want a DJ Drop as quick as can be which is the final DJ Drop then Music Radio Creative is probably the better website to go to for a DJ Drop.

Creating your own DJ Drops

Record the voice-over

Firstly, you can easily record your own voice or a friends voice using your laptop or phone these days that’s if you want to do it for cheap.

Or Secondly, if you have a microphone connected to your laptop then great! You’re more likely to get a better quality of audio in doing so. Having said that, DJ Drops aren’t always the best quality in sound as some DJ Drops have a lot of effects added onto them to sound all funky and distorted in sound anyway.

Finally you can opt for text-to-speech function on your computer or online website that can offer this. I know of one DJ Drop that sounds like this and Noisia do this on their Noisia radio show, check out the intro here.

Add Effects and Edit

Get Audacity if you’re on a zero budget. Download and find some free FX loops, sweeping sounds or radio buzz white noise sounds for example.

Some great effects that you can add to your DJ Drops using Audacity include:

  • Flanger
  • Chorus
  • Reverb
  • Delay
  • Distortion
  • Pitch shift

Once you’ve added your effects, edited your voice-over, now you need to export your DJ Drop to a high end MP3 or WAV. WAV files offer better quality so you might want to use this for your DJ Drops, especially on Podcasts for example.

A Note on Equipment / Software / Sounds

Below is a list of the equipment and software you might need to record your own DJ Drops. This is not an essential list because you can easily make DJ Drops on your phone using some Apps out there.

This list gives a flavour of some of things to get you going.

  • Laptop / Smartphone
  • Microphone, possibly with a pop shield
  • Soundcard
  • Audacity or Ableton
  • FX Samples / Loops

Related Questions

What does a DJ do exactly?

A DJ uses DJ equipment which allows for two or more music tracks to be played. The mixer allows DJs to fade from one music track to another using a crossfader. The two music tracks are typically in sync with one another, usually defined as being beat matched and in time, allowing for smooth transitions between the two tracks.

What are Drops in Music?

A drop in music is when the first beat of a new section is started after the tension of a build up has happened. Drops are designed to be the release of energy after an energy ‘build up’ section.

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