What’s the Difference Between an MC and a DJ? | Beatmatch Guru

What’s the Difference Between an MC and a DJ?


When it comes to performing music, there are so many different roles that people can play. There are the singers, the songwriters, the guitarists, and then there are the DJs and MCs. 

Both roles can create ground-breaking experiences, perform high-octane sets, and create nights the audience will never forget, but what is the difference between them? Let’s explore what makes a DJ and an MC and how they can work together to create a great show!

What’s the difference between an MC and a DJ?

The main difference between an MC and a DJ is their role at the event. An MC is responsible for hosting the party and keeping the crowd excited, while a DJ is responsible for playing the music. 

Both roles are important in creating a great show. Another difference is that MCs often have background music playing or will use a DJ to provide the tracks, whereas the DJ playing the music without an MC makes them the main focus. 

What is an MC?

MC stands for microphone controller and is responsible for hosting the event or party. They will introduce the DJs and other performers, get the crowd pumped up, and keep the energy going throughout the night. MCs often have a background in music or performance and use their skills to hype up the crowd.

You’ll usually find the MC at the front of the stage talking directly to the audience. They may introduce acts, such as an announcer at a festival who talks between sets, or they may play a more pivotal role in the act by rapping, singing, or hyping the crowd up using their voice while accompanying the music.

You can see here from the Defqon One festival, an event that uses multiple MCs on stage at the same time with music playing in the background, the MCs at this event literally broke records for their crowd control and hype.

The result was stunning...

What equipment does an MC use?

An MC typically uses a microphone and a sound system. They might also use other equipment such as turntables, samplers, and mixers. However, that’s pretty much it when it comes to equipment. You can experiment with tech, such as using an effects pedal or looper, but the bare essentials only require a way to amplify your voice.

However, MCs need to spend time writing lyrics, raps, or developing their freestyle techniques. If you’re not singing or rapping, then you need to practise ways of hyping the crowd up (or you can do it all!). You can do this by attending open mics, working with other MCs, and practising at home.

Tips for Becoming an MC

If you’re interested in becoming an MC, you can do a few things to get started.

  • Spend time writing lyrics or raps.
  • Attend open mics and work with other MCs to develop your skills.
  • Define your vibe. Are you going for a hard-hitting approach that’s raw and gritty, or are you going for a more positive, uplifting vibe? Define your vibe, so you know what you’re aiming for.
  • Remember that the more practice you have, the more experience you’ll have, and the better you’ll be.
  • Work on your timings. This is especially important if you want to freestyle. You need to be able to think on your feet and come up with lyrics quickly, all while matching the tempo of the music being played.
  • Remember, you’re not the star of the show. Many MCs believe they are because they’re centre stage, but an MC is one half of the act. Don’t get carried away and take the spotlight for yourself. Remember you’re a part of a team and that the DJ is just as important. Include them in the hype, and you’ll get a far better experience.
  • Talk with the audience. Don’t stand on stage and mumble to yourself; instead, project your voice out confidently. This comes with practice, but always communicating to the audience. You’re there to get them pumped, so make sure they can hear you.

What is a DJ?

DJ stands for disc jockey, the guys and girls responsible for playing the music at an event or party. The music is pre-recorded and can span any genre or niche. You can DJ at a live event, on the radio, or record sets that can be broadcast and streamed online.

DJs usually have a large collection of music that they can choose from, and they use their skills to create a great playlist for the crowd.

What equipment does a DJ use?

A DJ typically uses turntables, mixers, mixing software, and controllers. They might also use other equipment such as samplers and effects pedals. However, that’s pretty much it when it comes to equipment. Once you’re set up, you can get mixing!

Tips for Becoming a DJ

If you’re interested in becoming a DJ, you can do a few things to get started.

Build up your music collection. This is probably the most important thing you can do as a DJ. You need to have a large and varied collection of music so you can please any crowd.

  • Practice mixing. This is how you transition from one song to another without awkward silence or gaps in the music. It’s all about timing and practice. When you hit that sweet spot with a mix that sounds amazing, there’s no better feeling.
  • Invest in some good quality equipment. You don’t need to go overboard, but you should get a good-quality mixer and turntables. This will make your life much easier, and your sets will sound better.
  • Learn how to read a crowd. This is probably the most important skill for a DJ. You need to be able to gauge what the crowd wants and play accordingly. This takes practice and experience.
  • Start playing at smaller events. Once you’ve got a good handle on things, start playing at small parties or events. This will help you get some experience under your belt and give you a chance to try out new things.
  • Work on your transitions. Transitions are vital in keeping the music flowing smoothly. Work on your transitions and practise them, so they become second nature.

Do MCs and DJs work together?

Yes, MCs and DJs often work together to create a great show. The MC will get the crowd pumped up and ready to dance while the DJ plays the music. They can also help each other out if one of them is having a problem with their equipment, such as covering what would otherwise be an awkward silence due to a technical fault. 

Working together can create a great experience for everyone at the event.

Think about how well mixed Linkin Park’s Numb track was when mixed with Jay-Z on the mic. Chester’s angelic voice and Jay-Z’s gruff verses complimented each other so well that they produced one of the most iconic songs in recent memory.

In the UK, DJs like Danny Byrd do this all the time. 

Teaming up with MCs like D. Double E, Dynamite MC, and so many more, Danny plays at festivals and events across the country, each time producing a unique experience that audiences can’t hear anywhere else. It creates so much hype and excitement that it sells so many tickets because fans don’t want to miss out on these one-of-a-kind experiences.

As a DJ or an MC, it can be a fantastic idea to team up with other DJs and MCs to create these experiences. It’s a great way to add value to your show and give the audience something truly unique that they’ll remember for years to come. So if you’re ever thinking about teaming up with another DJ or MC, go for it!

You might just create something amazing.

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