Saturday, January 21, 2017

When Virtual DJ Shames You

MARK RWOMUSHANA and Dr John Bua (Below), are both progressive professionals in their respective fields. When Mark is not retailing medical insurance for IAA and Dr Bua diagnosing diseases, they occupy their spare time by dabbling in music as a hobby. But, not like Miss Ug who whenever asked what her hobbies are, she says: “Listening to music.” Does that mean whenever she turns on the radio and hears a jingle a Butcherman, Bebe Cool or a Rihanna song on X-FM for example, she is dabbling in her musical hobby? Hmm. 

Mark (Below) and John are into mixing music and mixing music, is more of a stern hobby than Miss Ug listening to jingles. I too, am into mixing. Back in the day, I used to play music in the student’s union bar at university on the odd weekend. Then, mixing music was not as complex as it is today. There were no computers but, a turn table, two decks and a stack of 12” vinyl records. All that one had to do, was to blend one song into the other and that was really it.

Today, it’s far more intricate. Mark, John and Aspiring DJ are familiar with the application - Virtual DJ, which I use. Looking at Virtual DJ on a computer screen, Miss Ug, would think its a multifaceted cockpit of a Mig fighter jet parked at Entebbe air force base - especially when all lit up at night and with the lights flickering and streaming all over. And if you dared ask her what she thought about it, the best that her brain would spittle out, would be no more than: “aya, aya, aya!”

With Virtual DJ (Below), there is so much you can do than blend one song into the other. You can loop, adjust pitch, sync and even merge in a jingle or a sound effect just to appease Miss Ug. Another feature about it, is that it doesn’t shackle you to the DJ booth as it is when mixing with vinyl or CDs. If you want to be part of the crowd, simply load a playlist and hit the auto mix button.

Then somewhere down the line, Professional DJ made life easy for us novices when he started recording ‘non-stops’ and better still, we could download them. It was a godsend for me, seeing that I liked to play music in Miki’s Pub which, is on the road that leads to Speke Resort, Munyonyo or Wavamunno Road to be precise.

My plot was simple. I would download two hour ‘none-stops’, listen to them and then come Friday evening, I would hit Miki’s and do my thing. Of course, ‘my mixes’ overwhelmed the crowd. My forte was soul and hip hop (1982 – 1992). Every time I knew songs were about to mix, I would sling on the headphones, fiddle with the deck - like I knew what I was doing and the crowd was suitably impressed. For greater effect, I would sometimes hold one headphone to my ear using my shoulder.

Then the bubble burst. Professional DJ like DJ Shiru (Below) wanted credit for their  mixes so interspersed in the mixes, he would belt out: “You are listening to a DJ Shiru mix”. On this occasion, I had downloaded a couple of mixes but didn’t listen to them. I just went ahead and started playing to a packed crowd. To my horror, as the crowd shrilled andwent estatic when ‘I mixed and looped’ SWVs version of Human Nature with Boys II Men’s Motownphilly, this voice belts out: “You are listening to a DJ Shiru mix.” Ouch!

The thing about being in the DJ booth, is that there is always that annoying someone who is going to walk up and ask questions. “TB, so Shiru is your DJ name?” Before I could retort, he spat out the most sarcastic version of “hmm” and walked off unamused. I let out a tumbavu, but I don't think he heard it above the mix

Moral of the story? Before you pretend to mix a plagiarized mix, make sure that the owner of the mixed has not spun his name into it.   

Pictures: Bukedde, Virtual DJ, Internet           

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