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Friday July 15, 2011 12:47 pm

Wanna become a top DJ on Turntable.fm? Here’s how

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Features, Internet, Music


Anyone who's been around the Web might be familiar with a little site called turntable.fm. Many are unfamiliar with how the site works, and others want to become top DJ's. While you wait for your Spotify invite, here's a guide to becoming a top DJ in the latest Web craze.

The site's currently in a semi-private beta. If one of your Facebook friends is in, you can get in, too. Once you're in, you start with 0 points, 0 fans, a long list of rooms to enter, and the option to create your own room. Here's our introduction to turntable.fm.

In my time on turntable, I've found that there have been a number of approaches to getting on the deck. The deck is the panel of five DJ slots. Some rooms don't have any regulations for getting a spot. Once there's an open slot, it becomes a massive click-fest. Other rooms, like the Chillout Tent, have a queue to which users can add their names. Some rooms have a queue with a song limit per DJ.

One of the best ways to earn points is to play to the room. If you're in an Alternative Rock room, do not play Justin Bieber. You probably shouldn't play Bieber in any room, even a Bieber room. If you're in the Chillout Tent, do not play Bob Dylan. It's happened before.

Don't be silent. The chat window is there for a reason. Engage your fellow DJs and listeners in conversation. Topics can range from the band playing to politics to the insanity of DJ Wooooo's room. If you're silent while spinning some tracks, others will assume you're away from the keyboard. AFK DJ-ing is not favored in any room. Step down from the deck if you're going to be gone for a while.

If there's a queue for DJ-ing, respect it. Spot-stealing is one of the least favored tactics in any room with an established order. If you steal a spot, you risk getting a torrent of lames no matter how good the song is. You also run the risk of getting booted from the room.

Be timely with laming. Unless the song is blatantly egregious, do not lame it in the first 10 to 15 seconds. Give the tune some time to find its groove. Besides, with the turnable.fm extension for Chrome, the DJ will know specifically who lamed the jam.

Let people find your room. An all-too-common, but highly disliked, practice is a turntable user spamming various rooms with a link to another room. It's a shameless tactic and one that returns little results. Do it enough times, and others will remember your name. No DJ points for you.

Play outside of your comfort zone. Show the audience you're willing and able to test the waters. Each room has its staples, but don't be afraid to shake things up a bit. Be mindful, though. Stray too far from the room's general sound and the meter won't tilt in your favor.

If Bonobo, Röyksopp, Thievery Corporation, and Lemon Jelly mean anything to you, come spend some time in my Chillout Tent. Add "chillout_tent5" to "turntable.fm/" and you'll be in the tent.

This article, written by Julius Motal, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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