• 13 Sep 17
  • |
  • SAE Creative Media

You love music. You love mixing. You don’t mind being up at odd hours. You just feel it in your bones, you were born to command the beat.

Becoming a DJ is so much more than just playing a few songs to a group of people. It’s about your taste in music and how you mix it, it’s being able to read a crowd and get them moving to your beat, it’s about how you bring it all together to create that electric atmosphere that keeps your fans coming back for more.

It’s easy enough to learn how to be a DJ, so long as you have the most IMPORTANT SKILL EVERY MUSIC MAESTRO NEEDS…an unwavering passion and respect for the beat. 

‘What does a DJ actually do?’

There is a lot more to being a DJ than just knowing how to mix one song into another. DJing has become far more technical in recent years, which is why it is essential to commit to learning the technical skills needed. Once you have the basics under your belt, you can add the MAGIC, your own style and interpretation which is what will become your personal brand of ART. It’s what makes you recognizable.

Foundational courses teach you the science, you bring the art.

You can start out as a DJ in your teens and that’s how many of the well-known names discovered their passion. But as you grow and choose to explore DJing as a career, that’s when you’ll find there are a ton of exciting career opportunities from within the Audio Production industry. Don’t be scared to try your hand at different areas of sound, as your interests broaden or you discover where your special talents lie, you’ll know exactly which direction to take in your career.

There are unique Electronic Music Production courses that give you an outlet to unleash your passion for sound on the best music equipment, training with international industry professionals and experimenting with various sound techniques. Let your imagination run free so you can start to develop your own unique, recognisable style.

What Types of DJs are there:

There are a few different types of DJs, you can be one or you can be all 3, but each one has a slightly different music style. Although all DJs tend to have one thing in common – they all work odd hours, whether you’re a Breakfast Show Radio DJ or a Resident DJ at one of the top clubs…you’ll be working odd hours

The Resident DJ’s most important job is to make sure the crowd is on their feet. You keep the club full and the business booming.

The Performer/Guest DJ normally has built a reputation and people go to see them because of who they are and their specific style of music. These DJ’s will often draw large followings to beach resorts or big summer festivals for instance.

The Mobile/Wedding DJ, this one might sound a little cheesy, but, most weddings, parties or celebrations need some form of music to form part of the entertainment. Although the playlist is often largely decided by the hosts of event, it is still the role of the DJ to get the party started and keep it going. You still need to be able to read the crowd and the dance floor pumping.

The Radio DJ, keeps us entertained on our way to work, during the work day, on the drive home, when we’re studying or maybe on the graveyard shift. Probably the most talkative of DJ’s in that you have a much broader audience to interact with. You may have less say in the full playlist, but you’re no less notorious. The radio DJ very often becomes something of a local celebrity.

Getting Started with Equipment:

Before you go out and spend a fortune on buying the best speakers, decks and mixers, make sure you know exactly what style of music you want play and what equipment you need to make the sounds you want. It’s pretty easy to bust the bank in one afternoon shopping on Amazon.

You need to have good equipment for sure, but getting the crowd moving all starts with your set – how you start it, structure it and mix it. Start with the basics and build from there.


Build an enormous collection of music. Every DJ needs MUSIC, although these days they all mostly use MP3s on a USB drive which can hold 1000s of songs and a laptop with DJ software.


Every DJ’s signature piece has got to be the headphones! This is probably the one piece of equipment you want to splurge on. A good set of headphones can hugely improve your cuing. There many popular brands to choose from, but the key features to compare are: Sound & Isolation; comfort (around your neck and on your head); cable length (you don’t want to feel restricted or get yourself all tangled looking like a fly caught in a spider’s web) and durability.


Thanks to many of the DJing software suites available on the cloud, you don’t need a particularly high spec laptop. The important things to think about are the sound card, screen size, battery-life and a number of USB ports.

DJ Controller or 2-channel mixer

Next to the headphones, probably your most important piece of equipment. Making sure it has a USB connection and that it is compatible with your laptop. Look for recommendations, but keep it simple to start with. Remember you can always upgrade.


You want everyone to hear what you’re playing don’t you? Most important thing to consider when choosing your speakers is WHERE are you going to playing? If you are only practising at home, your mom is not going to be too happy if you have massive outdoor speakers. When you’re starting out, a basic 2-speaker set with a sub-woofer is perfectly fine. As you get more confident and start playing to an audience you can upgrade to DJ Monitor speakers or self-powered speakers with built-in amplifiers. 

Ideal Starter Equipment set:

Two turnables or two CD players
2-Channel Mixer
Mixing software

Learning the Skills

You can learn by messing around and trying different things, watching a few YouTube tutorials. But one of the best things you can do for yourself to massively shorten your learning curve is get some focussed training in the foundations and some of the more technical aspects of audio production and then start adding your own spin. Each of these courses from SAE average about 6 Sessions and give you exactly what you need to begin your journey to becoming the next David Guetta or DJ Mo Tiger, who teaches the DJ short course at SAE Dubai

1. Introduction to DJ Short Course

In cooperation with Pioneer DJ, this course teaches the fundamental skills and techniques required to become a DJ. This includes understanding the decks, understanding audio quality, and music organisation. This course is ideal for you if you have never touched DJ equipment before but are hoping to make a profession or enjoy the art of beat matching and mixing.

Learn Software Packages:

  • Serato
  • Traktor
  • Virtual DJ
  • MixVibes
  • RekordBox
  • Engine
  • Torq

Learn How To:

  • Introduction to equipment setup
  • Understanding beats, bars, rhythms & phrasing
  • Beat matching
  • Analogue mixing techniques
  • Digital Mixing techniques

2. Advanced DJ Short Course

In cooperation with Pioneer DJ, this course teaches advanced skills and techniques required to enhance a DJ. This includes understanding industry standard software, understanding the use of FX and levels, and music organisation. This course is ideal for students who want to improve on already learnt skills or have advanced from the DJ short course.

3. Producing and DJing Short Course

In cooperation with Pioneer DJ, this course follows on from the Advanced DJ short course. This course includes understanding the use of software to produce and create your own sound and mixes using industry software and understanding how to create radio edits and podcasts for online sets. This course also considers how you can properly promote and market yourself as a professional DJ in the Digital market. This course is ideal for students who want to take their creative skills to the professional level and improve on a personal appeal.

Software Packages

  • Serato
  • Traktor
  • Virtual DJ
  • MixVibes
  • RekordBox
  • Engine
  • Torq

Learn how to:

  • Produce & record with Adobe Audition
  • Produce & record with Ableton
  • Intro to radio edits and podcasts
  • Multi-layered production techniques
  • Intro to digital promotion

4. Audio Recording Short Course

The Audio Recording Short Course combines the theoretical, technical and practical skills of recording audio, covering the basic theoretical knowledge, and practical skills required to record a multi-track project. This includes basic sound theory, microphone techniques, recording workflow, signal processing and signal flow, console operation, and the use of industry-standard software.

Learn how to:

  • Work with microphones
  • Prepare for a recording
  • Recording techniques and signal flow
  • DAW fundamentals

5. Audio Mixing and Editing Short Course

The Audio Mixing Short Course combines the theoretical, technical and practical skills of audio mixing, covering the basic theoretical knowledge, and practical skills required to mix a multi-track project. This includes EQ and dynamic processing, use of FX, Advanced mixing principles, 3rd party plugin operation and the use of industry-standard software.

Software Packages:

  • Avid Pro Tools


  • Digital audio techniques
  • Signal processing
  • Mixing techniques and signal flow
  • DAW operations

6. Audio Production Bootcamp

The Audio Production Bootcamp is an intensive practical course that teaches the fundamentals of recording, mixing and basic software editing. Students will be exposed to industry standard software and equipment for the course. This course is ideal for you if you want to understand how to setup and start creating audio assets for your digital content. 

Learn How To:

  • Work with microphones
  • Prepare for a recording
  • DAW fundamentals

7. Electronic Music Production Short Course

The unique Electronic Music Production course provides an opportunity for music enthusiasts to unleash their passion for sound on the best music equipment, training with international industry professionals. The course is designed to focus students learning experience as much as possible on the practical use of computer sequencing, MIDI programming, and hard disc recording. Students receive professional training focused on industry standard electronic music applications such as Ableton Live.

Learn How To:

  • Intro To DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations)
  • Basic sound theory
  • Equalization
  • Dynamics & Effects
  • Song structure, analysis & composition
  • Intro to MIDI
  • Sound Synthesis
  • Sampling
  • Mixing & mastering techniques

It’s time to start spinning!

So once you’ve got your equipment set-up, your treasure trove of music and you’ve picked one or two of the most suitable short courses to get the foundations in place, all that’s left is for you to do is pick out your DJ name and start spinning those decks.

Pick your course and you could be spinning your way all the way to Ibiza!

Audio Recording 

Audio Mixing and Editing

Audio Production Bootcamp

Introduction to DJ

Advanced to DJ

Producing and DJing

Electronic Music Production






  • 13 Sep 17
  • |
  • SAE Creative Media