Ever wondered about that cool voice that says “DJ Awesome” in the middle of someone’s mixtape or live set? That’s called a DJ drop (also a “jingle”, or an “ident”), and its purpose is to add a bit of a professional touch to your performance. It also helps the crowd remember your name better.
There are a number of ways you can go about recording a DJ drop for yourself. If you decided to record your own or your friend’s voice, try to get your hands on a condenser microphone of the “large diaphragm” type. LDMs are famous for their warm and rich sound. They are very sensitive, too, so you’ll probably need to use a pop screen when recording your voice. I know, it can get crazy real quick!
Another option is to use synthesized voice. Most modern computers have a voice synthesizer built in (look for something called “Text to Speech” on your Windows or Mac computer). Also, there are pretty cool voice synthesizers online. What’s good about the synthesizers is that you can experiment with different voices and choose the one that works best for you.
After the vocal part is recorded, you’ll need to spice it up a bit. Use your sound editor to adjust the pitch, or add some reverb, chorus and/or panning.
Whatever you do, though, there are two things you’ll most definitely want to apply to your DJ drop: delay and compression. Delay will make your vocal sound less dry, and compression will help it stand out better when played on top of a tune.
Once you’re done, play your drop on top of a track and see if it doesn’t sink. If you have to boost the level of your vocal, make sure you use a limiter so as to avoid clipping.
If the above steps sound like too much work for you, there’s an easier way to have a DJ drop recorded. There are online services that can record a drop for less than $10. Also, try Fiverr – I’ve seen a gig the other day where a guy will record 5 DJ drops for $5, with excellent client feedback.
Do you have a DJ drop? How did you go about recording it? Let me know in the comment section below.
JM has played open-air gigs, shared the stage with the likes of ATB and had mix albums released commercially. He has been teaching DJing since 2008.
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