Weekend Recap – The Truth About Calvin Harris

Dj Fabian (Vegas) joins us to tell us what REALLY happened with Calvin Harris getting “kicked off the decks” at Tryst. The truth may surprise you… We also talk about the Rane 68 mixer, EDC Las Vegas, the Warrior Dash and we find out if Serato is really falling behind in the race for your DVS dollars.

Barstool Sports Article

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42 comments

  1. wow…long recap video and i enjoyed every second of it. maybe top 2 weekend recap in remixreport history. great way to close out at 1:09:51 haha jay spring’s a good sport!

  2. had the same experience
    – I was trying to move some speakers thru a medium size patio, packed crowd, came around a pillar and stopped before I ran over a guy, said ‘hey man, scuse me real quick, can i slide through?’ he said ‘no, im not moving you should have been set up already, its rude’…  I say “sorry man, i didn’t mean to be, I just have to get across the bar and set up’ he still says ‘not moving ahole’ and looks at his phone.   Luckily, a few nearby people noticed and offered to help me move my gear the rest of the way.  For every dhead out there, there’s probably a few cool people nearby.  

  3. if anyone ever runs into a Calvin Harris dilemma, try this http://soundcloud.com/jumpsmokers/carly-rae-jepsen-vs-calvin

  4. Fabian just came in and spoke his absolute mind. Loved it! Not afraid to say what was really up. BTW, I was busting up to his reaction when yall brought up the auto pitch. Good stuff guys!

  5. This was the first episode I’ve watched, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Keep it up guys. 

    Touching on the Calvin Harris subject: I think you guys hit the nail on the head. There’s a difference between those super producer guys, and DJs. 

  6. Dj Michael Toast

    As a working Dj in Las Vegas for 15 years, I and other Vegas locals have been stepped over on potential gigs because of Bloggers, Athletes, Movie and Tv Stars, Out of town dj’s that no one has EVER heard of, Flash in the pan Hip Hop stars, And of course the famous playboy models & porno stars who ALL THINK THEY ARE DJS. Meanwhile they can’t name a song out of the current top 100. They have no idea where samples come from, or who even produced the records they play. Then something magical happened. Vegas started booking producers… who all in all may NOT be good dj’s considering a lot of the new guys make music in their bedrooms but still they have an “IDEA” of the way music should be played. I understand what your saying in the sense of being a dj playing for the crowd but that should be reserved for dj’s that have currently NO relationship with their audience. When you book someone like Calvin Harris or Mark Farina it should be more than “Lets get this guy before someone else does” which has seemed to be the trend here in Vegas. I don’t blame Calvin Harris or Mark Farina. I blame the promoters that DONT know how to promote these artists that they book. How about a soundcloud link or beatport link along with the artwork instead of a pic of a scottish spotty guy that you couldn’t pick out in a 7-11? How about a BIO to explain to the customers what they get? Or if your argument is they need to bend to the masses, then what about the percentage of the audience that came to hear the Djs be them be themselves and NOT a juke box? I think the big clubs should just back off the big names and leave the rave culture to the ravers and not the velvet ropes and suits. This could’ve gone either way. If Calvin bowed to the dude whistling and dropped that hip hop record he might’ve been pulled off for playing too commercial. If thats the case you dont need Big names to play commercial. The big clubs need to build up and BACK their local dj’s instead, save the big names for special occasions and save a couple bucks in the meantime.

    • I def agree with a lot of what you said, and especially with the fact C. Harris is in somewhat of a lose/lose situation.  Very good point that we didn’t mention.  If he bowed to playing commercial stuff, he may have upset some of the hardcore house heads. 

      Spring

  7. you dudes are the reason djs play sucky music. 

  8. this should be called when ‘When dj’ing jumped the shark: dorks took over,art turned to business’

  9. i don’t think these guys that keep using the word “house” over and over are talking about house music…….no one talks about going to Vegas to hear house music. EDM yes, house, no.

    • +1

      I’d also like to add to this saying that what most open format DJ’s consider house is usually dance music.. It may have a four to the floor drum pattern but that’s about it.

      If you play in a mainstream club you’re probably never playing any legit house unless you’re a massive risk taker. ;)

  10. Hey JD,

    I have to disagree with you guys about the Rane 68. There reason why you was have problems with the effects is you did not have it setup right. Every pace of dj gear has a learning curve. Did you have the EXt. Insert or USB 5 insert on cause thats the main problem people have that you talked about with the effects. Every DJ company lays out there mixers differently no one is 100% the same, so it up to the DJ to take the time out to know the gear they are going to play on before hand. If you don’t know the gear then bring your own mixer thats what I say. 

    Also with your fade problem there are Contour Controls in the front of the mixer. Now if you set them right then you should have not had any problems at all. Now if the mixer is damaged thats something that you can’t controller.

    • I’m sorry Eloy, but if I was a novice, you would be right.  Bringing an outside mixer is not an option in a lot of larger venues, including this one.  I got there an hour early to mess around and familiarize myself with the mixer.  Had only used it once before with similar issues.  Had the manual out right in front of me.  Everything was set up correctly.  Still no dice.  I messed with the contour, of course.  Still couldn’t get a contour that felt right to me.  You don’t have to jump through hoops to use an 800 or 900.  Why should DJ’s have to jump through hoops to use a 68?  -JD

      • I believe for the effects, it was the FlexFX Level Knob on the front panel, next to the fader contour knobs. It needs to be in MAX position to get the fullest effects. The 61/62 doesn’t have that anymore as Rane realized the trouble it causes.

        I know the club Fabian was at in SF. It was at The Grand!

        • Thanks for the input Test, but I had it all the way up.  Took me a minute to remember that knob was there and to check it, but I eventually got to it, and still nothing.  It’s possible the mixer was just broken.   – JD

  11. In my opinion, there is so many things wrong with this video. Firstly let’s place these huge DJs under the general caterorgy of EDM and not refer to everything as house music. Secondly, I would never consider ‘Call Me Maybe’ the number one song in the world. Thirdly, maybe you should quote a EDM blog and not barstools sports which is designed for the typical frat bro.

    *I agree that Calvin Harris was out of line tweeting about Tryst. He should have been more professional.

    I also agree that a venue should know it’s client base, and should do a better job of promoting what kind of music will be played at the club on a certain night. Today most clubs have open format on one night (Friday) and EDM on the other (Saturday). If a clubgoer does not like EDM than chose to go to the club during the open format night.

    I do not think that Calvin Harris should be put in a postion to play Call Me Maybe. If Tryst wanted a DJ to play that song they could have gotten any second rate DJ to play open format that night for a 1/4 of the price.

    As you desribed, these DJs are producers and are considered artists today.  If this same 21 one girl old birthday girl you referred to went to a Beyonce concert, would you tell Beyonce how to preform? The answer is NO. If you are not a fan of these “superstar DJs” then do not attend a night that is designed for them to showcase their talents and their music. If a club is paying $50,000 for a DJ, in my opinion they are not being paid to take requests they are being paid to perfrom as an artist. Deadmau5, Avicii, Tiesto, Dirty South, or Skrillex, are NOT doing to be taking requests, I don’t care how small the club is.  

    If Tiesto plays at LIV, and you decide to attend. Then prepare yourself to hear big-room house/electic music all night.  If you want to hear Call Me Maybe and hip hop do not spend money to attempt to request top 40 songs from an EDM DJ. This goes the same for the counter arguement. I would completely avoid LIV on a night that promoted LL Cool J and Lil Jon (which is clearly a night my EDM preference would not be catered to.)   

    • I agree with much of what you said.  Like you said, these guys are “producers.”  

      The problem is, they market themselves as “Djs.”  If they want to be a producer and just play their music, I’m cool with that.  But when you act like a Dj, use Dj equipment and play in venues that have Djs every night, one would expect you to play music like… a Dj.  

      Again, you did say these guys are producers, and of course they are.  But you also called them “superstar Djs.”  So which are they?  Can they be both?

      • That was JD, and unlike him, I kindly disagree with a lot of what you said :)   I think you may have misunderstood where we were coming from on a few issues, mostly at the top of your comment. 

        1)  I don’t think the EDM vs. House Music thing is a huge deal.  Just like Hip Hop vs. Rap or Reggae vs. Dancehall.  I think we all know what’s meant when either term is used, but sorry if I offended or hurt anyone.

        2)  As for Call My Maybe, this blog is “Where DJs talk shop” and our shop is the club.  At the clubs JD and I spin at, as well as most of our audience, Call Me Maybe is the hands down #1 song.  Maybe not technically based on sales and radio spins, but based on requests and overall crowd reaction at our clubs, it is.  There’s not even a close second!

        3)  The whole point of the Barstool Sports reference was to get a non biased, non-dj opinion.  Fabian, JD, and I are professionals in many regards (I know some could argue, but atleast we like to think so lol), to get an opinion from another music blog would have just been redundant.  

        4)  As far as the whole argument of whether Calvin Harris should be playing “Call Me Maybe” or other songs the crowd wants to hear, that is strictly opinion, and I guess we disagree on that too, but I do understand where you’re coming from.  Again, that’s all opinion based.  I mean….is there an exact dollar amount somone has to earn as a dj where he doesn’t have to play what the crowd wants?  Is there a certain number of records a DJ has to sell where he doesn’t have to play what the crowd wants?  Another important question is Why do we expect these 21 year old girls who go to clubs to know or even care who these superstar DJs are?  Remember, not everyone takes music as serious as DJs do, nor should they be expected to.

        Spring

  12. Why don’t Calvin Harris just remix the hell out of Call Me Maybe, so he won’t feel so uncomfortable or please anyone and everyone, after all he is a producer and remixer

  13. As long as I know where the faders are I don’t Care what mixer and as far as Harris goes his a clown anyway. Have a nice day keep up the good work

  14. Here is how I see this issue when it comes to Celeb DJs these days leaving the decks so to speak, (weather walking off stage or being kicked off.) 

    Many agree that the DJ is the new “Rockstar”. The DJ has always been known for taking requests both on radio and in bars, clubs and events such as Weddings. The patrons of any of these events have been conditioned to make requests, because that’s how its always been. Some DJs managed to change this way of thinking by originally taking the chance to spin only what they liked, and only within the specific genre they liked. This happened mainly at events outside of clubs both in Europe and the U.S. These DJs did it with the hopes that they would create and build a following and big fan base. With DJs like Tiesto, say back in 1999, you could attend an event at a club or Event Venue and expect to see Tiesto play only the records he liked, and because the Event was billed as such, I would say 99% if not 100% went to see Tiesto “DJ”, but most really went to see Tiesto “In Concert”. Its no different then what we see in club venues today. 

    Avicii comes to spin and all eyes are facing the DJ booth, hands in the air, and more of a Concert Event setting than a Dance Club. People come to see him perform what ever it is he is going to perform. However because of the House infused Pop phenomena sweeping Mainstream currently, a lot of House DJs find themselves DJing clubs they would of only a couple of years ago never have stepped foot in to DJ. That’s mainly due to the fact that years ago Hip Hop and Pop resided at lower BPMs, and really back in say the early 2000s, a U.S. Artist comparable to say Rihanna would have no connection what so ever with a House Producer/DJ from Europe in the likes of Calvin Harris. However because of these big Pop-House infused collaborations these days, your seeing the likes of Calvin Harris, David Guetta, etc pop up in U.S. 

    Open Format Clubs who generally like to play Top 40, but because Top 40 these days is between 128- 130 BPMs for the most part, it is now acceptable to see Tiesto in a smaller nightclub venue. And this is where some of the problems arise, as many of these DJs will play some of their collaborations with their Pop Artists, but when they venture off into their deeper House tracks, if the crowd isn’t feeling it, the complaints start, and sometimes Management is put in the awkward situation of saving face for the clubs monetary sake, and that may result in pulling the plug from a DJ who they specifically asked and payed to come and DJ that night, however Management has to look out for its Patrons, if they aren’t happy, and if Patrons start leaving, who knows what will transpire in the future as far as those same Patrons ever returning. Happy Customers equal return buisness and a clubs longevity in this Industry.

    Like many DJs who turn to Producing, I myself started as a DJ first and later transitioned into Producing. It definitely benefits me, and Im sure other DJs as well, in the way that I truly believe till this day I don’t see reading the crowd as an issue. Its like driving my car, many parts of driving a car become second nature, and as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and constantly adapt to things changing around you, then you shouldn’t have a problem. Same goes for reading a crowd as a DJ, adapting and reacting to your patrons and surroundings at a moments notice is only going to put you as a DJ in better standing with your crowd, and Club Management. I could never see myself sticking full on to a set, if I thought I might lose the floor. I understand the situation a Celeb DJ is put in, in a case where they are acting as more of a concert where they have their usual touring sets, but again, when you start putting Stadium/Festival Celeb DJs in smaller Club Venues, people at these clubs are use to requesting songs to the Resident DJ who usually is there. Your not going to see the likes of Dennis Ferrer, Mark Farina or Calvin Harris being kicked off or walk off at a Stadium/Festival Event. Each time these situations with Celeb DJs occur, its at a club venue.

    In short, because these once House only Producers and DJs now have ties to Pop Artists and are Producing tracks for them, its a no brainer that Clubs are trying their hardest to get them at their venues, however these Celeb DJs are used to and are conditioned to playing Festivals where they have cart blanche in what they want to play. They ARE acting as concert at festivals, and go with that mentallity to Club Venues, but unfortunatly there are some who see a DJ at a Club, a DJ at a club who should take requests.

  15. These producers turning to DJs are killing me…

    With the introduction of CDJ-2000s and CDJ-900s integration with rekordbox, a lot of the new producers turned superstar DJs are easily able to DJ with the “industry standard” CDJs.
    Plan your songs on rekordbox, choose the BPM you want to set all your songs to. All you need to do is time when you cue the incoming track, minus having to beatmatch, you’re left with more time playing with effects and clapping your hands in the air.

    #justsaying

  16. After taking my time to watch this video and read all the opinions, I’d have to say this was def worth viewing! I have my own opinions on Calvin Harris and how EDM has evolved to be this way but I will just keep the opinions to myself! Great video JD and JSpring!

  17. I agree that places like small bars make you a much better DJ. If you want to be able to handle a crowd better, that’s the way.

    It would be cool if there was a different name for producers other than “DJs.” It sucks that everyone calls them DJs. In a way it’s doing them a disservice because they do a lot more than just DJ. No one is ever gonna call them producers because its not as cool as a name. Maybe do a poll and come up with a new name for them?

    It would also be cool if the producers did actual shows, and I think it might happen. I think it’s highly possible that Avicii doesn’t play the piano, but I bet some of the producers do play instruments, and crowds would love to see a few live songs mixed into their edm concerts.

  18. To all the comments hating on this video:  Until you open for a Producer/”DJ”, I don’t think you really understand how it is.  I agree, he should be able to do him, in a concert setting/festival/etc.  But, when you come into the club, and you look like a DJ and are set up like a DJ, people expect you to perform like a DJ.  The truth is, these guys aren’t DJs.  They’re just trying to cash in on having a big name and have little or no (not all of them) experience in the club.  The giant builds that work in their festivals don’t work in the club.  Everyone has ADD, ESPECIALLY in the club.  It’s totally different.  EVERY NIGHT the club is different.  Sometimes almost everything works and people are wide open.  Other nights, nothing seems to work.  You have to adapt and have the ability to quick hit and constantly switch it up….and that comes with time.  That being said, people are annoying and if you’ve ever taken requests, you can’t tell a lot of people requesting stuff anything or explain anything.  They’re ruthless and they don’t care about logic or reason.  But again, learning to shake those things off comes with time….and experience. 

  19. Good video.  Laughed my ass off at the Cupid Shuffle discussion cause I’ve had that problem for a long time.  I tried out “Toxic” by Britney Spears a couple times and that hyped up the girls like no other.  Had trouble mixing out of that and keeping the energy up though : /

  20. I play on the 68 more than once a month and I still am not able to really get into it.  I know how to use it and its still awkward.  The effects being the most annoying part.  The only cool thing is the ability to change computers easily, but I dont really like it other than that.

    • Never used the 68, but I’ve had the 62 for a couple months now and I’m lovin it.  Faders, buttons, and effects work great.  Still messing around with the fader contours to find an upfader setting i like though.

  21. I had an experience where i was kicked off for not playing hip hop as well! It was actually my first club gig and i gave the main guy of the night my playlist and he was with it. I brought a long a good amount of people for a new, very small club! I started with took the night and as i was transitioning down, the assistant manager came to me and told me i wasnt playing hip hop and im up for only 15 mins. The next dj played reggaeton and was not asked to change. No one was dancing at all. Crowd was dead. Idk what is it with music and the crowd. Im learning bit by bit to read crowds. I come here alot to listen to you guys and take advice from you as well! Thanks dudes!

  22. C.H is house. so if they wanted him to play hiphop maybe they shouldnt have booked him. i saw him at coachella and he killed. and guess what???? he is a big d.j so maybe they should have asked about the set up???? i just saying. people act like this is some huge thing but aviici is a bitch. i heard and seen this many times and nobody says shit. im just sayin…..

  23. and bty C.H’s set was waaaaaaaayyyyyyyy better than aviici and 2nd weekend he cut zedds show short witch is sad cause zedd would kill aviici

  24. should have just booked CHUCKIE (^^,)

  25. ive seen this alot with big name producers. At the end of the day i can see both sides. If ur a producer, of course ur gonna play ur music, but then again the crowd may not dig it so u have to be willing to switch it up. Until people see u as a artist who they specifically came to see , your going to have to cater to the crowd cause  they may not even know who you are. I also agree with the small crowd argument. Ive djed large and small events, large events were always the easiest because everyone is feeding off each others energy. They were especially easier if it was cater to a specific audience who all liked the same style of music. I would also like to point out how humorous i find it that most house djs consider hip hop to be “commercial” while most hip hop dj consider house to be “commercial” , both groups think they are “too real” to play the other style

     As far as the cupid shuffle question, i play it at most family or private events. most people seem to like it. A song to go after it would depend on the age group but typically “shout” for older crowd and “crank that” for younger crowds seem to work fine.  

  26. I had the privilege of seing A-Trak and DJ Vice at a very small venue with a 450 person capacity. Both if them felt out the crowd and catered their sets to what the crowd was feeling. In both cases, they deviated slightly from what they normally play in order to “please the crowd.”

    I will be seeing Afrojack at this same 450 person venue thus Thursday and I will also be seing Kaskade there later this Summer. It is looking like both shows will not sell out. It is definitely going to be interesting to see if either of these guys will be modifying their sets to better suit this smaller venue size. It seems like Calvin Harris wasn’t willing to adjust his set. I am definitely interested to see if these two huge names (Afojack and Kaskade) will be able to rock to crowd and make the adjustment from DJing for 20,000 or more to possibly 200 or less people… We shall see!!!

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