What’s the Difference Between a DJ and a Producer?

I’ve been seeing this question pop up a lot around forums, and other question-and-answer sites so I decided I’d do a quick write up to help clear the air with what sounds like is causing people to tilt their head in confusion.

So what’s the difference between a DJ and a producer? A DJ is someone who mixes, morphs, and loops other people’s tracks together using a variety of different tools such as mixers and controllers. A producer is someone who creates their own music and beats, entirely from scratch.

Many new beginners are quick to make this type of error. They believe that all DJ’s fall under the category of “producers”. This is a common misconception in the music world to those who are just started to learn the ropes. This is not accurate. Above was just a brief example of what makes them different, but what do each of them actually do?

What do DJs do?

Since DJ’s do not actually produce their own music exclusively, DJ’s spend a lot of their time recreating other people’s songs to create something new. For example: meshing songs together (called mashups), distorting the audio, or speeding up the tempo. Many people enjoy creating their own type of music by adding “liveliness” to the original track by increasing the tempo and adding additional elements to the song. When a DJ is on stage, it is up to them to pick the songs to be played and arrange them in a way that is appealing to their audience. It’s no easy task. You’ve probably seen videos or live performances of DJs twisting and turning knobs. What they are doing is setting up the transition into the next song. They are matching its beat so that the transition is absolutely seamless.

What do Producers do?

A music producer is someone who is in charge of creating a song from the ground up. If he or she was not the sole creator of the song, they are the one’s who are responsible for making the beats so that the track comes together as a complete song.

Do DJs and Producers Use the Same Software?

Some people want to know if DJs and producers use the same software when they are on stage. This is a tricky question, and the only way to answer it is to say “it depends.” A lot of the top producers like to use Abelton while they are producing and while they are DJing. It goes down to personal preference.

Can a DJ be a Producer?

DJs can be producers and producers can be DJs. It all goes down to what the main goal of the musician is. If the DJ is someone that has more fun mixing what a producer has created, then that is where the DJ should spend most of their time doing. If the DJ doesn’t like being the one to use other’s songs to make their own, they should consider a career in music production. This will ensure that you are the one who creates the tracks from scratch if it is what you’re interested in.

Related Questions

How much do DJs make? Although this will vary from person to person, it is expected that DJs can make approximately $100-$600 dollars a night, per performance. The expected salary of a amateur DJ is approximately $32,000 per year.

How long does it take to learn to DJ? Learning to become a DJ is just like learning anything else. It depends on how much work you’re willing to put into it. It requires practice and dedication. However, learning how to mix with digital mixers instead of analog turntables is going to be a bit easier to learn.