Your Library Needs Clean Edits!

February 13, 2017

So, you have your hand on the pulse of the most wanted songs. You’ve worked out your mixing basics. Your playlists are flawless. But here’s a question: do you also have clean edits in your library? Playing a dirty version of a crowd favorite at the wrong event could end up being a major mistake if you’re not careful. Are you properly prepared?

Why Keep It Clean?

You might be wondering if there’s a big enough case to invest in a collection of clean edits. Well, there are a considerable amount of situations in which you may find yourself silently hoping you have enough music to appease your client and audience. No DJ wants to find himself in that predicament, worried about how to get through the night with an eager audience of listeners.

DJing at a club usually grants a bit more leniency. Club-goers expect to hear the top hits currently in rotation, and they’re not interested in censored listening. Club music, so long as it is on par with the venue’s desired specifications, typically comes with a larger margin of error. Weekenders expect to go to their favorite spot and let loose; a few unsavory words might not be their concern.

But what about all the other events you DJ? Ever find yourself DJing in front of someone’s grandmother? Ever been in a situation where you held your breath when “that infamous part of the song” begins to play and a priest is present? These circumstances are much more common that you may expect. Don’t be caught behind the decks without a lifeline!

Mixed Company = Play It Safe

Weddings are a substantial part of the DJ landscape. Happy couples celebrating the most important day of their lives trust their music chief to keep them dancing all night, a feat DJs take on confidently. When you’re selecting music for nuptials, several factors come into play. Perhaps the most important would be demographics. At a club, you can almost safely assume the patrons will be closer in age; if they aren’t, chances are the club manager expects a range of music that appeals to a particular age group.

Wedding attendees span across decades in age. From great-grandparents to baby cousins, they’re all there to celebrate. Confusion about what should be played can be completely eliminated with an initial client consultation, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and have clean edits. While the latest EDM track might excite the twenty-somethings, playing a popular song with sexually laden lyrics might be enough to make granddad cringe! If you’re planning to please them all, having good music edited to exclude profane lyrics is the surefire way to keep the party going without a hitch.

Consider executive events, company fundraisers and business benefits; they’re all specialized areas for DJs. Fortune 500 CEOs hosting a black tie affair may not appreciate offensive lyrics throughout their event. Juggling the entertaining with conservative crowds will require clean tracks if you want to be invited to DJ again.

Religious celebrations such as bar mitzvahs are no different. Imagine you’re playing in front of a devout audience consisting of everyone from Rabbis to high schoolers who have rap playlists on their phones. How do you delight the entire room without offending the conservatives or falling flat with the teens? You arrange to play all the crowd pleasers without the foul language. This way, Aunt Katie is happy, the rabbi is content and the kids can still happily bounce around to the song du jour.

Where to Get Clean Edits

So where does a DJ go to find these gems? Obvious sources to consider are mainstream distributors like iTunes and Amazon. If artists offer clean versions of their albums or singles, mainstream distributors will most likely sell both explicit and clean options. Plus, they will be appropriately labeled for you—less editing for you to do on the back end. Smaller distributors may also offer them, but you’ll definitely have better luck with the go-to digital dealers.

One of the best places to find clean edits, though, is in a pool of your peers…a digital music pool, that is. Music pools are made for DJs who play music publicly. As such, they know the importance of having clean edits for family gatherings, corporate events and mainstream broadcasting. With your monthly subscription, you will get access to clean and explicit versions of most popular radio songs. You’ll be prepared for whatever events come your way. These are just a few great sources that have clean edits of songs readily available to download and add to your library.

When All Else Fails…DIY

If you’ve searched and searched and can’t find clean edits of the songs you want to add to your library, there are tools available for you to actually edit the language of the songs yourself. Audacity is a free, easy to use software that makes editing explicit content a breeze. Plus, Audacity has editing options based on your personal preferences: reversing unwanted content, overlaying white noise or a tone over the word, and many more. Other advanced software options such as Adobe Audition, Logic, Pro Tools and other audio software programs can help you achieve the same goal; the price tag may be a little higher, though.

Clean edits aren’t a cop-out; they’re necessary tools for business and brand expansion. Having them in your arsenal solidifies preparedness for any event or client. That will translate into more money and gigs in your future. Take the time to find clean edits for your more popular songs, and try doing some yourself for practice. You will make yourself a more versatile DJ and entertainer.

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About Mixcity Inc

Mixcity Inc was founded in 2008 with the mission of creating innovative software solutions and engagement tools for the working DJ. The team's first DJ product, KueIt, was groundbreaking when it was introduced years ago, and still remains an industry standard software solution to this day. Mixcity's latest innovation, JammText, is a revolutionary text to screen software solution that allows DJs to reach exciting new levels of crowd interaction and audience engagement.