How to Make DJ Voice Samples

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As digital music technology becomes increasingly versatile, powerful and affordable, aspiring music producers can obtain the equipment they need to sharpen their techniques without difficulty. For the practicing DJ, a well developed taste in music is only one component of a successful performance: the DJ must also master the technological nuances mixing and sampling. Through the incorporation of prerecorded voice samples, DJs can add flair and nuance to their live sets. By following a few steps, you can quickly begin creating your own DJ voice samples.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital audio workstation
  • Digital audio interface
  • XLR cable
  • FireWire cable
  • Microphone
  • Load the voice sample you wish to use into your preferred digital audio workstation, or DAW. Programs such as Logic, ReCycle and Ableton Live include sampling utilities that allow you to trim the length of your desired vocal sample in order to accurately adjust it to the tempo or style of your other musical material.

  • Assign the designated vocal sample to a MIDI, or musical instrument digital interface, trigger by choosing a controllable parameter on our MIDI device within your DAW and selecting your preferred vocal sample as the audible result of trigger activation. After making the necessary selections, the vocal sample should play when the MIDI trigger is activated. The aforementioned DAWS include extensive documentation on MIDI controller assignment for amateur and more advanced DJs and electronic music composers. Audio equipment retailers such as Guitar Center, Sam Ash and Musician's Friend stock a number of USB MIDI controllers such as the AKAI APC 40, M-Audio Keystation 49E and Novation Launchpad.

  • Record DJ voice samples directly into your computer using a microphone and digital audio interface. Plug the microphone into the interface using an XLR cable. Plug the interface into your computer using a FireWire cable. Although FireWire is the standard data connection for audio interfaces, some devices do utilize USB connections. Assign your interface audio in/out responsibilities using the "audio i/o" settings within your DAW. After creating an audio track within your software program, signals received by the microphone will be transmitted directly into your computer workstation.

  • Adjust the sonic texture and volume of your vocal sample using the equalization, reverb and dynamic compressor within your DAW. As these utilities are standard elements of any audio mastering suite, virtually all software DAWs include them within their production package.

Tips & Warnings

  • Audio mastering is an essential element of music production that can significantly enhance the overall quality of your sample. Experiment with the mastering tools you have acquired such as the equalizer or volume compressor and refer to the documentation provided with these utilities in order to expand your knowledge and abilities as a music producer.
  • Ensure that you trim your audio sample to the exact duration you have envisioned for your production. Excessive audio material at the beginning or end of the audio sample can create awkward transitions when triggering the sounds for use within another song.

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  • Photo Credit Michael Blann/Lifesize/Getty Images
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