Hi kids. For reasons that will soon become clear, my DJ Robert Alan Steve aka DJSteve or as some people call me, it’s DJ Br-r-r-r-rain Dead.
Today I have some music production and dj tips for those of you who are just getting started! Keep reading! I guarantee you will find the following information helpful, enjoyable and also entertaining!
Q- How do you keep your records clean?
A- Switch to CD’s! (Just Kidding)!(Maybe)!
Seriously-The best way to keep your records clean is to not get them dirty to begin with. Joking again? Not really. Let’s face it. No matter what you do, your records are going to get dirty. But there are steps you can take to keep your records playable and reasonably clean. This is called preventive maintenance.
Step one- Keep your fingers off the record.
By now you’re probably saying this guy is Braindead!
What I mean by that is try to keep your fingerprints off the playing surface of the record. Fingerprints are our records’ worst enemy. Your fingers contain oil and dirt that build up on the records-These prints work like a magnet for dust; lint; and if you just had french fries or fried chicken, – flies! Seriously, you can still scratch and cut it up by using the outer rim of the record or the inside label around the hole—However for intricate and fast manuevers or tricks, this may not be practical for those who want to Get Up and Scratch. Check out the unbeatable Get Up and Scratch Package featured by Music Factory! In that case it’s a good idea to wear surgical gloves—Gotcha!!!
Aha! Here comes Br-r-r-r-rainDead with a second suggestion! Buy two copies of the records you play most. I started doing this when I started learning to play the guitar. This tip may seem silly, but to some it may be helpful. Label one side of the first record, “Instrumental” or “Beats” or “Breaks”. Mark one side of the second record “Vocals”, perhaps in a different color marker. This will save you the confusion of playing the instrumental side when you wanted to play vocals and you will always have one side of each record in good shape. Also make sure you place them next to your favorite electric diy guitar kit. This way, you can monitor the ‘health’ of your records and if an idea strikes, you take that guitar and strike up a new song!
Put the records back in their sleeves with the marked side facing out.
Question? Would you let someone else wear your underwear?!?!—Good!
Your records are just as personal! Therefore the best way to insure that they remain clean is, DON’T LET ANYONE ELSE WEAR THEM OUT! I know you’re saying by now, “fine Br-r-r-r-rainDead, that’s all well and good but it’s too late, my records already look like the French Fry Jockey from Micky D’s used them for a frisby. Don’t worry, all is not lost!
There are some good record care products on the market, but be careful to read the labels. Most of the cheap record care sprays leave a filmy buildup on the records and wind up having the opposite effect on them. It pays in the long run to buy one of the better brands such as V-1 Record Cleaner of Stanton Record Care Kits, but for those of you just starting out, those kits may seem expensive and not worth having, weighed against buying another record. Fine—So be it.
In that case I tell you the best cleaning solution for your records, even if you can afford those record care products;
OKAY, OKAY—I’LL TELL ‘YA!
Plain old H2O-That’s right-WATER! Invest in a small sponge. DJ Br-r-r-r-rainDead recommends wiping half the record at a time. I clean my records similar to the way I clean my CD’s (which I’ll get to at a different time). If you wipe your records in a clockwise rotation (circle around and around) you’re pretty much moving the dirt from one part of the record to another. The better way to clean your record is; from side & off, down & off, up & off. By sweeping sideways and off, you’re moving the dirt off the record, not around on it, which is what you wanna do.
For greasy fingerprints, you may use a mild soap solution preferably like the one your mom uses to do the dishes (ONLY A FEW DROPS, MIND YOU)! in a dish of water, then rinse the sponge with the clean water and wipe it again. I may be Br-r-r-r-rainDead, but I’m not crazy about using this method too often because you can leave a soap residue on the records if used too much. Try this method only on your least favorite records.
It’s also a good idea to vacuum your slipmats or at least beat the dust off them as they can leave dirt and dust on your records as well. Do not use those cheap anti-static record cloths with the dinosaur teeth edges, as they tend to add more dust to the records than they remove. That goes for cloth or paper napkins as well.
For those of you who already have gigs in a nightclub, don’t let friends, lovers or owners put anything like ashtrays or shots of Sombuca anywhere near your mixing setup or turntables. These are the #2 and #3 public enemies of your record collections: Cigarettes, the smoke and ashes they produce, and spilled drinks. The best way for your records to avoid bodily harm from these foes is to never have them come in contact with them.
But kids, I urge you to use extreme caution when cleaning your records! Try performing these acts in the privacy of your own room or basement. WHY??? FIGURE IT OUT!!! If your folks see you dish washing your records and vacuuming your sipmats, you’ll get stuck doing household chores instead of playing records! (Unless of course they’re thinking about buying you a Starter Package for the Holidays—In which case it wouldn’t hurt to pitch in and help out)!
My friends, it may seem difficult by I TELL ‘YA ONCE AGAIN. The best protection for all your equipment and records is to enforce strict DJ Booth Etiquette with regards to the area around your turntables and mixer. Preventive Maintenance is your #1 ally in the fight against ODA (Old Dirty Vinyl)!