Whether you’re a DJ newbie or a disc-spinning pro, you’ll always need music for your gigs. We’ll get you up to speed on the pros and cons of both record pools and downloading music online so you can decide for yourself which is best for you.
Record pools are sites that enable you to get unlimited access to their curated archive of spanking new remixes for a monthly fee. It’s generally the most rational route to go down if you’re a hip-hop or pop DJ.
Often, tracks from record pools are available to you before they’re aired on mainstream radio. It’s because of this that record pools have more of an initial impact than the popular mainstream outlets.
The Freshest Music at Your Disposal
Record pools are awesome resources if you need to have the most up-to-date releases across numerous genres as part of your DJing, particularly if you’re gigging every week. Whether you’re a mobile, radio, wedding, top 40s or open format DJ, you’ll almost certainly save money in the long run.
As many DJs know, buying tracks individually can get painfully tiresome. So, having a record pool provides all the support, tracks, quality and exclusivity you need to actually appreciate stocking up your virtual crates each week. Finding music for your set suddenly becomes a totally appealing task.
Using record pools offers a terrific way of staying up to date with an array of brand-new music. The majority of pools lean towards resident club DJs where you get direct access to fresh-off-the-market music. It’s also possible to check out older music libraries.
You pay a monthly subscription which grants you access to tons of new music, including edits made especially for DJs. Nowadays, pools offer intro edits of radio songs so DJs can mix and blend them effortlessly.
Popular DJ Record Pools
The main record pools devoted to DJs include:
When tracks reach the pool, the team make them readily available inside the portal every day. You can grab them daily or weekly – whatever’s best for you.
When you sign up to a pool, you’ll be expected to submit feedback or rate each song prior to downloading. This data is then returned to the artists and labels for helpful feedback.
Types of Music in Pools
Make sure you choose the right pool though, as they aren’t all the same. Some pools have genre-specific choices where you spend less money, but at the same time, can concentrate more on what you actually play, for example, top 40 or dance music.
From top 40, rock and urban to Latin, hip-hop and EDM, you’ll find all manner of music in pools. Some even offer Christian and jazz music – there’s just so much choice.
The only drawback of DJ pools is that they only offer new music, not oldies. This is due to them being originally designed as promotional vehicles for record labels to assist influencers and DJs with new music so there was some hype around a pre-release.
If you DJ with hand-curated crates you’ve made yourself over the years rather than a continuous rotation of whatever’s trending now, then downloading music individually is probably better than using a record pool.
While record pools’ collections are usually brilliant, they’re nowhere near as extensive as online music stores such as iTunes or Beatport.
DJ Download Sites Are Great for DJs with an Exclusive Style
If you’ve defined yourself with an exclusive style, there’s the possibility that record pools might not be for you. For instance, if you’re an unconventional techno/drum and bass DJ, cherry-picking tracks from the likes of Beatport is the way to go.
One of the big benefits of downloading tracks individually is you don’t end up with too much music in your crate to sort through like you often do with record pools.
DJs who use record pools sometimes find they spend too much time filtering down their crates to what they actually intend to play. So, it’d probably have been easier to spend more per individual track and buying through Beatport, for example.
It isn’t overly expensive to buy individual music tracks these days compared to the cost of vinyl. You could spend around £20 per week which would get you roughly 10 tracks. So, in 10 weeks, you’d have near enough 100 tracks – that’s more than enough to make sets with.
Keep doing it for a year and you’ve got yourself 500 tracks – and that’s already too many to keep in a live collection.
Popular Online DJ Music Stores
The main places to buy digital downloads from are:
What’s more, buying music individually makes you a lot more disciplined about which songs to get. Consequently, the overall quality of the collection is better, as you’ve probably spent more time listening to the tracks you buy.
Plus, you’ll know your collection better, which is essentially the most under-appreciated skill a DJ needs.
What’s a DJ to Do?
The upshot is that record pools are becoming increasingly popular in this day and age than downloading tracks individually from the likes of Beatport and Juno. This is because DJ pools give you access to a gigantic collection of new music at minimal cost while giving record companies feedback and exposure at the same time.
The real power behind a record pool is that it can reach a mass, global market in minutes flat. It’s becoming the way forward for DJs in this digital revolution.
The bottom line? If you DJ regularly and get paid for it, you play a particular kind of music and spend a lot of your time tracking down music online, a DJ record pool will no doubt help you spend less time hunting for music. And you’ll definitely play out better music at your gigs.