Club DJs select and play music in bars, nightclubs, discothèques, at raves, or even in a stadium. Hip hop disc jockeys select and play music using multiple turntables, often to back up one or more MCs, and they may also do turntable scratching to create percussive sounds.
Club DJ turntable techniques include beatmatching, phrasing, and slip-cueing to preserve energy on a dancefloor. Turntablism embodies the art of cutting, beat juggling, scratching, needle drops, phase shifting, back spinning, and more to perform the transitions and overdubs of samples in a more creative manner.
Audio engineering is a skilled trade that deals with the use of machinery and equipment for the recording, mixing and reproduction of sounds. The field draws on many artistic and vocational areas, including electronics, acoustics, psychoacoustics, and music.
The expressions “audio engineer” and “sound engineer” are ambiguous. An audio/sound engineer is proficient with different types of recording media, such as analog tape, digital multitrack recorders and workstations, and computer knowledge. With the advent of the digital age, it is becoming more and more important for the audio engineer to be versed in the understanding of software and hardware integration from synchronization to analog to digital transfers.
Audio engineering concerns the creative and practical aspects of sounds and music, in contrast with the formal engineering discipline known as acoustical engineering. Producer, engineer, mixer Phil Ek has described audio engineering as the “technical aspect of recording—the placing of microphones, the turning of pre-amp knobs, the setting of levels. The physical recording of any project is done by an engineer… the nuts and bolts.” Many recording engineers also invented new technology, equipment and techniques, to enhance the process and art.
There are four distinct steps to commercial production of a recording: Recording, editing, mixing, and mastering. Typically, each is performed by a sound engineer who specializes only in that part of production.