Shippensburg University (SU) students learned how to break, loop and scratch at Icon Djs’ music technology workshop this past Friday.
The late-night workshop, held in the CUB Red Zone, gave students an opportunity to learn the techniques of disk jockeying as well as a brief overview of its history.
“A DJ is a person who manipulates recorded media,” said said Dave Mays, a professional DJ who goes by the alias “Amaze.”
Mays provided students with a lesson in the history of DJing, beginning with its roots in New York City. He explained that disk jockeying came with the rise of disco in the 1970s and has continually evolved since then.
Mays also gave students an overview of disk jockeying technology, explaining the difference between a classic turntable and the newer, more technologically advanced MIDI controller.
He also talked about Serato DJ, a computer program that changed the game of disk jockeying and brought about the MIDI controller. Mays showed students how to select songs—his choices were “Booty Man” by Tim Wilson and “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke—and blend them using Serato DJ and the MIDI controller.
Students were invited to get hands-on experience with the turntable and MIDI controller.
They learned how to scratch the records and loop songs, as well as how to use filters and mix the songs with samples. Mays also took questions from the students and gave everyone a chance to use the equipment.
“I like when people have a good time,” Mays said. “A good DJ can hone in on people’s emotions and make them forget about what’s going on outside.”
Mays teaches music technology workshops at colleges, camps and a variety of other organizations.
He has been disc jockeying since he was in high school and is an integral part of the Icon Djs’ team.
Mays gained fame as an MTV party DJ, travelling to spring break destinations like Cancun and the Bahamas.
He has also toured with several celebrity musicians, including Kanye West, Flo-Rida and Wiz Khalifa.