by Skyler Knapp
In addition to the Detroit Institute of Music Education's (DIME) series of courses and summer camps, the downtown conservatory recently announced 'Mix Sessions 101', taught by local DJ Stacey "Hotwaxx" Hale.
According to DIME’s website, “DIME and Spin Inc. are teaming up to offer a four-day short course on DJing and electronic music. Monday through Thursday, July 25-28 from 7-10 pm.”
From inside the walls of DIME’s quaint ‘acoustic room’, Metro Times spoke with DIME’s Paul Schauert, Ron Johnson, and “Hotwaxx” Hale herself.
Regarding the course as a whole, Hale gave us an overview of the curriculum.
“We’ll be covering the history of DJing, along with rhythm, pulse, time signature, tempos, and beats per minute. We’ll also cover song structure, phrase and breaks, equipment set up, signal flow, blending two tracks. I’m having a q and a session as well, and live mixing with hand clapping, dropping on the one and two, mixing by ear, mixing by clock, mixing in key, constructing a rehearsal set, mixing with turntables and CDJ, and block mixing will be covered. We will provide all necessary equipment except for a laptop”
Along with this, DJing program Serato will be used to explore electronic composition.
Hale believes her role as a Detroit DJ veteran yields her the expertise to teach the next generation.
“I’ve gained so much knowledge over my 30 plus years of Djing, and I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. For a while, I wanted to teach math, but destiny has turned me into being able to teach DJing, so since that’s always been a passion of mine, I feel like the best thing to do for my life is to pass the knowledge I have on to someone else.”
Recounting her earliest beginnings in the electronic mixing field, Hale reminisces.
“The first time I walked into the Chessmate and heard a couple of DJs mixing. I already had the concept in my mind, but there was no such thing at the time, and when I finally heard it take place, I made my way to see what they used to make the mix, and I saw two turntables and a mixer, and I went to a store and bought them, and the rest is history.”
On the subject of what students should expect to take from the course, “Hotwaxx” states, “They should expect to get a sense of wanting to express themselves, my message is not going to be my type of music, it’s going to be what’s inside the person, and wanting to express it and pass it on to other people to make them feel happy to go off into the area which they choose to because as a DJ, you become other things as well, and I want to expose them to that. I want them to take their passion, go forwards, and never stop.”