Beginner’s DJ Helpsheet


Special thanks to Genie, Elyshia and Raghav for their recommendations and advice with this helpsheet.

Getting involved in Canberra

  • Record a mix. You can send it to promoters and/or post it online.
    You can record a mix on Woroni radio, Vessel equipment or by borrowing gear and a mic (Woroni Radio has a few)
  • Start a Facebook/Soundcloud page
  • Run your own events! Drop us a message if you would like help or more experience.

Sign up for our practice sessions that we run with Woroni Radio! Everyone is welcome. We post on our facebook page when we’ve organised a new set of sessions. Send us an email if the practice session times don’t work for you and we’ll try to sort something out. 

Woroni Radio

Join Woroni radio groups. Woroni DJ gigs are often posted there, along with other Woroni Radio stuff. Whether the events are paid or not is stated upfront.

Start a Woroni radio show. Sign up opens at the beginning of ANU semesters. 


Univibes runs afternoon DJ sessions on Thursdays at Badger & Co. In the past you could drop them a message and ask to be on, but we’re not sure how they are organised right now. 

Join the Univibes facebook group, where a lot of events throughout Canberra get posted

Organisers and promoters (WIP)

You can send mixes to promoters who fit your vibe and ask them to consider booking you. Here are some Canberra-based collectives and promoters.

  • Box Cutter
  • Canberra House Social
  • Capital Frequency
  • Communi-fi Sound
  • Dazed
  • Headz are Rolling
  • Kinetics
  • Le Doof
  • Pickle
  • Queer AF
  • Response
  • Section Seven
  • Sol.sonic
  • Throb
Cute Canberra Venues (WIP)
  • Sideway
  • Smiths Alternative
  • Mr Wolf
  • White Eagle Polish Club
  • Secret outdoor locations….

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Your tracks

Places to download music
  • Label websites and Artist websites
  • Bandcamp
  • Beatport
  • iTunes
  • Soundcloud
  • Juno Download
  • Discogs
  • Amazon
  • SoulSeek
  • SMLoader
Find new sounds!
  • Listen to mixes
    • Resident Advisor
    • FACT
    • Orbit
    • Nectar
    • NTS
    • Bizarro Blends
    • Sanpo Disco
  • Look through a record label’s discography
  • Look for people on Soundcloud (Uploaded tracks, Liked tracks)
  • Youtube recommendations
  • Spotify Recommendations
  • Radio
    • 2XX (Canberra)
    • FBI (Sydney)
    • Ground floor (Adelaide)
    • (Melbourne)
    • Skylab (Melbourne)
    • Nomad Radio (Sydney)
  • Podcasts
    • Beats of No Nation
    • Beats In Space
    • Melbourne Deepcast
Get your music ready for a set

You’ll need to use Rekordbox to load music onto a USB for most CDJs and controllers at Canberra events. Here’s a quick tutorial.

We recommended using iTunes to manage your overall music library because it’s compatible with most DJ systems (Rekordbox, Serato, Traktor…).

Genie suggests making a playlist with around 100 songs per hour you’ll be playing. Joanne uses “at least 1 song per minute” as a rule of thumb. 

Joanne recommends spending some dosh on a USB 3.0 so you won’t have to wait as long to transfer files. They’re cheaper on Cash in The Attic, but you can also get them at JB Hifi or Officeworks.

Read more about music!
  • Resident Advisor blog
  • Sounding Out! Journal
    An academic journal on sound and music
  • Last Night a DJ Saved My Life – Bill Brewster
    A book on DJ History)

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Borrowing gear for a gig

At the minimum, you will need


  • 2 CDJs and a Mixer
  • 2 RCA cables
  • 2 XLR cables
  • 1 link cable (basically an ethernet cable. CAT5 and CAT6 are both fine)
  • 1 Power board
  • 1 Extension cord


  • 1 controller
  • 2 XLR cables
  • 1 Power board
  • 1 Extension cord
If the venue does not have a sound system you will also need
  • 2 speakers and their stands
  • Long extension cords 
It’s nice to have
  • 1 small/medium speaker so you can monitor what you’re playing
  • 1 RCA cable for the monitor speaker
  • 1 mixing board, especially if there will be a mic for an MC. Some venues have their own mixing boards
  • A Microphone / recording device to record your mix
Some organisations you can borrow gear from are
  • Vessel – drop us a message on facebook or by email
  • Woroni Radio
  • Univibes
  • Communi-fi Sound (just sound systems)

Usually it’s the event organiser’s job to sort this stuff out, but sometimes they may not know what you need, especially if they’re a student club or association. Double check to confirm what they have organised and what you need to bring and do. If you’re getting paid and you’ve been asked to sort out borrowing and transporting gear, consider charging for this time and labour as well.

If your venue is outdoors, you will need to protect the gear from weather and dust by placing it under cover and at a distance from the dance floor. You should probably keep drinks away from the gear. If you’re borrowing equipment from different places and people, it’s important to keep track of what you’re borrowing from where.

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Useful legal and business stuff

Australian Business Number (ABN)

When you get your first paid gig, you should register for an ABN as a sole trader. This makes invoicing and tax easier for venues. Registering for an ABN is free and takes about 1o minutes.


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things on invoice: date sent/ date payment is due/ invoice number (roll on from last invoice or use date as invoice number) / abn / bank details (bsb / account number) or other way to get munny

Domain name

As you start getting booked and paid, you should verify if your DJ name is legally available. You can check at whether your business name is available with the Australian government’s Business Registration Service.


Things go wrong. Your equipment was stolen, the venue’s priceless ming vase was shattered, beer was spilt on your gear—or worse, gear that you’re borrowing. It’s a great idea to get insured against damage, . Steph recommends using Duck for Cover , a not-for profit performing arts insurance organisation. It’s the cheapest public liability insurance that covers artists during, to and from the venue.

Artist union

Steph recommends joining the Musicians Union of Australia to stay informed of your rights and entitlements as a performer. For example, if you’re concerned about a situation that seems unfair, you can contact them to enquire about what your rights are in that situation. This is especially useful when venues or organisers are late in paying your invoices.

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Health and Wellbeing

Protect your Ears!

Use earplugs or you will get tinnitus from exposure to loud sound. THERE IS NO CURE FOR TINNITUS. You can find sound reducing earplugs in pharmacies, but they tend to make everything sound like a wet boot. Joanne thinks it’s super worth it to get ones made for listening to music, and recommends getting ones with a nice case so you don’t lose them. We bought ours here. We also distribute disposable music earplugs at most of our events for a gold coin donation.

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