Where Do DJs Get Their Music From?

Finding the right tracks is one of the most fun challenges that come with being a DJ. But where do you even begin your search? As you know, buying a lot of singles or multiple versions of the same song will start to add up sooner or later. Today, guest blogger Amar Amlani (DiceDJ) is here to tell you all the tricks of the trade, so you can continue, or start, to astound your audience with fresh beats.


Just how useful it is does depend on your style, but SoundCloud is full of both up-and-coming and experienced producers willing to share their music. This sets up a beautiful win-win situation, since they get to promote their music while you get to drop unique tracks on the dance floor. SoundCloud serves up tons of original tracks but also lets you download thousands of bootlegs. Sometimes, you’ll have to click ‘Buy’ before you’re redirected to an external webpage where you can then download the track for free. Other times, this button gives access to a (Dropbox) folder containing multiple free songs. If you’re lucky, the producer has placed a ‘Free Download’ button to save you all that fuss. Do keep in mind that often, free downloads aren’t free until you’ve left a comment or like. While finding great tracks, mixes and samples via SoundCloud can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, nothing is as rewarding as coming across a true diamond in the rough. Also, some DJs rip music from SoundCloud by converting tracks to MP3s. We’d just like to say that next to the fact that this is illegal, in most cases, the ripped songs are poor quality, 192 kbps files, and not every sound system is going to do the track justice.

Where Do DJs Get Their Music From?

Buying Singles

The most obvious way to go is to buy singles from services like iTunes, Beatport, Qobuz, et cetera. Depending on the quality of the file (e.g. MP3 320kbps, FLAC, WAV), you pay a certain amount of money before you are able to download it. Beatport is pretty nice because it includes track-related information such as the key the song is in and the BPM, and you’ll occasionally receive a voucher that you can use to get a discount when you want to purchase multiple songs. The downside here is that buying a lot of singles or multiple versions of the same song will start to add up sooner or later. Alternatively, you could search for compilation albums on iTunes. What’s nice about these kind of digital platforms is that they’ve managed to properly incorporate the concept of serendipity and as such, often feature a recommendation system that’s based on your preferences and past purchases. If you can’t find inspiration, why not let it come to you!

Where Do DJs Get Their Music From?

Streaming Service Subscription and DJ Software Integration

A number of DJ software developers, including Serato and Djay Pro 2, are working on integrating streaming services like Tidal. This means that you’ll be able to use everything that Tidal has to offer to play your shows. It’s a slightly controversial development but no one can deny the huge potential that it promises. If your DJ software and set-up support it, you can load entire playlists into your turntable or controller to scratch, loop, assign cue-points and drop effects. The drawback is that these services require an active internet connection that’s stable enough to get you through an entire set without any hiccups. On top of that, you’ll need a premium subscription to link the streaming service to your software. Also, the $64,000 question is just how legal it is to use streaming services for commercial public performances. Since this topic deserves a blog of its own and this is not the time and place, we recommend you read the terms and conditions that come with a subscription to a streaming service.

Music From Your Own Network

If there are people in your social network who also like to produce music, you can always ask them to share their latest tracks with you. This way, you can add fresh sounds to your mixes and play beats that no one’s heard yet. As yet another win-win situation, this generally doesn’t cost you anything but can certainly prove worth it.

Where Do DJs Get Their Music From?

DJ Record Pools

It seems like most of us are slowly but surely getting used to subscription-based models. It’s not just films and music, these days, you can even get your monthly supply of razor blades delivered to your doorstep. More specifically, there are now DJ record pool subscriptions available. Filled with a vast collection of downloadable tracks, each pool has its own set of pros and cons. Some are aimed at a certain style, while others offer the possibility to get your hands on a shiny new song two months prior to release. Most even give you the choice to download both the dirty and the clean, less-explicit version and in addition, offer intro-edited versions to give DJs a little more time to mix the track in. Below, I’ll highlight various DJ pools so you can take a look for yourself.

DJ Pools: Pros and Cons

One of the biggest benefits is that DJ pools always keep their record libraries up to date and filled with great quality songs. As a DJ, you’re always guaranteed access to the latest tracks and their different versions and can check out a preview to see how you like a certain song before downloading it directly. Music is tagged and sorted by genre, key and BPM and you can often find lists including the most popular and recent or theme-based music. Some DJ pools even offer the possibility to use your phone to scroll through lists, select and download songs. Basically, this means that you’re paying for updated lists of recommended music that have been conveniently compiled for you and can be accessed in multiple ways. Since this will set you back somewhere between £10 and £50+ per month, it’s up to you to decide whether or not a DJ pool is worth the investment.

Where Do DJs Get Their Music From?

My DJ Pool Experience

The way I see it, the more parties you get to play, the more fun it is to surprise the crowd with songs they’ve never heard before. DJ pools offer a great way to quickly and easily find such songs and, if you usually get paid to perform, it hopefully won’t take you long to see a return on the investment. Here’s a list of various DJ pools divided into the monthly subscription price:

DJ Pools that cost up to £20 per month

  • ACAPELLAS4U: Free and fun downloadable acapellas but not every sample is the same high quality.
  • Promo Only: Inexpensive way to keep up with different styles like Top 40, Urban and Dance; also offers more expensive subscription plans including multiple styles and music videos.
  • Digital DJ Pool: Costs as little as £1 and is a great option to get your hands on different versions of the same song.
  • CICANO.COM: For roughly £15 per month, CICANA provides you with fresh Urban, Hip-Hop and R&B style music.
  • BPM Latino: Offers lots of Reggaeton, Cumbia, Mambo, Merengue and other Latin styles of music.
  • MyMP3Pool.com: Top 40, Electro, R&B, Hip-Hip, Trap and more. Also offers extended versions of popular songs and Dropbox integration so you can download tracks to your phone and transfer them to your laptop later.
  • Franchise Record Pool: Use their user-friendly app to listen to and download music. Originals (clean & explicit), extended versions, remixes, it’s all there.

DJ Pools that cost upwards of £20 per month

  • Crate Connect Record Pool: Urban, Reggae, Top 40, House and more. This DJ pool offers WAV packs and has a large back-catalog filled with older songs.
  • Spinback Promos: Clear website with tons of songs in different styles that can be quickly checked out and downloaded, plus an extensive collection of acapella tracks that can be used to mix mash-ups.
  • DJcity: Popular source known for posting DJ gear reviews on YouTube. DJcity offer great filter and search options (style, bpm, type) and serve up different versions of the latest songs.
  • BPM Supreme: All the classics from the as far back as the ‘70s to right now, and a clear and easy-to-navigate website. BPM Supreme also keeps track of the songs you’ve downloaded. If you lose them, you can always download them again.
  • BeatJunkies: Offers custom edits and more next to a large library of songs.
  • CD Pool: Gives you the choice between various packs, from Mobile DJ to Underground. Following a one-time purchase, you can also download a complete series here (e.g. a list including the most famous dance tracks).
  • Late Night Record Pool: Huge collection, lots of styles, easily downloadable compressed music packs and great filter options (including ‘Decade’!). For something between £25-40 a month, LNRP offers DJs a genuinely smooth experience.
  • zipDJ: At at $50 a month, this is the most expensive one on the list, and buys you a refined and polished experience when searching and filtering music and downloading multiple songs in one go. zipDJ offers exclusive remixes, a plethora of styles, an enormous library and theme packs.

As you can tell, there’s plenty to choose from! To find what works best for you, I’d say just try a few of them out and see which one best suits your style and taste.

Where you do get your music from? And what’s your favourite DJ pool? Feel free to leave a comment below, even if it’s just to point out something I’ve forgotten to include.

See Also

» The Ideal DJ Lighting Setup
» 7 Tips For Preparing Your DJ Set
» SoundCloud Pro, Is It Worth It?
» Hot Cues And How To Use Them
» Beatmatching: The Basics
» How To Become A DJ
» How Do I Choose The Right DJ Controller?
» What Is The Best DJ Software For Me?
» How I Choose The Right DJ Mixer?
» What Is The Best DJ Turntable For Me?

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