When I was growing up I remember watching this show on Nickelodeon called Salute Your Shorts. It was a teen comedy on a group of campers hanging out at summer camp. Most of their activities were what you would normally think when you think of summer camp; swimming, crafts, archery, etc. Fast forward to age 28 and I’m at summer camp. Yeah that’s right, you heard correctly summer camp. The kids at the camp weren’t making wack crafts or shooting arrows though, they were dropping on the one and bobbin’ to some trap. Let me rewind for a second to explain.
I was commissioned by Native Instruments to teach a 3 day Traktor S2 workshop for an amazing summer camp called “Camp Spinoff.” Initially I was slightly intimidated and worried on how I would be able to teach some of the advanced techniques that I have developed throughout the years to young kids with little to no experience in Traktor and the Kontrol S2. None the less I took the challenge and went up north to Ojai Valley where Camp Spinoff takes place. After I got the wheels rolling and my first day of class was under way I was blown away at the professionalism of some of the kids. By the end of camp I had thm throwing down mashups, cue point juggles, and some advanced FX transitions. It was incredibly rewarding for me to see how much these young kids had picked up in such a short amount of time. But how, well the camp is a non stop music engrossing experience with a ton of fun, educational, and challenging musical activities.
Camp Spinoff (run by DJ Tina T) is an amazing place for kids to experience DJ culture, music culture, hip hop, edm, etc. It was then when I figured it all out, the kids were picking up the techniques so rapidly because they were getting tidbits of music at almost every waking moment throughout their other courses, watching music films, experiencing live performances. Even though most of those other actives had nothing to do with an S2 or Traktor, it was that in-depth exposure that allowed them to carry the information in their young ADD minds long enough to put them to use while doin’ work in my Traktor class. This is why I believe that these full blown music educational experiences for kids are vital into their development as artists and overall good people who appreciate history, culture, and music. It also keeps me motivated to continue to teach my techniques to all of you; my readers and loyal supporters. Even though I am working on an album, working on more mixes, and furthering my live performance routines I still think that music education is as important to myself as an artist as the actual music I am producing and mixing. So for this I want to send a huge shout out to Camp Spinoff and all of the people involved in making this possible.
If you’ve never heard of Camp Spinoff, it’s a 5 day DJ intensive camp that is crazy fun, exciting, entertaining, and educational. Camp Spinoff is run by DJ Tina T and is taught by a slew of amazingly talented DJ’s from all over the west coast. On top of that it’s filled with an all star roster of guest performances/lectures by DJ’s such as, DJ Riz, Screen Werks, The Captains of the Industry and Samantha Ronson.
This year the camp featured:
1. DJ 101 course that included: scratching, basic beat counting, beatmatching, and phrasing, all taught on 2 tech 1200’s and a Rane mixer — no computers here folks, all basic fundamental skills.
2. Remixing course that included: beat production, remixing, and some video editing fun using Ableton Live.
3. Digital DJing Traktor course that included: basic software overview, mixing fundamentals with EQing, loops, and cue points, and live mashups using the Kontrol S2.
At the end of camp the kids took away 5 days of learning, friendships, and an amazing experience that none of them will ever forget.
Check out Camp Spinoff on their official site, twitter and facebook.