How to find music..?
When you’re recording a set or performing at a gig, you need to have enough music to have tracks to choose from. Some gigs can last several hours, so it’s important to have a sufficient library for every occasion and mood. And downloading music costs money.
If you’re thinking of downloading music illegally, that’s a no-go. And really it’s not worth the risk. Not only do you risk playing low-quality tracks, but you aren’t supporting the music industry. Relate it to yourself; maybe you’d like to make your own music one day. You’ve worked hours in the studio, and some penny pincher doesn’t want to shell out the buck-fifty for your track. Or imagine this: You are DJ-ing at a party, and someone backstage notices the track you’re playing is titled something like “djted_originalmix-320kbs_mp3.download.” If an artist booker suspects your tracks have been illegally acquired, it’s not likely he’d book you for the next gig.
Ultimately, it’s just not worth it. But I get it. It’s hard to know your options starting out. Here’s how and where you can find high-quality music:
- Spotify, Apply Music, and other music-streaming platforms
- Paid / Market Place, Beatport, Bandcamp, Juno Download, Traxsource, Bleep, Boomkat
- Record Pools
- DJ/Label Mailing Lists
- Social Media
Spotify and other music streaming platforms to find music
The automatic playlists generated by Spotify and Apple Music are an ideal way to discover new music. You can follow artists you like, and Spotify will share new music in their weekly ‘Release Radar.’ Spotify also has a ‘Go To Radio’ function when you listen to a track you enjoy, which takes you to music with a similar vibe. You can also follow artists’ custom playlists or select certain “mood” playlists on platforms like Beatport, and most labels or music influencers curate playlists on platforms like Spotify. We also have several Spotify playlists. Click here to check them out.
You can discover new music on most streaming services. Just remember, to own the music to play in your sets or gigs, you’ll need to download the files from another service.
With a monthly subscription to Beatport, you can get a link that allows direct streaming from their music library –– a worthy price to pay for instant access to a world of music.
SoundCloud is a great way to discover bigger artists’ new music, but also music from budding DJs/producers. By following your favorite artists, you can stay up to date with their new releases. You can search for artists, specific music genres, your favorite labels, and other online music communities. You can find premieres, free downloads, and new mixtapes on our SoundCloud every week. Click here to check it out.
DJs and producers share new tracks on the platform, and for the most part, they directly link to a download on the track. This way you can buy the track on Beatport or Bandcamp. Additionally, some artists offer remixes or original track downloads for free, which you can play in your own DJ sets.
For your own music or remixes, Hypeddit is a way to gain traction on SoundCloud. Hypeddit allows you to share free downloads of your music in exchange for fan email addresses, likes, reposts, comments, and followers on SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and other sites –– an ultimate win-win. People can access your track for free, your track is given a bigger audience, and you gain connections and expand your social media following.
There are also a lot of independent artists on Soundcloud looking to establish themselves, so it’s a reliable way to discover hidden gems.
We highly recommend SoundCloud for finding new music and downloading links –– paid or free –– for tracks to use in your sets. But remember, never use external software to illegally rip music from the site. It’s not only illegal, but the quality is very poor. Some artists change the BPMs in the track itself, rendering it nearly impossible to beat-match in your sets. If you can’t find a download link on the track, try Googling the artist and track name. If you still can’t find anything, try to contact the artist and ask how you can get a copy.
Paid / Market Place
One of the biggest and most well-known music sources for DJs is Beatport.
Beatport allows you to download high-quality file formats and has distinct “Top 100” charts for different music genres, including Deep house, minimal deep/tech, tech house, melodic house/techno, and many more. However, any DJ can easily download the “Top 100” lists and play them on their set. As a DJ, you want to uncover the hidden gems. Let people discover new music through you.
Furthermore, you can search by BPM and “keys,” or select playlists curated by other DJs.
After the recent launch of “Beatport LINK,” you can now stream music directly to compatible DJ controllers.
Speaking of electronic music… if you can’t find it on Beatport, it’s probably on Juno Download. Like Beatport, Juno Download offers a wide variety of uncompressed file formats.
With such a large selection and range of music, Juno Download is an ideal place for DJs to buy and easily download music. You can even listen to a song entirely before you decide to purchase it.
Juno Download is extremely flexible and DJ-friendly with its files. In addition to MP-3 files, they provide various high-quality formats, including WAV, FLAC, and ALAC.
Their top song, genre, and recommended music sections are valuable, offering extensive track collections. Juno Download also offers exclusive and promotional releases useful for DJs.
Bandcamp is dedicated to music discovery and artist support. This platform focuses on helping artists grow. The artists can price their work themselves, though many offer free access to their music and give listeners the option to support them.
By signing up with your email address and zip code, you can download any music that artists make available. Some artists offer both free streaming and downloading, while others offer free streaming and require payment for downloads. For many tracks, however, you need to pay to stream and download. A lot of artists have seen growth through Bandcamp.
Other websites to check out are:
- Bleep (Great recommended tracks section, and sells some vinyl records)
- Traxsource (A good place for underground house music and exclusive tracks)
- Boomkat (Check it out if you’re looking for underground tracks to download, vinyl, CD or cassettes)
YouTube is another ideal place to discover music. By subscribing to your favorite artists or labels, you can keep up with new or anticipated releases, or dive deep into their uploaded collections. Additionally, the “suggested videos” can lead you to discover similar music from other artists. Besides that; popular festivals and artists (well-known or up-and-coming) frequently upload their full sets, so you can check out which tracks they’re playing.
Record Pools keep you updated on a variety of new music. By subscribing to a Record Pool for a monthly fee, you’ll be able to download loads of new and older music across a variety of genres. The pricing and quality, however, can vary. There are a lot of options, so make sure to do your research before committing.
Some big Record Pools are Release Promo, ZipDJ, and BPM Supreme.
Honestly, it’s not easy to get on DJ or label mailing lists. They mostly consist of well-known DJs with an established following. They want to ensure their new music finds the right ears –and won’t be illegally shared. But, it’s not impossible. It doesn’t hurt to ask your favorite artists or labels to get on their mailing lists!
You can also discover new music on social media. Almost all artists and labels share new releases on Instagram, Facebook, and now, TikTok. Follow your favorite DJs, labels, and music influencers to keep a finger on the pulse of the industry. If you don’t want to miss anything on Instagram, you can enable push notifications for every new post. Most artists, labels, and music influencers also post their personal Spotify playlists and SoundCloud pages.
Lastly, if you are a fan of a certain artist, make sure to check out who they are following. Maybe you’ll discover someone new. 😃