What is a “Live Set”? The Experts Explain.

This will be the best Woogie Weekend yet! Packing a tremendous international house and techno lineup and nightly takeovers by some of the most beloved crews in Los Angeles it will definitely be one not to miss. If that wasn’t enough we’ll be dishing out six live sets to sink your tune lovin’ teeth into. Each act will be bringing something special, and each DJ is unique but to anyone who isn’t musically inclined (and even for some who are) what a DJ does onstage behind the decks can appear to be something of a mystery.

So to shed a little light on their process we caught up with Dance Spirit, Rodriguez Jr and Benoit & Sergio to learn: what is a “Live Set”? And these pros shared the insider secrets that make all the difference in the world. Plus, they also gave us a little hint of what’s to come when they take the stage at Woogie Weekend. Here’s what they had to say.

Dance Spirit Explains…

Dance-Spirit-image-by-Alejandro-SonoroWhat is a “Live Set” and how does it differ from a “DJ Set”?

Well there are major differences between a “Live Set” and a “DJ Set”. A DJ Set is primarily composed of the DJ’s musical selections that have been created for the most part by other artists, musicians, and DJ’s. A proper DJ will use his vast musical knowledge to set a tone for what ever is happening at the particular moment in the room or with his audience and attempt to take them on a musical journey all the while making them move, shake, shout, and dance. A live set will do the same thing as far as the aims are concerned, connecting with the crowd and giving them the time of their life, however the methods are different and for many reasons. Whether an artist is creating the music off the cuff with various machines and instruments, or a combination of hardware and software, the artist is showcasing their musical sound by using as a primary source his own material, music, and various studio creations. You can still get the journey, but the ride is going to be different.

What will make your set unique at Woogie Weekend?

As artists our style is always in a state of flux. We are consistently creating in the studio and pushing our selves and our sound and generally the material we play and perform is fairly new, so in that respect what ever place and time you might hear us play is a perfect reflection of where we are currently at as artists, what kind of sounds we are digging, and other things we might be experimenting with. The set its self is always changing, our methods and the way we perform. In the end we have our own passions for the dance floor, and the kind of story we want to tell and moods we wish to evoke depending on the event and our set time. We also bring various machines into the mix for improv situations and adding layers to what ever we are doing with our original stems and loops in the computer. Mostly we enjoy creating beautiful, thoughtful, transcendental and enlightening moments for people while they are dancing. We like to use our music as a healing tool for people’s triune nature, and sometimes there’s no better place to heal than with friends and family on a dance floor.

Photo Credit: Alejandro-Sonoro


Rodriguez Jr Explains…Rodriguez-Jr---by Felicia Melcha

What’s the difference between a “Live Set” and a “DJ set”?

A DJ set is about understanding a dance-floor and create the perfect soundtrack for it using already recorded material. It’s about playing records, while a live set is about performing your own material using actual instruments – drum machines, keyboards, synths … That’s a totally different process allowing the performer to control the music from inside. Different challenge, different connection. Both are difficult and require skills though. 

What will make your set unique at Woogie Weekend?

The feedback I receive from the crowd is the most important input, and can dramatically change the way I perform. I am particularly looking forward to Woogie Weekend because this is the perfect of environment for my music: being outdoor, surrounded by this particular landscape and people … that’s the kind of energy you can only experience in California. And this is actually what I have in mind when producing my music!

Photo Credit: Felicia Melecha


Benoit & SergioBenoitAndSergio_WillCalcutt Explain…

What’s the difference between a “Live Set” and a “DJ set”?

A DJ plays other people’s music that he or she mixes, traditionally, on turntables. In a live set, an artist or duo or group plays their own music in any variety of ways–but usually with ableton live, a software program that functions as a kind of mini-studio, as a main component of the set. There can be vocals, modular synths, drum machines, etc., that add improvisational elements to the music. 

What will make your set unique at Woogie Weekend?

We have sent a personal, hand written letter to slash of Guns n Roses to see if he would like to solo on top of some stuff. We haven’t heard back yet. 

Photo Credit: Will Calcutt