Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DJ Physics

When you go to a Science Festival, maybe your first thought isn't that you'll end up dancing! However that has been one of my strong reactions to this years events at Edinburgh International Science Festival! I've already reviewed Emotion in Motion and last night I went along to DJ Physics.

I used to go clubbing regularly and was always fascinated by what the DJs were doing with the music but never enough to actually think about it too much, all my attention being given to dancing. So I was fascinated to finally get a chance to see what does go on in the DJ booth, both in terms of the practicalities and the science.

Martin Archer is a DJ and academic physicist who promised to make us all into expert DJs by the end of his presentation. I doubt I could now take over in my favourite club, but it certainly was a very entertaining event. There was lots of music to demonstrate how to skillfully move from one track into the next (and demonstrations on how not to do it). There was also a demonstration of how sound moving through a gas filled tube can cause flames to dance to the music, which was probably the highlight of an excellent event.

Martin Archer claims that DJs are puppet masters, manipulating the crowd to enjoy themselves, keep the dance-floor filled and the atmosphere upbeat. He shared his secrets of how all this works, though I'm guessing there would be more to it than that, to really become a successful club DJ.

Disclaimer: Clicket gave me the ticket for this event.

As ever, coloured text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.

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