Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between DJ and Producer

djDJ vs Producer

When it comes right down to it, the difference between a DJ and a producer is that the DJ is defined by his or her job, in a totally different view than the producer. A DJ replays music, even if there is a certain level of creating his or her own sound. A producer is someone who actually creates, or produces, the music. Even though the producer generally does not have a direct hand in the playing of instruments, or the singing of lyrics, he or she will sit in front of the DAW, and make sure the blended results turn into music that is enjoyable and on point. The DAW is an acronym for digital audio workstation.

The DJ is generally hired per gig. He or she will book a time and place to play. They may spin records, add loops, or put their own style to existing music, but ultimately they are hired to play something that already exists to a specified audience. In a global way, the DJ in a studio is still hired per gig for a specified audience. Their gig just might last twenty years. A producer, on the other hand, is not playing to a specified audience. While the final outcome is intended for a genre, it is not an ‘on display’ type of career.

It is not uncommon for the two jobs to end up being performed by the same person. A DJ becomes a producer when he or she creates, and thereby produces, his or her own music. A producer becomes a DJ when the music created is then played through radio waves, or to a live audience by the same individual.

In general, the producer averages a higher income than a DJ. The only exception to this, is if you compare a producer just starting out, to a DJ that is already well established and has a large national or international fan base.

Most DJs that are not playing in a studio must purchase their own equipment. Most producers have the ability to work within an existing studio, unless they prefer to own their own equipment and record offsite.


1. The DJ replays existing music.

2. The producer creates music that is not yet in existence.

3. A DJ is hired to play at one venue, for a specified audience and period of time.

4. The average income of the producer is higher than that of a typical DJ.

5. The typical DJ will be required to purchase his or her own equipment, while this can usually be optional for the producer.

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  1. People often ask me how I “make my music”. I always respond by saying that I do not produce my own music and that I only “mix” music. While the difference between a DJ and a producer may be obvious to some, it can be confusing to someone who is new to electronic dance music and with the amount of technology DJs have at their disposal the line is slightly blurred. The key difference is that a producer creates music in a studio and a DJ takes already-created music and mixes them together. Let’s examine the differences further:

  2. Hello…
    i think we should not compare a DJ with a producer because a producer puts soul in a song,in other words you can just say that a producer gives birth to a song and DJ gives a nice body to song but i think soul matters.


    • Exactly. Im a Music Producer/DJ. And it does require Soul and Passion for music of all kinds to be a Producer. Im mostly For House/Electro on my part :p

      • The best way to compare the two would be to relate them to the auto industry. A producer is like FORD, they come up with concepts that are somewhat old, but the actual produced end result is something new. It drives on the road like all other produced cars, some faster than others etc, but it looks different.

        A DJ on the other hand is like someone that rebuilds cars. They take something already produced and start adding modifications that make the car more appealing to a set of people. Please note, however, that many people believe the “stock” look to be the best, especially on newer vehicles. Also note how many people make fun of “rice-burners” and their completely useless exhaust modifications and spoilers on front wheel drive cars.

        In other words.. the “soul” that is needed for production FAR outweighs the “bodywork” the DJs do… many times needlessly and sometimes harming the art it self by making it worse. For every successful music producer there are thousands of failing DJs. Reason? The art does not belong to them, therefor DJs will rarely go down in musical history. Producers, on the other hand, share many characteristics of a classical music composer.. and we know first hand how historical they can be don’t we.

        Short answer: compare to the food industry. Production is Gordon Ramsay… DJing is McDonald’s. One may be brash and curse at you (artist, Ramsay).. but the other is on every corner and you already know what you’re going to get… a really crappy version of what someone else came up with that will leave you feeling sick later.

        DJs are also typically more uneducated. Production takes a GREAT deal more knowledge of electronics. Therefore, DJs simply do not deserve the money, reputation, or fame that a producer will gain every time over them.

        • what the hell are you blathering about? no need for a long winded response comparing it to cars. dj’s play music, producers make the music it’s as simple as that.

          • So.. you brought exactly NOTHING to the conversation. What the flying fuck are YOU blabbing on about. “That’s a load of crap.” ..

            Wow! You’re creative! I bet you’ve copied everything you’ve ever taken credit for in your life haven’t you?

            “Blather” is one of those words that hides a self-reflective insult.. the fact that the analogy made no sense to you more proves your lack of understanding (and intelligence/IQ) on the subject than most chimps or toddlers than it does make a solid argument.

            In fact, you made no argument at all. Everything you said (mental vomit) had either been said or was in some way just trolling (and trolling badly at that).

            You, Andy, will NEVER be creative. You will NEVER add up to ANYTHING in the music industry EVER! Bank on this fact buddy boy, because if you’re here because you’re a self-proclaimed “artist” or DJ or producer.. you’re lying to yourself and NO ONE here or anywhere else is going to buy your bad-attitude generating existence.

            How about this for short:

            You suck, but you already know that.. so go fuck yourself.. as if anyone has to tell you to do that to know it’s already happening.

            Andy = definitive tool

  3. A nice post and good effort.By reading this someone can easily
    distinguish between a Dj and a Producer.
    thanks for sharing it and keep gud working

  4. Dj vs Producer : Only one person is both ! Dr.Dre !

    • that’s the biggest load of crap ive ever heard.

      • … indeed. ALL producers are DJs. The idea that a DJ has something OVER a producer is balderdash.

        “Mixing” is the most basic form of what a producer does. It’s 10% of their skill. DJs quite literally do 10% of the job OF a producer, but with someone else’s art.

        There is almost zero artistic ability involved in the work of a DJ. It is a monkey job for monkey brains. When producers are behind the scenes making music or in front of MASSIVE crowds, the DJ is at the bachelor party or the wedding trying to make ends meet using another person’s hard work.

        DJs are not useless, they do the shit work for producers that producers don’t want to do unless they have to. DJs are actually complete slaves to producers. Without producers, DJs wouldn’t have a job. Without DJs, producers would … do exactly what they already do: all the artistic work that deserves 100% of the credit.

        End of subject. If you are a DJ reading this, get a real job loser. Your popularity is short lived and no one will ever remember you. Sell your tables and buy an instrument, then shut up long enough to learn how to play it.

  5. Im a producer:
    1. I play instruments
    2. Make up chord progressions and melodies
    3. I sculpt my own sound with oscillators, lfos, filters and effects like delays reverbs etc
    4. Creating balanced mixes that make all the elements fit together nicely by equalizing, compression, transient shaping, stereo shaping/enhancement etc.
    5. Im also involved with the mastering process of perfecting the track and making it louder with compression/limiting/maximizing etc.

    1. Have a good taste in music
    2. Have some clue about keys and chords to mix tracks together nicely (altough alot of djs lack of this skill)
    3. Learn to hit sync button
    4. Apply filters effects and samples
    5. Look cool

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