Camp Spin-Off is where young aspiring DJs go to play, literally. This summer, Gibson Pro Audio made sure the camp experience was better than ever by providing the next generation of DJs with professional equipment to further hone their mixing skills. With the help of Gibson, campers combined traditional camp activities with one-of-a-kind experiences, such as break dance classes and DJ mixing workshops. As part of the weeklong sleep-away experience, students had the opportunity to use Stanton SCS.4DJ USB Mix Stations for a friendly cabin competition after hours and the Stanton STR8.150 and ST.150 Turntables, powered through KRK ROKIT speakers, during class sessions.
Gibson representative and Camp Spin-Off instructor DJ Spark kicked off the camp by presenting each cabin with an SCS.4DJ and instructions to create a five-minute mix. At the close of week, guest DJs judged each mix, and the winning cabin was announced at an end of camp pool party. The winners each got to take home an SCS.4DJ of their own. The challenge was a favorite among both new and returning DJs.
“The feedback from the campers and counselors was that this competition was the best addition to the camp in its four-year history,” says Tina “DJ Tina T” Turnbull, the founder and director of Camp Spin-Off. “The kids learned how to use the SCS.4DJ very quickly on their own and never came to me with questions. They were working together as a group, so everyone had a great time learning. They were all so proud of their mixes and the fact that they created them together. The DJ mentors, counselors and I were all incredibly impressed with the finished products as well.”
Geared towards DJs of all levels, from beginner to professional, the SCS.4DJ USB Mix Station is a complete state-of-the-art digital DJ system and can be controlled without a laptop. It offers a simple interface that is easy to navigate. DJs can simply load music saved on a smartphone or USB drive and view the entire music library and playlists on the color LCD screen in the center. With the push of a button, they can begin recording. The straightforward controls were perfect for the Camp Spin-Off attendees, who all enjoyed their unlimited access to the gear, only stopping their creativity at curfew.
“We had to have the sound off by 11 p.m., but until then, whenever you walked around the cabins, it was like one big party,” continues Turnbull. “Everyone sounded great, especially thanks to the KRK ROKITs. We’ve never had such an amazing sound system before. The Gibson Pro Audio sound equipment made the camp ten times better this year. This was hands-down my favorite summer since starting Camp Spin-Off.”
Turnbull, who herself recalls happy childhood memories of sleep-away camp, got the idea for the camp when, noting an increased trend in specialized summer camps for kids, she saw a void in the options for aspiring DJs. So, she pulled together camp instructors and professional DJs and started Camp Spin-Off in Ojai, California. The camp features traditional activities such as zip line rides, sports activities and campfires, combined with special music- and dance-oriented offerings.
“Our camp is unique because one minute you’re going to DJ classes and learning to spin on a professional STR8.150 turntable and then the next you’re making s’mores by the fire,” explains Turnbull. “It’s more than just a set of classes; it’s an experience that these kids will remember for years. I just know that when they are adults, they’ll reflect on their summer camp days spent learning to DJ.”
Today, Camp Spin-Off is attended by 50 teens, ages 13 to 17, half of which participate through scholarships. This allows kids from all walks of life to have a time-honored camp experience while also getting the chance to learn DJ and production skills on professional gear.
In addition to Turnbull and DJ Spark, other guest DJs for this year included Mix Master Mike, The Dolls, The Captains of Industry, DJ Dynamix, DJ Carisma, and DJ Incrediboi. When Turnbull is not the camp director, she can be found spinning mixes as DJ Tina T at her residency at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas or at renowned venues around the world.