Monday, August 30, 2010

Tools of the Trade

The discussions on what DJ’s use are pretty redundant arguments. Differing definitions of what makes a ‘real’ or ‘good’ DJ mean for some people, certain technologies are considered ‘cheating’. Personally, I think it ultimately comes down to how you work a crowd and get them dancing and you do what ever you feel you need to do as a DJ to do that. Crowd control is key.

I myself use Serato with turntables. I do this because one I like the feel of the vinyl, using a laptop is really fun and convenient for me and finally because I’ve learnt how to DJ using various computer setups over the years, I never learnt how to beat match by ear. As such I kinda gotta play this way in order to match the tempos graphically. I have mad respect for those who can do it by ear though, though many might consider my Serato use cheating.

This touch screen set up has me really intrigued though and a lot of thought has gone into its streamlined design, doing away with a conventional mixer. Further consideration for crowd interaction and DJ practicalities (just a thumb drive would be nice, swapping Serato boxes is a bitch) has also obviously been crucial to its development. Furthermore, despite its futurism, it doesn’t do anything new. Namely its doesn’t mix or sync your tracks for you, so all the core elements of the craft are preserved in something that is very new and very modern.

I’d really like to try this out one day to see how it plays and feels. It seems like a really cool way to play music to a crowd and I have only 2 slight reservations about it. Firstly I’m a big fan of tactile control, namely the feel of both vinyl turntables and actual controls as opposed to a touch screen. Secondly, DJing is a craft that at least for me can often happen under conditions of inebriation and I don’t know if drunk me could handle a touch screen. Even so, I would love to give this a shot one-day.

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