Brand wars – why do you care so much?


Traktor vs Serato

Little endian and big endian — terms probably familiar to some (2 different methods for storing bytes in memory apparently), but less known is the fact that it comes from Gulliver’s Travels (as does yahoo) and refers to the religious war between opposing Lilliputian factions. In the book (which I urge you to read), they fight about cracking an egg at the big end or the little end, exhibiting fervour and extremism over something that in the whole scheme of things really doesn’t matter.

But this week’s post about Serato‘s 2.4.4 update has all the hallmarks of stimulating the similar age-old Traktor vs Serato war. 2 ways to crack the same egg in my book, but it almost always triggers flame wars that go nowhere, that are essentially pointless. Does anyone really think that shouting into a keyboard will immediately change the mind of the opposing commenters? It doesn’t so why waste time doing it? “Thanks for bellowing at me in full caps – you’re quite right and I’m doing a full 180° U-turn on my stance”. Said nobody ever.

Years ago, I was very guilty of taking part in this. As a proper Mac geek, complete with shiny Apple Product Professional badge, I ferociously defended the honour of my beloved computer of choice. I could easily trot out reasons why Macs were the second coming and why PCs could suck my… well you get the idea.

But a number of years ago, I had an epiphany. I realised that no matter how many logical points I could throw at my opponent, the level of blind brand loyalty or hatred destroyed any common sense or factual accuracy. So eventually, I stopped giving a crap about what other people used. All that matters is what my preference is. Does it matter if Joe Bloggs uses Windows? Not in the slightest. As long as what I use works for me, then that is all that matters.

And here we are in the DJ world with precisely the same pointless cyclical wars polluting DJWORX. Technics or Vestax? Serato or Traktor? Denon or Pioneer? Does it really matter? So the next time you foam at the virtual mouth and hammer reams of hate into the comments box, I want you to take a step back, a deep breath, and ask yourself a question:

Does it really matter?

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t have opinions — far from it. I actively encourage people to share viewpoints on all manner of subjects. But instead of blind hate, isn’t it better to promote the greatness of your chosen product? It’s easier to persuade someone that product X is good, rather than dumping on them for using opposing product Y.

Real world example — many years ago, I had a meeting with an Apple dealer about installing a system to make my DTP life easier. All the sales rep could do was give me a world of reasons why I shouldn’t go to his competitors, but none why I should use him. I stopped him mid flow and informed him that if all he could do was slag everyone else off, then we couldn’t do business, and showed him the door.

And this is the approach you should take too. Serato is not shit, and Traktor is not trash. They’re world-class industry leading and defining products, with a vast loyal happy legion of users. Just because it doesn’t fit your needs doesn’t make it shit, simply that you prefer to use something else. And are you sure it’s the software and not your computer or library full of random MP3s?

Getting back to the point, it doesn’t matter what end of the egg you crack, just as long as the egg is properly cooked and tastes amazing. And if I could just leave a question for you to ponder — why do you care so much what the next man uses? Does it really matter?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrispop.christianbeermann Chrispop Christian Beermann

    amen

  • http://www.facebook.com/wojciech.hejnik Wojciech Hejnik

    It’s quite simple, people are looking for thier personality in brands. Some think, that they would vanish without THINGS. i have Numark TT500, Numark X5 mixer, Mixvibes software, and FOR ME it’s pretty good. i don’t give a damn if someone is using other stuff. who cares i mean, good DJ can MIX even od frypan :) bad dj will make shitty mix even using CDJ’s 2000 and ECLER mixer. Skills. This is important. Am i right?

  • Jared Helfer

    It’s too true. These discussions are rife with people just yelling about how they are right and everyone who disagrees is wrong. In the end the results are what is important, and none of these discussions produce a better result by themselves. They are just tools to reach that result.

    • Toastmonster

      I win

  • http://www.facebook.com/viktor.karlsson.146 Viktor Karlsson

    I totally agree. All I care about the products I buy/use, is the quality (it’s should work propper for at least 10 years). And how it interacts with my prefferences. Coudn’t care less about what name/brand is stamped on it.

    It’s the same with music. I always say: ” there are 2 kinds of good music. The music I like and the music everybody else likes.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/wojciech.hejnik Wojciech Hejnik

    at the end, you will find out, what your mother was doing, when she was young : P ) (your oponent tell you this for sure)Seriously, WHO CARES? the funny thing is, that every discussion LOOKS THE SAME. i mean, no matter what is the subject of argument – Andorid vs. iOS, Mac vs PC, Atheism Vs. Religion, it’s always look the same.

  • CutSelekta

    i use technics M5Gs and they are the best DJ turntables in the world, but id rather have 2 Stanton STR-150s because of the straight tonearms arms and powerful motor and bigger pitch range. Not a Numark or Vestax deck fan but if ppl are happy to use them than i wont tell them to get something else.

    • DJ STU-C

      yeah agree with this, my mate uses vestax and i always hated em, they feel terrible to me when trying to use them, almost too much torque. i have technics 1210mk3s but my feeling is that the stanton 150s are awesome decks and a true replacement for techs.

    • Zam

      I got a STR8-150 (straight arm) for two years (mainly for recording purposes and by curiosity as well) in addition to the Technics. It was great for the reasons you mentioned. but I sold it anyway because of tonearm vibrations when scratching on a “bass kick”, poor external sound isolation and background noise. So back to Technics forever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wojciech.hejnik Wojciech Hejnik

    Gear doesn’t make you PRO. but being fanboy makes you douchebag.

    • realist

      I just want to point out that being a fanboy doesn’t make someone a douchebag… being negative about everything that isn’t being used by them – that makes that person a douche bag.

      I’m an allen and heath fan boy, but I don’t think that every thing other than Allen and heath is crap. I just prefer A & H.

      • http://www.facebook.com/wojciech.hejnik Wojciech Hejnik

        fanboy is agressive nad blind. if you prefer A&H, you’re not fanboy, just A&H user. imho. btw: my A&H XD 53 broke after 9 months. i still have 3 months warranty. i realy, reallecy cared about them. and you know what polish A&H service said? “sorry, there is no replacemnt parts, so won’t help you”. Great A&H, just great.

        • Realist

          OK, I think the definition of a Fan Boy is different for different people. I don’t really think that name calling is a good road to go down anyways.

          The Allen and Heath headphones are aweful. They are only good at Mixers and really only 4 Mixers; Xone 22, 62, 92 and DB4, thats it.

          In regards to headphones: Sennhieser HD25’s, Pioneer HDJ1500’s/2000’s, Technics RPDJ1200/10 or the Urban Ears Zinken’s are probably the best headphones on the market for DJing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/wojciech.hejnik Wojciech Hejnik

            Okay. But they cost about 220 dollars. it’s pretty much. and i expect, that they will live bit longer. My previous headphones (technics rpdh1200) are 2,5 years old. and they still kicks ass. and they were about 40 dollars cheaper.

  • http://www.viperfunk.com/ jprime

    I say if someone has a beef with what you are using they can either put up or shut up. With today’s technology it should be easy to settle it in DJ mortal combat. Bring back DJ battles and everyone wins.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=514267866 Jason Sparkes

    All great points gentlemen. And I hope the comment thread stays this way for this topic. I agree with you all. Work with what works well for you. I will occasionally mentor up and coming DJ’S and tell them the same thing. You don’t need CDJ-2000’s out of the box. Especially if you can’t afford them. I avoid getting caught up in the Traktor vs. Serato debate. They’re both fantastic products that serve their clients well. If you prefer the straight tonearm on the Vestax as opposed to the SL-1200, stick to it and brush off the haters who might judge you.

  • Ryan Supak

    In the end: Insecurity, fear of not knowing oneself, fear of not being loved.

    rs

  • http://www.facebook.com/tretuna Tré Tuna

    It’s the end product that is the important thing. I’ve always been an advocate of using what you want, how you want. For me it’s Traktor with my tables, and a slew of controllers as well. I’m also a big fan of NI and Vestax gear, and it works for my setup. I love Traktor because of the versatility that I have with it, and I bought it 6 years ago even though EVERYONE I knew and DJed with used Serato. I simply saw my future in DJing, and where I was going with it, better suited with the capabilities of Traktor. Thank goodness I made that decision too, because my setup just wouldn’t work with Serato. Nothing against it, it just doesn’t work for me. I don’t knock anyone for what they use, because I’ve seen amazing sets from plenty of DJs using the most basic of setups, and I’ve seen trash ass sets from DJs using setups worth $5k+… it’s about skillz, music, and rocking a crowd… Not who’s setup is better then the next guy, or why they’re an idiot for using “so and so” system rather then what you use.

  • http://twitter.com/versionsuicides Stevenson Roberts

    I’ve been using Stanton STR8.150s for sometime now. Nothing against Technics, I just dig ‘em. I also don’t follow djs based on gear. Skills and Selektah mentality is what most are drawn to. We all love the craft, so there should be no hate between us.

  • http://www.mobiledjforums.com/ GroovinDJ

    I’ll use whatever product does the job I need it to do, regardless of who makes it.

  • http://spencerthayer.tumblr.com Spencer “Thunderball” Thayer

    I use both Traktor and Serato when I am not just using USB in a Pioneer CDJ. Just depends on what I want to do. People who lock sight on a single anything loose site of the possibilities.

  • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

    Still not getting why people hate on products, and people who use them, or the line where blind fanboy becomes bitter hater.

    • http://www.mobiledjforums.com/ GroovinDJ

      As most DJs are male, maybe it’s the DJ equivalent of football team support…. you pick a team and stick with it to the bitter end, no matter what. Anyone who supports another team is scum, and your team is the best, even if they’ve scored no goals all season!
      I remember at school, having to feign support of a team even though I don’t like football, because it was expected of you if were male – you had to “pick a side”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dylan-DeeWhy-Adams/1157907165 Dylan DeeWhy Adams

    Usually I see format hate- turnies vs cdj vs controllers. It’s realllllly fucking boring, actually. Talk about music instead?

  • Mike_Safari

    I think it boils down to, “Why did that guy go with that thing instead of my clearly superior option?”

    A lot of people like to believe that they have the best and if they see someone using something else, then it’s like, “Well, maybe mine isn’t the best… No it definitely is this guy is just a [insert random insult here].”

  • DJ STU-C

    i love listening to peoples views on the equipment they use, and seeing interesting setups

    what annoys me though is pioneer fan boys bashing on about how great their decks are when in reality they are not built with any great durability and cost a fortune

    pioneer are kind of like the Apple/Audi/BMW/Bose type of company where people feel they have to buy them cos ‘they are the best’ when in fact other options are just as good but not so cool to talk about.

    similar to people buying food in M & S and not Netto

  • DJ Kee

    I think there is a tendency if someone screws up to, blame it on their choice of technology, as opposed to operator error. So if I don’t know the first thing about controllers and I go to a party and see a DJ have problems in the middle of their set, then I’d be likely to think all people using controllers are idiots and that controllers as a technology are not ready for prime time. It really doesn’t matter whether the technology itself failed or you didn’t know how to use it – it is still your fault in the end.

    I think the most important part is that if you are gigging, you should know as much as you can about whatever technology you are using. I’ve seen DJs who normally use CD or vinyl make the switch over to DVS but have very little clue how to make it work. It’s fine for practice if you can make it work at home, but you shouldn’t be gigging with it unless you know it backwards and forwards – You should be able to set it up and troubleshoot it blindfolded.

    And in addition, you should know enough about other technologies to do a small amount of troubleshooting as well. If the guy before you uses a controller and you are using DVS, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is if there is dead air during the transition, you both will look bad for it. I use Serato Scratch Live as a DVS and prefer vinyl control over CD, but I also carry backup control CDs, backup music CDS, backup music vinyl, 2 USB thumb drives and extra RCA cables with me just in case.

    If you are bringing your own DJ mixer or controller/audio interface, for god’s sake, please bring some adapters to club or festival gigs if it only has RCA outputs – a pair of RCA to 1/4-inch cables and also a stereo DI box would let you plug into almost any sound system on the planet.

  • Femi @ Work

    Wojchieck and Ryan got it right. This fanboy stuff comes from people who find their self worth in the things that they own and not themselves.

    • Anton

      top comment quality also

  • LLCoolJeans

    EGGS ARE HONESTLY THE WORST BREAKFAST FOOD…

    IF YER NOT EATING OATMEAL WTF ARE YOU DOING???

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      Hey there angry friend… why not have oatmeal and eggs? Both are yummy in your tummy. Oh wait…

      I CURSE YOUR FAMILY FOR DISSING EGGS. OATMEAL IS FOR FAKEASS DJS.

      Did I get it right eventually? ;)

  • WarpNote

    Some of the hate towards younger ones running (cheap) controllers, will come from older established DJs. A general consent among many of these older ones, is that the some of younger ones are undercutting the market, and does a poor performance, relying on sync/overuse of fx/poor programming…

  • synthet1c

    I’m a fanboy of VDJ because it really surprised me just how much it can do, and want to educate people about the power within it so they can calibrate on ideas or make stuff for other users. I don’t like when it is written off by a traktor user as being basic when that user has no experience to back it up, it’s just something they read on a forum and continually perpetuate to seem cool to others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wojciech.hejnik Wojciech Hejnik

    And something more. How many of those fanboys are actualy using full potential of ther gear? seriously, i have seen many times peoples using cdjs 2000….like 800s. Just cue/play and pitch, only basic functions.And of course they need those players – usingpair of cdj’s 800/1000 is lame, because they are old.lol(ane yes, the were using cd’s). Even no loops. nothing. Same thing about mixers. DJM 800 – 2 channel working, NO FX were used. nothing. just classic, very basic 2 channel mixing. so WHY THE HELL PEOPLE BUYING so expensive stuff?

  • tron

    the reality is that the product companies cause this by keeping their customers credulous and oblivious to the truth about where the products really come from; the real software developers, but way more importantly, the hardware manufacturers. Post a video and all the details of the facility where your hardware is made. Let our ideas of brand quality be based on as much info as we can get about the manufacturing process. If you outsource your software, then tell us where. Let us look into THAT company before we purchase. Some of these old guys at these companies need to get it through their thick skulls that this is the information age, and their customers are smart. Want brand loyalty??? then have some faith in your prospective customers. If you can’t trust your customers with the real info about who and where these products come from, then understand that eventually the customers won’t trust you.

  • The_KLH

    “… only try to realize the truth.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajPElu42BH4)
    The truth: Skills > Tools. Arguing over any religion is a waste of time.

    I’ve used many DJ products and the ONLY obstacle preventing me from being more of a DJ god than Qbert is… me.

    • Anton

      top comment quality

    • Soundchaser

      Abso-blimin-lutely…! It’s not the size, shape, cost or brand – it’s how you use it. I couldn’t give a flying whatsit as to what the next DJ is or isn’t using.

      Sound Booming – Check
      Floor Packed – Check
      Place Rocking – Check

      Nothing else matters…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Trevor-Nordberg/1169749589 Trevor Nordberg

    I agree but….. people are gonna be people. No one wants to think they bought the wrong product so their ego takes over and DEFENDS!

  • http://twitter.com/DJxDario Ruben DJ Dario

    Speakin the truth.

  • lauti

    flame wars: it’s not their fault, they were just born with short penises

  • DJ Darth

    Never tried Serato so my only comment would be : judging by screen shots it looks too busy for me. I’ve used Traktor a few times but it doesn’t feel quite right for me. Fell in love with CrossDJ almost in an instant. But I’d never say people are using the wrong apps or software. It’s a matter of taste and preference. As long as it sounds good and gets the crowd going you might as well play it off Winamp! well not quite… but anyways! :)

  • sureshot

    You should have heard errr read the replies I got when I stated that I brought back the Traktor A6 package I bought so I could dive into VDJ PRO. I mean, talk about braiding a whip and letting me have it, all because I wasn’t a brand Whore. I use what works for me and what I like, not because of what A-Trak ,Jazzy Jeff, Skratch Bastid, Z-Trip etc are using. Here’s the thing, whether you eat the egg from the bottom or the top, you’re still eating egg. Seriously, I had to get out of the whole “I must have xyz software, turntable mixer” because I found that I was a sheep being led around by the popular opinion and not based on my own thoughts and research. When I say TTX you probably think “Junk deck that dies in a matter of a year”. If I say Technics you say “Now you’re a real DJ”. I had techs and I own TTX, guess what? They both play records well.

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      ONLY TECHNEEKS PALY RECORDS. EVEYONE NOES DAT.

      • sureshot

        Nice play Mark. LOL

  • Zephry Kenney

    It is almost always because someone wants to be the best. And the only way to show it is by talking bad about everyone and everything else.
    This is an attitude I cant stand. Maybe work on getting a likeable personality and all the putdowns wont be needed. And many opinions come from people who dont even mix? Or mix simply track to track without ever getting advanced enough to need or use anything else than a crossfader. So yeah it needs to stop. just use opinions to help and change actual products in a positive way.

  • scottie the goonie

    “Serato Shit, Traktor Trash?” – one point for alliteration skills Mark!

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  • DJ Chiropac

    im just going to be honest. I am using Serato DJ but I’m worried that I am going to switch to Traktor because the of the product costs. You might think I am a lame ass person but really, Rane Sixty Two= 2000 dollars and Traktor Z2= 900. I mean if I start as a Serato DJ its the best for me to later on switch to SSL with my future turntables but i think it’s going to be a hell lot expensive than having a TSP set up.

    Well that’s the only problem I have, I love Serato DJ, great upgrade from Itch..but however still looking forward to merging the whole serato softwares and upgrading sampler and more fx and etc.

  • H8er

    Brands and why do we care, well mostley cause of all commercial shit that is going on, buy this, buy that.

    I crossover, i buy whatever i want, i cross Denon with Pionnergear, or Numark or whatever fit the bill and performance

    But i care about quality and longer shelflife, so i decided not to buy any more new that wont support that. hence the new gear from any brand i would say.