FOREWORD FROM MARK SETTLE

From time to time, we like to post editorials designed to challenge conventional thinking, and to stimulate discussion. They’re often written from the hip in reaction to something we’ve seen in our assorted timelines, and other times they’re considered cumulative feelings summed up in a single thought piece.

What we have here is an article written by a DJ about their craft, and how they perceive it being held back by slavish adherence to the old ways and long established paradigms. It is articulate and passionate, thus contains some salty language that while uncharacteristic for DJWORX, is perfectly in-context for the tone of the subject. Don’t worry — it doesn’t signal a change in style for us. We won’t be routinely effing and jeffing our way through press releases as the norm, but for this piece and others like it, we’re perfectly happy for the full uncensored version to appear.

I’ll also close this with a disclaimer — all manner of opinions appear on DJWORX, both from us and from you. We actively encourage this, but that doesn’t mean that we have to agree, but they’re generally worth reading and thinking about. Thus the opinions expressed in this piece are not necessarily those of everyone at DJWORX, or indeed you.

And for balance, if someone wants to write a piece about how vinyl is saving DJing, or how the two turntables and a mixer metaphor is the only way to play music to a crowd, we’ll happily take a look.

Anyway, on with the piece.

 


DJing is dead, and vinyl is what killed it

Not a popular opinion I know. When I think about a DJ, I’m supposed to think about guys wearing Adidas scratching wicki wicki on Technics 1200s and a mixer. Sorry, but I can’t do it. When I think about driving a car, I don’t think about using a hand crank to start it, or driving around on big ass wagon wheels. I think about pressing a button to start it, engaging insane mode, and going from 0 to 60 in less time than it took you to read this sentence.

Our lives are full of technology, and have been for a very long time. I carry a little slab in my pocket, smaller than a paperback book, which has more processing power than the desktop computer I owned 6 years ago. My alarm clock connects to the internet. All I have to do to get an answer to anything is to start my question with the words “Hey Siri.” I’m connected to everyone, all the time. The idea of big movie studios or major record labels seems stupid to me now. Who needs them? I can reach more people with an interesting YouTube video than a big label can if they took 6 months and spent $500K.

So yay, technology is awesome. How does that turn into vinyl killing DJing? The antiquated idea of DJing is so iconic that it’s kept the industry as a whole from moving forward. I’ve never seen this in any other business. It’s not like there are still people that won’t drive a car because it doesn’t have a horse out in front of it. But it’s been 10 years since computers have become totally accepted in the DJ booth and there are still people asking for stupid platters and complaining about sync. Companies that make equipment are scared of anything that doesn’t stick to this old idea of DJing. Software developers are still taking up UI with fucking spinning circles even though there are a TON of DJs out there now that have never touched a vinyl record, and never will. They don’t care about vinyl. They don’t scratch. They don’t want to – just like they don’t want to break out a harpsichord and play a fugue (or wear an itchy white wig).

When you look in other areas of production, this mentality doesn’t exist. I don’t have to check alignment and bias on Logic Pro before I record. When I load Padshop Pro into a session, it doesn’t detune based on the ambient temperature in the room. When I want to edit a sample, I’m not presented with an on-screen virtual cutting block and razor blade. And if a software developer decides to incorporate that kind of interface into their software (like Reason) no one recommends I start using it so I can “keep it real”. Why is it that the DJ products industry never learned to leave that shit behind?

I think it’s because the people making the decisions are either too old to understand how things can be different now, or they’re too sheepish to do something modern and original. And that’s fucking things up for everyone that might be interested in something new, and likely better. Why is my only real choice right now for some kind of alternative way of working in the “DJ idiom” a program put out by a company that very obviously looks down on DJs (I’m talking about you, Ableton)? It seems like the mentality out there is that DJs are too stupid for full blown live production solutions. And guess where that idea comes from? It comes from the mouth-breathing DJ masses that refuse to understand even the simplest of concepts (like gain staging) – let alone side chaining and MIDI clock. Got 2 turntables and an “Awww Fresh” sample? Great, you’re a DJ and you’ve progressed as far as you’ll ever get. Well I’m not cool with that.

And manufacturers, instead of sticking your head in the sand and pretending it’s still 2003, why don’t you try and figure out the next big thing? Everything is so homogeneous now it makes me sick. What program is that guy using? I don’t know, because they’re all the fucking same now. Oh look, there’s another controller that’s pretending its 2 turntables and a mixer – how original! I would tell you guys to just wait until someone else breaks out a new and original product so you can copy it, but it looks like you’re all on the same page now. You know what happens when no one decides to hang their dick out there and do something different? Nothing. And I get it, the DJ business is scary now and the money isn’t what it was before. You know why? Because it’s been almost 10 years since most of you took a chance and did something new. Now everyone’s busy chasing Pioneer or Native. Here’s a news flash. You’re NEVER going to out Pioneer Pioneer, so stop trying. Instead, why aren’t you trying to figure out something new that you can totally own? I hope you guys learn that fact soon, because NO ONE needs another MC-NSXDJMixBeatControl4.

I don’t think that the world would be a better place without old school DJs. Quite the opposite, actually. I appreciate the history of DJing, and acknowledge the contributions made. I also don’t hate on anyone that still wants to DJ with 2 turntables. That’s what you want to do, and I’m fine with that. But I don’t understand why everyone else has to conform to your idea of DJing. I think it’s old and outdated, and I want no part of it. When I think about where we would be if the DJ industry as a whole hadn’t followed the luddites for the last 10 years and instead fully embraced new technology as it became available to us, it makes me sad. I look at DJing as a whole right now and it makes me sad. DJs don’t have to be like guitarists or drummers. We don’t have to be shackled by our instruments, because what we do is an idea. We don’t have to be defined by a piece of equipment. We’re here to make people dance. We’re modern day shaman, and we can grow and evolve. I just wish more people understood that.

  • TruthHurts

    That was quite superb.

  • ksandvik

    I think the air of DJ:ing went out when producers and electronic musicians could DJ and all that is left are bar gigs or curation work – curation is more fun, anyway.

    • Tamme Pool

      true words

      • Dante Dora

        So True !
        Rewind myself to 1986 and i would record shop for limited edition house trax (less than 500) play them on my 1200’s.
        Fast forward to 2015- i don’t need a turntable – i like the feel – I use Denon s3700’s – do i have a controller with no spinning things as you put it yes — F1 and K2. Anyone who can make a good dance track and get it on the top 100 of Beatport can become the next superstar DJ without even touching any actual DJ equipment before.Why because the EDM listener is 25 and under are uneducated in the world of dance music. Problem with so called DJ’s Today.
        1. They have no idea how to manipulate different type of crowds/genre.
        2. Beatport has allowed anyone to release a label and/or tracks with the ability to buy purchase too manipulate rankings. Also every DJ has the same tracks, no more originality.
        3. Say what you will but the Sync button allows anyone to DJ without skill and now you can just match the key and don’t even have to worry what track you play your going to sound like a Star.
        4. Fact: True DJ’s like Cox,Digweed,Sasha,Hawtin …were Dj’s before they produced tracks. Today…Deadmua5 who has publicly stated that Dj’s are useless is always on the DJ Top 25 list…uneducated EDM lovers are the reason for this.
        5. Unless you are a Producer you will never become more than a resident DJ…Why! SFX runs Beatport and promotes most of the so-called Music Festivals worldwide. Collusion!
        6. Pioneer has become the Abercrombie and Fitch of the DJ world…Uneducated music lovers and easily sold on hype meaning if i want to be like Steve Aoki I have to have a Dj setup like him.
        7.Money is the Evil….25 million a year to DJ? Anyone can throw there hands in the air and twist the bass knob. If a Dj is reacting with crowd that much, he has his whole set premixed on a usb stick. Avicci cancelled a huge show one time because he lost his thumb drive at the airport. If you listen to most on a busy schedule its the same set over and over. they don’t even change the track up…
        8. Genres today are so messed up no one knows what they are listening to. Back in the 90’s EDM would be called Euro pop ….lets leave it at that!
        9. Breakdown—-the widely avaiable MP3’s has ruined DJing to start by erasing originality. Some software options have made it easy for anyone to DJ like a champ…they should have just stopped a BPM analysis. No skill required! And thats why most DJ’s are pissed because they have put countless hours to learn to curate and mix as well as polish there stage presents. Today some 12 year old can load an MP3 he ripped from youtube and play it on his iPad and be a Star!
        I’ve been DJing for 30 years…Dj’s of my era embrace technology more than new DJ’s because they don’t know any better….we didn’t have cell phones back then…..WTF! My question is why are we still using Traktor and Serato ….The mixer should have a Touch screen and OS built so i can use say a D2 or XDJ1000 or perhaps go neanderthal and use a 1200 w/DVS.
        10. Greed has ruined the DJ culture

  • those fucking spinning circles, man.

    • Adam Stone

      Let’s take up 4 square inches of screen space with some fucking spinning circles that any DJ actually using vinyl isn’t going to be looking at anyway because they can look at the real thing. At least with a waveform you can see cues coming up and stuff.
      HAY LOOK EVERYONE IT MUST BE DJ SOFTWARE BCUZ IT HAS SPINNING CIRCLES!

  • DJ CERLA

    Odd article. It basically ignores all the failed attempts of the industry to “modernize” our tools.

    Since more than 20 years (Roland DJ70), industry is trying to change our habits and capitalize from a paradigm shift.

    It turns out, DJing and producing are very different tasks, with very different required skills. Some DJs may have never heard about gain stagin, but this won’t stop them from totally killing it behind the decks. A mashup works almost always better when done in studio rather than live. Etc.

    SYNC, cue points, key detection are modern, useful tools for DJs, tools that can actually help the DJ in augmenting his emphaty with the crowd. Most of the other stuff the article hints to, as opposite, is only isolating the DJ in his own bubble, leading to much worse DJ sets.

  • Jayson Joyce

    Well.. After reading that.. My response is.. I’m tired of articles from the “why can’t we get out of 2003 djing camp”.. The reason..simply is that technology has made djing and creating music too easy but not much better..in fact across the board in almost every genre creativity is at an all time watered down low..the goal of technology should be to make things better not easier..if they are one in the same ..then fine..if not then..easy is never a long term solution for anything involving creativity…if the goal is to decrease difficulty which somehow opens up music to the masses then maybe the masses shouldn’t be in it in the first place..I know, I know …the response is always ” well technology allows me to play four songs..add 3 samples ..mix in a vst synth ..yada..yada..yada..” but how many DJ’s actually do that in a live envoirnment ..WELL? Not many.. So to me the bottom line comes down too companies adding technology features to DJ equipment to increase the pool of potential customers ..not caring of the ramifications under the guise of music playing should be available to all.. And that’s not true..it shouldn’t ..if you don’t have a talent for picking tracks, creating a mood in the club, technically mixing songs correctly, etc..you shouldn’t be a DJ..add something else to the world..we all have something to give.. It’s like giving a player unlimited firepower and unlimited life in Halo or battlefield .. Do you really think they deserve to beat the game or others because they figured out a hack or could afford to buy invincibility ? No.. So why is it ok to go to guitar center..but a controller, go on beatport…buy the top 100 songs..load the songs in and let software match the key for you to tell you what to play next and have pre made effects quantized on top of them.. There is no room for skill, talent or even practice in that world.. The comeback response is the people dancing don’t care and that’s all that matters..no that’s not entirely true..if the people found out that the DJ had no talent and was basically on auto pilot would they pay $25 to get in or much more or $20 drinks ?.. If those people are so confident that people don’t care..tell the dance floor what your doing at the door..post the equipment and how much of the set will be sync or quantized or built with key detection playlists and the same songs every other DJ would play..lets see how excited they are then and if they come in..ignorance isn’t always bliss..in closing 🙂 if you want to use sync and all the technology..go ahead..it has its place..like everything..but the whole “we are being held back by vinyl ” argument is silly to me..how about ” if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

    • Jam Burglar

      Word

    • Steve brown

      amen, every day, i hear people talking about the “best way to do” something , and very rarely hear people talking about “the best result” this is across the board in everything. my dad always told me you could tell a lazy person, because they would always be trying to find the best way to do something, instead of accepting that often, the best result comes from the hardest way of doing it.

      • Dubby Labby

        Balance.

      • I work in the software industry where “lazy” people are often the best people to come up with new ways of doing things.

        “Lazy” people see no value of doing things the hard way just for the sake of doing things the hard way. They are not afraid to question and challenge old paradigms – something that helps to streamline the process.

      • I work in the software industry where “lazy” people are often the best people to come up with new ways of doing things.

        “Lazy” people see no value of doing things the hard way just for the sake of doing things the hard way. They are not afraid to question and challenge old paradigms – something that helps to streamline the process.

    • Adam Stone

      No one is talking about making DJing EASIER. I’m talking about finding new ways to interact with music that don’t pretend I’m still playing songs off a plastic disc. But since you brought it up, let’s talk about those evil “win button” DJs. I’m not going to say that the crowd doesn’t care what’s going on with the music, but I do know that they do not care how long you took to hone your supposed skills. People go to a bar or event to have fun and blow off some steam. They want to move and sweat and rub up against someone else, and your “skills” mean exactly dick if you as a DJ aren’t helping them do what they came there to do. So if you’re losing gigs to what you think is a warm blooded jukebox, then you need to check yourself. Because if that no talent DJ is rocking the crowd and you aren’t, the problem isn’t that DJ – or the crowd.

      • Jayson Joyce

        I disagree..I can show any 10 year old with an Xbox or playstation how to DJ with a controller in less than 10 minutes..its nothing more than playing a video game..if you can learn to beat match two songs in 10 seconds or less without sync in less than a week you’re a prodigy..There is value in building a skill over time to the end consumer..if they built Ferraris on an assembly line and sold them for $250,000 do you think anyone would pay it?..no matter how you told them you had the greatest manufacturing process in the world that was better than handmade they wouldn’t pay…

        the reason the dancefloor doesn’t care now is that they don’t know the difference in time, effort and skill to use one method over the other…and yes there are DJs that have a huge amount of skill in using controllers and technology only..but they are not as common as the forum comments make it seem..in this forum..where almost all the people here are DJ’s we know what is required and the “secret” isn’t a big deal because we all live with it and have for a long time..But the public has no idea that a DJ may spend hours and hours and weeks or years to be able to do what they do..and that includes more than just beat matching..digging for tracks..knowing when to play it..and all the rest..

        there is a reason they they have “I’m a real DJ because I play vinyl” tee shirts and stickers..its a badge of honor..a stamp that shows your earned your stripes..I don’t think that playing vinyl makes you a real DJ..but the public must put some belief in the skill level required because they buy most of the tee shirts that say it..

        When..if ever have you seen a sticker on a laptop that says “I sync.. My Playlists are Programmed..I Don’t Play With Fucking Discs..On To The Future”..under your argument the DJs should be proud to lead us into the future revolution..but I have never seen anything that even comes close to that..what’s the reason?..its because you may make a great Ferrari on an assembly line but you know the cost doesn’t justify the effort in the end and if the dancefloor had a little more knowledge about what was really behind the scenes it would make a difference to them..

        I’m not losing any work to a guy or girl with a controller..I’m not worried about it..but ask yourself this..

        I have seen terrible DJs use a controller..all the time actually..

        How many times..as rare as it may be to see them now..have you seen a bad DJ playing vinyl?..its not that they are naturally better..but more than likely they have put in the time to be better..

        • Adam Stone

          I love the Ferrari analogy, because it’s perfect. Those are cars built for .05% of the world’s drivers, addressing a niche filled with self important douchebags. The problem right now with DJ hardware is that companies assume we are all Ferrari wanting self important douchebags.

          I don’t want a Ferrari. I want a Tesla. I want to ride to work on the Hyperloop. I want to step on a transporter pad. And let me help you out on another point. The dance floor HAS NEVER CARED about your supposed skill or how much you practice. Only other chin-stroking DJs give a shit about that stuff. People want to dance. It’s no different than any other form of entertainment. The audience doesn’t care how long a magician has been practicing – they just want to see the trick. If that magician can pull off that trick properly, the audience doesn’t care if they’ve been working for 10 years or 10 weeks. The result is what’s important to them. If you can rock a crowd, THAT is what’s important – now what you use or how long you’ve been using it. Old DJs used to be able to get by on the fact that it was expensive to get into, and building a respectable collection of music took time. Now those factors are both gone, so they have to try and get by on something else. What I’ve found is that if they’re skilled, they get by on the same thing that was getting them by before – the ability to rock a crowd. If they aren’t so skilled they try and make it about self important douche-baggery.

          Also this… “How many times..as rare as it may be to see them now..have you seen a bad DJ playing vinyl?”
          ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Jesus Christ at least if I’m listening to some button jockey they’re using sync and it doesn’t sound like someone put their sneakers in the dryer. And don’t get me started on the guys who think they can scratch, and want to demonstrate their “skills” in every mix. No, I do not agree with your statement.

          • Jayson Joyce

            #1..your wrong because I didn’t say everyone wanted a Ferrari..I said if they knew that they were built on an assembly line would they pay the hand-built cost..which they Cleary wouldn’t.. People do care not to taken for fools..

            #2.. Once a magician’s show is proven to be a trick..which TV shows have shown over the last years..the magic is gone..no one believes the BS anymore..the illusion has no credibility.. If the crowd knew the Dj learned his craft in 10 days and not 10 years it would make a difference.. The proof is Paris Hilton..we all know she played pre recorded shows..has very little skill and she is widely not respected as a DJ because people care..the ironic thing is the. 5% you don’t want to be a part of are the only ones that don’t care about her skills and made her a rich dj..so maybe you should look at the people on the dancefloor..The Underground will always care..True hip hop will always care..long lasting club owners and promoters will always care..

            #3 you don’t give the dancefloor credit..you treat them like drunk fools that have the iq of a baby..if they don’t care..why is it that everytime a big star like Beyonce or Jessica Simpson or J lo gets caught lip syncing their own music.. People cry fraud and want their money back..it’s the same show..same song..same singer..what difference does it make. They are doing it to give a better show..but every time people get upset when then find out because they don’t want to be sold something that is a mirage or what it is supposed to be..they don’t want to pay full value for a DJ that has been doing it for 10 days..because people aren’t stupid..we know the guy that has been doing 10 years is better than the guy that has been doing 10 days..so maybe they should pay $1 at the door..should cover the cost of his shiny new controller and beatport Playlist songs..

  • Scottie Pimpin

    Hello writer, what is your current setup and what/who is keeping you from djing the way you want? The way I see it there are plenty of tools to dj with beyond turntables and vinyl. I was just at an ableton sponsored event and I didn’t see one spinning circle. Just a bunch of guys with all types of midi controllers, ipads and even live instruments with the common goal of making people dance. You sound like you are trapped in your own box of what you think DJing is. From where I stand it is as diverse and evolving as ever. When I started the only way into the game was through 1200s and a mixer but now there are many more options and ways to ‘make people dance’.

    • David De Garie-Lamanque

      sadly not everyone is as open-minded as you, the people at the event you mentioned, the editorial’s author or myself, for that matter. i’ve been producing for more than 10 years and only recently started playing DJ gigs, after a few years of occasional full-on live electronic performances. i play DnB and it seems like a lot of people who call themselves DJs in the scene are INCREDIBLY close-minded when it comes to the methods that are acceptable for playing live or DJing. let me share a little “narrow-minded-people-horror” story…
      A few months ago i was booked at a small dnb night in a bar that is equipped with a DJM-900 and 2 CDJ-2000s. When i showed up and started plugging in my Novation Twitch into my laptop and into the spare channel on the DJM and started my soundcheck and it sounded muddy, i was literally looked down on by the 2 guys from the bar / residents.
      They were visibly much younger and less experienced, yet thought they knew all there was to know about DJing and gear and that my setup was trash and that using auto-gain and sync functions in Serato makes me a hack…
      Guess what, i just changed the auto-gain setting to a lower average volume and rocked just as hard as any other DJ using the CDJ paradigm that night… because i am not limited by the gear i feel comfortable using, because of other snobbish DJs’ perceptions…
      Any other show i’ve played whether it was an Ableton Live performance or a set with that same setup in any other scene or crowd was never met with any criticism from my peers or the audience, just people having fun and rocking out.
      What i want to get at is that the mentality described above is so pervasive on social media and forums that most companies are scared of venturing outside of the paradigm and those that do just have their ideas fade into obscurity, outshined by the big-budget campaigns of huge manufacturers and their shiny “2 platters and a mixer” emulators. Who ever mentions Audio Artery’s The One? or Deckadance with its innovative performance and FX implementions and extremely intuitive interface? nope. just Pioneer this, Traktor that, Serato here, or “ugh it doesn’t have any jog-wheels or pitch faders?! WTF?!”
      Status Quo DJing needs to stop. like right now. 🙂

      • Dubby Labby

        Continue make your own. Giving love to crowd will make the magic in the “closemind and toomuchenvy” people who can’t understand about the music.

      • Scottie Pimpin

        I hear you, these purists can be annoying. In the world of production you sometimes see the same thing with old school MPC guys being critical of DAWs like ableton and logic. To me it has always been about the ends more than the means.

  • who is MIDI CLOCK and where can I pirate his side chain song

  • Dubby Labby

    Someday music will be recognized as healing therapy (as truth).
    Then djing as a comunity will understand how important is its work and stop arguing about unrelevant dogmas based in their individual egotic personal taste.

  • Hal 1200

    vinyl is just good, you need to hold that at look at that and smell that
    and watch the red dots stay still on the turntable. It’s trippy dude.
    Maybe you’re after a different way of interacting with a crowd? So maybe you could get Holo Lens, and like grab songs out of the air and then throw them at the crowd? And just control the crossfader with your hips?
    I personally think this article doesn’t make sense as clearly loads of innovation goes into DJing. You’ve got Traktor for ipad or if you just hate vinyl like a lo-fi enthusiast you are you could use some of Pioneers new products, they look fucking far out how much further they go by sacrificing some phono inputs.

  • Hal 1200

    vinyl is just good, you need to hold that at look at that and smell that
    and watch the red dots stay still on the turntable. It’s trippy dude.
    Maybe you’re after a different way of interacting with a crowd? So maybe you could get Holo Lens, and like grab songs out of the air and then throw them at the crowd? And just control the crossfader with your hips?
    I personally think this article doesn’t make sense as clearly loads of innovation goes into DJing. You’ve got Traktor for ipad or if you just hate vinyl like a lo-fi enthusiast you are you could use some of Pioneers new products, they look fucking far out how much further they go by sacrificing some phono inputs.

    • Adam Stone

      We have a lot of tools to use to DJ. That isn’t my problem. My problem is that THEY ARE ALL THE SAME TOOLS. My problem isn’t that I don’t like bringing my laptop to a gig so I use an iPad instead. It’s that I’m tired of seeing how sad and stale and completely unimaginative the DJ companies are. They’ve been cranking out the same stuff for 30 years. I think it’s shocking that with all the advances in technology, we’ve only gone from this – http://imgur.com/x3lS9aQ to this – http://imgur.com/S6EsAYW .
      I don’t want to throw graphics into a crowd. I want ways of interacting with music that make sense.

      • jm2c

        You mean something like maschine? You need to be a bit more elaborate than “ways of interacting with music that make sense”..

      • jm2c

        You mean something like maschine? You need to be a bit more elaborate than “ways of interacting with music that make sense”..

      • CutSelekta

        an Ipad DJ..SMH..i wouldn’t even go to your gigs if i got paid to do so, the is the definition of a wack DJ and this is the exact reason why DJ has gone down the drain with Ipads and such, then give me Paris Hilton over this shit lol

        • Adam Stone

          iPad DJ? Is that a thing? I guess if you’re locked in your bedroom for the last 20 years juggling rob bass it would seem like a thing to you. I just can’t get over how much you sound like some angry out of touch 70 year old. But hey, you can always pop in the VHS of Electric Boogaloo and throw on your Kangol and feel right at home.

          • CutSelekta

            You never heard of IPad DJs and yet you use IPads on your gigs? You must be stoned in anotrher world 24/7 man

  • Bryn

    Love the article! Yes, the vinyl paradigm is absolutely holding us back. The dancefloor dont care what tech you use, so why make it harder on yourself than necessary?

  • Garuda

    One of best article of DjWorkx!! Thanks!

    I think, moreover, a bad thing. I think that DJ categories are mainly (not everybody and not who are reading now) conservative because they are very ignorant.

    Ignorant peoples are scared about change because destabilize what they learnt with a lot of fatigue (sync two record?!?!).

    Ignorant because Mainly the Djs pretend to be an artist but they don’t recognize that are putting only two record in “a creative way” and real artist are other person.

    Ignorant because they dont wont study

    Ignorant Because Djs when learn to use a software they pretend to be a Guru of computer

    ..and I could continue for many hours..

  • jm2c

    With all due respect, this sounds to me like a guitar player slagging off the industry because people still haven’t embraced midi guitars? And wikki wikki adidas? Really? ;}

    Last time I checked, it was still all about the music? Like good tunes at the right time outweigh the gear used? If you live in a technology-centric “21st-century-digital-boy” world alot, no doubt you start loving the gadgets a bit too much. They’re all just tools at the end.

    There’s absolutely nothing holding you back if you want to redefine DJing. Do good shit and be part of the reformation! Force those oleskool DJs to change by being next level instead of ranting.

    • Last time I checked, it was still all about the music?

      Reading some of the comments, especially those on Facebook, apparently not. But you are bang on.

      For me, a DJ’s skill is in music selection, crowd reading, and knowing what, when, and how to mix tracks without regard to the medium or the gear. You can do this on Technics, on CDJs, on a controller, or on your mobile phone. All the gear in the world isn’t going to make you a great floor filling DJ if your music selection sucks.

      • Scottie Pimpin

        Well said. It’s like the guy with the newest Jordan’s but can’t play basketball. Probably the greatest skill you can’t learn at a DJ school is song selection and crowd reading. That just comes from years of being a fan and lover of music. Regardless of gear or setup, the ability to program a set is still what separates the fake from the real.

      • Even mixed with 2 winamp instances when younger and with 2 youtube sessions recently : improvisation, on the fly, music for the people.
        And yes the Traktor+ipad+hercules Dj that was there for the girl’s birthday was like a d*** with all his super hi-tech-hardware. That’s why people came to me and asked me to take care of things which I did with the host laptop connected to some PC speakers.

    • Adam Stone

      “Do good shit” with the same stupid tools we’ve been using since the 80s. No thanks. We’re no longer bound by the limitations of records and turntables – why keep pretending that we are? I think we could use some better tools.

      • CutSelekta

        “stupid tools” youre talking about a technics 1200 wich is a master crafted precice dd quartz driven turntable made in Japan by people 10 times smarter as you are

        to me there are no limitations with records, i still explore them and do many different things after decades of dedication (fearless 4)

        • Not the most innovative hardware I can think of… in 2015 !

          • CutSelekta

            Its hardware from 1979, who said anything about 2015?

  • kebzer

    I’m sorry but I have to call this article complete bullshit (no offence intended though).

    When was the last time you saw a DJ spinning vinyl? Are you kidding me? Spinning real vinyl is a novelty these days, we have to host special events when we want to play like that. How is it possible for it to be holding us back?!

    Spinning circles? Really, that’s the problem now? Well, last time I checked, we can still perform whatever a push button DJ can do, plus spinning some cuts on the turntables. What’s the problem with that? DVS is just an extra to a performance. Since when an extra option is holding people back???

    Last but not least, NI already tried to “bring” us to the next era of DJing with the S8. Well, how good was that? How many DJs felt relieved when they bought the S8? All I can remember is people complaining about the limitations of push button and the failed attempt of NI to push people towards only one direction.

    It’s like trying to convince us that self driving cars are the future, and whoever still wants to drive stick/manual is sticking his head in the sand. Self driving might be good for old farts and rookie drivers, but not for competitive driving. And this is what we, the spinning DJs do, we are on a competitive level, not just utilitarians or hobbyists.

    Again, no pun intended, but articles like this cause only controversy and confusion, I just can’t see the positive side of it.

    • tired

      exactly! thank u!

    • Reggae809

      The driving analogy is completely right !

      • I find it flawed. Self driving isn’t driving — it’s sitting in a car being driven somewhere, which is the equivalent of pressing auto DJ and not touching DJ gear at all.

        What the article aims to promote is new ways at looking at how to play digital music. I think trying to rethink playing vinyl isn’t going to make much progress, but as a way to play digital files, turntables is bulky, expensive, and inefficient in just about every way. I counter that by saying that it’s a lot more fun, and is why many of us stick with DVS.

        • kebzer

          Practically, this article tells us that every current way of DJing is old and should be ditched. So, the analogy of self-driving is indeed correct. According to this article, playing songs yourself is outdated and we should try and find other, more “creative” ways of doing it. Am I getting it wrong?

          • I feel that you are. To me, the article says that we (DJs and the industry alike) should investigate different ways to play music and not be tied to the turntables and mixer format. But I think we’re all agreed that a DJ should be there.

            I had a think about this and I figured that another way to approach this would be to imagine that vinyl and turntables had never existed, and somebody came up with the clever idea of mixing digital tracks together. You have a complete blank canvas — what would DJ gear look like now? Do you think the idea of having a mechanical device that requires many moving parts that wear out and have a finite playing time would be the idea that’s accepted as the best? It sound ludicrous when stated like that. 😉

            • kebzer

              Trying to imagine a DJ playing music without the mixer/tt/cd format actually takes me 40 years back in time. That’s the only way I can see it happen.

              See, the problem with this article is actually ignorance. Ignorance of the fact that we have not yet exhausted the limits of current setups and most specifically DVS setups. How many DJs are actually pushing the limits of their current gear? I can only look at DJ Craze & Shiftee. Can you imagine that? Out of all the DJs out there, we can practically name less than 10 people who are pushing close to the limits of their gear. That’s like what? 0.001%? That’s how much we have exhausted these possibilities at this point in time.

              Progression happens when limits are met, not when people can’t be bothered anymore with an image and ask for easier ways to pretend that they are doing exactly the same as this image, i.e. play music for other people. And yet, here we are, like spoiled brats, asking for more and demonizing everything ever existed.

              • Adam Stone

                But both Craze and Shiftee interact with music in the exact same way. They both make the same sounds. The only difference is the starting sample. I want to see a different interaction method.
                I also think your idea that we have no need to progress because we haven’t reached the end of what turntables can do is a big part of the problem. When I listen to the routines from the 2015 DMC and compare that to routines done in the movie SCRATCH, they all sound amazingly similar. The techniques are all the same. To my ears, it sounds to me like we’ve reached the end of what a turntable can do.
                Also, if they invented teleportation tomorrow, NO ONE would say “Hey, let’s not embrace that because we haven’t fully explored what cars can do”.

                • kebzer

                  In the end of the day, even if you control the PLAY/CUE function with your farts, you will be interacting in the same way as every DJ before you: play a track for some people, mix it with the next one, move on. This has been DJing since the first selector decided to play some 45s in front of some people in Jamaica.

                  You know what is the biggest part of the problem? As I said, ignorance. You, telling me that 2015 DMC routines are amazingly similar to stuff 15 years ago is just plain ignorance. You have no idea what is going on and just compare things from your own, extremely limited, perspective.

                  DVS has been the biggest blessing in turntablism since the day of the first ALPS crossfader with a cut curve. The things that DJs do these days in competitions are way more complicated, musically and technically, than anyone would have thought as possible the year Scratch was released. If I add also the various controllers available, like Dicers, LPDs etc, the potential is exponentially increased.

                  We are just scratching the surface. The turntable has been transformed from a mere playing medium to a true instrument. This has been attempted again in the past, in the form of the Vestax C1, but unfortunately available technology at the time could not follow. Now, we don’t even need an overpriced TT, every single 1200/PDX is now capable of performing what the C1 could do, at a fraction of the cost.

                  This is true evolution in front of our eyes, but few can take advantage of it. Yet, your suggestion is to ditch it completely. I guess with something less frustrating, something easier to learn, right? And you expect this to bring evolution in DJing?

                  • Adam Stone

                    Here it is again. Another turntable guy making assumptions about anyone who doesn’t want to use what he uses.
                    One more time for you, because you obviously didn’t understand what I wrote. I NEVER SAID I’m looking for something “less frustrating” or “easier”. I’m looking for something DIFFERENT. I want someone to pretend that records never existed and start thinking about how we would interact with music in a world where it’s all digital. On the surface of it, I would assume a non-linear system like what I imagine would be possible would be MORE complex than a record. It would allow for more nuanced interaction than rocking a “fressshhh” back a forth across a play marker.

                    • kebzer

                      Dude, I already mentioned 1 system that exists outside the vinyl realm, the NI S8. Yet, you keep on with your bullshit rant against turntables/turntablists. Whatever. I ain’t gonna push this hipster shit any further.

                    • Jared Helfer

                      The S8 does not exist outside of the vinyl realm, though. It’s tailor made to be used with turntables. It’s just a big mixer. It’s the Xone:4D without the jog wheels.

                      The S5 is, I guess, closer, but it’s still two/four decks and a mixer. it’s the same paradigm, the same theory.

                    • kebzer

                      Maybe I’m missing something here, but wasn’t the S8 supposed to be the first DJ all-in controller without platters? Doesn’t this qualify as outside the vinyl realm?

                      Leave outside the option to hook up turntables on the S8. Can’t you still use it in full without a single backspin? I suppose yes. After all, this was the big discussion when it first came out.

                    • Jared Helfer

                      Well, there’s the Twitch before it, and the AMX, which can be used stand-alone for most things, and the SCS1M, which can also be used stand-alone for just about everything.

                      I guess I am misunderstanding your second paragraph, so I’m not trying to be snarky, but can’t you use literally any DJ device ever without a single backspin? I mean, you can use the touch strip for a backspin, which I can’t see being that drastically different when you set the sensitivity right.

                    • kebzer

                      Jared, my reference to backspins was just relevant to the damn spinning platters thing mentioned above. Of course you can utilize any DJ device outside the box. That’s exactly what I’m saying. The means to do it are already available. So, this article is completely irrelevant and a rant against turntablists. Nothing more.

                    • Jared Helfer

                      Apologies for misunderstanding you. I wasn’t aware that misreading a comment ended with hating turntablists. Who is ranting “against” turntablists? For real. Be a turntablist. Rock on, and have fun and love everything about turntables. No one is stopping you. That is explicitly said in this article. In fact, I have the utmost respect for turntablists, just like I do for most types of musicians, because I recognize the sheer amount of effort and work that goes in to practicing and honing a craft, any craft.

                      But that doesn’t mean I think DJing is defined by turntablism. The SCS1M, and the AMX and the S8 are not being used “outside the box” by not using jog wheels. All they did was move the paradigm from a modular set up (two turntables and a mixer) and put play buttons on them. My point was that those devices don’t actually change anything.

                    • Adam Stone

                      Hey I get one alternative! I guess I should shut up then. Thanks for letting me know. I guess I’ll get on my fixie and Yelp the closest locally sourced coffee shop.

                  • upvoted for controlling with farts 😀

                • CutSelekta

                  Beethoven has reached the end of what a piano can do in classical music, but i don’t hear classical pianists say they want to stop cause eveything has been accomplished on a piano.

                  What youre saying is typical bs of a person who never will be satisfied no matter what comes out, always wanting more is what i call wackness in the industry.

                  I can be more satisfied listening to Chuck Chillout doing the baby scratch on 2,3 Break than some spolied kid trying to do 3 click orbit flares on a controller after he watched some lame tutorial aah vid on yt 🙂

                  • Adam Stone

                    Beethoven went deaf and was a composer later in his life. He reached the end of what a piano can do because a piano can’t beam music into a deaf person’s brain. So you lost Final Jeopardy on that one.

                    • kebzer

                      Switch Beethoven with Mozart. Does that make any difference?

                    • CutSelekta

                      I was talking about modern pianists, not complaining about the limitations of a piano, you are the type who cannot live with traditional instruments because youre never satisfied.

                      Im happy with what i got, don’t need more, you’ll be miserable with 2 12s and a mixer

                • Robert Waelder

                  “But both Craze and Shiftee interact with music in the exact same way. They both make the same sounds. The only difference is the starting sample. I want to see a different interaction method.”

                  I can’t even express how strongly I disagree with this statement. Look, I get that scratching isn’t for everyone and most people won’t enjoy those sounds as much as I do. But as someone who deeply analyzes and appreciates every bit of scratch music I come across I can easily say that they both have very unique styles and sounds. If your ear isn’t trained to appreciate classical music, you probably won’t see the difference between Debussy and Bach either. It seems to me like you are seriously undervaluing the contributions and worth of scratch music as a whole, which has created a whole worldwide movement within DJing itself.

                  • Robert Waelder

                    I actually agree with the bulk of what you said though in the article, it is just painfully obvious that you have a bit of bias against scratching.

              • Dubby Labby

                Nobody but these stablished djs who become it doing the same things on an on…. Could try to make an improvement and most of these who try never become an update or new standard. Some examples:
                Fretless fader, turntable guitars, digital turntables… Or are they?

                Why? Whom?

          • Adam Stone

            I’m not saying that at all (in fact I said as much in my last paragraph). What I AM saying is that I find that method of interacting with music outdated, and wish there were better alternatives. Alternatives (as Mark stated) that DO NOT use spinning vinyl discs as a starting point.

    • steve brown

      self driving cars are intended to alleviate traffic and the problems that come with it; waste of gas, accidents, in-ground sensors that don’t work, etc. they’re not intended for race tracks.
      i think what we’re talking about here is ‘over-homogeniztion’ as opposed to ‘specialization’ The better we can define some distinct groups, and how/what they play, the better we can design products especially for them. And we’re seeing that already, who would have ever thought we’d see a belt-drive TT specifically for scratching.

  • djaddict

    I enjoyed that! Although, for me, it doesn’t matter how the music is played. No one on a dancefloor cares as long as the music is good. that’s what it’s all about

  • djaddict

    I enjoyed that! Although, for me, it doesn’t matter how the music is played. No one on a dancefloor cares as long as the music is good. that’s what it’s all about

  • Those “fucking spinning circles” are one of the most informative tools within Serato DJ including BPM & pitch readout, elapsed and remaining times, cue-point countdown, sticker position & lock, and a track length indicator.
    But SDJ has the best UI anyway so it’s an unfair comparison…

    • “SDJ has the best UI”? that’s just like, your opinion, man.

      • Steve Brown

        who’s opinion is he supposed to express? in america, we call that “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”

      • ace

        Lol!! Wasn’t that the point of the article?

      • I know 🙂
        But I also know it sounded a little to general.

  • tired

    i am tired of this kind of shit. Why dj Worx still supports those articles. cmon u can do better… no need to fill “open space” in this blog

    • If by open space you mean a place to discuss challenging issues than that’s exactly what this is. You might not care much for what’s been said in the piece, but clearly others do, and that’s the point — it opens up discussion about important issues. This is one of them.

      I’m putting the finishing touches to a piece that is possibly the opposite of this, but will most likely be just as polarising. Opinions vary of course, but they all need expressing. Other blogs are available.

      • Mark

        I disagree, I think this article isn’t really challenging anything; because it is just an extended rant which doesn’t show any signs of research or insight, or authority on the topic.

        The author complains about the paradigms that are in use, but gives no indication that he’s innovating or trying new ones; neither trying tools that would enable him to do that, or taking an interest in people who already are. Instead he’s complaining that it isn’t already available to him in the mainstream — and with the rather arbitrary limitation that it shouldn’t be like anything that he’s seen before.

        The two-decks-and-a-mixer that is the focus of this article didn’t appear overnight (and certainly it wasn’t a ‘product’ to begin with.) Nor will be be gone until its displaced by something better. Those who have tried to innovate new ways of DJing will be aware this paradigm has its strengths too, and that’s why it’s still around (including the strengths of a ‘spinning circle’ over its alternatives)

        Anyway, this article has achieved its stated purpose which is to make for some ‘lively’ comments. But articles like this can quickly become tiresome, and the author’s continued participation in this forum even more so. DJworx could open the floor to any commenter here, but that doesn’t immediately make it an opinion piece; the article should stand shoulders above the comments for its journalistic content, of which this has none.

        • kebzer

          Amen dat!

  • Reggae809

    I think new technology makes things easier and opens the door to new beginners but it doesnt make things more professional… I can live and sustain my eating needs with a microwave and can even make some tasty meals but i cant call myself a real chef on a microwave, The author made the analogy that djs hold on to turntables like guitarists to their instrument Whether this is right or not it is true that many Djs do define themselves by equipment otherwise there is very little or nothing to clearly define yourself from any other guy with just a big music collection, i liked the comment below that said cars can start with a push button and drive automatic but competitive race car drives are still using manual stick, The author used the analogy alot of recording and production techniques which i liked but in those fields the important point is the end product not the process , for dj ing the end product is people enjoyed the music played but there are plenty of ways to get that without a dj so yes there is a need for djs to hold on to something to retain and define their identity

  • Rock Well

    This guy does seem to have conveniently overlooked quite few years of Ableton Live and its various controllers. Overall, he touches on some decent points but the rest of his delivery and article undermines them a bit for me.

    • Adam Stone

      I brought up Ableton Live specifically in my article. Does the fact that I have one alternative (that doesn’t really encourage me manipulating clips in real time) make everything better?

  • Jam Burglar

    Relying on companies to make innovation? This is the wrong mentality. DJs have been spoon fed “innovation” for so long they’re on the corporate tit! If you want something new then make that shit happen. Maybe you don’t want to be a musician? That’s cool, then go “fill dance floors” with other people’s art but stop crying about true artists not giving you what you feel you deserve. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

  • Alex Soriano::DJ ASO

    I think what people are really frustrated about is the music that is currently being made and played, not the means by which people play them. I think there is a ton of “good” music in the world today, but it’s the art of finding it in this digital age and having the gift or skill of knowing how to use that piece of sound to create something special. Not many DJs are accomplishing that.

    Too many times I have heard a DJ that will either continue to try to rock crowds with 10-30 year old music (which has its place) or go back and forth between “modern day” remixes of that same music within 30 seconds of each other.

    That is more frustrating to me than what the DJ chooses to use as his tools.

    Djing is about playing good music. If the music is crap, DJs will continue to go back to the comforts of what worked 10-20 years ago.

  • steve brown

    I like this self-driving car analogy. I love driving manual trans. cars and the control that gives me, however, I realise and accept that the public roadways are for transportation and WERE NEVER INTENDED for my enjoyment. The “joy of the open road” was just a marketing campaign, and should not be codified as gospel or a way of life. If you want to be a racecar driver, do it on a race track, not on the streets where people are trying to get to/from work.

    And so as I think of djing in this same context, i wonder if all the tech, and all the tremendous skills aquired thru years of practice have made us forget the utilitarian nature of djing. I wonder if we have decided to set ourselves and OUR tastes above those of the people who are paying to be there.

    Mark said,
    “For me, a DJ’s skill is in music selection, crowd reading, and knowing what, when, and how to mix tracks without regard to the medium or the gear.” and i agree, I imagine we all do. BUT, saying this without tempering it with the fact that this idea came to light before people had SO MUCH access to music to define their own tastes, leaves something lacking.

    In todays world, I can go to a club and be in that atmosphere, yet put in my headphones and listen to my favorite mix, maybe not a popular idea, but I think the possibility and availability of that as an option has colored what clubs are.

    So in the same sense that the streets are no longer anyone’s person amusement park, i wonder if the dj booth should, sad as it makes me to ask, no longer by a musical pulpit to preach the djs taste or agenda.

    • Alex Soriano::DJ ASO

      Agreed!

    • kebzer

      I also agree with you, but please allow me to clarify something: resident DJs are just utilitarian. They are there for a simple task. Like commuting cars.

      But I want to believe that we, the people who actively participating in a blog like this, are not utilitarian. We are more than that, like a track day driver. We want more from our equipment, because we can actually use them that way.

      • SB

        I started doing these jobs where I just play the exact stuff on the playlists that we set-up. Theme-y type stuff for conventions and companies. And I saw how happy these folks were to hear songs they knew and loved. also, i got reminded how great these old songs were and why they were remembered and loved, and I wondered if the current itunes top-list would be so treasured 20 years later. I was reminded that the artists , and the songs were the star of the show, and I worked for them, and for the crowd. I’m there to work, not show off, so i leave the tricks at home.
        Anyways, what I’m saying is that i found a new respect for being a jukebox, a new pride in it.

      • Adam Stone

        Wait – so resident DJs are not real DJs (or good DJs) now either? That’s ironic, because I see resident DJs as the guys that actually deserve to be called DJ. They actually learn how to work a crowd for longer than 2 hours one weekend a month. But hey, you go with that opinion.

    • jm2c

      wait, you’re saying that people would rather go to clubs listening to their smartphones? Just because access to music has increased to previously unimaginable levels doesn’t make a music selectors job obsolete. I’d almost say the opposite of true? There seem to be alot of “i cant find good music anywhere”/”everything sounds the same” threads on the interweb these days, not everyone wants to go through the effort of filtering the gold from the colossal amount of noise available.

      • SB

        no, I don’t think “they would rather go to clubs listening to their phones” i just think it’s changed something. I have been out at times and wished i could listen to something from my phone(if i could have done it without anybody knowing, and not look like a goon with headphones in)
        and I don’t think the role as music selector is obsolete, but i feel it must be different than it was in earlier days, and I like that you’ve seen instances where that role is even more necessary.
        I think this is and will continue to be a major issue that affects this business. it should probably have it’s own discussion here at some point.

  • CutSelekta

    Technology doesn’t make you a better DJ, in fact it kills the art of traditional DJing

    • Adam Stone

      Fuck traditional DJing. I’ve been down that road. Everything I see went down that road. I want to see what modern DJing is like. I’m tired of hearing people say I need to treat traditional DJing with some kind of reverence. I think 30 years of being honored is long enough. I want to move on.

      • Jam Burglar

        Who’s stopping you from moving on? You can neglect and discount history all you want but there are lessons to be learned there. Instead of respecting and learning from it you’re dissing it (“guys wearing Adidas scratching wicki wicki”? “Awww Fresh”?) Come on man.
        And in the comments below you say “both Craze and Shiftee interact with music in the exact same way. They both make the same sounds.” Those are some pretty bold statements. What are you going to do if Craze comes on here and calls you out?
        You make some points, I’ll give you that, but you remind me of a certain someone who got Roc Raida poured power aid on. Respect is like that. You have to give it to get it.
        If you’ve got it like, post up. Show and prove.

        • Adam Stone

          The entire industry is keeping EVERYONE from moving on. That is the entire point of the article. In a time when all music is digital, we’re still pretending it’s still analog.
          What am I going to do if Craze calls me out? Should I run and hide now? Here’s the core of the problem with your attitude. You are making the assumption that if I want to do something different than you, that it somehow makes what you do bad. This is stupid, knee-jerk thinking, but it’s widespread in the DJ community and it’s one of the symptoms of the problem my article outlines. If I want to use Photoshop and a stylus to make a picture, it doesn’t make what you do as a painter less valuable. The fact that I CHOOSE to interact with art in a different way doesn’t have to lessen what you do. But apparently that kind of thinking doesn’t apply to the field of DJing.
          I don’t think Craze or Shiftee would have a problem with anything I’ve said here, because they’re both secure in the knowledge that my opinion is mine, and what I do (or want to do) doesn’t lessen what they do.

          • Jam Burglar

            I think you’re setting up a strawman argument by putting DJs in boxes that don’t necessarily exist. I know tons of scratch DJs and very few of them are still making the vinyl purity arguments you’re railing against. Maybe back in 2003, but not so much now. I’m all for all types of crazy new technology as is most everybody.

            MY POINT is that you’re spoiled in expecting the “entire industry” to make “everyone” (including you) move on. If you knew your history, then you’d understand that most of the important innovations were artist driven, not corporate driven. Artists saw the limitations in what was available to them and came up with ways to make the equipment do what they wanted it to do. If the current technology is too limiting for you to do your thing, then rig some shit up, tell your friends, spread the word. That’s how all of this started, and that’s how it has progressed. If we waited around for Pioneer and Rane to do it for us, then we’d still be waiting.
            Another problem with your approach is that, instead of trying to convince companies that you’ve got specific valuable ideas that can make them money, you’re complaining that they haven’t already thought up the ideas themselves and implemented them. I doubt you’ll get anywhere with that attitude.
            And yes, if Craze calls you out, you should run and hide.

            • Adam Stone

              This thread is already full of responses that illustrate that the “vinyl purity” attitude does still exist.
              To your other point, I understand and even partially agree with what you said. But it’s been 10 years since our medium of choice shifted from analog to digital. In other industries (like audio and video production or graphic design), as soon as the primary medium changed, so did the method of interaction. However DJs haven’t had the benefit of that innovation.

              • Tony Mitchell

                Just because there’s vinyl purity, doesn’t mean the methods that evolved from it should become extinct. Clinging on the vinyl records is just as silly as clinging on to CD’s in my opinion. But on the other hand, the styles and techniques (scratching and turntablism) that evolved from that medium (vinyl) can be replicated on controllers, XDJ’s etc… And I’m all for that style remaining around forever instead of being turned into another type of DJ. There’s enough room for everyone. No?

                • Adam Stone

                  No one said they would go extinct. What I said is I want to see an alternative. Did you misread the article, or are you just threatened by change? There’s room enough for everyone, No?

            • Dubby Labby

              Agreed until the last sentence. Craze as educate person never will took part in this kind of discussion like dumb as US (me first)

              Time to beer, maybe (or smoke something to keep oneself relaxed)

              😉

      • CutSelekta

        traditional DJing is heart & soul, i love it :)..pushing buttons don’t impress me athough i have an MPC haha, anyway no need to get mad over nothing, i’ll always do wghat i want, no matter what is expected by the masses

    • Technology doesn’t make you a worse DJ either. It just makes you a different type of DJ, and one just as valid as any other.

  • bkbikenerd

    Some good points made but, I can’t help but feel like this person is suffering from the fact he doesn’t feel respected if he is not on turntables.

  • Ivory Samoan

    DJing is alive and well, you are just a salty saltersaurus my chirpy uso.

    • Adam Stone

      The only thing that would make this comment better is if you were also tweaking the ends of your barbershop moustache while you said it. Well played, sir!

  • I completely agree with the overarching points of this article.

    When the DSLR showed up in the video production scene a few years ago all the videographers with really expensive cameras freaked out. They claimed that using a DSLR isn’t a “real videographer”. They were terrified that this skill they had honed on increasingly dated equipment would be diminished by the masses and their inexpensive cameras. Frankly, they were correct.

    But talent is talent no matter the tool. $80K camera or iPhone, it doesn’t matter so long as you are taking good video. Same thing in the DJ world. If your’e rocking a set of Technics or Flow 8 Deck and a modular controller setup, it doesn’t matter as long as your killing it.

    Be yourself, do what you like, find your own voice, and don’t force your opinion on others.

    • Victo

      This DSLR analogy is really good.
      Getting expensive/roots gear doesn’t make the DJ’s talent.

  • BARRS

    This will come. I think the fact is it hasn’t been long enough yet. If there were really enough DJ’s who fit your description – “…there are a TON of DJs out there now that have never touched a vinyl
    record, and never will. They don’t care about vinyl. They don’t scratch.
    They don’t want to…” then there would be more gear marketed to fill their needs. But the fact is that DJing was born and evolved on turntables, and so the obvious next step was to equipment that emulates the physical layout and feel of turntables – because that’s still what the vast majority of DJ-types know and can work best with. As time has gone on, gear like the Twitch, S8, etc. is creeping in, and one imagines there will be more. But it’s an evolutionary process, and if the market at large were ready to jump straight from point C to point Q, then that would happen. But it’s not.

  • DeejayBishop

    ok let me chime in on this. The funny thing is in my city Omaha ne. i was one of the first to adopt the pioneer cdj 500 II lol and all my active dj turntable friends were tell me i was real. Same thing with Serato. Every one gave me a hard time. Of course i never cared what they thought and just continued to enjoy the technology. Im all about convenience. once cdj 1000 drop it was game over, because 1000s were able to scratch like vinyl so i could wigg wigg with the best of them. Just call me lazy i guess. Why would i want to lug heavy turntables and mess around with all that needle adjustment and stuff, when i can grab a lighter controller or cdj. At the end of the day i have never dj in a club or a event were i was paid more because i brought turn tables? Unless im djing a scratch battle my turn tables remain at home. As i always say “i wanna leave with the people” the lighter my load the better. My 2 cents. P.s all my buddys that gave me a hard time are on cdjs or controls lol. Nine times out of ten old school djs don’t want to spend the money and don’t want to learn nothing new.

    • CutSelekta

      Sorry but scratching on CDJs is definetely not the same as on turntables, i talk from 20+ years of experience, this is why most scratch DJs stick with the turntable either using vinyl or DVS

      • DeejayBishop

        i never said it was the same. “scratch like vinyl” for the average club goer they can’t tell or care. Just play there song lol.

        • CutSelekta

          you said 1000s were able to scratch like vinyl so i could wigg wigg with the best of them

          i said no it doesn’t lol..anyway its a matter of preference of course

          • Adam Stone

            Maybe it is for him. Why do you feel the need to beat your chest? Or is he not a real DJ either?

            • CutSelekta

              i said its a matter of preference, next time read before you make false assumptions son

  • DJ Dale Daniels

    I wouldn’t be quick to compare djing to a car. The turntable, through hip hop and other music cultures, was turned into an instrument. For many people it’s more closely viewed as an instrument to not only play but transform the music. Many of today’s instruments, including samplers, adhere to the dna that defined an era. I agree with embracing technology, i myself have a controller, but I wouldn’t say vinyl killed djing like I wouldn’t blame the guitar for rock not ruling the airwaves.

  • Victo

    I liked your opinion on this article.

    DJing evolves in different directions, because DJ’s are “everywhere” now.

    30 years ago, a DJ was a guy in a Radio or a Club, digging the best Vinyls he found in the shops, and trying to beat match (or not) tracks for the people/crowd.

    Now you got :
    – Scratch DJ’s Vinyl4Ever I have 1200SLMKII (and sometimes a Serato Scratch but it’s not Laptop DJing, shhhhhhhhhhh…)
    – CDJ’s & DJM’s Club/Bar/Live Stage DJ using this because Pioneer flooded avery club and every bars with over-expensive Gear, with all the auto-sync things in it, but everyone says they use them like Vinyls without “sync” and still manually beat match… With the hands in the air in Huge Festivals for some guys 😀
    – Controller DJ’s, trying to do more things than just Beatmatch tracks, with Traktor and some Sx, to show they do something.
    – Kids with dreams, Bedroom DJing with 99$ all-in-one audio-midi controllers, and performing in front of their webcam/DSLR/Gopro some routines on Youtube/Twitch and other platforms. Some of this young people are really good.

    Digging tracks is not like 30 years ago.
    Now you go inside every club and you will ear the same Beatport Top 100 tracks.

    That’s why you got more and more guys trying to do lives sets with Ableton, trying to mix or remix live tracks, and play their own productions.

    Why ? Because everybody can be a DJ now, with MP3’s it’s so easy to obtain the latest dancing hits…

    That’s why it’s hard nowadays to find a place to DJ.
    Unfortunately, no-one cares about your DJing Scratching-Beatmatching-FingerDrumming technique when you play in a Bar or in a Club…
    Everybody just want to drink, dance, have fun.

    If the DJ can’t select the “good” music for “this or that” type of crowd, Spotify’s/Itunes Music/Deezer automatic playlist will do the the trick.

    DJing is a emotion, a state of mind, not a “I use that piece of gear so I’m a DJ blablabla”…

    Personally I started to play with Vinyls at 11 (OMG 20 years ago).
    I had the chance to have my first turntables and mixer at 13, and I played Vinyls until my 20.
    Then I switch with scratch Live, (no more HUGE and HEAVY Vinyl cases).
    When you know how to scratch and beat match, what do you want after that when you got the technique ? You want MORE.
    I want now to add personality to my sets, add MY sound, MY music vision.
    Loosing time to beat match track with pitch bend with CD’s or midi controller is a totally waste of time for me.
    I really prefer to launch clips with Live or 4 Decks SYNC Traktor DJing with STEMS or remix Decks, it’s more creative process.

    And I always love the taunts from CDJ guys that say It’s not DJing with “SYNC”, when they never touched a vinyl…
    That’s why I don’t have a “DJ” name, I PLAY, MIX and REMIX tracks in front of people that enjoying (or not) what i’m doing, THIS is DJing.

    • Adam Stone

      Great response. I respect that attitude immensely. you’re obviously a guy comfortable with your own methods, but open to other people finding theirs.

      • CutSelekta

        says the guy who said “Fuck traditional DJing”

        you just played yourself son

        • Adam Stone

          When he posts, it sounds intelligent. When you post, it sounds abrasive. I think that’s because when I read his post, he sounds like he understands the difference between me not liking traditional DJing (which I don’t) and me not liking him (which I do). I’m talking about an action – not a person. If you’re so wrapped up in an action that you’re threatened by someone saying something negative about it, maybe its time for a therapist.
          And I’m not your son.

          • CutSelekta

            sorry but you make no sense at all, too many contradictions..have a nice day 🙂

      • Victo

        I’m a sound engineer and it’s the same things in the audio industry.

        10 years ago I was dreaming about big analog Neve and SSL consoles, lamp stuff and more.

        Sound-engineers said that DAW’s like Protools and co… were bullsh$t.

        Now, I can do better sound with an Ableton, a Push and 2k$ Monitors in my own apartment, and I know guys working in “Big” studios which are unable to do good work with 1million € of hardware.

  • Toast

    Who cares what tool you use so long as you can make people happy?
    It’s 2015! Do what you want! Use what you want! Play what you want!
    If the crowd is enjoying themselves then you’re winning.
    If you’re alone in your bedroom and your enjoy your music then you’re winning.

    • Tony Mitchell

      People are just jerks. They want everyone to be just like them. Weather its the Vinyl Dj’s or the push button dudes (more so the push button dudes). The push button dudes won’t be happy until they get rid of turntablism all together. Look at the name of this very article. The name of this article “OPINION: DJing is dead, and vinyl is what killed it” plays to that kill turntablism attitude. I don’t see vinyl guys even suggesting to get rid of stuff, I just see them wanting to be included. What’s good is that there will always be companies that will cater to either style.

      • Pretty sure there’s more venom coming from the vinyl purists.

        • Adam Stone

          As is always the case.

        • Tony Mitchell

          I’ve yet to see a vinyl purist write an article about how much he doesn’t like another form of djaying. But there’s more venom coming from them? 🙂

        • Tony Mitchell

          I’ve yet to see a vinyl purist write an article about how much he doesn’t like another form of djaying. But there’s more venom coming from them? 🙂

  • Tony Mitchell

    Let design a Violin that doesn’t look like Violin. And I’m sure that a Tuba doesn’t have to be that big. And that guitar? Why not an electric board that can play the string sounds(we have that)? Only the DJ world has this issue because everyone seems to think that they can dictate what everyone else should have. Grow up.

      • Tony Mitchell

        I still see strings. And I would imagine you still would need a bow to play it. So other than looking different, you still have to play it like an old school violin

        • Adam Stone

          Well that’s a stupid reply. You said “Let design a Violin that doesn’t look like Violin.”, and Dan gave you one. Now you want to nit pick? Here’s the thing. The reason traditional instruments haven’t changed much is because their form dictates a user’s interaction with them. They were created to make a certain sound, and their form follows their function.
          But for DJ, form no longer follows function. With digital music we no longer have to spin a plastic disc under a needle. We don’t have to deal with the limitations that format brings (linear access to the song, no way to visually access events in the music, no way to change structure, etc.). DVS gives you some of those things, but it’s still based on a method of interaction that no longer represents the medium. I want someone – anyone – to explore what it would be like if we started from digital instead of analog.

          • Tony Mitchell

            I didn’t say that dejaying should be limited to a physical CD or a vinyl record. I don’t own any vinyl or any CD’s, I’m strictly digital. I enjoy all the things that digital music can bring (linear access to the song, Cue Points, etc..) plus I have a platter to do turntable tricks. The old has integrated well into the new. You still would need to physically move a platter or touch a touch-strip to do turntable tricks. Are you suggesting that we get rid of that? If we started out as digital, There wouldn’t be any scratching and Djaying wouldn’t be anywhere near as cool as it is now..

  • DubluW

    Hmm, an interesting viewpoint. The thing is i don’t think it’s DJ’ing, Companies or DJ’s holding anything back. It’s the people you play to and to an extent producers.

    2TTAAM>Two turntable and a mixer.

    I’m going to be pretty general here. It won’t apply to all places, venues and styles.

    9/10 Punters don’t give a toss what your playing on. They want to hear stuff come out the set of speakers and have a good time. They don’t care if you’re blending and cutting two tracks together and care even less if you’re launching 15 clips and remixing something live (the latter often produces a ‘wtf?’, and i’ve found people who do this style of mixing are often the only ones enjoying themselves.) Until the punter changes, kit won’t change to accommodate a new playstyle that’s accepted. 2TTAAM caters to the music being enjoyed by paying punters. In fact in some underground places, 2TTAAM is just as valid, if not more than a modular, lie set up.

    Next producers. They produce whole tracks, meant to be played back as created. You can get creative with a couple by choppping them up etc but again 9/10 would rather you play the whole track they spent time and effort making. Until they produce the packages that require the least amount of effort to play back 2TTAAM will suffice for 9/10 DJ’s. Im completely OK with this.

    End of the day, you play your way, i’ll play mine. Both our respective crowds will still enjoy themselves and that’s what matters.

  • Lorne Hart

    The reason the paradigm of two turntables and a mixer has survived so long is that it is relateable for both djs and an audience. Turntables are or were a household item, so people understand more or less how they work. Same is true of a traditional instrument; even if you don’t know how to play it, you can understand the basic mechanics and be wowed by a skilled player. People can, with no dj skill at all, see that a dmc champ is a wizard, and, to a lesser degree, that a guy just mixing tracks on vinyl is doing something that takes an obvious amount of skill. A guy banging on a bunch of different colored buttons, touchstrips, knobs, etc. is far less intrinsically relateable.

  • kebzer

    Mark, seriously, what the hell where you thinking when you decided to allow this bullshit of an article to be posted in here? I consider DJWORX the most respectable DJ blog on the net. This kind of hipster nonsense rant provides nothing but flames.

    I’m done with this thread, I ain’t gonna feed this troll any further.

    • CutSelekta

      he’s an Ipad DJ hating on people who use turntables in 2015, what’s this world coming to? He says a Technics 1200 is a stupid tool, yah pretty stupid considering it’s still being used after 30+ years

      • kebzer

        Enough with this bullshit. We can both relate. 🙂

      • Adam Stone

        Closer to 40 years, but you keep keeping it real, yo.

  • Mark I enjoyed this read. It asked a lot of questions and also got my mind thinking and pondering the points you made. For myself personally I consider myself a connoisseur of the art and embrace all forms of performance. I know how to perform with Vinyl, Digital, and CDJ’s. I have never performed with Ableton before however it makes sense to me and I will learn how to do it one day and master that or at least get to where if I were having to use it I would be able to do so without hindrance. I think that is the mark of a person who truly respects and appreciates the art and being a “shaman” as you said.

  • Reggae809

    First of all a little bit of history for everyone ,the break away from turntables were in the early 90s with the cd, the first major dj cd player was the denon 2000f and it didnt have any jog wheel it only had back and forth buttons to find a cue point the next models 2000f mk3 and 1800f introduced jog wheels, jog wheels are just easier than a fast forward button it wasnt an attempt to recreate an LP turntable,

    Mr stone as you like to mention alot “10 years ago” , then youd remember how in the 2000s pioneer often crapped on denon for then making cd players with spinning platters while pioneer stuck to the jog wheel so its very clear a jog wheel is not trying to imitate a turntable . today ALMOST all controllers now are imitating a pioneer cdj So your idea that everything Revolves around vynil is a bit misguided

    You can take a tour of all the dj software in the app store theres plenty of stuff out there that doesnt look traditional try traktor on an iphone or ipad i have yet to seen any dj figure out how to use it on the first try or even first day Software that looks like familar equipment is just that to be familiar New groundbreaking methods would mean a learning curve and essentially be a different instrument.

    Mr stone can i ask how long have you been a dj and what equipment(software?) did you learn on?

    • nem0nic

      Let me jump in here for a fact correction. Denon’s first “DJ appropriate” CD player was the DN-200F, which was released in 1993. They did have some other pro CD players earlier than that (like the DN-950F), but it wasn’t anything you’d consider DJ friendly. But the Technics SL-P50 and SL-P1200 predate the 200F by many years. Both the SL-P50 and SL-P1200 look like what you’d expect a DJ CD player to look like, with a pronounced pitch fader and jog dial. I believe that they were released in 1986, but I know I worked at a club that had one in Fall 1987.

      https://media0.giphy.com/media/Y2nbrJyAR6RiM/200_s.gif

  • WTFMoments

    Wow, I couldn’t make it past the third paragraph. By the logic I inferred by what I read we should just do everything digitally. Why play a guitar when I can load up a guitar patch in massive. Thase damn spinning circles. Maybe we can get rid of all rotary encoders and shaft style potentiometers. I should get one of those Emotiv headsets and use my brain waves to dj. Would that be the right amount of future for the writer?

  • nem0nic

    What a mess. I have to say that I love this article because it illustrates how polarizing your choice of equipment can be. A+++. Would buy again!

  • Lace

    Complaining that dj gear still has the look it has is like complaining that racing cars still have steering wheels or bicycles have seats. You can advance the technology of a device type all you want but some ergonomic features will always remain because they define it’s very function and maintain it’s usability beyond a certain threshold. We use faders, knobs and jog wheels because they have proven themselves to work best for what we need to do with our hands as djs.

    Using “sync” between two tracks is usually frowned upon because it defeats the idea of being a dj, that is to use your own rhythm skills to synchronize music manually in a live setting. Sync can be useful if you want to mix multiple devices into a larger performance. However If you start automating the Classic DJing process too much using a DAW like ableton, you are closer to being a live PA performer than a dj, which is still really cool, but is another discipline altogether.

    I have used just about every playback device in the last 32 years of my career and have both djed and played live pa (including midi controlled video scratching and sampling) and don’t agree that vinyl djing is killing anything. It’s just another discipline in the DJ field. There’s plenty of new and innovative gear out there for you to play with.

    At the end of the 90s when I felt computer live video performance was lacking I didn’t whine like a baby about it, I went and co-designed software and took an active part in innovating the field. This year when I could not find a serato loop controller that suited my needs I went and built my own and now use it in my sets. Still no whining, just action.

    So If you think DJing needs to be turned on it’s head to progress, then by all means go turn it upside down. No one is stopping you, but this article is just attention seeking dj whiner talk.

  • Jeremy

    I get the need for newness, the need to have a rethink of the traditional paradigm and see if there are other, better ways of creating dj gear but it still feels a little bit like the article is looking for solutions to a problem that doesn’t really exist. I’m also unconvinced by the argument that the world has moved on and yet djing is the one area that hasn’t. Leaving aside other industries that have struggled to reimagine a medium with the rise of technology (e.g. book publishing) the last 10 years in djing has seen more experimentation with equipment and technology than the previous 40 years. But when all is said and done, the traditional set up of 2 turntables and a mixer has held up well. Is that because of an innate conservatism of the scene. I don’t know. But when book publishing crossed paths with technology, we got the Kindle. More efficient in space saving, but still essentially a similar experience to reading a print book. In DJing, we got controllers – space saving but replicating a traditional djing experience. I’m not sure I see a major problem with that.

    • Dubby Labby

      Readers arguing about kinddle doesn’t smell like paper.

  • Ricardo Thomas

    what’s next, “eating is killing humans?”

    • Dubby Labby

      Replies don’t say the same o si?

  • Having read a lot of comments here, on social media, and on other sites linking in, it seems that the message of the article has been lost in a red mist of seeing nothing but hate for vinyl and DJs who use it. Perhaps it’s the wording, or the natural way that causes people to knee jerk react when reading an inflammatory headline, but the article isn’t about that at all. So I’ve translated each paragraph into more reasonable and concise language:

    I don’t subscribe to old ways that engender a status quo. I want progress.

    In other technology-led industries, there are new progressive options that find different and better ways to improve the old ways and offer choice.

    DJs and the industry are entrenched in the established two turntables and a mixer workflow (not a dig at turntables, but demonstrating the layout – Ed). But the process of playing digital files need not rely on the idea of spinning platters.

    So I would like the industry to try new ideas, but the literal translation of the turntable and mixer workflow in the digital age is holding back all new thinking.

    The industry is afraid of trying new ways, and play safe their offerings for a world of DJs who don’t seem to want to expand beyond the basics.

    The fear of trying anything different has created an industry where everything is much the same. So instead of walking the safe path of emulating the market leader, manufacturers need to try new things to stand out.

    DJing is a vibrant and diverse scene and we all have a place. But it’s time for the industry and DJs to look beyond the long standing turntable and mixer paradigm and think of new ways to play music that are free from established thinking.

    So while some of you through the fog of inflammatory language are reading hate for vinyl and DJs who use them, it’s not that at all, but is in fact lamenting the dependency on the traditional workflow, and hopes that the industry can perhaps wipe the slate clean and think “what if turntables hadn’t been invented — how would we play one track into the next?”.

    So message is that same, but written in a more pragmatic way. Can you all stop falling out now, and have a think about how music could be played in different ways.

    • kebzer

      Mark, why did you posted this article, if it needed a translation from you in the first place? With all due respect, you should have been able to see this coming.

      • @kebzer:disqus – we didn’t feel that it needed one. Indeed, many commenters totally understood the meaning. Some however just cherry picked some keywords (vinyl, turntables, dead, killed etc) and got angry. So rather than let this thread go off in the wrong direction, I personally felt it needed explaining in simpler terms. Hopefully this has cleared things up for you and others.

        • Dubby Labby

          And that’s the problem and the solution in the same comment. Missunderstanding and #realdjing as mantra. Then comes the cultural ghetto of supa dupa scratch and retrovintage hipsters.

          None of that related to music or evolution in workflow, sadly.

        • kebzer

          For me it was clear from the beginning. And I guess for the rest too. The thing is that this article is pure hate. It’s not an opinion of a DJ on DJ stuff, it’s just a random rant of some random dude against DJs in total. Just the fact that he focused on the traditional image of the scratch DJ proves the fact that he has no idea about DJing. I don’t want to go through this again, but it’s been a very long time since I read such an arrogant and negative post on something I like doing a lot. I’m left with a bitter taste in my mouth from this article, and this is the first time that happened in this blog. Maybe the cure is to step back and let this shitty article fade away into irrelevance. Nevertheless, nothing positive came out today, and this is sad.

          • steve brown

            it doesn’t sound like hate to me. sounds more like a person doing ‘modular’ and ‘production’ style djing who wishes there were more products designed directly for that style of djing. i think if ‘live-performance of whole or partial your own tracks’ is your thing, then yea, you’re gonna think get these silly spinning disks outta here.

            • Adam Stone

              Thanks for getting me.

          • Adam Stone

            Nothing about this is hate. It’s a choice. If you interpret someone not making the same choice as you as hate, or feel threatened by it, that’s a problem with you – not me.

            But I’ll tell you something I do hate. I hate the fact that when anyone puts up an opinion on this site that goes against traditional DJing, traditional DJs go from 0 to shitty in 3.5 seconds. Mark’s “Meme-busting” article is a great example (http://djworx.com/memebusting-even-without-turntables-youre-still-a-dj/). Mark didn’t take anything away from traditional DJs by posting it, and it was poking fun at the stupid bumper sticker mentality of the people who use it. The broader point of it was that we are all DJs – not just the ones rocking out 2 turntables. And you guys went apeshit, like he was insulting you personally. So here’s me insulting you personally for being a fucking infant and not being able to see past your own narrow viewpoint enough to understand what you’re reading.

            • CutSelekta

              “fucking this fucking that”

              youre the hater man, you’re just not happy with traditional DJing so therefore you spit hatred around like the little infant you are.

              If you need bells and wistles in order to DJ that’s fine but i doubt a dancefloor will be packed when the crowd doesn’t hear anything recognizable, most DJs in the world just need to play or mix 1 track after the other without too much interruption. If i want to see crazy shit then i go to a turntablist event. I been there done that myself, performed for years in clubs doing crazy stuff that most didn’t understand, is why i never became a club DJ but a performance DJ.

            • kebzer

              Dude, fuckouttahere fo’ real. You and me have absolutely nothing in common, let alone you being in a position to call me an infant, or ‘insult me personnaly’.

              @Mark Settle: I expect this comment of this asshole to be deleted. Of course, you can delete mine too. Nevertheless, I feel extremely frustrated with this prick you chose for an author. Nuff said.

    • You would still need 2 media sources and a way of blending them together. Can’t really see how it would be much different to what we have now.

      • Adam Stone

        Why just 2? And when you talk about blending them together, what are you blending? Whole tracks? Stems? I imagine some like the Stems from NI and the live track restructuring of “The One” as a good start. Maybe throw in some technology from iZotope’s RX to allow DJs to isolate specific parts of the spectrum to cut and use or get rid of.
        It doesn’t have to be as simple as 2 turntables and a mixer.

        • I’m assuming you’re not a full time DJ. You obviously don’t have residencies or perform in front of crowds in packed clubs/bars doing 4-8 hour sets. Because doing all that looping, live remixing with heavy effects crap will just clear the dance floor. Bedroom wannabe DJs should know when to shut up, cos you just sound ridiculous.

          • CutSelekta

            Amen to that, some ppl just don’t understand that DJs just need to blend 1 track to another, preferably tracks that ppl heard before and not self made nonsense that only the DJ thinks it’s the best that was ever created (egotrippers).

            If i want to see some crazy shit then i go to a turntablist event, or a battle.

            Without vinyl and turntables there wouldn’t be a DJ culture, and no company would have made controllers or CDJs, trying to emulate the movement of a record.

            • You’re right – DJs at their core do only need to blend one track to another. But that’s just one type of DJ, and the DJ world is built upon creative experimentation, and this experimentation filters down to the rest of us.

  • Anteater

    Its not long ago that people were horrified that the Kontrol S8 doesn’t have platters, I’m using a pair of D2’s with an Z2 when I play out now (wow look mom, no spinny wheels!)

    I used to think I was a purest spinning as much vinyl as I could, but about three months ago when I had a phono cable failure and had to resort to using an X1 and mixer only, I had a eureka moment & realised that nobody gives a toss what you are playing on – as long as you mix well and play stuff they want to hear……… thats pretty much it.

    I keep my technics strictly at home now and only use them for my own personal pleasure (I feel kinda lucky that I can’t dedicate space in my house to a permanent turntable set up)

    So, the article makes a good point, there is no reason not to look at new workflows, the only thing thats stopping it happening is us – manufacturers are reluctant to make products they don’t think we will buy.

    Time for the Imagineers to bring it on 😉

    • Simon H

      Totally agree nobody gives a toss as long as it sounds good , when I started out I sat behind a curtain in a corner with two shitty turntables a mixer and nobody even knew me but as long as I played stuff that made people dance all were happy, same principal today its about music not the equipment, yea was great to play vinyl back then like the author of the article states if you still want to play vinyl go ahead, but technology offers new ideas and interest, my view each to their own but music first that’s what makes a DJ as long as you understand the principles and can implement them.

  • DeeJayIvan

    I recently watched the documentary I Dream Of Wires where they illustrated early on that the Moog synthesizer was accepted much more easily by musicians over the alternative Buchla due to the inclusion of a piano-style keyboard which musicians related to as opposed to buttons and dials in terms of trying to compose music. I think the reason that the “2 decks and a mixer” paradigm is entrenched is for similar reasons. It’s a configuration that’s “familiar” and a DJ can relate too in concept as well. I would like to see what configuration of software and gear the author of the article uses to play music with to be able to see what they are doing to change the “paradigm”. Who knows?? Maybe it will lead to inspiration to try something different and new myself (maybe I already did 😉

    • Adam Stone

      I love that documentary.

  • Elliot Marx

    I could sum up what happened to the DJ industry in 3 words:

    “Made in China”

    I’m not in any way knocking Chinese manufacturers…I work with a few, mostly Taiwanese owned, and they have many dedicated and smart people working for them. I’ve seen all the ins and outs, what’s good and what’s totally f–ked up over there. It’s the whole mentality of DJ brands, that they can go to China, pick what they like, and put their own branding on it. Most don’t want to even invest in their own R&D anymore, even to the extreme where they (no names) will insist that manufacturers take all of the R&D and tooling risk. So voila what do you expect – the manufacturers just keep making the same stuff with minimal changes. You can ask any DJ industry insider and they will tell you exactly the same thing.

    • Adam Stone

      This makes a lot of sense, and explains quite a bit. I don’t think it explains the entire phenomenon, but I can see it as a major factor.

  • donaleski

    don’t get the point of your title. Ok you’d rather go with newer technologies and shit but in what vinyl killed djing? U don’t even mention vinyl, digging, etc in this article… c’mon son

    • Adam Stone

      You’re the second person to call me “son”. I don’t get it.
      I don’t go into the trappings of vinyl because I don’t have to. I’m talking to a bunch of DJs here that know what using vinyl means. I say “vinyl killed DJing” because there is an opportunity to create different ways of musical interaction and no one is exploring them because they can’t see past a traditional setup.

      • BARRS

        Plenty people can see past a traditional setup. That’s absolutely the easy part – Oh I like this feature, but wouldn’t it be cool to be able to do X, Y or Z. Or, I wish there were a standalone machine that did [insert task here]. We all have those thoughts. But what I imagine and what you imagine and what DJ Tiddlywinks imagines (and so on) as the next new exciting innovative solution are all bound to be wildly different. The hard part is coming up with a new paradigm that can be adopted widely enough to make it possible to produce. You’ve not given any indication of what you envision these new means of interacting with music to be. A great follow up to this piece would be a sketch of some of all of your “dream” gear and an explanation of what differentiates it from what’s currently on offer.

  • Kinda like saying, how come all cars have to have 4 wheels, one on each corner. We have been making them that way for over a hundred years. This is the 21st century why don’t we have 1 wheel in the middle with a gyroscope and auto balance like a Segway. Cars are laid out this way because it works, it’s logical and efficient.

    Mixing 2 songs together which is what 99% of us do in clubs, needs 2 sources (Turntables, CDJs, Jogs) and a mixer. DJ gear is laid out this way because it works, it’s logical and efficient.

    Our gear is our instrument.
    If you take a guitar and get rid of the strings and neck. Put buttons on the body and play it like an arcade game. Then it is no longer a guitar and you are no longer a guitarist.

    DJs seem to suffer from GAS more than any other musician, it doesn’t show much respect for your equipment. You don’t need the new shiny to be a better DJ you need practice.

    • Adam Stone

      It would be like saying how come all cars have 4 wheels if LEVITATION TECHNOLOGY was discovered 10 years ago and was being used by everyone else but the automotive industry.

      • No it isn’t because Anti-Gravity Propulsion doesn’t actually exist. We are comparing existing technologies so your point is mute.

        • ShiftFunction

          You have missed the point he was trying to make entirely. Your comparison wasn’t valid, he corrected it.

          And the word you’re looking for was moot.

    • steve brown

      http://www.morgan3wheeler.co.uk/

      I’d love to have one of those. I also see a lot of people in my neighborhood with cushman trucksters.

      4 wheels isn’t entirely necessary

      • Yeah those Morgan trikes are pretty cool. I imagine they would be scary as hell on an actual road with other traffic though.

  • ktc

    Sounds like some person, a company in the dj world, maybe a music clique, dissed you or didn’t like some thing you did, so its a generalization, but you should just NAME or CALL those people, crews, etc out. Battle those “killers” you are talking about and just prove your self right. Cause to me this sounds like a rant, and the best thing to do if you got a problem is solve IT! Battle whoever this mystery “killer” is.

    • Adam Stone

      Battle someone? Maybe we could tie our wrists together and have a knife fight? Or have a dance-off?
      No, this isn’t some beef with someone. It’s an observation – an opinion. All I want to do is get people thinking about it.

  • Soundboy

    If you want to see things done differently, do it yourself! If things are looking too cookie cutter for you, make some waves of your own. Innovation can start with you, the DJ. Perhaps the rest will follow: supporters, like-minded DJs, then the industry.

  • mariano giusti

    While I do agree that DJ gear brands (especially the ones who are NOT on the top of the market) should stop following and try to innovate, I think that what this article is totally missing is is the “cool” factor.

    To became popular everything must be cool.

    That’s the reason why nobody rides a Segway, despite the fact that it would be an absolute perfect vehicle for most of us. But it’s not as cool a bicycle or a car. Actually it’s the opposite of cool, you can’t ride one without looking dumb at least.

    Same in DJing, spinning wheels (real or not) are just cool.

    I don’t see them disappearing from real or virtual interfaces anytime soon.

  • mariano giusti

    While I do agree that DJ gear brands (especially the ones who are NOT on the top of the market) should stop following and try to innovate, I think that what this article is totally missing is is the “cool” factor.

    To became popular everything must be cool.

    That’s the reason why nobody rides a Segway, despite the fact that it would be an absolute perfect vehicle for most of us. But it’s not as cool as a bicycle or a bike. Actually it’s the opposite of cool, you can’t ride one without looking dumb at least.

    Same in DJing, spinning wheels (real or not) are just cool.

    I don’t see them disappearing from real or virtual interfaces anytime soon.

  • What I like the most about this craft of ours, is that it’s a wide spectrum; traditional A-to-B DJ-mixing on the one end, full-blown production on the other end, and Sample/Remix Deck and Ableton Live etc. wizardry somewhere in the middle.

    I enjoy and respect every shade of the spectrum to equal amount. There’s room and demand for them all. However, the part of the article that I especially agree with is the gross underrepresentation of hardware for those “somewhere in between” setups.

    For example, I’m very fond of Allen & Heath Xone K2 and the whole idea of a modular controller that does not every try to emulate a turntable. It can flexibly act as a DJ controller, production controller and everything in between.

    Sadly, the controllers in the same category as the K2 can be counted with one hand, whereas there are dozens if not hundreds of identical mixer-and-two-decks controllers.

  • The_KLH

    There is one key point made: Innovation isn’t being rewarded in DJ-land. IF DJs made more money due to innovation (meaning easier-to-learn skills, cheaper equipment, or cheaper-to-buy music), the DJ landscape would change. Since you parallel production, that world changed with VST and ASIO – something that made effects (and eventually instruments) cheaper to acquire and use – and never looked back. While you can argue that MP3 was an enabling change for DJs, it has only served to keep older technologies (TTs, tabletop CD players) in place instead of displace them with controllers. In the production world, VST led to new sounds and techniques which in turn led to new genres of music. In the DJ world, music simply plays… as it always has. Perhaps the biggest reason that innovation hasn’t taken place is that dancing crowds rarely care _how_ music is played… just that it IS played. If crowds demanded live remixing to dance to, the DJ world would change forever. Instead, simple AB mixing is good enough.

    • Adam Stone

      I don’t completely agree, but I get your point. I do think things are changing – they’re just changing much more slowly than the associated technology. And I think the reward for the kind of transition I’m asking for is a more stable system that allows DJs to one again differentiate themselves by the music that they play. That used to be a thing, but now it’s not thanks to digital music. If we had the tools to do more with the song arrangement, we would be able to change that and be known for our “remixes” as well as our programming.

  • BIJ

    scotty has man boobs

  • Jayson Joyce

    After reading the comments and the article..the posting of the article was a waste of time..there is no new discussion..no new enlightenment..and from the tone of the author in writing it..this outcome was very predictable..bottom line is.. the topic was bound to be inflammatory..and the author’s responses to so many of the comments (calling them stupid, infants etc..) have just added fuel the the fire (I’m beginning think that was the point of all this).. and before he writes back “what the real point is” in reply..I don’t really care what he says about the topic now..that’s the result of this article..and from the comments I’m not the only one..Any situation in which the lead editor has to take time out to translate what the author was trying to get a across is either not well written in the first place or too opinionated to be understood..you have the Donald Trump of DJ’s writing articles and that’s not a good thing..

  • Aaron Drumm

    “I don’t think that the world would be a better place without old school DJs. Quite the opposite, actually. I appreciate the history of DJing, and acknowledge the contributions made. I also don’t hate on anyone that still wants to DJ with 2 turntables. That’s what you want to do, and I’m fine with that. But I don’t understand why everyone else has to conform to your idea of DJing. I think it’s old and outdated, and I want no part of it.”………
    I’m a die hard vinyl purist with nearly 20 yrs behind the decks and I love the feeling of wax gliding under my fingers and the control over beat matching and scratching or juggling that it took years to acquire…most people can accomplish the same skill with the press of a button now…way to strive for excellence!…I DO still want to DJ with 2 tech 12s…and I personally don’t believe anyone has to conform to anyone elses “idea of DJing”..DO WHATCHA LIKE! It may be outdated and you may “want no part of it” but rest assured…those of us who love spinning wax are here to stay…we reached and worked hard at primitive for far too long to just pack it up because technology wants to make us obsolete…we’ll stick with hard work over the auto synch button any day…and I know a few “outdated” djs who can spin circles around modern tech junkies any day of the week…just my 2 cents…rant done.

  • Alexander Gödde

    When I first thought about what DJing on a computer would be like, I certainly did not image it would be Traktor/Serato/any other current DJ software.

    I thought that the focus would be on making things like track discovery easier, to enable us to store great transitions between tracks and make them even better the next time we run them. I imagined a system which captured what I did during my sets and allowed me to profit from it, and where I could exchange that knowledge with others. A system which would make things easier for everybody, and greatly reduce the number of bad sets out there. I thought we’d move away from the slavery of having to do everything in real time and towards a model where I could use the 5 minutes before the next transition for something productive which actually benefits the set – like testing three transitions to other tracks and seeing which one I prefer, or tweaking the transition to a degree of perfection which my clumsy fingers and bad timing would never allow me manually.

    To me DJing and two turntables and a mixer are only connected through technical necessity for most of the history of the art. This setup is what worked for a while, but it never was a goal, and it is no longer necessary. Yet we cling to it like there are no alternatives.

    The only program which I’ve ever found which felt like its makers really had a similar vision of DJing is MixMeister. This allows you to arrange tracks on a timeline and do transitions in advance. It doesn’t do much beyond that, and its development was stopped in 2007 (as far as I can see). The future of DJing started there, but too few people seem to have been interested.

  • Selecta

    DJing is indeed dead. But vinyl didn’t kill it, producers did.

  • j@DJWORX:disqus you really hit a sensitive spot on this one. I cannot believe some of the negative comments I have read towards your opinion here. Wow lol?!

  • Tony Mitchell

    Vinyl and scratch DJ’s invented Djaying and this is how you treat them? History always repeats itself.

  • gusset scratch

    i’ve read the whole comments section and i still don’t understand what point the author is trying to make.

    ‘traditional’ djing involves playing one pre-recorded track after another without significant pauses necessitated by switching the track. the ‘traditional’ equipment used to achieve this was two playback devices rather than one with some form of volume control to blend the two signals.

    this developed into the established paradigm of two turntables and a crossfader, which in turn, for understandable reasons of psychological discomfort with radical change, was skueomorphomaphised into the digital vinyl emulators, which included spinning circles to reflect on screen the movement of the vinyl timecode. kinda pointless but you can hide it with a couple of clicks in the current version of traktor (can’t speak for other systems). you don’t even have to use timecodes – traktor was around long before traktor scratch. dvs also introduced all manner of benefits that were unfeasible or plain impossible with vinyl/cds.

    at the same time as the dj industry was chasing the established market of turns+mixer emulation there have been all manner of software, software features, hardware and hardware interfaces produced that you can combine and reprogram to your heart’s content, and the only limit to how you want to achieve playing back and manipulating pre-recorded music is your own imagination and creativity.

    the only genuine innovation in the field that i can think of is native instruments’ stems format, but for reasons i can’t be arsed to go into i find that idea to be a fairly niche prospect.

    >”Companies that make equipment are scared of anything that doesn’t stick
    to this old idea of DJing. Software developers are still taking up UI
    with fucking spinning circles”

    plenty do, but i can think of plenty of dj/audio interfaces that don’t.

    >”Why is it that the DJ products industry never learned to leave that shit behind?”

    they have, but due to the continued development of the traditional model it generally works very well and there is still significant demand for the basic functionality.

    >”my only real choice right now for some kind of alternative way of working in the “DJ idiom” a program put out by a company that very obviously looks down on DJs (I’m talking about you, Ableton)”

    there’s a lot more choice of audio software out there than ableton. you say you want a “way of working in the dj idiom” and then get upset that the dj idiom is the idiom of djing…? eh?

    sidechaining and midi clock are available to employ if you want to, along with max/msp and vsts and on and on. but then it becomes arguable whether you are performing as an innovative dj or a fairly average producer.

    imo this article is a mess that only serves to clickbait for angry comments. the reason there are so many frustrated comments is because the headline is literally “vinyl killed djing” followed by an incomprehensible rant that doesn’t reflect reality. i’m getting tired of media outlets that think a lot of hits means you’re doing something clever when the reason you get a lot of hits is that people are queuing up to take a dump on your material. this stuff is becoming a pronounced trend on djworx. it’s lazy and it treats your readers like mugs. but hey, i clicked and here i am commenting. what a fresh and novel irony…

  • CutSelekta

    Conclusion of this childish debate: the author wants no more DJ culture but sadly for him he cannot destroy true DJ culture

    Good luck with your IPads playing Justin Bieber at high school freshmen parties

  • Vekked

    Bleh. I don’t completely disagree with the idea that we should explore different interfaces and ideas of how DJ but I think the new vs. old, turntables vs. other interfaces is kinda pointless and a poor angle for the point of this article.

    There are very real reasons outside of DJs just being too old or closed minded to move beyond turntables… in many ways turntables (or CDJs) are still the most superior option and there hasn’t been a valid alternative that doesn’t take away a lot of the strengths of a traditional setup. If a company came out with an alternative which preserved the most needed features of the traditional setup, but added more, I bet people would jump on it pretty quick… but you can’t really expect people to jump on a new piece of technology that has a lot of weaknesses and areas that aren’t as good as a traditional setup.

    And it’s not like technology has stayed complete stagnant, it’s just evolving in the form of adding additional features to the traditional setup to make it a hybrid. Why do we have to eliminate turntables/discs from the setup for progress? The real future is in modular, customizable setups where you can take what you use, and get rid of what you don’t. That’s slowly happening with all of NI’s controllers, DVS mixers with controls built in, etc.

    And lastly, if people would take alternative ways of DJing, push it to it’s limits, and do something cool with it, then people would probably jump on it. But it seems like the most interesting ideas incorporating technology in DJing still involve turntables + external gear. Not to say it’s not possible to do something crazy interesting/next level without turntables, but people aren’t doing it… people have to do more than cueing loops, samples and effects which can be done with a controller beside your turntables, or half-assed pad drumming that people were doing better on MPCs before anyone ever considered doing it in DVS software.

    So perhaps the author would be a lot more convincing in his argument if he took the best setup from him that’s available currently without turntables/CDJs and did something really innovative with it. It doesn’t matter if new next level forward thinking technology comes out unless someone actually uses it. Having infinite possibilities is only advantageous if someone realizes them.

    • kebzer

      For those who might miss it, above is a comment from the 2015 World DJ champion. With turntables and a lot of wicki-wicki-wah, obviously. And mixers.

      • And what an excellent and well reasoned response it is too. He’s thought about the piece, agrees with the idea of looking at other ways (and suggests some) but for now feels that the current workflow still has many merits. He gets what the article is trying to say and has commented accordingly. He has issues with the angle, suggested a better approach, but has focussed on the message… you know the one that’s actually there rather than getting irate about one that isn’t. It is a quality response from Vekked, and I thank him for it.

  • Nacor Carmona Blanco

    Sorry but this is a pointless thread.

  • sndr sklr

    This is quite an emotional discussion here… Since I didn´t have the time to read through all the comments I´d like to point out what I was missing from that article: ideas / solutions. If you´re just pointing at something and saying “I don´t like it, change it!” without giving any ideas/constructive critisism you´ll get easily labled as a hater. Innovation has always taken place in the “Underground” and not in offices of big companies. So waiting for manufacturers to take it to the next level is a dead end street imo.
    Outline your ideas, design a product you think will fit the needs of non-traditionell DJing and start a crowdfunding campaign. If you get enough backup companies will get interested for sure.

  • I think we can all agree that the approach to the piece didn’t sit well with a few people, and had it been framed differently it might not have caused quite the same fuss. Perhaps if it said “imagine if turntables and vinyl hadn’t been invented, how would you mix music?” then the response would have been entirely different. We learned lessons with this one.

    But it’s important to remember that for the people who took offence, there were a solid number of people who agreed, and that’s a good thing. But the very vocal approach of a few is not the consensus of the masses.

    Again, I think we’re agreed that the approach wasn’t well received and we’ll take this exercise into account for future opinion pieces. But we won’t stop throwing grenades into rooms just because a few people might get upset, but we’ll think a little more about the desired response and consequences. Intelligent discourse is how we all learn and our collective words can make a real difference. And it’s down to us to find the best way to encourage that.

    COMMENTS CLOSED.