DJs — you’ve never had it so good

It is the role of DJWORX in this big wide world of DJing to deliver the newest shiny to your screens. And for the last decade or so, we have delivered that by the boatload. But I cannot help but think that we’ve all become a little too comfortable with the gear we use, and even take it for granted that the industry will come along with some newer and shinier shiny to satiate our GAS cravings.

So imagine if you had to go back to the most basic setup in the world — say some crappy belt drives and a mixer without a crossfader. Barbaric eh? Now envision that setup being the very epitome of luxury — the aspirational gold standard of DJing. But wait — even that isn’t available to you, and you have to make improvise with whatever you have around you.

Reel to reel — that’s all you have, and you’ll have to create a set with just some tapes. Oh wait – there’s no mixer. Not so easy now is it? That didn’t stop Mr Tape from putting together a 6 minute demo set at the 1991 DMC finals.

It’s funny to watch, if only because it foretold the future process that DMC DJs now use. Unlike the vinyl process of taking records off and putting new ones on, this set has been sequenced and recorded to tape, much like the modern day method of chopping up bits of music and creating one long scratch sentence, ready to be mangled in their DVS software of choice.

reel to reel DJ gear

DJS — YOU’VE NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD

I admit that this is perhaps an extreme and unrealistic scenario. But I wanted to deliver a timely reminder that while you gaze dismissively at the outstanding but last year’s gear in front of you and feel increasingly dissatisfied with the paltry level of channels, hot cues, loops, effects, samples, connectivity, choice of hardware, and a generally overwhelming mountain of features that you didn’t have a decade ago and will continue to be force-fed whether you want them or not, you need to appreciate that it wasn’t so long ago that we only had two channels and a bag of 12″ singles. And believe or not, we still filled dance floors.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of DJs understanding that they have more options than ever existed in the past. And unlike some of the gear that has previously been inflicted on the market, all of those options are at least good, if not great, and probably bloody amazing. What you do with them is up to you, but don’t for one minute think that you’re hard done by because a manufacturer hasn’t updated your still-working-wonderfully favourite tech. Because as DJs, we have never had it so good.

One last thing — if you feel that you need to spend thousands to sound like a DMC demon on the cut, check out the video above. Now that is keeping it reel, on the reels of steel… that’s all I’ve got. Thankfully.

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