Page 1 of 5

The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:03 pm
by Restless
What are your thoughts on it?

Is it something that has worn you down with how easy it's become to be a DJ? Or do you enjoy it as much as ever?

Do you still keep up with the equipment side of things or is it just "Battle Style" - Two decks and a mixer?

What are your thoughts on the skill aspect of it now? No initiative being used dude to having Youtube at your disposal (being able to watch world class DJ's without moving a muscle)? Or amazed at how far it's been taken from when you started?

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:56 pm
by dreamweave
Bit of both really, digital technology has opened up so many creative doors in regards to djing it really is quite amazing. There is also the flip side of the Sync button and people now looking like they have to rotate and tweak every button on the mixer whilst mixing, don't really get that as digital music does not require a dj really to mess around with the eq so much and to seems like its just making people think you are doing more than you are. For me the new style of mixing is a bit of a gimmick.

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 5:29 pm
by rage
I'm totally old skool, 3 turntables and a mixer. Not interested in going digital at this point but if I was playing more regularly I probably would, this 'real DJs use vinyl' is fair enough to a point but have you seen the price of Hardcore these days?! I wouldn't want to be lugging £100 records around everywhere, the collector in me has started to take over!

Have no problem whatsoever with people using their method of choice, be it CDs, serato, ableton or whatever. It's great technology and while it's not for me at the moment I may well give in at some point in the future. Serato would be what I would use.

Has it taken the skill out of DJing? Possibly, but not necessarily. Vinyl DJs spend all their time keeping their beats locked while digital guys can spend all their time doing all sorts of different fx, loops, chatting up girls.. there must be people that perform now that have never touched a pair of Technics and have no interest to, but they're of a different generation and things change. Records are heavy, expensive, fragile and a complete pain to take anywhere but that's all part of their beauty for me, I'm too far gone to change!

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:03 pm
by AtomSmasher
Given that my decks are in the loft and i have no space to set them up, i've started messing around with Cross DJ on my tablet....and i'm really enjoying it. I'm intending to use it at a friends party at the end of the month, even though i'm taking my decks down there.....
It took a while to realise this isn't the same as using vinyl. Different mindset completely.....
I have a bit of a 91 set planned, complete with looping and FX.
Sold out? Possibly. But its definitely 'scratching the itch' so to speak!

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 8:36 pm
by rage
Yeah it does the job! I played a set with an iPhone and one of those fifty quid Newmark iDJ controllers at a mates birthday party, was actually quite fun!

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:26 pm
by LOON-E
rage wrote:I'm totally old skool, 3 turntables and a mixer. Not interested in going digital at this point but if I was playing more regularly I probably would, this 'real DJs use vinyl' is fair enough to a point but have you seen the price of Hardcore these days?! I wouldn't want to be lugging £100 records around everywhere, the collector in me has started to take over!

Have no problem whatsoever with people using their method of choice, be it CDs, serato, ableton or whatever. It's great technology and while it's not for me at the moment I may well give in at some point in the future. Serato would be what I would use.

Has it taken the skill out of DJing? Possibly, but not necessarily. Vinyl DJs spend all their time keeping their beats locked while digital guys can spend all their time doing all sorts of different fx, loops, chatting up girls.. there must be people that perform now that have never touched a pair of Technics and have no interest to, but they're of a different generation and things change. Records are heavy, expensive, fragile and a complete pain to take anywhere but that's all part of their beauty for me, I'm too far gone to change!
Bang on mate..i could have wrote the very same thing..i have ableton and could see the appeal of loading a set of killer tracks..but they,ed play seamlessly..i wouldnt have anything to do..and wouldnt look a idiot when things skip out/bump the needles etc :)..or could just be down too me being too lazy/old too take on new tech...3 decks..2 channel mixer..headphones and monitor n im happy...i like too be able to see my breas/cue points on my tunes :)

LOON-E

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:47 pm
by dial1
This idea that digital djs don't spend time beat matching is a complete and utter myth unless you play rigidly quantised music with no swing a la trance and hard house.

There's plenty of analogue techno that requires you to pay attention to the track, and 93-96 era jungle is an absolute given, I still manually beat match when playing off cdjs - there's no way you can press sync and expect to get away with it, a lot of the programming in those units is algorithmic and rule-based (obviously) not dynamic and fluctuating. This isn't even getting into mixing 91-92 hardcore or trying to mix stuff like industrial, postpunk or krautrock, all of which require the same skills as a vinyl DJ, just applied/learnt in a different way.

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:49 pm
by dial1
Even in ableton you have to spend time warping/timestretching on a grid for it to all fit together, so it's not ta-da, one button and everything's in sync.

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:36 pm
by Restless
dial1 wrote:This idea that digital djs don't spend time beat matching is a complete and utter myth unless you play rigidly quantised music with no swing a la trance and hard house.

There's plenty of analogue techno that requires you to pay attention to the track, and 93-96 era jungle is an absolute given, I still manually beat match when playing off cdjs - there's no way you can press sync and expect to get away with it, a lot of the programming in those units is algorithmic and rule-based (obviously) not dynamic and fluctuating. This isn't even getting into mixing 91-92 hardcore or trying to mix stuff like industrial, postpunk or krautrock, all of which require the same skills as a vinyl DJ, just applied/learnt in a different way.
By your logic that only applies to DJ's who play rips.

You download a modern track from Beatport and believe me, you will not need to "match beats".

Nobody does that on CDJ's nowadays. It's sync-button all the way.

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:21 pm
by dj jedi
dial1 wrote:This idea that digital djs don't spend time beat matching is a complete and utter myth unless you play rigidly quantised music with no swing a la trance and hard house.
Sorry I disagree, I have Traktor Scratch for my decks and as soon as you press sync, it locks perfectly on 99% of tracks including old skool hardcore and jungle. You can see in the software that it works out where each beat is and literally syncs the tracks beat by beat. They're not like 20 year old CDJs that were just like vinyl, the software is so clever now it does all of the work for you.

Granted for 1% of tracks it can't pick up the BPM automatically, but all you need to do is plot four beats in one bar in the software and it figures it out.

I'll do a quick video if you like to show just how good the syncing on modern software is.

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:23 pm
by LOON-E
A mates got Traktor...cant deny its a fantastic bit of kit

LOON-E

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 7:32 am
by RonWellsJS
Agree, I've tried it... I didn't have to do a thing except; choose, cue and start... mixes locked for full track duration.

I have no problem at all with DJs who do this.

Beat mixing is easy, there is nothing outrageously skilled to claim or prove by being able to match beats. It's the same comparison between manual and automatic cars (as in, I don't manually change gear to prove that I'm capable of doing so. I let the car decide and I concentrate on where I'm going)

I'm sure I'm going to be told off for this post, but honestly if I ever did DJ again (can't realistically ever see this happening) I would use sync if the rig was digital.

I would much rather hear great choice of tracks compiled into a musical journey, rather than endure some insecure show-off playing a badly organised, 'buggered around with' load of crap.

;-)
dj jedi wrote: Sorry I disagree, I have Traktor Scratch for my decks and as soon as you press sync, it locks perfectly on 99% of tracks including old skool hardcore and jungle. You can see in the software that it works out where each beat is and literally syncs the tracks beat by beat. They're not like 20 year old CDJs that were just like vinyl, the software is so clever now it does all of the work for you.

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 10:46 am
by Restless
Beat matching isn't a one size fits all thing.

Look at Andy C. He has some of THE tightest mixing ON EARTH. Then take an average D&B DJ's beat matching skills. There are levels to this. Saying there isn't confirms to me that you simply don't have a tight lock.

Is it easy to match beats? Sure. Is it easy to match beats and hold a mix down for 2 minutes on hammered turntables? NOPE!

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:16 pm
by rage
Yeah it's easy to learn the basics, I managed to get tracks in time within 30 minutes of using a pair of turntables but to do it to the level that Andy C does it on three decks, purely using the pitch control to make adjustments without anything slightly drifting over the space of an hour or more is extremely difficult and skilled. I have been going 23 years and would freely admit I cannot lock beats like he can. I'm not a massive fan of his mixing style as I prefer a little more chopping personally but he is incredible at what he does. It's not just the beats, it's the perfect levels and EQing for his double drops, something that sounds so good when done right but you only need to be the tinyest fraction out for it to sound like a complete train wreck.

Re: The state of DJ'ing nowadays...

Posted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:49 pm
by RonWellsJS
Restless wrote:
Is it easy to match beats? Sure. Is it easy to match beats and hold a mix down for 2 minutes on hammered turntables? NOPE!
I would say that it should be easy on good turntables to mix for more than 2 minutes if need be...

... on hammered turntables is a completely different proposition... if there is constant drift, with no chance of any real time stability then I take back my previous comment - as that would be extremely difficult and annoying.

I do still think though that too much is often made of being able to mix (on good kit),

I'd be happy for the DJ to use sync and deliver a brilliantly musical set.

;-)