Why DJs should play vinyl and not use computers

Nothing beats technics, concord needles and vinyl

This is mixing analogue style. Not using dull digital equipment
This is mixing analogue style. Not using dull digital equipment

Over the past couple of years more and more DJs have converted to using computers to mix with. It's boring and should be outlawed from all serious clubs immediately.

Ok if you're a wedding DJ and have to play shlock and 80s tunes and requests and cannot possibly haul around kilos of records or CDs then I can understand why computer DJing is for you; otherwise, stop it now. And I'll give you 3 good reasons why.

Firstly, and most importantly, the sound quality is inferior. Using CDs is bad enough but using tiny MP3 etc files is terrible. There's a reason why MP3s are such small files, and that's because the alogrithm has 'taken out' a lot of the sound. On headphones you don't notice. In a club you do. Nothing sounds better than concord needles on a vinyl. The sound is fresh, organic and full. Especially for the lower frequencies of bass found commonly in techno and drum and bass. And furthermore, sound is transmitted nearly instantaneously through needles whereas there's often a lag with computers, particularly old computers with small rams.

Secondly, it ruins the visual appeal. Nothing beats seeing a DJ cueing up the vinyl and dropping in the next tune in just the right place and really hearing it. Also watching a DJ show his or her mastery by scratching vinyl is mesmerizing. It makes the DJ a musician and an awesome spectacle. It's live and always original because no 2 mixes or scratches can ever be exactly the same. With a computer they can be and that is boring and not worth paying to watch. I hate DJs who use serato and so give the impression they are playing vinyl. Watch them carefully - they never change the vinyl. It's window dressing.

And thirdly, computer mixing is often cheating. The computer programs have beat counters, analytics and even beat matching to do all the hard work for the DJ. Anybody can quickly sound as good as Carl Cox with some of the computer programs on the market, which is an insult to Carl Cox who is a god on the decks.

Luckily British clubs are not falling for this second rate rubbish and the DJs lose respect for pulling out their apple computers. Unfortunately, in Tokyo it's becoming more and more common for DJs to bore the crowd with their heads stuck in their computer screens. Even Tokyo based DJs are using computers - I presume because they aren't competent with vinyl or are too lazy to bring their record bags. I saw DJ Marky in womb last year and he broke my heart when he played 99% of his set using serato. Holding a deck upside down and scratching is farcical and belongs in a circus and not on the dance floor. That same year and again in Womb in Tokyo, I saw Ed Rush and Optical use 2 CDs all night long. It was pretty much impossible to hear the mixes. We the consumers who fork out big money to see these 'stars' deserve a lot better.

So if you want to be a DJ or take up mixing for a hobby then please buy decks and good needles and do it properly. Besides computers crash and then you'll look like a right twit while silence pervades the room while you re-boot.

As a footnote, my mate saw LTJ Bukem in Argentina the other day. He played a vinyl set - not a CD or computer in sight. Good to see the pioneers still holding true to their roots.

Comments are now closed 79 comments

technojunky69 8 years ago

Too right, bro. Serano sucks.

The ebay bids below are real bargains!!


Matthew Cepican profile image

Matthew Cepican 8 years ago

Great hub! Very cool and educational!!!


smartcontentz profile image

smartcontentz 8 years ago from Japan Author

Thanks for the big up.


Intex 8 years ago

Couldn't agree more. Serano is killing live music because computer DJs often don't buy the music they play. Plus it's cheating.


djgaogao 7 years ago

there is so much human feeling in a vinyl. and what can we find in a audio file?, nothing

I am sure we can be a dj with cd or with vinyl but I am even sure that digital music do not exist, there is just some audio files more or less good, but it is a informatic language without human feeling

with a digital format we are dead. with a? vinyl we are alive.

so, what do you want ?. be alive or dead.

choose your way DJ or public

DJ GAOGAO the only panda DJ

No live, no DJ without VINYL


CaffeineInsomnia profile image

CaffeineInsomnia 7 years ago from Planet ERF

Yeah, I understand that DJ's hate DJ's who use computers to mix their music, but most of the general dancing and drinking public could care less what you're playing music with as long as they get to drink and dance... they have no ego or concern with how you're playing your music as long as you give them the same feeling they've wanted for decades on the dance floor.

New fancy tools, same thing, really. But it does suck the life out of the "art" of DJ'ing when people are mixing music with no conception of matching beats, stacking their mixes, or even really paying attention. I agree w/ that.

However it's also true vinyl has went the way of the dodo, outside of the vinyl purists & turntablists.

It's ridiculously heavy, expensive, and a lot of tracks don't come out on vinyl and/or are hard to acquire if you don't live in a town where dance music is popular. Who wants to lug all that stuff around, pay more money, and restrict themselves from playing everything they want the day it hits the Internet for purchase?????

Contrast this to CD Turntables, where you can download anything, pay only for tracks you want, easily store and move your music around.


CaffeineInsomnia profile image

CaffeineInsomnia 7 years ago from Planet ERF

Oh yeah, one more thing,

The first time I'm out and a DJ's PC crashes, I'm going to laugh all the way out of the club!!!!! That would arguably be the most humiliating thing that could happen. :)


CaffeineInsomnia profile image

CaffeineInsomnia 7 years ago from Planet ERF

Oh yeah, one more thing,

The first time I'm out and a DJ's PC crashes, I'm going to laugh all the way out of the club!!!!! That would arguably be the most humiliating thing that could happen. :)


GreenAdam profile image

GreenAdam 7 years ago from Detroit, MI

I have mixed feelings on this hub.

First of all, big ups for using Technics. They are, hands down, the best turntables in the world. I definitely considered getting them when I started deejaying six years ago. But there was a little problem: I didn't own a single piece of vinyl. That meant I had to buy turntables AND build a collection of wax.

On the other hand, I had like a hundred CDs sitting in my house. So I decided to get two Numark Axis 9 CD Players. Once I knew what I was doing, I upgraded to Pioneer CDJ-800s, which still get used to this day. The CD-J 1000s are on my wish list! I also download songs from iTunes for $1 a piece, and burn those to blank CD-R discs.

I never use Limewire, KaZaa, or any other illegal file-sharing software.

So I don't consider my sets to be "second rate rubbish". That would be using nothing but a laptop, or nothing but an MP3 player. Now THAT'S rubbish!

Far as I can see, everybody is happy when I'm doing my thing. Most people don't know I'm not using vinyl until they walk up to my booth. As a musician, I know vinyl sounds better, but the average joe can't tell or doesn't give a crap.

As for Serato (not Serano), I've seen it in action, and it takes some skill to use it properly. You can't put on a blindfold and handcuffs and still keep the party going. You still have to cue up songs, tweak EQ, use the crossfader, etc.

So I think that there are good ways out there to capture the best of both worlds. (BTW, The guy I saw had a Rane SL1 controller and two Technics SL1200s)


RobertJPabon profile image

RobertJPabon 7 years ago from Chicago

I enjoyed this article. I used to have the exact same feelings towards "computer DJs" But for me, as long as the DJ is on his beats and keeps them tight I will be on the dance floor all night long.


Pr0metheus profile image

Pr0metheus 7 years ago from San Diego


housemonk profile image

housemonk 7 years ago

I feel your pain, I still have my Technics 1210 that I purchased almost 20 yrs ago. I will always prefer vinyl over computer. However, I must confess that I am good with using the new technology as well. My current living quarters is quite small, so I decided to use my computer to assist with my mixing because I don't enough space to set all my equipment up.


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 7 years ago from Georgia, USA

Hit it on the head housemonk- there are times and places for CD's and even mp3's without a serato mixer. I had to use virtual dj in Iraq for everything from karaoke to hip hop nites you gotta use the right tool for the right place. Vinyl is great when you got the space and the conditions but give me what works and will fit in my ruck...


ccRicers 7 years ago

I agree that laptop-only DJs (as in DJs who don't use tables and only laptops and controllers) aren't as exciting to see because they tend to stay in the same spot, and don't move around with the same energy as other DJs.

With that being said, not all computer DJs are cheaters. Serato DOES NOT have an auto-mixing feature. Traktor and Virtual Vinyl do but not Serato. Most people use Serato because they want the best of both worlds- the feel of and control of vinyl while playing music that may not be accessible in vinyl. I do think that DJs need to experience at least a few times playing with records. If they can rock the house with records, they can do the same with mp3s, CDs, anything.


mreid84 7 years ago

Interesting hub

I agree with the whole vinyl thing. But I have to admit, I started out using vinyl, but then i converted to CDJs for many reasons. The main one being for me it was exactly the same as vinyl except cds are smaller lol

CDJs have cool features, more things to play with, and make a DJ set alot more interesting. And you can also stuff up just as easily on cdjs as you can on turntables. so anyways, i like both! just thing cdjs are more fun cos theres more you can do! peaz :-)


Muxxex 7 years ago

You're so on point.

Although you get a lot of great control and features on CDJ's or an mp3 controller, nothing really beats that vinyl feel.

Plus the bonus of having to dig through crates to find em.


t0bikun 7 years ago

Hey!

i've been wanting to learn how to DJ, i asked my dad for a basic vinyl DJ setup

but i have no idea where i can buy vinyls for really low prices


t0bikun 7 years ago

e-mail me if someone has info

t0bikun@yahoo.com


NTC 7 years ago

Well we mix with Numark Total Control and everybody loves it...


Drewsie 6 years ago

Basically, depending on what kind of DJ you are, will depend on what set up you have. Entertainment DJ's are definitely moving towards computers for the amount of songs one must carry vs. the turntable dj, who uses the vinyl to manipulate the music.

One thing I found very wrong in this article was that a computer wasn't impressive to watch. If you are in the DJ profession to get looked at, then you should think about getting into another profession. DJing is a service in which you provide music for people, doesn't really matter what kind of DJ you are, that's your ultimate goal. Keep people dancing, that's the real art of DJing.

Software is not cheating. Especially since mostly all of the software was created for DJ's, by DJ's. The computer is simply there for a guide visually to match beats up in the music, it is up to the person running the software to be creative within it. So why spend more time simply matching the beats and doing more work? It doesn't benefit anyone, and no one really cares how you get there, they just wanna hear the music. So if anything, it allows you to be more creative, knowing that you can trust the program to beat match it for you. Most pro software such as traktor and virtual dj are very intuitive in this manner.

I will agree that nothing sounds better than vinyl, but as it was brought up before, money is definitely an issue for many people. Mp3's do have lesser quality, but that's nothing that a sound card upgrade and good hardware won't improve. There is a difference, but your average joe, won't care, they just want their song.

Computer setups with midi controllers I feel is the most ideal for your entertainment dj, for portability purposes. Even a Desktop PC is less equipment than an entire DJ table, and if built correctly, you can have a pretty nice setup.

So for all of you that think computer DJing is beat, I think I'll have to disagree. We are in a new age, and we should use this technology to our advantage, not saying we should ditch the tradition, but the use of computers will hopefully become more and more accepted through time.

And DJ for the people...not yourself. Let's keep this in mind next time we wanna just look cool for the ladies or something...


DJ Common Sense 6 years ago

I totally agree with Drewsie. I never said "hey look that DJ is using vinyl so his/her is set is gonna be good." I have heard Dj's who used their computers/controllers and their sets were phenomenal, then I heard famous Dj's who are good(such as Tiesto, Roger Sanchez, Carl Cox etc.) use vinyl and cdj's but don't even compare to the modern, up and coming DJ's.

A DJ's ultimate goal is to entertain with music regardless the medium.


Dan 6 years ago

I think that creativity is what counts. As long as the vehicle you are using (vinyl or computers) doesn't do the beat matching for you then it comes down to how creative you are. Tne threashold skill is that you should be able to beat match and drop the mix in the right place, after that it's all about being creative and getting a synergy by taking two or more tunes and creating something more from them, without detracting from the original tunes. A really basic example from the piano house scene is JJ tribute vs Young MC - pure synergy 1+1=3:) For the vinyl lovers you can join the facebook group for DJ's who use vinyl http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=288177577649...


onionaudio profile image

onionaudio 6 years ago from London

A good DJ plays one tune after another and works a dance floor and keeps people moving. You cant teach someone to do this & a computer cant do it all for you.

Yes seeing someone checking there emails is boring but if they play one good tune after another and the quality is good Im cool with it.

Having said that I do agree with most of your points I just think saying you can be as good as Carl Cox with the correct software is way off the mark.


smartcontentz profile image

smartcontentz 6 years ago from Japan Author

I concede your point that Carl can't be replaced by a computer but his smooth beat matching can. Luckily a computer can't pick a good tune yet.


Drewsie 6 years ago

What's the difference if you pick a good tune via vinyl or a good tune via computer? Obviously you're not shuffling music if you're using DJ software.

I think people are missing the point. The software does NOTHING for you. You are still doing the work with matching beats and cueing and looping.

Software can also manipulate audio more than any vinyl or cdj can. Effects, samples, more customized reverb settings. The possibilities are endless.

Not to mention anything can be done with Ableton live which is not even deck based software.

I think all the "turntablists" out there need to just check their ego's and just admit the fact that they spent thousands of dollars on equipment that's outdated. Stop being bitter that someone can do something just as well on a setup that's cheaper. It really doesn't matter in my opinion. Eventually, I think most "turntablists" out there will be able to get past their grieving period and move on, and accept that this technology is beneficial.

Scratching is only ONE technique of actual DJ'ing and it becomes the basis of most DJ's mixing, which is one dimensional. More interesting mixes can be made when things are mixed harmonically, which is a problem a lot of DJ's out there have.

There's no standard in DJ setups anymore. There are many mediums in which music can be mixed, and a computer should be no less legitimate. Equipment doesn't change the fact that someone is tone deaf and mixes poorly. More emphasis needs to be put on the ideas that people create, and less on how they are going about doing it.


Jackson Riddle profile image

Jackson Riddle 6 years ago from Melbourne

I dislike wannabe DJ's who are at small events and all they do is hit "play". The best DJ's produce great remixes and are showmen at there concerts.


chris 6 years ago

As to the mention of smaller up n coming djs on computers compared to the likes of carl cox.. i highly doubt they are the same level since carl cox CAN beat match like a machine because he has done it manually for years! where as this random dude bought a laptop and a program and hits a button.

Mixing Vinyl and to a slightly lesser extent of CDJS (but still very close) your doing everything manually holding the mix together by yourself, just through this act alone you unconsciously begin to get a feel of how to pull off interesting tricks while holding the mix, how to blend the mix, maybe cut the mix, drop a beat what ever and when mixing tracks and you hear the second track come in you instantly know if its going to work or not.

Some dude who does not have to worry about any of this and pocks buttons, twist knobs and dance around like a complete muppet, probably will not have a flow or a vibe!


julianberg profile image

julianberg 6 years ago from UK

i totally agree, we use only analog equipment when making music in Rendezvous, check out my hub about it for more info...


DJ Common Sense 6 years ago

Apparently the guys who are against technology and using computers haven't actually tried to using these mediums "PROPERLY". They think its just a push of a button and the beats are matched. There is a lot more to it than that. First of all the computer almost never beat matches properly, the dj actually has to tweak every mix for a seamless effect. I know a lot of "Idiot Computer DJs" that don't understand this concept which gives us computer djs a bad name. Sorry to hurt you guys feeling about Carl Cox but beat matching seriously aint "rocket science", he ought to be doing right since he is been doing it for years.

As I was saying before its about how good the set is not the medium that is used.

Put it this way, a mathematician using an advance calculator or computer would not seen as less of a mathematician would he. He would be judged on his results not his medium. The reason a mathematician uses the things are because he is building current methods on the old methods and adding new ones to get his results.

People please don't stand stagnant with the evolution of djing. We have the technology lets use it to makes things better than what they are now.


DJ Common Sense 6 years ago

Hell!!! I do not know why and arguing with you guys because Progression is inevitable.

DJ's cant stay stagnant and expect to stay the best, it wont happen. :-)


dj darkscratch 6 years ago

listen serato/traktor/ablton are NOT destroying djing mr.dj.

timecoded vinyl gives you the same aesthetic feel,you don't HAVE to use mp3(use WAV,FLAK, or high quality mp3)and besides digital djing isn't just typing and clicking a mouse anymore its so much more. God Bless.


dj Tom Soya in South Africa 6 years ago

I'm one of those guys who thinks that its not only the sound quality of a track that should be considered but the whole package.

The music industry is tough full of cats n dogs nd more dj's r increasing rapidly. Piracy on the other hand is a major factor in terms of this technological change. I mean i've got much much more downloaded full tracks on cd-pouches where about 5% of those tracks I bought on popular download sites. I lost my vinyl record collection last year and it feels hard to collect again but one thing inside me still yearns for that vinyl feel on my hands. Some well known vinyl outlets in my country closed down whereas some resorted to downloads but atleast there's one where we still get fresh vinyl cuts.

Look I'm a deep house dj and im not worried whether a track pressed on vinyl would arrive a week later or 3 months later. If a track is good, its good, plus if it prolongs its quality(in all respect)then it should says something about the medium its been used on.

I agree that technological change is inevitable but lets be real a true dj would know that it is integrity vs. commercialism like Drewsie above who mentions that most of these softwares were created by dj's, why don't we ask if those dj's still play vinyl or whether they got hungry and wanted to eat lol.

On my side I still feel I personaly need that viny l experience on my part. And lets consider the upcoming dj generation would they feel that the SL1200 belongs in the museum?


Drewsie 6 years ago

Once again, Ignorant. Your SL1200's can be timecoded. So unless you feel like buying vinyls for new tracks and lugging around crates of vinyl and cases of CD's, Turntablists can move their vinyl setups to software. But I dunno, maybe you like carrying a lot of shit.


brooksrl 6 years ago

I have a huge collection of vinyl records I want to sell which are dj versions that were only played at clubs. The collection is hip-hop, funk, and r&b from the 70's and 80's in mint playing condition and many have the original covers. they are long extended versions, bonus beats, some explicited versions, instrumental versions, and club album versions. This collection has well over a 1000 selections. Asking $2500 for whole collection.


LJ Maric 5 years ago

Wow, I can't believe how many people are saying they don't mind CD's and laptops.

it's sad. Real Dj's should be playing VINYL ONLY, always and forever. Playing from cds and doing fake scratching and all of that crap is the same thing as playing from Traktor DJ studio all night long. Last time I saw a real set was Christian Varela playing a 3 hour set with 4 decks. 4 vinyls at the time! that's called Djing and creating music, not just playing tracks that will mix together cause the computer tells them so.

Sadly, I've watched few of his sets recently played and he's using CD decks too.

Yes, it's cheaper, easier, not as heavy...etc but for God sake, it is KILLING electronic music. I have stopped clubbing and hoping to see my favorite Dj's cause I am scared to see them playing like the robots.

Oh,.... there are MANY, MANY people like me out there..


smartcontentz profile image

smartcontentz 5 years ago from Japan Author

I couldn't agree more LJ. Interestingly enough most of the replies to this hub are pro-CDs and computers: these people feel the need to defend themselves because they don't want to buy vinyl.


raynbow 5 years ago

I played at clubs in the late 70's and into the 80's and early 90's. I obviously used vinyl and sl-1200's. It was a blast using vinyl and the best turntables ever! I stopped playing after getting married and all.

After 20 years of not mixing I recently decided to restart as a hobby at home. I was reluctant to use software as I thought this was akin to fake djing. I looked around to buy some 1200's and found out that they were discountinued and that used models were expensive( between 500.00 to 1000.00 each). Also may record stores that sold vinyl have since closed as the digital mp3's dj websites have taken over.

Long story short, I decided to buy the Hercules RMX console(midi controller) with virtual dj software. I must say that it is much easier to dj with a laptop than it is with vinyl. Also the software allows looping and effects that are impossible to do with the traditional system (turntable wth vinyl). Yes the software can beat match but this isn't a bad thing as it leaves more time to use effort and remix. Yes, I feel sorry for dj's who are too young to have been around when vinyl was the only game in town and that they will never know how tough it was to match beats and then keep them matched since the tracks weren't always steady :P

Conclusion, I wish things stayed the way they were 30 years ago, but technology has changed and, in order to move forward as a society, we must imbrace it.


aweks 5 years ago

what about live drums and live music - every beat is made by hand and is unique?


David Abad Alloza 5 years ago

I´m a proffessional dj in Spain with a long expirience in many clubs, and discos in Ibiza, Barcelona, Madrid...my poin t is technology can help you to be more creative. The people who doesn't realize what are you doing don´t care if you are on vynils or computer djing, but I if you are really good you can make an advantage of new ways. And the clever audience can appreciate the difference between an "automatic dj" and a real dj even using same tools. I can beatmatch when my computer can´t... so where is the point...

Everything change take the best thing of evrything


Funky Bee 5 years ago

I am beginner DJ too.I personally choosen Turntable to mix.. Although as someone mentianed before buying records in small city without any record shop its tough and expensive..I personally don't care.I appreciate having my hands to do things.Its harder we agree.But there is 2 type of djs.Either you play music to aprreciate and love what you do the way you do.Or you become more "commercial" and you don't have to fight with turntables when computer is so easy to mix. I love what i do the way i do.I think we must think why we DJ so we can see which equipment is better and fits to us.

I am 19 years old and haven't lived the real turntable ages for the people who say only old people like Vinyl.


Gary 5 years ago

recently gone back to playing all vinyl, anyone can download an illegal copy of a mixing package then go round downloading tons of free .mp3's then do a mix with no skill or much time spent learning how, vinyl is the complete opposite you cant download a pair of decks and you cant download the records for free if you don't learn how to beatmix you cant mix.

the financial commitment of vinyl along with the above will separate the wannabe's from those who can.

the point you made "Nothing sounds better than concord needles on a vinyl" I do not agree with and shows your lack of experience.

try a low output MC cart with step up pre amp on a decent sound system and you will hear the DJ carts sound rubbish compared to a real quality high end stylus.


Matt Le MOO 5 years ago

Well i use Vinyl as it is the medium i use!!!!

If someone goes onto the stage and plays an accoustic guitar...then they are not shunned because they aren't using the latest electronic guitar....they obviously prefer the accoustic sound....

as...i prefer the hands on with playing the vinyl...it is like playing an instrument that needs "hands on" control and skills.....that's why i prefer vinyl....digital geeks get over it, it aint all about the latest widget wotsit on android Os this and that....

Vinyl is not that expensive....they do hold their value (and in most cases increase in value). I only buy a selection of 5-6 records every three months or so...that's about £50...a whopping total of £17 per month....WOW!!!!

It takes years to hone the skills using vinyl...and yes i know digi-DJs that can do it after couple of months....boo!!!

I like the people interaction of record shopping, you don't get that with DJ Download This Tune dot com....it even tells you what other tracks to download...boring...where's the fun element that you get with collecting of the music??? (i get that with record shops)


smartcontentz profile image

smartcontentz 5 years ago from Japan Author

Matt Le MOO, I 100% agree with you.


gunnga 5 years ago

I agree with u in parts.... Nowadays, u canot be so radical.. Don't tell me that serato or traktor djs don't put your hands on the music...... This is an old fashion think.... cAuse with a good laptop, CONCORDES,and off course MKs... Working in ABSOLUTE mode, is like 99% the real vinyl. Needle drops, scratch, backspins etc... BUT...if working in relative or internal mode... In this case ur right.. About fx..loops... Cue points etc... And also the sound quality... And NO i think even in a good sound system is impossible to note the diference between an 320kbps mp3 and a real record... There are diference? YES of course... But is not noticeable.....the DMC allow the use of serato... MARKY is using serato... CRAZE is using traktor... eve CARL COX is using traktor... SO don't be so radical... I think......USE THE COMPUTER... but USE IN A RIGHT WAY...i mean don't use the sync.. Don't use thr bpm counter... Don't use the loops or cue points.... Keep the dj work alive... Don't cheat yourself... The computer is only a tool..not a full portable dj booth...


-_- 5 years ago

Writer, you need to take into mind there is more to dj'ing then just vinal, new technology allows us to be more creative in our mixes, and for mobile dj's its a lot more convenient/practical.

you need to take into mind the whole thing before you step on toes with a topic like this.

also, if you rip your music in wav format, theres only a 3% difference.


^ correcting 5 years ago

*Vinyl


dim 5 years ago

it's a just a little bit of history repeating:

when the saxophone was invented the old school orchestra heads didn't like that.

When electric guitars were invented the old school rockers thought it a travesty.

This article doesn't even mention djs that use timecode vinyl to control a computer. i.e DJs who have a computer which stores all their tracks but they use vinyl and all the skills that vinyl requires to control the computer.

I have dj'd 20 years and have a set of technics, a set of cdjs, a timecode/laptop setup and a midi controller set up.

I have had hundreds more occasions where a needle has skipped off a vinyl due to excited dancers than I have had a laptop crash.

I believe the only thing that matters is wether a DJ is using the SYNC function (and thus cheating) or not.

The fact this article thinks british clubs frown on laptop djs is nonsense, I am british and count several top clubs as my favourite hangouts. No one cares what the DJ is using.

CONCLUSION: it's a case of horses for courses: technology should be applied as part of the natural evolution of music, it's the individuals creativity that sets DJs apart.

DJing has no rules or overseers and is in an ever changing state of flux and positive evolution. Why listen to some outdated geek stuck in his bedroom?

p.s. if the geek in question has got himself up to date over the last 2 years since this article was posted perhaps he'd like to say how he feels now?


musical genius 5 years ago

it is not important what medium one uses, the only thing that matters is whether or not the music is good. you comptuer-dj hating people are doing it for all the wrong reasons. you are only using vinyl for the 'cool' image you think accompanies it.

just because you play on turntables does not make you a better dj than the guy using traktor and a midi controller. the most important thing is the OUTPUT. spend less time whinging about technology and more time acquiring the best music available.

and for the record, i use traktor AND turntables. traktor for all my digital files, which i control with my kontrol x1 and the turntables for my records. traktor is my preferred medium and i wouldn't even use turntables if it weren't for the amount of songs i have (and want) that are ONLY available on vinyl. sure, vinyl is great - but i couldn't care less what medium a dj uses. i dj because i love music, not for the dj image. i go to see dj's to hear great music, doesn't matter how they play it!


BlueDinosaur profile image

BlueDinosaur 5 years ago from Denver, CO

Very controversial subject among DJs, but I know quite a few DJs, and they attest that simply knowing how to mix on an old-school turntable gives you a wealth of skill that can serve as a springboard to using all types of technology to mix. A good friend who mixes techno nationally has told me that going digital has enables him to take so much more music with him on the road, so can see why in this case going digital may be helpful. However, I also appreciate the sound and skill of mixing with vinyl, and the best sets I've ever heard from Digweed or Mark Farina or Oakey have been on vinyl. Excellent hub, though, and thanks for the conversation.


vinylsounder 5 years ago

vinyl sounds better, 7%, not noticable, 3%, ....we can discuss how much better difference between digi it is, since human eye is simple and unsensitive and has a long sampling frequency (but is very aware of some properties of sound:depth-color-length-intensity-timing, also with vinyl the mass objects are realy waveing, not shimerring ). Vinyl is harder to use, but sounds better. Technology is easier to use but sounds less. So what to pick?


Mike G 5 years ago

"Data lossy compression" compresses wav files to mp3, thus removing some frequency levels (generally bottom end). The statement is correct in saying sound quality from vinyl is better although most clubs play cd nowadays so the tinny sound is still being heard :( "Long live vinyl"! P.s people who play using laptops are IT specialists or whatever they get called not djs, hence the name 'Disc Jockey'!


Roland London 5 years ago

we are and always will be a vinyl only DJ skool and DJ agency, we only teach vinyl mixing, and only book vinyl DJs.

I play 100% vinyl


smartcontentz profile image

smartcontentz 5 years ago from Japan Author

Please, if you are going to insult the writer then refrain from commenting.


Chris 5 years ago

I've been mixing vinyl since 85 and I used to agree with your statement, but I've come to realise it was just Ego - I had to learn the hard way why shouldn't everyone else?

Technology exists to make things easier for us to do, you can't stop it - you're either down with the steam roller or down with the asphalt!

I've been using Traktor Scratch Pro for 2 years now and I love the fact I can go to bandcamp, download a high quality digital song where most of the money goes directly to the artist and hear it through my speakers in a matter of seconds yet still using vinyl control.

it's far from perfect and sometimes you do need to be a IT geek to get the software working properly.

I have done radio show's using the sync buttons, one recently when my expensive soundcard stopped working just before my show, the listeners knew I wasn't mixing the show live but the reaction was great. Most listeners don't give a flying f**k how it's mixed as long as its good. It seems to be only sour grapes DJs that hang on to this point of view nowadays.


Evolve or DIE 5 years ago

This is absolutely the most narrow minded blurb I've read in a long time. First of all vinyl comes from a digital WAV file which is cut into the grooves of the record. I agree about Serato it does suck. Traktor however is really great and far superior and you can not use the beat sync on most controllers if your mixing DNB or Dubstep. You have to be a real DJ to spin those genres. House and 4/4 beats however can be synced on almost any digital format. Also, if you mix MP3's VS full WAV files your not really a DJ are you? I started spinning vinyl back in 93 and when digital first emerged I was working at a record shop "WP Records in Lomita CA. So I use to wear my "Real DJ's Play Real Vinyl" T-shirt all the time. I felt the impact that digital had on vinyl because I worked at the shop. But now I realize how much better digital is. I can remix on the fly, play samples and use four virtual decks at once. I still however use vinyl for scratching because lets face it. Digital scratching is not as good as record scratching. So with that being said. I think a lot of DJ's have a lot of growing up to do. EVOLVE OR DIE.

My gear combines digital and analog. Stanton SCS3 System with a Sony Vaio Core i5. 2 Technics 1200's with a Vestax 007 battle mixer. 2 JBL LSR 4328's 1 Roland MC-808 and 1 Roland MV-8800. "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE, YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!" Quoted from "The BORG."


JIP 5 years ago

don't you realize that these were exactly the same sentiments expressed when electronic dance music came to prevalence? 'drum machines have no feel' 'the machine is doing it for you' its understandable to stick with the medium that you prefer, of course, but why be against progression and democratization?

computers never choose music for you, i didn't see any sticker on my traktor box saying 'now with a ton of great music perfect for any occasion, plus special bonus dj sensibility injection'.

as for sound quality, you could always use wav files as suggested before but i posit that the only time your audience knows and cares what medium you are using is when it jumps/skips/crashes. provided that your are using upwards of 256kbps mp3's the difference in sound quality will be indecipherable to almost everyone at your show. i would prefer to try and make people dance, if you just wanna play to the chin-strokers then go right ahead.


Hoobert 5 years ago

You all realize how ridiculous this whole argument is, right? You're just playing other people's music anyway!!


nickyp 5 years ago

i fully agree but for some people they were born in an age where vinyl was already outdated so the cd is like the modern mans vinly i respect what your saying with sound quality but for a kid born in the 90s i barely knew anything about vinyls, but i use cdjs in the vinyl mode and it takes a lot of skill to beatmatch by ear over a computer and theres just such a connection between the crowd and djs who choose traditional methods, even with some modern live remixing


DJ WILDLIFE 5 years ago

THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! I ALWAYS HATED THAT COMPUTER DJING SHIT! ITS LIKE CHEATING & A MAJORITY OF THESE CLOWNS CANT EVEN USE VINYL OR EVEN CUE A RECORD FOR THAT MATTER ! & I STILL CARRY THE CRATES BEEN DOING IT SINCE 85 GOD BLESS YA 7 CHECK OUT MY PAGE ON FACE ITS CALLED FOREVER VINYL FOR THE LOVE OF VINYL & CONTRIBUTE YOUR VINYL STORIES OR ANYTHING ABOUT VINYL ! GOD BLESS YA!!


Thiago 5 years ago

Vinyl sounds better. Period. "carrying a lot of shit" isn't an argument against vinyl really...


A-Rok 5 years ago

DJing for me means mixing 2 or more vinyl records. Period! Effects, looping, all that other shit, save it for the studio. DJ's were the ones who were for the most part keeping the vinyl culture alive when most people were trading their records for CDs. I love vinyl so much, I'll never support these laptop wankers, dont care who turns to the dark side. If you are too lazy to lug your crates to the club to spin, then just stay home!!!


asdfg 5 years ago

Lets end this debate with this video of Bukem using Serrato.

http://www.youtube.com/user/goodlookingTV#p/u/6/BO_9BIi8swA


Shin 4 years ago

I would rather spin a good digital track put out by a new "real" artist who couldn't afford to press vinyl than any of the top 40, corporate swill that's all the rage nowadays. In the 60's and 70's, really tight under the radar stuff was on vinyl because that was all there was. I feel you, I love vinyl... I have 5,000+ records collected over 30 years... but not one of 'em is a Lil' Theory of a Nickle Creed Doors Down Perry Save a Horse Twain LOLFAO album. Guess what... most club gigs require you to have and play some of that schlock. So lucky you, those who have the greatest gigs and all the money and time in the world to do nothing but throw hate and buy vinyl all day. And one more thing, if a world of vinyl only DJ's means I have to hear Superstition or Bust a Move every time I go out somewhere. I'd rather burn my turntables (Stanton 150's for anyone that wants to jump on that... yeah, I like 'em better then Tech12's) and rip out my own eardrums. Long live skilled DJ's with good taste using whatever bloody tool's they want!


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smartcontentz 4 years ago from Japan Author

Hello Shin,

I hear what you are saying and I agree that the track is more important than the medium. Thanks for bringing a new pov to the thread.


JOhn Connor 4 years ago

its all up to dj's individually. Times have changed if you wanna stick to vinyl becuase you prefer it thats fine, but stepping into the digital world has so many advantages. i would never spin only vinyl again, unless you will carry my crates. Digital dj'ing all the way, remixing and producing on the fly rather than beatmatching all night. i'll save vinyl for my spare time at home


AUDIOSLUT 4 years ago

Surely most modern dance tracks are produced and rendered as wav files - which you then burn to CD. So cutting them to vinyl is a waste of time as it will only introduce crackle and hiss, you will still be getting the full spectrum of sound from a CD of Wav files as you will vinyl only its cleaner?


Larry Cavelle 4 years ago

I can DJ just as well with timed coded vinyl on serato as i can real vinyl. It's certainly not 'window shopping'. For example, DJ Godfather absolutely rocks the set on serato with super quick transitions and a plentiful selections of tracks.

Yes, the sound is clearer on real vinyl, with the range being much greater, but that doesn't mean that your not a DJ if you don't use real vinyl. Turntablism can be done on time coded vinyl just as well as real vinyl. Wav files are the way to do it if you play a club, rather than mp3s. For internet radio, which mosts DJs do regularly mp3s are fine. Plus if you do weekly shows and play 20 plus tracks per hour to buy on vinyl you'd be homeless on a normal wage. Oh yes and lots of good music is only released on digital format.

All this talk of who is a 'real DJ' and who is not is just pretentious bullshit. The proof is in the pudding so just listen and let yourself enjoy rather than being so judgmental.

Turntablism, peace and love

Larry


Steven W. 4 years ago

i'm actually an 80s dj that enjoys mixing 80s tunes, and mixes on Serato. i'm positive i can destroy you on real vinyl.


Michael Basic 4 years ago

Would love to see the hub author post up a video of himself DJing. I'd be willing to bet that I, and a host of other Serato DJs would put you to shame in all categories. Showmanship, mixing ability (I'll do it with my beat display off so I'm not "cheating." song selection, scratching, harmonic mixing ability, etc.

Usually, the "vinyl purists" who rip on Serato and the like aren't very good...obviously, there are exceptions to the rule...but I still submit that all the best skilled DJs who are DJing today (Not producers, but DJs...Carl Cox, for example, is a great producer and a solid DJ...but nothing close to the best skilled DJ) use Serato.


Digival 4 years ago

Maybe one day your soul will talk to your heart and your mind will follow . We don't care about you ride a bike or an horse , we just happy that you came to share your modern vision of music and great sounds that your dig far from mainstream .

Your hears are correcting geniously the limited sound of vinyl and accepted this fucking hiss that you call warm sound , you just addicted to a noise .

Write book , make painting and some technical search but don't throw up on evolution .Your mind is the limit .


working djs use time codes. 4 years ago

ok sound coming through a club system that's got old cables piggy backed together that every dj beats the shit out of. sound quality is not the best to start with. Def tired of hearing this argument when every real DJ i know also uses time codes. If all your doing is beat matching then yes sync does all the work sooo... do more with the time u saved. just b real stop hating. The music industry didn't jump on mp3 downloads and napster kicked its ass. U have to be first inline haters stop putting yourself last in line. like vinyl coool me too but when playing out i bring 2 computers ect... no vinyl so i bring back ups of everything.


Jerry 4 years ago

Who cares or gives a shit about the dj's format. I rather hear a dj with a good selection of music. Not a lame ass dj who gotta play all of that boring tired ass mainstream music


jon 4 years ago

Those were great points brought out in this hub.in a setting where request are mostly done then seroto is useful.


george 4 years ago

I love Serando. Its so easy that after starting to play it for 3wks i was headlining festivals all around the world.

Thank you Saranto


DJAUDIO1 4 years ago

I've been DJing vinyl since 1991 and made the switch to Serato in 2006. 100% vinyl. I could never give up 1200's for CDJ's or laptop-only mixing. I love that I can still cut, scratch, juggle, and play every track I personally love out, at my finger tips. I say "DON'T KNOCK IT TIL YOU TRY IT". In the end, It doesn't matter if its you on 100% vinyl, me using time-coded vinyls with Serato or some 45 year old using front-loading CD players from 1995, Rock that party. The people don't fucking care about the medium its presented in.


djcapsule 4 years ago

ive tried final scratch/serato/traktor and cdjs and have felt no pull whatsoever to trade my vinyl for any of it.

lugging vinyl used to be part of the trade, now everyone is pussing out.. flash drives etc.. some djs can really rock the capabilities of the computer and cdjs but most are just lazy and couldn't mix vinyl if their life depended on it. its sad. but there are further issues i have with the computer djs. they don't reuse any tracks and they have access to all tracks. on the surface of it, that sounds good, access to everything, no overplaying.. well, issue is tracks become passe to a dj far earlier then their dancefloor peeps.. so djs don't utilize tracks the way they used to, don't expirement as much, don't realize the full potential of their tracks. anyway, as long as there are vinyl dinosaurs like me, there will be real mixing to be had. and a pure analog sound setup too which is even rarer then the vinyl dj.. no compressor/limiters, no bullshit digital processing..

long live vinyl


Bill 4 years ago

I spun vinyl for 12yrs, but I'm not going to hang on to it for sentimental reasons. Face it - laptops, software, and CD players are WAY more versatile than 2 turntables. Why would you rule something out just because the other option is more romantic. I don't care what equipment a DJ uses because it's all about programming.


Free DJ free music free world. 4 years ago

I couldn't disagree more. This is ignorance at its purest form. You hate what you don't understand. Djing is all preference.... PERIOD! It's like saying all hip hop should talk about politics. Or all house music should have build ups. Or all people should be white. Get the bleep outta here. You DJ how you want. In the end... if the people ain't dancing? You suck.


smartcontentz profile image

smartcontentz 4 years ago from Japan Author

That's the end of the comments. I think all points of view have come out - some coherent and some just damn abusive. Respect to all DJs, and thanks for your input. If you really want to state your opinion then start your own hub.

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