- Entertainment and Media»
Why DJs should play vinyl and not use computers
Nothing beats technics, concord needles and vinyl
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.
Great buys for DJs
The best needles available are made by Ortofon. Precision technology made in Denamark.