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Experiences with Anti-laptop DJ prejudice?

Discussion in 'General DJ Forum' started by gridbot, May 8, 2003.

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  1. Crazy D_Tf

    Crazy D_Tf Forum Member

    laptop djing

    origianlly traktor was a recommendation from a beta tester here in edmonton
    i only wanted to start utilizing the laptop ("the dog")
    to find music
    not only was it frustrating, but annoying to find a track in a moments notice
    when i set up traktor, i noticed i could find a trak literally as quick as it was requested, or i wanted it
    i soon realized this was the wave of the future
    one thing that has always set crazy ds apart from the rest is jumping ahead of the game and looking to the future
    traktor did just that
    finding, mixing editing, looping scratching tracks as quick as i could think of it was awesome

    now i like to party, and make no quips about it
    traktor gave really set the bar here
    once i have programmed the night, have the crowd eating out of my hands, traktor takes over and i then get paid to party, without every missing a beat, losing a track
    and yes i can go for a relaxing squirt, and not worry

    now as far as client, audience response
    "wow, is that ever high tech" is the common quote
    and "wow what a set up you have here"

    then they become even more impressed when they ask if you have a song and you can let them verify that that is the one while they ask
    even more when you can mix it in to what is playing as they ask

    so far nobody has had anything less than an extrememely positive response to trakor
    now if traktor could work with music videos i would be set
  2. Gavin Staveley_Tf

    Gavin Staveley_Tf Forum Member

    I produce a 2 hour dance mix every week on an FM Radio station that specialises in Club/Dance music.

    I have approached several Club owners/managers who enjoy advertising their clubs/events during my mix sessions which were receptive until I replied to the question "vinyl" or "cd" - with "I use a computerised system". I don't think I'll be hearing from them.

    The Station I work at is run by DJs who hold my performances in high regard and are of the view that Digital DJing is not 'uncool', making reference to how many high-profile DJ's they've seen using laptops.

    Club owners have also commented about high-profile DJs using laptops to perform and appear to accept laptop use by them but from my experience avoid new talent that use laptops.

    The computer is the only detrimental factor as I often receive music material as promo before their official release date.

    If you want to spin on PC's you have to establish a name for yourself then the clubs appear to be of the view they can't market you. No Name, No Go.

    I have noticed though, a lot of high profile DJ's have been performing at our local clubs so the competition is very fierce.

    Digital DJ Skill a subset? - TRUE

    I agree - there is less skill and effort involved in a typical vinyl style performance on a laptop, particularly beat matching and syncing. However every other skill, technique and piece of knowledge applies with the opportunity to learn new techniques, skills and acquire new knowledge specific to the digital/computerised domain.

    Drivers of Auto Vehicles can always learn how to drive a manual and the same applies to adding vinyl skills to your digital/computer dj knowledge.

    Does it Matter?

    - Technically - NO
    - Culturally - YES

    Patrons do like to see Club DJs 'perform' regardless of what genre (s)he plays - although the sound is the greatest stimulant, sight comes in at #2. And if the club is lacking in lovely attractive ladies to drool over, the DJ will be expected to provide visual entertainment.

    NO LAPTOPS - I use a rack-mount PC in a roadcase with a 19" rackmount controller that has the mixer and controllers built in. Its loaded with 4x 200G drives with room for more if required - you can't do that with a laptop.

    Both can be placed on the bench and together it looks something like a denon dual deck player with an LCD monitor built into the control unit.

    I ripped the front of the PC case and built into it 2 5-drive bays in the front and retrofitted the face with 1 & 2 RU blanking plates. So you see 2 CD drives side-by side and under them 2 removable drives - (black of course).

    I use 3GHZ intel penitum 4 based windows 2000PRO workstation and i've tightened up the security so nobody can steal the music even if they steel the drive/computer.

    I use internal sound cards simply because i don't like farting around with external boxes and cables.

    Hence, I used centronics 50 pin connectors to concentrate all the audio & control cabling so there is only one cable between the controller and cpu. The cable has the 3 audio channels, keyboard, mouse, trackball, midi and usb cables. (You can run a trackball off the rs232 and the mouse from the ps2/usb and have both operating simultaneously - controlling one mouse pointer though).

    I looked into touch screens and found they could only handle one mouse event at a time which was useless to control dual decks.

    Please note the club culture which hinders computerised DJing mentione above relates to GOLD COAST, QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA. Other locations are likely to vary in attitues and values (i hope for the better).
  3. kaaos

    kaaos Forum Member

    You are all cheaters!!! laptop DJs are all cheaters. even a blind monkey can mix on a laptop....:p JK
  4. Crazy D_Tf

    Crazy D_Tf Forum Member


    Kaos if using a laptop makes you a cheater, then where do you sit in the whole scheme of things?
    a laptop is mearly a tool to accomplish a task at hand

    you are a "Disc Jockey", you are cheating the music
    are you playing the instruments?
    i dont think so
    are you singing the vocals?
    i dont think so
    and yet i am willing to bet you use the phrase "i play ______ music"
    and yet somehow i reckon that music that you play, is recorded, and was recorded by someone else.

    a disc jockey by defination is a spinner of records
    it has evolved from the 50's where it was originated by the big bopper and wolfman jack to incorporate mcing
    and host the party
    where it is now, the man/woman at the helm of the controls of a party
    be it you use cds, records, lps, tapes, microphone/s, lights, lighting, explosives and othere various effects

    now that i have said my peace, dont go throwing names out, unless you are sure that the finger can not be pointed at you

    PS would you really be here if you werent using a laptop or PC?
    mmmmm, i wonder
  5. kaaos

    kaaos Forum Member

    Dude the JK at the end of my post stands for Joke or just kidding

    I ran into a similar problem new years eve

    Here read this

  6. Gavin Staveley_Tf

    Gavin Staveley_Tf Forum Member

    Only the proudly stupid would turn his back on innovation so he can say with his misguided pride he achieved his goal using the most difficult means possible. (While the others laugh at him).

    Even primitive man chose to use the wheel and the power of animals instead of their own backs.

    We live in a world where it is wise to seek the maximum benefit (achievement) with the least investment (energy, time, resources), improving the quality and duration of our lives.

    As far as DJing goes, next time you listen to the radio, buy a mixed compilation, or see a DJ performance in a movie - have a good think about whether they relied on some kind of computer technology to 'help' their production or performance.

    Oh no - I just cheated in finding out the time - i should have used my stick in the sand and looked to see where the shadow fell - but yes - i cheated by looking at my digital watch. I'll be damned for this may god have mercy on my soul.

    It is only until we look at the matter of vinyl vs digital in this perspective do we realise how silly this talk is. What do you think the DJs of the future are going to think about all this verbal excrement?

    Try to focus on your artistic qualities rather than bringing politics into it. I work with DJs who use all kinds of mediums - vinyl & CD turntables, cd decks, video systems and computers. We are all using whatever accessible technologies to achieve the most artistic and inspirational restuls. Technology will continue to advance and so will the DJ.

    Digital DJ performances are only "cheating" if you indend to misrepresent yourself as a Turntabilist. Yes it is harder to mix and it is likely those who are good at it will continue to have a market where the crowd want to see a vinyl performance - and these turntabilists who are good at it deserve all the admiration, respect and prosperity they rightfully deserve.

    But Digital DJs also have the right to seek prosperity and if they're good at it and are in demand - they to deserve all the admiration, respect and prosperity they rightfully deserve.

    Anything less is one class of DJ trying to benefit at the expense of the other and this my friends is unethical.

    I am a Digital DJ who hasn't touched vinyl in 15 years - I produce a weekly dance radio program and represent high profile DJs regardless of their genres or methods. If their music is good - it's good. It's about how the music makes you feel! Why would you want to deny anyone of that feeling just because the source material was on a cd or a hard drive instead of vinyl.

    Discrimination and coersion are the enemies of harmony. Don't bring kaos into your lives.
  7. Gavin Staveley_Tf

    Gavin Staveley_Tf Forum Member

    There are turntabilists who have invested a lot of time and energy learning their skill and are probably feeling threatened seeing more innovative performances by DJs with what they may percieve to be lesser skill sets.

    They are probably feeling threatened and trying to compete with it rather than embracing the new technology.

    Guys, not much additional skill is required to learn Digital DJing - then you can do both and there will be no need to compete.

    Just refrain from putting down the integrity of the digital DJ as a means of promoting yourself. All you're doing is bringing yourself down. Even the commoner will realise you're feeling threatened if you're putting down the digital DJ and realise you may have good reason for your feelings. This is not what you want.
  8. djmunster

    djmunster NI Product Owner

    hello all new to this site,kinda new to traktor
    im old school real old school
    ive been using vinyl records up to about 3 yrs ago,was very reluctent to make the switch to cds,then one day when i was lugging around 8 crates to my gigs i said forget this,droped my money on a numark cdn 90,
    i used to have a lot of fun on turntables ,been doing remixes on the fly since the 80's,used samplers ,gutar peddles anything to make my sets more creative,i said what the hell let me try a laptop,
    here is a word for all djs old school ,new school,whatever
    ift doesnt matter what your using from 8 tracks to some guy playing drums to you while your mixing live,if you can still
    1) rock a party
    2)be creative
    and most of all 3) have fun
    just go out and mix
    i do some nights with me and a dj friend or 2 with 2 turntables ,2 cd players,tractor and also reason 2.5 live
    and its awesome
    i guess all im trying to say ive been in this since disco and the more tools you have the better you a chance to be orignal and be creative and the most inportint thing about djing is letting the people hear the best music you can and letting them have fun but most of all you got to be having fun
    just my 2 cents
  9. beta247

    beta247 NI Product Owner

    hello all,
    i've been djing forever it seems.i've been to 3 continents and numerous countries thanks to djing and don't have any desire to stop.Since TFS 1 i've been a big fan, not having to do "milkcrate athletics", not having to "wait for the never appearing flightcase on the carousel", and not paying the "$80 bucks a dub plate for a song i'm gonna change tomorrow anyways".all that plus being able to play on my favorite medium,the turntable, means alot to me.i think a few years ago alot of dj's feared the introduction of digital media, the internet and the almighty download,but today i think the world has changed.i do realise there are alot of people who utilise it incorrectly,ie.download the flavor of the day encoded as low as low can be and think it'll sound "ok".but as a producer/dj it has become an indespensible weapon of choice for me.as for prejiduce today,wmc was a prime example of tfs/serato's acceptance with dj's worldwide.
  10. boysteve

    boysteve NI Product Owner

    Talk about a coup: In the latest BPM, John Digweed announced he was going to start using a laptop, mostly because of the stuff he's seen Sasha doing using Ableton Live 4. Currently he's using CDs more than vinyl. When guys like Digweed are going laptop, the tide has definitely turned.
  11. Rev Dj RaZorslave

    Rev Dj RaZorslave Forum Member

    I've been Djing a while, since about 1996, longer than some, less than some. I feel like I've earned my headphones and such. I started on CD's I've never done more than look at askance at turntables I like the organic sound and feel of mixing with turntables, but a couple hundred pound of records for a small collection seems a little extreme for the mobile Dj.

    I used to care around a couple of 200 Pack CD Binders and on top of the gear it was getting a little ridiculous. I caught crap about being a CD Dj then from some of the more dedicated turntableists out there I ran across, but f*ck em.

    I've been spinning with Traktor now for about a year getting the software down and experiementing with it on my destop and finding control surfaces that I like. In november I got my laptop and started being able to play with it live.

    Overwhelmingly people have been impressed with the software and what I'm able to do with it. I didnt notice it as much when I was still in Portland, OR and Djing for the same fanbase I'd been making happy for years, but after moving to Las Vegas I regularly have people coming up to talk to me about the mix and the gear.

    The Turntable purists are still out there thumbing their nose at the future. Let em, I routinely carry over 16,000 diffrent tracks with me (generally full albums). I can't imagine doing that with CD's, and it would be impossible without a panel truck to do with vinyl. I can generally play just about any request that someone has in the Industrial/Rhythmic Noise genere my fans are happy and they're spreading the word.

    Rev Dj RaZorslave
  12. Rev Dj RaZorslave

    Rev Dj RaZorslave Forum Member

    I'm now dealing with my first bout of actual prejudice. . . here's a thread in my Live Journal where I'm 'discussing' the issue with the owner/head dj of the club.

    Rev Dj RaZorslave
  13. scratch_monkey

    scratch_monkey New Member

    I new to this forum and to djing and am looking at purchase final scratch for the sole purpose of not having to carry all the vinyl around and i was at a music store and some guy and his friend were bashing some dj because he was playing off a laptop and it was taking the art of being a djing away from the dj. i don't think thats true because you still have to beat match and everything else its just all of your songs are on a computer instead. i think people just need to accept change.
  14. Vince_Tf

    Vince_Tf Forum Member

    I've noticed that opposition is common on online message boards and I usually don't bother to argue with these guys.

    But now I will talk to them when I think they make stupid comments about laptops. Many times they are just repeating cliches and stereotypes they've heard from others, like the laptop does EVERYTHING, all mp3s sound crappy and are stolen from P2P, laptop DJs do nothing but stare at the screen and don't interact with the crowd, etc.

    Many times they are annoyed by the misconception that everything is easy on the laptop and anyone is instantly a perfect but no-skill DJ instantly upon getting a laptop and software. Yes, we did select this technology because we see that it has advantages, but no, it is not "easy" and it takes a lot of work to get up to speed with laptop DJing.

    They always seem to be assuming that any vinyl DJ will deliver better audio and a more exciting and skillfull mix that is done with much skill & difficulty (beatmatching!) and years of experience. Obviously this is incorrect since most of us have heard boring or badly trainwrecked mixes done from vinyl. There are good and bad laptop DJs, and good and bad vinyl and CD DJs.

    Maybe the attitude will change when a big-name DJ starts using Traktor. Or when one of us little guys eventually gets more exposure.
  15. fingerman

    fingerman New Member

    Vinyl, CDs, MP3s - from a (bit) different pov

    Hi guys, just having spent over an hour to read this (very interesting) thread, i want to add in some thoughts...

    i'm dj'ing since mid 80's, started off with CDs and switched to TDJ half a year ago. i must say in advance that i'm not playing any clubs, it's wedding or birthday or rock&oldie parties for the most. Esp. on private (wedding) parties, the audience is between 8 and 80 years old and they don't come there to hear a dj or a specific style of music, but for the party.

    This means:
    - i don't care about syncing, beatmatching or any of that stuff (someone called this "radio djing" and i'm not ashamed to admit that's basically what i'm doing). I mostly "spin" rock and pop style stuff, with wide bpm ranges and mostly incompatible intros and outros, so i just hardly ever need it.

    - as a mobile dj, i was sick and tired of carrying around my 2000 CDs collection, now all i have is two lappies and two 300G ext. HDs. Way cool and very good for my back :)

    having said that, i've only had very positive reactions on laptop djing so far. In my typical audience, people don't care about the medium but for the outcome. That's why traktor is the tool for me: it's the database stuff i really need. In the past, when someone came up and asked for a particular song, i've spent lots of time searching for it esp when it was on some sampler and i couldn't remember which one...

    Now when someone comes up like "hey you have some Depeche Mode" i just type in "depeche" in the search bar and watch their jaws drop down - and seconds after they made their choice they hear it play (if i feel it fits in, that is).

    So my point is: in my (particular) field of work, the most important part is the musical "map" inside my head, like when this song is playing and ppl like it, what next song would fit to keep them going, the "read the crowd" thing. i love the playlist part of TDJ 'cause i can add some songs that come to me and seconds before the transition still have the ability to change my mind without juggling CDs.

    A 1210 is a tool, a CD deck is a tool, and so is a laptop. A tool is just a tool, the only important thing is what you do with it.

    Keep on rockin' !
  16. binarray2000

    binarray2000 Forum Member

    That guy you've discussed with (uberthug) isn't ready to admit that the world is getting more and more digital. And, I bet that, if he would've had booked Digweed or Sasha, he wouldn't mind if they'd show up with a laptop.

    There are always leaders and followers. Some people are jealous, some are afraid of change. But in the end the digital will win!
  17. kaaos

    kaaos Forum Member

    Vinyl will not diapear any time soon
  18. Victormartin

    Victormartin Forum Member


    Well how a person can affirm that thing? Do u know how are the vinyls sales going? No true? Well this and the last year the vinyls where most sold than ever in techno and hous style, too many djs buys traktor final scratch for example, but most of the djs when they are a bit famous always use vinyl, there are more and more new producers every year and its being all sold very very fast. Anyways there are a lot of vinyls users and there are a lot of controled vinyl users, but in Europe in really profesional styles, not playing reggeton in a pub for example, Laptops djs only are acceped if they use Ableton Live for example, but not with traktor (With tfs or serato or something what u can control via turntables yes is accepted), i know that very very well, because i know 2 of the most important promotors of Spain and France.

    And im not a vinyl lover, but its the true, maybe in america i dont know, but not arround my country at least.
  19. kaaos

    kaaos Forum Member

    I've said it before and i will say it again....ALL OF YOU LAPTOP DJs ARE CHEATERS!!!!!!!!!!! jk
  20. Jesse_Plan

    Jesse_Plan NI Product Owner

    Good thing you think that... I'd love to see you carry 78,000 tracks into a nightclub. Your ignorance is bliss...
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