The DMC – A Brave New Era

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DMC is an institution. Since its inception, the DMC world DJ championships has been a turntable focused competition – but that’s finally all changing. DMC recognises that DJing isn’t just about turntables anymore, and Sally McLintock, DMC’s World Events Manager, tells us that when it comes to allowing controllers into the championships, “it’s up to the DJs, we go where they go – we’re open minded”.

“it’s up to the DJs, we go where they go – we’re open minded”

Let’s pull up for a moment though – in order to know where you’re going it’s important to know where you’ve been, so Sally gives us a little bit of information on DMC’s background. “Our founder Tony Prince DJ’d on the world’s largest commercial radio station Radio Luxembourg. In 1982 he started playing mixes which became very popular. The station had around 50 million listeners across Europe.  In February 1983 Tony and his wife Christine launched a club exclusively for DJs and club promoters called Disco Mix Club which eventually became known as DMC.  Members received a monthly magazine newsletter which Tony christened Mixmag and by 1985 DMC launched a DJ Convention where Whitney Houston made her very first live appearance and where the World DJ Championship was born.

We dropped the club DJ baton when we sold Mixmag but we continued to provide them with the world’s only weekly DJ publication DMC Update for many years and last year stopped printing a paper version maintaining the data, news and charts for club DJs online. We’re bringing back The Buzz Chart to radio which is pretty exciting because this is what the DJs need, a central point for the best new tunes around.  There’s too much music around these days so it’s a shortcut for them to easily find the hottest tracks.

“We’re in a year of transition, testing the water for technology”

When DMC began we started off focusing on all DJs including radio and mobiles and even today we still provide the mobile market with commercial monthly mixes and club DJs still look to DMC as a source for very special exclusive music and an outlet for their own talents.”

As for the championship’s popularity: “7000 in Wembley Arena was a pretty good year. 3 times at The Royal Albert Halls (5000 per event).  Membership worldwide was in the lofty 7000’s back in the early 90’s and our magazine Mixmag was selling 150,000 copies monthly when EMAP bought it.  DMC attracts more DJs than ever to the World Championships. We’re in a year of transition, testing the water for technology. In the Online Championship we’ve said ‘anything goes’ so we can see where creativity takes us. It’s not an easy trick being all things to all men but we’ve done the balancing act for 28 years and we know DJs know we care for the industry.”

“It’s not an easy trick being all things to all men but we’ve done the balancing act for 28 years and we know DJs know we care for the industry.”

That transition is a big leap for DMC. At the moment, the DMC World Championships equipment specs are still locked to two turntables and a mixer, but for the first time this year DVS systems are going to be allowed with no restriction on the functions that they offer (team battles have allowed DVS for a couple of years, but only as a straight vinyl emulation). What’s more, the DMC Online Championship, in its inaugural year, has no equipment restrictions and the response to this freedom will shape the future of the live championships, says Sally; “the finals to the Online Championship are in August, so we’ll see then. If half the people in the final are using controllers, then it’s certainly something that we’ll look at for the live events next year.”

We asked: What are the challenges present in making what would be a monumental change in the DMC? “When you have as many DJs as we do, you have a logistical nightmare with the changeover of every set – it’s time consuming, and you don’t want a live event to slow down to a halt, which is why we’re looking at what happens in the Online Championship to see what we should do in future.”

“we’re looking at what happens in the Online Championship to see what we should do in future.”

And the future’s bright. “80,000 visitors watched the first 3 rounds of the Online Championship with a total of 11 rounds to look forward to. DMCworld.tv is going to become much more important to all of us as we take the internet onto mainstream TV, and how great is it even now that a kid can film his two  minute set in Manchester and know it’s being watched by fans in Japan, New York and Australia?

We’ll soon be launching DMC Radio. Update will become an appendage of the radio channel to become DMC Magazine and our new download site which has been fine-tuned to cater to single sales will be launched in April.  The magazine, the radio, the download and DMC TV will all work in tandem and we’re more focused on the well being of the DJ industry than we have ever been.  There’s even plans afoot on the radio channel to run a Radio DJ Competition.”

So there you have it; a quick look into the workings of the world’s biggest and longest running DJ championship, a glimpse into the future, and a bunch of things you (probably) never knew about the size of the DMC empire. Many thanks to Sally for her time spent answering our questions! Head on over to dmcworld.tv to check out classic DMC videos, and dmcdjonline.com to view the online entries so far and find out how you can sign up – There are four rounds still to go, so you’ve got plenty of time to enter your dominating routine! The only question that remains is this: What equipment will you be using to enter?!

Check out DJ Shiftee, a former DMC World Champion, give us an exclusive run down of one of his new digital techniques!

  • Neckcutter

    I got Serato for the simple fact that it allows me to use ANY track I have (on my laptop) on my turntables and that is how it should be applied to the DMC championships.

    Using midi controllers is simply not the same, somebody could hook up a midi sequencer to play the whole set for them!

  • Mw

    Half of these digital djs look like fools playing Nintendo’s Track & Field.  You can teach any real turntable/analogue dj how to push buttons, but you can’t teach every button masher how to spin the 1s and 2s.

  • Mw

    How sad.  Button mashing is no replacement for the real thing.  I grew up with 1200s, have midi and CD gear as well.  There’s nothing like the REAL thing, plain and simple.  I could teach a 10 year old how to push a bunch of buttons.  It takes years of practice to be able to manipulate the wheels of steel.

  • HillBilly

    Again. Analog vs Digital Threads. 
    Wake up guys. The digital is nothing if compared to analog. 
    Wake up Ean, you should learn how to scratch from Q-Bert and not collaborate with him, you’re nothing if compared to him. 

    What is a DJ if he cant scratch. Operator. 

  • HillBilly

    Again. Analog vs Digital Threads. 
    Wake up guys. The digital is nothing if compared to analog. 
    Wake up Ean, you should learn how to scratch from Q-Bert and not collaborate with him, you’re nothing if compared to him. 

    What is a DJ if he cant scratch. Operator. 

    • emzero

      You’re not helping to stop this stupid Analog vs Digital thing.

      I don’t really understand why you guys are so prehistorical.. DJ != SCRATCH. A DJ does NOT need to know how to scratch everything. A DJ has to know how to rock a crowd and keep them dancing all the time, no matter what he’s doing or using… accept this.

      Scratching is a really hard thing to master, but IMO is a ugly effect to mix tracks, I don’t like it at all. Learn how to mix harmonically.

      • Mw

        part of mixing is knowing how to beatmatch.  Something 99% of digital djs never needed to learn.  Why learn when you can let your computer do it for you?  That’s like saying why learn to fly when there’s an autopilot.

  • Djing

    Well, you gotta do whatcha gotta do, I guess..?
    If interest is going down or you want to expand what ever it costs, you have no choice than to “embrace” (aka include) new categories. For most Djs it wont compare anyway but what is pretty cheap, is that they will write “DMC WORLD CHAMPION 2012” under their name which will basically destroy what DMC stands for. I already feel sorry for the guys who win supremacy and the worlds that there´s gonna be a third controller dude standing in the same row. years and years of hard work VS….eh…the light version of it. Dj battle LIGHT. That´s what they should call it! Haha.
    It should become a habit to write “DMC CHAMPION IN CONTROLLING”.
     

  • Djing

    Well, you gotta do whatcha gotta do, I guess..?
    If interest is going down or you want to expand what ever it costs, you have no choice than to “embrace” (aka include) new categories. For most Djs it wont compare anyway but what is pretty cheap, is that they will write “DMC WORLD CHAMPION 2012” under their name which will basically destroy what DMC stands for. I already feel sorry for the guys who win supremacy and the worlds that there´s gonna be a third controller dude standing in the same row. years and years of hard work VS….eh…the light version of it. Dj battle LIGHT. That´s what they should call it! Haha.
    It should become a habit to write “DMC CHAMPION IN CONTROLLING”.
     

  • Djtechfools

     bye bye djtechtools.com ! im tired of your analog vs. digital threads, this  was my last visit here . . .

  • Djxsquizit

    DMC battles should always be turntables & mixer only (Wouldnt mind Serato). MIDI CONTROLLERS SHOULDNT BE ALOUD AT A DJ BATTLE. Thats cheating and that aint showing any skills whats so ever  

    •  What?  You wouldn’t mind a DVS that turns your turntables into a controller and adds a computer that allows you to have cue points at the press of a button, but MIDI controllers are cheating….right…that makes tons of sense.

      • Djing

        Im sure he meant Serato is ok so that you dont have to cut your own vinyl and pay tons of cash all the time. I agree with hxsquizit .

      • Djing

        Im sure he meant Serato is ok so that you dont have to cut your own vinyl and pay tons of cash all the time. I agree with hxsquizit .

  • Your mom

    I just don’t have the respect for digital dj’s as i do with turntablists, Digital Djing is a no brainer, any half wit can do it. I welcome new technology, but i’m not hearing anything groundbreaking in the transition.

  • Buffalo Ill

    Fair play to DMC.  We’re in a transitional period, where standard routines AND advanced controller routines are still being worked on.

    I loved the DMC’s back in the day, but the standard in the singles has REALLY gone downhill over the last few years (obviously with exceptions).

    The excitement and possibilities that including controllers and software will bring are gonna inject a whole new lease of life into the DMC’s.

    Hopefully.  😉

  • Lasse Mix

    I love those oldschool rutines back in the day. But that was the and this is now. Chock the scene!

  • i was close to ask Ean/DJTT to establish a Controllerist-Championship…

    we could have both… the classic DMC and the new ???-Championship

  • Maximus Moretta

    I would say if it was for tradition, people would still be rubbing two sticks together to make fire, I say The Hell with that! I have a Lighter! lets burn the house down! ROTFLMAO! 

  • Durka durka

     Wow I already hate Macy Gray, and that picture just makes me hate her more. What a terrible picture!

    • Write2kc

       Do you know Macy personally or is it her music you hate? Gotta admit she’s got great teeth if nothing else!

      • Durka durka

        Just the music and well the personality she shows too. Music sounds like shes constipated to death, and personality makes her seem like a a complete moron/drug addict. 

        • SCEPTIQ

          I think she sounds like a child. I kinda like it because children usually cant write lyrics like that. Shes cool man.

        • SCEPTIQ

          I think she sounds like a child. I kinda like it because children usually cant write lyrics like that. Shes cool man.

  • haha lol

     evolve or die

  • Ah the days when Hip Hop was a culture phenomenon, Still bogles me thinking that DMC was held in the Royal Albert, and then the Wembley Arena.  There’s a funny story about the Wembly Arena finals where the doors had to be barricaded/held by crews, should be looked up by those who are interested.

    Kudos to DMC for experimenting, kinda have to really! and gently slowly is the right way to go. But then again IDA have had an advanced set up round, where anything can be thrown in for a few years and it totally kicks ass. 

    Shame IDA ( formally ITF ) seem to be drifting in to the back ground nowadays, there was a time when it felt like thy were catching up with DMC. 

    The DMC format has been the same for many years now, I kinda lost interest in the solo’s a long while back, the current set up doesn’t mean you get all the best turntablists in the world solo finals as many of the best dj’s are spread across 2 or 3 countries, for instance there was time where 1st, 2nd and 3rd could of all been held by French djs. 

    I love the Teams finals, haven’t missed it in years, you never know what your going to get and every years been different, for better or worse.

    “When you have as many DJs as we do, you have a logistical nightmare with the changeover of every set – it’s time consuming, and you don’t want a live event to slow down to a halt,

    The MC’s do a great job at keeping the crowd warm in the finals on changeover, the biggest problem is the volume jump from set up to set up, it’s dogged the show since the allowance of different mixers, the jump is minimal most times but then all of sudden you get a real quiet or really really loud set.

    • Remote

      Having never watched the DMC, couldn’t they just run multiple tables/desks and have one being set up on while ones being played on? You could do anything from wheeling the tables on and off stage to a curtain partition. partition.

  • [Insert passive aggressive comment about “Brostep” and “real” DJing here.]

  • Garygary1

    Can’t wait for the sick routine videos

  •  As a turntablist, it is a little sad to see them step away from tradition…

    But as a new-age, progressive controllerist, I couldn’t be happier and more excited. 

    And I think the latter feelings trump the former. 

    I am really glad to see DMC embrace the “new” and not forsaken the “old.” I really do think this hybrid turntable/controller approach is the future of DJ’ing. Lets face it, nothing scratches better and has more controller over 1 track than a turntable, but there are simply things you can’t do w/o controllers; they really can take you to next level.

    So long live turntablists-controllerism.

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