Epic Dj Fails of 2009 (and some good stuff too)

2009 was a hell of a year for the digital dj world. We saw a lot of great announcements but not that many great products. There were a bevy of releases and offerings that didn’t quite live up to their expected promise or just flat failed completely. So to wrap up the year, we would like to share a short list of some more notable failures and a few dj technologies that did hit their mark.



For making djs that use controllers look bad (check out the usb cable in the photo at left)

Madonna’s boyfriend

Jesus Luz, For accepting 30k for his first gig ever (right)


The best site to promote yourself as a dj sold to Rupert Murdock and officially became the most cliche way to promote yourself in 2009.


A potentially great product that failed to live up to the epic hype

Dj Hero

same as above

Dj Mouse

The most epic marketing fail of the year turned ugly as Dj Tech went after this blog for the remainder of the year after our fun poke at their less than stellar product idea.

Iphone Apps

Major djs jumping on the Iphone platform and not quite pulling it off

Fortunately there were a few good ones too including..

  • The Mad Decent Iphone App – We liked it because they didn’t take themselves seriously
  • Tonetable – a creative way to control Serato with an iphone that we covered here


There were a lot of interesting things that made us smile in 2009 and we know there is more so please share yours in the comments.

Djs getting interesting again

Live performance has been making a comeback and djs actually doing something on stage instead of triggering clips. Some notable contributors: Soulwax, Moderat, Simian Mobile Disco, Etienne De Crecy

Controllerism grows up and gets attention

People are starting to take the concepts we have pushed over the past year and integrate them in new and exciting ways. Vestax got a controller in Apple stores and Dj TechTools was featured on Attack on the Show. Look for the movement to really blow-up in 2010.

Max for Live

Live opens up the gates and allows you to create your own music world

Ritchie Hawtins Twitter Dj App

Inventive and future looking- djing goes web 3.0

The return of great house music

Classic house sounds of producers like Kerri Chandler have been making a comeback. We dig it.

Best of Dj TechTools

Here are just a few of our most talked about articles over the past year. Did we leave some out? Let me know in the comments.


Ean invites you to dust off that Oxygen 8 to control Traktor, mapping included

An indepth look at traditional analog vs. internal software mixing

Circumventing Beatport’s territory restrictions

The venerable DJ Bento gives this insight into smart mixing in Ableton

Making chords with cue points in Traktor

Ean breaks down his “We Will Rock” you routine on the Korg Nano Pad

An introduction to song structure and phrasing to make satisfying sets

DJ Tech Tools brings arcade controllerism to the masses with the Midi Fighter

Ean breaks down a routine with Daft Punk’s “Aerodynamic” on the VCI 100

Store-to-the -floor: Organizing your music collection for optimal DJing


The presciently contested CDJ 2000

The DJ headphone round-up–dont forget to read the comments!

Apple sells the Vestax Spin

Roundup of key analysis and harmonic mixing tools

DJing in Windows: Optimizing your OS

What is the question? Advertising on DJTT

The DJ as product? Selling vibes and selling souls

2009djnew year
Comments (48)
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  • Justin Milla

    Coming back to this article I think the 2000 has secured its spot as a win.

  • charlis

    Cool article, this shows how things go over the years, personally am happy 09 is over, also being the proud pocessor of an I-Mix Reload i really do have to say that the product is fucking awesome, think the company (DJ Tech) is quite cool ! Anyway i will not do any “politics”.


  • Joe

    Another epic DJ fail from 2009 from Germany:

    Conservative minister of finance Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg tries to impress an irritated crowd by “djing” and nodding his head to the beat. Shocking!

  • bigbarcelona23

    To chris @ Dj-Tech:

    First… thanks for giving me a reason not to support any of your products in the future! You honestly think that all of us see Ean as the definition and Master of Djing??? If that’s what you think… you don’t know a damn thing about us. Even though he does support a lot of Vestax products, he also criticizes their catalog and welcomes opinions that are against his in a debatable manner. More than anything… I come to this website to read not only his articles but also look at others opinions in the matter. His opinion is insightful and extremely helpful especially if making a decision about such device.

    Another reason I come to this website is mainly because no matter what… he is a person that keeps an honest point of view.

    Acting bitter and juvenile won’t get you anywhere and quite frankly, insulting us just shows the immaturity and unprofessionalism that your company lacks.

    And in order to insult someone you have to comprehend and understand the language before making a lame and pathetic attempt to insult. You honestly thought you were doing a great job insulting us??? More than anything you sounded like clown.

    Please stick to you’re native language and stop slaughtering another form that you clearly do not know or understand.

  • Felipe Dornelas

    Guys, Jesus Luz is a fake! Look at the pictures: the guy is using a “personal DJ” to play for him.


    Jesus Luz only makes so success in Brazil because he dates Madonna. Here, most people don’t care about the music or talent, they just want to see famous people! So sad…

  • Rolfski

    CDJ 2000 on the fail list is up for discussion imo. Although it’s too costly for the average DJ to have it in your home, it does have a very, very handy feature with a possible big impact:

    When you are doing a gig at a club/party where they have CDJ’s 2000 installed you will find yourself actually free from all the hassle of setting up/installing your own soundcard and timecode system. You can directly plugin your usb ports to the CDJ’s 2000, no soundcard needed.

    Not having to go through all this trouble is really a big, big plus and therefore I expect the CDJ 2000 to have quite an impact on digital only DJ-ing (Traktor) as well. At home you use your soundcard and timecode system (and controller), at the gig you use your labtop (and controller) only. How this works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHZMYUUBQBE&feature=PlayList&p=D49896C0DF652439&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=3

    CDJ 2000 may or may not live up to it’s hype, it still remains an essential piece of hardware that you will soon find everywhere and with a possible great impact on many performing digital DJ’s as well. Therefore, I expect DJTT to give the CDJ 2000 a serious review before dismissing it to the fail list.

  • W.T.

    You know, Chris from DJ Tech. You have failed Marketing 101.
    Your post is full of hate contrary to what you say about djtechtools should not be a place where we should bring hate with your mindless accusations against Ean. Here you are going on about DJ Mouse being the best DJ innovation this year blah blah…and end off with a cynical remark about how Ean is our king and master. Seriously dude. WTF? If you are a representative for DJ Tech for heaven’s sake please act in a more professional manner, you are just adding fuel to the fire and leave a bad aftertaste in us consumers’ impression of your company.

  • Manalog

    Minimal: great for layering, looping (bits of it) and simply going for that abstract, serene feel…

  • jerry

    Justice: Leave ’em alone shit happens! But why do they look like a DJ version of Spinal Tap!?

  • Man_tk

    Dj tech Kontrol 1 : Bad Bad ..very bad . JOG & Buttons are shit

  • chris @ Dj-Tech

    Hello every one, english is not the only language in the world, and soon may be all of you or your children will be speaking chiness.
    i will not argue about the fact that the marketing we made for DJ Mouse, was just amazing and certainly the mouse is the best Dj innovation of this year.
    i have no lessons to get from Ean, who is working for Vestax undercover, as anyway, after all we are living in a free world
    and more than all of the readers it is so difficult for me despite english is not my mother language to express my self with the proper words.Gob bless all of you as Dj Tech tools should not be a place where we should bring hate, then i will shut my mouth and let you all live with Ean vision of the DJ world, after all, he is your king and master.

  • Alfred

    Just checked out that Bebot.. seems cool!! and for $1.99… why not…

  • Manalog

    Chalk this other gizmo under “and some good stuff too”… if you ask me. Not sure if this has ever been been covered at DJTT but…

    …the “Bebot” robo-synth app for the iPhone is actually a nice complement to any dj setup….assuming you’re looking to highlight the live performance aspect of your gig. Honestly, playing with this little app is alot of fun and opens up new possibilities for set intros, outros and hey why not…some mid-set “dj on the dancefloor” keytar-style solo action! 25′ cable adapter required.

    Check it out http://www.normalware.com/

    It’s simple and easy to use, works well with multitouch and the sound quality is really decent. There’s also a number customizable settings like Theremin, Synthharp and Looper each of which can be tweaked and adjusted.

    So there it is, my secret’s out…use it in a gig and you’re guatanteed to turn heads and get smiles.

  • silk wolf (ATL)

    Kinda suprised to see DJ Hero on the failure list as it didn’t come out till nearly the end of the year. I don’t think anyone expected it to be the next HALO, so what’s the fail about? I see it as a possible gateway for kids to become interested in what we do. Somewhat in the same way that Tony Hawk video games inspired nearly a whole generation of video gamers to get outside and off their ass!

  • bigbarcelona

    I know I was hugely disappointed to see that about the Vestax Spin. Plus… let’s say you don’t even have traktor (as an example)… you will spend at least $450 to $500 on a device that was supposed to be $250. again Vestax… WTF!!!

  • bigbarcelona

    The Vestax Spin is great but to my view it should be split into the good of 2009 and the bad of 2009. In one hand… it works great and it has a great software to work with, which is the good part that you explained. On the other hand it should fall into the category of bad because if this is aim for new Dj’s… why just focus on the Apple market??? At the end… most people that will get into Djing whether as a hobbyist or into a serious form will start with a PC computer and not Mac. Most people don’t have the money for it let along will know how to map this device, especially if you are a beginner. I’ve gone to other forums and even read reviews in many other websites and that is the biggest complaint about this device from people that saw this machine as “the perfect kit for a beginner” but turn out to be a boner kill. Big mistake on Vestax because they missed out on a huge market and I think the Ion Discover Dj will take that market that Vestax failed to acknowledge. It is not only getting good reviews from the professionals and users… but it works with everything instead of being limited to one group. Even though the Vestax Spin is a great piece that you can do a lot for the price range… at the end… people are not going to buy Mac Books just for this piece to work on their computers… when they can get something that is as cheap, as great… but it will work with their system. Vestax… WTF!!!

  • dave

    [quote]Jesus Luz, For accepting 30k for his first gig ever (right)[/quote]
    Epic Win more like it!


    [quote comment=”25649″]
    FAir enough- I would be game to give them a fair shot and see what the boys from france actually do on stage. If its worth writing about we could do a feature on the show.
    That would be really intresting! Although I think they use it mainly for effects and loops in their live sets…

  • Ean Golden

    [quote comment=”25640″]Plz post the truth: http://www.urb.com/2008/01/21/justice-unplugged-new-photos-reveal-truth

    Kinda lame to think that Justice aren’t doing anything on stage.
    I thought that too before but then I watched there documentary where you can get glances of their live set – I spotted at least 3 Lemurs and some other controllers, paired with a MBP…

    Watch here:

    FAir enough- I would be game to give them a fair shot and see what the boys from france actually do on stage. If its worth writing about we could do a feature on the show.
    [quote comment=”25646″]
    it totally says “Look for the movement to blow in 2010”

    ha- good eyes, that would suck!

  • DvlsAdvct


    it totally says “Look for the movement to blow in 2010”


  • Rfistman

    Epic win category: flare for the iphone.

    Also works with the serato control tone…



    Plz post the truth: http://www.urb.com/2008/01/21/justice-unplugged-new-photos-reveal-truth

    Kinda lame to think that Justice aren’t doing anything on stage.
    I thought that too before but then I watched there documentary where you can get glances of their live set – I spotted at least 3 Lemurs and some other controllers, paired with a MBP…

  • Jonsafer

    [quote comment=”25562″]CDJ-2000! Lol[/quote]

    Too expensive.

  • Mike Charles

    One of my biggest disappointments of 2009… Serato & Ableton announce partnership and then don’t mention anything again for 11 months. Then all we get is… See you at NAMM 2010!

    Next time, just stay quiet till you actually have something to announce.

  • Jason

    [quote comment=”25610″]I used the CDJ-2000 for about an hour and got absolutely bored.

    The CDJ-900 in contrast is a killer piece of kit.[/quote]
    What does that even mean?

  • Jason

    I have to disagree in a big way about the cdj-2000. What were you looking for? The thing is 300 USD more than the 1000 mk3 with a million better features. I feel a whole lot more comfrtable knowing i can turn up to a gig with a thumb drive instead of lugging my laptop/ cheap controller into a booth for someone to spill something on. Not to mention, if i had a nickel for every time i sat in the booth watching the “digital” guy try to frantically connect his stuff in the dark while he asks if i can play a few more songs.

  • victor

    i hear glitch mob played their rothbury set from an ipod. i cant say if this was true or not, but i wouldnt doubt it seeing as after the first set i saw from them was the same as the second, i never saw them a third time for obvious reasons.

  • 2Nine

    absolutely agree with the myspace thing

  • elover

    TOUCH DJ, the most seriously until now app for djing in iphone…

  • mmauve

    I used the CDJ-2000 for about an hour and got absolutely bored.

    The CDJ-900 in contrast is a killer piece of kit.

  • Imfromthafutur

    I would call this one a FAIL, BUT YOU HAVE TO DO SOMETHNG TO FAIL!
    an IDIOT that calls himself “deaf” talking about djing or music, when NOBODY HAS EVER SEEN HIM DO SHIT AS A DJ! or anything even remotely related to djing.
    mud-hole, either put up or shut-up!You are the epitome of the internet d-wad theory.

  • jorge muniz

    didnt cici deville do that on mtv back in the 90s? this is all based on my vh1 addiction, i was too young to be watching mtv back then =P

  • Chris

    LOL @Justice – exactly the same thing when a guitarist isn’t plugged in … BUT he’s still ripping away, wowin’ the crowd. Seen that before, too.

  • Vinicius Hoffmann

    Hey Ean! even with the oxygen post as the most commented one why we didn`t get any news of it in months?
    Anyway, many thanks to put together such an awesome comunity!
    I wish you a happy new year with much more awesome articles like those

  • Monkeybiz

    [I posted this in the DJ Mouse page comments by mistake earlier. I meant to post under this article:]

    Oh, man, I just checked out DJ Tech’s new YouTube videos … for new products you can make almost DJ-like SOUNDS with. Check ‘em out… you can turn the effects On… AND Off!


  • Nate Black

    “DJ Mouse”…lol. I actually had some respect for DJ Tech before that.

  • joseph

    Not sure if the Touch OSC iphone/touch app was developed this year but if it was it’s something that should be mentioned.

  • Ingtzi

    In regards to the Justice photo:

    “Yeah, shit happens! I remember the story, I couldn’t remember the city but i think it was in Manchester. I didn’t noticed at first, because as you can see I was looking at the computer to launch the next vocal hook and right after I realised that the blue screen went black, so there was no way possible it could work. So I plugged it back in, big deal!”

    Via: http://www.urb.com/2008/01/18/justice-unplugged

  • danny

    about Jesus Luz , booking for some promoters is obviously just about fame, not about performances

  • danny

    [quote comment=”25577″]I hope minimal truly is fading. For the longest it seems to be the only can of house I come across when randomly browsing. Gimme deep baby! Electro and tech are good to.[/quote]
    there should be a place for every genre. or what do you think is going to happen to this deep house trend? gone in 2011?
    and minimal bashing leads to nowhere

  • Mudo

    Ableton Live Clip Scratching: Success (not from Serato in 2009)

    Tooltablism (Controllerism ever with MIDI turntables): Success

    Tactile solution as a “future” substitute: FAIL.

    Make friends (not only flame topics): Success 😉

    Happy New Year DJTT CREW!

  • Brian

    I hope minimal truly is fading. For the longest it seems to be the only can of house I come across when randomly browsing. Gimme deep baby! Electro and tech are good to.

  • Kainos

    Worst: Don’t forget the Coretex HDDT-5000, and all the other Coretex products for that matter. Good ideas, horrible company, engineering, and support.

  • chilly

    CDJ-2000! Lol

  • Anonymous

    Watch out! Chris from DJ Tech will probably verbally attack you and Ean in broken english!