The Future of DJing: Outsourced to Robotic Intelligence?

Imagine this scenario: You walk into a club, swiping your phone at the door to check-in and update the promoters on your listening tastes. After a few drinks – an amazing new song comes on and the crowd rushes to the floor – sensors pick up the shift in energy and a similar track is seamlessly mixed in. Somehow, seemingly improbably – many of your favorite tracks keep dropping, each one better than the last – blended together perfectly in time with the lighting and visuals. The amazing part? There was not a DJ in sight.

Everything that happened on my future dance floor was thanks to highly intelligent sensors, automated mixing technology, and smart social integration. None of this is terribly far-fetched, and many of the requirements are already in the market. The only thing holding us back from Mix Master Cloud is a company that brings them together in a cohesive way. My prediction? If this happens successfully, your average local club may never hire a regular DJ again.

Now, before you head straight to the comments and give us a piece of your mind, let me go into a little more detail about each area of technology and what would be required:

1) Check-Ins At The Door – Tracking Personal Tastes 

As more payment systems go mobile, giving you all the access of a bank account from a tap of your phone, paying for your drinks without talking to the bartender or getting privileged access to the VIP room doors is becoming a reality. Mobile payments are already here in the form of Near Field Communications (NFC) cell phone detection – and will start to become more prominent as major mobile phone payment company ISIS (backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizion) is launching across the US in late 2013.

In a similar vein, Square Wallet is a great example of proximity detecting and personal payments. If you presently walk into a Square enabled shop and have their app installed, making a payment is nearly instantaneous and requires no plastic or paper of any kind.

Euclid is one interesting example that tracks any mobile device in a business and provides information (without requiring permission) about:

  • How often do people come back?
  • How long do they stay in one area?
  • Where are people congregating?

2) Sensors That Know What’s Up In The Club – Learning Energy Changes 

Facial recognition sensors are already here and in regular use. As costs come down and privacy concerns lessen – it’s plausible that business may be able to afford them. Combine “who is on the dance floor?” with “what do they like to listen to?” and you now have more info than any DJ ever did.

A company called Uniqul is already associating payment information with facial recognition – allowing a customer to nod to a camera and authorize a charge to your credit card. If paying-by-face becomes accepted, surely musical taste would be even easier to associate with their face than their savings accounts?

Smart software connected to in-room sensors could easily determine what songs are making the crowd go off and which ones are cooling it down. Many DJs barely look up from their computer screen while peforming, let alone objectively analyze what songs are working well on the floor, so a computer could easily come in ahead on this one.

One great example of using sensor technology to derive detailed information from a person are the new wave of iPhone sleep apps. These clever engineers have used your phone’s microphone to track breathing patterns amplified by the common mattress. This allows the app to determine and report on reasonable sleep cycles including REM state and wake times. It’s not that far fetched to imagine seeing similar motion sensors employed on the dance floor to track the “cohesion” to the playing song.  This SHOJI Japanese concept gadget already tracks a room’s light levels, temperature, humidity, and even the movement of the people inside of it.

3) Auto-Mixing Technology – Understanding The Music

This is one area where we need to see a lot of development, but the main problem here is focus, not know-how. DJ software today has relatively decent auto-mixing but we are still a long way off from replacing a real live DJ.

Why? The existing companies don’t exactly want to replace their core user base with great automation that is sold to a much smaller market.  Supposing someone wanted to really nail automating DJing – how hard would it actually be?

The easy part:

  • Using analysis to determine the most “mixable” parts of songs
  • Setting more reliable beatgrids and BPMs
  • Knowing key clashes and good beat matches in advance
  • Understanding what songs “go better together”

The really hard part:

  • Mixing different tempos well
  • Using song analysis to determine the chorus, verse, and overall song structure.
  • Tracking dance floor energy levels to figure out when to get out of song quickly
  • Writing good algorithms that can accurately understand and respond to what is possibly one of the more chaotic and random behavioral sets on the planet: people’s taste.

Some powerful existing tech:

  • Pioneer, the established paradigm for in-club installs already built their advanced MIXTRAX automix technology into an iPhone application and a car receiver – why not just replace the DJ in the club next?
  • Pandora and Echonest both track “musical DNA”, massive metadata repositories with detailed characteristics of most songs.

4) Music Services For Clubs: Reliably Streaming The Right Songs

These already exist to some degree, and they deal with the licensing issues, but they would need to be re-calibrated to work with the auto mix software. With all of the major players now set on making music in the cloud a viable business model for artists and consumers, it’s safe to say that we will have a fully cloud-based music system that our hypothetical “Mix Master Cloud” will draw from.

For just $25 a month, businesses right now can install a box that plays off of Pandora’s massive musical cloud, and includes all of the proper licencing needed to play in a business setting.


Ok, so technically it’s not too far-fetched, but what about the DJ? Doesn’t he/she provide something special, intangible and unique that a computer cannot?

DJ Advantages: 

  • Understands the subtle nuances of what’s hot and what’s not; what should be played and when. These are a lot of complex concepts which would be really hard to program a computer with.
  • The human DJ can respond rapidly to changes in the environment and adapt quickly, while computers are much slower at learning.
  • Your local DJ is an artist and it would break my heart to see them replaced with a computer.

DJ Disadvantages:

  • DJs sometimes have their own agendas, while many club owners just want to make fans happy.
  • The average DJ, while paid too little and generally treated poorly, are very expensive compared to a premium streaming service.
  • Humans are unreliable. We get drunk, show up late and sometimes go home with the bartenders. If computers ever do this you should all be really scared.


Did you know that our brain still trumps any computer by a significant magnitude? The fact is that countless years of development has resulted in a information processing machine that is exceptional in its ability to make complex decisions. Here is how the latest super computers face up to our old grey matter:

It took the Fujitsu-built K about 40 minutes to complete a simulation of one second of neuronal network activity in real time, according to Japanese research institute RIKEN, which runs the machine.

The simulation harnessed the power of 82,944 processors on the K computer, which is now ranked fourth on the biannual international Top500 supercomputer standings (China’s Tianhe-2 is the fastest now).

Each synapse between excitatory neurons had 24 bytes of memory for greater accuracy. The simulation ran on open-source NEST software and had about 1 petabyte of main memory, which is roughly equal to the memory of 250,000 PCs”


Personally I don’t want to see it happen, but folks, we may need to wake up and smell the silicon. It’s not IF many DJs will be replaced by automation, but WHEN and by how much. The engineering of this technology will fare well, but the blue collar wax slinger of yore may just become another tale told around digital campfires, long into the future.

There may be one simple reason though why most dance floors will always have a “DJ”, even if they don’t need one. Modern commercial jets flying to modern commercial airports don’t actually need a pilot to successfully complete the journey – but would anyone actually get on a plane without a human pilot in the front? We may see a future where DJs are just paid popularity symbols that stand on stage and hype up the crowd with champagne blasts, and fist pumps. Wait a minute, what year are we in…..?

Finally, we can all agree that there is something magical when people interact with each other through music. These days it seems like music technology, not to mention VIP ropes and giant stages, have been creating more separation than connection. Perhaps there is some way in which we can leverage these advances to harness the best of both worlds. Computer learning could reveal deep information about our environment, while human control and insight provides the possibility for mistakes that make us – well human, and beautiful.

autodjautomated djingcrowd readingdjingfoursquarefuture djsfuture of djsrobotic intelligence
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  • LJ

    HAHA! Ean nailed this when he wrote, “We may see a future where DJs are just paid popularity symbols that stand on stage and hype up the crowd with champagne blasts, and fist pumps.” Approaching 2017, this trend is even worse than it was in 2013 when he wrote this.

  • Mike

    I remember when I bought my Technic 1200’s Mk2’s. I loved them and DJ’d for fun. I took a little break from DJ’ing for a while and then Serato came out. I pretty much lost all interest once things started to get automated and computer generated.

    I spoke to an awesome Los Angeles DJ called OnTheGoDjPro “” who recommended that I keep my Technics because they are actually worth some good money now. Who knows, maybe i’ll sell them one day if the price is right… Lol

  • Lux

    You can never take away the skills of an MC. Learning the environment of the room and how people are feeling can only be obtained from a real human being. Some things can’t be given away to robots.

    Tucson DJ

  • RealGrandmasterJay

    Sad to say that as fast as technology is imitating everything else we do as humans, it is not too far fetched to see the end of humans providing creative grooves. We may hate it but in the end it will overtake us. Stop hating on the messengers and embrace the message before you find yourself out of a job. Learn the true nature of artificial intelligence and our contribution to making the cloud more and more intelliegent about us. I tried to tell you this six months ago and the world thought I was kidding…The Grandmaster Jay

  • AnalogDickAgainstDigitalPussy

    this idea is a piece of crap… since mp3 appeared on the market music quality/and everything falling. flat sound stupid controllers for ppl who never will be a dj just playing around cos it’s cool. Don’t get me wrong I’m not against technology but human stupidity!! Real clubs going to play real music for real people! There is still good djs out there and will be VINYL RULEZ! too many fake things out there ppl why we want in our music the same?? think 4 god sake

  • Deejayfredd Eone

    I hope that with the technology advancing we DJ still on demand. I also depend a lot on doing private gigs and it not easy keeping up with all this new DJ with 1 week of experience.
    if you what i mean…. That’s why i started my website at and so far this has help.

  • Seth

    Do people even still go to clubs? Clubbing is so passé fyi.


    i think that this is a amazing idea and want to help and yes it could replace a lot of dj but there will always be human djs cause some place might not want a robot to do the dj

  • vatoDETH

    Why even go out to a club? This can all be done via webcam!

  • Mike

    Unfortunately, i guess for DJ’s, they are an endangered species. Most clubs i go to play the hits that makes everyone cheer and want to hit the dance floor. Mashups and so forth could be done remotely by former DJ’s or by DJ’s who are now too old to be in a club, and sent via the internet to the robo-DJ. You see, humans are creatures of habit and predictable. Remember when restaurants used to have live bands playing music, then jukeboxes replaced bands, now restaurants can stream music via the web. Also what makes DJ’s endangered is their vices, such as getting drunk or stoned and making a scene. Machines don’t act like that and don’t need to be paid as much as DJ’s or demand a cut of the profits from the bar. Soon every nightclub will have a system in place to either stream music via the web from a server or the music is stored locally, and a touch screen interface kiosk where patrons can request a song. It is just a matter of time.

  • mastahanksta

    Should this ever happen DJ’s need to Protest against Clubs and let the people know they are dancing to a juke box not a Real human spining the tunes.
    One of the reason I used to go to a club was to see the DJ playing the music not a juke box.
    If the DJ was not interacting and speaking then I would call him a juke box.
    But if the DJ was having fun on the mic ,rapping hosting,scratching doing tricks then I would come back the next weekend to see him spin.
    Now I am that DJ who entertains not the DJ who just plays music.
    Key Word Entertains….

  • FrankBurly

    Some human performers need to be replaced. Hacks like Bassnectar are just pressing sync and then raising ticket prices for a light show.

  • chris

    a good Dj has to feel the vibes. not only good music. it is the right music for the flow, when the time is in motion.

    apropos time in motion
    different, but same style, but …. different

    bloody shit
    Robot on decks tzh

  • Stripey1960

    I think technology will not totally replace DJ’s. A good DJ is like a pied piper, the crowd will follow (as long as he knows what he is doing). The big problem with the technology at the moment is that every man and his dog is a DJ, the technology can mix tracks at a touch of a button. What it cannot replace is the planning and crowd reading abilities of a good DJ, ie.experience. These are skills that take time to master and cannot be bought or mimicked with technology. I do dispair however of people texting requests to DJ’s rather than talking to them, or sitting watching video or lighting shows. It is almost like they want you to dance for them as well! Some crowds want to be spoon fed with everything. Anyway, with no DJ, who can they blame if they had a bad time?
    Having been a DJ since 1979, I have seen music styles come & go as well as the differnet technologies. My mobile show is 4 times as powerful and 1/2 the weight of my show just 5 years ago. I still work & people still say they enjoy my gigs.. I am not going to hang up the headphones any time soon, even if they do bring out robot DJ’s.

  • Nick S

    what if you don’t use a smart phone? Somehow, even with how amazingly advanced they are – I just cant justify paying ~300$ for something that by nature is very easy to lose or break. my 10$ phone makes calls and texts. Isn’t that all we really need our phones to do?

  • Damianrocks

    Just one thing why it’s not sure :

    We come in nightclub to see our DJ… to see a human behind his decks…

    If I play the same set as Axwell… the dancefloor will not react the same.

    70% of the vibe comes from the DJ and not his music…

  • JustAnothrGuy

    The reality is always different from the binary choices we try to impose on it.
    The described scenario would be used in a number of ways.
    Coffee houses and other places that already don’t have a DJ, would want to use this to dilute the boredom of their regular wallpaper music with something from the clients’ tastes.
    Nightclubs would want it to compile a suggestion list for a DJ based on tonight’s crowd tastes.
    “A script will replace DJs” – not gonna happen.

  • Tom

    Wow. This will be just as exciting as actual profit-analysis-based Hollywood movies are. Algorithms have always done totally great in arts and music. Nothing could be more entertaining than a playlist that reflects the statistically calculated average taste of a crowd, mixed precisely end-of-track to start of track by a machine.

    Clubs will be just as great as major radio stations – maybe even like elevators!

  • Lodiodrive

    The best part about this article is that a computer is a computer… Humans always find a way to make themselves relevant.

  • LouiLove

    Ask 200 ppl what their favorite song is & you’ll get 200 different answers. Once kids know that their suggestions will be played they will claim that their favorite song is the Hokey Pokey 🙂

  • audiomontana

    “can i touch it”

  • TechFire

    As a DJ, seeing this kind of thing happen would leave my life empty. DX

    • mina

      Trust me it won’t work even if it happened which is not 100% sure about it, it will never work for long time. People will not enjoy musix played by robot rhat he don’t feel or hear or think with free will… that won’t work at all and wont be accepted by ppl by time

  • Chaser720

    A robotic DJ would find the most popular music based on how many people are dancing and facial expressions. It would base this music selection from reading phones and whatnot. It wins.

    100 years huh? Guy above knocked out a rudimentary version in 12 hours.

    • mina

      Guy above giving link thst got nothing lol. Too funny to take 12 hours in making a not found page. Isnt that too much to take to just come up with fake link? Lmao and I am sure the most the technology can come up with is bpm and keyddetection and they aren’t 100% accurate as well. About face detection it isnt accurate at morning will it be accurate in dark and in club got many ppl plus ppl looking at differentddirection s ? As mentioned dont be as most other programmers that want to show off their skills and how programming can do cuz as u love ur shit programming we love music and djing and care much about it… also how u gonna automate counting ppl on dance floor and how much that will cost?? Be logical while writing. Computer is computer just do things that is programmed about but will never be as smart as humansand as ffast as them in response to things amd will never ever forever be creativeas human. Computers can make everything beside being creativecuz that need feelingsand spirit and free will mind and humansears does a robot can do that?? NEVER WILL HAPPEN TILL JUDGMENT DAY. PEACE

      • Chaser720

        ” also how u gonna automate counting ppl on dance floor and how much that will cost??”

        “Smart software connected to in-room sensors could easily determine what songs are making the crowd go off and which ones are cooling it down. Many DJs barely look up from their computer screen while peforming, let alone objectively analyze what songs are working well on the floor, so a computer could easily come in ahead on this one.” – Ean Golden

        Did you even read the article or are you just here to argue. I would like to continue this conversation if you state your arguments logically with supporting facts. I will no longer respond to your rambling.

        • mina

          Lmao u just copy paste what u told ro black rag but u seems so dumb to get what I am saying face detection dont work well at morning so in dark wont work at all and about this energy level from wave form with mixed in key is just nonsense for an actual energy of a track… it just anakyzethe waveform to get a number is that mean this track is so hyper or not??? U are the one that not being logic plus how u gonna meaure energy level of crowd throughheat energy will that be even accurate especially if there are alot of ppl in the club that u will hardly detect their face due to they being dancingor throughheat enerfy whixh already will be filling club due to dancingwhich activity that can give much heat…. plus ean says what he wants not all djs use software hence not all look at screen and most djs now put screen aside so as not to look at it and have chance to look at crowd. Believe it or not. . So wake up the dreams and try to be logical dont let ur mind fake you that programming can do everything

          • C++ programmer

            Dude go back to school you are just too stupid!

    • Black_Rag

      Do you even grasp the concept of DJing?DJ’s don’t just find the most popular music sweetie,we find the music that suits the feel of the room at a particular moment and through the music we lead the crowd through waves of energy.Playing just the popular music even with facial recognition,which on such a scale would be minor miracle if it worked,would be popular for about 2 days even at a top 40’s club.

      • mina

        +1 Agree 100% with you :). These are how real Dj’s say it and do it. We should defend our culture and also I am sure those dj software and hardware companies will lose alot if did that cuz they will lose alot of djsthat can buy their productby doing something like that

      • Chaser720

        So your saying a top 40s club would only be popular playing top 40s music for 2 days?

        And I’ll post this quote for you as well “Smart software connected to in-room sensors could easily determine what songs are making the crowd go off and which ones are cooling it down. Many DJs barely look up from their computer screen while peforming, let alone objectively analyze what songs are working well on the floor, so a computer could easily come in ahead on this one.” – Ean Golden

        Not a minor miracle. Already very possible and hasn’t yet been put to large scale R&D to perfect the process.

        Also Mixed in Key is developing an energy level algorithm per song so yes a computer could manipulate waves of energy.

        And this whole article and discussion is largely theoretical because such software currently does not exist, sweetie.

        • mina

          As for the quotation I read it really in the article and I am tottally against it cuz simply not all djs do use softwares and most use cdjs other use vinyls and even who use software most of them put pc at the side so as to be able to make contact with his crowd and fans and see how every differentsong work with them as for the mixed in key energy level thing isn’t anything morenthan analyzing wavefork and giving a number and it won’t by any mean can be accurate and I am sure it wont be useful at all cuz it will be mostly just a randomnumber that rate the waveform energy not the sound itself. What ppl really mix about is that waveform dont reallybshow everything and can’t describe everything or be analyzed to give everything about a song so I am sure it will be more of a randomnumber to be given according how wwaveform look so its not something really well to rely on when it come to a club full if crowd. Wbout sensorsI have illustrated my point of view of why theface detrction won’t work and why other sensorsthat meaure energy can fail at counting ppl at dance floor n if they like songs or not so I won’t repeat myself again. ..

  • Mason Jones

    I thought there were already robots DJing? Daft Punk.

  • Gareth Michael Jones

    yeah they do man. Sorry to say. A lot of “mainstream” clubs is about playing radio chart hits.

    • mina

      Not true not all most now play diffrent ones robots will be a failure project not even after 100 years it could do that but it wont never be able to do that never and trust me robots idea will never be successful even if they just played mainstream music cuz even till now softwares cant always detect bpm and key correctly so there will be mistakes even if few but there will be and robots wont be able to fix those mistakes as fast as human can if he did a mistake cuz they just a programmed piece of junk and random programmed algorithm never will sound right ever

      • Chaser720

        This is just lacking intelligent thought.

        • mina

          Oh yea intelligent man go with ur programming we here are djs and we know how to protect our culture u just go show ur programming skills thst not important for us here at all anywhere else just dont show off here cuz its wrong place…

          • Chaser720

            This argument is whether or not a program could mix music as well as a DJ. Not if a DJ can DJ… And your sentences are getting more understandable. Thank you

          • mina

            1st u already understood what I meant before and thats why u answered me. 2ndly this is dj forum and djs only suppose to be here not ppl wanna show off their programming skills and shit like that cuz we here dont care about that really. 3rd for me software yet can’t detect correctly the key and bpm which dj softwares been years workingon it and updating it and trying being better and even by all this algorithm they make and ideas the software still make mistakes in that and is 90% only can detect it correctly so its a joke that programs that cant do things 100% correct ppl want to make it dj automatically which will require even alot more than key and bpm detection and even alott complex shit than these like creativity, apply newly techniques hearing how mixes sound like human hear not just reading waveforms cuz waveforms not always describe what is music sound exactly as when is heard for sure else djs would played music by just looking at waveforms and not using speakers lol. Plus they wll just be as playlists like vdj automix? And they will play songs already known by crowd. Is that can be fun for crowd by any mean? I don’t think so. Also u think if those robots did mistakeby playing wrong tracks ttogather or anything else went wrong will be able to know they are wrong and fix it fast? I don’t think so as well they won’t realize it cuz simply they got no brain they just programmed and computers alot slower in action than humansofc so lol even if they could know they are mistaken it will take time to fix it which I doubt they can even know it so its all not workingwell at all so I am sure its gonna be a big fail and clubs maybe wont pay much for a system they can feel it might be useless and crowd nor interested in one day 🙂

          • mina

            Lol yea when u there questions or statmente that suit u and u know how to answer then u say u can read my comment but if it doesnt suit u, u just claim that u can’t understand my comment. Thats lame way to escape the convo but I tell u something I won’t waste time arguing with someone just want to have convo on shit that suits him only so I am out bye but seriously this robot/computer djing idea will not be done and trust me it will be great fail…

          • mina

            When u like the question*

          • Dr Beatz

            HAHA, the name of this site is DJ TECH TOOLS, and there are a fuck ton of programmers on here. You really should be thanking them. I guarantee you a DJ didn’t write the code in Traktor or Ableton or Serato or VDJ. This site is about a mixing of the 2, music and technology. This article is trying to show you a window to the next world, where music and technology could be headed. I find this completely relevant.

          • mina

            ActuallyI pay those softwaees to use although me myself use cdjs and neither of what u mentioned but hhonestlly we pay for that programming but here is dj forums not f programming foruks to show off ur skills in programming. If there will be no djs this forums wont exist… so u need to get that as well mr. Dumby. Also idc if there are programmers here or not I will just protect my culture of djing. U want to sreall off our interests to give to ur robots that programmers do program and we happy here???? No hell no. And seriously its gonna be fail if happened. Keep dreaming but that wont be reality and wont be relevantfor any dj and trust me even if it happened it will rapidly vanish again cuz no one will enjoy a playlist style dj… I do code websitee and some c++ but learned them to serve music with it andnot for sake for programming and get money of it like most programmers out there. I care about DJing here in this firum and not trchnology by any mean….peace I am out of this lame dumb article + convo

          • Dr Beatz

            Because no programming or technology went into making a CDJ player, right? I’m glad you can humbly voice you opinion and not devolve conversations into name calling. I really wish you would stick around, reading your threads has had me ROTFL for the last 3 hours.

            While you scamper off to protect your “culture” I will continue wreaking havoc on the DJTT forums, spreading my evil technological propaganda and converting all the unsuspecting vinyl fiends into TOP 40s robots, playing only prepackaged radio hits to drunk college sorority sisters. Congratulations for exposing my right wing programming agenda, I am in fact an agent of the machines, sent to destroy art in all its forms, starting by converting the DJs. I already have a strangle hold on the rock culture for it was I who created rock band and am slowly converting the metal heads to psuedo-autonomous beings.



          • mina

            Nigga I pay for the cdjs and I know its programmed shit but i payed for it those programmers didnt give it to me for frre and I don’t care to leave them for vinyls if u programming ppl take it away. Music never stops at a point cuz music used to be there since rhe begining of world so ur technology wont be a shit for a musician or a dj honestly. I see technology just ruined everything and it affects health of humansand dats why ppl now dieing youngerthan before…for the stupid shit u said at the end that u go to vinyl ppl bla bla lol do it if u can if there are loyal programmers that love what they do alot , there are also a loyal DJs and msuicians that love what they do and won’t ever stop it for any reason or cause in the whole world although u sound like immature dude so I don’t give a f***

          • mina

            Why u here if u hate music and djs and art?? Then thats wrong place for u dude..

  • Casca

    The technology for “playlist” music been around for 20?years. I think this article´s missing the point, people want human dj´s that breath, move, it´s a physical artform and not so much about music as people like to think. They want to see the person, not the screens.

  • D-Jam

    My only problem with this idea and much of DJing now is the notion of the DJ as a tastemaker, a person who finds new music and shows it to a crowd, is lost in many ways. I see so much of the “take requests” and “please the crowd” philosophy pushed to such a high level that it seems many crowds are not being shown new music through those DJs.

    Now I know not every occasion with a DJ is going to be “musical exploration”, but I also feel those moments when it should be are being lost in the push to make more money and please high rollers buying bottles. When I started in the early 90s, I used to go out or buy mixes simply to hear stuff I didn’t know of from sources I respected. Even now I’ll listen to DJs I respect mainly to see what new tunes they came across that I might like.

    With robots and all the “monitoring”, I think it’ll just be more corporate-fed pop music, and worse if bigger labels buy airtime in clubs. So you’ll suddenly hear some new pop tune even if most of the crowd has shown their tastes would not be into it.

  • Simon

    Please be careful when you are using pictures to illustrate your articles. The cover illustration is a concept art for Mass Effect 2 video game. It could be nice if you at least mention the artist and/or the source.
    Not only music has copyright rules. 😉

  • Stefangus

    Yes, computers are still way behind the complexity of the human body. Just like dj culture has by no means killed off bands and people playing instruments, neither will these new technologies kill the dj. Less of market maybe and less money to go around, but there will always be clubs who want a real person. Not to mention the excitement of experience an artist’s vision. You can automate a lot of things these days but creativity and human connection will always be wanted.

  • blah

    Its called a jukebox.

  • Awesomer

    The name of that planet? IT WAS EARTH! DON’T BOOK ROBOTS!

  • YesIAmBetterThanYou

    Most of the narcissistic no-minds who enjoy dancing (sorry, I mean being-seen-on-the-dance-floor) to the same interminable four-on-the-floor beat are robots anyway, so this seems like a natural evolution to me.

    • mina

      Wont happen u talking like a programmer who just know about edm that its 4 beats but u donno about creativity nor our dj techniques so u just talking logically without any creativity or putting ideas and imagination and feelings in the mixes

      • WhatAreYouBabblingOnAbout

        It is true that you are quite creative when it comes to spelling.

        I suppose DJing could be considered “creative”. Just like “playing” guitar on an iPhone might be considered creative. By someone.

  • calkutta

    great story,straight from the likes of Phillip K. Dick and Bladerunner,based on one of his too…but this will truly never happen 100%-people,Humans i mean,are suckers for watching other Humans….especially if they have a unique gift….in Eggworld places this might work like oxygen bars worked for a few years-but,People still Eat at Fancy restaurants cuz its a rare human with a rare gift that is cooking….if not,every fancy place would close and we would all eat at Mcdonalds 3000′-as far as many many points in the article are already in action.JCPenny is slowly changing to a no cash store-all the merchandise is for show,and to try on…but you cant take it home,it will be sent to theaters this also is coming-but the Arts-not in this or any lifetime will a robot painting be better than a Human painting cuz we know the robot or computer can make perfectly straight lines and ‘copy’ whatever-in the same way,Human DJ’s will always be an Art-…if this place does ever pop up….just dont go,sounds real boring to me-like Hitlers dream Club,lol.
    Free Agent

  • Matthew Owen Reininger

    I believe that with newer technology allowing the crowd to democratically program, we might ironically end up getting back to the roots of DJ culture in which the community mattered as much as the DJ at an event. This would be a big cultural deal….With technology becoming more intelligent and people wanting more personal customization of their experiences in all aspects of thier lives (due to technology combined with sociological attitudes) I see this as a complete possibility:

    This post I wrote predates yours, Ean, but it compliments your main ideas:

    • mina

      This will never happen bro and not possible as I mentioned even latest softwares do sometimes mistakes at detecting bpm and right key so it isn’t possible at all to make a computer think like a human and be creative and do things right at correct time as a human can do

    • mina

      Thanks for deleting my comments on ur article seems u wanna only see the comments that suit u as a programmer but nah I am dj and I am telling u tthat thing will completely fail whether not be made at all or will be made and won’t last long.. peace

  • House DJ

    Music, at its core, exists to excite emotions, bring people closer together, give people hope, and remind people of times past. These are all human-related factors – I believe the heart and soul a DJ puts into his craft will always inspire others and a DJ will never go out of style. Not to mention a human can read a crowd vibe better than a computer (looks on faces, movement of the crowd, crowd demographic, etc.). Have some faith in your race brother.

  • stevebrown

    a good dj would want to dance instead of fing around working. let the robot do it

  • Dr Beatz


    I for one am excited by this technology. Imagine you as a DJ had access
    to all that information. 100 patrons walk in, scan their music
    and you (the DJ) now know that 50 of them have “pick up the pieces” on
    their favorite list. Guess its time to put away the “Harlem Shake” and
    pull out the disco hits crate. That would be invaluable info. No
    reading the crowd, they read themselves. You just take all that data
    and convert it into a perfect set list.

    Try to think of this
    technology as a tool instead of an adversary. I agree 100% that music
    will always need a human element. That’s why live music is still so
    popular (undervalued, but popular). True musical ability and skill will
    always be valued, even if its driven underground, because it just feels
    right. But you should embrace the bits that will make your job easier
    and more effective. I applaud the true DJs who lug crates of vinyl to
    every gig, because VINYL IS BETTER. But for me, I would rather ride my
    bike to a club, whip out a laptop and my external 2TB drive, and have
    access to every almost every song made in the last 5 years.
    Convenience and practicality are the price we pay.

    On the concern
    of privacy: why not have a sort of RFID card that is ONLY used to log
    music information? Maybe something that will sync from your Itunes or
    spotify, but ensure no other data is accessible. Would you use that? I
    too am a big proponent of privacy, but if it was only my musical tastes
    going into a big anonymous data pool to make my night at the club truly
    off the chain, I could get behind that.

    And last to to all the
    skeptics, ALL this technology exists today, right now. The only reason
    it has not been deployed to a club installation is cost/benefit ratio.
    But even that is changing. The new Xbox Kinect (a consumer available
    device) can detect the movements of 16 individual people, and is
    accurate enough to monitor their heart rates!

    the effects of music and the brain have been an interest in science for
    a long time.

    Also check out this site, if you like to keep up on the tech game

    you question any of this as “futuristic argle bargle” I urge you to do
    some more digging and open your eyes to the ever forward marching agenda
    of technology. As soon as the corporate elite stand to make a buck off
    this system, it will be in every club the world over, save those with
    some passion and connection to the true human experience.

    • mina

      Totally against ur opinion its better to read crowd than read their music cuz u dont want to just play teir taste of music but to expose them to new and see their reaction so technology is lame at that part 100%

      • Dr Beatz

        Did you read my post?
        I am not saying you shouldn’t also read a crowd, but having all that information would be super useful.
        Hypothetical example: A DJ plays 2 nights, the same club to the same group of people. Night 1, no tech, just him and his skills. Night 2, he has all his normal gear/skill, but also stats on what genre/artists everyone in the club listens to, realtime sensory readings of peoples emotions, their heart rate and what reactions they are having to which songs and how.
        I would bet anything, that the show on Night 2 will be better, in terms of people on the dance floor, sales/tips at the bar, more people hooking up and exit polls of the participants showing an overall higher level of euphoria.
        The computer is a tool. It can do super mundane and repetitive tasks WAY better than humans. Conversely, humans can do many things better, like speak naturally and decipher riddles, and read crowds.
        All the people hating on this are missing the point. This is the next evolution in live performance, realtime feedback from your audience. No more guess work, you can have DATA. What you choose to do with it from there is up to you, but data is what makes the world go round.

        With enough information, you can make educated guesses about the future, this is the fundamental process of science. Apply this to you DJ set. Don’t fear technology, or computers. They are tools, stupid machines that will do exactly what you tell them. Harness that potential. Use it to make what you already do BETTER

        • mina

          They want to completely replace us not just add some technology to us and no real dj who love what he want will accept that never ever

          • mina

            No real DJ Love what he do and want*

  • cscdj

    Add to the sensors, facial recognition software to see if they are happy and smiling – then you’ve got something

    • mina

      Face recognition until now not so good at it not always capable of detectimg faces so its a fail also there are alot of ppl in clubs and its dark in addition that ppl look at different directions so thats wont work at all plus that wont happen so calm down

  • Vanek Ryabin

    The simulation on Fujitsu built-K was 1 second of 1 percent of human brain

    • mina

      It took the Fujitsu-built Kabout 40 minutes to complete a simulation of one second of neuronal network activity in real time

      Ean was correct go check the link its 40 mins to one second of neuronal network activity. So please just dont write something incorrect to proof some fake point of view that is in ur mind cuz u just give incorrect knowledge to be ppl like that.

  • Ted Baker

    sounds like Vegas now

  • Carlos Guerra

    Well we haven’t replace TV VJ’s or Radio Dj’s and that can be done like right now!

    Of course there are services like Pandora, Spotify, etc. these are just options, the bottom line is that we need and love the interaction of and with people, Dj’s included.

    May be it will happen but it will just be an option or tool not a rule.

    Looks like this website is already going into Robotic Intelligence with these kind of stories, please get down to earth and cover stuff we can use.

    • mina

      +1 100% agree with you 🙂

  • leavesremix

    Wow, Uniqul is a direct rip of Uniqlo, a clothing company from Japan that’s been around a while.

    • mina

      It wont happen at all neither now nor later and if it haopened wont last for long cuz by time the idea will be boring and human djs will be needed by crowd again for sure. Idea of jukebox and playlist and automix been there for long time but djs still exist till now and they are alot so that robot thing will not work even if it was made.

  • Crunkmus

    This has already happened in Radio in my area for the last 5-10 years!! Fully automated playlists with local commercials embedded…

    • mina

      Automation mix or playlist have been on radios for long everwhere even on internet radios but live djs still play on internet radios and even air ones so it made no difference wirh djs cuz humans wont be compared to robots or programmed softs oneday.. never

  • Sagar Samtani

    wow, as predicted, quite a few haters, and some who miss the point.

    i think this is a great article, and just shows how wide and diverse the writer’s mind is..

    this technology is very much possible in the future.. i mean we already have iTunes Genius that tries to sort music according to the music you play, then there’s mixed in key and what not. Combine all those algorithms along with data from customer’s phones entering the club – you get a playlist easily.

    and with the sensors – yea, all makes sense. this can be done in the future.

    • mina

      We will see if it will work or not I am sure ppl wont like somethinf like that at all music is creativity not algorithm and fking programmed computers thats not gonna work at all

    • mina

      Thats how programmers say it. They call ppl who protect and defend their rights as haters but we dont care and keep barking programmers

  • JFlashE

    I will punch a robot square in the face.

  • scamo

    “Computer learning could reveal deep information about our environment, while human control and insight provides the possibility for mistakes that make us – well human, and beautiful.”



    • mina

      LOL, computers not making mistakes doesn’t make it a good at taking place of humans at all cuz if we relied on robots we won’t get better ever cuz robots just can do something that can be repetitive and boring for humans but they can’t think by free will or be creative or put new techniques and even more. Djs by no mean can do that at all with any algorithm in the world so its a complete fail

    • mina

      I meant robots by no mean can do that at all with any algorithm in the world so its a complete fail

  • Mauri Moore

    God Is a DJ and they want to beleive , end of the history

    • mina

      Never ever will be a history. U will see

  • DJ_ForcedHand

    This story doesn’t go far enough, we have the ability to sense brainwaves in real time and we’re already canning beats, grooves and vocals all through artificial performers like Hatsune Miku. Everything exists where it needs to and while a generalized performance can be had, the individual experience can also be modified through personal interfaces (language, personal preferences, etc.) this technology has been around for at least 5 years, some for as long as 10).

    It’s very expensive to bring all of these things together and it doesn’t make financial sense to bring this to market yet. When it does finally make sense, there will still be tastemakers behind the entertainers for a while still after this becomes readily available because people don’t always want what they like. There are numerous psychological studies on this topic.

    Artificial entertainment is not very far off, this is the last gasp of actual groups of people coming together in the real world.

    • mina

      Who will go watch a robot dj or a animation singing for long period.Its so retarded and dumb and tthat’s not entertainment for me tho

  • kasatasound

    Yes, this scenario is entirely possible. A computer can create what is, on paper and in many practical ways, a flawless DJ set. The thing that is a FAR ways off for the computer is the ability to create an emotional arc. Computers can create a dynamic arc that has some hallmarks of emotional arcs but are roughly only 10% as complex as an emotional arc that comes from a DJ’s personal relationship to their collection. A DJ is a localized snapshot of all the influences at play in his/her culture. A computer goes at it in the opposite direction by collecting a large amount of information and reducing it to an average. Computer = reductive, D.J. = expansive. Both have huge advantages over the other and can play those advantages to great effect. The human element remains a better tool for the DJ job however because a human follows through lines of inspiration whereas a computer just eats and assimilates what is given to it and in that way has a passive relationship to music, and art.

    • mina

      Computers don’t and won’t create even a halmark of emotions cuz its all programmed so never will happen

      • Bruno Dias

        mina, even human are programmed. What do you think DNA is?

  • Dennis Parrott

    Oh dear God NO.

    We can now duplicate the horrid Clear Channel music machine in da club. It is bad enough they destroyed the airwaves and now their zombie children will do the same to music played in a live setting.

    God have mercy on us all. Now those club owners who were only in it to make a buck will have a way to “downsize” their expenses at the DJs expense.

    This sort of thing makes me want to head up the Amazon and take up log drumming with some tribe that lives way the heck out in the bush.

  • Percivale

    The plane pilot thing is a suitable comparison. Someone there to make sure but left automated otherwise. This is seemingly coming our way.

    • mina

      Wont happen to djs I bet not sooner nor later and if it wont last long

  • Jason Karriker

    This article is pointless. How about some decent tech related articles instead of starry-eyed dreamer BS like this. Its DJ Tech Tools, not What If….. Review record cleaning machines, vibration damping feet, cartridges, new controllers, etc.

  • Ryan Dejaegher

    The timing of this article is unfortunate as it reinforces what i’ve been thinking about for a while.

    I’ve recently gotten into DJing weddings. I also bartend and the venue that I work at hosts a lot of weddings. I recently worked at wedding (bartending) and the couple had chose to go with a laptop instead of a DJ. This intrigued me because it was an opportunity to see the difference between a laptop and a DJ. Would a laptop still bring the same value (music, entertainment etc.) at a much lower price (free vs. a paid DJ)?

    The answer was yes and no. There was a decent amount of people that seemed to be enjoying themselves. However the flow of the night was way off. Here is where I saw problems.

    1) Once the formalities were over the couple decided to kick it right into high gear (LMFAO etc.)
    2) The flow of the night was off, songs stopped abruptly, volume levels were inconsistent, sometimes it would take a few seconds for them to pick a new song.
    3) Later in the night people would just switch a track mid song and often pick the same song over and over.

    Overall I think the bride and groom were happy but I’m not sure if I could say the same for everyone else.

    It got me thinking how long will it be before someone just comes out with a streaming service that can cue songs, and do a simple mix in all straight from an iPhone or iPad? Ean’s right, I don’t think this is as far off as we think it is and i’m sure there are certain club goers who would more then love to have a computer play their every request.

    But I don’t this could ever become standard. It would be plain weird to go bar hopping and all the bars are running off some kind of robot jukebox. People will always want a human element when it comes to art, imagine going to see a concert in the future and it’s a bunch of robots on stage. “How are you feeling San Francisco? (in a siri or robot voice).

    • Dennis Parrott

      I am a wedding DJ. Your comments are dead, bang on. Reading a room is reading a room and that is an essential skill for a DJ to master. Being able to work around requests from the audience is also important…

      There is an article on some DJ association website I read that stated that a pretty overwhelming percentage of newlyweds feel they should have paid more attention and probably spent more money on the entertainment. That same site had a video of what happened at a wedding reception when all they did was plug an iPod into a powered JBL speaker. It was tragic. I will tell you that NO MACHINE will ever do all of what I do to make a wedding reception an enjoyable and memorable event.

      Simply plugging in an iPod or laptop is never going to give you a really good result unless you simply don’t care if anyone is dancing at your wedding.

      • mina

        +1 100% agree 🙂

  • technicaltitch

    This article has a pitiful conception of what a DJ does. Crappy clubs have had “top 40” auto-mix setups for well over a decade – a guy just sits there upping the BPM throughout the night and the machine does the rest, (with slow/poor songs inserted to get the dancefloor to leave the dancefloor and spend at the bar every half hour or so).

    There is also that people love to see a DJ – I was playing once at a party, and knew a mix was unmistakably better than the tunes I had left in my record bag, (I’d exhausted my vinyl), so I slung on the mix and joined the dancefloor. Everyone left and didn’t return until I started playing my B-sides on the decks.

    But…no DJ plays whatever they think the audience most wants to hear, surely. This website did a great article on telling a story with your set. DJs organize a flow of mood and timbre, they drive the crowd wild then give them a break, before taking them higher, or deeper, or elsewhere; they orchestrate a journey through genres and sub-genres and those genres’ backgrounds; they build tension, by for example cutting up a few deep dub tunes so the crowd is feeling deep and a little heavy, then they’ll drop a sweet hip-hop track that will make the punters soar with the sudden release of tension, and cheer and realize how much they love that hip hop; or they’ll gradually build up the layers of house over the course of a set, syncopated hat or pad at a time, establish and journey between new grooves, to some sort of climax or unexpected twist for a finale. Computers still can’t write stories or paint pictures!

  • YS

    I think an aspect that was overlooked is the promotional value of a DJ. In a club, most get paid not based on skill but how well you draw/promote the event. Sure they’re is some novelty value in having a “robot dj” but DJs made of human bits will still stick around in some fashion.

  • 123456789

    DJs shouldn’t be concerned with just keeping the energy in a room – I’d rather see a DJ that takes the crowd on a journey via a creative and diverse track selection that’s more interesting that just hours of high-energy, popular songs that everyone already knows

    • Bravo

      Exactly. I miss the 90s, when good djs took you on a journey, weaving a tapestry of magic. Almost like reading a good fantasy book. Now days its all harder, faster, more.

      This is literally the worst idea since headphone raves

    • djmikefunkdoctor

      I so agree with that.

    • Bis

      That’s true, I think we all agree, but you are speaking as a DJ, not as a drunk audience member trying to get laid afterwards…

  • Slingr Kalm Kaoz

    Kalm Kaoz wrote an article for Tilllate USA’s first U.S. publication
    (July 2013) concerning the future of music and DJing. The article is
    titled “The Great Age of Ascension: Technology and the Transformation of
    Production, DJing and the Human Race.” DJ Tech Tools, as always, is
    smart and ahead of the curve. The Kalm Kaoz article looks further out
    and then moves back to where we are today; where will we be in 15 to 30
    years and what does that mean to the DJ today. For example, as the DJ
    Tech Tools article points out, computers currently pale in comparison to
    the human brain. This, however, is a highly temporary moment as we move
    closer toward what is known as Singularity, or as Time Magazine
    describes it “The moment when technological change becomes so rapid and
    profound, it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.” As
    Mr. Ian Morris, Professor of Classics and History at Stanford
    University, states “in 17 years time we will be able to upload an
    electronic replica of your mind on a machine. By 2045, we will have a
    computer that is powerful enough to host every one of the eight billion
    minds on earth. Carbon and silicon-based intelligence will merge to form
    a single global consciousness.”

    The merging of mankind and machine is here.

    is not science fiction. Doctors can talk to people in commas; you can
    control a toy with your mind. This is now. As Time Magazine states, “the
    transformation of our species into something that is no longer
    recognizable as such to humanity circa 2011. This transformation has a
    name; the Singularity. Even though it sounds like science fiction, it
    isn’t, no more than a weather forecast is science fiction. Its not a
    fringe idea; it’s a serious hypothesis about the future of life on
    Earth. It will be the most important thing to happen to human beings
    since the invention of language.”

    Check out Kalm Kaoz’s futurist musical view at, July edition, pages 74 & 75.

    Music is eternal. As long as electricity flows, electronic music is eternal!

    Long live the DJ. Long live the universal language – music.

    SlingR & FilbyKalm Kaoz

    • Matthias Gross

      they said too that we would fly around in our cars by the year 2000 ….

      • mina

        +3 I agree so much and thsys what I am talkimg about they say alot but not always what really happens so let rhem say LOL

    • mina

      Don’t rush things cuz 17 years ahead from now donno what will happen but I bet what u say can happen computers and technology wont ever be better or smarter than human brain so I am sure that will be only science fiction for me

  • smuve415

    yeah this article is leaving me a bit short. for one there’s been jukeboxes for over 60 years, this is nothing new. and like the one guy said, people are more comforted and inclined to dance when they see a DJ – its a standard, just like at weddings.
    I would like to see a more investigative article into why DJ’s are losing jobs currently.. i.e. owners changing their venues into upscale cocktail lounges and doing away with dancing all together for many of the same reasons that have been personally told to myself – stupid ass young girls screaming who do nothing but order vodka cranberries and then break glasses, and are full of self-entitlement these days. idiot guys who buy nothing but beer all night and then start fights drawing unwanted attention from police and neighborhood watch groups. these are the sort of things I’m seeing in my city that is causing a lot of DJ’s to have fewer & fewer places to work in.

  • Adrian Dooga Martinez

    Data, C3PO, Jarvis, SkyNet: All lovable or deadly and could never stitch together a set of subjectively chosen tracks and/or samples.

  • Lad

    I’m totally convinced this will happen. And it’s not that far off. That said, I think this will mosly apply to a certain type of venue. Certainly clubs that are only concerned with maximizing profits. We have those places now and they cater mostly to a more casual clubber/partier, someone who doesn’t care to explore much beyond Pop music. Go to the touristy bar area in your local city/town, it’s full of those places.

    There will always be a significant audience that will be opposed to such a homogenized system, such as the one described in this article. There will always be club owners wanting to be different from the competition as well. A big part of being an avid music fan is that we often like to believe we are into something new, different, unique, special, etc. Given the rise and fall of trends, It’s debateable what unique or special might actually be but you get my drift.

    So while I think a system like this will definitely come about at some point, I’m confident there will always be an alternative. I can see futuristic versions of today’s hipsters rolling their eyes when someone suggests going to the place with “the robot DJ”. After the robot DJ trend has subsided, of course. 😉

    • mina

      I am sure it wont happen and if it did it wont last for long at all

  • Data Night

    Hmm, seems to me like this all leads back to the evolution/hybridization of DJs and producers, computers may be able drop that new, hot track but they will never be able to create it.

    • kasatasound

      They can create it for sure. In fact over a decade ago a computer was created to compose in the style of Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn etc. And leading scholars couldn’t tell the difference, that is to say it was good music. Computers will eventually be able to do everything that’s not the question. I think the question becomes, “what do we bring to music as relational humans that computers cannot bring and how does that change the product”

      • mina

        Computers that make music like bach and beethoven. I doubt that 100000000% that this can happen by computer without a musician using that computer.. it wont happen never ever so go dream somewhere else cuz that didn’t happen and will not happen ever. Bach and beethoven and Mendelssohn music cant be easily made by human and I doubt a computer can do something even similar to it oneday and there wont be a robot dj oneday as well or won’t last for long tho 

    • DJ_ForcedHand

      I’m not sure about that… There’s a lot of time and money sunk into figuring out what humans like and how to capitalize on our likes and dislikes. We will get to the point where we are being manipulated without knowing we are… Or are we there yet?

      • mina

        Nope not even close at all to it when softwares can at least detect bpm and key correctly 100% without mistske which is just thr basics of djing and there are much else needed after that then they come talk about that robot thing…

    • mina

      And even this new track remix or mashup wont be able to be done by computer and reading crowd wont be as humans and fixing mistakes fast and realizimg that u doing a mistaken won’t be known by computer and much much more

  • Luis Hernández

    DJing technology is meant to be helping DJs to make exquisite performances, not to replace the DJ itself. That’s my humble opinion.

    • mina

      +100 so so trye and agree so so much

  • typeomega

    for all the people who say people wont show up to see a computer play music

    thats 2 hours of a absolutely packed venue who showed up to listen to a computer and they really seem to be enjoying themselves

    now granted they are in japan and they do have a live band (they don’t really “need” a live band) but its not as far away as you think. ten years ago all smart phones where blackberrys or palms , 15 years ago a cds where a revolutionary media format and 20 years ago computers had floppy discs. make no mistake that we are in a technological arms race and seeing a fare amount of djs as causality wouldn’t surprise me in the least. i dont think it will kill all the djs but it could narrow the field and emphasize the already misguided fad of dj superstars but it will never kill the underground.

    • Fred

      That was horrible. The auto tuned voices killed my ears. Every time I hear it these days I cringe. How anyone can stand there and enjoy that is beyond me.

      • mina

        So so true auto tune is so clear and sound really shit and maybe these crowd will enjoy that for once twice or max 5 times but then they gonna hate to listen or watch something like that

    • mina

      They do really need theband cuz they are who singing and not the characters the chcharacters are just hologram but the vocal and music coming from band and I am sure thst wont take long and then ppl will hate to go and club with some hologram characters or non human robots cuz that by time will be hella boring to part with programmed robots or animations also superstar djs will always be there and this won’t animation shows won’t last for long to die

    • Ignas

      Japan and rest of the world has a completely different culture, including dj’ing too many people probably are not passioned by a person being on scene and mixing tracks. Anyway their island will transform into a giant mega robot soon and fly to the mars.

      • mina

        They also into stupidnthis like animations and cartoon characters which is too lame for alot of other ppl in alot of other countries

        • mina

          Stupid things*

  • Eric Alan Mojstrovich

    I think it is reasonable to believe that this could be the future for a lot for a lot of smaller clubs and bars looking to cut costs with entertainment, but it really doesn’t compare to what people do and the excitement of seeing your favourite artist play out your favourite tune. We all know that producing will never become automated, because the creativity process is immensely demanding. For bars doing this switch, there could be a shift in how revenue is allocated. Producers may receive more attention, revenue and credit because they may be paid royalties for having their songs played out. I’m sure 20 cents a spin is still cheaper than a DJ in the long run, but festivals and big performances will never go out of fashion if they’re planned right.

  • DJ AJ

    I don’t see this working in clubs anytime soon (our in my life time). Maybe the iPhones being scanned at the door or paying for drinks…but not a robot or automated DJ. There’s one thing as a DJ you have to understand, you cant please everyone in the club and i am sure a robot wont be able to do so either. Even with Pandora, you have to skip songs when it thinks you may like a certain based on another song you played. Can you imagine the Robot DJ playing a song someone likes and starts dancing but then theres someone else in the club who hates that songs, so the Robot DJ decideds to switch it to another song, now pissing off someone else. yeah, i can imagine it now, the chaos.

    • Chaser720

      A Robot DJ would play music that the majority of the club likes based on info from phones and a database of facial recognition. If the dance floor starts to empty then it would switch the the next most popular type of music and judge if that help or hurts the situation.

      Ultimately it would find the most popular music and have better song selection than a live DJ. The only benefit of a human DJ vs robotic would be variation/show of skill in a live performance and the person factor of interaction with the DJ as a dancer. All the mixing and song selection could be better than a live DJ with proper coding and would “learn” the trends of the club better than and DJ ever could.

      • mina

        Are u programmer? That wont happenn and till now softwares dont 100% detetect music bpm nor key correctly alot of tracks they fail to detect them so thats wont happen so robits wont be never as good as humans and humans got much advantages than a computer that will play music similar to music on phones alot of ppl go for listneing to diffrent music than what they got plus computers are alot slow at processing and realizing things than humans so that will never ever happen and if it ever happened which I dont think at all all dj companies hard and soft will lose alot of money for sure

        • Chaser720

          Not a programmer but I do have an engineering degree and know how to program. If you want to put your thoughts into complete sentences it would be a lot easier to follow your arguments.

          I think your saying that a computer can’t read BPM or Key accurately enough to mix music by itself. If I sync a two tracks in Traktor and match the key they sound fine together 90% of the time. The live small club DJs I’ve seen fail at mixing a lot more often than that.

          I lot you after that. Something about a computer not being able to process something. IDK Make some sentences and get back to me.

          • mina

            You already answered what I was asking so u get me and what I am saying so dont act as if u dont. Dats 1st 2nd u said it 90% only and not 100% and djs dont do mistakes in clubs 🙂 as a softwaee wouldplus djs can fast fix those mistakes but computers wont even know that it is a mistakeeven

    • Simcha Brodsky

      I completely agree with you. As I was reading the article, that seemed to be the biggest hindrance (ironically enough). Also, who doesn’t want to watch a DJ make the crowd go crazy. Robots don’t have the empathy for the crowd that DJs have. We’d all miss the Jesus pose:)

  • Alexander Wyatt

    This would be cool in a coffee shop; wouldn’t seem fun for people in a club.

  • Black_Rag

    Personally i would not want to go to a club that had something even close the described robotic system.Mainly cause when i go down to a local club,it’s a mixture of people with different music tastes finding their crossover point through a DJ,a computer that would even attempt to replicate that would fail miserably as it really does take a human to understand a fellow human and to find a bridge between two humans.

    A good comparison to this would be a group therapist,you could program a robot with the knowledge of a therapist but it could never replace one as it does take that human equation to make the connection.

    This all being said it is a intriguing concept that warrants further investigation and investments,with adaptations to serve as a DJ’s tool it could be potentially a huge step.

    • kasatasound

      Yeah, I probably wouldn’t even go. I saw a world famous producer in New York 2 nights ago and, ya know, he didn’t even really have a great live show, in fact he was kind of a horrible DJ. But I was curious about his brain, you know, what he did, how he did it. Even if it wasn’t very successful it was still interesting to me. In fact in this case the kinds of mistakes he made were as interesting as the successful element of his show.

  • Miguel Milheiro

    That could happen one day in a couple of venues, but overall, there will always be a need for entertainers of all kinds. A DJ should do more than just mix 2 tracks together. They can prepare new remixes, mashups, even produce music live. Technology is there also to make DJing a more creative work.

    • Chaser720

      +1 for live mashups. Didn’t think of that and software would have a hell of a time trying to do that in a live situation.

    • nick

      also the stage presence of a dj cant be replicated

      • motoe haus

        mashup is a software i have from the guys that make mix in key. also a hologram in the biggest pop star in japan. fyi. its already in beta testing.

        • Chaser720

          Care to post a link? Maybe it can place two tracks together in the same key and EQ a bit but no way can it tell if they sound right together. Unless it can… and my mind would be blown.

          • Peter

            The simple answer “yes, it can”. I actually recently built an automatic remix engine ( with a friend at a hackfest. Good luck getting it running (lots of linux dependencies), and it isn’t very good because it was built in 12 hours.

            However, the technology is getting there, and it is certainly becoming possible.

          • mina

            The link redirect to not found page plus I bet it just detect key andd bpm only but wonnt be as a human mashupofcourse and I bet on that 🙂

        • mina

          Automated mashup never was like human ones

    • blah

      Djs dont just mix two tracks together. They mix many together to create a sound.

    • Bravo

      All that matters to me in a good dj, is ‘journey’ and ‘track selection’. Funnily enough, most djs of the last 10 years have no f**king idea about these two things.

    • Scoox

      Yes but, assuming your were blind, you wouldn’t be able to tell a pre-recorded mix from a live one, and for that matter it may be a matter of time before automated mixes are a reality. We mustn’t forget that software companies are constantly pushing the boundaries in search for “something to do” in order to keep their staff employed! Many underground trains are now driver-less, and passengers can’t tell the difference or care as long as they can get to their destination in one piece. Likewise, I’ve been to large venues where the DJ is up there doing his thing quite inconspicuously and you basically forget he’s there or couldn’t care less if he wasn’t as long as the music is good (e.g. good pre-recorded mix).

      However, I’ve also been to venues where the DJs interacted with the crowd and became a part of it. The DJ was clearly feeling the music with and through the crowd; the DJ was an integral part of the show and provided additional cohesion and entertainment value. Good DJs will never be replaced by machines, average ones probably will though.

  • DJinTX

    Great article, and something which I’ve thought a lot about. I have two responses, my first being about the “if:” The main reason why I think DJs will continue to exist is similar to your pilot analogy – the physical presence of a DJ is often entertaining by itself. A DJs style and personal interaction can’t be replaced by algorithms, even if music could be. That alone, though, isn’t enough to keep many folks from jumping ship. After all, MANY DJs do not bring enough style or personality to the tables to warrant the increased cost. My prediction would be that we’ll eventually return to a situation in which not every single bar and club has a DJ, but the higher-end ones do, similar to how venues book bands.

    Still, more interesting to me is how we should respond to this technology. I believe this should be yet another reason to move away from highly anticipated DJ sets where we just play exactly what the crowd wants and expects, NOT to do more of that. Personally, I think it takes 6 months (or less) for a new DJ to learn how to play Top 40 to a club crowd effectively, assuming that DJ has a decent working knowledge of music to begin with. Simply put, it just isn’t that hard. What IS hard is to go beyond Top 40, use more advanced turntable techniques, create more unique and artistic blends, etc. In other words, maybe we should ask ourselves before sets, “Could a computer do this?” If the answer is yes, we should expect to be replaced in 10 years.

    So, maybe it’s time to redefine who we are and what we do as DJs. DJs used to break new music, challenge audiences, and provide an artistic element. Many DJs still do, but many have simply fallen into the trap set by club owners and drunk girls to play favorite song after favorite song in a highly predictable order. We’ve been conditioned by fear of job loss to box ourselves into a role which will not fare well in competition with a computer.

    Put it this way: A computer could NEVER compete with more artistic DJs who create unique sets, unique blends, and use unique songs. Would you rather read this article knowing you were one of those, are one of those that pander to the flavor of the month for pennies and imminently replaceable by already existent technology?

    • Dr Beatz

      It seems to me that almost all forms of work could be replaced by machines in the not too distant future. I mean companies used to have phone operators, now its just a computer. Cars and planes are driving themselves, assembly lines are completely automated, ATMs etc.

      Agreed this will be a sort of “separation point” between those trying to be artistic and those trying to be a machine (HA). The whole Top 40s scene is where this is headed, its just the next step in its evolution. I mean Top 40s music is already based on algorithms and analysis of pop culture, this is just taking that from the radio, into a club setting.

      Once a place like that opens, you could have some real fun, and get a crew together with all sorts of underground beats on their playlists. Hit up the club and stand motionless and frowning during the night, til one of those underground songs comes on, then just go apeshit, dancing on tables etc. Really fuck with the machines crowd detection algorithm 🙂 Get it to play some more of those songs, and suddenly the Top 40s club is an underground club…..

      HA sorry, my mind drifted on that one…oh the places you’ll go

      • mina

        It seems to me that almost all forms of work could be replaced by machines in the not too distant future.thats for something that not in need of creativity and humans brain but even humans wont let machinws take their role neither sooner nor later.. so just put that in ur mind dude…

      • mina

        Machines and algorithm and programming will not force us to stop doing our role so go to hell u and ur programming bs so just go dream. Programming for no life ppl

  • O

    First of all I don’t know too many people who will bring their Smart phone on a night out with them because lets be honest you are going out to party and theres a good chance whilst intoxicated you will drop your phone possibly in the toilet or you will loose your phone somewhere like the back seat of a taxi. Most people have a session phone, one of those £9 nokia phones you won’t be upset if you loose. Based on that alone this whole system wont work because you cant do anything with a phone like that except call/text/play snake

    But this alone is not the big flaw. The main flaw with this is the fact you are willing to give away your privacy for something as lame as a jukebox and a queue jump at the bar because thats all this system would ever amount to be. People are far too willing to give away all their personal information at the drop of a hat these days and it is frightening. There is a move to make everything in this society automated but when you automate things you are killing jobs allot of the time and these people aren’t being looked after after they are replaced they are just being cast aside. When you go to the petrol station you fill your own tank when you go to the supermarket you scan your own groceries. Every day we get closer and closer to a society where you aren’t going to have to come in contact with other human beings anymore. People aren’t friendly anymore, you don’t say hello to the woman on the checkout anymore because now its just a condescending robotic voice reminding you to pay for your groceries and to pick them up afterwards because you as a human being have been so bombarded with mind numbing technology you are incapable of remembering what you are doing at any moment in time, “oh yeah thats right im food shopping thank you for reminding me you robotic voiced bastard”

    I am by no means against technology I just wish for it to be used with a sliver of ethics and common decency. This is just an awful idea and you would think with all the revelations about the NSA and the wiretapping you would be a bit more weary about what your smart phone is doing to you in the long run. Is not standing in line at the bar for two minutes really worth not having any privacy?

    • Just saying

      Ehm… I’m thinking about Facebook. Do we really want privacy? I don’t think so..

      • OBomba

        I think allot of people still want privacy they just don’t realise how much they are giving away. What would stop a system like this copying all your contacts / messages / Photos in your phone? Wow what a great idea then they could put photos up of all the people in the club up on the screens! Can’t see anything going wrong there…..

        • JustS

          I agree with you, what I am saying is that we are heading there already, and in a few years it will be perfectly normal. I am not saying I am cool with that.. Also, something I have noticed djing is that just 1 or 2 club out of 20ish are actually interested in good music. All the rest just want their customer to be happy. And drunk.. And it’s pretty sad, but I was never asked for the new “put your favourite producer here” tune. People, at least in the majority of clubs here in Sydney, ask for the new Tayo Cruz song.

    • Gen Y

      23 year old hear with some counter arguments:

      1) everyone i know brings their smart phones when they go out. The phones are getting more durable as time goes on and people cant live with only texting. What about facebooking and snap chatting their way through the boring parts of the nights..

      2) “The main flaw with this is the fact you are willing to give away your privacy for something as lame as a jukebox” i have people literally handing me their phones wanting me to plug them in to play a song. They would be more than happy to share.. and then there is what people already do on facebook anyway in terms of having no privacy.

      I wish these factors werent the case but they certainly are…

      Also, in reply to the article – if a computer analysed the music on my phone it wouldnt do a very good DJ job. its a pretty random selection and doesnt really reflect what i’d want to hear at a club

      • O

        1) I would hate to imagine what club you are going to that is so boring you are on facebook and snap chat. Maybe you should stay at home mate and stop taking up space on the dance floor or start going to other nights.

        2) When people hand you their phone do you go through their contact list? Copy numbers, messages and photos? I assure you if something like this system got introduced you would be forfeiting all the info on your phone for no real reward. In regard to facebook allot of people don’t realise how dangerous making their whole life public can be. This is a whole new time we are moving into and honestly I can see there being more and more of a backlash in the coming years against this whole everything must be public culture we are living in. Say this new club tech scans all the content on your phone now when the club photographer takes a picture of you up the front at 5am with pupils like saucers it gets uploaded instantly to your facebook twitter instagram google+ with some standard tag line about how good this club night is etc… say goodbye to your office job cause you are getting sacked Monday morning. Privacy will become even more of a precious thing in the coming years and some people aren’t going to tolerate the way things are going.

        I’m not an old man I am 24 and have been clubbing since I could sneak in. I just prefer to not shove my life in everybodys faces because I understand how important privacy is.

        • Gen Y

          Yeah man i agree with you and i didnt say i did these things. Im another DJ so when i go out (not working) i actually like to appreciate the night and dont need to communcate digitally with people about it at the time.

          I meant that other people do these things. Just look at the facebook page of any women our age on a night out and you will see bathroom selfies, dancefloor selfies, and a picture of their drink all uploaded as they go throughout the night. Then the next day more photos go up.

          The privacy thing is a sticky issue and to be honest i dont think many people really understand how much they put up about themselves. i look forward to the day it gets put into perspective again too.

          People need to go out, have fun, be in the moment and not worry about anything else on a night out.

      • mina

        For me I don’t take my phone with me cuz I know I can get drunk and drop it or forget it wirh someone if taking pictures or some steal it while I am wasted so thats something I won’t do that ever to be in risk so if that happened I would get my music that I like cuz I didn’t take a part in sharing my music with the robot??!! Is thateven logical

  • A_B

    So many flaws with this terminology. Its not as simple as you make it out to be. 1. The cost factor – It would be insanely expensive to equip nightclubs with this. 2. By this logic, most jobs on the planet will be taken over by computers/machines. 3. Whats stopping people loading their phones with jungle music as a practical joke and having jungle music rolled out all night? 4. Its just all out Unrealistic. Very cool idea however, but just not practical. Maybe in 50 years.

    • mina

      Not even in 50 years it wont happen at all cuz robots don’t create or think or have free will mind. Its all programming shit which other human does. . And that wont be as a human think at the situation itself

    • mina

      Its just for pass vip and drinks only not for having music on it too and maybe that got problems on health like most all of the technological products out there that seriously affecting our health negatively

  • Per Jakobsen

    Allright, DJTT ;-). and the bouncers is equipped with lightsabers..

    May the force be with you Ean

    • D-Jedi

      Naw man, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away

      • Dan White

        Yeah, plus the Max Rebo band were killer live performers – no robots involved!

        • Dennis Parrott

          I swear those jokers only knew one song though…

          • Per Jakobsen

            you guys crack me up this morning ;-). Will have to add the chained Lea pole dancing.

          • mina

            Who are jokers??Max rebo band???LOL I yes then u arebthe big joke in this worworld

  • Dj 707

    Many radio stations in smaller markets have not had a dj “in house” for a long time, first real to real then satalite. How far fetched is it that a service can market a dj in a studio somewhere and clubs pay a per hour fee or a monthly fee for service via broadbandOr a company doing all the pre work like what songs go together and mix in and out points and the club or bar having a network device that then mixes the songs together. I bet it’s doable today with today’s technology. The day is not that far off when this will be a reality.

    • mina

      As many radio have playlist or automated mixing function like sam and vdj but still there are djs that play in thosr radios live so thats not true bro. Also if clubs did that they will just all sound the same by playing the mainstream music that everyone in crowd can simply listen to it on Spotify or mixify or pandora or any other service like that so it aint that entertaining honestly and it would be sooner or later a failure idea and will vanish forever. So don’t be that excited about ir cu sooner it will be really boring for everyone to listen to a robot or computer that is peogrammed and cant think by itself

  • Robodamos

    Iam still a dj Robot, i hope the humans don’t steal my Job! I have to hungry Children. I have to feed them oil

    • mina

      Lol I know this comment is sarcasm and u need to tell ppl that there are some human djs need their job to live and have money for their childrens but technology people just want money by any mean and they don’t care how much that can affect others at all. Selfish ppl…

  • Mad Zach


    • Mad Zach

      …but you can’t automate an interesting live performance or original tune.

      • motoe haus

        whats crazy… yes you can. its a scary thought. i love live djs.

        • mina

          They can’t humansare smarterand faster and even are creativemore ententertaining than just an iron programmed junk so thats a big no